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Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #372

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  • E1M8, Phobos Anomaly Revisited - The_trigger (aka doomliker)
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1996102 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Classic remakes of E1M8 tend to be unoriginal because they copy off E1M8 and . Well, here's a modern remake of E1M8 that's unoriginal because it copies off E1M8, KDiZD and ZPack. There's plenty of modern features to make things look better, but as I played through it I was getting the feeling that it's all been done before...kinda like a KDiZD tribute map. There's some spawn moments to keep you on your toes, but you get stuck with just the shotgun for all but the final area, which comprises of multiple baron variants in the usual wide-open ending area. It's not very hard, despite the presence of barons and those grey imps with yellow homing skulls, although you may have to backtrack to resupply at times.

    It is the author's first map though, and as first maps go it's not bad at all (can't expect masterpieces from day one)...however copy/paste-y they are, he's still got detailing and some advanced features down in a not-altogether-bad way, but the lack of ideas is apparent. My hope is that the author can improve on the gameplay side and combine them along with some ideas for next time. And at face value, it's a fairly good-looking map that should please many who like IWAD maps with a modern face lift.

  • Evil Unleashed - Dutch Devil
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 130292 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    Hell's horses, it's another Doom 1 map!

    This latest offering by Dutch Devil, "Evil Unleashed", is a rather delectable number of medium size, and harbours pretty much all the "base" oriented textures from the Doom 1 catalogue, utilizing them to great, if not slightly convoluted effect. The pace of the level is more or less canter, as opposed to galloping (certainly not a trot), and delivers a factor of enjoyment in gameplay which many Doomers might find to be outlandishly decent, perhaps even refreshing, in spite of their deeply ingrained familiarity with the Doom design.

    The level itself is set in and around your typically standardized moon base, interlaced with rock, startan, and the occasional crop of demonic influence. Ammo supply is fairly scarce throughout, such that the player is made to employ the environment to his/her advantage wherever possible; chain detonating barrels, darting about corners and incurring the odd squabble between baddies, for instance. While altogether pretty simple in difficulty [UV], this kind of gameplay more than anything defines the entertainment value of the level, and also throws a bone to those veteran players who require more than a mere supplement of stock Doom monsters to remain interested. There are a few infrequent "strength by numbers" encounters here and there, but most of the difficulty is derived from this conservative sort of setup.

    With regards to architecture, Dutch does a particularly good job of maintaining/creating that distinctly abstract sort of design connotative with Doom 1, drawing upon Episodes 1 and 2 in particular. However, although generally speaking the level has a very workable layout, it does feel a tad cramped here and there, something which becomes increasingly noticeable whenever affronted by an influx of demons. In addition, the map on the whole probably could have benefited from a little anti-orthogonal variation, if nothing else to create a better contrasting between the outdoor and indoor areas.

    All in all, the level is quite stylized in its layout and gameplay (something which may or may not cater to your tastes), but is by and large worth a good 20 minutes of your time.

  • White Light: 2010 Edition - James "Phobus" Cresswell
    ZDoom - Solo Play - 862204 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    One holy temple map that's brighter than bright, with all new textures and sky giving the impression of being in a void with a palette inversion. The graphics are quite good and detailing isn't bad given the nature of the map. You get 4 fights...one with a group of cultist types, one with a group of smarties firing pew pew lazorz, one with a giant smartie packing extra pew pew, and the final with a giant magic star carrying yet more firepower. You do get to pew pew yourself with a scythe called Justice, but ammo is limited for its ranged alt-fire mode, and you'll run out during the final fight. It's quite unique in its own way, but needs more ammo to make it work (and more maps would be nice too).

  • Revenge - Thomas M. Frusti
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 263553 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Eligitine
    Let me start off by saying, for a Doom 2-compatible wad, this looks very very nice. Taking a break from the standard techbase/hell locations, the first level makes you clear hellspawn from a building SWAT team-style. The house looks very realistic for Doom 2 architecture, and some of the rooms are very clever. The house even has a second story, utilising teleports to cross floors. Shadows are done very nicely, and some rooms' lights turn on if you walk into them, which is a very nice effect I might add. The level is a fairly easy run, even on UV. Shells are scarce, so at some times you will have to rely on your pistol, but if you manage your ammo, it shouldn't be a problem. The level culminates in a basement search, but first I would recommend cleaning out the rest of the house and grabbing the SSG upstairs in the master bedroom.

    In level two, your task is to clear a UAC building that is infested with hellspawn. Although it looks nice, it is nowhere near the brilliance of the first level. Traps are everywhere, and health is very tight. Despite the beauty of the level, I found myself going on autopilot because of the blandness. The second level seems to have brought back the techbase that level one left behind, as if Frusti was determined to stuff it in somewhere. The map was degrading so fast that at the end I paused the game and said, "This soulsphere in front of me will trigger a trap." I unpaused, then my prediction magically came true. Then I got bonus points for it being a Cyber. Shortly after that, the level finished. I'm sorry that I can't be more precise, but I really needed this level to end.

    Level three surpassed all expectations by being a superb hell style/techbase map. It is a rather short map that is significantly shorter than the previous two, and in in your task is to turn on a generator and flee through a teleport. Upon going through the teleport you arrive at the wrecked remains of level 1 (hey they're connected!) where you flee from several Masterminds to land in a huge teleport.

    I recommend downloading this wad, just to play map01.

  • Necro Elemento - Ivano Lich
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 703187 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    One stone/wood/metal/E4-ish map for ZDoom. It's split into 3 parts which can only be accessed in a fixed order, and each part looks roughly similar in theme and architecture. The layouts are different though, and each offers some challenges. There's plenty to kill, with each one scaling OK with the weapons/ammo available, although you might need a secret or two to stay alive if you're too reckless. Overall it's OK if you like this sort of classic style map (the only ZDoom feature I could find was the instant death sludge), or if you have a little time to kill.

  • Blood Burden, Herculine's Hell MAP01 - Herculine
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 191085 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    Herculine's first release, Blood Burden, has been broiling behind the Doomworld scene for a good while now, and has already managed to snowball a fair amount of feedback and review. What is said here, then, for those who are not altogether familiar with the work (or otherwise completely and utterly oblivious), is largely reiteration.

    The map serves as the first level in a planned series entitled Herculine's Hell, and essentially strives to follow a marble and blood theme, a point to which it does so quite successfully. From any given position A to position B of the map you'll find a frugal blend of green and red texturing, top to bottom, that serves precisely in this task. This having been said though, there really isn't much else to support the theme outside of the sorts of textures used, as, to draw similarity between this map and the forthcoming release, Ominous Oasis (alliteration alert!), the layout is largely identical in its use of ceaselessly bland rectangular rooms and interconnecting hallways. Much like a randomly generated map. You almost get the impression that the whole choice of theme was made simply as a means to deliberately limit texture selection and quickly get the map over and done with. The end result, then, is a level which is unfortunately yet impossibly uninteresting to walk through. Especially if you're colour blind to reds and greens like myself (doh!).

    ...Digging ever deeper into the belly of the beast we find yet more bad juju. The gameplay, for starters, is quite lobotomizing to say the least, as the item and monster placement feels more supplementary to the layout rather than dynamic or engaging, and there are countless instances which, although not blindingly sore to look at or mega frustrating to fall victim to, indicate clearly that the author is still getting to grips with the mapping scene. Texture alignment issues permeate the map, stealth imps stand pointlessly on pedestals, walk over elevators restrict movement and slow gameplay, and marathon style backtracking is so plentiful it'll probably make your legs ache just by playing it.

    In short, most of what's here stands merely to be bettered upon with time and practice, for in its current form the map simply isn't worth the time or effort to trudge through. Here's to an improvement with the next release.

  • Chapel of Chaos - Mr. Chris & Jodwin
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 332486 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Melon
    I thought this level was excellent and you should definitely play it. One of the signs of a good level is that everything comes together so well. It's all too easy when reviewing a wad to end up nitpicking all of the minor faults and inconsistencies, so it's always nice to play a wad where there aren't any.

    The architecture is great. Despite consisting almost entirely of green brick and wood, every room is noticeably different and recognisable, the theme is consistent without being repetitive. It's believable even though it's quite abstract; it's very easy in Doom to try and make something realistic, which almost always inevitably looks ridiculous.

    Perhaps the most important part for me is that every encounter felt fair. I died a few times, but it always felt like it was my own fault. There were plenty of traps and ambushes to keep me on my toes and keep up the tension, yet none were unreasonable. By a sheer stroke of luck, Hurt Me Plenty ended up being pretty spot on for the sort of difficulty I can manage on a first attempt where I don't know what's coming up. The pacing is good if you don't get lost, with the right mixture of large and small fights spread out to keep things interesting.

    Unfortunately there are a number of situations where you'll end up not knowing where to go next. The level tries to keep up some sense of non-linearity by giving you multiple paths at various points, but ultimately you have to do everything in a particular order anyway, so I'm not sure if this feeling of freedom was worth the time I spent wandering around looking for where to go next. For example, at the start you get to go left or right, and at the end of the right path is a switch that opens bars all the way at the end of the left path, so if you do the left path first like I did, you'll end up searching the entire level once you hit the switch in the right path because you might expect the switch to open up something nearby instead of at the opposite end of the level. If you do know where you're going, then the level actually flows really well, so I don't mean to put too much emphasis on the one major flaw in the level because it's not really that big a deal.

    As long as you don't mind spending a bit of time searching in the level, I can't imagine how you'd have any complaints. It's one of the better single level wads I've played. Give it a go.

  • Revenant Battlefield: Slaying Daredevils - Jodwin
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 49312 bytes
    Reviewed by: Eligitine
    Let me start off by saying, "WHAT THE HELL WAS JODWIN THINKING?"

    Now that that's finished, I can continue with my review. RBSD is a completely open map where you must find three keys, press a switch and exit the map. Simple in concept, but Jodwin has thrown a wrench in the works. You must battle 1922 Revenants, all at once. Not only did this slow down my FPS to the speed of a PowerPoint presentation, but it crashed ZDoom shortly after.

    In short: DO NOT PLAY THIS WAD.

  • Infernal Venice - UltimateLorenzo
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 1096995 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: st.alfonzo
    Now I've been to Venice before, I have, and to this day I remember it in all of its wondrous detail as though it were only yesterday (which is kind of strange, really, because I last went when I was 7): The stylishly grand yet derelict architecture; the bustling plazas; the twining, picturesque canals... It's an impressive city which certainly has a lot to offer for the budding tourist, and even moreso in the way of class. But if there's something about Venice that I remember wholly above everything else, something that pries upon my mind utterly, compulsively, and without breadth of mercy, it's got to be the mother fudging pigeons. Thousands upon thousands of the wretched things dirtying the pavements, all cooing, clawing, and scrabbling their filth about the place like the disease ridden, airborne vermin that they are. Their whole misbegotten species makes me so angry I could spit. And I hate spitting!

    Lorenzo's Infernal Venice, however, has no pigeons. None at all. Not a flock. And for that we can be most, most grateful. What it does have on the other hand is reasonable if not slightly imbalanced gameplay, interesting if not slightly mundane visuals, and no pigeons. None at all. Not a flutter.

    Your objective, as is seemingly required of all "atmoscriptic" endeavours, is to locate 7 switches scattered throughout the city and ultimately unlock the central gate behind which lies some head honcho who needs his chops bashed in. The whole exercise takes the best part of half an hour to blast through, assuming you survive, and is a fairly entertaining romp when all is said and killed, with plenty of nooks and crannies to get lost in, and plenty of baddies to hose down. Its non-linearity is perhaps its best selling point in this regard as you find yourself able to explore all of the reasonably sized, pigeon free Venice till your heart's content.

    ...But it's not all fun and games, James, because there are some rather frustrating kinks in the armour of this beastie that make themselves pretty well known right off the bat. For instance, less so are you likely to fall victim to the stinking claws of some ravenous demon than you are to simply fall backward into the water by accident, which, as it so happens, and as I found out the hard way, isn't really water at all, but rather an unimposing sort of liquid death. Don't do it. In addition, there are some perplexingly difficult encounters here and there which serve only to make the player feel as though there may have been a fair few drastic oversights by the author at several point in the map's creation. Like it hadn't been properly play tested, or something. Heaven forbid.

    There's definitely room for improvement then. Ammo is a little too tight in certain situations, and gameplay can sometimes be unforgiving, but I won't be so hash headed as to suggest that the visuals need an overhaul. The amount of effort and detail required to truly replicate what is, by Lorenzo's own admission, the most beautiful city in the world (I'm more of a Mexico City kinda guy myself), would be far too great an undertaking for any one man to ever hope of accomplishing. Or any one Doom engine.

    Do give it a shot anyway though, because, you know... it's a pretty cool map.

    See what I did there?

  • The Ultimate Melee Battle - Stormwalker
    ZDoom Compatible - Solo Play - 152331 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Way back in 1999 I had the idea of starting off my first real episode (the original unreleased Doom 1 version of op-lite2) with a chainsaw/berserk map. The same concept resurfaces 11 years later in a similarly retro-styled Doom 2 map, but with most of the beastiary, instead of just the non-zombie/boss Doom 1 portion.

    The map itself is standard Phobos style with a similar level of detail, but it's the concept gameplay we're interested in here. It does require ZDoom due to the fixed hitscan behaviour around large hitboxes, and the new compatflag for disabling this needs to be off. It doesn't play badly, although it's not too hard to work out when infighting is needed (as the relevant set-pieces are usually designed for it) and generally if you're used to punching up barons it won't trouble you too much. If you're not, then it's worth checking out just to see things from another perspective. A good fun map with a twist.

  • Deimos Deja Vu - hervoheebo
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 504390 bytes - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    And in this sea of E1 replacements comes...an E2 replacement. Given this occurrence and the fact that E2 was my favourite back in the pre-PWAD days, I decided to pick this up and review it.

    The first thing that strikes you when you play is that each map is based off the E2 original rather than just being inspired by E2. Not quite so close as Wonderful Doom did, but enough to either evoke nostalgia or a sense of lacking ideas in some places. Detail is pretty much 1994, but some areas look nice and the light sources are often accompanied by sectors. And in any case, detail isn't always on the agenda when making a nostalgic IWAD tribute episode.

    So how does it play? Well...the monster counts have gone up and the heavy ammo is somewhat limited, so use it wisely and hold down the shotgun button for the rest. Health isn't too abundant either, so it will be more difficult than the original. The BFG does make an appearance, but I ignored it out of habit really...it is E2 after all.

    Overall, while aimed at the nostalgic crowd it's still fun to play through, and offers more options tactically than the sea of E1 replacements (as you would expect with the extra mobs/weapons). A good solid episode that's not overly-long either.

  • Nuestro amigo Ciberio / Cybie, Our Friend - Eye del Cul
    doom2.exe - Solo Play - 184191 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    A medium-sized map set on board a space station. The outdoor bits look quite good relative to the theme, although there are one or two textures out of place indoors. Detail is at vanilla levels, but it does try to contain a bit in each area, and the layout isn't linear; there's usually more than 1 way to go. Gameplay is above average difficulty due to the lack of health, plus you're waiting longer for weapons if you make a wrong turn at the start. The cybie mentioned in the title is at the end, and is quite well placed to cause trouble in the area. Overall it's not a bad map, and one that should please tech fans along with many others too.

  • Wolfenstein Tribute WAD - John R. Chapman
    doom.exe - Solo Play - 42189 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: pritch
    It must be about 5 years since I last did a /newstuff review, but in a way it's reassuring that some things never change.

    There are still wads from 1994 finding their way at last to the archives; one wonders where they've been hiding all this time. This is a 1994 wad, but in truth it should really be called a 1992 vintage.

    That's because it's a rework of Wolfenstein's floor 1, and allowing for the passage of time, it's not too bad. The texturing is competent for the most part, if uninspiring, though the outdoor sections don't hold up to modern day screen resolutions.

    Rework is in that sense accurate because the presence of outdoor sections, and a variety of monsters including lost souls, bring this firmly up to Doom spec and away from Wolf. It's also quite a big map by the standards of the day.

    The gameplay is hardly challenging; again, this would have been much testier on a PC of that era, especially as I'm sure parts of this map would've caused a 486 to slow down on UV. But it's pretty fun - the fake exit bringing tougher difficulty once pressed and revealing more hellish architecture to go with that increased monster count. There's some thoughtful monster placement, good use of deaf versus non-deaf monsters, and health is balanced. There's a bit too much ammo due to the numbers of zombies and sergeants.

    Things get a little ropey near the end - I'm certain the player is meant to raise both sections of bridge in order to be able to reach the exit, but you can simply run across the gap, and that left me about 20-30 monsters short. I'm not entirely sure how the others are triggered, and I confess I haven't dipped into Doombuilder to find out. If you are more intrigued, be my guest.

    I can tell you there are two exits in the map, though one seems redundant, hidden as it is behind the earlier fake exit switch. So perhaps the author dithered over the final stages of his creation and rushed it out - after sixteen years we may never know.

    This is one for either die-hard Wolf 3D fans, or perhaps the prurists who, like me, sympathise with and still have time for the old stuff, as by 1994 standards it's decent. The rest of you could probably skip it.

  • Busao - Carlos
    cDoom - Solo Play - 2336 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This mod simply turns the player screen as if he/she is always looking out a bus window. It's really rather pointless and the port it requires is buggy to boot. Nothing worthwhile in this, avoid.

  • 3dTerror - Carlos
    cDoom - Solo Play - 83827 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This wad is slightly more useful that Busao, because it actually contains a map. However, that map is a horribly balanced 1994-ish amateur one that I can't possibly see how someone could enjoy. The 3D floors are what's supposed to spice it up, but they aren't anything we haven't seen done better before, and the buggy port it uses is icing on the cake. Another map to avoid.

  • Nongrato 1024 - Ivano Lich
    Boom Compatible - Solo Play - 188465 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    This is a small map made in the 1024 by 1024 grid for Doom II. It is textured mostly in green and cement, complete with a green sky. The architecture is good, but the main highlight is the frantic gameplay. Although there are well under 100 monsters, it is quite cramped for the space in which it plays, and a few areas are even reused. However, I did not find it frustrating - but expect a fair challenge; unfortunately there are no difficulty settings either. The music is taken from Descent and fits reasonably well. Overall, worth the download.

  • Doomworld Heretic speedmapping session 2 & 3 - Walter "Daimon" Confalonieri, Philnemba, & Magicsofa
    ZDoom Compatible - Deathmatch - 395522 bytes - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Speedmapping isn't confined to Doom it seems, for here we have a set of Heretic speedmaps which are also for DM. It requires a ZDoom-based port, although if you play with ZD you'll notice a few glaring bugs (as I did when I threw a server up to test it with a few people) due to mixed textures/flats and bridge things in mid-air with stuff under them rather than on them.

    But anyway, these maps were quite fun. A mixture of themes, some of which are abstract and some focus on different aspects of Heretic gameplay. There are plenty of items to keep things interesting, and all of them play fairly well with 4-6 players. Given the lack of Heretic DM map packs around, it's definitely worth a go if you like this sort of thing, or if you want to find out how Heretic plays in DM.

  • Those crates are full of staplers - Jon 40oz Vail
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 78348 bytes - (img)
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    While the name is kind of odd, "Those crates are full of staplers" is a relatively normal, small-medium level for Doom II, in brown/tech style. I for one am a big fan of 40oz's maps, and this isn't an exception. The gameplay is well done, and despite no difficulty settings, I found the difficulty to be at a nice compromise level overall. It's a relatively fast-moving map, and it doesn't get boring or frustrating. The architecture is well done too, with enough detail not to look ugly, but not anywhere near over-detailed either. The music is a track I haven't heard before, and it was pretty good. Overall I enjoyed the 5-10 minute blast this map provided and recommend downloading and playing it if you haven't already; it's a nice map for a coffee break too.

  • Hell for the Doom Hero - 40oz
    Limit Removing - Solo Play - 22392 bytes
    Reviewed by: MegaDoomer
    While I admire most work by 40oz, this one was a disappointment. It's simply a few caverns with red textures and little detail. The author says this was for a project, and therefore he either released it unfinished (but functional) or this would be a really poor map for the project. I think 40oz does best with brown and tech, as this doesn't have the certain architectural charm his other maps do.

    Gameplay is weak too, just some monsters and not much of a challenge. Even with the short length, I was more than ready for this map to be over. Skip it, play 40oz's other (and far superior) maps instead (like his birthday series, for instance).

  • New Dungeons - Hisymak
    Heretic Support - Solo Play - 311597 bytes - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: The Ultimate DooMer
    Heretic maps seem to be a touch more common of late...and here's a sprawler to add to the pile, with a mob count not far away from 4 figures and plenty of playing time to finish. It has an E1 theme, and as you go through it, you'll notice the odd tribute to the maps there, and detail throughout is equivalent, too. The layout is mostly linear, and the different areas seem almost randomly assembled at times, though. It's vanilla compatible, but you probably won't be able to save, so a port is recommended.

    Gameplay is also limited to E1 weapons/monsters...which could make things a bit monotonous for a map of this size, but luckily the ammo is a bit strained for much of the earlier parts (you'll need those gauntlets a lot), and there are some big hordes to fight too. In fact, it's fairly challenging stuff throughout, despite the limited monster set, and you will need item tactics and some of the many secrets to stay afloat. Definitely worth it if you like Heretic.

Does this /newstuff Chronicles suck? Does your wise ass think you can write better reviews than these jerkoffs? Then get over to the /newstuff Review Center and help out. I know you must have a Doomworld Forums account because you like griping about every edition in the comment thread, but if you don't, you need to get one to submit reviews.

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Eligitine said:
...Not only did this slow down my FPS to the speed of a PowerPoint presentation, but it crashed ZDoom shortly after.

In short: DO NOT PLAY THIS WAD.

Lol, next time, try not reviewing a Boom map in ZDoom. :P PrBoom+ plays it without any problems.

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Ah, St. Alfonzo has returned to /newstuff! My night is made.

Playing Evil Unleashed. Some good stuff, and I'm not all that surprised, given the author.

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Jodwin said:

Lol, next time, try not reviewing a Boom map in ZDoom. :P PrBoom+ plays it without any problems.



Next time if you declare a WAD 'Boom compatible' but it doesn't work right in ZDoom, you should mention this in the text file. The reviewer's approach was perfectly valid. He chose one of the engines you implicitly declared supported.

Anyway, works in acceptable limits for me so I guess underpowered hardware.

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Graf Zahl said:

Next time if you declare a WAD 'Boom compatible' but it doesn't work right in ZDoom, you should mention this in the text file. The reviewer's approach was perfectly valid. He chose one of the engines you implicitly declared supported.

Anyway, works in acceptable limits for me so I guess underpowered hardware.

Er...what? If a Boom-compatible wad doesn't run in ZDoom, it doesn't make the wad any less Boom-compatible. Boom compatibility is judged based on compatibility with Boom, not based on compatibility with all ports that claim to be compatible with Boom.

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Graf Zahl said:

Next time if you declare a WAD 'Boom compatible' but it doesn't work right in ZDoom, you should mention this in the text file. The reviewer's approach was perfectly valid. He chose one of the engines you implicitly declared supported.

ZDoom is not perfectly Boom-compatible, everyone knows that. There's plenty of more and less obvious differences between the two, some which have compatibility options in ZDoom and some which don't. I don't really care what ports people play wads with, nor do I care what people think about my maps, but when you're reviewing a map (or any other release) you should do it properly.

If you want an example why ZDoom should not be used for reviewing Boom compatible maps, imagine a map where the players need to jump down a really high ledge, only problem being that the bottom of the ledge is literally full of demons and the mapper himself tested only in ZDoom but uploaded the map as Boom comp. Now if the reviewer played it in Boom as he should he'd see that the map is broken because you can't jump down due to infinitely tall actors, but if he used ZDoom with default settings he'll miss a horribly glaring mapping bug.

Now, that's not the case with this map here, but it shows that, no, you should not use ZDoom for reviewing (nor testing!) Boom comp. maps.

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Jodwin said:

ZDoom is not perfectly Boom-compatible, everyone knows that. There's plenty of more and less obvious differences between the two, some which have compatibility options in ZDoom and some which don't. I don't really care what ports people play wads with, nor do I care what people think about my maps, but when you're reviewing a map (or any other release) you should do it properly.


He has tested it properly and it borked his system.

Jodwin said:

If you want an example why ZDoom should not be used for reviewing Boom compatible maps, imagine a map where the players need to jump down a really high ledge, only problem being that the bottom of the ledge is literally full of demons and the mapper himself tested only in ZDoom but uploaded the map as Boom comp. Now if the reviewer played it in Boom as he should he'd see that the map is broken because you can't jump down due to infinitely tall actors, but if he used ZDoom with default settings he'll miss a horribly glaring mapping bug.


Well, as some people say, assumption is the mother of all fuckups. That goes both ways. Nowhere in your text file did you mention anything about specific ports. All you said was 'Boom compatible'. So you assumed that everyone using your map would declare 'Boom compatible' as 'Use PrBoom'. Well, obviously that's not the rule. So you can only blame yourself, not the reviewer.

Jodwin said:

Now, that's not the case with this map here, but it shows that, no, you should not use ZDoom for reviewing (nor testing!) Boom comp. maps.


It shows that you should always test with all the ports you intend to support. It does not show that you should only review with a limited subset of ports that you declare fit without naming them.

So back to square one again.

The map sucks anyway so I don't care about the review. But your accusations about improper port use are unjustified, considering that you did not say anything about it in your text file. Live with it. Many users consider ZDoom 'Boom compatible' even without setting the 'Boom (strict)' compatibility mode.

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I personally don't like how that doom2.exe map was also reviewed in ZDoom. I would only use ZDoom for non-ZDoom stuff when I have no other choice. But most people don't know about anything but ZDoom. Hooray for its advertising.

Finally, 1922 revenants are no excuse to crawl the machine. Nowadays NUTS.WAD can run fluidly even on GZDoom, unless you're using your old computer. Newsflash: modern software in general runs like crawl on machines unable to render 1922 revenants.

As much as obviously biased Graf Zahl is on his ZDoom port, I agree. It's best and safest to test your mod on ALL known likely-compatible ports, and mention ALL such ports that work and don't work with your maps.

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printz said:

But most people don't know about anything but ZDoom. Hooray for its advertising.


What advertising?

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Graf Zahl said:

It shows that you should always test with all the ports you intend to support. It does not show that you should only review with a limited subset of ports that you declare fit without naming them.

So back to square one again.

The map sucks anyway so I don't care about the review. But your accusations about improper port use are unjustified, considering that you did not say anything about it in your text file. Live with it. Many users consider ZDoom 'Boom compatible' even without setting the 'Boom (strict)' compatibility mode.


For what it matters, yeah I actually did play that map in a couple different ZDoom versions prior uploading - not for testing purposes but because on my shitty laptop ZDoom runs better than prboom+ (something to do with SDL, I bet, not the port itself). The versions I used were old though, so I assumed maybe Eligitine was using a new one that for some reason wouldn't like the map. Either way, I don't care about this particular map (which was made as an inside joke and uploaded a few months later for fun), but using a non-compatible port for testing is not right.

If you, Graf, want me to pull an other (real!) example why not to use ZDoom out of my ass, here you go: During the development of Claustrophobia 1024 2 one of the maps had conveyor belts used for scripting and opening up new areas of the map. The map's author had used only prboom+ with Boom compatibility for testing and the map had worked wonderfully fine. Then we tested it in ZDoom only to find that all of the conveyor belts fired off instantly, rather than being triggered later on. This broke the gameplay big time, making it completely different from what it was meant to be.

Fortunately that map was tested in ZDoom and fixed appropriately, but if it wasn't it would have been released as a perfectly, 100 % Boom compatible map, and labeled as such, and if it then was reviewed by someone using ZDoom it would have been faultily reviewed because, no, the port is not Boom compatible (if it was, that map would have worked exactly the same since the beginning regardless of port)!

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Jodwin, many gamers consider ZDoom to be really Boom-compatible despite the details that make it not. It's a good idea to remove that confusion by explicit stating in the file *ZDOOM NOT RECOMMENDED* *MAP19 WON'T WORK PROPERLY WITH ZDOOM* and so on.

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Jodwin said:

Then we tested it in ZDoom only to find that all of the conveyor belts fired off instantly, rather than being triggered later on. This broke the gameplay big time, making it completely different from what it was meant to be.



OK, it's really nice to hear about such a discrepancy through such indirect means. Do you by any chance still have the version of the map that caused the problem or can recreate something like it?

What was done here was absolutely wrong! If you find such a blatant compatibility issue, please don't write it off and report it! Most of the times these are bugs lurking somewhere in the depths of the engine that can easily be fixed.

The least I'd like to do is check which port is correct. It can be a ZDoom bug but it also can be a Boom bug that ZDoom fixed somewhere along the way (and in that case add a compatibility option if possible.)

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Why is it that screenshots of Heretic maps in /newstuff are always taken with -nomonsters? Or so it seems to me anyway.

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Graf Zahl said:

OK, it's really nice to hear about such a discrepancy through such indirect means. Do you by any chance still have the version of the map that caused the problem or can recreate something like it?

What was done here was absolutely wrong! If you find such a blatant compatibility issue, please don't write it off and report it! Most of the times these are bugs lurking somewhere in the depths of the engine that can easily be fixed.

The least I'd like to do is check which port is correct. It can be a ZDoom bug but it also can be a Boom bug that ZDoom fixed somewhere along the way (and in that case add a compatibility option if possible.)

The conveyor belts in question had the voodoo doll in a tiny 16x16 hole under ground, which was later raised up to trigger the conveyor belt sequence. Boom spawns the voodoo doll "properly" in the hole while ZDoom created it on the higher level.

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when i read st.alfonzo's reviews, i hear vincent price reciting them. it's godly.

also eligitine's arrogant ignorance concerning his own choice of malfunctioning ports would make mr.freeze blush.

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Jodwin said:

The conveyor belts in question had the voodoo doll in a tiny 16x16 hole under ground, which was later raised up to trigger the conveyor belt sequence. Boom spawns the voodoo doll "properly" in the hole while ZDoom created it on the higher level.


Ah, ok, that was a countermeasure for stuck players. At least good to know that it's not a bug in the engine.

Reminds me a bit of UAC Ultra MAP07 which also had a rather dirty conveyor belt script. For that I had to add the most godawful hack into the engine so that it could be made to work...

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kristus said:

Why is it that screenshots of Heretic maps in /newstuff are always taken with -nomonsters? Or so it seems to me anyway.


I think you're the only person who uses monsters liberally in Heretic maps. That's a good thing though.

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I'm serious actually, when my wad was reviewed it was the only one to have nomonsters on in the screenshots. And now again I see an SP heretic wad reviewed here and it got nomonsters.. or so it seems from the screenshots. When Blood fire death was reviewed, there were monsters in the shots. But they were all dead. :p

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Revenge, is not a fresh new map at all. I remember having it in a Doom Magazine CD, among with other 1994-1995 style wads. At that time, the only other WAD I played was Eternal Doom. This wad was actually one of the best of that CD, while of course being miles away from Eternal Doom's design and finition.

IIRC there were already one version of Revenge released as the readme says the last level ending has some "twisted ending" compared to the first build.

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Naan said:

Revenge, is not a fresh new map at all. I remember having it in a Doom Magazine CD, among with other 1994-1995 style wads. At that time, the only other WAD I played was Eternal Doom. This wad was actually one of the best of that CD, while of course being miles away from Eternal Doom's design and finition.

IIRC there were already one version of Revenge released as the readme says the last level ending has some "twisted ending" compared to the first build.

Looking at the readme, it appears to be a relatively recent update of an older map. Among other things, the txt says it was tested in PrBoom-Plus.

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About this port specific stuff: I don't think it's fair that you're expected to use the exact port the wad was designed for. For example, I used skulltag for a lot of deathmatch maps since you can't really judge their gameplay until you play them with someone, in which case, I used bots. If there's a deathmatch wad for Doom2.exe, does that mean I need a buddy to play it with using vanilla doom in order to review it to it's fullest extent?

I have no qualms about a wad being reviewed using a port that is not intended by the autho, however it is smart of the reviewer to heed the potential problems it could cause. And in the event in which it does cause problems, that should not rise as a reason not to play it within the review.

Also I was almost sure after reading Graf Zahls initial response about Boom compatibility that there is some kind of misinterpretation. Esselfortium's response pretty much clarified exactly what I had in mind. I could just as easily create my own port that has nothing to do with boom but call it boom compatible, if the wad doesn't work in my port, that's not at fault of the wad's author.

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"E1M8, Phobos Anomaly Revisited" actually was quite impressive to me. Yes, it reminded me of "Thunderpeak" and KDiZD, but, I thought that it was nice to see a remake of a classic Doom map using a "Thunderpeak" style. Also, I thought this take on "Phobos Anomaly" was way, way better than the KDiZD version. KDiZD's take on "Phobos Anomaly," while very pretty to look at with a hanunting remix of "Sign of Evil," was waaay too over the top with the game play and the complexity of the map. "E1M8, Phobos Anomaly Revisited," to me, felt original and nostalgic enough the be a plesaing, entertaining play.

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Graf Zahl said:

Next time if you declare a WAD 'Boom compatible' but it doesn't work right in ZDoom, you should mention this in the text file.

40oz said:

I could just as easily create my own port that has nothing to do with boom but call it boom compatible...

I think Graf Zahl is saying that the definition of 'boom compatible' these days has changed from what it used to mean and that if people aren't aware of that then they only have themselves to blame.

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4mer said:

I think Graf Zahl is saying that the definition of 'boom compatible' these days has changed from what it used to mean

With that logic, "Boom compatible" has changed to mean "ZDoom compatible" instead. Yeah, I fail to see what's wrong with that.

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Jodwin said:

With that logic, "Boom compatible" has changed to mean "ZDoom compatible" instead. Yeah, I fail to see what's wrong with that.

It may be a fair point but not having a fixed reference for what is 'boom compatible' can cause problems. For example if at some point in the future Graf introduces a breaking change to ZDoom he will in effect be redefining what 'boom compatible' is. This type of thing (as evidenced in this thread) has effectively rendered the definition 'boom compatible' meaningless.
I say authors should be required to state exactly which port(s) the map was/were tested with. Let the user decide which port they want to run it with but give them the information they need to make that decision.

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4mer said:

if at some point in the future Graf introduces a breaking change to ZDoom he will in effect be redefining what 'boom compatible' is.


So you're saying that this is the actual state of things?

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4mer said:

It may be a fair point but not having a fixed reference for what is 'boom compatible' can cause problems. For example if at some point in the future Graf introduces a breaking change to ZDoom he will in effect be redefining what 'boom compatible' is. This type of thing (as evidenced in this thread) has effectively rendered the definition 'boom compatible' meaningless.

What the fuck are you on? There is a fixed reference for what "Boom compatible" is, it's called Boom. If Graf or anyone else introduces changes to ZDoom it doesn't do a thing to the "Boom compatible" setting, instead it effects what "ZDoom compatible" means.

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