A Good Map
1. Good shading. Like setting a tree close to a building and
then putting another (wall sprite) tree on the building + making
it completly black so it looks like the shadow of the tree. And
in a sector where there is a fire or torch. Make it flicker. And then there's the simple stuff, like wall shadows, etc.
2. Surprises that test the player's reflexes. There's nothing like
a good show of moving sectors when, all of a sudden, the show
turns into a death trap.
3. Players love to blow up things! Make all glass breakable.
Windows, vases, glasses, and maybe even statues. And a
little something that I learned myself. Make a table or wall
out of sprites. Then make it blow up into burning chunks of
4. It's kinda old, but you need something right behind a door.
The best door to put a cultist behind is a door that opens from
the middle. In case you don't know how: You simply make it
like you would a regular up&down door. Just raise the floor
and lower the ceiling. When they meet in the middle hit
ALT-F3 for CLOSED POSTITION. Then lower the floor and
raise the ceiling. Then press ALT-F4 for the OPENED POSITION.
5. And then there's the mood of the level. Make it dark and
have some wind and distant crashing or yelling to make
the player wonder what's out there.