.: December 23, 2006

Considering that it's almost 1:30 a.m. I shall keep this news update brief. Return From Oblivion is, in a single word, done. [Well, my part of it, at least.] Overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles (such as running up against WadAuthor's limits, and my own innate lethargy), I have finally completed a journey that I started almost 3 years ago. It's unbelievable that I have taken so long to complete this small set of 3 maps, but those are the facts. Now it's a matter of making sure the other TeamTNT members finish their stuff off, combining it all into a wad, and releasing it. End of January, maybe? We'll see. Meanwhile, I have uploaded twelve new screen shots (scroll down to the bottom of that page to see the new shots). In the immortal words of Edward R. Murrow: "Good night, and good luck!" Oh, and for those of you that go for that sort of thing, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

.: November 16, 2006

Well, well, well. Guess who's been naughty, not nice? Very, very naughty as a matter of fact. [If you said "The Republican Party" you wouldn't be too far from the truth, given the results of last week's mid-term elections for Congress, governorships, and the like.] But in all seriousness, I humbly submit myself as the candidate for naughty, not nice. Why? you ask. Why you? Why not Richard Milhous Nixon? For one thing, Nixon's been dead these many years. For another thing, it wouldn't be DooM-related (I, at least, am not aware that Nixon ever played DooM. He may have played Emperor or King or Supreme Poobah, but I doubt he played DooM.) OK, enough about politics and political figures who may or may not have been allegedly naughty not nice. Let's get the spotlight back on me. That's why I started this web-site in the first place, right? Heh.

So why do I qualify for the "Naughty not Nice" award of the moment? Well, I have been making so much progress in my final map for RFO that in some parts of the world it might be considered sinful. Where's the proof? you demand stridently. D'you take us for saps, eh? Patience, I counsel you. Within the turning of the next Moon I shall shew ye, er...., show you wonders that shall defy imagination. Yea! For I shall bring forth the Countenance of the Ages (aka cool screen shots). For now, be content in the knowledge that the Day of Reckoning draws nigh (aka release of RFO approacheth).

Speaking of maps for RFO, I just played Espi's map for the project. It is named "The Shrine", and here's some of what I had to say on the Team TNT site about it: The architecture is spectacular. Structures are replete with arches, sloped roofs, height variations, majestic columns, and even an amazing bridge that is not only sloped but also appears to have water running under it. Outdoor areas are beautiful to look at, with a terrific scrolling sky, natural-looking terrain (hill-sides, caves, waterfalls), and vast gardens. The map design is complex .... there is a great deal of scope for exploration, and the scenery and architecture alone make the exploration worthwhile. The map is massive, and well deserving of inclusion in a DooM Eternal incarnation. ZDooM tricks have been used very cleverly, including stacked sectors, sloped roofs on buildings into which the player can enter through doorways from the outdoors, clever height transfer use, etc. Drooling yet?

And that's not all! [Christmas must have come early this year, I hear you say.] I got done playing Heretic II a couple of weeks ago, and have started writing the review. It shall be posted forthwith (or at least as soon as I've completed it). I have begun to play the game again, this time at the hardest skill level. Meanwhile I have bought Quake IV for PC, but at the rate I'm going I don't expect the shrink wrap to come off until sometime in the year 2010. Also, in a departure from my typical purchasing pattern, I opted to buy Half-Life 2 for XBox instead of for PC. It pissed me off that I would need to go to Activision's web site to obtain a password to play the game for PC. As Chrissy said to Zappa and the Devil in "Titties & Beer": I got me three beers and a fistful of downs, and I'm gonna get ripped, so fuck you clowns! On that note I bid you adieu for now!

.: October 6, 2006

As I mentioned on one of the forums, I sure hope I can map better than I can count. Damnation Awaits the Wicked was actually my 61st public release. I went back and counted, and returned with egg on my face. But the purpose of this update is not to recount my poor math skills (if simple addition can be considered "math skills"), but to let the two of you know that I've been busier than a squirrel that's waited until November to start gathering its store of nuts. I've made quite a bit of progress on the third map in my hub for Return to Oblivion, and the proof is in the eight new screen shots (scroll down to the bottom of that page to see the new shots). The ideas are opening up, and I seem to be exercising the discipline necessary to move steadily forward.

I've been looking ahead to when I get done with my maps for RFO, and I intend to kick-start The Phobos Directive along with a couple of other partial conversions for which I had assembled resources into a wad over two years ago, but for which I didn't start any mapping. There's also a TC for which I've pulled together the resources into a wad, but as that's more ambitious I'll wait before starting it. I also resumed playing Heretic2 where I had left off over a year ago. I'm in the final episode (Cloud Fortress), and made it into Moraclavin's Inner Sanctum, so I expect the end is nigh. The review shall follow soon after.

.: September 8, 2006

Damnation Awaits the Wicked, the eight map in my Wicked series is done. As a matter of fact I had completed it a week ago and sent it to Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand for play-testing. He's got his plate full with Real Life at the moment, so it may be a while before he play-tests it and allows me to deem it fit for public release. Meanwhile I have taken a few screenshots that provide a flavor for the map's environment and gameplay. Turns out that this will be my 60th publicly released map. The two completed and one partially completed Return to Oblivion maps are not counted in these 60. My, how the time does fly. [As Groucho used to say: "Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana." Heh.]

.: August 22, 2006

I have, as a matter of fact, started (and am close to completing) my eighth map in the Wicked series. The map is named Damnation Awaits the Wicked, and has a hellish theme. At first I planned on making the entire map of concentric rings around which the player traverses, overcoming different types of obstacles, until reaching the "core" in which the final battle would occur. However, I realized very quickly that (aside from literally going around in circles) it would be very boring. Thusly (heh!) I decided to create additional, non-circular areas that the player would need to explore. The map is rather linear in that there is generally only a single path that the player can take (which is a departure from my typical map). However, it is non-linear to the extent that the player re-visits areas that were visible earlier in the level. As it's set in the "Hell" episode of DooM2 the map will feature the tougher baddies. Screenshots may shortly appear at a web-site near you.

Meanwhile, without much fanfare the visitor counter quietly moved past the 1000 mark some time during the past couple of days. That's 1000 visitors since July 1, when this site opened its doors. Thank you all for stopping by. Also, I wrote a brief tutorial named What Makes a Map Look Good?.

.: August 9, 2006

Well, friends, during the past couple of weeks it seems that I have been overtaken by an inexplicable urge to be creative. Hence I am pleased to report some progress in my third map for the TeamTNT project Return From Oblivion. Ideas for the map, entitled Daemon's Sanctuary, have been slow to coalesce in my mind, but I may be on the right track with what I've been doing. The seven new screenshots at the bottom of the screenshots page will give you an idea of what I've been up to. Meanwhile I've been itching to start another map for vanilla DooM, the eighth in my Wicked series. I've gotten a few ideas, and I may start on that soon. The problem, of course, is that I find it difficult to work on different projects at the same time. That would mean a break from mapping for RFO. We'll see how it goes.

.: July 21, 2006

Is it merely a coincidence that the dates of my posts all end in 1? Or is it some conspiracy? No matter. What I'd like to do is draw your attention to the Link of the Moment, above. Then I would urge you to check out my review of a Spider-Man story entitled Severance Package. Contrary to most expectations, it is not a typical "super hero" story, and I encourage everyone to read the comic.

And of course I know most of you are not here to read up about arcane villains in sci-fi fiction, nor about genetically mutated/enhanced super heros. So here's some DooM news. The members of Team TNT working on Return to Oblivion have tentatively decided on a release date for a 9-map demo of the mod. I'll leave it up to the officiators to make a formal announcement, but I'll just add that if you want to play it you better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why ..... Meanwhile I have completed one area in my third map, and am working on a connecting area. Reasonable progress, but a little slow compared to my normal pace.

.: July 11, 2006

It's been ten days since this shop opened its doors, and already I have some goodies for all you little kiddies that seek to raise your existence from the mundane. [Well, I'll let you decide if this little nugget is worth something or is merely fool's gold.] I speak of course of Phobos Anomaly, my newest work of fiction. The story is based on the map in Ultimate DooM of the same name - E1M8. I have tried to capture the utter confusion and awe with which I was struck when I first played the map, many, many Moons ago. It is a somewhat long read for such a short map, but words to me are like children - once they're born they're here to stay.

.: July 1, 2006

Well, now! It's good to see some of you here, in my new home. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your neighbors, tell them all of the new, improved, pop-up free wonders that await them at DooM Nexus.

To update what's been happening, I have completed all the elements (i.e., mapping, gameplay, and scripting) of the second map in my Return to Oblivion hub. I have made some progress on the third map in the hub, but the going has been slow because of a 3-week vacation hiatus followed by job-related travel to parts distant. Next week I'm back in fmiliar territory in the nation's capital, but I may not be able to accomplish much in the DooM editing depatrment. Stay tuned.

.: May 10, 2006

All mapping for Map 09, Schloss Adler - Castle of the Eagle, is complete. I had put in the basic scripts a while ago, and I went in to tweak them and add a couple more features. It turned out to be a nightmare, and I spent 4 hours on the logic for a single script. But that's a story for another time. [What's that you say? You have all the time in the world and want to while it away in a pleasant fashion by listening to my ramblings? Well, all righty, then!] I wanted a seemingly simple script that would alert the player when about to leave a map in the hub that s/he had not found an essential switch to complete the objectives. That way, the player does not inadvertently leave a map without realizing that s/he has left without completing an important objective. Simple, my ass. The script had to be repeatable, i.e., if the player entered the exit area from another map in the hub (yes, each map has 3 exits, which also serve as entry points) then the script would not return a message - how stupid is it to receive a message that one is about to leave a map without finding an important switch, when one is actually entering the map and has not an earthly chance in Hell in finding the aforementioned switch in the amount of time it took to print the warning message. Yet, when the player is on her/his way out the script should be available to display the message. Also, I wanted the warning to pop up only once, otherwise it got terribly annoying. Hopefully the player will only need one warning that the switch has not been found. Long story short, I had to make some compromises, but at 2:30 in the morning I was willing to dance with the devil in the moonlight just so that I could get to bed.

Anyhoo, I'm sure you're not here to listen to my whinging. So without further ado, I present 10 new screenshots..

.: April 10, 2006

Positively more progress on Return From Oblivion. I am way past the halfway point on mapping for Map 09, Schloss Adler - Castle of the Eagle, and the work is coming along swimmingly. But the big news is that Chris Couleur, the criminal mastermind behind RTO and the de facto team leader, has sent me a bunch of spectacular screenshots from his 3 maps. Drool away.

.: February 24, 2006

While you, gentle reader, have been immersed in sweet slumber I have been laboring at Return From Oblivion. I have completed the mapping and most scripts for Map 08, and have started mapping Map09 with a vengeance. I have made some progress on this map, and I am quite pleased with what I've done so far. The scripts are a bear, as I have to make sure that the maps play as intended, depending on where and when you enter any given map (read my news update of June 13, 2005). I have also put up a bunch of new screenshots. Meanwhile I have not played any more Heretic2, and my brand new copy of DooM3 remains unopened. Plus, I've got a bunch of other games that remain unopened in their shrink wraps. Damn this whole DooM editing gig - I don't have time for much else.

.: January 3, 2006

The map I had throught would be for vanilla DooM turned out to be too detailed, and ended up requiring a limitless source port. It is called Fear is the Price of Sin, which I have completed and uploaded to the 3dgamers archive; it ought to be available for download in a day or two. I managed to create a demo in UV, and even though I knew everything about the map I had to start over dozens of times before I managed to complete it. Either the map is quite difficult or I suck at DooM. Here are 15 screenshots. Meanwhile I have not played any more Heretic2 or made any significant progress on Return to Oblivion.

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