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2001 DoomCenter Episode 1 Contest Wad - WERE YOU INVOLVED?

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Eye up the screenshots here, and download at the bottom of this post.


This is a curio alright, and I can't find it on /idgames which is a crying shame. The circumstances surrounding its existence were and are unique, and I think it should be preserved.



DoomCenter used to be a thing. This is before Doom 3 was even announced or even known about, not even the first tech demos. Back in 2001 there were two main DOOM sites, this basrad here (DoomWorld) and NewDoom (an ugly brown thing that honestly I don't know what happened to). ZDoom forums? Nah.

Some guy called Ben 'BigDog' Swarts started a new and auspicious site called DoomCenter that offered features (in the 'magazine' sense of the word) DoomWorld didn't, such as 'WADster of the Week' (of which I was one, for some dumb reason since I didn't really do anything of note at that point). One of these things was the 'E1 week', where episode 1; Thy Glorious Shareware Episode (note: not actual title) was celebrated, culminating with a contest judged by John Fucking Romero himself.


E1 Contest

So Romero was a bit of a joke at this point (note to John: if you read this, I love you man, but after failing to make bitches of all of us, it's true -- and you have since been totally redeemed, so that's a thing) but nonetheless he was somehow here and back on the scene: we knew he loved Doom Legacy and recorded some demos of him playing E1 and he was here to both judge a contest to create episode 1-styled maps, and offer the first place (and only) prize -- a boxed copy of Doom II he'd autographed!


I wanted that, so of course I entered.


The .WAD itself

It's a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly if I'm honest - a real product of its time where map editors weren't amazing but enthusiasm was. Standout map is E1M4 for me, which is the work of @Fredrik (from whose site I managed to get the .WAD a while back) -- but point here is, I think this .WAD should be uploaded properly to /idgames with a textfile attributing the authors. There's been a thread searching for authors before to no avail, but I've seen a fair few old hands returning since then and wondered if anybody knows anything. If so, SPEAK UP!




What I/we know - who did what

(will edit this accordingly if we manage to source people)

E1M1 - @Rellik / Jim McDougald

E1M2 - Robert Lasmanowicz

E1M3 - Doug Merrill

E1M4 - @Fredrik / Fredrik Johansson [THIRD PLACE]

E1M5 - Harvey Riddle

E1M6 - Rex Claussen

E1M7 - Simon Broadhead

E1M8 - earlier version of Laitos by Espi / Esa Repo

E1M9 - Oxygen by Jordan Buck

E2M1 - Simon Judd

E2M2 - Tobias Muench [FOURTH PLACE]

E2M3 - Bob Larkin

E2M4 - Traffic Control by Deathbringer / Michael Martin


E2M6 - Jay X Townsend (myself, @Jayextee) [SECOND PLACE]


Tagging @Captain Skippy, just in case. He made a map (according to a comment on DW's announcement of the contest results) but I'm unsure which.





Mystery solved, rather quickly! In which case, I'd love to hear commentary from anyone else who participated. In the meantime, I'll think about said release in the meantime.

Edited by Jayextee

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About my map, E2M6
This is pretty much a medley of what I considered to be E1-esque at the time. I'd started a map of this theme actually before the E1 contest was announced (like, a couple of days) and didn't think anything of changing tack to make the map instead my contest entry (I'd pretty much only made the corridors around the red key bridge by then).


It's not amazing, has too much symmetry, is predictable, etc. I was aware of some other more superficial issues at the time. Much of it was copy-pasted using WadAuthor (my main editor back then was the terrible WadEd, which I loved regardless for its drawing method -- actually a precursor to Doom Builder's method IMO) and it was tested (bizarrely) with Doom95, in which it works perfectly BUT might actually VPO/HOM in vanilla/chocolate.


I also slightly edited and re-used it as MAP03 of Sinister Intention.

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Heyyyy, thanks for that. I swear I'd looked in that thread (apparently I was wrong) but I appear to be not so good at searching these forums.

OP updated.

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