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.: DooM Nexus: The Future is Tomorrow

DooM Nexus, for those of you who may have stumbled upon this site, is a space that will not illuminate, illustrate, inebriate, articulate, fascinate (well, maybe just a little, for those with infantile minds), flaggelate, alliterate, hypothecate, postulate, prevaricate, or urinate. What it will do, however, is give you the low-down on any and all DooM-related activities in which I am engaged.

So, if you're visiting for the first time, feel free to browse this space using the handy links to the left. For those who have been here before, ignore my ramblings like you usually do, and do whatever the hell you do when you visit. (Please do not piss on the rug on your way out. Remember the Big Lebowski.)


.: Link of the Moment

In this space I shall endeavor to provide an excape hatch from the life monotonous. To that end I shall seek to unearth diverse and interesting nuggets of trivia, art, humor, and anything else that strikes my fancy. If it happens to be DooM-related, consider that a bonus.

The Last of Us is an upcoming post-apocalyptic third-person survival action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3. Here is an almost photo-realistic screenshot from the game, where you can see the hairs on the protagonists's beard. In this picture you can see the wonderful play of light and shadow in the atrium of a devastated house.

.: 4 April 2016 - Xenophobia .....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 16:11.

..... which, by the way, happens to be the cleverly-named map set firmly in the Xen universe.

Anyhoo, as I made a ridiculously wordy post just a few days ago, I feel I am entitled to keep this post brief (no doubt, to the relief of many. Ha!) Moreover, it has famously been said that a picture is worth a thousand ..... a thousand ...... the word escapes me..... what is it that completes that pithy aphorism? Ah, well, forgetfulness and memory-failure is an integral part of dotage, I've been told. So, here goes:

.: 1 April 2016 - Paranoiac Release ....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 18:04.

.... forthcoming, at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Whaaaat? You were expecting something else, maybe? It is, after all, April the First.

Speaking of April the First, it was virtually exactly six years ago that Paranoid was released. March 31, 2010, to be exact. But because it was released/announced on Eastern Standard Time (USA), many readers in Asia, Europe, etc. only saw it on April 1, and assumed it was an April Fool's joke.

While this message has overtones of an April Fool's joke, there is some truth to the announcement above. I have embarked on the final map, which is the last in the Xen hub, and which will culminate the adventures of Rolf Bellmer, your humble character as you navigate the pitfalls of the Black Mesa facility & Xen. Once I'm done with mapping and internal testing, the game will go out for beta-testing. There are a few issues I still need to resolve, and the beta-testers may be called upon to help sort things out. But the heavy lifting will have been done by then. Downhill ride from there. Stay tuned, the two of you.

Oh, and I plan to release some screen pics soon.

.: 21 December 2015 - Do That Crazy Hand Hive ....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 12:58.

If your mind immediately jumps to the famous song by Johnny Otis (circa 1958), then you're ..... well, frankly, you're pretty old. Heh.

But no, I'm not here to expound on "Willie & the Hand Jive" (also nicely done by Eric Clapton). I'm here to announce that I've successfully introduced the HornetGun (aka HiveHand) into Paranoiac. I scoured through the AeOD code, extracted the relevant definitions, cleaned it up, and tweaked it until I was satisfied. It features both primary & secondary fire modes, with a new secondary-fire projectile that is not Half-Life canon, but is very cool, nonetheless. There's still a minor tweak I need to make (once I figure out how) - I want to decrease the "reload" rate for the more powerful secondary fire mode.

And then, of course, I still need to add the weapon to the status bar, which, I've discovered, is just such a joy. But these are minor tasks compared to the challenge (for me, at least) of introducing a new weapon, even one for which the coding was already done. Yes, yes, I know - standing on the shoulders of giants and all that. But I think you'll enjoy the result.

I also reached out to Willem Sitters, 3D modeler extraordinaire, about converting the relevant .mdl format models in Half-Life to .md3 format, which GZDooM requires. Being the gentleman that he is, he couldn't refuse. I still need to extract the models & skins from Half-Life, but at least I know how to do those. So, my friends, we are slowly checking off things from the to-do list.

Thank you both for tuning in.

.: 19 December 2015 - Sound Bytes

Posted by Rex Claussen at 05:03.

The big news is that I have successfully implemented music (as sound) into Paranoiac. Now, when I test a map, I can get a better sense of the mood of the map. The logic for the background music was generally straightforward. But the introduction of "event" music in the middle of a map created major headaches. If the player tried to exit the map before the event music ended it messed things up. If the event music ended, the background music restarted, and the player approached the exits it messed things up. If the crossbow was reloaded it messed things up. In the end, I got things working, partly using Blue Shadow's suggestion that the sound be passed to a mapspot. Of course, now I need to implement the event music into each of the other maps as well.

Mapping on Map20 has passed the halfway point, but nothing on Map21, and no more on Map23 (these are the 3 remaining maps that need mapping). I have also begun introducing the gameplay elements. Maps 10, 11, and 22 are virtually complete, including my own testing. Other maps, including Maps 16, 17, and 20 have quite a bit of gameplay complete. But at this point, as I am dealing with pretty much everything else in the game, the going is slow. I have been solving problems with weapons & enemy coding, status bar issues, major lags in one of the maps, conversion of models, editing of graphics, the list goes on. Unfortunately, as DBThanatos and Enjay are unavailable owing to real life constraints, I have to take up the slack. And these are in areas where I have limited familiarity. Hence a learning curve, and hence the tedious slog. But things are gradually coming together. [The great news is that DBT managed to introduce reloading into the Gluon Gun's code. The weapon is now complete. I've asked him to develop the Hornet Gun (aka HiveHand), and we'll see how that goes.]

On a separate note, some months ago I started on a single map for GZDooM in my Fear Station series. Being the third in the series, this is, naturally, named Fear Station: Charlie. I am about halfway done, and I work on it when I hit a wall with development on Paranoiac. There's a part of me that wants to just finish it so that I can focus on Paranoiac. But the latter has just so many things that need attention. Stay tuned.

.: 7 December 2015 - Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow ....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 20:25.

.... creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death ......
....... it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

All you fans of the Bard have indubitably gleaned the reference as Macbeth's infamous soliloquy when he is contemplating the death of Lady Macbeth. And so you ask: "What, pray tell, does this have anything to do with why I visited this web-page?" Frankly, my gentle reader, I am at a loss to answer that question, aside from the fact that I like to use the word "idiot" a lot. But levity aside ....

Paranoiac has become like a runaway train. It started out being a 5-map expansion pack for Paranoid, but has grown to being a 14-map pack with 2 hubs and 2 secret maps. Not to mention new graphics, many new models, at least 2 new weapons, and several new enemies. Yes, the project occasionally limps along in the absence of its 2 key member - DBThanatos and Enjay. But others (such as Eruanna and Kappes Buur) are rallying around to help solve the multitude of (mostly minor) problems that a project of this scope invariably engenders. And lets not forget Jeff Ligda, who continues to spin his musical magic for the game. So keep the faith - the flag yet waves, and the ship shall steam into port (at an as-yet indeterminate date & time).

.: 17 October 2015 - Egads! It's Egon!

Posted by Rex Claussen at 07:10.

Now that I have your undivided attention, allow me to correct your notion that somehow you were going to see Mr. Spengler and his GhostBuster buddies. What you'll see, however, is the new Gluon Gun (aka Egon Gun) in action. Yes, we finally have this weapon (mostly) fully operational. Thanks to Major Cooke & DBThanatos, the developers of the original code; DBT for the weapon graphics; and Kappes Buur for his patience in streamlining the AeOD code.


.: 8 October 2015 - Scream-Shots ....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 17:14.

More screenshots of Paranoiac:

.: 28 September 2015 - Hypochondriac ....

Posted by Rex Claussen at 08:11.

..... Ah, heck! With the onset of old age, my "vocabulary memory" appears to be slipping. I wanted to provide an update on one of the GZDooM projects with which I'm involved, and just can't remember the name. I know it ends with "iac", but can't pinpoint it. I know it's not "Braniac" (who, surprisingly enough, I remember is one of Superman's nemeses). I know it's not "Ciliac", which is a gastro-intestinal disease. In the absence of the correct name, I settled on "Hypochondriac".

Awright, quit yer snickering in the peanut gallery! I ain't senile. Yet. But I suppose you're not here for the shtick. So here's an update:

    1. All mapping on the Earth hub is complete. However, I have run into some problems with the scripting on Map 16.
    2. I started on the second of the super-secret maps. It is a massive space station, and I built the core area and introduced some new textures. Unfortunately, the map takes forever to load with the new textures, and I can't figure out a fix.
    3. Jeff Ligda has created an excellent & haunting piece of music for the Xen maps.
    4. Nothing new to report for weapons. I have been trying to get DBT to complete work on the Gluon Gun, but he has gone AWOL. No one else has stepped forward to complete the coding.
    5. We've asked Kappes Buur to join our team as a play-tester & GZDooM trouble-shooter. We're hoping he says yes.

There you have it. [Too lazy to take screenshots, but will do it soon.]

.: 8 July 2015 - News Digest

Posted by Rex Claussen at 08:48.

After months of absence, I am finally ready to make a report on Paranoiac. Here is what the overall game looks like:

    1. Paranoiac now has 2 hubs. The first is set on Earth, and the second on Xen.
    2. The Earth hub begins with the protagonist (your character, Rolf Bellmer) escaping from the Black Mesa complex in a helicopter. Naturally, things go wrong, and you have to continue your rip-and-tear tactics through Black Mesa.
    3. Along the way, you may discover the secret map.
    4. When you're done on Earth, you port to the Xen hub.
    5. There are 9 Earth maps. Mapping on all but 1 of the maps is 100% complete; the remaining map is 90% complete.
    6. There are 3 Xen maps. Mapping on one map is 100% complete, one map is 50% complete, one map is 0% complete.
    7. There are 2 maps outside the hubs, to which you'll need to warp directly. These feature HL-weapons & environments but DooM enemies. Mapping on one of the maps is 100% complete, the other is 0% complete.
    8. There is a TITLEMAP, which is complete.
Here is the new stuff that the game has:
    1. Crossbow
    2. Floating & revolving islands on 2 of the Xen maps
    3. Models of rocks to make the landscape more natural-looking
    4. Other models
    5. Lots of new music
Here is the new stuff that the game will have (and already developed, but need to be incorporated into the game package):
    1. At least 2 new enemies
    2. Two new bosses
Here is the new stuff that the game will have (and partially developed):
    1. Hive Hand weapon
    2. Gluon Gun weapon

.: 26 February 2015 - Be afraid. Paranoid, even.

Posted by Rex Claussen at 18:36.

With the onset of 2015 I find myself energized and full of ideas. Despite a heavier-than-normal work load at my job, I have made great strides in moving one of my DooM projects forward. Paranoiac is now approaching completion. The game now has 9 maps + a TITLEMAP. The mapping on all but two maps is 100% complete, with 95% of one of the remaining maps complete, and 60% on the last map complete. Of course, gameplay needs to be added, tested, and tweaked. Jeff Ligda has done quite a bit of music, but he may be planning some more. Also, I will be asking for coding help for one more weapon, and if I get it there will be 2 new weapons in this game (it already has the crossbow). There are several new enemies. Some new screenshots, below (but none of the crossbow or new enemies):

.: September 10, 2012

My interview with DBThanatos has been posted.

I have completed mapping on E3M7 of Infernos, and have begun mapping on E3M4. I expect to complete this map soon, which will then only leave E3M5, a mapper's nightmare that I have wisely put off for last.

.: August 28, 2012

After weeks of inactivity on this site, I finally decided to get off my lazy ass and post my interview with Sergeant_Mark_IV. Actually, the whole bit about "lazy ass" in not strictly true (I just like saying "lazy ass"; can't you tell?) I've been up to my ears in job-related work and travel, and traveling to parts distant on a much-needed vacation (during which I was ill with a cold for much of the time - damn airline planes and their tendency to serve as incubators for germs). I did get to see some very cool wild life during a couple of my trips (bison and prong-horn antelope in Utah, and coyotes and mule deer in Arizona). At any rate, I've finally had some time to kick back slightly; hence, this update.

I have completed mapping on E3M6 of Infernos, and have nearly completed mapping on E3M7. This just leaves E3M4 and E3M5. I keep promising screen shots and not delivering. So you don't have any reason to trust me further in this regard. But a little more patience, kind sirs and mesdames, will be amply rewarded.

.: July 20, 2012

Read my interview with 'Scuba' Steve Browning.

I have completed mapping on E3M3 of Infernos, and have begun mapping on E3M6.

.: July 6, 2012

I've posted another interview, with Rachael 'Eruanna' Alexanderson. I've also posted several new reviews for DooM. Meanwhile, on the true Dooming front, I have made some progress on map E3M3 of Infernos, but the going is slow and I lack motivation.

.: June 28, 2012

The interviews keep overflowing, like butter being churning out in a pail. This one is with Stephen "The Ultimate Doomer" Clark.

.: June 21, 2012

Interview with a Xaser.

.: June 1, 2012

As promised, another interview, this time with James 'Phobus' Creswell. I've also reviewed another DooM mod for Doomworld.

.: May 29, 2012

I've reviewed one more DooM mod for Doomworld, and I'm eyeing DooM the Way id Did for a detailed review (but that will take much more time than I have at present). I've completed most of Map E3M8 of Infernos, and have made a modicum of progress on Map13 of Paranoiac. I've also gotten completed interviews from Xaser and The Ultimate Doomer, which will go up after my interview with Phobus.

.: May 24, 2012

Read the newest interview, this time with LilWhiteMouse.

Also, I've written up a detailed tutorial on creating a multi-storey elevator. And in the rest of my ever-dwindling spare time, I've reviewed a couple of DooM mods for Doomworld; I'll publish my reviews here after Doomworld puts them up on the /Newstuff chronicles. And, figuring that I may as well put my brain to use even while asleep, I've completed Map E3M2 of Infernos during the dark hours.

.: May 14, 2012

The newest interview for my feature, Doomster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain, is with Daniel 'Tormentor667' Gimmer, the author of many well-known projects, and Capitan of Realm667.

.: May 11, 2012

I've put up a new interview for my feature, Doomster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain. This one is with wildweasel, resident ZDooM weapons modification guru, and all-around BossBrain on the ZDooM forums. Also, DBThanatos, the main author of the (in)famous Aeons of Death gameplay mod, has agreed to be interviewed. I've sent interview questions to Xaser, Stephen "The Ultimate Doomer" Clark, and Sergeant_Mark_IV, and I'm waiting for them to respond.

.: May 9, 2012

It's time to debut my new feature named Doomster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain. You can read the edited version of my interview with Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand, here, or the uncut version here. I've completed interviews with Daniel 'Tormentor667' Gimmer, wildweasel, LilWhiteMouse, and James "Phobus" Cresswell, and I'll be posting them soon. Others who have agreed to be interviewed since my last update include Stephen "The Ultimate Doomer" Clark, Rachel "Eruanna" Alexanderson, and "Scuba Steve" Brown.

I have almost completed Map E3M2 of Infernos, my 9-map replacement for The Ultimate DooM. I'd previously completed Map E3M1 and most of Map E3M9. No progress to report for the updated Temple of the Ancients, nor on Paranoiac, the expansion pack for Paranoid.

.: April 24, 2012

The Paranoid expansion pack now has an official project name: Paranoiac and is greatly "expanded" as well - it is now a 7-map hub with two extra non-canon (secret) levels and a TITLEMAP. One of the new maps I started is a terrain-style map with valleys, a river and island, and cliffs. I keep promising screenshots, and I'll get around to it soon. I have also started a new project named Infernos, which is a 9-map replacement for The Ultimate DooM. I've completed Map E3M1 and most of Map E3M9. However, there's no progress to report for the updated Temple of the Ancients.

My last update indicated that I had written several reviews for DooM modifications. You can read those reviews here. I have also started a new feature named Doomster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain, wherein numeraries in the DooM community are interviewed. I have started a list of interviewees, selecting them on their contributions to the community and their more-or-less unique positions within it. The interview questions will be customized to reflect the individual's contributions, abilities, and role in the community. So far, I have lined up Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand, Daniel 'Tormentor667' Gimmer, wildweasel, LilWhiteMouse, Xaser, and Sergeant_Mark_IV, who have all agreed to be interviewed. I've sent the customized questions to each of them and have heard back from wildweasel already. I'm preparing a web page for the feature; look out for it soon.

.: March 30, 2012

wildweasel has told me he's going to start work on the new weapons for the updated Temple of the Ancients. Meanwhile, I've done a heap of work on the Paranoid expansion pack. I've completed Map 10, and virually all of Maps 11 & 12. I was fired up by an idea to create a multi-storey parking garage, so I have made quite a bt of progress on a fourth map. The garage is built, complete with ramps to drive up to the upper levels. The garage is next to a 4-storey office building, which is also complete. [This building is basically a copy & paste of the 4-storey building in Map05 of Paranoid, but it now has a functional elevator that looks and works much like a real-world elevator - the entrance to the elevator from each floor is stacked, one above the other. Also, you can use a single switch/button to choose whether to ride the elevator up or down. Unfortunately, it does not have a numeric keypad with buttons for each floor, as I did not want to undertake the arduous programming for the script. I also have ideas for a sewer-themed map, and a terrain-type map; this would bring the map count up to six (not including the 2 secret maps, for which mapping is already done).

I rarely play DooM or any other game nowadays (or, indeed, even my own maps - except for testing), so it was a pleasant surprise when I played several recently-released wads. It started when I volunteered to review a small "weapons" mod for DooM World's /Newstuff Chronicles. I tested it out, wrote it up, and decided to go back for more. I was looking for wads with small file sizes, as I only wanted to digest bite-size chunks of DooM. I found three more wads that met this criterion, have played and reviewed two of them, and am in the middle of playing my third one. I'll post those reviews here after they have been published on DooM World.

.: February 21, 2012

I haven't heard from wildweasel on the new weapons for the updated Temple of the Ancients. But you can't keep a good bozo down, and I've spent quite some time on the Paranoid expansion pack. I've done most of Maps 10, and 12, and have made good progress on Map11. Pictures are forthcoming.

.: January 26, 2012

While wildweasel is busy at work on the new weapons and coming up with ideas for the mission/objectives, I have been updating Temple of the Ancients with GZDooM features. Did you know that when it was originally released in December 2000, ZDooM did not have the slope feature? This meant that all the arches were done with textures applied to lower-unpegged main textures on multiple linedefs. [For those of you that aren't familiar with DooM editing terminology, see the pictures below to see what I mean.] I have started replacing these "fake" arches with real ones, and the pictures below allow you to compare the before-and-after. I've also begun replacing "fake" 3D architecture (e.g., bridges) with true 3D constructs, and the old ZDooM deep water with GZDooM translucent water. Again, see below for the differences.

I have also made quite a bit of progress on my vanilla DooM2 map set. I've tentatively named it By The Pricking of My Thumbs ...., which Shakespeare/Macbeth aficionados will recognize as being part of the witches chant that is followed by "... something wicked this way comes". And, as some of you may know, the first map in my Wicked series of vanilla DooM2 maps was named Something Wicked This Way Comes. I've completed Maps 01 and 02, and 75% of Map 12.

.: January 6, 2012

A somewhat belated wish to both of you for a Happy New Year. I had a busy Christmas week, after which I promptly fell ill, and am only just recovering. There's very little to report on the DooM front. A few weeks ago I resumed work on the expansion pack for Paranoid, but progress was sporadic. And then, a couple of weeks ago I started work on an episode-length mod for vanilla DooM2, and have completed about half of one map. Meanwhile, wildweasel (who is well-known for his weapons mods other work), suggested a collaboration to update Temple of the Ancients, and we're discussing it. I've also promised kappes buur that I will play-test his WIP map, so I better get cracking on it.

Despite the shitfest that surrounded The Phobos Directive on the ZDooM forums, DIYGamer has seen fit to provide a balanced review of the game. They seemed to have pegged the intentions of the development team with comments like: "The end result is a large, non-linear and remarkably replayable campaign", and "The Phobos Directive still uses every trick in the book that the updated GZDoom engine offers". My sentiments, exactly.

In 2012 I've gone retro. A couple of days ago I finally installed Riven, which I had bought more than 10 years ago but never played. Riven is the sequel to the best-selling game Myst, which is a first-person puzzle-solving adventure. The premise and pacing is so very different from first-person shooters such as DooM, that the game is definitely not for everyone. It requires a lot of patience, keen observation, and some mental acuity. I figure it'll give me an appreciation for the challenges faced by developers of other types of game.

In another sign that I'm into the whole retro gig, I have installed and begun playing a 1994-era game (which was originally developed for the Mac) named Marathon. It is a DooMesque first-person shooter, but done more like a (G)ZDooM adventure, with a story-line, interactive environments, and extensive scripting. Just the sort of stuff I've been fascinated with and have been creating since I discovered the wonders of ZDooM. I'll play the game with an eye to writing a review, but I'm not promising anything.

.: Acknowledgements

I would be remiss if I did not thank my kind host Eruanna (formerly SoulPriestess) for the use of her web space. Please visit her site, which has more DooM-related stuff than you can shake a stick at. [Let me re-phrase for those English Grammar purists who cringe when a sentence ends in a preposition - Please visit her site, which has more DooM-related stuff than at which you can shake a stick. Heh.]

I'd also like to thank StevesTemplates for the web design you see before you. Feel free to visit that site to get ideas for your own web pages or to download a template or two.

.: News Archives

Take a stroll through memory lane.

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