Let’s Make a Level for Duke Nukem 3D, Part 19

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Previous parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Like I said we would, now that the basic structure of the level is in place with all items and obstacles accounted for, now it’s time to go back and do a detail pass as well as begin to add enemies. First, let’s spice up this part of the underwater maze:

This puts us over 1024 sectors so only eDuke32 can play this map (not the original unmodified game) but we were already over the wall limit anyway. Here’s what the additions look like in 3D mode:

Just some nice sharp, high contrast lighting to decorate this formerly barren space a little bit better. Now let’s add some sharks, because it’s an underwater area.

Also, near the end of the maze, a single octobrain. Like a mini-boss for this area and a nice climax to the buildup of weaker, slower sharks which are not as much of a threat:

That’s good. Now let’s add some guns to deal with those enemies. But not just lying around! Hidden in places which naturally, you use your special items to reach.

As a nice little flourish, after you obtain an item/weapon, the pedestal it was sitting on then retracts into the floor. This adds some degree of recognition and pomp to your achievement. All the pedestals in the map now do this:

In addition, after thinking it over, I added a teleporter at the end of the toxic waste corridor instead of a second pair of boots. I felt like after putting teleporters elsewhere for easy return, it was more consistent with the map design to put one here as well:

Now, some more enemies. Not loads of them mind you, since the point of metroidvanias was never combat, but exploration. A nasty kamikaze drone hiding tucked away in the jumping puzzle room should catch the player by surprise:

To balance it out, let’s also tuck a nice hidden bonus item in this room. That way players who lose a lot of health to the drone can at least replenish it, if they explore thoroughly. It is crucial to reward thorough exploration:

Speaking of hidden bonuses, let’s put one in the dark room where you get the shrink ray. It will be the upgrade that lets you use the shrink ray as a microwave expander beam weapon. Better to hide the upgrade nearby so they can use it right away if they find it, and will not be tempted to waste shrinker ammo, which they need to pass an obstacle.

That’s all for this time. Next time we’ll continue adding enemy encounters, including some which only spawn after you’ve already cleared an area, then backtrack through it. This will keep the map from getting dull.

Stay Tuned for Part 20!

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