.: DooMster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain

Spotlight on Daniel 'Tormentor667' Gimmer: May 14, 2012

He's Teutonic. He's daemonic. He's occasionally manic. I speak, of course, of the German Sherman who sometimes goes by the moniker Tormentor667. [Why "Sherman", you ask, gentle reader? Well, if memory serves me right, William Tecumseh Sherman had a habit of shooting first and asking questions later. Sound familiar? Heh.] Anyhoo, Herr Gimmer has been an active member of the DooM Community for many years, producing ambitious projects such as TUT&T, KDiZD, and Stronghold, and helming Realm667, a repository for custom enemies, weapons, etc. With a boundless enthusiasm, he embarks on new ventures to promote DooM throughout the known Universe. But enough of my prattling; here's Dan the Man with the Plan:

DN: You appear to have gotten a late start in DooM. How long have you been playing (and playing around with) DooM?

D'T'G: As a player I started with Doom around 1995, at the age of 11. I can still remember the fear when I first entered E1M2's Comp-Maze, that was a priceless moment. 4 years later, around 1999, I discovered various map editors for Doom for the first time, DETH and Deu5.2 as far as I can recall correctly - so actually it's not such a late start at all.

DN: You have a distinct mapping and gameplay development style. Who were your early influences?

D'T'G: My early influences have been Rand and Steven Phares (the creators of Cleimos) and especially TeamTNT for Final Doom Evilution. I was always very impressed by the real feeling of the buildings and places they've created in their mods - that was very inspiring.

DN: You started off with mapping and quickly expanded your skills to all other aspects of DoM modding. What skills did you already have, and what skills did you have to acquire?

D'T'G: Hard to tell... I always had a good feeling and skill in terms of visuals I guess - at least that makes sense as I am currently working as a graphics designer in an agency. So I always knew what was looking good - color combinations, different styles, the right amount of visuals. Things that I definitely had to learn had been a good hand for gameplay and also the specials around ACS and DECORATE (I never had been a programmer or coder so learning this was quite hard)

DN: Among your early releases were deathmatch wads (XMas, Perforated Entrails), but in recent years you've moved away from such maps in favor of solo-play games. Any particular reason why?

D'T'G: That's quite easy: Single Player (and Coop) is simply my favorite kind of gaming. I really like it if the player gets led through a story with all those twists, turns and surprises that come with it. Beyond, it's also much easier to balance things if you are more used to this kind of gamemode. Balancing Deathmatch maps or any other kinds of multiplayer modes is pretty hard if you are missing the experience. I learned this when working on Perforated Entrails and also on TUTNT: Invasion. But this all doesn't mean that I won't come back to it in the future... there is still an unfinished PE scatch around...

DN: You've spearheaded some very ambitious projects, both solo and team-oriented. What keeps you going?

D'T'G: Generally I'd consider myself to be a creative person. I have always ideas floating in my head that I want to realise, that I want to share. Sometimes I have enough time and ideas to do these on my own (like TUTNT, TCotD or Austerity) but sometimes things are too ambitious to realise them in a reasonable time. But nothing is impossible if you team up with some of our very talented people in the community (no matter if it is for scripts, mapping, ideas, sprites or just quality control), you only need to get them crazy about your idea, then the whole thing turns into a fast-selling item. ZDCMP1, KDiZD, Stronghold, ZPack - all of these projects were just based on a new and interesting idea - but all the people working on them, bringing their own ideas into them, made them successful.

DN: Many of your projects are award-winning, and yet you continue to have a vocal set of detractors. Care to comment on why?

D'T'G: I think with my projects it's just the same thing as with a pizza - some people like their pizza with salami, others prefer mushrooms - it's a question of personal taste. For me, the main goal is to produce a project that I am pleased with, that was fun for me to work on. If others like it as well I consider this as a bonus and it's also an honor for me, but it's not my priority at all. I have already read comments about my big ego and my stubborn attitude if it comes to criticism (at least in some cases) but honestly: If an idea from someone else fits into the concept that I have for my project, I am fine with it and I will improve these things, but if not, I simply do not care as it is not my job to please everyone. Sure, you can put salami, mushrooms, ham, pineapple, peperoni, paprika and onions on your pizza and try to make everyone happy, but just imagine how that might look... I prefer salami. [Editor's Note: What? No bratwurst? Heh.]

DN: Over the years you seem to have mellowed (and, dare I say, matured). Has this given you a different perspective on creating mods for DooM?

D'T'G: Dare you :) No, just fine with that, I got indeed matured and I am quite happy about it. Don't forget, I was 14 when I joined the community and all the evil things were just to happen (damn you puberty). This also changed the way I am creating my mods, especially the team efforts. With a certain experience and age, it is easier to manage and organize larger scale projects with numerous different characters than it was before; I already noticed a big difference between myself during KDiZD and Stronghold, just to give you an idea.

DN: You've created Realm667, a web-site for all things DooM (plus Heretic, Hexen, & Strife) - resources, tutorials, reviews, forums, the works. What are the challenges of maintaining a web-site with such a wide scope?

D'T'G: Too many to count, sometimes I think it's my second full-time job :P Fortunately there are a few fellow Doomers which are supporting me in a great way and I am always thankful to have them on board. The big deal with such a large page is to keep it up-to-date. You need to maintain and quality-control all the submissions in the forums, you need to check community forums for interesting news, you need to approve and write reviews, tutorials and beyond make sure that the whole page is also running from a technical aspect. So overall you need a lot of motivation and interest in Doom to keep the site alive, otherwise it just wouldn't work as long as it doesn't make you happy - and it still does, since 2000 :)

DN: You clearly have a flair for graphic design, as seen in your web-site and your art for DooM. Do you have formal training?

D'T'G: Exactly, it's the job that I am working in now for 6 years, so things like that are easy for me as I am used to that. The good thing is that Doom mapping and graphic design have a lot of things in common: Combination of colors, the usage of patterns, the choice of contrasts - you can actually say that it's graphic design in 2.5D. At least that might be the reason that my best skill lies in this department.

DN: Some months ago you were collecting screenshots from the DooM community for a coffee-table book on DooM. When can we expect to see the final publication?

D'T'G: Even though I am a big Blizzard fan, I will refrain from "the answer" now. But, it's not dead yet.

DN: Do you feel like DooM is a monkey on your back, or do you gladly submit to its demands for time?

D'T'G: Well, both situations are possible I guess. There have been times when I was working on Doom just for the sake of proceeding, and there are times when I feel like "Oh yes, now I have ideas, now I want to map something".

DN: At this point feel free to go hog-wild and add anything you'd like your two adoring fans to know about.

D'T'G: Stay tuned 2012, there are great things to come - not only the ZDCMP2 and HPack, there is even more... :)

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