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.
This has been an insane month from the standpoint of my job and my personal obligations. I have traveled across country twice, and did a third trip that wasn't quite as grueling. I'm going cross-country again, this time to California, but it will be far from a vacation. The one good thing to come out of my travel is that I have plenty of time on planes, in airports, and in hotel rooms. As a result, I have made a considerable amount of progress on Paranoiac, which is now at least an 8-map hub. I have created a map with vast caverns and rock tunnels, which is a secret level. I am considering making a second secret level, but I'll see if I can sustain my interest and ideas. So, currently, there are 7 regular maps (6 of which are virtually 100% complete) and one secret map (100% complete).
I've also been plodding along with my mapping on Rampage M, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to serve two masters. I'm hoping I'll get done on the mapping for Paranoiac soon, which will leave me more time for Rampage.
..... good news? Not necessarily so. This has been a crazy month for me, both in terms of my job commitments and my personal obligations (April 15, Tax Day, anyone?) Plus, things were hopping on the Rampage front. I've done a little bit with Map15 of Paranoiac but nothing big. More later.
So, perhaps the two of you are wondering what has been fueling my fire (or feeding my rage, depending on your perspective) these past few weeks. For one thing, I've been playing and reviewing DooM wads. I've been careful to choose small, preferably single-map, wads so that I can manage the effort in bite-size chunks. Given my job-related schedule, I have to use my free time judiciously.
After the release of Infernos I've dabbled with DooM editing a little, mostly adding to existing maps I've completed for Paranoiac. Most of my game-related time, however, has been spent on mapping for Rampage M. The new art-work and enemies are spectacular, and the map design is not half-bad (if I do say so myself. Heh.) I believe the plan is to have a fully playable demo by the end of February, but I suspect that we may need to push the schedule back a bit. Wish us luck.
Well, out with the old and in with the new. In other words, Infernos is out and 2013 is in. What? You don't get it yet? I just told you that Infernos has been released, and all you can do is scratch your head and wonder what I'm babbling about? To elucidate, Infernos is a 9-map replacement for Episode 3 of The Ultimate DooM. It's meant to emulate the original, while altering the design of each map, making gameplay tougher, and providing additional architectural detail. It's 100% compatible with vanilla DooM, but can be enjoyed with the source port of your choice.
"I want proof!" you demand. Well, here are carefully selected screenshots, designed to mesmerize and delight. Or, you can skip them and go directly to the bottom of this post and download the damn thing already.
Thanks to Eruanna, I now know how to post pics on the home page of DooM Nexus directly from DRDTeam's forums. So, without further adieu [sic!], I give you some pics of Paranoiac. For those of you who browsed the pics using the link in my previous post and now find themselves at a loss for something to do, use the links on the left to explore the shadowed corners of this site. Or depart in disgust. Whichever one you want to do.
To commemorate the impending end of life as we know it (according to [insert appropriate reference to Mayan calendar here]), I have decided to thumb my nose at the skeptics. No, I'm not talking about the fact that 11:11 am on December 21, 2012 has come and gone, while we have not come and gone. I speak of the alleged screenpics I've been promising you, and to which you have heartily scoffed these many months. Well, scoff no more:
Part of the reason for my silence these past few weeks is a new endeavor upon which I've embarked. About a month ago Pascal van der Heiden (known by his trademark 'CodeImp') asked me to join his project team for a new game he's developing, Rampage M. (M is for Mercury, where the game is played out.) Since then I've been familiarizing myself with the tools and the concepts, and have completed a demo map. The development process is quite different from that of DooM, and there is a great deal of collaboration required among the game designers, level designers (of which I am one), environment & texture artists, etc. Also, because this is not an FPS game (first-person shooter, for those casual visitors to this site who don't give a rat's ass for computer games), but a top-down shooter, I have to approach level design with a completely different perspective. Needless to say, I am having a blast. The members of the Team are very talented, and the game will surely be a hit. Here is a teaser/promo video (which features some of the areas I developed for my demo map).
The URL links for this video on YouTube are here or here.
As one or two of you may know, I have been plugging away at a sequel to Paranoid. New stuff the sequel will feature include:
1. Terrain-based areas, with at least one entire map consisting of expansive landscapes (Mapping complete) 2. Office areas including a new multi-storey parking garage (Mapping complete) 3. Freezer (damaging if you stay in too long) as part of lab areas (Mapping complete) 4. New lab areas, including new models 5. New enemies. (Already created by DBT) 6. (Possibly) New weapon(s) 7. New music (much of which has already been done by Jeff Ligda) 8. New TITLEMAP (Mapping complete) 9. 7 new maps + TITLEMAP. Mapping complete on 5 maps & TITLEMAP, partially complete on one map, and 0% on the 7th map.
No, not that Phobos Directive. I recently unearthed a DooM-related story that I had begun writing in 2007, and promptly forgot about. I had named it The Phobos Directive, and had written quite a bit before I got sidetracked and meandered off to follow an errant firefly. The story is about Dr. Pieter Vanderweil, his role in the meteoric rise of the Union Aerospace Corporation, and the incident at Phobos that began it all. I will be working on completing the story when time and interest permit. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt:
"The creature emerged from the ventilator shaft, eerily disembodied and glowing unnaturally. Through the smoke and haze it floated, casting its gaze around for its victim, which cowered terrified under a damaged computer console. Gradually its form took shape to reveal a hideous skull with empty eye sockets, all enveloped in a hellish flame. It appeared to be grinning fiendishly, but how much of that was real and how much imagined by a feverish mind, the victim could not tell. And then the thing saw its prey, and stood still for a moment. Suddenly it darted forward with unnatural speed, easily avoiding the flailing arms of the crouching man, seeming to laugh maniacally as it seared its way into his very soul. He screamed once, a horrific sound that reverberated through the halls of that empty place, and then a sphere of darkness began to shrink around him."
Also, I haven't done any further work on Infernos, but have made quite a good deal of progress on Paranoiac, the sequel to the smash blockbuster Paranoid. Heh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.