.: December 20, 2004
In case the two of you have been wondering where I've been, it's certainly not been to London to see the Queen. I was back in the old homestead aka Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving, then travelled to North Carolina and back to D.C. in quick succession. Aside from the real-life stuff, I've been somewhat hard at work on DooM-related stuff. I'm close to halfway done with a new map in the Wicked series, named Wicked be the Ways of Men, and have put up some screenshots. I've also been working on a community project, and I'll announce my maps when I've made some progress.
.: November 3, 2004
I've completed La Casa Del Diablo, and have put up eight new screenshots. It's quite a challenging map, and should probably have been done for Map 28 or 29. Still, I'm sure it'll fit right into the Map24 slot of the NewDooM Community Project.
.: October 23, 2004
I've made some progress on La Casa Del Diablo, and have put up six screenshots. Much work remains.
.: October 18, 2004
Well, the two of you are probably wondering what I've been up to during the past few weeks. For starters I'd like to report that I've been having a great deal of fun> with some old buddies of mine in a distant galaxy. And apparently the fun doesn't end here, so I plan to return for another healthy dose real soon. The other thing I've been doing is reading Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity. All 500-plus pages of it. The movie deviates significantly from the book, and while books are usually considerably better than the movies on which they are based, in this case I have to say I liked the movie more. The book tends to meander, with subplots that occasionally go nowhere. There were times that I had to force myself to pick up the book, because I knew I'd be reading more of the same.
No DooM news to report, but I intend to make a concerted effort to complete La Casa Del Diablo by the end of the month. Darren "DooM Dude" Finch, the webmaster and mapper for the NewDooM Community Project has updated the site, and was looking for screenshots from me. I'm hoping to get some this week.
.: September 23, 2004
Oops, I goofed! Apparently, Google tells me that Return to Phobos has already been snagged as a name for a DooM Episode 1 replacement. As a matter of fact it was done way back in 1994, and it was reportedly a damn fine map-set. Accordingly, I have changed the name of my project to The Phobos Directive. [Pretty sad start to a project, if you ask me -- changing the name within one day! What's next? Delaying the project by several years and charging 45 bucks for it? No, wait. I'm thinking of Duke Nukem Forever. Never mind, then. Carry on and go about your business.]
.: September 22, 2004
I've shaken the dust off Phobos Revisited and am pleased to announce, with little fanfare, the commencement of the ZDooM-only version of Phobos Revisited. I have tentatively named the project Return to Phobos, and the idea this time is to have a story-based mission set in a 9-map hub. Obviously ZDooM features will be quite in evidence, but I am not inclined to introduce too many new graphics, etc. Nor am I inclined to create brand new maps. Having said that, I should point out that Map E1M1 is an almost brand new map, but the other maps will change only to the extent that they will allow the gameplay and missions to advance. As a matter of fact, Map E1M1 [UAC Control Center: Phobos] is about 40 or 50 percent complete. The map set will have 3 new skies, all of them 240 units tall (instead of the standard 128 units), and all of them have been created. The story too has been developed, as has the general progression through the hub. In addition, while the maps are intended for doom.exe, they will not be limited to E1 enemies.
.: September 13, 2004
Phobos Revisited seems to be getting mixed reviews, and sometimes different reviews from the same person -- at DooM World's New Stuff Chronicles, Grazza first gave the map-set a tepid review, and after some clarification on a bug in E1M2 he wrote: "If this problem is the only issue that has slipped through and it was otherwise thoroughly tested, then this episode is a truly great release for the hardcore fans of the original game." Qualified praise, but praise nonetheless, from someone who originally didn't think much of the levels. Ah, well, as they say in the home country C'est la vie.
During Grazza's review, however, he did point out a potentially serious bug in one of the secret areas of E1M2. I had inadvertently assigned a shoot-to-open special to a door but not assigned a tag number to the door. As a result, shooting the door causes all sectors with a 0 tag number (practically the whole map) to "open" like a door, obviously messing up the entire map. I had intended to assign a press-to-open special, but these two specials are right next to each other in WadAuthor's linedef specials menu, so that I selected the wrong one by mistake. E1M2 was my first map in the set, back in Nov. 2002, and I had only tested it with ZDooM at first. In ZDooM, this bug is overlooked, and the door to the secret area opens as intended. Thereafter, I thoroughly tested E1M2 and other maps with doom.exe, but I had forgotten about that secret area, and neglected to test it with doom.exe. My thanks go to Grazza for pointing out this bug and to Graf Zahl for pointing out exactly where and what the problem is.
One of the complaints I saw was that in E1M1 the lift to the switch that allows access to the blue armor is impossible to reach without cheating, using the strafe-50 trick, or using co-op mode. I have made a -nomonsters demo of E1M1 using doom.exe v1.9 that demonstrates the lift can be reached in single player mode without cheating or tricks. I have included this file in the updated zip file that I will upload to the 3DGamers' archive today. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to view the demo.
.: September 10, 2004
Download Phobos Revisited.
Read the text file.
Look at screenshots.
.: September 9, 2004
Phobos Revisited is complete and has been uploaded to the 3DGamers' archives. It should be available for download very soon, and I'll provide a link when it becomes available. My last public release was Fear Station Alpha for ZDooM, back in October 2003. That makes it 11 months since I released anything, but I think that a 9-map set more than makes up for my apparent lack of productivity during the past year. I'm hoping to finish La Casa Del Diablo within the next month, then I'll be concentrating on my 3-map hub for a community ZDooM project. Meanwhile, I've been getting ideas for my 9-map ZDooM hub of Phobos Revisited.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand for his unflagging support of my DooM-editing efforts, and particularly for his painstaking scrutiny of my maps before their release. Without his help Phobos Revisited and my other maps would lack the polish that is expected of public releases nowadays.
.: September 6, 2004
I have fixed everything that needed fixing in E1M1 and E1M8, plus some cosmetic stuff in other maps. Next I pulled it all together into a single wad using DeepSea, resulting in a 2.2 MB file. And finally, I played it through to make sure nothing got messed up in the merge -- not that I expected it to. Now all that remains is for me to fix up any things that Nigel may find during play-testing of E1M7. Also, three new screenshots, all of E1M7.
Also, many thanks to New DooM for reporting on my progress on Phobos Revisited.
.: September 5, 2004
E1M7 is 100% complete, and it's off to Nigel for play-testing. I am quite pleased with the map, but Nigel may recommend some tweaking. I have some residual stuff on E1M1 and E1M8, but those are minor things that Nigel had pointed out. It's looking real good for a September release ;)
.: August 18, 2004
E1M6 is under wraps. I've recorded a demo in UV and taken six screenshots. The problem with taking screenshots from demos is that one usually doesn't get the proper angle and view-framing, and the architectural highlights of the map are often missed. For this reason, the new screenshots of E1M9 are done with no enemies so that I could frame the pictures to my satisfaction. All that remains is E1M7 and you can all take that nostalgic vacation you've been intending to take.
As a change of pace I made some progress on La Casa Del Diablo, which is now 25% complete. With its hellish theme, it's a definite departure from the base-style maps I've done recently. Screenshots in a while.
.: July 22, 2004
That vacation must have done me a world of good -- I've completed E1M9, tested it, and sent it to Nigel for beta testing. That makes three maps in just about a month. If that isn't prodigious, then tell me what is. Of course I feel completely burned out and an empty shell of a doomed space marine, but what the hey -- it's indubitaby worth it, eh? The map exceeds my expectations, particularly in the gameplay department, but then I'm admittedly biased. I'll be recording a demo soon and I'll take some screenshots then. Meanwhile, onward and upward to the two remaining maps to make this a complete episode. My friends, Phobos Revisited will be open for business real soon.
.: July 13, 2004
Map E1M5 is done, and it's in Nigel's hot little hands for play-testing. [The reference to "hot little hands" is not entirely accurate, seeing how Nigel hails from the chilly highlands of bonnie Scotland and is a rather large fellow with a penchant for gripping axe handles and broadswords.] Meanwhile, I have put up eight new screenshots of E1M5 and three of E1M8. I have the concept for E1M9, and will begin work on it soon. Stay tuned. Or whatever.
.: June 26, 2004
For those of you that were beginning to give up on my DooM editing career, I have news for you. I've completed Map E1M8 of Phobos Revisited, sent it to Nigel Rowand for play-testing, addressed his comments and updated the map, and sent it back to him for final approval. Screenshots soon. Also, I've worked up the concept and map design for Map E1M5, and should start mapping soon.
Meanwhile, I've decided to submit La Casa Del Diablo as Map24 for the NewDooM Community Project. With my current job-related workload I didn't want to have too many DooM-related commitments outside my own projects. As a matter of fact, I've committed to a 3-level hub on another major project, but I don't want to post news about it until I've made some progress.
.: May 29, 2004
Nothing new to report. Things have been very busy at work and with real life. Travel to Georgia and Ohio, but no chance to do any DooM editing. Vacation soon, so nothing will be done till I get back.
.: March 11, 2004
I'm back from my travels in snowy New England, where I managed to find some time for recreation. I made some decent progress on La Casa Del Diablo, but I have no screenshots yet. I even managed to visit Concord and walk through the snow-covered fields on the flanks of Punkatasset Hill, where over two hundred years ago Major Buttrick led a group of militia men against the three companies of British regulars who had taken up position on the North Bridge. And the rest, as they say, is history.
.: March 1, 2004
Now the two of you who occasionally visit this site may be wondering where I've been or what I've been doing (or is it "what I've been and where I've been doing it"?) All I can say is I've been having a lot of fun. And I'm doing it all over again. But you're not here to read about my exploits in Ancient Egypt, so I'll get down to the DooM-related news. While on travel in Arizona I began a new map for DooM2, which I've named La Casa Del Diablo. Now don't you wish you had paid more attention to your Español lessons in high school, so you'd know what I'm talking about. I hope to make some more progress on it when I travel to Boston. I'll put up some screenshots then.
.: January 8, 2004
Hot on the heels of DooMWorld's article on the top 100 wads of all time, comes Chris Hansen's top 2003 Great DooM Releases. Keeping company with the likes of Daedalus: Alien Defence, by the legendary Team TNT, and Chris Hansen's own HelpYourSelfish, are none other than Dawn: A Prelude, and Fear Station Alpha. Many thanks to Chris for providing this service to the DooM Community.
.: January 5, 2004
Good wishes for the coming year to ye all. May all yer DooM cravings be completely satisfied, and may ye grow no hair on yer backs. To that end I am pleased to report that E1M4 of Phobos Revisited is complete. (For your hair problems I'm afraid you will need to resort to using a razor for now.) I am sending the map off to Nigel for play-testing, and I believe he will find no show-stoppers in it. Meanwhile, I have put up seven new screenshots of E1M4.
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