Friday, August 28, 2015

Phobos Massacre (PHOBMASS.WAD)

Vordakk, also known as Stormwalker, bedazzled us with a brand new Heretic episode in 2011 (Call of the Apostate) and eventually belted out a sort of Doom II inspired megaWAD in 2014 with Flashback to Hell. His first big release, though, was Phobos Massacre, a Knee Deep in the Dead replacement for the original Doom to be played in ZDoom-derived ports. Phobos Massacre eventually got its own remastering in 2015 with Oblivion, but its progenitor is still lurking on /idgames waiting for any poor unfortunate soul looking for more E1-themed levels to play. The episode doesn't have any story but it has plenty of thematic parallels with the original so you can just frame it as you like it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kurashiki's Kuso Map (KUSOK.WAD)

Kurashiki is almost certainly better known for her excellent fan art of Doom, offering takes on the franchise and the PWADs it has spawned that are both fun and fantastic. In this, she's become something of a Doom icon; I'd never have guessed that we'd get such high caliber art of memorable PWAD moments. She's made a couple of Doom II maps, though, released (more or less) in 2013. Kusok (Kurashiki's Kuso Map) is a two-level minisode made for Boom-compatible source ports. There isn't any kind of accompanying story, but the second level has something of an implied narrative, a techbase that's slowly giving way to infernal influence.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nuclear Halls (NUKEHALL.WAD)

by Adam "Capellan" Windsor

Adam Windsor has had a long, industrious career of having a hand in a bunch of classic WADs, including Demonfear. He was gone for awhile, but as of 2012's Community Chest 4 he's up to his old tricks. Nuclear Halls is actually a solo release, a single map for limit-removing ports that occupies the ol' MAP01 slot. I'm no stranger to the story, which has you as a lowly security guard at a nuclear waste facility who just wants to get away from the whole "Savior of Earth" thing and forget about Hell. Of course, if it were that easy, we wouldn't have thousands of user maps to play through. Pretty soon, your "guaranteed" gig is a colossal nightmare.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Random Deaths & Decoration v1.5 (RDND15.PK3)


by Chris "Glaice" Pisarczyk

Glaice - aka Mr. Chris - has long been a fixture in the Doom community. For awhile, he was one of the loudest proponents of Brutal Doom, popularizing the mod with the Brutal Doom Video Vault, among other things. Five years of feature creep have brought him back into the fold, though. Random Deaths and Decoration is his takeaway from the experience, a Doom mod that brings some of the spectacle of Brutal Doom without any of the gameplay changes. This is (almost) a purely visual gameplay mod, so there isn't a whole lot of concrete stuff to talk about, and I feel that an explanation of the changed elements in pornographic detail is outside of the scope of this blog. That being said, there is plenty worth summarizing that may tantalize prospective players.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ty Halderman, Rest In Peace

My condolences to his friends and family for a man who more than anyone else helped the Doom community become what it is today

Rest in Peace, Ty

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Gateway Experiments Episode Five: Prime Directive (GE5-PD.PK3)

The last time we got a glimpse of Ethan Watson's Gateway Experiments was back in 2003, with the first episode - Space Station Omega. Omega used ZDoom to take Doom in a different direction than most attempts to modernize it had. Sure, it used fun stuff like slopes and silent teleporter tricks, but the main thing it did was give Doom a more cinematic flair with camera angles and, the most important element of all, the dialogue trees. The earliest taste of the latter came with Strife, which didn't have a lot of player agency, since you spend most of your time getting talked at, rather than with, emphasized by your relationship with Blackbird, who you never page - she's just a voice in your ear. In Omega, the Blackbird equivalent is Elaine, Russell Cartwright's partner in combat, romance, and business. Using the radio, you could call up Elaine yourself, though the dynamic wasn't explored that thoroughly. All of this proof of concept stuff is cool, but I was wondering what it would look like implemented across a broader experience. And now, in 2015, there's Prime Directive.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Gateway Experiments Episode 1: Space Station Omega (GE1-SSO.WAD)


by Ethan "Gooberman" Watson

The vast majority of Doom levels available are mostly iterations on a tried and true gameplay model. Marine starts level, marine gets gun, marine kills demons. The introduction of ZDoom offered some powerful scripting paths that allows authors to add in gameplay that is distinctly un-Doom. At least, Doom as it was released in 1993. Today, we are seeing crazy stuff like original Shoot-Em-Ups and tactical combat games and complete recreations of popular games of past like Mortal Kombat and Donkey Kong Country. Doom is still, uh, Doom, unsurprisingly. The early ZDoom forays like Assault on Tei Tenga tried to add story and speaking characters and Hell Factory developed the hub system to better mimic Quake II's execution. Space Station Omega, a single level from Ethan Watson, aka Gooberman, pushes things in a very different direction, one that's rarely seen.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Zero Tolerance (ZP-ZEROT.WAD)

by "Zero Prophet"

ZDoom modding entered something of a renaissance after Xaser's release of Zen Dynamics, which showed just how far the ZDoom engine could be pushed in terms of weapon mods. The engine has come a long way since then, with even crazier gameplay mods and concepts (and surely more to follow). Zero Prophet released his Zero Tolerance in 2008. It's mostly a weapons mod as it doesn't fool with the properties of any of the monsters higher than and including the demon, but it does mess around with the rest of the Doom II trash. The weaponry is far more futuristic than Doom's, as you're playing a rogue android who stands alone against the infernal invasion.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Return to Hadron (HADRON.WAD)

Doomworld Forum superstar Cannonball made a huge splash in 2013 with a megaWAD for the original Doom, titled ConC.E.R.Ned. The whole thing was an outgrowth of Powell practicing mapping, starting out with an E1 theme (CBSPEED) and then moving on to E2 and E3. After finishing his run at E4 in 2014 - Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft Excluder - the author decided to go back and retool the first episode. And now, we have Return to Hadron, another limit-removing episode one replacement for Doom, released in 2015. It's just more good news for those players with a distaste for the expanded bestiary of Doom II.