40oz's Doomworld Forums Blog

40oz's Doomworld Forums Blog

Soft Hands September 20, 2016, 6:02 am
Some people have soft hands which are more smooth to the touch while others have hardened, dry, sometimes calloused skin on their hands. Ive heard that having harder hands has the implication that it makes you seem like a hard worker. Mechanics, engineers, carpenters and construction workers usually have harder hands. On the other hand, having softer hands can be construed as being feminine or weak. My work history is primarily in food service, and where ive worked they always had special gloves that you had to wear for almost every task for safety and sanitation reasons. Now I'm working in a desk job where much of my work is done on the computer. So naturally my hands have been pretty soft. Ive had to do some work on my house a few times which roughed em up a little more than they used to be, but still I cant help but have a sort of appreciation for someone when I shake their hand and they have a sturdy grip with hands that feel like they've been used.

Getting paid to make maps June 14, 2016, 1:44 pm
For many years I've worked at low paying service jobs where I was on my feet, expected to be alert and assist people for whatever little menial things they desire. My last job in particular I worked at for six years and it was by far the most demanding job I had ever worked. The work was mentally draining, and physically exhausting. I came home frustrated, and out of breath, it was difficult to be friendly to my friends and family, and I could barely keep up with my real-life obligations. I stuck around for the benefits but after years of studying accounting, I successfully landed a job in the accounting department of an insurance brokerage company not far from home. I get my own desk, a cubicle, and a computer with dual monitors. I've been working here for a few months and the work is a little mundane but it's easy and it's not any less mundane than the work I put into Doom. It gets pretty hectic towards the end of the month as we are closing the books for the month and reporting numbers to corporate, but the beginning of each month is a breeze. I may as well be on vacation! While I'm working I can listen to music and audiobooks from my ipod. People leave me alone, my boss is cool, and I get paid a lot more than what I was making previously.

It's not very difficult to keep up with my work, which inevitably leads to plenty downtime; downtime I never saw in my previous jobs. After I met my wife and became a homeowner I thought I would never have time for mapping again. I even made an unofficial retirement from mapping blog a few years ago. Doom was a hobby and at the time I felt I was coming closer to putting that hobby to rest. My free time was quickly vanishing and it was troubling to get buried in real life obligations and try to have fun at the same time.

Since the last month, I've been dilligently completing my work ahead of schedule, and using my down time to plan my days after work and for the weekends. I've been keeping an organized notebook filled with to-do lists regarding my Doom projects that I'm involved in, and I can do some pretty basic mapping on my computer at my desk using a USB drive I have with WAD Author on it and all the wads and editing utilities I could ever use. Since I'm relatively new to this company, I've been serious about completing my assignments ahead of schedule and being motivated to learn more and establishing good relationships with my peers and supervisors. I'm much happier than I thought I could ever be. I feel like I see colors more vividly, my imagination is blooming, and my ideas for maps are flowing. I come home from work full of energy and can use my weekends to work hard on my Doom projects with stuff I can't do at the office.

I had always dreamed of how great it would be to actually make money while I'm making my Doom maps. My wish has come true.

Reading December 1, 2015, 10:39 am
As a quiet misanthropic person I always found it kinda peculiar that I never really took into reading books as some people with similar traits do. It seems like the type of things most people like me get into, but many of my experiences with books often ended pretty quickly with the author writing too heavily into detail about seemingly innocuous things without really developing the plot. Or if the plot was developing, it must have been going over my head. For that reason, I find it kinda weird that novelists are celebrated so much as I get much more entertainment value from short stories and poetry. Maybe it's just a great accomplishment, but for what its worth, I feel a similar and more effective way of telling stories can be accomplished in less paper.

Still yet, I've never really picked up many books. While I really like the idea of having shelves loaded with books and an endless supply of reading material, Books always seem like commitments. Like TV series, sometimes a show can grab you with a colorful plot and interesting characters, then towards the later seasons, the plots don't seem to be going anywhere and there are filler episodes to take up time before the next set of events occurs. I don't want to feel like my time is wasted.

However, my time spent in my college classes helped me to discover a newfound love for writing -- more specifically, taking notes. I managed to find some effective tips at taking notes and outlining your notes in a neat legible format. I've used this as an opportunity to learn and have recently become engrossed in watching documentaries with a composition book and pencil in hand, and jotting down things I found interesting as if I were studying it for a quiz. In the end, the writing helps me retain the information better, even without any intention of reading and studying the notes later. It just helps me feel more worldly and understanding of different viewpoints about controversial issues and history and science that I didn't understand before. Youtube has been a surprisingly thorough and bountiful resource for this. Tomorrow I'll be buying a fat stack of composition books and a pack of freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils from the dollar store to fill with notes from all the documentaries I recently added to my list.

I believe this somehow fueled my interest in reading lately. A recent epiphany reminded me that with the internet, you can pretty much learn anything in the world as long as you know what questions to ask (and can identify a biased source when you see it!). Now I've been dedicating a couple hours each day to actively fill my brain with things I didn't know the day before, and spending other time throughout the day listening around for things I don't understand, and embracing the fact that I really don't have a thorough understanding of it and that I should educate myself about it. Recently I've thoroughly studied how the economy is powered, the biography of Donald Trump so I can have a better understanding of whether or not he would be a good president other than looking like a moron, how a car engine works so I can understand what the fuck is going on under the hood of my car that makes it go, statistics related to climate change over the last century and natural disasters that might await us in the future, etc.

The thing about the internet is that it can sometimes be hard to find reputable sources of information. But if you're a writer and you can get your book published, then you're probably more credible than the average blogger. Websites like gutenberg.org is loaded with digital texts from political figures, scientists, and other reputable writers. And for fictional stories with strong ethical and moral messages involved, sparknotes.com has many thorough chapter summaries to breeze through and understand the underlying message being communicated. And if I really like a book, I might purchase it, or better yet, listen to the audiobook on Youtube or Audible while playing Doom.

Listening to audiobooks is hardly reading, but I've found that turning off the sound and music in Doom along with the focused actions of dodging fireballs and killing monsters has a really strong symbiotic relationship with listening and retaining information from an audiobook than I would if I were to sit in a chair and listen to the audiobook alone. So now I'm subconsciously learning things while doing what I love to do. I've also embraced some pretty noble writers such as Dickens, Frost, Vonnegut and Orwell, as the stories they tell through their writing provides a lot to learn about the types of people you might meet in real life.

Anyway, for anyone who has always been a reader, good on you. You probably know a lot more than I do. And for those who don't, I'd recommend it :)

Car Stolen August 30, 2015, 7:20 am
Last night, up till 10pm watching music videos on YouTube.

Go to bed, wife locks doors and joins me shortly after returning from the King of Prussia Mall. She came home in her friends car.

Forgot to change the alarm so I wake up at 3:30am, an hour earlier than intended.

Walk the dog at 3:30am, observe my car still in front of house. Observe nothing unusual. Very quiet Sunday morning.

Return home at 4am, car still parked in front of house.

Feed dog, eat a banana, observe car keys sitting on kitchen counter.

Go up stairs to bed, nap for an hour because I don't have work until 6:00am (didn't lock front door, didn't think id need to for only an hour -- and after walking up and down the neighborhood without seeing anything suspicious,)

Wake up at 5:00, brush my teeth, change clothes, put on deodorant, come down stairs, look at phone for a few minutes to kill some time, then go to kitchen.

Can't find keys.

Retrace steps around the house, thinking if I moved the keys to a location where they'd be easier to notice for about 15 minutes, its now 5:50am

Look out the window -- CAR IS MISSING.

Call police. Officer on the way.

Call work, tell them I cant come in, car is stolen, work uniform in the car.

Officer arrives at 6:10am gets some information. Asks if we were drunk last night, if the car could possibly have been repossessed, if we have any friends who might have believed it was okay to borrow, if there's something of value in the car, if we have enemies (crazy ex girlfriend, crazy relatives) that might want to get revenge for something, but we answered no to all the questions.

My wife and I are the only ones who live in the house. We haven't had any guests at the house for weeks, we don't have any enemies (afaik) that would want to do something to us, our crazy schizophrenic next door neighbor doesn't drive and has been in the hospital for the past five days. And my car isn't really worth anything or has anything of value in it.

The crazy thing is that someone entered my house WHILE I was in the house, with my wife and my dog. I don't know how they got in without alerting my dog, or me, or anyone. The keys were not in a very obvious place, I don't think, at least not more obvious than other things such as an iPad that was sitting on the living room couch, a Nintendo Wii, a bluray player, expensive makeup my wife came home with, an engagement ring that was in the bathroom(!!)

I don't know who could have done it. I honestly dont have any friends who know me so personally to know my morning routine, so I can only imagine it was some stranger stalker in the neighborhood who saw an opportunity (not even a good opportunity either, we were all in the house!) couldn't find anything else out of place or unusual with the house. This person was really inconspicuous for someone who would commit such a risky crime for a relatively little reward.

I am however, relieved no one was hurt and other than my missing car, nothing was damaged or destroyed.

I know statistically that most people that steal (or get caught stealing) vehicles often take them for a joy ride and dump them off somewhere else usually pretty far away and that most people who do often get away with it. Most of them usually aren't even recovered. The officer said this is a very strange and unusual case that we don't know anyone or can suspect anyone who would have done it, to freely enter our house, take the keys and leave with the car. Its a super ballsy thing to do.

If anyone has had any experience with having a stolen car, or has any advice they heard from someone who had their car stolen, I could really use it. At the moment im changing the locks on all my doors and waiting to get a call from the police to tell me they found it.

My Doom Presentation March 11, 2015, 11:45 am
I'm taking a public speaking course, and one of the assignments was to prepare a speech about a hobby. So naturally I chose to talk about Doom. I presented it this morning and did so pretty successfully. Many of my other classmates were nervous wrecks and were very unprepared. So I sort of over-performed for the expectations of the class. I think I sold the game really well!


First I want to apologize in advance to TimeOfDeath, as I used screenshots of some of his weirder maps as examples of "bad maps" but only because they were very obviously weird just from looking at the pictures. I don't actually feel that way towards his maps. Most screenshots of 1994 maps I found were mostly just bland, had a slime trail here and there, and didn't appear to look far from what you would see in the IWADs. Some of the screenshots I chose for the presentation don't necessarily or accurately represent the points I wanted to make, I just thought that they would be the most visually appealing, obvious, and communicative of the particular point I was making.

Second, a good bit of the information in my presentation was a bit over-simplified. My original presentation was loaded with statistics and technical explanations. Even though I was sure I was clear, my wife said it was way too complicated for a presentation and no one was going to get it. My wife helped me simplify it (against my will) to break it down so that it was much easier to understand. I think it came out much better that way in the end.

Another thing I want to mention is that while some information is mostly pretty accurate, some of it is pretty embellished, and in some cases is downright wrong. I only did this because I was sure no one would call me out on it, and that it helped the presentation seem a bit more interesting.

There are plenty other points I wanted to talk about, such as what a wad file actually is, the differences between IWADs and PWADs, random level generators, source ports, capture the flag, TC's like Aliens, Batman Doom, Ghostbusters Doom, Simpsons Doom, demo recordning and speedrunning, but it was a lot to squeeze in a presentation that was assigned to be 3-4 minutes long.

Anyway here you are. The gif animations only appear correctly through google slides. If you view it in powerpoint, the animations choke up. Not sure why.

Below is the script I made for my presentation. Each greater than symbol (>) represents a point where I'm supposed to click to change slide or move on with the presentation.


Good Morning, Everyone.

My name is Jon, and I have a confession to make.

I am kind of a nerd.

Not like a Big Bang Theory Nerd -- I don't know anything about Star Trek, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, or about physics or chemistry.

I've never collected comic books or went to any conventions.

And I've never dressed up like a wizard to play Dungeons and Dragon's in my mom's basement.

But if I'm not here in school, at work, or spending time with my wife and dog,


Then I'm probably at home, playing Doom.

Doom is a popular computer game developed by Id Software in 1993.


It was so popular in fact, that a survey in 1995 found that there were more computers in the United States that had Doom installed on it, than had the Microsoft Windows 95 Operating System.

It was the first game to feature Head to Head Multiplayer that players could play against each other over an internet connection.

It's exciting new gameplay was so addictive that in the year it came out, it was said to be the number one cause of decreased productivity in the workplace in businesses around the world.


I first played Doom when I was three years old. My oldest brother came home with a set of floppy disks and installed the free 9-level shareware version of Doom where I got to play Doom for the very first time -- with all the cheat codes on, of course!

I played it for a while, but I picked it up again around the age of 13, which rekindled by love for the game.

I'm now 24 years old and I have not stopped playing.

So how you play a game for almost two decades and not get bored of it?


Well a major reason has to do with the WAD file system.

WAD Files are a system in which Doom players can safely run modifications with their game.

This was created by the developers of Doom to encourage players to play Doom and make modifications to it so they could play Doom in a way they most enjoyed.

This is different than most games both made at the time and today, that often require you to learn how to hack the software, sometimes corrupting your game in an irreversible way.

This system allows players to cycle through different modifications safely with no consequences.


So, I keep flashing this number on the screen -- One Hundred Fifty-Four Thousand, Seven Hundred Fifty-Eight. What does this number mean?


This is the number WAD files available on the internet today.

Most of these WAD files can contain anywhere between one and thirty six new Doom levels in each individual file.

If you were to play every single one of these Doom levels for just ten minutes -- back to back with no sleep or breaks, just straight playing Doom,

> (same slide -- words fly in)

It would take you 3 Years, 2 Months, 9 days, 18 hours, and 10 minutes to play through every single level just once.

That's a lot of Doom!

Now when I say there are over a hundred fifty thousand new Doom levels to play, that doesn't necessarily imply they are all going to be good.


In fact, it would be pretty ignorant of me not to mention the pretty large handful of levels that are confusing, don't make sense, or are simply not fun to play.


It's also not fair to say that they will all only take ten minutes. Some levels are very puzzle-oriented, complicated, and have waves of tens of thousands of monsters, like the ones shown here. Even with the most powerful guns in the game, it can take as long as 2 hours to complete one of these.


But even with a seemingly endless amount of levels to play, WAD files can change other things about the game too.

For example...


This is a Doom modification that accurately replaces all the guns in Doom to the ones from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

If you are a Call of Duty fan, and are bored of playing the single player campaign, which I've heard only takes about 45 minutes,

You can play through Doom's levels with this modification and feel right at home.


But the part about Doom that really gets me off the most, is Doom's level design.


With free level editors you can download on the internet, such as Wad Author, Eureka, or Doom Builder, you can draw lines to form enclosed shapes, which become sectors, which are used make up rooms or parts of rooms.

And when assembled together, they make up the floor plan for your doom level.


After that, you get to do the fun part, which is picking the colors and textures of the floors, walls and ceilings.

Then move on to placing the guns, items, and monsters in the level

And setting up traps for the player, and creating secret areas for him to find.


This is the first level of Doom, which was made in 1993.

Now, technology has evolved a lot since then, and as such, Doom's level design has gotten increasingly complex.


This a level made in 2002 by Kim Andre Malde

And if you're a real lunatic, or just have a lot of time on your hands, you might make something like this:


This is a level titled "The Eye" by a guy who goes by the alias "Mouldy" made in 2012.


This is what the level looks like from the inside.


These semi-realistic surreal environments can feature the detail, craftsmanship, and devotion that would rival something like the Sistine Chapel.

This is a level called titled "Vrack 3" by Fredrik Johansson, and you can see the individual sectors that are used to make the inset ceiling lights and hand rails.

The best part is that when you're done with your creation,

You can fill it with rocket launchers and shotguns and monsters and blow everything up by playing Doom inside your masterpiece!

Have you ever had a great uncle with a model trainset? Don't you just want to crash the trains into each other?

That's what this is all about!


These are some other levels created by Doom level designers in the last decade.

This one is called Deus Vult 2 by Huy Pham


This is a work in progress by Ed Cripps


This one is called Sunder, made by a guy who goes by the name "Insane Gazebo"


This is actually a level I made recently -- sorry it's so dark. Darkness looks cool in Doom!


Many people get into Doom level design for different reasons.

This is DWANGO -- one of the earliest and most popular levels ever created.

It was designed specifically without monsters and with tons of weapons and hiding places to be fun specifically for players who want to play against each other in a game mode called Deathmatch.


Other reasons people get into level design -- and this one is my personal preference -- is to make levels with extra monsters and traps to challenge more experienced players.

These types of level designers get a sadistic pleasure from watching the top ranking Doom players in the world suffer in their treacherous gauntlets


And other people like level design for the artistic aspect of it. This level is very difficult too, but it's shown without the monsters.

This level is titled "Swim with the Whales" and features an abstract high-contrast blue theme.


But the reason most people get into Doom Level Design is for the ability to create their own worlds and adventures.

Many modern video games today often have design teams of hundreds of people, with each person working on a very specific segment of the game.

This can be very monotonous and tiring.

Doom is a very fun, fast, and easy way to give players the ability to exercise their creative freedom.

My name is Jon, and Doom is my hobby.

Thank you.


I have a professor who doesn't believe in evolution February 24, 2015, 2:04 pm
I have a professor who teaches my Exercise, Nutrition, and Wellness class who has hinted on more than one occasion that the theory of evolution can't be true.

He thinks the claim that human beings evolved from primates, and by extension microorganisms is totally bogus. Human beings, particularly how the body works internally, are far too complex, mysterious, and perfect to have possibly evolved from things that are so simple and vulnerable.

Having been in his class, he's highly educated, enthusiastic about the subject, and far from stubborn. I trust his judgment on a lot of things and he's by far more involved with the class than any of my other instructors. I don't know for sure if he believes in creationism, but I've overheard him telling a story to someone about some people he met at a church, so he may be an active church goer. He researches nutrition and physical exercises daily on the internet and on youtube and has something new to tell us every class, often finding out interesting stuff, and even finding articles claiming some human body functions that scientists have yet to have clear explanations for.

I'm not necessarily saying I agree or disagree with him, but I find it interesting to hear someone like him who is well educated and otherwise very open-minded make the claim that evolution can't be real. I haven't yet picked his brain about it, as I'd rather complete the semester and get my final grade before possibly offending him if I sound too contrarian to his beliefs.

Online Classes Suck January 27, 2015, 12:55 pm
I just started taking my first internet class at community college, and it blows.

I thought it would be kinda cool since it's set up like an internet forum like doomworld is, but getting work done for it is the most time consuming thing I've ever endured, and I just started. It's a computer information systems and technology class, and many of the points are involved in class participation, so the teacher will post a list of questions that are required to be answered in the form of a new thread. Most of the questions require you to click links and read a long article, or browse through a website and pick your favorite page and write a summary about it or something. In addition to that, part of the points involved are to visit other student's threads and respond to their answers in some way or another.

I'm a pretty self-motivating guy in most conditions, but I'm having a really hard time already keeping composed, mannerful, and polite to talk about something so hideously boring. It doesn't help that my teacher is flooding the announcements page with 10-15 minute long youtube videos related to the subject, links to other uninteresting websites, and isn't clear whether or not it's required or optional to view.

I feel like I'm going to be spending 20 hours a week of my own personal time just to keep up, while my classes on campus are a fucking piece of cake. I literally just show up, take some notes here and there through the lecture, and complete the assignments the instructor hands out in class, or immediately after class, and my mind is free for the rest of the week, while this online class has so much reading material drilled into that I feel like I'm neck deep in quicksand already. Anyone have any tips on how to get through this?

My dog owns me November 14, 2014, 4:28 am
I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I've never really been a dog person until I met my wife. I've grown up with cats for most of my life and she's infatuated with puppies, so when we moved in together I became part owner of her dog. Until I've gotten more accustomed to her dog, I was always bothered by the way dogs bark and shout and jump all over you the instant you walk into a dog owners home. I'e grown to be more accepting of it as time passes, and to my surprise most people who've owned dogs or are best friends with a dog owner are too. But sometimes it makes guests uncomfortable.

Speaking of making people uncomfortable, my dog tends to make excessive eye contact as a way of getting attention. Naturally she follows me anywhere in the house I go. I think in part due to her separation anxiety, she needs to constantly be informed where I am at all times. I've kinda just adapted to it, but lately I'm beginning to suspect that she is learning that this is a tactic she can use to get what she wants.

I walk my dog every morning at 5:30am. It's the first thing I do when I wake up besides put on pants and shoes. It chills her out for most of the day and keeps her from doing things like peeing in the house or digging in the trash when my wife and I are out of the house. At 5:30am, It's dark and quiet and free from distractions and beats the neighbors who walk their dogs in the morning too, so my dog doesn't get all riled up and start yanking on the leash and trying to pull me around. I don't have any tolerance for that shit so I usually shorten the length of her walks if she starts acting up to keep her in line. After about the usual 45 minutes of walking her, I get home and take a shower, get dressed, then drive my wife to work, then I drive to my college classes. That's my morning routine almost every morning.

One morning I didn't have to go to school or work and chose to sleep in. At the time I woke up, around 9:00am or so, I went downstairs to watch some TV. As I was laying on the couch my dog, simply walking around in circles around the house as she usually does sits right in front of me on the couch and just looks at me. Unsure, I started petting her head, scratching her back, playing with one of her toys, but these only seem to distract her for a minute and the instant I stop she's back to sitting 6 inches away from my face staring at me with her big ol eyes wide open, occasionally making a quiet drone or moaning sound or something. This is annoying evil cat behavior except with the way my dog is, I find her exhibiting this kinda behavior to be much more noticeable and awkward. I think because cats have a way of acting where sometimes you're not even sure they are aware you exist, while my dog is always constantly alert of my whereabouts and responds to everything I do. I can't focus on the TV show and she continues making me uncomfortable, so against my will I take her outside for a walk in the afternoon in the hopes it would calm her down.

It works and she chills out for most of the day. At least until the next morning. I guess in excitement for going on these morning walks, she's awake earlier than I am. Sometimes I will wake up before my alarm goes off with my dog apparently staring directly into my eyes while I'm sleeping. Only inches away from my face, occasionally making that stupid moan noise, I accept the fact that with my dog's eyes fixated on me the entire time, and sitting invasively in my personal space, close enough that I can almost feel her breath when she exhales from her nostrils, that I'm not going to feel anymore refreshed trying to sleep during the remaining hour before my alarm goes off than if I just wake up now. This is becoming a daily affair and I'm beginning to suspect she's learning to do this conciously as a way to make me nervous and uncomfortable and give in to any of her demands.

Today I woke up at 3:30am. What do?

trash picker trash picker September 8, 2014, 8:50 am
A couple nights ago I started watching a TLC 'reality documentary' series on netflix called extreme cheapskates. I'm a bit of a stickler at times in regards to spending money, and it was a bit relieving to see people so radically in that direction.

On the first episode, first guy they interview, out of all the episodes on netflix I watched, was the worst. He air dries his paper towels on a clothesline so that he can use to dry is hands or clean up a mess as much as five times. He puts a brick in the back of the toilet tank to displace the water so it uses less per flush, sharpens his disposable razors, picks up any amount of loose change, buys expired foods from the liquidation store, even asks people at restaurants for their leftover foods when they're done eating!

The worst of it though was, that his wife and him were talking about their wedding day, and how he had orthodontic surgery the very next day with no insurance. She had a job and insurance, which was the reason he married her.

The episode continued, and it's the morning before their 25th wedding anniversary dinner. And he had to get her a gift. She said she's given up expecting any sort of jewelry or fancy restaurant or whatever. The self-proclaimed extreme cheapskate spends the day seeking a variety of gifts to get for her wife for their 25th anniversary dinner -- starting with the dumpster. In his searches, he finds four wilted roses, to which he proudly states "nothing says romance like flowers" and a teapot, which he defended his finding by saying she's always drinking tea.

Later on he moves on to the discount food store, purchases a bottled water for $0.15, and a miniature box of animal crackers for $0.30. "Not even expired!" he exclaims. Then he 'splurges a little' this year by buying her a skull shaped stress ball for $0.99. When he gets home, he finds an old greeting card his sister in law gave to his wife when she was ill. He crosses her name out on the card and writes his own, and paperclips a piece of paper reading "Happy Anniversary" over the message in the card!

When they go out to dinner that night to the local diner, she begs him, for this one day a year, not to take other people's leftovers. They bicker about it back and forth on the ride there. When they get there, he says he needs go to the restroom, but instead gives the $0.15 water to the diner staff and asks them to refrigerate it for him, so that they can serve it to his wife in lieu of paying for a normal beverage.

The night proceeds with him giving her the garbage he collected for her. While not ungrateful, she's obviously not impressed. He later starts scavenging tables where the guests left their leftover food for the wait staff to collect, embarrassing her like no other. The episode ends with her consolidating herself by saying these things happen, but she gets over them in time. I thought to myself I would never be like him.

The very next morning I go out to walk my dog just before sunrise. As were walking, my eyes fall upon a trash can. Perched directly on top, is a 21 in flatscreen LCD computer monitor in great condition. Much bigger than my current monitor. It wasn't even in the trash, but sitting on top of an old beanbag, filling up the can. I stared at it for a while, but it was still dark out, no one was around. I hesitated. Started to walk away, then turned around and yanked it out of the can. I took it home, tested it, and it works fine! Much larger than my current monitor which i paid over $100 for, and the colors really pop. It's not in my interest to pick from the trash, but I can't help but feel like I really scored big.

I hate myself.

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.


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.