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CapnClever

Evolution of the WAD - a show about Doom mapping

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@7hm It's great to read that we had some sort of listenership for those Where's All the Data? podcasts, assuming that's what you're referring to and not the old 'Program B' series. Recently we were looking to revive the show for a third (fourth? tenth?) time with some further reformatting to balance it out with the Intermission material, which fills in for the defunct PB stuff... but this Evo project is obviously going to cause some overlap with a review show. That's fine! It's got off to a great start and has already found more of an audience than WAD? ever did.

 

A dedicated review show might find some demand given the right sort of exposure and cultivated interest, but with so few dedicated broadcasters it's hard to justify spreading so much material across that space. This, plus Intermission and the interviews put out by Doom Radio, serves as a pretty comprehensive 'catch-all' for most interested listeners.

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Yeah, I was referring to Where's All the Data?, though also to some of the more in-depth Program B episodes as well. I think one of the issues with WAD?, which a series like this could help alleviate, is that there's only so much to be said about any given wad that isn't just descriptive.  WAD? episodes were fairly short for a reason.  If you're able to broaden the focus to a mapper's "wadography" there would probably be a lot more to say about how their style evolved, influences, etc. 

 

Off the top of my head... there's a lot of great analysis of the id levels, but Erik Alm is probably as, or more, influential to the style of maps that dominate the community today than somebody like Sandy, and there's not very much analysis of his work at all. 

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Erik Alm will crop up before too long, I'm sure. From the discussions we've been having about the show behind closed doors, in fact, it looks like the analysis of a designer's evolution(tm) through the years is going to become a staple of the program, perhaps even the standard.

 

Early days, yet! We'll see what elicits the most positive feedback. 

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you guys are on the right track.   The evolution of the various mappers through the years has been one of the most fascinating things to observe; that coupled with changes to source ports creating changes to mapping.   Keep it going and if we only get one of these a month that is still a good thing to look forward to.

 

  Will you guys ever cover what I call the "Grand Slog" type maps?   These would be Castevil, Hellrun, Theway, FortDth! etc.
 

Edited by joepallai

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Folks were interested about my "Dead Center" map in Jenesis, so I guess I'll elucidate. I'm using my retrospective notes in the DWMegawad club thread for Jenesis, as well as Jenesis's original development thread which many may not have actually seen. The thread was originally created privately on my old Project Platform forum, before I had that place mercifully euthanized and the threads relocated to Mechadon's Project Retrograde site, which is the hub of development for all of Mechadon's ongoing projects such as Vela Pax and Supplice. (Jenesis, as folks may be aware, was intended as a warm-up session for Supplice's mapping phase, as back then the project was going to be strictly Boom-compat and I hadn't done anything in that map format before.)

 

Now then, time for me to come clean. MAP07 of Jenesis was always going to be a MAP07, and apparently I decided right from the outset that it would be a spin on Dead Simple, so I guess I too felt the obligation to use those precious 666/667 tags. As was brought up a couple of times in the Evo discussion, it was at a best guess a symptom of my being almost totally new to the ideas of mapping for Boom, and making a megawad. At the time, my old "Arctic Invasion" map for Skulltag was seemingly the only example of single-player mapping I'd actually released - the rest of my mapping catalogue at the time comprising MP maps, also for various Skulltag projects. I'd tried to do a Skulltag single-player mapset, but this never got anywhere more than a couple of millimeters off the ground. So I was in largely uncharted territory.

 

In chronological order of creation, MAP14 (Poisoned Ocean) and MAP07 were the two Jenesis maps I started the entire project with back in October 2010, and these maps were the ones I basically used to cut my teeth with regards to Boom mapping. Despite encountering obstacles in the form of Boom's quirks (which as a ZDoom pleb I was totally unaware of), I was able to crank out both in about two days' worth of work, so I was pretty happy. Of course, I'd apparently already decided that I wouldn't be putting a huge amount of consideration into the concept behind Dead Center - even the texture set was kind of just mindlessly borrowed (they can be found in Enjay's Marine Assault but I'm not certain that was their origin).

 

The map actually turned out larger and a bit more sloggy than I originally envisioned, particularly on UV (which I did NOT balance well for this entire set, it has to be said). There was gonna be a tighter manc encounter at the start of the map, and more fencing used to restrict player movement, but at this point in my career I was still wrestling with the idea of scaling a Doom map properly. In those days I had a lot of tight corridors, and then much larger-scale and more open maps, with little in-between. For MAP07 it's definitely too hard - the number of mancs and the key grab that is made awkward by the appearing cacos/pains is just silly for an early mapslot. Unfortunately there is no "beta" version of Dead Center (as there is for Dead Simple) with which I can demonstrate that I saw what I was doing wrong and hastily corrected myself. :P

 

So for sure, it's a weak point in the WAD, and the manc/arach encounters bookending a series of different monster encounters is hardly an innovative take on the Dead Simple concept. Which I'd definitely put down to my inexperience with mapping and the handling of Doom tropes at the time, and I definitely won't be repeating this mistake. At least it was slightly fun to be able to just plonk down monsters, weapons and ammo willy-nilly for the arena setup. :P

 

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Really enjoying these videos, great work.

 

I put a quick comment on youtube; 

"Mechadon's Dead in, Dead out from Claustrophobia 1024 is worth a look. It doesn't stray to far from the formula but its visually distinct and doesn't outlive its welcome"

It's a huge improvement visually over 'Dead small' from the first project which was designed as a straight rip-off. Personally I'm all for Dead Simple clones if their done well, but as with map30 clones the value of a familiar concept is usually ruined by tedious combat.

 

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Thumbs up for the second video in the series, can't wait for the third. It's good to see that although there are many people discussing at the same time, there aren't many moments of derailing the subject and seeing both the map being played on screen and talked about at the same time really helps understanding the points being made. Really interesting stuff.

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It helps immensely that Capn doesn't dwell on playing through the maps to the end. Show what's up and move on. With Dime we spent a lot of time making up our own entertainment while he struggled with a particularly sloggy map, by which I mean his navigation skills. Where the first iteration of Evo was basically Let's Play through Doom History, the laser focus and analytical nature of the new Evo kinda naturally require of us to pay attention, heh. And if someone goes on a rambling tangent, a jump to the next event forces a change of topic anyway.

 

One issue we're still clearly struggling with is the damn time frame, the goal for both episodes was around 2 hours, heh. At least there was improvement, right? Though having to rush the interesting map07 clones was a bit of a shame.

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Clearly you're all way too talkative. You need to get more people on board who will just say one pertinent thing, and then sit in awkward but unflinching silence for the rest of the cast. Like me.

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Just got done watching the first episode, suffice to say Tarns never fails to meet expectations.

18 hours ago, Dime said:

Was inviting naegleria my worst or best idea for Evo of the Wad, I can't decide to this day.

Regardless of whether it was bad or good it was still an entertaining idea. 

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5 hours ago, dew said:

One issue we're still clearly struggling with is the damn time frame, the goal for both episodes was around 2 hours, heh. At least there was improvement, right? Though having to rush the interesting map07 clones was a bit of a shame.

have you tried having a time-keeper/compere?

this isnt an easy job; you have to stick to the script, while also allowing useful detours (how do you know theyll be useful till they happen!?)

CapnClever tries to do it a little, but he's also playing which is frankly too much to do.

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I really wish I had time to sit down and watch these things all the way through, because this is one of the coolest things to happen to the Doom community in a long time and the amount of relevant material there is to discuss is endless.

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On 4/17/2017 at 0:23 AM, Alfonzo said:

Erik Alm will crop up before too long, I'm sure. From the discussions we've been having about the show behind closed doors, in fact, it looks like the analysis of a designer's evolution(tm) through the years is going to become a staple of the program, perhaps even the standard.

 

Early days, yet! We'll see what elicits the most positive feedback. 

With Alm, a better exploration would not only be his style progress, but also the indelible mark it's left on community mappers - both good and bad.

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I would love to see you guys discuss early megawads like Requiem or Memento Mori. Is that a possibility down the road? Either way I like listening to the show especially with Alfonzo and Tarsnman sharing their insight on mapping. Doors with health indeed!

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I'll be at work during it, so I'll watch the vod later!

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YouTube video's up! Apologies for the delay, I had to figure out a few video editing techniques I don't normally do (which involved researching and buying software).

 

This one's a lot longer than expected, but if anything that was a problem in expectations rather than the episode running too long. Mapper retrospectives will probably be in the three to three-and-a-half range from now on.

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On 4/24/2017 at 11:56 PM, NecrumWarrior said:

Jesus christ, 4 hours!?! That's the longest one so far!

Yeah, I stopped watching around the time they were discussing MTrop's involvement with Adventures of Square because it ran so late.  I'm guessing that was nearing the end though.
So far these mapper history episodes have been good stuff so far -- getting to know more about long-time-active members and their contributions.  Let's keep it going!

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I never knew Matt made so many of these things that I've played and loved because I don't pay enough attention. The list is actually quite extensive. I've also never heard of Xexis, which looks pretty cool despite the overwhelming redness.

 

Fun fact: I started a short-lived metal band called "For We Are Many" a short time after playing the map, it's possibly the most bad-ass map name of all time.

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On 25/4/2017 at 6:47 AM, CapnClever said:

YouTube video's up! Apologies for the delay, I had to figure out a few video editing techniques I don't normally do (which involved researching and buying software).

 

This one's a lot longer than expected, but if anything that was a problem in expectations rather than the episode running too long. Mapper retrospectives will probably be in the three to three-and-a-half range from now on.

Cool the hear something about CC3 map 29, amazing map, very inspirational :)

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Next episode is set for Saturday, May 6, starting at 9PM EDT (UTC-4) over at https://www.twitch.tv/capnclever. The YouTube upload will be available by May 8.

 

This episode involves a single mapset: Double Impact by RottKing and Ralphis. Both will be available during commentary, and any questions you may have during the live recording will attempt to be addressed! As with mappers, full mapsets should be a fairly common theme in Evolution of the WAD, though we won't have time to play through them in their entirety most of the time.

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YouTube video's up! I'm on the announcement duty so Capn doesn't have to doublepost.

 

We managed to keep it within extra time tolerance this time, so the episode clocks at shockingly concise 2h 13m. The first project focus episode was a success, Ralph and Rott kept churning out interesting tidbits and it felt like there wasn't a minute of downtime. It would be nice if we managed to translate this efficiency into the future episodes as well!

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I'm watching it right now! I really like this new series, looking forward to more.

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EDIT: Y'know nevermind, somehow I had this page sitting for like eight hours. I'll just note that we already have the next episode lined up: Hexen hubs. Evolution of the WAD seeks to explore all aspects of Doom, and that includes the occasional departure from Doom itself.

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Bet you thought we forgot but no, Evolution of the WAD's comin' up! Tomorrow even!

 

Join us on Saturday, June 3rd, starting at 9PM EDT (UTC-4) over at https://www.twitch.tv/capnclever for Hexen-style Hubs! We'll be looking at the originals for comparison, and then a number of other WADs (some Hexen, some Doom) that use variable similarities in style.

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