Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Risen3D v2.2.10 released!

Risen3D put out a new edition of the Risen3D engine. From the website:

Changes over v220-9 ...

  1. Code changes introduced in v220-9 meant that some analysis requirements were not being met. E.g infill flats on bridge near start of Requiem map13 but this is just one example amongst many that have now been fixed. 
  2. The analysis code has been further extended to deal with previously ignored map tricks such as scrchhet.wad. Issues with recently released pwads have also been addressed. 
  3. Rendering of doom alpha textures (walls and sprites) modified to get rid of fuzzy edges. In the case of sprites this can be changed in the in-game control panel under Textures (as some may prefer the previous way these were drawn). 
  4. Rendering problems with recently released pwads have been addressed. 
  5. Distortion in the automap fixed. This mainly occurred in fullscreen mode when the monitor's max resolution was not being selected. 
  6. The in game console switch 'game-fastmonsters' has been removed as no-one seemed to know it was available. Instead this has now been optioned in the launcher under Options/Games. 
  7. Lighting specials now applied with infill flats. 
  8. The player weapon is now lit using the floor light level. 
  9. Dating errors with pwads can now be fixed in R3D. Beluga, for example, is dated, inside its zip, as January 2012. This meant that saved games could not be used as they would pre-date the pwad. The user is now given the option of changing an incorrect pwad's date, where in advance of the current date, back to the current date. 
  10. Various bugs fixed including some that could cause, in rare circumstances, the Risen3D error handler to force an exit. 
  11. Resolved problem, when not using fullscreen, with screen save images or the image shown in control panel video with an ATI card.

    Screenshots Now Up to Date

    Added screenshots for Heroes and Impossible: A New Reality. With that, the entire site's history is up to date with fancy pictures.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Vanguard (VANGUARD.WAD)


    Vanguard is a Boom-compatible episode released in 2011 by Paul DeBruyne, aka "Skillsaw". In Paul's words, "Vanguard was planned to be a 32 level megawad inspired by Speed of Doom's development time and Scythe 2's episodic structure. However, I simply don't have the time/patience/focus to complete 32 levels at the moment, so I've decided the release the wad as-is." Would it have been nice if we'd gotten a full 32 level megawad? Yeah, and it'd be nice to have a solid gold cacodemon. You have to be happy with what you have to be happy, though, and there's plenty here to be happy with.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    More Screenshots! And What WADs May Come ~

    Threw up screenshots for Xaser's The Lost Episode and Congestion 1024. That just leaves Suspsended in Dusk, Impossible: A New Reality, and Heroes. I have an update with Jive's JyEpiBest that's been floating around in draft form for a long time, but at present I'm reluctant to put it in. Al Dewey at least had four of his own levels banging around the Heroes WAD. Jive's JyEpiBest is basically a compilation WAD, but the levels are of a distinctly lower calibre, plus they've all been restocked for Doom 2, which is jarring as the levels are all from Ultimate Doom compilation WADs. There's usually an Arch-Vile, sometimes in a wildly inappropriate place. I played another compilation WAD Jive made, called Jive's 18th (compilation). It's a bunch of naturally Doom II WADs, and while I won't review the compilation itself, I'll probably hit the WADs themselves. There're some award-winners in there (Tantrum, Nostromo's Run), and some fantastic WADs I'd never heard of before (The Alpha Trilogy).

    I believe I am sticking with the 1994 "Top 100 WADs" plan, so expect some more speedy updates; The Alien TC, Return to Phobos, and some other stuff. The next big megawad I want to tackle is Requiem, for obvious reasons. I also will be replaying Chris Klie's "The Lost Episodes" and putting those up here eventually. And at some point I want to play the Master Levels, which I haven't, and which feature maps of awesome authors I've played before. Not to mention going back and replaying all the other id Software licensed maps. There's all so much to do, and I'm playtesting Valkiriforce's "Reverie" at the same time.

    Reverie has been really fun, for the most part. But at some point the difficulty just broke down. Valkiri said he'd be getting a version that's been toned down a bit and I look forward to it. The maps are really quite awesome in layout, architecture and detailing, but some levels don't even seem FAIR. That's all I'll say, though, as it's a work in progress and despite getting kicked in the balls repeatedly I've been enjoying the challenge and the sights.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Fava Beans (FAVA.WAD)


    The thing about Fava Beans is that it's a pretty well-known Episode 1 replacement for the original Doom, but its notoriety is due almost entirely to the skill with which author Sean Birkel recreated the atmosphere and architecture of "Knee Deep in the Dead". In 1995, or thereabouts, it was a pretty big deal since his peers were making maps that looked pretty primitive in comparison. Nowadays, we can sit on a pile of Phobos recreations and call the set on its single most glaring fault. When you've stopped sucking at Doom, the fighting is boring as shit.

    Infinity (INFINITY.WAD)


    Infinity, published in 1995, rounds out the end of Bjorn (tester) and Holger's (mapper) episode replacements, this one taking the place of E1. It's got all the -ity features: music replacements (ha!), lines that block monster movement (usually the same lines that mark dynamic lighting), and goofy mazes. Finally, and most importantly, Bjorn and Holger made sure every map was readily completable from pistol start this time around. E1M8 is still kind of hard, but for different reasons. You still have some ammo show up sans weapons, but rarely to the effect of the previous episodes.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Eternity (ETERNITY.WAD)


    One month later and still in 1994, Bjorn Hermans (tester) and Holger Nathrath (mapper) followed up their Serenity Episode 3 replacement with an Episode 2 replacement titled Eternity. As before, there is no story or thematic consistency to this collection, just a bunch of goofy titles. This mapset is a step up in composition and difficulty from their freshman effort, but I feel that the map detailing is a bit more generic, lacking some of the interesting designs like the large pit room from "R U Lonesome?" or the movie theatre gimmick from "Doom -- The Movie". It's a pretty solid set, though, with a few caveats.

    New Screenshots

    Threw up screenshots and some light editing on Perdition's Gate, The Evil Unleashed, and Slaughter Until Death. Almost done replaying Eternity; after that, I'll be on to Infinity and then Fava Beans. Hell, I may even just finish off the rest of the 10 Greatest WADs of 1994. That's, what,

    • Crossing Acheron
    • Aliens-TC
    • UAC Dead
    • Galaxia
    • Trinity College
    • Return to Phobos
    Sounds like a plan. Probably do Dante's Gate, too, to round out Sleep's 1994 offerings.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Serenity (SERENITY.WAD)


    Published in 1994, Serenity is among the first of many episode replacements for Doom that have cropped up since its release. Tested by Bjorn Hermans and mapped by Holger Nathrath, it's also the first of a trilogy of episode replacements, continued in Eternity (Episode 2) and ending in Infinity (Episode 1). Serenity doesn't attempt to follow the themes of Inferno in spite of being an Episode 3 replacement. Nor does it have anything approaching a common theme. Rather, it just looks like Bjorn and Holger having fun, creating a series of eight maps (no secret) that goes down smooth, all things considered.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Screenshots

    To jazz things up, I've decided to start throwing in level screenshots, basically whatever I feel is the most iconic representation of a map. It's starting with Memento Mori 2, but I'm going to gradually go back and add screenshots to all the other WADs featured here as it suits me. I've also added author links to idgames for every author I could find. Some authors never uploaded individual works to idgames, though. It seems they did most of their work in community projects a la Memento Mori, TNT, etc.. Some day I may have a solution for this, but until then, they shall suffer the injustice of zero linkage.

    Memento Mori II (MM2.WAD)


    Memento Mori II, released in 1996, is of course the second outpouring of mapping effort from the Memento Mori Crew, though I should note that this Memento Mori Crew is not exactly the same group that made Memento Mori. Indeed, a number of mappers did not return for a second outing, while a number of authors stepped up to bang another quality megaWAD out. It's 31 levels of Doom II, 1 level of Doom, all specifically tweaked for coop. Both members of TiC - Thomas and Denis Moeller - return, alongside Jens Nielsen, David Davidson, Mark Klem, Orin Flaharty, Alden Bates, Florian Helmberger, Michael Rapp, and Andy Badorek. Some of these guys would even go on to work on Requiem, kind of a Memento Mori III, if you will.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Eternity Engine Update plus Vaporware Demo

    Eternity's "Blue Box"

    I haven't really used the Eternity Engine yet, but they just made a major update, extending compatibility and reaching toward Heretic support (and of course Hexen and Strife in the distant future). Cool stuff! In addition, there's apparently an Eternity project titled Vaporware that's been knocking around for some time. The Eternity Engine released a one map demo of the project along with the Engine update. I may take a look after finishing Memento Mori 2. After all, I've dabbled in PrBoom+ to play with Obituary. The least I can do is take a look at another fine Doom engine.

    Double Impact (DBIMPACT.WAD)


    A Ralphis and RottKing joint, Double Impact was released in 2011 for limit-removing ports as an E1 replacement. And, yeah, it does borrow some from Knee Deep in the Dead, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. Double Impact tells the story of a lowly mechanic who was busy fixing shit in the maintenance shop when Hell invaded the military complex where he resided. Sure, you're gonna kill all the beasties for slaughtering your buddies, but the real objective is to make it to the launch facility way on the other side of the base so that you can blow astro dust on the Hellspawn on your way out.