.: December 27, 2011

After almost 2 years since the project started, Six Ways to Die is complete.

Download the game here.

Read the text file here.

.: November 29, 2011

The Phobos Directive was released on November 22.

Download the game here.

Read the text file here.

Also, as promised, Deimos: Slight Return is complete.

Download the game here.

Read the text file here.

.: November 11, 2011 [11.11.11]

So I just had to make a post on 11.11.11. Technically, however, the true symmetry of the date would have occurred 9 centuries ago, on November 11, 1111. I had hoped to upload something today, but it was not meant to be.

The final map of Deimos: Slight Return is virtually done - mapping/gameplay/testing on E2M7 are 80%/40%/20% complete. The Phobos Directive is ginding along, and we ended up replacing the leaping Sand Demon with a rushing Sand Demon, discovering that it is somewhat too large for some places in the game, and finding that it was getting stuck. All that's been fixed, and now we're addressing minor issues. I don't want to give you a date, but it's looking real good for a release soon.

.: November 3, 2011

I've made some progress on the final map of Deimos: Slight Return - mapping/gameplay/testing on E2M7 are 40%/20%/0% complete. The bigger news is about The Phobos Directive, however, for which I have completed (what I hope will be) the final beta. The Team will be testing it soon, and we are striving for a November release. November 2011, that is. Heh.

.: October 24, 2011

More travel all over the place, but with some spare time on hand I've managed to make progress on Deimos: Slight Return. Mapping/gameplay/testing on E2M5 are 100%/100%/20% complete. It's on to the final map now - E2M7. The Phobos Directive, however, is still languishing. DBT has made a clever new boss, but we're working out some final issues. An announcement could be forthcoming.

.: September 28, 2011

I have been extremely unfocused and unproductive as far as DooM editing goes during the past few weeks. Still, mapping/gameplay/testing on Map E2M2 of Deimos: Slight Return are 100%/100%/50% complete, while mapping & gameplay on E2M4 are mostly complete. I've also been distracted by last minute fixes for The Phobos Directive, which now has terrific fanfare music after the climax of the final battle, and two new skies, all courtesy of Jeff Ligda. At any rate, here are some new pictures of Deimos: SLight Return:

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: August 31, 2011

Because of job-related travel and other commitments, my time available for DooM editing has been limited as of late. However, mapping/gameplay on Map E2M3 of Deimos: Slight Return is 100% complete, and internal testing is 50% complete. With 5 maps completed, this puts me at past the half-way point. I'll put up more pictures when I'm done with my sixth map.

Meanwhile, I have written another "Ten Good Reasons ...." article, this one named Ten Good Reasons to Stay Home and Play DooM. Go on .... Click on the link .... You deserve a chuckle.

.: August 18, 2011

I've made remarkable progress on Deimos: Slight Return, being able to keep focus on a project like I haven't been able to do in quite a while. Maps E2M1 and E2M9 are 100% complete, including internal play-testing. Mapping/gameplay on Maps E2M6 and E2M8 are 100% complete, internal testing is 50% complete.

.: August 10, 2011

The project on which I've been quietly working away behind the scenes finally has a name - Deimos: Slight Return. [Jimi Hendrix aficionados will immediately get the reference.] It is a nine-map replacment for Episode 2 of The Ultimate DooM (DooM I). In a similar vein to my Phobos Revisited, I am building an episode that resembles the original and is 100% vanilla-DooM compatible, but has more detail, has tougher gameplay, and has extra areas to explore. Map E2M1 is 100% complete, including internal play-testing. Mapping/gameplay on Map E2M8 are 100% complete, internal testing is 50% complete. Mapping/gameplay on Map E2M9 are 70% complete. Screenshots below.

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: August 5, 2011

Snowball's Chance ... is now available at idgames. I've also made some progress on my new project, which is for The Ultimate DooM.

.: August 1, 2011

I've completed Snowball's Chance ... and have uploaded it to the idgames archives; it will likely be available at the end of this week. I've also begun work on a new project, and I'll post information on it soon.

.: July 26, 2011

I have been strangely loth to do any DooM editing for the past few weeks. I haven't even completed testing of the E2M8 version of Snowball's Chance ..... However, I was spurred by a request on the ZDooM forums for a tutorial on making cutscenes, and created one. I've also decided to review L'il WHite Mouse's Star Wars-themed mod, Chibi Rebellion, with a view to doing another Zpectre Award.

.: July 7, 2011

Wicked_9.wad, the ninth map in my Wicked series, was released on June 29 and is now on the idgames archives. Meanwhile, I have completed all I can do on The Phobos Directive, and the game is in Eruanna's hands for incorporation of the "mission computer". I've also completed all work on the E2M8 version of Snowball's Chance ...., and am testing it now. The one thing I've realized, and Providence knows that I've had plenty of time to learn of such things, is that wide-open maps may look nice but are not really conducive to good game-play. This is doubly true of massive maps done in the original DooM, with its limited bestiary. At this point, though, it's too late to change the map design, and I'm going to leave things the way they are. The one thing I've decided, however, is to scrap the idea of doing the same map for E3M6 - I'll still be faced with the limited enemy selection, even after adding in the Spider Demon. Instead, I'm making the map for DooM2 Map27, and the wide-open spaces can be better populated. I may also decide to add in some new indoor areas.

Also, I finally got off my butt and moved forward with something I proposed on the ZdooM forums back in December 2010. The first Zpectre Award for ZDooM Excellence goes to Assault on Tei Tenga by Sam Ketner. I had begun the review in December 2010, but it lay dormant for six months. I'm not sure how far I'll get with further reviews, as time is an a premium right now, and most of my available spare time is spent on actual game development rather than playing old mods. But stay tuned.

.: June 28, 2011

DBThanatos has developed the definitions for the new Imp and Demon, which work very well. I have implemented the new imp into the maps, but I have not had the opportunity to do it for the new demon; I've been extremely tied up with job-related travel and work. Meanwhile, I whipped together a map at the request of DBThanatos, who needed a small-to-medium-sized map that contains all DooM2 enemies (except the SS Nazi) and weapons, is vanilla DooM-compatible, and plays at easy-to-medium-difficulty. I've spent a couple of hours each day for the past two weeks to create the map, which I will be releasing as the ninth map in my Wicked series. For those that may recall, these are maps that are fully vanilla DooM-compatible and feature as much architectural detail as DooM's limits allow.

.: June 9, 2011

This must be the most haphazard way in which I have approached DooM mapping. I'm juggling four projects, and jumping back and forth between them. After putting in quite a bit of time into gameplay for Snowball's Chance ... I decided to switch gears and work on The Phobos Directive. Two of the big remaining tasks were fixing a problematic inventory issue, and adding more (G)ZDooM detailing to the maps. The play-testers had pointed out that it was necessary to prevent a player from using an inventory item prematurely. For example, the player needs a radiation suit in Map E1M5 of the hub in order to make progress through a nukage area, but the suit is available only in Map E1M2. If the player picks the suit up in Map E1M2 and accidentally uses it before getting to Map E1M5, s/he is essentialy stuck in the game, as the nukage area cannot be traversed without the suit. After doing some research with a little help from the ZDooM community, and some trial-and-error, I created a nifty SlimeSuit that can only be used at the designated location. I've updated my DECORATE tutorial with a tutorial on "Creating An Inventory Item That Is Usable Only After One or More Conditions Are Met".

After that I undertook an effort to add some detailing with slopes and 3D sectors. Nothing over-the-top, but somewhat subtle and using the stock DooM texturing (or variations). Also, I had been contemplating having an enhanced Imp and enhanced Demon. My good buddy DBThanatos is putting together the definitions, and I'll begin inserting them into the game. The last remaining major task is the redesign of the "Mission Computer", another round of play-testing, and then the Fat Lady can finally sing her aria.

.: May 31, 2011

The past month has seen me fly back and forth across the continent, and drive over a thousand miles on a road trip. Still, I've managed to squeak out some work on my DooM projects. Most notably, I have completed mapping on Snowball's Chance ..., which is a two-map wad for The Ultimate DooM. One map plays on E2M8, and the other plays on E3M6. Now here's the kicker - the maps are virtually identical, but will feature vastly different gameplay. Does it work? You'll have to decide for yourself.

[Pictures Moved Here.]

.: April 23, 2011

A couple of minor updates here. The bea testers have been sending their feedback on The Phobos Directive. So far most of it has consisted of suggestions, rather than errors, which is obviously a good thing. The big change that may get implemented is a redesign of the "Mission Computer", which tells the player which objectives have been completed and which have not; Eruanna has offered to do the redesign, and has in fact completed the core coding already.

In the interim I decided to take a break from The Phobos Directive and go back to mapping for the Paranoid expansion pack. I've made a little bit of progress on Map10, but it seems like I've just begun to climb this hill. [Speaking of climbing hills, I'm looking to join an expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next year. Will need to do much more by way of training than my current work-out schedule includes.]

.: March 31, 2011

I'm guessing that right about now the two of you have given up on The Phobos Directive being released. I'm here to tell you that you couldn't be more wrong. Shame on you for not having more faith. Just for that I'll delay the release by first having the game thoroughly play-tested. So there! Heh, heh. Setting all petulance aside, the report is as follows: All game-play elements have been added and some testing by me is complete. To provide some replay value (aside from that created because of an "open" hub system) I have developed scenarios that change depending on which weapon the player has acquired. Pick up the plasma rifle and you face the second-tier bosses. Pick up the rocket launcher and you face the mini-bosses. Don't have either? Not to worry, you get to deal with the mid-grade enemies. I hope to complete my internal testing in a day or so, and have the game to the play-testers by Saturday.

In other news, it's been exactly one year since the release of Paranoid. My, how time flies when you're working like a dog!

.: March 16, 2011

The Phobos Directive is steadily chugging away towards its eventual completion. All mapping is complete, and I have now started on the gameplay. In typical fashion, I started with the finale on Map E1M8 and am working in reverse (some may say "ass-backwards"). I'm still looking for suitable music for a couple of maps, and Jeff Ligda has indicated he will contribute one more piece. Sweet!

Meanwhile, Chris Couleur, one of the original members of TeamTNT and one of the major contributors to Eternal DooM IV: Return From Oblivion got in touch with me to guage interest in resuming work on the project. I may well get back into it after Phobos is finished.

.: February 25, 2011

As promised, I have put up my review of Epic2, which appears in the NewStuff Chronicles of DooM World.

Despite a crazy travel schedule (four trips in three weeks, spanning 4 days each week) I have managed to put some work into The Phobos Directive. I am almost done with mapping on Map E1M7, which only leaves mapping for Map E1M9. After that, of course, comes the equally challenging task of creating and balancing gameplay. Also, I forgot to mention this in my last update, but Jeff Ligda has created 3 brand new music tracks for the game. He won't be able to do much more, but the three he's already done are very cool.

.: February 11, 2011

You, sir, have mistaken my silence (or at least lack of updates) as an absence of progress. And in that, my good man, you would be wrong. Despite more travel, I have been busier than a squirrel who's hoarding away nuts for the coming winter. [Although, if I were a real squirrel, I'd be several months too late to be preparing for winter.] All mapping on E1M3 of The Phobos Directive is complete. And if that weren't enough, I have been working on expanding the gameplay. The game has two new bosses, one new mini-boss, and secondary file (alt-fire) for the shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, and plasma rifle. The secondary fire becomes available when the player picks up the relevant weapon's upgrade. [To be honest, most of the heavy lifting for the DECORATE definitions was done by my good buddy, DBThanatos, who is a DECORATE genius.] In addition, with the help of my other good buddy (Enjay) I have implemented a real-time system to display mission objectives and their status (i.e., incomplete vs. complete). This is intended to make it easier for the player to navigate within the hub. Hopefully, all of these extras will add another dimension to the game and make it more enjoyable.

In other DooM-related news, I volunteered to play and review Epic2.wad by Alexander "Eternal" S. It is a fantastic 32-map replacement for DooM2, and the review will be making its appearance at DooM World soon. After that I will post the review on DooM Nexus in the Miscellany section.

.: January 21, 2011

After a three-week hiatus from DooM editing because of the holidays, travel, etc. I have bounced back with a vengeance and have made great strides on The Phobos Directive. Mapping is complete on Maps E1M1, E1M2, E1M4, E1M5, E1M6, and E1M8, with some progress on E1M3. This leave mapping on E1M7 and E1M9. Here are some new pics:

[Pictures Moved Here.]

For those of you that are here for pics on Six Ways to Die/Palais des Cauchemars, go here:

Six Ways to Die/Palais des Cauchemars

No progress to report on this project, as I've been tied up with implementing ideas for The Phobos Directive.

.: 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.

.: News Archives

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