Tag Archives: doom 2

My First Doom 2 Map

Tainted Waters.

It began as an exercise to challenge myself to actually sit down and learn Doom Builder.

The goal was to explore a variety of features and gain familiarity, enforced by the tight deadline, and to a degree inspired by Romero’s single session creation of e4m2. There was no planning involved, though in my downtime I would think on the layout for ways to improve it. Now I did hit a snag in my plan of weekly map releases…

I recovered faster than I feared it would take, but it did hit my self-derived momentum, but I had a new momentum, in the form of a not completely horrible looking level that was a functional layout. Functional layout meaning a player spawn, exit, triggers, locked doors, keys, secrets, and a variety of encounters. So I got back to it, having already clocked 20 hours, I engaged in that infamous final 20% which seems to take so much of the effort and began soliciting friends for playtests, and iterating on it from their feedback and my own play sessions and bug finding.

It is one thing to find bugs, but another to fix them, particularly on your first outing. I quickly learned how much error catching and good faith assumptions GZDoom makes for the player, as I ran into some ugly issues and locked off areas when testing in PrBoom+ and Chocolate Doom (and to a lesser extent, ZDoom). I ultimately decided to simply state that the map is best played with GZDoom, as I had developed some mapping habits that GZDoom had no problem with, but other clients did. Hopefully those habits will be broken on the next level.

I’m releasing it now, and will be uploading it for Doomworld’s /newstuff. I’m not a great mapper, yet, but I think this is an okay first effort, and I had more fun making than I’ve had playing most games. Maybe the next one can be done in under 20 hours?

You can download it here.

What Doom Is Not

At the heart of the advocacy from id about Doom 4 is the repeated references to Doom’s DNA, to the validity of this addition to the franchise. Reviewers and YouTube personalities are keen to demonstrate a command of FPS proficiency, and thus latch on to this while citing various parts of Doom 4 as being just like the original. This is understandable as it does add weight to a positive review in the form of a pseudo endorsement. “This is awesome because it is a given that the original is awesome, and I vouch that this reminds me of it.” The problem is, they are speaking of Doom as a memory, which it doesn’t have to be.

Since its release in 1993, it has always been playable on mainstream devices (and less mainstream gaming platforms, like, pianos) thanks to the original executable, Doom95, and the source ports surrounding the 1999 release of the engine code. There is no need to appeal to childhood memories when it is just as accessible today as it was on release. But this does seem to be their foundation, and I am being generous here, as if it isn’t the fault of memory, then they have serious sensory issues to work out. The following is a short list of Doom 4 attributes that Doom does not share, yet so many reviews insist that it does. Continue reading

Spoiler Warning – Game Journalism is Really Terrible

Recently there has been much ado about a Doom mod called Total Chaos – Overgrowth, thanks largely to the teaser video, which you can watch below:

It is a pretty good teaser, and the mod looks like it has potential. I enjoy the mood, the visuals, and the cited inspiration of STALKER.

What concerns me is the coverage of it. Kotaku titled it as such:

Doom “Mod” Makes The Game Look Very 21st Century

Rock Paper Shotgun titled it:

Astoundingly, Total Chaos Is A Doom II Mod

There seems to be doubt as to the term mod or the fact that it is Doom 2. The visuals, the result of artwork and post-processing, are incompatible in the minds of major game writers. Doom is a specific resolution and a specific setting. Surely this isn’t Doom. Yet it is. Yes it is using GZDoom for true mouselook (an actually major change considering how Doom fills a frame of data by not caring about vertical spaces beyond the current view) and many other features. But the project is still using WAD files (“Where’s All the Data”), the world is still composed of linedefs, sidedefs, and sectors. It is still a two-dimensional scene displayed with perspective and data tracked with a third dimension. Despite this, Kotaku doubted the use of the term mod (a Total Conversion is a more appropriate term, at least once they remove the player fall grunt) and Rock Paper Shotgun remarked on it as being astounding.

It looks great, it does. But it is a mod, and it isn’t astounding. It is a well scoped project playing to its strengths. Now if these were random internet comments, I could get past it a little. But these people are gatekeepers of information in gaming, and they might even call themselves journalist. Yet they haven’t the foggiest as to the basics of game development, or game technology. They don’t even understand what makes for game technology. They see pretty pictures and blurring, and suddenly it is advanced. Heaven forbid these people write for a car magazine, or they would give top ratings to everything with a flame paint job and a spoiler. Before you write about something, try to take five minutes to make sure you have some basic grasp of it. Read the wiki article on the Doom engine, it doesn’t take long and provides a great overview. Understand the differences between higher resolution textures, different rendering methods for that texture, and different types of world construction. If you don’t know even the basic fundamentals of how a game works beyond clicking PLAY in Steam or on your favorite console, if you aren’t comfortable with installing mods (not even making them) without using a self-unpacking installer, then perhaps you aren’t the best person to be writing about technical achievements in a release. Continue reading