Thursday, December 5, 2013
(by "C4tnt" and "Archi")
The Russian Doom community has a little institution called the First-try Demo Contest. The basic idea is that someone makes a map that no one's ever seen before and then presents it to contestants at a predetermined time, who then record first-try demos trying to complete the map. If you're not familiar with FDAs, the point is to basically start recording your virgin playthrough of a level, deaths and all, until you reach the exit. Fuel Devourer was the level developed for FDC#11, released afterward in 2013 by its architects, iddqd.ru superstars C4tnt and Archi.
Monday, December 2, 2013
(by Chris "lupinx-Kassman" Kassap)
Drown Stone is the second map to have come out of Brian Knox's Secret Santa project, this one also Boom-compatible and finding release in 2013. A bunch of authors signed up and were randomly seeded with each other. Whoever you got, you had to attempt to produce a level in their style, after which the work would be presented in the thread, with a grace time for everyone to guess 1) who the author was and 2) which author he / she was imitating. DSTONE is Doomworld forum superstar lupinx-Kassman doing fellow superstar Stuart "stewboy" Rynn, to unusual results. All I really know of Kassman is his larger adventure levels so this offering - which is scaled to the polar opposite of Claustrophobia - comes as a surprise.
Friday, November 29, 2013
(by Matt Tropiano)
Forsaken Overlook, published in 2013, is part of the Doomworld "Secret Santa" project, arranged by one Brian "Snakes" Knox. The idea was to randomly pair off participating authors in a gift-maker to gift-receiver relationship, where the gift-maker created a single level in the target author's style. The results are then posted anonymously in the project thread, with players able to guess the target author before Snakes pulls the veil back and exposes the charade. In this particular case, the role of "Santa" was played by Doom veteran Matt Tropiano, and his recipient was "LupinX-Kassman" of Community Chest 4 fame. Tropiano did a job of studying his quarry, also producing a document that documents his entire creative process, which you can find and read in the .ZIP. A fascinating read, especially for other authors, I'm sure. The result, intended for Boom-compatible ports, plays in the MAP01 slot.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Temple of the Lizard Men has become somewhat of a Doom institution. Alan D., aka "alando1", started the ball rolling in 2009 with the original TOTLM, where a marine investigates an ancient temple, the site of some mysterious disappearances, including a military team sent to investigate. Temple of the Lizard Men 2 knocked it up a notch with another marine investigating a different temple, this one with a power-mad Lizard Man chieftain executing all of the women of his tribe. Temple of the Lizard Men 3, released in 2013, may be more scales than you can handle, with three distinct episodes and a story involving an archaeological team that Dug Too Deep, unleashing an ancient evil and rekindling the age-old battle between the forces of light and dark. All of this across roughly 32 levels for GZDoom, with some fudge factor for the practice map and the anticlimax.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Doom 2 the Way id Did is a sequel to, well, the incredibly popular Doom the Way id Did, of course. Headed up by Doomworld forum superstar Alfonzo after the release of the latter, D2TWiD aimed to mimic the styles of the architects of Doom II. John Romero, American McGee, and Sandy Petersen are the headliners, of course. I think Shawn Green and Tom Hall were considered, but if they're represented, it's probably in Tom Hall's sprawling base layouts. As was the case with DTWiD, there is no change in the "story" of Doom II. Just load it up and ask yourself - if one of these levels had shown up instead of one of the originals, would you even have noticed? What if you mashed the two PWADs together - would anything seem out of place?
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Interception started around the height of vanilla megaWAD madness, back in 2011. Matt534Dog wanted to make a megaWAD, and there was enough enthusiasm knocking about that everyone not working on their top secret projects said "Hell yeah!" and started pouring in the maps. Then on release, the Doomworld MegaWAD Club played it, undergoing a sort of playtesting by fire, after which the PWAD underwent some significant changes. The super double ultimate final release happened sometime in 2013, but there are still a few game-breaking bugs to stamp out. Funny, unless you're playing it and run across them, trying to find out whether you just don't have the solution or whether the puzzle itself is inherently broken.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Alando released the original Temple of the Lizard Men in 2009, following it up with the sequel in 2010, the aptly titled Temple of the Lizard Men 2. The TOTLM series is a conscious attempt to weld the gameplay of Doom to that of Unreal, more specifically the action of the former and the environments of the latter. Where the first installment was pretty much action for action's sake, though, the author attempted to work more story elements into his sophomore effort. TOTLM2 doesn't have any cut scenes, but there are a few NPCs you WILL chat with, and a number of digital journals to collect, one of the most prevalent quirks of Unreal, hammering in the depressing ends of a number of corpses.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
(by Eric Baker aka "The Green Herring")
Eric Baker busted out his Year 21 speedmap in 2008 to celebrate his 21st anniversary on This Island Earth. Year 22 was made in 2009 for the same purpose, but due to a comedy of errors wasn't released until the tail end of the year, much like the third and as of this post final entry in the trilogy, Year 23. 22, aka A Rock and a Hard Place, is another single map replacement to be played in Boom-compatible engines. This time, though, it fills the MAP02 slot, with the intent that the levels can be loaded together and played back to back to form a cohesive narrative. Year 22 picks up where 21 left off. You've stepped through the still-active warp gate at a military installation thought abandoned only to find it quite inhabited and the gate fully functional, sending you to some Godforsaken canyon in who knows where. To add insult to injury, the trip seems to have been a one-way ticket.