Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Ribbiks, the star of 2013 with his Stardate 20X6 and Swim With the Whales, started dishing up Crumpets back in 2014 as a relief valve while working on other projects. Now, in 2015, we've got a full plate. The final release is a ten-map episode to be played in Boom-compatible ports. The first and last levels are just a framework with just about no gameplay. The rest of it is packed to the gills, though. There isn't any story to be found, of course. Things just start with Doomguy at his observatory on the edge of time, his Earl Gray tea still warm. Except, uh, this batch of tea isn't quite kosher, and you're soon whisked away to a series of nightmares inside your teacup.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
GZDoom WADs are few and far between, and the ones that really make full use of the engine are even rarer. Pinnacle of Darkness is one such delight, a MAP01 replacement released in 2015 by Nick Laurent, aka Hobomaster22, whose most recent contributions have been to Doom the Way id Did and Back to Saturn X Episode 1. Pinnacle has nothing to do with vanilla limitations and everything to do with embracing the aspects of GZDoom that make Doom feel less like the 2.5-dimensional game that we know and love. I believe that this mapset should play nice with most mods since it doesn't change any of the gunplay or enemy behaviors, though there's one custom monster you'll have to deal with.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Bjorn Ostmann, aka "Vader", was one of ZDoom's darlings at one point, and assuming that The Shores of ZDoom are released, will probably remain one. Now, he's churning out really cool vanilla maps for Back to Saturn X. He's no stranger to vanilla Doom, though. His debut was one of those strangely coveted one-man megaWADs, The Rebirth, released in 2003. It's an interesting specimen, with a vast difference between the design of MAP01 and MAP29. You can almost watch Vader's talent develop real time as you play from level to level.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Martin Hunsager and Anders Johnsen - who you might recognize as being a lot of if not most of the driving force behind Alien Vendetta - are playing through WADs in coop and documenting their opinions. Together, as The Pink Bull, they've got a bucketload of interesting opinions, especially since they've actually spent a lot of time within the editor, among other things. Read up here.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
32in24 is a Doomworld community institution, an event where participants make as many multiplayer levels as possible in a very short timeframe. Recent iterations of the proceedings have given the participants time to polish and punch-up their contributions. 32in24 doesn't really tread on the singleplayer / co-op side of things; Diet 32in24 has gone down as an interesting experiment but I've rarely seen it talked up, and it seemed that it would remain the only foray into demonslaying that we would get. Then, of course, there came 32in24-14: How the Hamburglar Stole Christmas. The rest, as they say, is robble robble. This is a 42 (!) level megaWAD of Boom-compatible levels, but if you want to mess around with the bonus levels, you'll need something that can play beyond the usual limit. MAPINFO is recommended as the other stuff is set up in its own special episode.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Lainos is hands-down one of my favorite Doom authors of all time. I love huge levels, and I love maps that you have to twist and turn like a Rubik's Cube. He's been taking it easy since 5till L1 Complex, though, preferring to release the occasional short, experimental level. UAC Secret, released in 2015, is something of a return to form. While not the ginormous sort of map that I was hoping for, It's still pretty big, and all the secrets and switchbacks will pad the length out for a good bit. This is a MAP01 replacement for any limit-removing port that can also play back .OGG files; the author's preferred port is the port of choice for Mother Russia, that being PrBoom-Plus.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Few game communities are as obsessed with the vagaries of the development process as Doom's. At this point, we've seen enough beta and alpha materials for an editorial reconstruction on par with The History of Middle-Earth. I've seen plenty of projects come and go that derive some amount of influence from the alpha / beta materials. The ones that are dead-set on using the Doom Bible as their design document have not fared well. The others grab the unused resources and then make something that's like Doom, but not, as reflected by the sensibilities of the authors. Beta Labs is one of these latter projects, a joint effort by Serious_MOod and Chaingunner, two crazy dudes from Russia. Released in 2015, it's an E1 replacement to be played in limit-removing ports, but its architecture and design are far from being a carbon copy of Knee Deep in the Dead.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Phobos-themed episodes are a dime-a-dozen, and everyone loves the E4 theme, whether it's in its natural setting or being expounded upon in Doom II format. Deimos and Inferno... not so much. We treasure these niceties when we may, so here's Dark Side of Deimos, an Episode Two replacement released late in 2013. I believe that it's targeted for Boom-compatible ports, so take that as you may. It also has pretty much zero story, though you may be able to infer some similarities between the original names and the maps that are now in their slots, especially in cases like E2M8 and E2M9.