"I travelled half the length of England and all I got was shat on by a pigeon"
hahaha that should be on a t-shirt
HOW TO DO AN EXIT DOOR PROPERLY
Last year I wrote an article about how to use the computer console flats in Doom properly. Recently in the construction of my as-yet-unnamed megawad I found another similarly pointless dilemma that needs answers.
It is to do with exit doors. If you've played Doom you'll know the usual convention for an exit is to mark it some way, usually with a sign that says "EXIT" and often to have it in a small room behind this particular type of door called EXITDOOR that looks a bit like a jetpack with a big golden button in the centre. However these doors are only 64 units wide. The EXITDOOR texture itself is 128x72.
The remaining 64 columns are split into three strips. Firstly, there are two "sides" each of width 24, decorated with extra columns and in particular a pair of red lights in the middle. The two sides are mirror images of each other. The final 16 columns of the EXITDOOR texture are simply a strip of lighting and not relevant here.
The point is, the two 24-wide "sides" at x-offsets 64 and 88 respectively are meant to be used adjacent to the door itself in much the same way DOORSTOP or DOORRED/YEL/BLU are used around other doors in a map. The problem is, which is the left and which is the right? The strip at 64 has its pair of red lights on the right-hand side; the strip at 88, which is a mirror image of the other, has its on the left. Therefore we can talk about having the pair of red lights adjacent to the exit door or opposite it. Now you'd think there would be one convention but as usual the game can't stick to one way of doing it which leaves the dilemma: opposite or adjacent?
(If you need to see this in action to be able to visualise what I'm going on about just go and look at the end of E1M1 or MAP01, both of which are "red adjacent")
So what I did was to go through each Doom map and note down what it did, in the hope that I'd get some answers on how to do it the right way. Here it is:
- Episode 1:
- Red is adjacent on E1M1, E1M3 secret, E1M5, and E1M6.
- Red is opposite on E1M3 normal exit (E1M3 contradicts itself...)
- E1M2, E1M4 and E1M7 don't have the sides, only a plain 64-wide exit door
- E1M9 doesn't have any sort of exit door, it just has a couple of signs above a large button on the wall behind a large blue-locked door. E1M8 has a big demon face on the floor and that's about it.
- All of the exits, including the secret exit on E1M3, are marked with the EXITSIGN texture nearby.
- Episode 2:
- Red is adjacent on all the exits except the secret exit on E2M5, and on E2M9 and E2M8. E2M6 in particular has four exit doors that all are red-adjacent.
- Red is opposite nowhere at all in this episode
- E2M5's secret exit doesn't have the sides at all, it's just a 64-wide door
- E2M9's exit is hidden behind a wall and not marked in any way whatsoever, no EXITDOOR, no EXITSIGN, no nothing. I guess the mystery in Fortress of Mystery is "where is the exit" or perhaps "how the hell did this crappy map ever get into the finished game"
- E2M8 doesn't have any sort of an exit, obviously.
- All the exits, apart from E2M9 and E2M8, are marked with EXITSIGN.
- Episode 3:
- Red is adjacent on E3M1, E3M3, E3M4, E3M5, E3M9 and E3M7. Of course on E3M9 it's nowhere near the actual map exit! It's also interesting to note that there's a fake lintel above the fake exit on E3M9 that's not present on E3M1. I'd never noticed that before!
- Red is opposite on E3M6's normal exit.
- E3M2 doesn't use EXITDOOR at all nor does it use EXITSIGN so you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just a regular teleporter. The real exit on E3M9 is well hidden and totally unmarked.
- E3M8 works the same way as E2M8 and has no exit.
- Many of the maps in Episode 3 don't bother with EXITSIGN at all! The ones that do are E3M3, E3M4, E3M5, E3M6's normal exit, and E3M7.
Conclusions: There are two exits that have sides which are red opposite. Compare this with more than a dozen which are red adjacent (ignore the ones that aren't either, because they're irrelevant) I think it's pretty clear which way round they're meant to go, with the 64 side on the left and the 88 side on the right, just like in the texture - but if you like you can swap them round if you like, it doesn't look too crap. In fact, well... nobody will notice, probably...
PS I didn't go through Doom 2. It's not canonical when determining how to use textures that exist in Doom, anyway.