|Neuroticism||March 2, 2014, 9:34 pm|
Right now, I'm a neurotic mess, and I don't know how to deal with it.
If I go too long (an hour?) without having a nice conversation with someone, I start to freak out.
If I try to play a video game:
- If it's a game I've played before in an attempt to calm myself, I end up stopping playing it because 'why am I wasting my time replaying this game?'
- I get similar results with other games, and reading books.
I've been having panic attacks on a weekly basis.
This all started (reappearing, I've seen these symptoms before) after I started dating this wonderful woman, and my fears are going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy at this rate.
I'm probably not totally alone on this - has anyone found anything helpful for dealing with these sorts of mental issues? I've cut out my caffeine intake.
|Tooth pain||February 26, 2014, 12:16 pm|
|It fucking sucks, first I had a shitty night being in pain (even with taking Ibuprofen) now that pain on the upper lateral incisor has moved right above the tooth in the gumline. I may need a root canal for this after all..|
|tonight I mostly made textures.||February 25, 2014, 11:26 pm|
because MY BALLS, that's why.
|Doom Comic||February 25, 2014, 1:55 pm|
I'll give someone six bucks for a copy. Bottom offer.
Six bucks can buy a lot, like some sodas, or candy bars. Or another comic book. Or a movie, or a game, or some normal books. Or a Goodwill shopping spree. At my local Saint Vincent DePauls, six bucks is literally 18 VHS tapes.
So who's gonna take the offer, eh?
|Started my new-old doom webpage||February 24, 2014, 12:03 am|
So it's official now, some days ago I uploaded my Ugly Doom webpage were I'll post my short crappy reviews/opinions of wads, talk about other projects, my own projects and misc, everything I do there is doom related... or me-related, I also have plenty of Doom links too.
It has a creepy old style structure and visuals, it's my first time with a personal webpage so don't be so rude :-P
Anyways there it is, my personal doom space in the web, i'll update it at least every week... I hope.
|In orbit||February 22, 2014, 9:38 pm|
So today I read a book I hadn't read in a great while, Cosmos, by a certain Carl Sagan. Personally I think it's one of the coolest books ever written, partly because I'm in love with astronomy and even if I wasn't such a fan of it, then I would still like Cosmos. It's just a really good read. Pick it up and read it today or tomorrow or some time, I guarantee you'll like it. Reading all this and that about galaxies and planets and shit got me to thinking, which can be dangerous. Here my thoughts as follows:
I love space, I think I've proved that by reading most of Cosmos today. It is so fascinating. Why is it fascinating you say? You really have to ask? Go outside on a clear night and look up, that's all you have to do. A starry night sky, with a full moon, is one of the most beautiful things you can ever see. And here's something to think about: you know how people have been talking for years and years about inventing a time machine? Space is the ultimate time machine. Why? Because we're here, and all those galaxies, stars and planets are OUT THERE - really out there. Light, as fast as it is, takes time, real time, to get here to our eyes so we can see these things. How much time? It depends. The nearest star to our sun is Proxima Centauri. It's a mere four light years. But here's the thing. A light year is at or around six TRILLION miles. Let me repeat that: six TRILLION miles. Promixa Centauri is four light years away. That comes out to about twenty four trillion miles. If New Horizons wasn't going to Pluto but was going to Promixa Centauri instead, it would take literally tens and tens of thousands of years to cross that distance. Imagine: all that blackness, all that silence, all those stars in all directions, every one of them light years and light years away. It simply breaks the human imagination to conceive of such distances and such time scales. It's scary but it's true.
Space does not fuck around when it comes to making things huge and far, far away. Take the moon as another example. It's the nearest celestial body to our Earth, but even so, it's over 240,000 miles away. If you could somehow walk up to the moon, taking a step every second (or something like that) it would take you over a decade to get to the moon. And again, it breaks the human imagination to imagine such things. When you look at an image of the Andromeda galaxy, you're not seeing that galaxy as it is right now. You're seeing as it was in the distant, distant past, over two million years ago. There are loads of galaxies, where, when their light left to begin its voyage to Earth, our Sun hadn't been born, let alone our solar system. How's that for a mind fuck? There are galaxies so far away that, even if you were to live for the next, say, five hundred years, their light would still be well, well upon its way, and so you still wouldn't see them - even after five hundred years. But five hundred years is a flash in the pan, cosmically speaking. Let's try five hundred thousand years. After all that time had elapsed, those galaxies' light would STILL be on its way here. Alright then, how about five MILLION years? That light would STILL be on its fucking way here. What I'm trying to get across is that space is absolutely positively can't deny it at all one hundred percent and then some tee totally motherfucking MASSIVE.
Oh and it's really pretty too ;)
|WestFest Post-Mortem Diary||February 21, 2014, 8:56 pm|
In case you were wondering about my absence from the Doomworld forums these past few days, here is the reason: WestFest. This was definitely the biggest concert that I've ever been to and it's one I probably won't ever forget. I was planning on keeping a record of it while I was there, but lack of time and facilities prevented me from using my laptop. Oh well, better late than never.
Wednesday, 19th of February.
Had a bit of a madcap rush to Auckland and missed the first 3 acts. Finally managed to get to the Vector Arena in time for the 4th band and managed to get to a balcony area on the edge of the arena.
Five Finger Death Punch: I thought these guys would absolutely suck, but this one was a pleasant surprise: I think it was just that stupid "Bad Company" radio single that gave me that impression. Definitely a lot of energy put into their performance and the lead singer managed to spark a nice circle it in the centre of the mosh pit. Might listen to more of their stuff.
Megadeth: Dave Mustaine has jazz hands. Seriously, all his little hand movements cracked me up. Started a little rough and I reckon In My Darkest Hour should have been done a little later in the set, but they definitely picked up the ball pretty quickly. They also played movie clips in between songs: a nice little compilation of excerpts fro movies like Wayne's World where Megadeth gets mentioned. Dave Mustaine is a vain bastard and we wouldn't want him any other way. :P A good performance, although the moshing didn't get too mental: I managed to get a decent distance from the front and it was pretty tame.
Also, I yelled at Dave Mustaine to play some Slayer. He didn't, but I'm pretty confident he heard me.
Rob Zombie: Probably the most theatrical of the bunch: most of the band members were dressed up and decked out in makeup. Definitely a little more rowdy than the previous act, but despite Rob's efforts there weren't any breaking bones. Considering I don't actually know that much Zombie songs, I didn't quite enjoy this one as much as the previous set but that's just me. I love the fact that he proclaimed "We are not an American band: we are a New Zealand band!" while dressed in a top hat and coat with the Stars 'n Stripes before launching into "We're an American Band" straight after: you have to appreciate irony like that. The giant balloons thrown into the audience during "Sick Bubblegum" were a nice touch, although I think a good portion of the audience(including me) were more focused on trying to whack the balloons from that point onward. Heh.
Good night all round, spent too much money, lost half of my hearing, generally had a good time. Followed by driving around for 3 hours looking for a hotel and eventually sleeping in the car boot. Good times.
I'll post the next day some point soon, along with some of the loot I got in Auckland. Peace out.
|I got this Metallica CD and Maiden T-Shirt||February 21, 2014, 8:17 pm|
I got this Metallica CD of their first album Kill 'em All (it's my favourite!) for only US $10 with 2 extra songs: Blitzkrieg and Am I evil?, both of them are covers, originally by Blitzkrieg and Diamond Head.
Here is a photo (WARNING: BIG PHOTOS!):
And this Iron Maiden t-shirt that has the Futureal single cover (originally a poster that came with the single) made by Derek Riggs (BIG photo again):
|I've Been Playing My Old Maps...||February 20, 2014, 4:44 pm|
... And I've realised that, basically, they're unplayable shit. I like them because I know them and have a full understanding of what was going through my mind when I made them, but there is no reason why anybody else should play them.
This is specifically for Scourge and Warpzone. As I've never really thought this stuff through before, I figured I'd indulge in a post-mortem. As I can't imagine my rambling tl;dr (and it definitely will be both of those things) will interest anybody other than me, I've opted to stick it here in blogs rather than put it in the main forum. Here goes...
My main observation was that, in my ignorant naivety of the wider Doom community and it's products, 10-15 y/o me was basically reinventing the mid '90s, right down to big chunky sector furniture, nonsensical, opaque progression and rampant but entirely impotent imagination. Chuck in my fascination with the "newly discovered" jumping ZDoom 1.22b offered when I found it in a rare foray online and you've got a very uneven, mostly poor playing experience. I like that I had the ideas and was so keen to chuck them all into DEU 2 (and later Doom Builder, at MAP18 of Scourge and onwards), but I definitely needed more experience.
Likewise, I like that I put new artwork in them. Yes, the INTERPIC for Scourge is hilariously bad, but the TITLEPIC for both projects is serviceable, in an MSPaint-y kind of way (I'm pretty proud of the meteor strike on the Scourge TITLEPIC, even if the base and cliff are piss-poor). The Armoured Baron from MAP31 of Scourge is a pretty minor edit and I only fucked up the face on the A1 sprite (since rectified in other distributions of the monsters) whilst the Ignis Locus in Warpzone is pretty original, even if the from-scratch sprites are pretty poor.
Special touches like the MAPINFO and scripted "credits" map in Scourge, plus the invisible pickup that snatches all of your cells (and some) in Warpzone also things I'm glad I did. The absence of music in Scourge was relatively wise, as putting on your own in the background works... I rather misused Tom_D's cool metal track in Warpzone though, as it definitely isn't intended to be heard on loop for over an hour straight...
Anyway, on to the bulk of the offering - the maps!
Scourge basically splits into 5 chunks, so I'll analyse those:
MAP01-MAP06 - I think I'd just finished learning all the technical stuff from Hank Leukart's Hacker's Guide to Doom and wanted to make a series of levels. Each map leads on from the last to an extent, aside from the transition from MAP05-MAP06. The "story" is goofy, but did allow me to frequently change setting (something I do still to this day). I'd say these maps show a lot of beginner-isms, what with the inescapable damaging pits, very "broad-strokes" visuals that just about do the job and simple play and progression. Overstocking is a major problem, as is the start of MAP04 with it's convoluted spiral-descent thing where you have to start again at the top (and press the switch twice) every time you fall over the side, all with a load of crushers on the stairs and some very damaging lava at the bottom.
Highlights here include a giant, surprisingly lethal horde of zombiemen in MAP06 that is a lot of fun to chaingun; and MAP05 is kind of fun, even though it mostly looks like arse (I kind of like the outdoors bit). Lowlights are basically all of MAP04 and things like difficult-to-hit Revenants in MAP02 and inescapable pits in MAP01.
MAP07-MAP14 - Very conceptual here, but with a greater overall competence. This section is where I started bouncing off of the limits of DEU 2 and really experimenting. This means MAP07 has a poisonous atmosphere in all caves and the starting room, MAP08 is all about pushing through foliage in an outside area, MAP09 is mostly dark and centred around a pit, MAP10 has you approaching the least well-realised castle in the history of Doom, MAP11 sports a bullshit Indiana Jones jumping sequence (followed by crushers), MAP12 features a dichotomous secret, MAP13 is all about the build-up to the second cyberdemon encounter of the map and MAP14 has a very dark building that can be lit in a couple of ways (all in aid of raising a really big bridge to access a flood of Demons).
The problem here is that a lot of these creative ideas (and others not mentioned) aren't executed particularly well, will probably be frustrating and are in very 90's maps that have lots of square rooms, symmetry and thin corridors. On the flip side, texturing is surprisingly consistent for me through this bit and the fights don't tend to be too bad (then again, it is Doom still). Secrets are fairly varied here, but usually just leave the player with stacks of health, armour and ammo, or supply things that aren't particularly useful (like a chaingun just before a Spider Mastermind fight, in MAP08).
I'd say the gunplay in certain parts of each map here is probably the highlight, whilst the lowlights really stand out, like the nonsensical way you get into the main part of MAP12, the afore-mentioned jumping sequence in MAP11 (and stuff like the blue skull needing to be jumped at). This'd probably be a fair source of ideas to reuse if I were to do another "Coils of the Twisted Tale"-style project (which used a checklist of ideas from my Old Map Compilation) but is probably the most likely part of the map set to stop the average player in their tracks.
MAP15-MAP17 - Here I'm aware of the limits and am consciously working within them to produce better quality stuff. However, I'm also joining sectors on either side of doors, still putting in plus-size sector furniture and, particularly in MAP15, having a lot of square rooms linked by narrow corridors. I'm pretty proud of the puzzles MAP15 and MAP17 have (for the secret exit and to cross the nukage respectively), although MAP17's one is pretty damn opaque. MAP16 probably plays the best out of these three, with Doom E2-style monster usage (with chaingunners and Hellknights) through most of the map and a reasonable teleporting horde at the end of the main tunnel. However, MAP16 and, to a much worse extent, MAP17, misuse barrels and do have a couple of rooms just stuffed full of enemies that are only really going to kill each other. I was definitely picking up some stuff from Evilution here, but not much of it good, IMO.
Aside from the visuals, which largely need work, I'd consider this a reasonable baseline for quality if I were to do a simple one-man-megaWAD again in the future.
MAP18-MAP21 - Having discovered Doom Builder and the practically unlimited editing ability that it and ZDoom 2.0.63a seemed to offer me, I immediately set about making larger maps. Theming here is all over the place, but with more architectural complexity than before, so the overall aesthetic was improved, I'd say. MAP18 makes use of secret tunnels and ways around monsters, which was a fairly interesting experiment, although it also is a fairly square sprawl of a techbase (more TNT influence, I'd suspect). MAP19 is remarkably big and goes from a reasonably clean techbase layout filled with ideas to a large Hell section that progresses through a few themes, whilst MAP20 is full-on progression through Hell (pretty much a continuation of MAP19) and MAP21 is sort-of an Icon of Sin battle, but really just a switch hunt with an Icon spewing twin sets of spawn cubes out in the background. I'm pretty proud of these maps, even though they do have some odd scaling issues and still have a few naff ideas.
Highlights are the final battle on MAP20 (a slaughter that is built up to in a revisited area) and the reasonable visuals for MAP21, I think. Lowlights would be the "turn on the lights" room in MAP20 (the damaging flickering light sector on the switch that you go there for isn't great, either) and the stupid maze in MAP18... A lot of the conceptual stuff in MAP19's techbase section definitely isn't worth having, too.
MAP31 - hyper-detailed (by my standards) but plays like crap, with lots of little bits to snag on, mostly cramped rooms and very dense monster placement. The final switch puzzle is pretty sadistic too. I suppose the odd room probably looks good, rather than cluttered, and the Armoured Barons at least make it interesting, but I'd probably say this is better off skipped.
In summary, Scourge is a lot of ideas (some good, some not) and mostly poor execution. The mostly bite-sized maps and pretty easily overcome resistance would probably be good were it not for all of the other obstacles to progress.
Warpzone was originally made as Scourge MAP31 (my "bigger is better" obsession in DB had really gotten out of hand here) but was replaced with a new crappy map focused around teleporting so that this could be polished up and improved a bit from what it was (yep, this map used to be [I]worse[/I] than it is now!). I'd say the major flaw with this map is that it was built entirely for looks and then I tried to shoehorn game play in afterwards. Some bits didn't suffer too badly (although are largely too densely populated for the weapon availability) whilst others, particularly the monorail station bit near the end, flow like treacle as a result.
Again, some bits look good, others have chunky sector furniture and other bits are just cluttered to all hell - for example the bit you access through the red key switches is barely navigable. Speaking of navigation, the central hub is kind of helpful, although it is remarkably easy to miss some of the triggers that move the "objective markers" up and down and it is very easy to get all the way through hell only to find the final bit is locked off because you didn't do the entire southern techbase first... Which means you've got to do that damn jumping bit again. However, if you want a rocket launcher you're going to hell and trying not to blow yourself up on the ambush that triggers.
We've got enemies rising out of solid floors, big areas packed with enemies, small areas stuffed with enemies, tiny little corridors that are constant streams of light resistance, a cyberdemon you'll probably be taking down with the chaingun and single-barrelled shotgun, a Spider Mastermind that will probably do nothing useful, if it even teleports in at all and shed-loads of enemies hidden away in little nooks and crannies. This one mixes style-over-substance with a very 90's mentality WRT progression and some inadvisable stinginess with weaponry.
So what can I take away from all this? Well, basically that my two most-ambitious-projects-ever were undertaken way too early and really suck as a result. I know I can do ideas and I know I'm both technically capable and a lot more experienced with producing game play these days, so maybe I owe it to myself to get a new 20+ map episode out into the world and perhaps a megamap or two (the Escalation series will cover the latter). Maybe I should go limit removing with said megaWAD to make it less prone to wild ideas and an extended development cycle...
Well, if anybody made it through all of this, well done, I guess! Thanks for taking the time to hear an old hand ramble on about what forms his experience today. Maybe we'll see a Phobus megaWAD worth downloading some day.
|Any boxers out there?||February 20, 2014, 8:30 am|
|With a need for exercise and to keep myself occupied I'm considering joining a community boxing club. Anybody have some tips for me?|