.: December 31, 2009: 2130 hrs

For those of you East of the Atlantic, let me be among the first to wish you all a Happy New Year. For those of you in the Americas, let me ask for you all to party hearty, but safely. I'm sure you'll all will imbibe responsibly. And a Happy New Year to you all in anticipation.

Paranoid is in its final stretch, but minor difficulties keep preventing it from going to the play-testers. Sadly, solarsnowfall has encountered personal issues that are keeping him from participating in this crucial phase of development. So far we are managing, but I can't help but feel that his absence will manifest itself in the final spit & polish of the game. Still, we press on, and we hope for the best. Meanwhile, to spice up your foray into 2010, allow me to present what will probably be the last set of screen-shots.

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: December 15, 2009

I was hoping for a year-end release for Paranoid, but sadly, that is not to be. Aside from numerous minor things that need to be addressed, the Team has now decided that the game needs a more dynamic intro. Therefore, it's back to the drafting table for me, as I create the mapping and scripting for the intro. This will be in the TITLEMAP, and will play out like a cut-scene as the protagonist (fancy name for the player, aka you) arrives at Sector C of the Black Mesa Complex. This will make the game more professional-looking, but it comes at a cost - a delay in the completion of the project.

In other, related, news, we have four excellent play-testers - Janitor, David Ferstat, Soul Priestess, and Vader. I'm hoping that we will be able to complete a releasable 'draft' to the play-testing team by year-end. Assuming that we get comments back in 2 weeks, and we can address the comments in an additional 2 weeks ... well, you can do the math.

.: November 23, 2009

We're coming into the final stretch of development for Paranoid. I have completed mapping on Map07, which means maps are 100% done. Gameplay needs to be put into Maps01 and 05, some features need to be tweaked, then play-testing within the Team, and then external play-testing. I can't say for sure, but the project completion appears to be just a few weeks away. Whether or not we can get the job done by year-end is a big question mark. Meanwhile, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

.: October 23, 2009

I'd say that the biggest development on Paranoid during the past month has been the finalization of one of the music tracks by Jeff Ligda. It is a combination manic and creepy piece that evokes a wonderful mood, and it fits right in with the game. Mapping has been extremely slow, because I have been on work-related travel for seven of the past eight weeks. The one bright spot in all of this work was a weekend trip I took to San Francisco and Sacramento, where in addition to much partying, I went sky-diving. Needless to say it was a blast!

I have pretty much completed the schematic design of Map07. Now it's just a matter of actually mapping out the rest of the level. I was hoping to have it done by the end of October, but an unscheduled trip to Houston next week has come up, and another one to Jacksonville. We'll see how that goes. But in appreciation of your patience, I have put up a few screenshots. And, yes, those first two shots are of a multi-storey structure. And although you can only see 3 floors, there is also a basement level, making it a 4-floor structure.

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: September 15, 2009

If you were visiting here and expecting to read that Paranoid had, by some miraculous turn of events, been completed - I have good news for you. You can certifiably be defined as an optimist. And that's a good thing. Oh! That's not the news you wanted to hear? You didn't want me to play amateur psychologist? You wanted news on Paranoid, and dammit, you're going to get it or you're not leaving this steenkin' place? Okely-dokely, then, no need to shout and make a nuisance, is there? You only had to ask nicely.

Map07 progresses apace. There! You have the latest news. Hey! Hey! The throwing of tomatoes and rotten fruit shall not be tolerated in this hallowed forum! But I hasten to assure you that I understand the reason for your ire, and I shall make amends forthwith by providing a substantive update. So .... Map07, Map07 .... where to begin? Map07 is where you'll meet a truly formidable foe, but I won't spoil the experience by giving you details. I have set up the arena for the first encounter, which is scripted, and have formulated the design for the second encounter as well as the game end. The actual mapping is going slow because I have been incredibly busy with job-related travel and other duties, which promise/threaten to persist for many more weeks. Still, I have managed to make progress since my last update, and I'd venture to say that I've completed 30% of the planned design. Not too much 3D goodness in this map, but enough to make its presence felt. Plus a healthy combination of creepy indoor areas and scenic outdoor ones.

.: August 27, 2009

My good buddy Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand play-tested the WIP and came back with well-nigh 60 or 70 comments, many of which were serious enough to warrant that I give them top priority. I have spent much of my free time addressing them, and have attented to most. But fear not, intrepid readers, I have been making time for mapping. I have created the first part of Map07, and I daresay that I have completed about 20% of the map. Given that Maps 03-05 are such monsters, I figure I'll keep Map07 relatively short. Stay tuned.

.: August 10, 2009

I have put in the basic gameplay elements for Map04 of Paranoid, including some scripted fights between human soldiers and alien enemies, as well as between Barneys (who are friendly actors) and all other enemies. solarsnowfall (yes, he prefers to spell his name with no capitalization) has developed a nifty way of making the Osprey move. [The Osprey is a military transport helicopter.] "Why," you ask, "is that such a big deal?" The Osprey was originally defined as a static actor with turning rotor blades. I had intended to use it primarily as a decoration, but discovered a way to make the Osprey "rise" for take-off. Then solar sent a demo wad showing how the Osprey can lift-off, descend, turn, and travel from Point A to Point B (and beyond) in a natural manner. This allows us to use the Osprey in a similar fashion to the way it is used in Half-Life, i.e., it circles overhead, drops troops, and withdraws from the theater of operations.

In addition to the Osprey behavior, solar created a demo of a friendly Barney who not only attacks enemies, but also follows the player and fights side by side with him/her. Plus, he has created some very fine effects for sparks, fire, steam, and a waterfall. Expect to play a more polished game as a result of his contributions.

.: July 29, 2009

All righty, then! I have finished all the mapping for Map05 of Paranoid, and have put in the basic gameplay elements into Map02 and into some parts of Map03. Meanwhile, Travis 'solarsnowfall' Miller has volunteered his services for advanced scripting and special effects. This will certainly take the load off me, as I was expecting the scripting of scientist behavior in Map01 to be quite challenging. Now I can focus on completing Map07, and other aspects of the game that require my attention.

For some reason I had expected the gameplay to be relatively easy, but I tried out some parts of Map03 and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quite challenged on Map03. The enemies are unexpectedly tougher than I had imagined, and they deal out quite a bit of damage. Thanks to the work of DBT, we have 12 varieties of human grunts in the game - 3 different 'uniforms' for M16 wielders, 3 different 'uniforms' for shotgun wielders, and the same again with their respective weapons + grenade launchers. Fun, fun, fun, 'til your Daddy takes the weapo ... sorry, T-Bird away.

.: June 29, 2009

Another quick update. I am on vacation, but continue to map for Paranoid. Map05 appears to have taken a life of its own, becoming not only more vast but also more complex. Aside from that, however, things have been rather quiet on the development front. I had originally hoped to have the entire project wrapped up by the end of May, but with the formation of The Persecution Complex the project became more ambitious and I knew that we were looking at the end of summer before we were done. With Map05 not yet done, and with Map07 yet to commence, it seems that a summer-end plan may have been somewhat optimistic.

.: May 25, 2009

This is a very quick update. In the past month or so Enjay has created an excellent new menu system and heads-up display/status bar. Even those of you that prefer to play full-screen will actually want to use the new HUD/status bar. I have made some progress on Map05, which continues to grow beyond the bounds I had originally intended for it. I have springboarded from the work I did on a 4-storey prison in Map04 to create a 4-storey office building. While the prison was pretty much symmetric from one storey to the next, the office building mixes it up somewhat. The basement is a storage area, the second and third storeys on one side of the building are made up of office cubicles, and the fourth storey are the individual offices. On the other side of the building, the fourth storey has the Administrator's corner office with an adjoining executive secretary's office, the third and second storeys have other individual offices, and the basement is for storage. It's an awful amount of work to make the offices look different and to properly use decorations to prevent the office from looking bare. If nothing else, this effort has given me an appreciation of the limitations of building 3-D architecture within a DooM environment.

.: April 27, 2009

Betcha the two of you weren't expecting an update so quickly. Anyhoo, without further ado I give you the new crop of screenshots:

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: April 24, 2009

It's been weeks since I did that flurry of updates in February & March. I suppose this must mean that a balance needed to be brought back to the Force ..... ahem ..... Universe. Heh. Anyway, here's another update:

1. Mapping: Map05 50% complete; Map06 100% complete. I am thinking of doing some funky maps in slots Map31 & 32 (although with (G)ZDooM I know that I'm really not limited to those slots) that will be DooMy in style - perhaps using a combination of Paranoid & stock DooM textures, and a combination of the enemies. The Team will not delay the release of the project if these maps are not done in time. We are also already thinking of an expansion pack.

2. Enemies: 100% complete. In fact, DBT has created sprites and code for many more enemies than we'll be using for this release. Those additional enemies will go into the expansion pack.

3. Weapons & ammo: Added Beretta, 100% complete. Most projectile weapons (Beretta, .357 Magnum, shotgun, and 9mm assault rifle) have alt-fire modes, making them devastatingly fun to use. Team has decided to include rocket-propelled grenade launcher, 100% complete.

4. Decorations: Models continue to be added as needed.

5. Pickups (armor, health, keys): 100% complete.

6. Sounds: Ambient sounds and others still need to be done. 95% of all sounds are complete.

7. Music: Music is about 40-50% done.

8. Gameplay: All of the objectives for completed maps have been included. Enemies need to be included, and play-testing needs to be done.

9. Resource & File Management: Almost all wad elements have been converted into pk3 format. All that remains is to split the maps in the wad and insert them into the pk3, and put the patches, TEXTURE, & PNAMES lumps in. 95% complete.

10. Voice acting: We are considering having some cutomized speech for the game. Still under discussion.

.: March 5, 2009

Someone on the New DooM forums asked for a tutorial on using GZDooM features. His (and your) wish is my command.

.: February 27, 2009

Well! We must be in a rare period of planetary alignment. Two updates in one month is unusual, indeed. But I promised you progress with the formation of The Persecution Complex, and a progress report you shall have. Okay. Where to begin? Let's do it by category of tasks:

1. Mapping: Map01 100% complete; Map02 100% complete; Map03 100% complete; Map04 100% complete; Map05 40% complete; Map06 90% complete; Map07 0% complete. There is a possibility of additional maps, depending on what the Team decides.

2. Enemies: 95% complete, thanks to the spriting & DECORATE wizardry of DBT.

3. Weapons & ammo: Models for everything. Current weapons completed are crowbar, .357 Magnum, shotgun, and 9mm assault rifle. Team is deciding on whether to include rocket launcher.

4. Decorations: Models for everything. 95% complete.

5. Pickups (armor, health, keys): Models for everything. 95% complete.

6. Sounds: All enemy & weapon sounds 100% done. Ambient sounds and others still need to be done. I'd say 95% of all sounds are complete.

7. Music: We have a new contributor to the project. His name is Jeff Ligda, and he has submitted a couple of excellent pieces. I'd say that music is about 40-50% done.

8. Gameplay: All of the objectives for completed maps have been included. Enemies need to be included, and play-testing needs to be done.

9. Resource & File Management: Work in progress.

I'd say that about covers it.

So, when's it going to be done? I hear you ask. Well, you know the stock answer: When it's done! (C'est la vie! as they say in France.)

.: February 15, 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen! Boys & Girls! Others! (Drum roll, please!) It is with great delight that I inform you about some awesome developments in the development of Paranoid - this is no longer a solo project. Join me in welcoming Nigel 'Enjay' Rowand and DB 'Deathbringer' Thanatos to the project. Both Enjay and DBT are well known in the DooM community, but I'll just mention that in this particular project Enjay has contributed most of the models, putting in incredible amounts of time to creating them from scratch or tweaking existing works by others to make them perfect for Paranoid. DBT brings his prodigious DECORATE & spriting talents to the project. Between them you shall see marvels rarely seen before in a 15-year old game. Heh. But seriously, these guys are phenomenal and it is through their efforts that I believe the project shall rise out of the mundane.

Enjay has been advising me and contributing his skills since the project began almost two years ago (yes, it has been that long). DBT offered his services a few weeks ago, and I seized the opportunity. I realized then, that they were equal authors in this venture even though they asked for no credit. So, without further ado, I open the curtain to The Persecution Complex. May this team continue to raise this project much higher than it could have risen through my efforts alone!

And that's not the only news. I have made big progress on Map05, and have begun work on a secret level (yes, you heard me right) which fits into slot Map06. I also have a place-holder for Map07, which I'm thinking of making a terrain-based map. So. There you have it. At least 7 maps (6 of them in one hub), fantastic models, marvellous new enemies and weapons. What more could one ask for? Well, perhaps a glass of Pouilly Fuisse, vintage 1971.

Stay tuned for some fabulous new eye candy very soon.

.: January 31, 2009

So you thought I'd gone into hibernation for the winter. Well, hibernate this! OK, for those of you too lazy to click on the link, here's the eye candy you came here for:

[Pictures Moved Here.]

So here's the deal. Since my last batch of screenies (September 2008) I've created wonders that can only be imagined. At least I imagine that they can only be imagined. Still, I've built a 4-storey prison facility (see screenshot 10 above), created a vast Test Chamber with at least one operating crane (see shots 5-7 above), a cafeteria complete with overturned tables (shot 8), and a series of objectives designed to get you past a huge hole in the floor. I'm almost done with Map02, which means that all I have remaining in terms of mapping is Map05. (Notwithstanding what I said last month about possibly creating some stand-alone maps.) Stay tuned for more.

.: 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.


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