Friday, November 14, 2014
200 Minutes of /vr/ (200MINVR.WAD)
While I spend a lot of my time there, Doomworld is far from being the only community hub for Doom. /vr/ is another such place of choice, a different board with a different set of sensibilities. 200 Minutes of /vr/ is a speedmapping challenge that started back in May of 2014; the goal was to get users to jump in the fire, so to speak, and contribute to a megaWAD of vanilla Doom II maps made in 200 minutes or less. And it succeeded! 200MINVR was released to the /idgames archives in early July 2014, and while it's still vanilla, some custom skies add much-needed flair alongside the occasional custom MIDI.
The finished product calls to mind a similar project, the French Doom Community's 3 Heures d'Agonie, which had about twenty less minutes to work with. It's clear that some authors had more experience under their belt due to what they managed to get out of their time limit, but I would be a pompous ass to sit here and tell you that these levels are not worth your time, unless you're some kind of dude that can't handle speedmaps. They're all playable, though many of them are short and pretty basic in terms of layouts and architecture, which is to be expected; 3 Heures exhibited a lot of the same characteristics.
Cheesewheel is an easy mention to check out (MAP11, 14, 26) since his levels basically feel like solid regular Doom II PWADs. The infamous Sgt. Mark IV has a level, MAP18, which is a fun location-based blastathon. The opening "Book It!" is a great way to open festivities, too. I also really liked "Archives", "Junxion", "The Bridge", "Blood River", and "Home Sweet Hell", whose authors preferred to remain anonymous. That's not to denigrate the rest of the contributors, though. RjY has the only frustrating level in the set, and that's entirely by design. Honorable mention to "Anachronism", which didn't meet the 200 minute rule, but became a fun adventure regardless.
2014 has fast become the year of the speedmap, and it's great to see another Doom community coming into its own as far as making maps goes. I hope this group of authors plies their craft to make something more... substantial, since micro speedmaps don't really light my fire. 200 Minutes of /vr/ is a fun diversion; you might want to check it out.
200 MINUTES OF /VR/