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deathz0r

The /newstuff Chronicles #273

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Dearest apologies for being late! I have been dwelling deep into the pits of unknown, experimenting with a certain thing called Ubuntu Linux on a networkless Pentium II. The highlight of this expedition was getting a SVN revision of Chocolate Doom to compile (amongst other unrelated things, like waiting half a hour for mplayer to compile and spending two hours obtaining and installing the required dependencies to get Chocolate Doom to compile). Does this explain the reason for being a few days late? Certainly not! So forget everything I said and let's move on to some surprising additions to this week's /newstuff!

  • Hell's Twisted Influence: Episode #2 - Andrew "Ninja_of_DooM" Fernie
    ZDoom - SP - 15mb(!) - (img)
    I have to say it's a mere coincidence that I sort my reviews alphabetically, and this happened to be first on the list. I have to say this first and foremost: This is a massive waste of downloading time. And I thought I was pissed off with Project Dark Zone back in #271.

    Now, I can't really complain myself since I was downloading it at 900kb/sec, but when I read the text file and discovered that a twenty three megabyte WAD only had one level, I immediately thought "this better be worth the HD space I'm going to use up in order to review this". Unfortunately, I was wrong. So damn far from being right that I was largely disappointed with this... incredibly linear... piece of shit.

    I'm sure as hell going to get flamed for this, but I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate this WAD. When I was playing this, I had the feeling that this was comparable to a Hollywood box office movie: Overbudgeted (in this case filesize), overly excessive detail and next to zero replayability. If this was meant to be nothing more than a tech demo, then Ninja_of_DooM has accomplished that brilliantly. The layout is dull, the gameplay the dull, nothing about it strikes to me as being remotely interesting, but I'm sure this WAD will be popular with idiots purely based on eye candy and the amount of sectors/linedefs/sidedefs. Also, the lack of co-op support just makes this even more useless.

    If you have any sort of decent taste of user-made levels, you should either avoid this or play it once and delete it afterwards.

  • Rf 1024 - rf
    Boom - SP - 47kb - (img) (img)
    Ah, the 1024x1024 craze. Let me remind everyone that I invented that damn idea! If you don't believe me, go look at Mock 2 MAP18 and see for yourselves.

    Irrelevant facts aside, this is a map by ravage for that 1024 contest that's going on in the forums. I'll be honest and say that I still have not downloaded Congestion 1024 yet but if the maps are anything like this, I'll have to add it onto my to-do list. Despite being short (as you would expect with maps this small) and incredibly cramped, I found this to be quite an excellent map, disregarding the gimmick of this map. The detail is great, the layout is amazingly complex and the gameplay is quite balanced. I did finish this map on the first try though, so I presume it won't be much of a challenge for you SP freaks. Maybe it's going to be assigned to an early slot in the upcoming 1024 megawad. Regardless, if you're after a quick thrill, check this out.

  • RYLAYEH - J S Graham
    Enhanced port - SP - 1,820kb - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    I recall reviewing Azagthoth roughly 90 or so /newstuffs ago (as a guest reviewer, due to the whole thing you all know about), and I wasn't really impressed with the WAD. This set of ten levels is a definite improvement over that WAD. What I like most about this WAD is the recolour jobs for certain monsters. I believe it gives them a bit of variance that we don't see that often in Doom wads. Anyway, I wasn't impressed with the start of MAP01, since I found it a bit too challenging for me, but it starts really picking up from MAP04 onwards. However, there is not much health in the entire WAD, meaning you have to either use a defensive style of play, or hope that you're able to dodge attacks and hazards very well. Fortunately the ammo count is quite balanced, and the detail is great and consistant throughout. Another note of interest is how the levels flow into each other. I must say it's very impressive, but you'll just have to see it for yourself. WAD of the week.

  • Skulltag Community Domination Project - aabra, Rivecoder and others
    Skulltag - Teamplay - 7mb - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    One thing I like about Skulltag's community is that they can pull together high quality community releases in an incredible period of time. Cheers to the underdogs in the Multiplayer Doom community!

    These are the first Domination maps made for Skulltag since 2000, when a certain founder of WIP had created fbasedom for Skulltag 0.8. That said, this mapset generally satisfies my taste of deathmatch in general for this week with the highly notable exceptions of MAP04 and MAP08: Two maps which I've seen given tons of praise by various people, yet I personally hate them for two completely different reasons. I absolutely hate the layout of MAP04, and I absolutely hate the KDIZDism of MAP08 (fifth screenshot).

    The other maps are generally high-quality with lots of replayability value and great massive layouts that made me squeal in joy. The sheer size of some of the maps, particularly MAP01, MAP03 and MAP05 makes for incredibly epic battles that require at least six players on each team. MAP06 and MAP07 are a bit out of league compared to the other maps, but they're still enjoyable and definitely a recommendation to check out on Skulltag servers.
  • Terror Within: An E2 Replacement - Wills Hines
    "ZDoom" - SP - 214kb - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    I'm not sure why this explicitly requires ZDoom, as I'm sure it needs nothing more than a Dehacked patch changing the map titles. Regardless, the text file states "Made this a long time ago", so don't expect super flashy detailing. However, I do believe that it is a rather faithful remake of episode 2, but the quality of the WAD overall feels a bit inferior to the original levels. If you're an E2 fan though, I'd definitely check this out.

  • The escape from UAC's tower - Aluqah
    ZDoom - SP - 151kb - (img) (img)
    The first reviewed in a series of WADs by this author, I find this map to be quite poor overall. Long boring hallways, very plain detail, and definitely not enough health.

  • The lost city - Aluqah
    ZDoom - SP - 57kb - (img)
    Allow me to copy and paste from the previous review: Long boring hallways, very plain detail, and definitely not enough health. I found this WAD less tolerable than uactower.wad though.

  • The New Adventure - Paul Corfiatis
    ZDoom - SP - 1,183kb - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    What do you get if you throw mock2.wad, lamedoom.wad and 1337.wad into a blender and set it to the fastest speed? You get this interesting result of sheer craziness and so forth.

    I must say, I think Paul has some sort of inside knowledge about who reviews /newstuff on what week, since he released this WAD at the perfect time. Not only do I love jokewads, but I also love his nod to myself with MAP23. This displays the typical features of most jokewads: deliberately poor design, inane texture, sprite, sound and music replacements, and the weirdest map titles you'll probably see in any Doom WAD. Although I personally found this a blast to play, people will whine like bitches (especially those who uploaded maps this week) if I gave this the coveted deathz0r WAD of the Week award, so I'm going to refrain.

    Also, if you have to use cheats to get through this WAD, you must clearly suck. This WAD is incredibly easy compared to lamedoom or do-tims.

  • The World is Not Enough - Aluqah
    ZDoom - SP - 114kb - (img) (img)
    I should basically repeat what I said for the other Aluqah WADs reviewed, but this one has a slightly more interesting layout than the other two.

  • Twilight Duel - Nick "DD_133" McCarthy
    Skulltag - DM - 28kb - (img)
    Primary purpose: Single play
    Way to fail DD!

    To quote DD, he is "BACK IN MAPPING ACTION" from his infamous haitus from the Skulltag community for reasons I don't think need to be mentioned on a site that gets around 2000+ page views a day. Regardless, this duel map is an interesting piece of work to say the least. It looks like it was made up on the spot with a few bad choices of texturing, but the layout seems to work quite well. Very good interconnectivity between rooms which allows for alternate approaches to take out your opponent. The item placement is also quite good, so I'd check this out if you want to have quick 1-on-1 matches.

  • White Light - James "Phobus" Cresswell
    ZDoom - SP - 228kb - (img)
    I was hoping to not end this /newstuff on a negative note, but I found this map rather tedious and annoying to say the least. First, it took me ages to realise what the switch textures were, as I thought they were simply decoration at first. Not only that, but the new monster is probably invincible and has a really powerful ranged attack. I also did not like the lack of contrast variance, as it seemed way too bright. I do like the use of the skulls however.

There's also an update to Ledmeister's comprehensive guide to the total count of secrets in each variant of the Doom IWADs.

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deathz0r said:

spending two hours obtaining and installing the required dependencies to get Chocolate Doom to compile

Chocolate Doom has the same dependencies as PrBoom, so "apt-get build-dep prboom" should get everything you need.

Hope this helps!

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deathz0r said:

I have been dwelling deep into the pits of unknown, experimenting with a certain thing called Ubuntu Linux on a networkless Pentium II. The highlight of this expedition was getting a SVN revision of Chocolate Doom to compile (amongst other unrelated things, like waiting half a hour for mplayer to compile and spending two hours obtaining and installing the required dependencies to get Chocolate Doom to compile).

Ubuntu, Mplayer, and Chocolate Doom on top! I have Ubuntu installed on a PII laptop as well as on my desktop, but I disabled gnome at startup because it's so damn slow.

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Another good review by dean? He's getting soft!

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Hell's Twisted Influence: Episode #2 is good. I don't care about the size. I hope Ninja makes a third one!

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Hells Twisted Influence 2 is the worst wad I have played in a while. It takes all the unlikable things about ZDoom and wadmaking, lumps them together, and presents you with a large, steaming pile of crap.

That being said I enjoyed rylayeh quite a bit, it may not be top quality material, but after the first few maps its pretty enjoyable.

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At least Graham spelled it wrong so that the actual spelling is open for other maps :)

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deathz0r said:

I also did not like the lack of contrast variance, as it seemed way too bright.

The White Light Text File:
This was orginally made for a brightness contest, but...


Making it bright was part of the challenge.

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I find it funny how some people worship highly detailed maps which play horrid.

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I tried to enjoy HTI2, but it was hopeless. It really is a completely uninteresting map.

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It appears that Aluqah managed to trip, fall, crush his skull sending bone fragments through his head, and had enough energy and I.Q. to make 3 more wads before he went into a coma.
Either that or he's just getting lazy. <_<
-------------------
Tango: No, that's what makes the map really crappy and underdetailed! Why do you think your Redemption series were such a failure. Every room was set to the max brightness!
Honestly people, a brightness challenge? That is just plain retarded.
-------------------
Let's give 3 cheers for the skull tag community and put them on the top ten wads for 2006!
And the Mockaward should go to A New Adventure

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i'll give HTI2 a try. i figure, if it's reasonably high profile, yet deathz0r hates it, it must be good.

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I gave The New Adventure a 5/5 because I like joke wads. My rating system is simple. 5/5s for the joke wads, 0/5s for everything else.

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Heh, funny that you mention Redemption =P. Those Wads were actually not uploaded with my permission, and I'm still not sure who did it. But never-the-less, the maps were incredibly poor, so they more than deserved the review they got. =)

And yeah, a brightness contest isn't all that appealing to me either. I didn't mean to make it sound like I especially liked the idea, but that's how the map was supposed to be.

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Haven't tried anything else yet, Hell's Twisted Influence Episode #2 is better than Deathz0r makes it out to be. If I spent all my time masturbating and playing Anarchy Online, I wouldn't be able to review newstuff in a timely manner either.

The file is grossly large for one level, but it's a still fun to play through. Suggestions for future projects:

Less linearity
More height variation

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From what I've played so far, although not overly exciting to play, Hell's Twisted Influence 2 looked pretty good. It was one of the few Wads that actually made me feel like I was in a castle, though I definitely think the battles could have been executed a bit better.

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kristus said:

It's using Gothic(TM) Textures. That's enough for me to lose intrest.

Not all levels using Gothic Textures are bad man. Remember Scythe 2? I rest my case.

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Deeforce said:

Hell's Twisted Influence: Episode #2 is good. I don't care about the size. I hope Ninja makes a third one!

No it's not.
At first I was really angry with Deathz0r for flaming such a good looking WAD... but then I actually played it:
1. Gameplay is a no-no. Tons of stationary (and custom - oh gnoes!) monsters placed in front of your marchroute, nearly no difficulty level as they all infight.
2. Extensive usage of a single texture (the gothic gray variant of Doom2 BRICKx).
3. Lots of tiny little visual errors that piss me off.
4. Almost no light variations at all.

Before I played it I was also upset for Death's 23MB no-no-no yells. But I really can't imagine what's weighting so much in this file.

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ellmo said:

Before I played it I was also upset for Death's 23MB no-no-no yells. But I really can't imagine what's weighting so much in this file.


I'm guessing it's the audio. Each one of those MODs is probably about the size of a decent length wad.

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Whilst I'm not exactly keen on it myself, I'm surprised HTI2 is getting so much heat considering I remember the original being (in my opinion overly) well recieved. Whilst I think HTI2 suffers from the same main flaws as it's predecessor, for some reason I did find it a little more enjoyable to play. Whilst visually pleasing, it is far too linear, with uninteresting square-ish rooms that are symmetrical down to the smallest detail. Moreso than in the author's previous efforts, this felt really copy-and-paste-ish to me. Having played most of the author's other released maps, whilst his abilitis to make a map look 'nice' have improved, from a design perspective there hasn't been any change. All his maps have the same basic linear corridor-style layout and design.

Oh and for fucks sake, don't freeze the player to have a pointless cutscene when you can get hit by monsters. It happens more than once throughout the level.

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Regarding "White Light" and the Brightness Challenge: Here's a link to the thread, BTW.
http://forum.zdoom.org/potato.php?t=9584&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I started this challenge on the ZDoom forums last month, because I was sick of every single WAD out there that had every sector set to 80 brightness, simply to make it harder. I don't like being scared by darkness, or having health hidden in shadows to make the gameplay more "interesting"

So, I mandated that every WAD submitted had to have brightness levels above 160. Obvioulsy, Phobus took this to a little bit of an extreme, but his idea was the essence of the contest: Don't make the player struggle to see what's going on! Look at some of the screenshots in the ZDoom forums thread; The point of this is to create levels that can frighten, entertain, or simply make people go "wow" without using darkness to cover it up. Shouldn't this, by default, produce more interesting levels because there isn't a crutch?

Yes, at first White Light is a little confusing, but I'm a mediocre Doom player, and I figured it out in a couple minutes with no help. And the monster is not invincible. You can take it down in about 45 seconds with a plasma rifle, if just doesn't have a pain state. From your wording I figure you only played this wad for about two minutes, which is not nearly enough time.

So, people, give White Light and the other soon-to-come Brightness Levels a chance. It's different, but that's what inovation is about! You may find you enjoy them.

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So the concept was to make brighter maps where it was easy to see. AND yet this map manages to make it bright but hard to spot the enemy. Now that's irony.

However, it was new and fairly intresting. The concept is sound, but the execution suffers a bit due to bad textures, and that the same area is recycled into oblivion.

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dean wins and i agree completely with his review of HTI #2. KDIZD overdetailed maps are garbage.

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fraggle said:

Chocolate Doom has the same dependencies as PrBoom, so "apt-get build-dep prboom" should get everything you need.

Hope this helps!

I said:

networkless Pentium II

It's kind of hard to use apt-get on a computer with no internet access, but I'll remember that for future use!

/me hugs dpkg

rf` said:

Another good review by dean? He's getting soft!

Next map I review of yours, I'm going to point out how much it sucks and how I can't wait to delete it off my hard drive permanently!

Only problem is that your maps generally don't suck, but RMUD is a bit out of the league of your other maps.

POTGIESSER said:

If I spent all my time masturbating and playing Anarchy Online, I wouldn't be able to review newstuff in a timely manner either.

Actually, I haven't played AO since January. I never play MMOs during school curriculum (sp?).

Caligari_87 said:

From your wording I figure you only played this wad for about two minutes, which is not nearly enough time.

Eight minutes actually, and I got pissed off when I was less than 96 units away from finishing the level.

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