Best Multiplayer Level

UDMX - UniDoom

I don't play a lot of multiplyer, and anyone who knows me will tell you I prefer single player experiences. Hell, "I" bought Left For Dead 2 to play offline co-op. UDMX This year I vowed to turn "best multiplayer" over to a deathmatch specialist... unfortunately, all my candidates had nominees for the award.

I played 3 outstanding multiplayer wads this year, Greenwar 2, UDMX, and Ghouls vs Humans. I had a chance to play all 3 on several Skulltag servers, and I came away with the feeling that, for pure Deathmatch, UDMX was more fun. Greenwar 2 has some of the most beautiful deathmatch maps I have ever seen, but some rather mediocre ones as well. The overall experience with UDMX gave me the impression that the maps were planned and structured to be the best deathmatch possible. Naturally, I would expect a deathmatch clan to know what good deathmatch is. Each map has Unidoom's quirkiness and affinity for SNES/Genesis music and themes. My particular favorite is Ralphis' Sonic DM.

I've said it in every year, but it's no longer relevant: nobody plays Dwango5 anymore. This year, you'll be lucky to get anyone away from Ghouls vs Humans long enough to play a regular Deathmatch set.

-Scuba Steve

Worst Wad

Tormentor667's Detail Guide

Worst WadDespite the title, this is not a dig on the author. I am referring to the detail craze that has plagued mapping for the last few years. I really began to notice the problem last year, and it continues to get worse; I hope it's not to late to reverse course. I am talking about hyperdetail, and more specifically, ugly hyperdetail.

Several times I've seen this guide referenced when a new mapper comes bearing screenshots of their newest creation. A conversations goes something like this... "You should check out this guide for some useful tips". The mapper returns with the same screenshot and a console in a wall and says "how about this?" Mapping is an art, and unless new artists can get a sense of style, composition and colour/texture balance, no detail guide can help them. This problem isn't just plaguing new mappers; several this year's Cacoward winners fell victim to copy/paste syndrome. You've seen it before: a really detailed light fixture is duplicated and pasted to fill a large room with no sense of honest aethetics.

This isn't to say you can't have an overly detailed mapset and not make it look good. Thunderpeak and Stronghold are two great examples of highly detailed work that also have a sense of visual balance. Slopes are great, but I don't need slopes on sides of outcroppings on a step with sloped light fixtures on top... when they aren't used correctly to add to the visual appeal. Tormentor's guide has some useful hints, but they don't matter if you don't have an understanding of texture layout, architecture and flow.

-Scuba Steve

Mordeth Award - Released project with the longest "development time"

Plutonia 2 - Plutonia 2 Team

Mordeth AwardWay to go Plutonia 2 team, you have won the coveted Mordeth award for wasting 8 years trying to finish a Doom project.

Last year I had to do some soul searching. What does "Mordeth" truly mean? Does it mean taking a long time to finish a project? No, there's something more... the project requires some history, a real sense of abandonment. The true recipient, in terms of sheer time, is Escape to Corvus, a rather mediocre map that sat on a hard drive for 11 years, in varying states, and was finally finished this year. But where were the delays? Where were the constantly changing team members, the missed deadlines, and broken website promises.

Thank you Plutonia 2 for giving something back to the community... namely, a finished project. Nearly a decade of new team members, website updates promising a release, even abandonment and a complete scrapping of major segments of the project in order to revamp them and cause further delays. We were fortunate it turned out for the best, making the wild ride worth the wait. For 8 years, you promised us a sequel to one of the best megawads ever made (that's right, Plutonia is just a megawad), and this year you delivered. Just a quick rundown... during the time it took to make Plutonia 2:

  • id Software completed and released an ACTUAL sequel to Doom
  • I made two complete projects, one taking over 4 years to finish
  • Pretty much the entire Bush Administration and 9/11
  • 10 Years of Doom and every Cacoward... congratulations, you've earned them!

-Scuba Steve

Mockaward - Best comedy wad of the year

Killing Adventure - Ruba

This wad actually deserves the "Worst Wad" award. There is nothing funny about this project... but I can't bring myself to call this a terrible project. The Mockaward is named for Mockery, the jokewad that pretended to look like a collection of "newbie" themed maps. In a delicious twist it was never released, but that didn't stop dozens of wannabees from making their own "mock" maps.

Killing Adventure is to Ruba what No. 5 is to Jackson Pollock, this is shit as art! The /newstuff Chronicles that reviewed this project missed the humor, and that's the brilliance of this map. The maps are bad but not terrible; imagining Ruba wasting his time to tweak a jokemap is hilarious. The text file itself is a work of brilliant parody of early 1995 megawards with lines like "After that I finish off the Killing Adventure and I drew the pictuers and the titlepic and got it scanned at my cousins house." Every piece of Killing Adventure was crafted to be a subtle stab at new mappers. The intermissions are perfect, and Ruba has seen fit to include several pieces of new, terrible art to tie the whole experience together.

The Killing Adventure isn't just a Mockery-styled wad, it's a work of comedic abstract expressionism. Hopefully, Mockery style jokewads are dead, and if this is to be the final one, it went out with gusto.

-Scuba Steve

Mapper of the Year

Brett "Mechadon" Harrell

This choice should come as no big surprise to anyone who's paid much attention to the Doom modding community over the course of the past year. Brett "Mechadon" Harrell has made significant contributions to no less than five of the wads released in 2009, taking leadership positions in several of them, including three of the wads that were nominated for Cacowards. His maps never fail to impress, combining interesting and creative layouts with his trademarked architectural and detailing style.

Mechadon is deserving of this award for more than just his impressive mapping, though. He's also helped mappers get together, initiating and organizing a number of major community projects. Two of these community projects (IGPack from Skulltag's community and Claustrophobia 1024 from Doomworld's) were released this year, both of which were candidates for awards.

His work on the 36-map deathmatch set Greenwar 2, too, was about more than just making great maps: it also saved the project from over two years of development hell and inactivity, detailing a number of map layouts at the last minute and compiling the finished WAD. Never one to get complacent in his victories, his next target is fraggle's "Toke It Up!" tribute project, which Mech picked up and started contributing to after seeing that it had been stuck in an incomplete state for several years.

Considering all that he's given to the community, Mech's apparently self-attributed nickname of "Lazyadon" couldn't possibly be much further from an accurate description. Never before have I seen anyone who is both so capable of and so interested in doing so much fantastic work in such little time. I hope to see Mechadon remain as an active member of the Doom community in the coming years; his presence has undoubtedly made a positive impact on it thus far.


2009 Cacowards

Page 1

  • Hell Ground
  • NewDoom Community Project II
  • Harmony

Page 2

  • Mapgame
  • Legacy of Suffering
  • Tribute

Page 3

  • Ghouls vs Humans
  • Whispers of Satan
  • Demons of Problematique 2
  • Plutonia 2

Other Awards

  • Best Multiplayer
  • Worst Wad
  • Mordeth Award
  • Mockaward
  • Mapper of the Year


Did You Know...

September 8th marked the 1 year anniversary of Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl.

Did You Know...

Mordeth and Millennium were still not released in 2009, despite over eleven years of development.

'Tis the season

Looking for a great holiday gift this Christmas? Why not send a loved one a copy of Urban Brawl for $9.99? Available at the official website!

DLC available soon!

A Mighty
Second Wind

Wondering how you can play even more Doom than you are currently? 2009 was a boon for Doom related gaming with the release of Doom and Doom: Resurrection for the iPhone. After the upcoming release of Doom II for XBox Live Arcade, you will be able to play Doom on everything shy of Doom itself!



Why am I still here, at my age, writing about a 16 year old game?