A Beginner's Guide to creating levels for DOOM

Part 2

Essential Tools and Resources

Of course, to be able to construct new maps it is essential that one owns the IWAD for the game.

The Tools

If the objective is to only create new maps, regardless of map format, then just a map editor program will do the trick.

Good map editors are

Ultimate Doom Builder development by ZZYZX, biwa, dpJudas and others
an iteration of GZDoom Builder - Bugfix
status: current
GZDoom Builder-Bugfix development by ZZYZX
an iteration of GZDoom Builder
status: development has stopped
GZDoom Builder development by MaxED
an iteration of Doombuilder2
status: development has stopped
Doombuilder2 development by Codeimp
a rewrite of his Doombuilder1
status: development has stopped
Doombuilder X development by anotak
an improved iteration of Doombuilder2
status: current
Slade3 development by sirjuddington
status: current
Deepsea development by randomlag
no UDMF support
is now freeware
status: development has stopped
Eureka development by andrewj
limited UDMF support
status: current

However, if one wants to be more ambituous and change some resources or create new resources, then the editors below will import/export lumps.

Lump editors are

Slade3 Deepsea XWE
Slade3 is the preferred lump editor
development has stopped
Deepsea is good,
but cannot edit pwads for the UDMF format
development has stopped
XWE is not recommended

Editor to change the behaviour, strings, etc of the original DOOM.

Exl's WhackEd4

To learn what is involved see the DeHackED tutorial by Enjay.

New Resources

resources linked to on the ZDoom Forum
A host of new monsters, special effects and textures can be downloaded from Realm667
Another good site for textures is Afterglow
Excellent textures can be found on David Gurrea's site
Here is a collection of photographic textures
A collection of Skyboxes Kothic skies
lvlworld skies
Wadfather skies

Good programs to create and manipulate new textures

Gimp is freeware.
it may take a while to effectively learn its interface.
Paint.net is freeware
Paint Shop Pro
is not freeware.

Good programs to view textures

XnView is freeware.
It is used for viewing and/or manipulating images, not to create them.
Irfanview is freeware.
It is used for viewing and/or manipulating images, not to create them.

Good programs to work with models



Good programs to create sounds and music

audio software for multi-track recording and editing.

More resources


The definitive information, other than the source code, is available in several WIKIs, for original DOOM, ZDOOM based ports and for Slade3.


There are many forums. Thanks to modern search engines, these forums are not difficult to find. The most active ones being the ZDoom Forum and the Doomworld Forum.

Video tutorials

Many videos are available on Youtube, just enter a DOOM related term in the Youtube Search line. Good video tutorials are those from AlysiumX and from Chubzdoomer.

Kappes Buur
July 01, 2012
latest update March 2018