40oz's Doomworld Forums Blog

40oz's Doomworld Forums Blog

Teaching my wife to map August 22, 2014, 9:21 pm
During one of our random uplifting chats, the topic of holidays came up and we agreed to spend all the major holidays away from family and only with each other this year. Out of curiosity my wife asked me what I would like to get from her for christmas, and the only thing I could think of wanting for christmas was more Doom maps to play! So I told her I want her to make me a map! She could tell how enthusiastic I was about it, and it wasn't the first time I attempted to show her how to make Doom maps, so she happily agreed if I can give her lessons.

So naturally, I went right to work writing up some sort of a lesson plan on how to teach someone who doesn't know anything but the general gist of Doom how to create a map. I thought something like this might be helpful in case anyone here wants to teach someone how to map.

Hopefully, if I've done a good job, she might complete making a decent short episode for Doom 2 on her own time for me to play on Christmas, and I can share with you guys :)

I've only worked on the first lesson so far; more lessons to come. Could probably use more Doom Wiki and Unnofficial Wad Designer's Handbook reference, but this is basically what I intend to go over with her to get started. I'm thinking Lesson 2 will be placing things, Lesson 3 will be editing sector properties, like light values, sector effects, and floor/ceiling heights. Lesson 4 will be understanding Upper, Middle, and Lower textures, front and back sides, and picking and choosing textures, Lesson 5 would be basic Linedef types (like doors, switch operated doors, lifts, moving floors, etc. Lesson 7 will probably be going over using the F_SKY flat to create skies. I haven't thought too far ahead, but I do hope to eventually go over the basics of texture alignment, trapping the player, difficulty progression, health/ammo balance, skill level implementation, consistent texture themes, layout flow, detailing, and some special editing tricks like instantly raising floors. There's a lot to go over, but I think if I keep it brief and easy to learn, she'll make progress quickly and get a lot of positive feedback.

Here's the first lesson I intend to go over with her tomorrow:



===Lesson 1: How to make a sector===

-Go over vocabulary-

.WAD - the file extension for what Doombuilder creates with our new map. It's an abbreviation for "Where's All the Data" which is where Doom contains all its important resources for running the game.

Two types of wads:

IWAD - abbreviation for "Initial" WAD. Doom comes with it's own WAD file which contains everything required to run the original game. Doom is able to run multiple WAD files at once in a prioritized order. The IWAD DOOM.WAD is the primary WAD to run, because it contains all the essential resources. Doom 2 also has it's own DOOM2.WAD IWAD.

PWAD - abbreviation for "Patch" WAD. Since we are going to be making new maps for Doom, we are going to create a PWAD that 'patches' over the existing original Doom levels with our new ones. It is important that we use PWADs to do this because they are a separate file from the IWAD, which contains the resources for the original game. If we modify the IWAD directly instead of patching it with a PWAD, we will irreversibly corrupt the game forever unless we reinstall it. PWADs are used to run custom content while keeping the integrity of Doom intact.

-Start by observing blank canvass on Doombuilder 2-

Solid Mass - It's important to understand that before you create anything, what you see before you is essentially solid mass. It's a lot like starting from the core of a planet and building your way out. For example, if I were to place one of these monster things on the canvass (Go to things mode and place a monster) without building any of the map first, it would be almost like as if they were buried underground. They would have no way to see or move or do anything.

(I understand this isn't how it REALLY works, but for the sake of explaining map editing in a concise and relatable way, I feel it's best that the student BELIEVES this is how it works to avoid any silly errors.)

-Observing E1M1 in DOOM.WAD in Doombuilder 2-

Identify Vocabulary:

Doom's first level's name is E1M1, which is short for Episode 1 Level 1. This level contains examples of just about everything you will need to know about basic Doom mapping.

1. Sector - Shapes that make up all of the physical space in the world in Doom are called Sectors. Sectors are used to generate the terrain the player will look at, walk on, be obstructed by, and interact with. (Use sector mode to highlight a sector in the map)

2. Vertex - The corners of all the shapes are indicated by vertices. These are used to dictate the geometric shape of the sectors. (Use Vertex mode to highlight a vertex in the map)

3. Linedef - The lines that connect the vertices of a sector together are referred to as Linedefs. Linedefs can either be One-Sided, or Two-Sided. The little tickmark on the center of the line indicates the "Front Side" of the Linedef. The opposite side represents the "Back Side." (Point to both sides of the Linedef with the cursor)

Two types of Linedefs:

One Sided Lines - When the line of a sector is not attached to another sector, the sector is a one-sided line, because only the front side of it is exposed. The backside is against solid mass and so can never be seen in normal gameplay. (Highlight an exterior wall of the map in Line Mode to demonstrate)

Two Sided Lines - When the line of a sector is adjoining two different sectors together, it becomes a two-sided line, this is because the line is exposed on both sides. (highlight a line between two sectors in Line Mode to demonstrate)

-Start a New Map, E1M1 in Doom format with Doombuilder 2-

Essentially, all three modes in Doombuilder 2 can be used to draw sectors and start building a map. But each mode makes the method of selection easier, should you need to modify it or adjust the properties of a specific selection, which we will go over in another lesson. But your three modes are:

Line Mode - Line mode is used to draw, select, modify, and delete specific linedefs. The shortcut to switching to this mode is by pressing L on the keyboard.

Sector Mode - Sector mode is used to draw, select, modify and delete entire sectors. The shortcut to switching to this mode is by pressing S on the keyboard.

Vertex Mode - Vertex mode is used to draw, select, reposition, and delete vertices. The shortcut to switching to this mode is by pressing V on the keyboard.

-Drawing a sector-

A sector can be drawn from any of the three modes by right-clicking anywhere on the canvass. Right-clicking will place the very first vertex in your sector, and begins the sector creation process. Right clicking a second time will abort the process, leaving you with the last vertex or line you created. Left clicking will place a vertex and continue the sector creation process. The sector creation process will end naturally when you close the sector by placing at least two vertices and return to the first vertex you started creating the sector with.

It is important to understand that in order for your sectors to function as intended, that you ALWAYS close any sector you make. It's best to think of your sectors as a container for a liquid or a gas. If you abort the sector creation process leaving the sector unclosed, this allows the properties of your sector to "spill" out into the rest of the map, causing a variety of graphical and interactivity errors.

-Evaluation-

Demonstrate the action of creating a fully closed sector, and have the student demonstrate their understanding of sectors by drawing a variety of shapes and successfully closing each sector.

END LESSON 1

3 Comments

itchy nose August 1, 2014, 9:54 pm
Here's an award winning thread:

almost every day I go into work, my nose starts to get itchy. I feel it on the tip of my nose and the outer parts of the inside of my nostrils. Its a lot like when you visit someone who owns a hundred cats and there's a thin coat of fur on every surface of their house and they just turned on an oscillating can. Its an infuriatingly annoying feeling and I only feel at work. As soon as I go home the feeling is gone. Theres no furry things where I work. I work in food service and the air isn't stuffy or anything, and I don't have any allergies, or a cold or anything. My nose just gets super itchy.

anybody have any idea what's up?
12 Comments

On The Fence February 17, 2014, 4:55 pm
I think I'd truly regret calling this an announcement of my official retirement from Doom mapping, but I think I may be coming to the conclusion that it's time to quit kidding myself.

With certain circumstances in my life sucking up my time and negating my ability to pursue Doom mapping as a legitimate hobby, I've been balancing a weight on my shoulders with rather small unfinished projects that I'm struggling to bring to completion. Things are moving at a glacial pace and my future only looks to incorporate more extra-curricular activities in my daily routine, making my absolute favorite pastime look more and more like something that's only fit to be put in the attic and left alone as a distant memory.

A few years ago, mapping seemed to flow naturally out of me, which is where the majority of my body of work came from. I began to concentrate on more complex design strategies in order to construct more unique looking and replayable doom levels. Unfortunately this started shortly before I bought a house and got married and such. If the kind of levels I really want to make were a piece of jewelry at the bottom of the swimming pool, my responsibilities are the air-inflated floaties pulling me up to the surface. My wife would be offended if she saw me describing things that way but it's about time to admit that Doom mapping wasn't much more than a timesink to get myself to the point in life that I am at now. Now that I'm living it, there isn't much room to squeeze it back in. There really hasn't been much room this whole time and anything I've released since shows it.

While reverting to my older mapping style would probably be much more productive, I'd still have the reminder that "I can do better than this" lingering over me as I play through them. I think there are enough mappers here who can create similar enough maps. I'm not really interested in being a part of that category of mappers.

But anyway, it hurts my ego every time I come back to mapping after a long unavoidable hiatus with an intention to create a design that I feel has finally manifested in my mind after many weeks. The lack of regular practice with Doombuilder 2 is clear in my attempt to rectify it when the design comes out sloppy and inconsistent. I begrudgingly close the laptop lid and go do something else. If I find myself a career path that pays much better and has an unusual amount of downtime and low-stress, I may be able to get back into the groove and nullify everything this blog stands to declare. Until then, I feel as though the only other appropriate time to get back into mapping is when I retire and wait to pass away.

What does this mean for UAC Ultra 2? Not sure. For a long time I've been epitomizing UU2 as a way to "go out with a bang" and encapsulate as many of my ideas as humanly possible into a single megawad and live the rest of my life comfortably with the satisfaction that I've exhausted as much of my potential as I could into a final product. Then I'd leave everyone in the community with a sick megawad to play in many different styles with hundreds of hours of gameplay depending on how one chooses to play it. I'd also hope it would stand as a model for what I'd like to see more mappers do with their maps. I can't say I'm pulling the plug on it, but the rate of its progress is mirrored by my motivation to complete it without an optimistic partner or small team to share it with. I hope I can garner enough strength to make my ideas come to fruition, but until then, I've put a pin in it until things change.

In the meantime, I have no trouble checking on Doomworld and posting every now and again. I still have an insatiable urge to kill monsters and fortunately, playing the game and all the new wads that come out for it is significantly less taxing than editing it is. At best, I think tabling my mapping career may be excusable in exchange for offering myself as a mentor for any interested mappers (PM me!) or volunteering myself for a rather minor role in a major project. It breaks my heart to tell myself that it's time to call it quits, and I'll fight with every fiber in my body to keep the candle lit, but I just wanted you guys to know where I'm at.
12 Comments

Experts say I'm a lazy apathetic brat January 14, 2014, 8:11 am
...As far as I've read into it yet.

So I came across this website that I thought I'd give a whack called allexperts.com, which is like yahoo answers except slower, but you send your question in a particular subject to volunteers with the credentials to answer the question, and they respond within three days. So I gave it a shot.

For the past few years I've been concerned about my shitty appetite and loss of weight. In the past few months I've reduced myself to one decently sized meal a day, with one or two snacks in between, and that would be enough to get me through the day without feeling hungry, and I feel uncomfortable with the health problems that may lead to so I picked out a person to help me. I submitted my question to a dietician/nutritionist a few nights ago and they wrote me this crazy novel:


I work in food service and being on my feet and moving around a lot, coupled with preparing food all day makes me lose my appetite. I don't appreciate a good meal usually, and I've been looking for ways to enjoy food again.

When I was in high school I used to smoke marijuana with some friends and that would often have me coming home and preparing a three course meal in the middle of the night, but smoking marijuana is not something I want to continue doing.

I've done a bunch of research on it and everything says to eat like six to eight small meals a day, or start exercising, which are all pretty large commitments for me, I think. I don't have the time, money, or patience to go out and get small fast-food meals, and I'm not at home in the kitchen very often and I passively resist any intention to cook anything unless my hunger is unbearable. Likewise, I'd like to get into an exercise routine but the winter season makes everything difficult.

Is there some kind of a panacea or home remedy I can make that will boost my appetite, and make me WANT to eat and ENJOY food? Something like the effect of marijuana but not illegal and preferably inexpensive?



Dear Jon,
I read your question with great interest, but it was not so easy to unearth your REAL question. You state your problem: a loss of appetite but a bigger problem is that you are a little spoiled, in the nicest possible way!You seem to want change without making changes. That won't work, will it? You seem to want results without putting in much effort. Now, when did that ever work? You seem to want circumstances to favour change, but from a holistic-spiritual aspect it is always your own tenet which determines (describes subjectively, or objectifies) the external conditions.

Since my expertise lies on a spiritual plain, I can only go into the holistic aspects of diet which I think, actually, is very relevant to your question; but you may not be very skilled, yet, at translating these ideas into concrete, wholesome, and self-improving actions.

The way I see it, our health and well-being (and soul-development) is not very well linked to fast fixes or instant results. It is always all about the journey. I hope the little I can share with you may inspire you to consider planning your route in a new and durable manner.

Your main problem is that you do not display much desire to renew your relationship with food and you cannot see the joy there lies in your natural ability to move. On a soul-level, at least, you may well be somewhat stuck in the muck, or in a daily grind. Your question then becomes a cry for help from the soul to the Higher Self to come into your life and take control. There are still traces of your previous addictive behaviour/mental make-up. A leopard and his spots… it takes a full mind-switch for real change to come about and stick and make a difference to your entire life.

Food is fuel for the soul. Not the actual molecular-level substance but the processes involved actually fuel processes of your potential. You could start to learn to see the world in DYNAMIC patterns. Food then becomes less a source of physical energy and more a carrier of light and its formative forces (which energise you). This life-force helps build up the Real I who can shape a life for the Self out of worldly experience/material. Relearning to see the world in a more holistic, organic context could really stimulate your appetite - for food, but first and foremost for life. You can learn to honor your spiritual potential in the way you do things - and nowhere more simply than in the departments of feeding yourself and being mobile (diet and exercise).

There are no cure-alls for laziniess or apathy, indifference or jadedness. You just have to get up and do it! Make a plan, make a decision (any will do really!) and stick with it (for at least a couple of months or so). One way to go is to strip down drastically. This is a kind of cold-turkey wake-up call which is asking you loud and clearly whether you want to "redeem" your un-health, or un-wholeness (fragmented or mal-integrated body-mind-soul-spirit). Maybe, you are not ready to become healthy and physically fit! That may sound odd, but there is no point pretending you are going to turn over a new leaf, when you are not really fed up or dissatisfied with the old one. Furthermore, you have to be really curious and feel challenged by the change you could possibly make. You have to want to change for the sake of the journey or experience, not a desired outcome. This outcome will always be different anyway, and one tends to keep shifting goal-posts, too.

So, first be honest about how much you want to study the ins and outs of your appetite. Here lies the leverage for the ups and downs of the following route.

I can lift the tip of a veil of what you might discover if you start to study them. You mention a lot of negatives and list a few foredrawn cliches. You presume a healthy life-style costs time, money and patience. True enough, since health means to be whole and be in tune with yourself you do need to follow a kind of routine and cultivate an awake and aware, dedicated mood, or mindset. This does take discipline (patience) and daily effort. It literally takes time to prepare a meal: but this is time very well spent. It is a moment of prayer and reverence to your gift of life (sustained by food amongst other great blessings from Mother Earth). You don't even need to get holy-moly about it: just open up a box of bran flakes, pour out some organic milk, slice a fair-trade banana, and you will have even honored half the world, which contributes to your humble life (by producing these foodstuffs). If you eat a big-brand candy bar or whopping burger you are more likely going to contribute to a get-rich-fast, exploitative, suppressive economy – which may have its place, even, but does not make for a great prayer. Even health foods can be brand names! But always try to find your personal relationship to every single ingredient you ingest. When you learn to cook and season food, you begin to understand how every tiny rosemary leaf or chili pepper seed makes a difference!

Once one embarks upon the path of health one cannot blame externals like the weather or the season for one's own failing to stick to a regime. Women may not cop out on their hormones and men may not claim to have two left hands when it comes to handling a frying pan. All very cliché examples, but you will have your own cleverly designed obstacles to sticking to your healthy ambitions. A diet is a regime. The art of health is to cope in all seasons, to adapt to all mental states, and improvise with limited means.

I must alert you to the fact, that your research seems a little one-sided, and specific to people with sugar level imbalances if you are aiming to prepare 8 meals a day. Three meals a day makes a very nice average. We don't want to be spending too much time on eating, either, do we? If our health acutely needs us to, so be it. But otherwise we must eat to live and not live to eat. Or rather: eat to feel more alive. Then it is not only about the calorific value or the vitamin content of food. But colour, fragrance, overall presentation, variety, and above all quality come to the fore. The enjoyment of food, ultimately, depends less on what you do and more on the way that you do it.

Your question tells me (and yourself) that you know perfectly well how important it is to take better care of yourself. But we all have a shadow within. In the long run, you will even appreciate this shadow if he teaches you the benefit of a fair and courageous fight. You must decide whether you want to face this shadow for real and take him on properly.

You must be prepared to put in the work. That's just the law of the universe. You only get what you have earned - although this is a complex algorithm, with many occult (hidden) ins and outs; but I am breaking it down here. In this light, it will be inevitable that you will have to WANT to work for your health. Happiness is just a measure of this health, or wholeness, or success at integrating your inner world with the outer world.
Enjoyment does not come naturally because we do not live in the natural world any more. You lost your innocence a long time ago. That's the way it must be. In exchange you have the ability to get to know yourself properly.

Ask yourself, If you were to take a trek through the desert on a camel for a week (with only a smelly goat sack full of water) what you would want waiting for you at the end of this scorching, dusty journey? I doubt you would dream of marijuana, or fast food, but probably a bottle of cold water would be heavenly! Or a piece of fresh fruit. You would quite naturally crave these things first. It is only a (literally) spoiled body-soul integration which makes us err and lead unhealthy lives. Sometimes a detoxing fast can help mark the decision to change. Such a physical exercise can help reset your alignment. You might like to research the options for this. It might sound a bit extreme to you, but 3 days on lemon and water or a week on juices could make for your trek through the desert. First, research this thoroughly though.

Why is health so important? Why does it matter what we eat? Or how we treat (or abuse) the body? Why is sleep necessary? And drugs no good? The aim of life is to become the best you can be, which is nothing more or short of being an original, unique, responsible, caring individual. This individual must naturally desire to be part of a group (you don't need to sit around a camp fire and hold hands). Without this desire you become a narcicistic sociopath. Only brain damage may excuse any dis-ability with respect to community building, which includes learning about life, yourself and others. Most of us are just weak and flawed. So be it. The challenge is on!

The Higher Self needs to become the trainer of your lower self. It must bring the dog-mind into calm submission. You must be kind to this servile creature, and give it what it needs. Punishing it will never work. The rest is up to the body. Once you still the mind you will be able to hear your physical needs (which tend to be simple and undemanding). The mind tends to snarl or dominate: it is usually fear that causes this, in turn caused by a lack of direction or sense of purpose. This remains a tricky challenge throughout your entire lif; only a kind of (humble) self-belief and awe of the surrounding cosmos may help settle a restive mind.

You really must see change as an exercise, much like a dog needs to be trained, you could make some overruling decisions to just "make yourself do as you're told". Two basic rules might be: only eat food you prepared as fresh as possible (from raw ingredients); cutting out all classically "bad" foods (sugar, salt, hydrogenated fats, additives, white flour, too much meat/eggs, sodas etc). And not to eat out for at least a whole month. This must go hand in hand with changing the way you treat your food and meal times. If you buy quality food you may have to be more selective (it costs more!) and you may buy the right amounts (not to waste any) and generally become more conscious about storage and preparation,and then next the actual consumption of it. No scoffing or snacking, but a proper sit down meal ENJOYED with a calm and centred mind.

A home-cooked meal is good because it has been prepared with love and dedication. Any attention and time spent on this is valuable. The meal is likely to taste poor if you don't give it due attention and some degree of vision (or blessing). Preprocessed meals (from the microwave) already have less of this energy in them (plus other energies are zapped out of them); but still when they are prepared for a family, and set on the table with care, there is this added ingredient which supports all health (i.e. loving attention). That is why sitting down to a meal at a table, with company (or otherwise some good, harmonising music), inviting the blessings of those intangible forces that help to cultivate and harvest our produce (cosmic forces, or spiritual entities, or God) is so important, and can make a meagre meal into a feast for the senses, the digestive system, and your whole organism. The power of growing, sourcing, preparing, enjoying food is highly underestimated in our culture. The energy of all these activities amassed make up the basic foundation of good health and wholesome functioning. In healthfood stores or farmer's markets there may be some pre-processed foods (in tins, bottles) etc, which at least will be as honest as possible.(Study ingredients, and eco labelling).

Food cannot prevent disease or cure things so simply, but it can play a pivotal role in working on improvements in health.

Your eyes have to be opened to a new reality about food and eating. You first need to believe that there is goodness in the blessing of nutrition. You might consider that people who cannot eat (the sick, the infirm, the starving) miss out on something.

Also, life-force is becoming very precious in our polluted and corrupted environment. You might look towards the raw food vogue to appreciate how intense a relationship to food can become. It can almost become religious and fanatic - which is not something I recommend you pursue! But you will need to understand food in a new way to rejuvenate your natural desire for it. Anybody with a healthy diet actually loves their food. Otherwise it becomes a martyrdom and an exercise in survival. This may be necessary, for a while, just like rehab can be necessary. But a healthy diet is a way of life which rests on a holistic understanding. You don't need a whole lot of science or metaphysics for this, just a new way of seeing.

You mention the word appreciation a couple of times which gives me much hope that you are able to open your eyes and appreciate the bounty nature has to offer you. It all depends in what food service branch you work, and perish the thought it is fast food, but my bet is that you need to re-sensitise yourself to natural ingredients. You might need to cleanse your palate (by eliminating excesses and chemical additions or cutting out all snacks, or even with a day-fast). This goes hand in hand with cutting down on alcohol (if applicable) and cutting out drugs. These substances, namely, only weaken your self-rule.

If you have been used to smoking marijuana for an extended period of time (say more than half a year, with a regular frequency of more than once a week) you have a serious task on your hands, because this particular drug leaves an enormous amount of residue in the brain which makes one very passive when it comes to taking one's life and one's own hands. It literally takes YEARS to become totally independent of former neuro-engravings and their subsequent effect upon the soul. You may well be easily tempted by addictions because you like a simple solution, and that is all any addiction as ever about: automatic reaction to what life hands you (be it having a drink, lighting a cigarette, or having an emotional outburst). Human nature equates pretty much an addictive personality!

It takes an enormous amount of work between the ages of 28 to 42 to work on self-rule. Any decisions you make between the ages 21 to 28 which are healthy and wholesome and believe in the goodness of spirit (however vague and seemingly insignificant your understanding of this might be) will work miracles for you in those years of hard labour ahead. I am presuming you are in that age bracket where what you decide now can make a massive difference when you hit mid-life – when good health will seem like a far-off dream to so many. Just look around you.

Your dreams needs to be built on solid foundations. Your ambitions need to be clad by wholesome experience. The field of nutrition makes for a fantastic ball park. We all need to eat every day (or find a healthy alternative to that, like for examle, when you are bedridden or on a fast, or an inedian). We also all need to move every day. It is overlooked in our society that mobility is a great soul impetus keeping us balanced. It precedes diet, actually (you need to source your food first: think of the original hunter-gatherer). You might not realise it if you are on a bus or in a car most of the time; and those who are unemployed and stay inside soon are brainwashed by depression that going out is futile. But if you take a walk of 25 minutes every day of the week for three weeks in a row, come rain or come shine you will thereafter never forget how great it is to have two legs and the ability to be mobile (even without legs you can learn to appreciate the gift of mobility; when you are paraplegic life really becomes a massive challenge because of that loss which is natural to man).

If we do not eat right we impoverish our soul. The fact that we have to eat every day is a rhythmic response to the soul that moves us through life. Your loss of appetite, therefore, is best seen as a weakened impulse to make something of your life. Again, the symptom can also be the cure, in the homoeopathic sense. You have to stimulate your appetite with a new appreciation for food. Study and discover the colours and textures (light consolidated and the alchemical processes). Make yourself aware of all the senses involved in eating: sound, fragrance, touch, taste, etc. The liver and digestive juices are stimulated by sight alone.

Imagine the creative force attached to (natural) food. There are so many stories, for each orange or tuna steak one! Follow the seed to the tree to the banana, or hear the calf grown into a lowly cow in the milk etc). It is ridiculous how we have made food so toxic. I don't even mean this on a physical level so much (polluted water, chemicals in farming, substances added in factories), but especially on a spiritual level: food has become a seductive, manipulative luxury and at the same time we are disgracefully wasteful. You might like to watch the film "Into the Wild"about a youth who goes off to live in the wilderness (Alaska, was it?)and he must learn to fend for himself, by himself on what nature provides. It's tough, and not without its risks…. Communities were built around our need to eat. A loss of appetite is also the beginning or reflection of an anti-social attitude. Take care that you do not loose interest in life, in general! Stay involved, cooperative, tolerant, animated, curious: there is so much amazingness on this tiny globe in the middle of a massively vast universe!

If you become sensitive to all these details, somewhere down the line a sensible conclusion should roll out: just have a breakfast that is light and nutritious; maybe with some amino acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and lacto bacteria that help keep the body ticking over (i.e. a muesli with yoghurt). Or try a fruity breakfast, depending on your appetite…. But in winter fruit is not ideal. Think grains, perhaps, rather.

Pause in the middle of the day for lunch. Regroup your mind. Remember what really matters to you. Thank the fact that you have your four limbs, a healthy intestinal system, a clear brain which can think and feel and make right decisions. Keep this lunch light and fresh, it is just a marker especially if you don't have real hunger. Replenish with some "living" foods (i.e full of solar and earthy energy). Salads are great for this, but a warm soup with plenty of colour and chunks, or a wholesome sandwich with several ingredients can really pep you up.

Treat yourself to a wholesome meal in the evening (not too late preferably, and not too heavy). There are plenty of easy recipes out there that can go into making many exciting weeks of food experiments without asking you to turn into a chef.

Discover the goodness given to us by the bees. Their products very much support our real self and guide our willpower in right action. Honor the cow, who is wholly in her own way, with her service and loving connection to mother Earth. Compare her to the goat and the sheep who give us their milk, too: these are all different products with different properties. It may take a lot of retraining of your taste-buds to be open to all this, though! Be patient, why not? Where were you off to in such a rush, anyway?

Relish the beauty of flowers and the healing power of leaves in herbal teas. There is great nutrition in a tea! Learn about soul food new-style! Slow cooking begins with loving and lingering thoughts about your physical needs, your emotional desires, and your clearest brainwaves! Remember yourself as a spirit being and then rediscover your appetite. To re-member is to put back together. Focusing on your health can sometimes help you remember what you really came to do this life time (soul-mission remembered).
I hope you feel some support in these words, and will trust that the answer for a healthy lifestyle is very available to you. All you need to do is close your eyes and listen to yourself and then open your eyes and look around.
All the best, good luck, enjoy the journey.

Love, Evelyn.


I was hoping for something like "drinking this kinda tea or mixing these two seasonings together have been known to increase appetite" but now I've just been sent on this spiritual adventure. Anybody wanna help me translate this?
15 Comments

Greg Wang July 2, 2013, 10:10 am


Gregory Wang is a cousin of mine. We live on opposite sides of the United States so our relationship is pretty distant, but occasionally we get to meet up during family events and such. He's a pretty cool dude.

He's also an extremely talented pianist. He's been practicing piano since he was in second grade and has since performed in many concerts, was a four-year winner in music competitions in his school, performed with Johnson City and Maryville Symphony orchestras, competed in the Russian International Music Competition, presented with scholarships to various schools, and is currently studying at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

I wasn't able to find any videos of him playing online but I've seen DVDs of him performing and it is jawdropping. I'm not even one to listen to classical music but his performances are completely outstanding. During holidays, he will occasionally sit down play requests on my grandparent's piano, from Charlie Chaplin to Lady Gaga. He has an amazing gift of being able to play music by ear.

I haven't contacted him recently, but I've been contemplating the idea of getting a piano keyboard, and some midi recording software and abusing his talents to record music to use exclusively in my Doom levels so I don't have to be concerned about people not liking the music in my maps ever again.
14 Comments

Joe the Tortoise June 18, 2013, 11:21 am
Last week, I noticed a flier posted outside of my workplace concerning a lost pet. Joe the Tortoise, with contact information with any help of where he was last seen.

Today I was walking my dog along a rather busy street and spotted something rather disturbing on the side of the road. Shell split in half, head severed, unusual intestines I'm not used to seeing (I've never dissected an amphibian before.) A certainly gruesome sight. I can tell by it's size that it's not your normal pond turtle. I think I have a duty to report it to the person who posted the flier, but I feel a little uncomfortable delivering the news.

RIP Joe the Tortoise.

Anybody have any suggestions on how I best tell this person?
18 Comments

Oblige Adventures May 25, 2013, 9:39 am
Anyone play around with this much anymore? I've kinda steered away from it for a while since it's not so much the hot new thing anymore. But I decided to kill a few hours of my night playing around with its large amount of selectable configurations in hopes of generating a vast array of "what if" scenarios. Little did I know I'd dig myself deep into a downward spiral of time-wastery by voluntarily torturing myself with a series of monumentally horrendous megawads.

Allow me to state that this is by no means a rant about how Oblige is a terrible level generator. It's no cacoward maker, but it does kick slige in the nuts in a couple areas, and with it's huge level of customization, I'm granted the freedom to create horrible abominations that should never exist to be played by any doom marine. Rest assured, hilarity ensues.

I started my fun playing with the monster selection, where oblige offers the entire list of Doom 2's bestiary, with a drop down menu allowing you to pick the probability in which each monster appears. Out of morbid curiosity, I selected each monster and set them to "None at all" and lastly setting revenants to "INSANE" in the likely event of creating an all-revenant megawad.

My megawad opened up staging me in MAP01: "Data Refinery" which is where all the revenants live for some reason. The level started with me having to outrun hordes of screaming revenants, dipping left and right to direct homing missiles into themselves, despite being immune to their kin's firepower. When reaching the other side of the room, I am within arms reach of a chaingun, followed by long stretches of bullet clips scaling the walls of the room. It was a thoughtful gesture of Oblige to give me a weapon better than a pistol to calm this raging riot, but I was offended by it not taking into consideration how long it would take me to put a dent into this giant pile of 363 angry skeletons that occupy this territory that I so gracefully intruded. Attempting to run past them all was no use, as each corner turned was announced by overlapping RRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH's. Obviously I grew tired early of the lack of superior firepower and the inability to incite infighting. I retreated to Oblige's interface to create something new.

I wanted to give my Oblige experience a little more Super Shotgun lovin. Fortunately, the "I LOVE IT" option for weapons is the maximum availability for the Doom Weapon Control menu. I also wanted to stir up some good infighting too. I knew from past experiences, that setting the "monster strength" often opens up an episode with light monsters, which slowly progresses into armies of cacodemons and hell knights. I wanted to skip straight to the hard stuff, so I left all monsters set to "None At All" except for Imps, Demons, Chaingun guys, revenants, Hell Barons mancubi, arachnatrons, and archviles.

"It will be just like Hell Revealed 2!" he said.

I ran the megawad, accompanied with HRMUS.WAD to set the mood. Each level's starting room opened up with a weapon, a small group of ground troops, overcompensated by tremendous piles of health kits. Seriously, health bonuses on top of stimpacks on top of medikits on top of more medikits on top of stimpacks on top of megaarmors. Much like how selecting the Nightmare skill level is immediately followed with the question "Are you sure?" this was Oblige's method of communicating to me "Trust me, you are going to get hurt. a lot."

At least Oblige is honest. As each level successfully pitted me against insurmountable odds, with rooms so crowded there appeared to be no correct way to go without digging yourself a deeper grave. Opening a door only ignites a different variety of monster roars, unless of course I catch myself breathing a sigh of relief whenever I opened a door into one of Oblige's obviously prefabricated rooms, which are apparently too complex to house monsters. However it wouldn't take much for said rooms to be overcrowded by the resulting swarms of the next opened door.

In one map, aptly titled "Welcome to the Enigma" I had no trouble subduing the introductory Hell Barons with my unparalleled circlestrafing skillz. I ran up some stairs where I found myself waist deep in green armors, and a few medikits, and stumbled into a giant parade of arachnatrons. Seriously, probably the second largest fleet of arachnatrons I've ever endured in one sitting. After investing a good 15 minutes of my life crushing all of them with my super shotgun, I made a dash for the next door where my next task awaits. Unfortunately, my unsuspecting ambitions turn into a horrible nightmare, awakening a sea of archviles which flooded the room, driving me back to my starting area, permitting them to successfully reconstruct my entire arachnophobic death factory, leaving me in my starting room with 18 shells and 6% health, completely surrounded by an uncanny swarm of terror with no other purpose than to turn my screen very very red.

I played a few other maps which were usually stupidly unplayable, due entirely to my choices in selecting obviously game-breaking settings for my generated megawads.

In hindsight I probably should have provided screenshots and seed numbers. Maybe I will later as I delve my stupid self into trudging through these disgusting piles of crap.
5 Comments

UAC Ultra 2 diaries May 17, 2013, 3:36 pm
I want to preface this blog by saying that this isn't a means of responding to everyone's reactions to it, and I'm not posting this for more detailed feedback. At this risk of sounding like a cry for attention, I'm hoping this is interpretted the way I intended it and less like "PLEASE LIKE MY MAPS!!" I'm just laying out my thoughts on how the first episode panned out and how the results were different than what I expected. This is helpful for me as a mapper, to spell this out for me to review during times of need, instead of letting it dwell in my mind, abstaining me from moving forward.

I believe I was successful in creating what many of my listeners said were overly ambitious. I created levels that could be played in single player, cooperative and deathmatch. I designed the maps to play quite differently in all skill levels, with each skill level optimized to a different style of gameplay per player. All done, without reducing the volume of monsters that appear in each map. I designed the levels with a high volume of large secrets to heavily expand the gameplay if the player so chooses. I also designed the levels with many different possible routes to the exit, so that coop players could spread out and attack the same monsters from different angles, and in Nightmare, respawning hordes of monsters wouldn't crowd up hallways, blocking the only paths the player can take. This was also exciting to me as the designer, as with almost every demo I watched, the players each had a different approach to each map, none of which matching my usual runs. It seemed almost every player had a different experience, even though most of them conceded on it being rather boring.

Watching the demos of my players in my maps was infuriating at times. The way many of the players skulked around corners, picked off monsters from a safe distance, and played highly defensively was absurd to me. It appeared as though they were expecting any step to activate the trap that jumps out and slits their throat. Like the use of light monsters was supposed to lead up to something deadly. When truthfully, I wanted my players to play highly aggressively, utilize all their weapons, ration out their ammo, and crash through this thing. Instead, players weren't very observant of the ammo items, were hesitant to press onward, and resorted to infighting to conserve ammunition. With six levels with the same style of gameplay, where players were quite obviously missing the point, I couldn't help but scream "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" while watching some of the demos people made for me, as they simply wandered around crowds of monsters, even while carrying powerful weapons and tons of ammo, and unintentionally ignoring the hitscanners that devastated them. Apparently distracted by the array of directions to choose from, which was the type of gameplay I designed the easier skill levels for. I was expecting people to approach these levels with the same aggressive enthusiasm as they would Knee-Deep in the Dead, or Hell Revealed 2. From my observations it looks as though the foreboding atmosphere and lack of highly threatening monsters implied a different method of gameplay, and the players obliged.

I was beginning to be concerned that with a game as black and white as Doom, that people seem to have a need to be told what to do, and that even with an increasing demand for non-linearity in the Doom community, it's the levels that pit the player in situations where "the only way out is through" are the most successful. It became increasingly depressing as I wondered how the creator of Garry's Mod might feel, after creating a mod designed for infinite possibilities, the majority of it's player base uses it to show off Gman making silly faces.

It was comforting when I retreated to my playtesters to ask where I went wrong, and they responded that I have successfully created levels that were perfect for the type of player that I am, and that what is perfect to me may sound good on paper, but in practice, it is so specific to my own taste that it's discouraging when another player, even one who does like the same gameplay as I do, has a mild disagreement with it, especially with a brand name that people will play with specific expectations. Just give it time.

I hope time is all that it is, but it feels as though my time is up now that UAC Ultra 2 is residing in post hell. I still have hopes that after UAC Ultra 2 is completed, that players may recognize its beauty and how careful I was at designing it after playing and replaying it a few times. That is, if they can reserve the strength to give it a second chance even after it left them with a sour taste in their mouth the first time around. Who knows how long that will take. It may take decades to even consider playing UAC Ultra 2 in Nightmare coop or in Deathmatch. And I could simply be completely full of myself to be expecting that, especially when a quick sadistic zinger at the end of my opening post is all it takes put its credibility in ruins for most people. But I certainly hope not.

I'm hesitant to move right on to making the rest of UAC Ultra 2. Even though I have set high standards for myself, along with any doom level designer, I'm in full confidence that I can create the amazing Doom experiences that I can envision in my head. I'm just concerned whether I can successfully design something that will appeal to the types of people that enjoyed Speed of Doom, Alien Vendetta, Scythe 2, and the Memento Mori's without compromising the goals I set for myself in the first place, especially because many of the scenarios that appear in these wads cannot be recreated without a UV-only like design. It will take a lot of careful planning to make them work in the many game modes I wish to appeal to, and simultaneously create a unique and fun experience for the people that won't play in anything other than UV. I'm taking my time with it, but I refuse to ship out a rushed product, and can assure that every map that appears in the completed megawad will have to endure a cruel and severe level of quality control monitored by myself.
21 Comments

I Beat Homelessness September 6, 2012, 4:50 pm
In November 2006, I was 15 years old and got my first job working at Subway. Shortly after I set a personal goal to save up $30,000 to put down on a house and become a homeowner before I turn 22. I'm 21 years old, and I currently reside in West Norriton Pennsylvania as of August 24, 2012 with my current fiance Julie and our dog Penny (not shown)



When I was 15 years old, I started earning $6.25 an hour making sandwiches for people 5 days a week. I submitted to reserving 40% or more of my paychecks in separate savings accounts (some banks had better interest rates than others.) and doing my absolute best to live within my means. I used my money strictly for the cell phone bill (my burn phone that could only call and text was about $25 a month) and gas for my car (about $80 a month -- short commute to work) My entertainment depended on playing Doom and designing levels. I listened to the same CDs I listen to today, and I hung out mostly with my poor friends who knew how to have fun for free. I've studied marketing and advertising as a hobby and started analyzing social trends in regards to entertainment mediums. I've since established an irreversible hatred to almost everything such as video games, money, television shows, advertisements, movies, music, social events, etc. I've confided in doing the things that hit all the right notes for me, and sticking with them for long periods of time. This filled in a hold of boredom in me that hardly cost anything during this time frame.

I met my fiance Julie in October 2011 when I started working at Wawa, a gas station / convenience store combo where I currently make $12.00 an hour. Before we started dating, we would hang out every single day after work at midnight in the church parking lot behind her grandma's house where she lived. We stood out in the parking lot talking about anything. We talked for hours and hours into the night in 20 degree weather, just talking about ourselves and how stupid work is and how shitty people are and all that. It was freezing outside but we didn't care. We continued hanging out week after week, during a point in my life where I was convinced love didn't mean anything and to ever consider getting married is to find a woman that you can tolerate and coexist with for the rest of your life. I was wrong.

We started dating shortly after, even though I was hesitant to get involved with a coworker and more importantly, someone who I was a really close friend to. However, our relationship moved forward. As time went on, we would have our occasional tiffs at work. They say that working with your significant other does a lot of damage to your relationship. This can be true because we would often say some rather nasty things to each other just out of stress and time constraints at work. Fortunately we were able to resolve all of our conflicts because we agreed that it was more important to be together than to be the one that's right. (Which I'm sure you can imagine was extremely difficult for me to admit)

I asked Julie to marry me on February 14th 2012. We hadn't been together very long before I made such a commitment, but having spent a majority of my free time with her, day after day, it didn't take me long to understand that this was the girl I wanted to be around for the rest of my life. In due time, My commitment to my financial goal was later amended to be the for the house for my fiance and I to live in.

Here we are now. Notice the giant rock on her finger.



I saved up $30,000 in November 2011, and contacted one of my coworkers who is also a realtor. She was able to get me connected with one of her friends which approved me for a loan up to $158,650 because of my excellent credit score. We began shopping for houses in all the neighborhoods in the area. We looked at over thirty houses before we finally found one we were both comfortable in and agreed on. On August 24th, we settled.

Our house is a twin on a quiet street in West Norriton Pennsylvania. We have three bedrooms, one bathroom, a large front porch, a living room, dining room, kitchen, basement, and unfinished sunroom. We have a fenced in backyard for our dog Penny to run around free in, and a parking space in the back, along with a detached one-car garage.

This is our living room, shown are my brother Randy and friend Francisco. We got pretty much all of our furniture second hand. All of our friends and family have been extremely generous. The couches, coffee table, Playstation 2, and stereo were all free. I got the 55in TV on craigslist for $250 (it also comes with picture-in picture modes so I can do my Home Dooming Station that I plan to invest in in the future), and our cable (all the DVD seasons of our favorite TV series to the right of the tv) were about $150 in total.


Here's our kitchen, messy because this photo was taken while I had company over. We got our kitchen appliances from a coworker who was coincedentally moving out around the same time and had to sell her refrigerator, stove, microwave, and dishwasher that she got new two years ago. She sold me the whole set for $800. The house came with appliances too, but they're a bit older. We moved them into the sunroom where I'm going to clean them up and sell them on craigslist for, hopefully, about the same price. The kitchen table and chairs I got for free from mom and dad. They were taking up space in their basement.



Aaaand here's the backyard. Shown is my car in the parking space, alongside with our single car garage. We still have to mow the lawn and scrap that swingset. We'll probably get to that later this week.



TL;DR I've worked some years at a job that just barely transcends over minimum wage, and with a combination of careful determination and smart decision making, I'm now a homeowner living happily with my fiance on a quiet street in a really nice house. Things are looking pretty awesome for me and I couldn't be happier. Also fuck everyone who didn't believe in me and thought I was stupid for acting the way I have been for the past few years because this is where it got me.
18 Comments

Ignore list August 20, 2012, 4:14 pm
Doomworld forums comes with an ignore feature that hides posts by the members who are selected to be on your list. It can be accessed from the user control panel. It doesn't totally hide the fact that the person had posted there, but it does state that the person who posted is being ignored, and only takes up a little space. I've recently been pretty liberal about updating it now and then. The link that says to click to read the post (because sometimes its relevant to the discussion) doesn't seem to work though. Other than that, doomworld forums now has much fewer people who post strictly in the everything else section, have lame opinions about video games and want to talk about the economy and politics and religion (or their lack thereof) and share other rather personal details about themselves that I'd be much better off not knowing. Now browsing through doomworld is a little less taxing on my sanity to read now that I'm reading more about doom and less about stuff that makes me want to kill all of you. That would be all.

Also in before "40oz is first on my list"
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