June 11, 2022
Review by Eric Claus.
Limitation can lead to creativity it is often said, and there are many community mapping projects that pop up with various limitations imposed on the creators of maps as a means of challenge. The subject of this review is just one of many of these, and this one, as the name suggests, only has 1000 linedefs per map which seems like very few, but considering how easy it seems to get a bunch of lines when doing finer detail, I imagine this one could get tricky if you were trying to make a large or very detailed map. Despite the limitation imposed, the maps in this set are well made by many different creators in the community. To play the 1000 Line Community Project you can use whichever port you like including Chocolate Doom, and you will want to aim for setting complevel 2 in the appropriate port if you are concerned with full compatibility. Do also keep the Dehacked patch in mind, but I think it mainly gives custom menu, HUD, and some other aesthetic changes and not as much in terms of mechanics.
1000 Lines is broken up into a few different “episodes” which go with a certain aesthetic theme. The first follows a city theme, the second is a city and hell mix, the third has hell levels and the fourth is techbase themed. Since the maps are done by different authors, you have quite a few differences in style, layout and skill, but all the maps feel cohesive and well done, with good layout and aesthetic design using mostly stock textures. It doesn’t feel like the maps really scale in difficulty as you progress through the levels, so it’s easy to just pick what you want with a pistol start and run through it, letting you experience the whole set. The advantage of the constraints is the combat flow tends to be well done and the maps are compact, so if that is more your thing it’s easy to complete and sample the levels without having to play each for too much time. If you enjoy custom music, there are also plenty of tunes spread throughout, some use the original music in different levels but more often than not you will get a custom midi.
It is said limitation breeds creativity, and I would say 1k lines demonstrates that this can be the case. The levels look good even with stock textures, the maps play well, and you can experience the whole package without having to invest too much time. There are many community projects that try different kinds of limitations to stretch map maker creativity, and I think they often fit a role of creating quick and easily accessible action, or at least testing a map maker’s skills. 1k lines isn’t fancy, but it works well with its limitation and has plenty of good maps to play on and enjoy without too high a difficulty and providing a nice straightforward vanilla experience. Give it a shot, you will not regret it!
You can expect this review on issue #19!