Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Future of ONEMANDOOM

It's been more than another month since my last post so I ought to make a salient update that I've been putting off. Everything is going fine but at this point in my life, writing about the works of the Doom community isn't satisfying to me as a creative outlet. I'm not making WADs because chance and circumstance brought me back to my love of crafting stories and the sorts of thing that I would like to do cannot be accomplished within the admittedly flexible confines of the Doom engine.

I will still be maintaining this blog as a repository of reviews - pruning spam comments and the like - and may update it when I feel like I've grown the way that I want to. Until then, though, I'm done playing. Thanks to everyone who was and still is interested in reading these longform reviews; it's been a dazzling journey so far and I feel bad leaving so many cool sights still unseen. I'm just ready for a long, healthy detour.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

still not ded

Just checking in to say that I've thus far weathered a jam-packed work schedule in addition to the epidemic.

Friday, April 10, 2020

i atent ded

I have not abandoned ONEMANDOOM but I'm not in any state to work on the blog. Long time readers may have realized that this sort of thing happens every two years. It's a convenient intersection of where my line of work intersects with maximum burnout but was buoyed along by, among other things, the birth of my second daughter. The good news is that I am looking forward to really playing Doom again! I got the PC port of Doom 64 and am anticipating the new and improved KEX engine and mini-campaign. In the meantime I've been filling my free time with baby love and NotDoom games. I dunno when this will pick back up again but whenever it does it will be with the excellent Europa 2.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ea Gothic 2 (EAGOTH2.WAD)

by Erik Alm

As I mentioned in the review for EAGOTH1, 2001 was a big year for Erik. His participation in the One Week Mapping Contest was an important stepping-off point for someone who was previously not confident in the worthiness of their work. Toward the end of the year he started a string of single releases beginning with Europa 1 and, shortly afterward, ea Gothic 1. EAGOTH2 is the speedmapped squeakuel to the latter. Another fast and furious Boom-compatible blastathon, Erik elected to utilize the MAP29 slot for this go around. Was he potentially filling the whole E3? Or is it merely another case of sky-and-soundtrack preference?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

ea Gothic 1 (EAGOTH1.WAD)

by Erik Alm

2001 was Erik's coming out party, starting off with a handful of submissions to Sam Woodman's One Week Mapping Contest before moving on to his first solo release, the relatively large Europa 1. He continued his frenzy of activity along a different path with ea Gothic 1. This is still a level for Boom-compatible ports but it's a much smaller, intimate affair that requires the beloved Gothic DeathMatch II texture pack. The product is a MAP27 replacement for Doom II, presumably because Alm appreciated the combination of Hellish sky and the curious atmosphere of "Waiting For Romero to Play".

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Europa 1 (EAEURO01.WAD)

by Erik Alm

Erik has gone on to great fame with Scythe II often lauded as the direct ancestor of the Doom community's current gameplay standards. He humbly began in 2001, though, kicking out five submissions for Sam Woodman's One Week Mapping Contest. Thus spurred into action, he started an impressive array of small solo releases. Europa 1 was his first such publication, a Doom II MAP22 replacement for Boom-compatible ports. If you're looking for something on the level of the 2003 Scythe's short, accessible first two episodes then, well, hunt somewhere else. This one is large and, as is the case with Alm's early output, not particularly fair.

Saturday, March 7, 2020


by Brad "Vorpal" Spencer

2001 was a pretty big year for Brad. When I last left our hero we had just seen Maximum Breakdown in 1999, a level that tested some of the fledgling ZDoom engine's capabilities. 2000 gave us the publication of Atomic Tomb, a hard-hitting OG Doom level in Spencer's swampy style, as well as a few deathmatch releases (Freonic Craze, Fury of Procyon, and Terror's Wing). 2001 brought one more of the latter - Sector X-9: Silo Control - as well as the first version of Alien Vendetta, which had five Vorpal ventures. Nexus came in between and marks the logical end of the author's trend from ZDoom to Boom, finally settling into vanilla. A result of his participation in AV, perhaps? This is a MAP01 replacement for Doom II and should play back in anything, though Brad takes care to stress the original .EXE.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Heart of Fire (HOF.WAD)

by Pablo Dictter

Pablo was one of the more prolific authors to emerge during the source port boom. Much of his output consisted of small, straightforward levels with a hefty amount of detailing. Today Dictter is probably remembered for his sole contribution to Alien Vendetta, "One Flew Over the Caco's Nest" (MAP21). The stringy layout is emblematic of his style back in the early '00s. He also indulged in level design for the Raven branch of the id family. Heart of Fire is an E1M1 replacement for Heretic, originally released for what appears to have been something like a limit-removing port - wHeretic. Published in 2001, it is a sequel to the similarly-titled River of Fire which was stamped back in May of 2000.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Catastrophe (CATA.WAD)

by Kevin "Magikal" Reay

The first Community Chest was something like a Broadway Melody of 2002. A few of the involved authors had been publishing stuff for a few years - as early as 1998 in the case of Rex Claussen. Many of the contributors had not displayed their creative force until '02, though. Kevin Reay's debut was the mastodonic Industrial, an impressive and cryptic array of sector machinery. He followed it up late in the year with Catastrophe, a Boom-compatible MAP01 replacement for Doom II. The author specifically recommended the use of Legacy over other ports due to some effects that fake complex three-dimensional geometry. I didn't notice any shortcomings in ZDoom, though.

Friday, February 7, 2020

3 Heures d' Agonie 3 (3HA3.WAD)

The Doom community has several, thriving international scenes. The French have developed over the last few years, spawning some prolific authors as well as auteurs. The front face of the FDC has been the 3 Heures d'Agonie series, which debuted in 2012 and was founded on the premise that all of the submitted maps be built over the course of three hours - give or take a few. These speedmapping megaWADs were conceived as an attempt to rejuvenate their community, which had become burnt out by the now-Quixotic construction of Necromantic Thirst. 3 Heures d'Agonie 3 is the third and purportedly final installment of the series as far as megaWADs go. It is a full, 32 map replacement for Doom II and ought to play well with any source port.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Blind Alley E., "The Pit" (BNDALYE.WAD)

by Gene Bird

Gene was one of the major contributors to the original Community Chest and its sequel. All but one of his inclusions were previously released as part of his unfinished Blind Alley series, though. Bird had been producing it as a prospective megaWAD but releasing the polished portions in a piecemeal fashion, much like Bob Evans and his Odessa / LORDDOOM works. Every bit of BNDALY has an alpha-numeric designator that indicated its original spot in the card. This one, The Pit, has an E for what would have been MAP14. For convenience's sake, though, the 2002 release is a Doom II MAP01 replacement.

Friday, January 24, 2020


2013 was one of Memfis's biggest years. He published something like sixteen solo releases between /idgames and the Doomworld forums, not to discount the release of his contributions to community projects like Interception. The year was officially kicked off with Kuchitsu, which received a Cacoward. Gordia wasn't much later, though. This is a short, two-level minisode for Doom II that, according to the author, was inspired by the year 1995. The era of user levels, I assume. It's suggested for playback in limit-removing ports and, while I don't see anything obvious, it's conceivable that its layout could invoke the dreaded visplane overflow spectre.

Friday, January 17, 2020

MAYhem 2016 (MAYHEM16.WAD)

The MAYhem series has built a PWAD for every May since 2012 and, starting with 2014, they've all been megaWADs. The project organizers have changed but the general procedure is the same. 1) Pick a texture pack in order to give the set a distinct identity. 2) Decide on some sort of limitation as a gimmick. 3) Kick the event off in May, where the bulk of the level design is (hopefully) performed. In this particular case the merry month was used for planning and logistics while the actual work was done in June. 2016 was really a tale of two gimmicks but you probably wouldn't realize either due to the necessities of the final product's presentation. It's a 21-level mapset for Boom-compatible source ports and, in spite of some promising progress, still drug ass until it was uploaded in early 2017.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Blind Alley Q., "The Warf" (BNDALYQ.WAD)

by Gene Bird

Gene's 2002-2003 run was fairly productive and made up a sizable minority of both Community Chest and CCHEST2. Part of the reason he was cranking them out so fast was because he had been working on a rainy-day megaWAD since 1998. He originally estimated a run of 7-10 levels though the final talley was a whopping 15. The Warf is situated as part Q of the Blind Alley series and originally occupied the MAP26 slot in the level order. The 2002 single release is a MAP01 replacement, though. Bird recommends running it in a source port - he was particularly fond of Legacy - but it's vanilla compatible.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020


by "Memfis"

Back when I started researching the development of Doom the Way id Did: The Lost Episodes, I was surprised to find Memfis's name in the submission rolls. Some of the production material has been publicly lost to the sands of time and this level was perhaps the most interesting. Mainly because it didn't find its way into the running order of DTWID:LE and was otherwise unavailable. The author himself didn't have it on his person but the Archival Saint of PWADs, The Mad Butcher, made their private selection available. Originally submitted in mid-2011 (sharing its timestamp with Sticky Blood), MEMFIS_E1M1 - of course - replaces the first level in Knee Deep in the Dead.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Russian Overkill (RO_PB_2.5.PK3)

by "Pillowblaster"

Gameplay mods are wicked cool things. I don't use them when I play PWADs for review because I prefer to explore the way in which authors balanced their levels. There is something cathartic, though, in blowing through super-tough mapsets that consumed hours of my life (e.g. Sunlust) with a heinously overpowered weapons mod. Enter Russian Overkill. This GZDoom institution was originally released in 2011 and saw several feature updates until 2013, after which it undergoes the occasional under-the-hood retuning. Pillowblaster received 2012's Best Gameplay Mod Cacoward due in part to the convergence of two community developments as well as the mod's specific style.