new doom mapper's guide: when you're needing help

5.9.2020

So, you’re new to Doom mapping. Congrats on starting your journey! Doom mapping is a great way of expressing creativity and can be a stepping stone towards doing level design for newer games in the future.

So where do you start? What do you do? You’re likely to have a zillion questions, and luckily there’s a whole community of people who are willing to help you. However, it’s important to observe etiquette when asking for help- when you do so, you will be more likely to build a better rapport with others in the community, which in turn will allow you to ask more questions should you need more help in the future. Here, I’ll outline some things to remember when asking a question regarding mapping (or any other Doom related questions, for that matter!):

1. Is this a question that has been answered before? A simple Google search can go a long way and there are tons of resources online that can be hugely helpful. A couple of sites include Doomworld, ZDoom Forums, and ZDoom wiki. Many technical questions have been answered before on these sites so you may already have a solution in these places. YouTube is also full of tutorials on how to do basic mapping processes, so check there.
2. If you can’t find a solution by research, then your next step is to write your question. Don’t just write, “I  can’t get my door to work” or something vague like that. Be as specific as possible when writing it down, screenshotting when possible and outline the steps you’ve taken so far as thoroughly as you can. The more information you can give about the solution you’re seeking, the better.
3. DON’T expect an answer right away. If you’re on a Discord server, your answer may come faster than if you ask on a forum but people do have lives outside of the internet. If you don’t get an answer within about 12 hours then feel free to ask again. When on a Discord server do NOT use an @everyone ping- it’s annoying for all involved and less likely to get you an answer.
4. When someone does give you an answer, be sure to read thoroughly and follow the steps provided to the letter. If you’re confused about something that is said then ask for clarification on that part.
5, If the solution works perfectly for you, awesome! Make sure you THANK the person who helped you- a little show of gratitude can go a long way. It may also help to save the solution in a place where you can access it again- maybe copy-paste the question and solution into a Word or Notepad document and keep that in a safe place in case you have the same issue again.

 Doom mapping can be a big and scary journey at first, but keep your wits about you and you’ll do just fine. Don’t be afraid to ask for help- but doing it the right way will be much more productive in the long run.

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