|What's in Demand||December 12, 2010, 12:20 pm|
I managed to pull myself into a state of mind with my Doom mapping that to this day I sort of regret. I don't regret it totally, because my mapping was done with the utmost respect for the community and I had acquired many different skills and understanding of the map editor as a result of it. There were rewards involved and my contributions nominated me for to become this years mapper of the year. I'm extremely happy knowing that I have made a number of achievements here that will be documented for the rest of this site's lifetime. I've also recieved a cake commemorating my achievement from a friend of mine (I love you Julie!) i mentioned in this post. I feel like I could potentially use this award as a quality in my resume if I were to look into a career in video game level design. The drawback is that I am now realizing that I could be doing better. However, it could be different than what you think is better, it's not in my agenda to care.
A common trend that I'm recognizing more now than ever before is making its mark in so many industries. movies, video games, music, and even in this Doom community. There appears to be some sort of reasoning as to why entertainment industries are doing this, being as though it is a legitimate marketing strategy and it's profitable. This trend I'm recognizing is that we allow criticism to dictate our actions. Hollywood is responding to movie reviews of old favorites and attempting to remake the same movie better, using our longlived love for the original as the initial selling point. Modern scifi military shooters are inheriting the same gameplay mechanics from each other. regenerating health, class systems, immersive storylines, cinematic visuals, limited weapon slots, etc. Almost all pop music uses autotuned vocals and features artists singing about their desire to make it big and get drunk and "baby i love you; you're so fine you're so fine" bullshit. This stuff sells so it's recycled over and over as being something that's new and different when its roots and initiative are inherently exactly the same.
There's no profit involved with Doom mapping and I'm actually quite in favor of that. With profit out of the equation, you'd think that would create a counterculture of people where there's minimal incentive to listen to what people have to say about you or your mapping, and just do your own thing. Unfortunately, the train of thought that calls for making wads for attention and notoriety, where the rewards are in the satisfaction of knowing that there are people that can respect you for following all the "directions" of making a good Doom map. All our varying opinions and criticism of each others work boils down to a very strict canonical way of mapping that must be followed to avoid harsh criticism. I think my own mapping falls into this customary category of mapping and I think that helped forward my nomination towards mapper of the year, which makes me feel undeserving of the award.
I've found that my favorite mappers are mappers that are mapping for no one but themselves. Mappers whose thought process is along the lines of "If I can manipulate Doom, this is how I want my Doom to be" instead of "this is what I think people want their Doom to be" Some of my favorite mappers, such as Huy Pham, who created Deus Vult wanted to make an epic adventure, with extreme difficulty to put his own skills to the test, because Doom 2 on Nightmare mode just isn't enough for him. Erik Alm, who is a pretty predominant speedrunner created many maps with extreme numbers of monsters that call for fantastic speedrunning tactics to survive. The makers of Hell Revealed, Hell Revealed 2, and Alien Vendetta also made those wads for that same reason. These wads are timeless despite not meant to please all audiences. Players of these wads have to revert to the ideals of the mapper's playing strategy to enjoy it, and stretches the open-mindedness of the player. There are many other mappers I am sure make maps with this same mindset. If I were more close to these people I could make more mentions, but at the moment I feel that ArmouredBlood, Walter Confalionieri, and Boon Lived meet these qualities. (Again I'm sure there are more, but I'd have to make more time to play maps by various authors to recognize them)
There is without a doubt rewards in responding to criticism with your actions. You fix bugs in your maps, make them more playable, learn to avoid annoying quirks etc. Criticism has been the most important part of the results of my mapping, but it shouldn't be. Criticism shouldn't be most important for anyone. The most important part of mapping should be the mapper's core values. The mapper must pinpoint exactly the things he/she likes or dislikes about Doom and seek to enhance the things they enjoy, and improve on the things they dislike. Not what anyone else likes or dislikes. This allows the players to see Doom through your eyes and not through the eyes of the melting pot of map reviewers everywhere, who eventually all boil down to the same likes and dislikes unless more people were to branch out and spit out their wayward views on the game. Too often I see wads that are strict about aligning textures, having safe, not-too-hard but not-too-easy gameplay, traps tied to specific events, using new resources, simplified puzzles, etc. These things may seem to be the best qualities of a wad, in fact almost all of my maps utilize these things. But I feel as though these characteristics of "good" wads are limiting. Almost as if they serve as a barrier from people outletting their creative potential, and instead conform to these ideals to avoid negative response at themselves and their wads.
I'm just not phased by negative response anymore. I'm not going to seek to make people hate my maps, but for now on I'm going to stop following routine and strive to put emphasis on my mapping strengths more so than ever. I'm gonna exaggerate my favorite things about Doom and what makes doom so great. and make maps based on things that I enjoy about Doom and less about what other people think makes the best maps. I encourage anyone who wants to make wads for Doom to do the same.
|Non-relationship relationship||December 6, 2010, 1:17 pm|
There's a girl I work with that I've grown to be pretty good friends with. She moved in here about a month ago from Philadelphia because of something her mom got into; she doesn't like to talk about it, but she's kinda isolated here now because all of her best friends are in Philly and she doesn't drive. I started hanging out with her outside of work after she told me she was off for a few days on the same days I was off and that she was gonna be stuck at home bored as hell. Assuming she was trying to lead me on into asking her out on a date, I opted to chill with her for a little. (I later found out it was totally happenstance and she wasn't insinuating anything)
We've been hanging out pretty regularly. We'll spend long hours into the night doing dumb stuff and making fun of each other and messin around. Just the other day we built gingerbread houses. We really open up to each other about stuff at work and friends and whatever and found that our lives are very similar. We've talked about relationships and stuff and we also kinda realized that we both have a lot of friends, but no real best friend. In addition to that, in our experiences with people, usually when a group of friends makes a plan for a road trip or something, it almost always falls flat and the trip 99% of the time doesn't happen. We both shared a common trait that if we were to get a trip organized, we would totally go through with it, and planned a trip to Canada in the next couple months.
A few speculative people at work had asked us if we were dating. It certainly fucking looks like it being as though I find myself hanging out with her more in a single month than I have with some of my closest friends in the past year. We do stuff that I wouldn't usually do with someone that is just a friend. Last week we went bowling, went out and saw the movie Tangled and ate at a restaurant afterwards. The thing is, I don't really think either of us see each other as being a real good mate. We always make a joke out of everything; we literally told everyone at work that we were going to Canada to get married just to fuck with them!
Yesterday the two of us were gonna hang out, and she told me her friend was bartending in Philly and can get us in. I was out at work until 11pm and we were gonna go together so I wouldn't have to do so much driving. Her mom was going to drive us over and we would take a train back, but for whatever reason, her mom changed her mind and got all pissy about it. I suggested we take a train up too but then she got all pissy too and just wanted to drink. We kinda bickered over other things (stuff like what any couple would argue about) and eventually ended up with her telling me she was gonna just go to Philly by herself because she didnt want to get to the bar too late. I thought that was pretty lame of her and I told her she was the bitchiest person ive ever met. She told me to fuck off and she left for the bar.
If I had had that same argument with someone I'd consider to be my girlfriend, it probably would have been followed by a break up. Relationships always have so much tension. The thing that was crazy about this, is that 30 seconds later I wasn't even mad about the whole thing. She drunk dialed me that night at like 2am as I was playing Doom. She was all apologetic and asking if I hated her. I told her everything is cool (and it is) and she was like confessing her love to me and wishing i was there and whatever. I just kinda played along with it, making fun of her as usual just to tick her off since we never really get mad at each other over anything. I called her this morning to tell her about how she confessed her love for me and we just laughed about and she didn't feel awkward or offended or anything about it at all.
I don't know if this is a kind of relationship or not but if it were it's probably the most stable relationship I could ever have. I mean, I could ask her to marry me right now and be set for life. I'm not gonna do that yet because I'm too young to become an adult and get married and have a family. I still get enjoyment out of acting impulsively and not knowing the future that lies ahead. She'd probably say no anyway for the same reason. It's confusing but not in a bad way.
|Shortest song ever||December 2, 2010, 7:45 pm|
1:49 minutes in, fastcore band named "xBraniax" Track #47 - Trekkie Killer
My Ipod says 0:01 seconds long. I listen to it on repeat.
|Video Game Culture||November 28, 2010, 12:49 pm|
Recently I visited my neighborhood shopping center and stopped in Target to look around and hypothesize gift ideas for Christmas. I'm not one to actually pick out gifts at stores that are what the person would most likely enjoy, but instead look around at the options to get myself to think. I usually prefer to scope out each person's specific interests and come up with some kinda memorabilia to reflect that interest.
But anyway, I was walking around in Target and it didn't really strike me right away, but I was looking around various sections of the store and this obscure observation started to accumulate in credibility as I wandered about. It was something I wasn't really accustomed to growing up. The electronics area of the building occupied almost a quarter of the entire building. This isn't much of a surprise with all the new TV's and movies and the desire to have the best living room, but I noticed a lot of electronics related things seeping into other sections of the store. Around the literature section where they had a list of best selling books, I came across "The Halo Encyclopedia." among the many vampire themed books. When I was looking around the furniture section I walked in on an assortment of "Gaming Chairs" which are chairs that are comfortably laid back and allow for adjustments based on your mode of play, a lot like the driver's seat of a car. Also around the clothing section, I came across a bunch of Call of Duty articles of clothing such as T-Shirts and pajamas, overhearing a couple gazing at them exclaiming "Oh, Jeffery is gonna love this!"
As I was growing up, video gaming wasn't very popular and when I tried to talk about video games to kids at school, or anyone really, they were never really interested. Video gaming seemed like it was something to be ashamed of. I've grown to accept the fact that if I wanted to meet new people, I would need things more interesting to talk about than my favorite video games. I still regret the several years I spent strictly playing the video games I couldn't care less about now that I should have spent doing something productive or memorable. I came to that realization when I entered the work world and became aware of my lack of common sense due to having so few experiences in the real world. I don't think I'm a bad person now because of it, but I think I could have been better if I had realized it much sooner.
Today, it's almost as if habitual gaming is welcomed. I find this to be pretty disgusting. Not that kids are able to openly admit they play video games and talk about it on a regular basis without looking like an outcast, but because as a man who's been predisposed to playing video games growing up, I know there's nothing good that can come of it. Especially with how stupified games are these days, they communicate to the gamer like a fucking moron, spoonfeed them directions, and make multiplayer always fair and balanced, regardless of skill level. This virtual reality doesn't reflect anything in the real world. I don't think video game developers have a duty to fill in a parent's position, but I still think it's wrong to market video games like it's something people can be proud of being addicted to.
|Mapping||November 21, 2010, 11:42 am|
As of late I haven't been churning as many maps out as I used to. There's several people I said I was going to make a birthday map for and I hadn't gotten around to it. I haven't forgotten about you all and will get to it at some point.
I've been having a lot going on at this point. Nothing really bad, just fillers of my time. I've been working full time, I'm training to become manager, I go to school 3 days a week and am already falling behind on homework. I'm also struggling to sever ties with some people and spend more time with others. I'm still stuck in some situations where I can't tell if they are relationships or not and am indecisive on how I want to handle each one.
But anyway, the point is that I can't seem to make as much time for mapping as I used to. I haven't decided to quit mapping. In fact, much the opposite. I WANT to keep mapping. I love mapping and I love being able to document my changes in style and my improvements over time. (It's one of the few things that I have a historical timeline of) I also like to assume that you guys love playing Doom maps as much as I do so I WANT to continue contributing to the Doom community. I'm hoping in the near future I will be able to have some free time to continue doing what I love. During some moments of freetime I've still managed to create some unfinished layouts and such so maybe some day I'll be able to utilize it in my mapping.
I just wanted to keep you guys informed about what i've got going on and how it's been interfering with my consistent mapping pace over the last few months. I don't intend to ever 'leave' being as though I'm so attached to this game. I'll probably continue mapping until I die. At the moment I'm a little overwhelmed with stuff and I seem to be putting off mapping (among other things like a reasonable sleep schedule and having more than one meal a day) because of it. I dunno how long I can take it and hopefully in the near future I'll have some time to breathe so I can make maps again.
|I have a new facebook friend||November 13, 2010, 9:28 am|
|Dedication||November 4, 2010, 4:08 pm|
This semester of college, more so than others, is really opening my eyes and im developing all these negative opinions about everything. I suppose you could call me a hater now that I can hardly be satisfied with the direction ANYTHING is going anymore. I was already pretty angry with a lot of things to begin with, especially knowing that there is very little I can do about most of it, but my writing class has directed me towards a lot of recent literature with speculative opinions about the new generation and how things aren't and never will be as good as they were before. I find myself agreeing with some things and disagreeing with others, and alternatively developing my own opinions based on my own observations.
The more I participate in my Advertising and Promotion class, the more I begin to hate it. Not the class, but the whole concept of marketing in itself. The more I understand marketing the more evidence of it is showing up in almost every type of product or service I get exposed to. I'm coming closer to the conclusion that the purpose of all material things is to make money, not so much to effectively create a solution for a given problem. I remember reading somewhere about how pharmaceutical companies don't develop cures for illnesses, but instead develop temporary medications for them, because it's a business.
I have this lame History of Mathematics class where we study math in its earliest primitive form. At this point in our course, we talked about a great mathematician named Pierre de Fermat. He didn't write his own books, but instead added commentary in the margins of other books. His last theorem, a mathematic equation, x2+ y2 = z2, was correct, but unable to be proven correct until 300 years later in 1993 by Professor Andrew Wiles.
We watched a documentary in class about him. This dude, Andrew Wiles is a pretty goofy lookin' fellow. He has a messy haircut, a big forehead, and he's not very charismatic at all. But when the documentary showed him in front of a whiteboard, he could do math like a machine. It was incredible. According to the documentary, he fled in secrecy, isolated himself in his room for 7 years thinking and handwriting his math problems until he discovered the proof to this theorem. I'm sure any average person who saw this documentary wouldn't really think of him as your typical role model and would think to themselves "Wow what an outcast. He must have a lot of time on his hands."
I have half a mind to go with that same general consensus. I mean, he didn't even get paid for those full 7 years. He knew the proof to that theorem was out there and it was in such high demand by great mathematicians of our time, and that was enough motivation for him to pursue this lost piece of math history. In all honesty, I couldn't give two fucks about math history. But that's not the point I'm getting at.
It's the act of performing actions that benefit people, even an extremely small group of people completely out of passion. Andrew Wiles' dedication to the subject of math proves to be so deep that he doesn't need money to be satisfied with a discovery that he made for the benefit of others. I feel I'm one of the few luckiest people in the world to know that I am part of a community that benefits from entertaining each other for free through using Doom as the medium. We are a rare breed of people who absolutely love this game and it amazes me to see that people are willing to put forth effort in creating great Doom WADs for nothing more than to read people's feedback.
This cannot be said for so much of the commercialized industries such as movies, music, and video games that as of late, have been outputting a ridiculous amount of merchandise with obnoxious prices and less than satisfying end results. It always boils down to money. Artistic value and monumental effort has become so futile that just about anything is completely useless unless its particular qualities can somehow be converted into revenue. People have grown willing to take shortcuts to reduce the amount of effort or fake themselves out of having to create artistic masterpieces as a shortcut to making money. The passion lies in money that is generated through actions, and not the actions themselves.
I've noticed this same pattern in pretty much all material things. It may seem contradictory for me to use things such as cell phones and cars the internet when I hate them so much, but these things became an addiction and held a position in my everyday life before I even realized what they were doing or what purpose their existence served. It's far too difficult for me to call it quits now. We wonder why our country is a trainwreck when we've become so accustomed to the luxuries of having instant communication to anyone in the world, or throwing a $5 bill on a counter and getting a full meal handed to us in 90 seconds.
If you guys are as predictable as I think you are you'll tell me I need to suck it up and just accept a world where it's impossible to do the things I love and still thrive, and just continue to halfass my way to economic prosperity.
|New Stereotype||October 27, 2010, 11:13 am|
I was at the mall walking through a JCPenny to get to my car after visiting a friend of mine while she was at work and I saw some hats that were on sale so I browsed around. Two of the employees, a pair of young guys about my age were talking as they were hanging clothes up back on the hangers. I wasn't totally eavesdropping on their conversation but from I understand one guy is trying to get his girl back after she broke up with him and the other guy was making fun of him for it. He was saying stuff like "Nigga, you so whipped" and "Youre one desperate-ass nigga."
Here's the thing.
The guy who was trying to get his girl back was black, and the guy calling him desperate was white. I guess I haven't been keepin up with the times or something but I was under the impression that white people can't say the N word. I've never really seen anything like it before. The white guy sort of walked off later laughing about the situation to put coat hangers back and I meandered over to the black guy. We made eye contact and I couldn't help but ask out of curiosity "Does.. doesn't it bother you when he calls you that all the time?"
He looked at me like my head was in my ass and says "Man who do you think I am? What, just cuz someone says something that sounds racist to you, I'm the one who's supposed to be offended by it? What do you think I'm just hidin here waiting to jump out and call people racist when I hear someone say nigga once or twice? You one ignorant mothafucka ya know that?"
|Haunted Theme Parks||October 18, 2010, 5:40 am|
This weekend I went to visit my cousin in New Jersey for his birthday, and he had been planning on going out to the "Night of Terror" at a farm called Creamy Acres. The place featured funhouses, haunted hayrides and a few other attractions. This is one of the first halloween themed scary events I've ever attended. I kinda expected not to be thrilled and to be full of cheap scares, and I kinda got exactly what I expected. Still I chose to admire the scenery the best I could.
First I'd like to give credit where credit is due. For a $35 entree fee, you certainly get to see and experience things you wouldn't see at a park that costs $5 to get in. It certainly opened my eyes towards what you're capable of doing as far as creating a place like this. The place was broken up into 6 different attractions all featuring tons of actors that leap out from corners in front of you or chase you from behind. There was also a lot of strobe lighting, fog machines, and mechanical monsters/witches/dragons/whatever.
However, my biggest turnoff was.. thematically, it didn't make any sense. We started off going into this haunted house where the fear being exacerbated was clowns. All kinds of derranged clowns with maniacal laughter with creepy out of tune circus music. Next we went immediately on to the haunted hayride, which a smooth ride on a strict path where we saw robotic dragons breathing fire, zombie farmers jumping on and off our trailer, crazy guys with chainsaws, animated skeletons, and a ton of other stuff. The next part was the Frozen Tundra where we got off and walked through this manmade cave that had abominable snowmen jump out at you. Shortly after that, we entered the Pirate Playground, which was another haunted house with pirate actors jumping out at you, cobwebs, gypsies, etc.
See what I'm getting at? The entire theme park revolved around the theme of being scary, which is a lot like creating a wad with the theme of Doom. Also, each haunted house thing was a strict mazy layout where there was only one set path to go. Admittedly, it was nice knowing that I entered the park and left knowing I didn't miss anything, but the feeling of fear was totally removed from the equation, knowing that the entire experience was completely 'contained' and therefore safe.
My favorite part by far, was this attraction called "Mayhem of Darkness" which started off kinda slow but cooler as we went on. We entered this barn with fake plywood walls to create an extensive snaking hallway, although it was pitch black, with the exception of a few dim flashing lights. There were ominous howling noises and screams and stuff. It didn't feature anything to scare you but the noises were a pretty cool effect. After you get out of the barn, you're immediately dropped off into a cornfield maze, where there are actors hidden behind bushes. If you go into a dead end, an actor will stalk you from behind and leap out at you as you turn around. Unfortunately the maze was horrendously easy to solve and some of the actors didn't really put their heart into their acting. After that maze, you enter another barn with a similar layout to the previous barn, except with chainlink fencing instead of walls, and instead of darkness, there was a really thick fog created from a fog machine. You literally couldn't see more than a foot in front of you, and actors hidden behind the fences didn't even have to really do anything, because you didn't even realize they were there until you were too close to run away.
I guess my gripe with this theme park was that I was expecting more of a cinematic experience, and an important part of many horror movies is to have a lot of unknowns and places to explore. Also if something like this were a horror movie, it wouldn't make any sense. There's like 500 billion antagonists, and you only encounter them one by one and you know that once you pass one you move on to the next one. I think the best approach to creating a really frightening theme park is to make whatever is trying to scare you implied instead of spoonfed to you. Everything was just way too stagey and you basically just walk through the defined path that you know there isn't any real danger. Something scary would need to be ominous. If people were unsure they were going somewhere that is the
"right way," they can't be sure of what horrors lie ahead, if any. Also darkness would need to be used to it's fullest advantage. A lot of their special mechanical monsters were pretty well lit so you could get a good look at them, and in turn, see how horribly robotic they are, doing their one animation. I think if they had created similar monsters that were less detailed hidden in fog or bushes or darkness, it would leave it's scariness totally to the imagination, and how scary it is relies entirely on what you percieve it to be, not what it actually is, which IMO is a stronger.
I'm planning on writing down some kind of a plan to create the ultimate horror-theme-park using ideas I got from this event and my knowledge of making good Doom maps. I was going to inherit many of it's good ideas and set up some kind of nonlinear forest with different trails leading to different attractions so that each can be approached from any direction for a different experience each time. Actors skulking around scaring people, in addition to actors pretending to be tourists getting mauled by other actors. It would rely less on manufactured decorations and electricity and more on naturally aged materials and makeshift decorations that look real even up close. I think it would also be scary to come up with a way to seperate people in a group so that they need to find each other. I'm still in the conception stage but I'm sure I can throw out some more realistic details soon.
|Textng guys.||October 3, 2010, 3:15 pm|
|I try to hang out with girls all the time and girls LOVE to text instead of call. I usually try to hang out with girls more often than guys. I have a few guy friends and a ton of guy acquantances but I usually avoid getting too close and I don't hang out with them as much, though a lot of times I tend to text girls to find out what they're up to and if they wanna do something. It feels like the standard for getting a date going. Ive kinda grown to be accustomed to texting because of it. Is it weird to send guys text messages to see if they wanna hang out? To me it seems like a really girly thing to do.|