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.
I've made significant progress on Map07, Threading the Needle. It's a mix of indoor and outdoor environments, and includes a canyon, several caverns, and more snowy terrain. It features a new obstacle, in the form of a large crystal that blasts the player when s/he gets too close. Plus, it looks like the place inhabited by giants. But you're not here to listen to me ramble on. Forward, to the screenshots:
Temple of the Ancients Map07, named "In the Castle of the Winter Moon", was originally intended to be a large castle map with an introductory snowy terrain area and a cavern. The snowy terrain area became quite large, I've added 2 caverns, I have plans to add a few more caverns, and I will be adding at least one canyon. In other words, the map has already become very large, and I have decided to split it into 2 maps. Therefore, Map07 will not have the castle, and will be named "Threading the Needle" - the reference will become clear once you play the map (or see the screenshots). Map08 will now be named "In the Castle of the Winter Moon".
I have also decided to have 2 water/swamp-based maps. Let's see how that goes.
As one or two of you may know, I've been working on giving a face-lift to an old project of mine by the name of Temple of the Ancients. It was developed at a time when ZDooM did not yet support slopes, much less "true" 3D architecture. Using the original 5 map set as a base, I have been adding GZDooM features extensively, including 3D structures when warranted, translucent water, sloped sectors, models, snow effects, oversize (hi-res) textures, etc.
I've completed the first of 2 (and perhaps 4) new maps to be added to the set. It is called "Under the Shadows of Starfrost", and is a snowy terrain with a cathedral at its center. The next map is also on snowy terrain, but will mostly consist of a massive castle. The map is named "In the Castle of the Winter Moon". Anyway, on to the screenshots:
As 2013 draws to a close, let me take this opportunity to wish the two of you much happiness, good health, and success (whatever your definition of "success" may be) for the New Year.
In the past month I have made significant headway in the gaming aspect of my life. To wit:
1. I have completed all mapping and virtually all the puzzles and gameplay for Map06 of Rampage-M. I am tweaking (not to be mistaken for twerking, heh) the gameplay, and adding rock slides. CodeImp has created a new heightmapping tool and texture brushing tool that will allow the creation of natural-looking landscapes.
2. I have completed most mapping for Map 15 of Temple of the Ancients: Redux. It is named "Under the Shadows of StarFrost", and is a vast, snowy landscape with a massive cathedral at its center. I have completed about half the cathedral, and once the other half is done, the mapping will be virtually complete. With Enjay's help, I have also added several new models that will greatly enhance the look and feel of the game. Plus, I'm using Jon Washburn's cool WeatherFX code to create snowfall in the map that will not cause the map to lag. Then it will be on to Map 16, "In the Castle of the Winter Moon", another snowy map but with less terrain.
It also occurred to me that 2013 will be the first year since I started creating maps & mods for DooM that I haven't publicly released a map. Well, I can promise you that 2014 will more than make up for it. Slainte!
While the two of you may believe that I have given myself to wine, women, and song [I wish!] I have been laboring away. And not under any misconceptions, mind you. [Ah, well, I decided to give the literary allusion a try, but it has evidently escaped both of you. Heh.]
So in what endeavors have I been so industriously engaged, you ask? For starters, I have pretty much completed the geometry for Map06 of Rampage-M, and have started on the puzzles and gameplay. A brand-spanking new enemy is being developed for the map, tentatively named The Wurm. It looks awesome. Trust me.
Next, I have put some more work into Temple of the Ancients: Redux. No new screenshots yet, but I have been liberally adding 3D architecture, including a very cool and complex stone & iron cross.
Finally, I have resumed reviewing DooM mods. My newest one is of Escape the Cavern for DooM2.
One or two of you may be aware that I have extended my deviant behavior beyond DooM and have been exhibiting the same proclivities in a game of a different genre. I speak, of course, of my level design work for Rampage M, a top-down shooter. Anyhoo, there's a new video trailer posted up on the site, and it will give you a glimpse into various aspects of the game, such as:
1. Intense, run-and-gun game-play 2. Dynamic lighting with shadows 3. Realistic look and feel - rusted pipes & tanks, rubble, fire-glows 4. On-the-fly camera angle changes that prevent blocking the player's view unnecessarily
There is a downloadable hi-res version, but I believe the low-res versions publicly available will suffice. At any rate, here are the links:
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.