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ella guro
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did anyone else see this? Robert Yang is writing an excellent series of articles about FPS modding communities on Rock Paper Shotgun. the first part is mostly about Doom wads. check it out here:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/201...part-1-the-wad/

Old Post 09-20-12 03:01 #
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Phml
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This seems to be based on the usual premise games (and mods) are only fun if innovative, and innovative in a way that is as subtle as an elephant herd charge.

(By this point, I'm guessing some might go "uh?". This premise is not spelled out precisely because it is so prevalent, but it oozes from every word of the article.)

Needless to say, as someone who still enjoys Doom in 2012 and consistently finds new angles and experiences from that game, I couldn't disagree more.

It's even more than a little insulting, to herald these sorts of in-your-face mods and games as some pinnacle of experimentation and art in video games, whereas the truth is most of them tend to be fairly shallow and flat, designed to trigger an emotional response from your average westerner (ideally american) with limited cultural exposure in the 20-30, perhaps 25-35 age range - such a stark design departure from the AAA shooters designed to appeal to the 15-25 demographic! Look at us, we're all grown up and mature, unlike these kids, etc..

What does this say about gamers as a whole? That we are supposed to be one-dimensional idiots, defined by .torrents, youtube talks, TVtropes and Wikipedia? Which might be one step higher on the ladder than MTV and Fox News, but isn't anything anyone should aspire to.

There is no great conspiracy to keep these particular games and mods down, no business interest leading institutions to hide these kinds of experimental games and mods. The truth of the matter is most of these so-called experiments who try so hard to differentiate themselves try too hard to do so, and the real experimentation, much more subtle, much more interesting, is found in other games that don't have to label themselves as quirky to get you to have a look. Unlike traditional, popular "art" i.e. painting, movies and such, there hasn't been rich people with more money than sense investing in complete turds and creating a culture of making crap then spending time and effort trying to justify it as to convince other people that crap is deep; and so these bad experimental games have drown in their own mediocrity in the past.

This seems to be changing slowly, with certain games setting out to prove a lot of people with little money can be as stupid as a single rich moron. To give credit where it's due, there is clearly clever marketing in there, with developers playing on the insecurities of their playerbase. Talk a lot, blog a lot, and surely you must know what you're talking about. Claim something is art, get other people to make that same claim with you, and people follow in droves, afraid to be singled out as the one guy who "doesn't get it".

It's the king is naked once again, and fools still clap and cheer.

Old Post 09-20-12 13:12 #
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DoomUK
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Someone's taking an article about an unimportant topic a little too seriously.

Old Post 09-20-12 13:44 #
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Carnevil
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Yeah but for the most part, gamers crave novelty - not depth. A lot of the people who've ever played Doom in their life played it because it was something brand new to them - most probably haven't even beaten it in some way or another. The same goes for a lot of the popular mods in the early days. Most players experiences basically amounted to "LOL! This puts Bill Gates' face on the status bar! HAAAAAAAAAA!", running around for a couple of minutes and then shutting it off. A cheap thrill.

We here are the exception. We're the neutron star that's left after a massive star goes supernova. We enjoy the depth of Doom and lots of the high-quality maps and mods that come out - even if they aren't hugely novel.

As someone who's trying to make a game that has tons of depth and polish to it, it saddens me greatly that this doesn't seem to be what gamers want.

Old Post 09-20-12 14:55 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Carnevil said:
Yeah but for the most part, gamers crave novelty - not depth. A lot of the people who've ever played Doom in their life played it because it was something brand new to them - most probably haven't even beaten it in some way or another. The same goes for a lot of the popular mods in the early days. Most players experiences basically amounted to "LOL! This puts Bill Gates' face on the status bar! HAAAAAAAAAA!", running around for a couple of minutes and then shutting it off. A cheap thrill.

We here are the exception. We're the neutron star that's left after a massive star goes supernova. We enjoy the depth of Doom and lots of the high-quality maps and mods that come out - even if they aren't hugely novel.

As someone who's trying to make a game that has tons of depth and polish to it, it saddens me greatly that this doesn't seem to be what gamers want.


I'm not so sure I believe this. "Gamer," while I've never been the fan of the term myself, implies a certain dedication. Most people who buy games for their novelty factor - go back a few years to the launch of the Wii, for example - wouldn't consider themselves gamers. I think gamers are a harder sell on "innovative" concepts, but if the concept actually works, it'll start working its way into its genre (or even spawn a new genre of its own). As for that statistic you posted on your blog a while back about the number of people who actually finish games, keep in mind that statistic probably hasn't since games started having actual goals besides a high score. I doubt many kids actually beat Contra on their NES; if anything, the statistic has probably improved now.

Old Post 09-20-12 15:35 #
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Phml
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DoomUK said:
Someone's taking an article about an unimportant topic a little too seriously.


From my perspective, this sums up many of your posts. Sometimes it baffles me so much I can't help it and speak up, most of the time I say nothing. I don't think there is a single poster on Doomworld who so often expresses something I find profoundly wrong, or at least opposite to what I think personally.

I mean this without hostility. What's unimportant to you is important to me, what's important to you is unimportant to me. What's wrong with that? If everyone shared the same values and ideas, the world would be a pretty boring place.

If anything, this ties with my previous point: the idea of experimentation as a commodity, as something you can define, market and sell, as if anything that wasn't specifically labelled as such was then automatically devoid of experimentation, as something everyone of a particular group should appreciate as if we were an unified mind only leads to conformism and blandness. It brings Us vs Them rhetorics in an environment where that kind of thinking is particulary inappropriate (not that it ever is), because art is intrinsically a personal thing.

You can see it in the way the word "pretentious" is used, all nicely put within little quotes, in these circles. People have turned this into their own personal Godwin's Law; use it seriously, and your opinion is invalid, you're a person who should be made fun of because you're obviously part of the inept, unwashed masses unable to appreciate the better things of life. A convenient shortcut to avoid trying to understand a different perspective, to flee from genuine discussion, to lock themselves in a closed environment where the only important thing is what the majority believes.

It's not hard to draw parallels between that article, these current attitudes in game modding, and what is currently happening with this anti-Islam video. In either situation, there are people who would like to define themselves as part of a group, enforce their own vision of an ideal world, virtual or real, and restrict the freedom of speech of any would-be opponent.

Scales are different, results are widely different; there is no disputing that, but the root cause of either event remains identical: intolerance. To me, intolerance is always worth taking seriously, if nothing else because it limits human creativity. Overthinking is always better than not thinking at all.

Old Post 09-20-12 15:43 #
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exp(x)


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Holy shit, go get laid, Phml.

Old Post 09-20-12 22:04 #
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Krispy
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exp(x) said:
Holy shit, go get laid, Phml.


AAHHHHAAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!

Old Post 09-20-12 22:36 #
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Darkman 4
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I agree that gamers are too focused on being innovation. RAGE is a perfect example of this; the gunplay is fantastic, enemy reactions are some of the best I've seen in a game, and there's a lot of ways to play, but it was shrugged off because there wasn't anything "innovative" at first glance. It's easily one of my favorite games of 2011, but you wouldn't see that being said on most gaming sites.

Old Post 09-20-12 23:36 #
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chungy
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DoomUK said:
Someone's taking an article about an unimportant topic a little too seriously.


exp(x) said:
Holy shit, go get laid, Phml.

Comments like these are annoying and don't do much except showcase snobbery.

He obviously cares about the topic at hand, and he's posting it in a very relevant thread to said topic. Even if you're not interested or find the topic dull, it's not really any reason to attack someone that is interested.

"go get laid" is the worst kind, really. It's an implication that you should not care about anything in the world other than sex.

Hell, I know i've ranted fairly long things about topics most people probably don't want to give any thought about, or even would consider it being too humdrum to even give it any deep thought; maybe my own worst is when I ranted about boot loaders in a topic with literally zero activity (and probably zero interest) after it. (OK feel free to call me a nerd now)

Old Post 09-20-12 23:43 #
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exp(x)


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chungy said:
It's an implication that you should not care about anything in the world other than sex.

You can read it that way if you want, but it sounds a bit defensive.

Phml's post is defensive, too, in a very hostile rant-like manner.

So if you don't like sex, then drink a beer, take a walk, whatever; just chill the fuck out.

Old Post 09-21-12 00:34 #
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Aliotroph?
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The dumbass who wrote the article obviously doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. No way in Hell is Myst even close to the same genre as DooM. Yes, its view is first person. Why the fuck would that matter? It's a puzzle adventure game. It is not a semi-3D shooter as DooM is. His views are typical of people with arts educations who aspire to be academic: clouded by stupidity.

Old Post 09-21-12 02:15 #
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188DarkRevived
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N00bage! If somebody wants to talk about the history of modding for FPS games then they need to start off by talking about the WLs and the MAPHEADs and the VSWAPs of Wolf3D rather than about the WADs of DOOM.

Old Post 09-21-12 02:39 #
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Aliotroph?
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For some reason those never got a lot of attention. I remember learning about wads because of an article in my local newspaper in 1995. That never happened for other games. The article stated DooM added a measure of believability that made it so much more compelling to both play and worth with. They mentioned Wolf3D as being the first-person game that ran faster than anything had previously, but still looked cheesy.

There were even older games that supported mods too. It just seems none of them were interesting to people outside their fanbases. One of my dad's grad students in the 90s was talking to me about DooM and mentioned how much fun he and his friends had making maps for Loderunner in the 80s.

Old Post 09-21-12 03:22 #
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Belial
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Yeah, the first article about modding I remember reading in a gaming mag was about Doom editing, showing screens with altered textures, the Beavis & Butthead mod and Deu.

I'm sure there were more levels made in Boulder Dash Construction Kit and Robbo Constructor (and Lode Runner, and Mr. Robot) before Doom came out than there are maps in /idgames now.

Last edited by Belial on 09-21-12 at 06:54

Old Post 09-21-12 06:47 #
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DoomUK
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Phml said:


From my perspective, this sums up many of your posts. Sometimes it baffles me so much I can't help it and speak up, most of the time I say nothing. I don't think there is a single poster on Doomworld who so often expresses something I find profoundly wrong, or at least opposite to what I think personally.

I mean this without hostility. What's unimportant to you is important to me, what's important to you is unimportant to me. What's wrong with that? If everyone shared the same values and ideas, the world would be a pretty boring place.

If anything, this ties with my previous point: the idea of experimentation as a commodity, as something you can define, market and sell, as if anything that wasn't specifically labelled as such was then automatically devoid of experimentation, as something everyone of a particular group should appreciate as if we were an unified mind only leads to conformism and blandness. It brings Us vs Them rhetorics in an environment where that kind of thinking is particulary inappropriate (not that it ever is), because art is intrinsically a personal thing.

You can see it in the way the word "pretentious" is used, all nicely put within little quotes, in these circles. People have turned this into their own personal Godwin's Law; use it seriously, and your opinion is invalid, you're a person who should be made fun of because you're obviously part of the inept, unwashed masses unable to appreciate the better things of life. A convenient shortcut to avoid trying to understand a different perspective, to flee from genuine discussion, to lock themselves in a closed environment where the only important thing is what the majority believes.

It's not hard to draw parallels between that article, these current attitudes in game modding, and what is currently happening with this anti-Islam video. In either situation, there are people who would like to define themselves as part of a group, enforce their own vision of an ideal world, virtual or real, and restrict the freedom of speech of any would-be opponent.

Scales are different, results are widely different; there is no disputing that, but the root cause of either event remains identical: intolerance. To me, intolerance is always worth taking seriously, if nothing else because it limits human creativity. Overthinking is always better than not thinking at all.


Way to misinterpret. All I meant was, why do you care so much about which mods were mentioned? You're entitled to have your favourites, and you're welcome to write your own report on this subject and post it somewhere.

I'll concede that, with the exception of Aliens TC, the mods chosen to exemplify Doom modding don't do the community justice. But it's always nice when our beloved 19-year-old game gets mentioned on a mainstream gaming website at all, a large proportion of it's readers possibly in the younger age bracket and who might not otherwise become aware of what an awesome game it is. I see no need to get all uppity about what precise choice of mods were used to introduce newcomers to Doom.

Last edited by DoomUK on 09-21-12 at 09:41

Old Post 09-21-12 09:36 #
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hex11
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I think there's only a few thousand Boulder Dash maps, well at least that's all the ones linked from the Rocks & Diamonds site. Could be a bunch more got lost, but it's impossible to really know for sure...

Then again, if we're talking strictly vanilla Doom 1, there might only be a few thousand SP maps. I mean, ones that actually work (not DoomWar releases, etc.)

Old Post 09-21-12 10:04 #
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40oz
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exp(x) said:

You can read it that way if you want, but it sounds a bit defensive.

Phml's post is defensive, too, in a very hostile rant-like manner.

So if you don't like sex, then drink a beer, take a walk, whatever; just chill the fuck out.



I dunno, I still think that post was in bad taste; and this is coming from someone who has a house in which I can (and do) fuck my girl anytime I want. It's pretty easy to take jabs at people when you hide behind a wall of obscurity isn't it?

Old Post 09-21-12 10:41 #
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Belial
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hex11 said:
I think there's only a few thousand Boulder Dash maps, well at least that's all the ones linked from the Rocks & Diamonds site. Could be a bunch more got lost, but it's impossible to really know for sure...

That was part of my point. The same thing that made Doom DM the revolution that it was made modding possible. When the Internet came along most of the creative works stored on tapes and floppies from the 8-bit era were already lost. I still have the tape that used to hold my 50 or so BD caves. Robbo levels were smaller so I could restore some of those I have hand drawn in notebooks.

Only the Atari games archive has 70+ versions of Boulder Dash, meaning 1100+ levels. I bet the C64 and other 8-bit machines have their own share. Not sure how many of those are duplicates though.

Old Post 09-21-12 11:17 #
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Gez
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Darkman 4 said:
I agree that gamers are too focused on being innovation. RAGE is a perfect example of this; the gunplay is fantastic, enemy reactions are some of the best I've seen in a game, and there's a lot of ways to play, but it was shrugged off because there wasn't anything "innovative" at first glance. It's easily one of my favorite games of 2011, but you wouldn't see that being said on most gaming sites.

Nah, I don't see it that way. To the contrary, modern gaming is very big on franchises. The "innovation" might happen in the first, defining game of the franchise; but then it's rehash, rehash, rehash.


DoomUK said:
I'll concede that, with the exception of Aliens TC, the mods chosen to exemplify Doom modding don't do the community justice.

Aliens TC, Batman Doom, Ghostbusters Doom, Chex Quest: all very old stuff. We're talking nineties, here; and nineties that are visually immediately distinct from Doom itself. You could pull a screenshot of Nuke Mine in the article, but the average reader who only had some dim recollection of having played through the shareware episode a bit long ago wouldn't necessarily be convinced that it's a mod.

The only modern screenshot is that uncredited thing at the top of the article, probably from some random ZDoom mod.

Last edited by Gez on 09-21-12 at 12:07

Old Post 09-21-12 12:00 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Gez said:

Nah, I don't see it that way. To the contrary, modern gaming is very big on franchises. The "innovation" might happen in the first, defining game of the franchise; but then it's rehash, rehash, rehash.


Modern? You ever hear of a series called "Mega Man?" Or how about "Super Mario?" "Sonic?" Maybe even "Doom?" They're all rehashes after the first game, adding minor features in sequels or refining existing ones. Exactly what still happens today. This isn't a modern trend at all, unless you define modern as starting in the 80s. And I'm sick of people complaining about it; If I enjoy the hell out of a game, I want more of that game, hopefully better. That's exactly why mapping/modding is so popular.

Old Post 09-21-12 17:37 #
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Gez
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Dragonsbrethren said:
Modern? You ever hear of a series called "Mega Man?"

Yeah, it's been like this since pretty much the origin (Ms. Pac-Man anyone?); but I was trying to emphasize that it was still the case now; regardless of people seeking innovation. (Though "novelty" would probably be a more adequate word than "innovation"...)

Old Post 09-21-12 17:43 #
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