[an error occurred while processing this directive]
The Waffle King

Dan Twomey is one of the many level authors behind the GothicDM and GothicDM2 projects. Besides being an excellent level designer Dan is also close friends in real life with other Gothic level designer Matt Dixon. Both have often combined to make great levels together, some of which made it into GothicDM and GothicDM2.

Doomworld: How were you introduced to computer gaming and more specifically, what got you into Doom?

Dan: My dad first introduced me to computers when he brought home the first computer I'd eve seen; an XT. Several years later, after playing various little games that I wasn't very interesting in, a friend of my older sister asked if I had ever played DooM. I didn't even know what it was. I still didn't know what it was when my dad bought D2 and brought it home for me. =) As soon as I loaded it up for the first time on the 386 we had at the time I was blown away at the realism the 1st person perspective gave to the game.

Doomworld: What about Doom editing? How did you get started in that aspect?

Dan: I bought the 'Big Book' (the Programming Guru's one, everyone owns it) and I decide I'd like to design maps that I could deathmatch on (my dad and I frequently DM'ed over a serial cable between our 386 and 486). So, in the December of '95 I went to a DM tourney (that's where I first met Matt Dixon, although we never were officially introduced at the time =]). The custom maps that were used at the competition really inspired me because they were the first maps I'd ever seen other than ones from D2. So, I started making maps better, and better, and better. Of course, I was now a DooM addict. I downloaded every map I could find and looked to see what people liked. Also, this was before I was a good Dm'er. =) I started to become a better player, and therefore, my maps got better and their design changed to suit my new styles of playing.

Doomworld: In regards to the editing, what editors do you prefer?

Dan: DCK, baby! I'm a hardcore Ben Morris fan. A lot of Quake(2) level editors use his WorldCraft, too.

Doomworld: Now, I know both you and Matt Dixon are good friends. Now, truthfully, have you guys ever settled a dispute or bet with a deathmatch? If so, what was it over?

Dan: Nope. Not that I can think of at least. When we do DM it is mostly a fun thing where we just kick each others ass like no one else can and enjoy it. =) Ask Matt about our last D2 Dm session, I kicked his ass more than I ever had. =) He still won most of the time, but it was close.

Doomworld: How did you come to be involved in the GDM(2) projects? What was your reaction when you were asked to join?

Dan: Well, in April '97 Matt mailed me and said "Hey, you live like right by me and stuff. Lets play some Doom some time. Oh yeah, and I made AmberX. Check those out." So I checked them out mailed him back and said "Hey! Its you! You won that tourney back in '95! And your maps are cool. Sure, call me and we'll play; 555-5555" After Matt stomped me in Danzig1 (that was the first wad we played together) he said that my maps from NowhereX were pretty good and that he would be interested in me joining a group that was making a 32-level DM megawad. As soon as Adelusions name was mentioned I almost choked! There is no way I was good enough to do levels with Adelusion and Fingers. But I tried anyways...

Doomworld: Many people have complained about the over detailing of GDM2. What do you personally feel about that? Do you think GDM2, while graphically superior to GDM, lacks some of the playability of the original?

Dan: No way. Personally I like GDM1 more, but thats just because most of that maps are suited towards the way that me and Matt like to deathmatch (he's the only one I ever play D2 now-a-days). Now, in G2, the maps that DO suit our playing style play just as good as the ones in GDM1, but they look better. What it is with G2 is that there was more variety; we had new talent join like Malcolm Sailor and Nick Baker. Actually, there were the first DM maps Malcolm had ever made, AFAIK; and they kick ass! So, in reality, I'd have to just say that some maps don't suit some playing styles. Just because some people think a level doesn't play well it doesn't mean others feel the same way. Even with Matt and I, we'll discuss maps for D2, Quake, and Quake2, and I'll say " I like that!", and he'll reply "Really?!? I HATE that!" and vise-versa. It doesn't mean one of us is wrong. It's just personal opinion.

Doomworld: What about the new shooters? Quake2, Unreal, SiN, Half-Life, Daikatana. Which one sparks your interest the most? Do you have plans to edit for any of them?

Dan: Well, I'm heavily into Q2 right now as well as D2 and level editting. But it isn't as fun as D2 and even the original Quake was, IMO. But I DO own Unreal and I have played it and I DO know that it kicks ass on anything available right now. I just don't have to HDD space to have Q2 and Unreal on at the same time, so I decided to keep Q2 on. I also won a copy of Half-Life at a Quake tourney last summer (go figure), so when that game is available I'll get a copy shipped to me. It looks like a good SP game. I doubt the deathmatch will be very exciting. =\

Doomworld: Do you have plans to do any more Doom level projects, or are you done with Doom?

Dan: I will never be done with DooM! DooM will own until I'm dead! =D And with DooM, there is level editting. That, too, will always be a part of my life now. As of now, I can't say if I'm involved in any projects or not; I can't remember.
EdgeFest baby! =o

Now, how about 'em Oilers!
(Matt, eh?)

Doomworld: Besides level editing, what do you do in your spare time? Watch TV, listen to music, read, what?

Dan: Yes.

j/k =D

I don't watch much TV. When I do its always the X-files or MuchMusic (Canada's MTV, just not as insane). But, X-files is all re-runs so I barely ever watch TV. I occasionally watch Alley McBeal and The Drew Carrey Show. Those are good. And music; I like to buy CD's, listen them and the such. Favorite artists are rock groups like Metallica, Tool, Econoline Crush, Funker Vogt, and anything similar. I read books often, but not too often. Mostly Stephen King and Dean Koontz (read INTENSITY! It _IS_ intense!). Other than that stuff, my free time is spent playing Q2, and editting for D2.

Doomworld: Since both you and Matt lived so close, I know you two worked on beta testing GDM2 alot together. Did that ever get frustrating? Having to play so many levels, for so long? I mean, even the best levels can start to get old after playing them for 2+ hours.

Dan: Ah! But that's where you're wrong. The levels aren't remotely similar in play for the most part. So, spending 10-15 minutes on each level is NOT boring or repetitive. Plus, its once in a blue moon that we get to together to play D2 (we can play Q2 over the 'net together anytime, however) so it is a REAL treat when we do get together. It isn't something that gets old. In fact, it never lasts long enough! =)

Doomworld: How would you say your level design abilities have improved since the first wad that you developed?

Dan: LOL.
We all know that everyone's first levels were single rooms with a BFG in the center. Like Dwango maps . If you'd like I can send you some of the first maps I ever made. They are pretty horrible, though.

Doomworld: Any plans for working with Matt in the future on a Quake2 or other shooter, level editing endevour?

Dan: It's inevitable... We're partners in crime. =D

Doomworld: What is your personal outlook on the lifespan of Doom? How much longer do you think Doom can continue as it is?

Dan: It'll continue as long as there are people just like those of us currently in the Doom community. As long as there are people making levels, and reports updating sites like Doomworld then there will always be DooM.

Doomworld: I've heard talk that you play a good bit of Quake and Quake2? Is that true? And if so, how good of a DMer are you in those games?

Dan: Yes, I play a lot of QuakeWorld and Quake2. I'm usually modest, but I hate lying; I win all the time. =D But there are a lot of players out there that I play with and a lot of them are almost as good as I am. A handful of people are better. And still, there are a lot of people that I KNOW are better than me that I've never played before (ah-hem! Thresh!)

Doomworld: In regards to Doom, what are your personal favorite add-on levels?

Dan: I dunno. I feel awkward answering these questions because there is a lot of good stuff and I like it all. I might be biased but G1 and G2 are my favorites. Britll is probably the next best, IMO. For SPD, I'd have to say that Hell Revealed by Yonaton Donner and that other guy (Who is he? What else has he done?) and Tantrum by Ola Bjolring are my all-time favorites.

Doomworld: What would you say are the most important aspects to a good DM level? Is it design alone that can carry a level? Or should it look good as well, much like GDM(2)?

Dan: I think it is ALL in the play. When I design a level I get the whole layout put in. Then I think of weapon placement. Then I add in the neccessary detailing. When I download a level I look at the play first. But that doesn't mean I'll like any level that play's well; it does have to look presentable enough to not say, "Ack! Hurts...the...eyes!" =D So, if a level looks good and plays bad, I don't play it. It _MUST_ play well to be a good level.

Doomworld: Do you ever have any plans to try and break into the gaming industry and develop maps for a company? If you don't feel this is a realistic goal, would you if you were given an offer somewhere?

Dan: No, I don't think I would. Unless I was offered a lot of money! But that won't happen. I'm going to try for something more realistic and go to university; I start in September. That way, making levels will also remain fun to me, instead of really stressful etc.

Doomworld: In all your years of playing Doom, is there any one moment in Single player, co-op, or DM that stands out as a classic moment that you'll likely never forget?

Dan: There are a few. I'll never forget how much I was scared the first time I saw a Cyberdemon. And I'll never forget the 6 (or was it 7) kills I got in a row against Matt last weekend. That was some sweet 'runnin' on Gopher. =D

Doomworld: Do you have any advice for the new Doom level designers that have been cropping up here alot recently? Words of wisdom, so they don't fill up cdrom.com with crap.

Dan: Well, IMO, Cdrom.com already _IS_ filled up with crap. =) Well, new designers should look at see trends in playing styles and make levels that are friendly to as many playing styles as possible. It also helps to watch demos. =D Yeah, I watched a lot of demos of some of the best players around the world and I saw how they did things. So, if you know HOW players play, then you can make something that players WILL play. And align textures. That is all the advice I can give now. =P

Doomworld: What about the current Doom projects? Any in particular that spark your intrest and plan to keep tabs on?

Dan: Well, I've never really kept tabs on anything in the Doom community, but I keep my eyes and ears open so that I get the info I need to know. That way, I can things as they come out, and hear what others think of stuff. etc.

Doomworld: Any final words or comments?

Dan: Well, yeah! Thanks for taking the time to interview me! It's an honor. I hope to see more kick-ass stuff in the future, and I hope I'll be a part of it!

You can keep up with Dan though e-mail at dan@twomey.com. Look for some more stuff from Dan in the future.

Back To Interviews