Nah, wrong neck of the woods. I've seen them more than once before, but it's been years and years now. Hopefully one of these days...
Ah, I knew they hit Colorado, but I didn't know where in relation to you, and most people have better judgement than I do and thus don't regularly drive 4 hours for a show, and then drive back home 4 hours that same night.
The good news is this current lineup seems to be their most "active" in a very long time, so you might have another shot at some point.
Dunno if it's better to get ahold of you here or on Discord, but either way, here's a new Condemner rehearsal track! This is going to be the title track on the next album....
Interesting that it sounds more analog -- the recording methods were largely the same as the last album for everything except the drums... but the drums are real this time, and on a real kit (not sample replaced, like most albums are these days), which may be making all of the difference. As for whether it's going to be self-released, the answer is "probably" -- if a label comes to me asking to release it, the answer may well be "yes", but given that no distro on earth was interested in even *carrying* the first album, I'm doubting that will happen.
Demon of the Well replied to kinker31's topic in WADs & ModsAbout those switches, in the current version, they won't actually crush the monsters, as a 'true' crushing action has not been used, so the white posts meant to pulp the caged baddies will simply press gently against their heads like a lover's caress until they're killed by conventional means. Here is an FDA demonstrating this, recorded in PrB+ -complevel 2; this behavior is evidently different in some classic-type ports. Despite this bug, the map is actually still quite maxable with a little elbow grease, mind. I quite like how proceedings suddenly go batshit crazy after the portal behind the red door, I genuinely was not expecting something like that. :)
New PWADs Played, FYE 2021 part II ( for part I, see here)
Infraworld: Coma Moonlight by Stormcatcher.77
Notes: RC2. Second entry in what will hopefully be an ongoing series for the author. Originally slated for last year's Refracted Reality project, depicting a nocturnal crumbling castle/astral dreamscape. The extremely complex and vertical layout is very involved (and involving) to traverse, with full support for jumping and crouching allowing for a highly personalized route. This complexity of navigation is offset by mostly very light action, making for a relaxing experience. Unrelated/irrevelant trivia: first new PWAD played on the spanking-new gaming machine I acquired almost purely to keep up with modern Doom.
I. H. N. I. Episode 1 by Kraja
Notes: Version 7b. Short mapset feels like a survival from the classical era of the ZDoom engine, with a modern degree of polish and tuning. Realistic setting and simple but well-paced action, and lots of surprises. Check it out.
Barnum & Barons by LindaIsHere
Notes: Quirky circus-themed set with an oddly intriguing implied narrative, for those who enjoy imagining such things. One of the two secret levels is even weirder than the rest. A bit buggy throughout and perhaps occasionally slightly obtuse, but a memorable experience nonetheless.
Nightwalk by Adahn
Department Store of Doom by Adahn
Trouble in Rubble City by BigBossHeinzohn
Notes: Debut map in a realistic style. Some my-first-map issues as to be expected, but lots of creative energy apparent. Seems meant for a gameplay mod, but plays fine without.
Generic Slaughter Map by Aicidia
Putrefaction Labs by mittenz
Notes: Enjoyable Knee Deep experience from the author of "The Chasm of Sinful", elsewhere on the list.
WRESTLEMAPIA I by MajorArlene and BluePineapple72
Notes: oh ma GAWD she's stompin' a mudhole in 'im 'an WALKIN' IT DRY
Lullaby by Danlex
Notes: A visual marvel in a high-contrast astral void theme. Very regimented (though non-linear) structure hosting a variety of very accessible setpiece fights and three tricky secrets.
Notes: Another of the year's many promising debuts.
Notes: Original upload version. Billed as vanilla-compatible, but a bug/oversight means the switch-actuated crushers meant to kill a number of caged monsters don't work, instead just harmlessly bonking them on the head a bit. Map is still quite playable despite this, though.
Notes: V1.2. Vaguely Deimos-y facility map based on a dream. Slightly eccentric gameplay that is both uncomplicated and fun. I continue to be rather fond of this new author's work.
Playstation DOOM Reloaded by RHG 45 and Yikesdude794
Notes: V1.0. GZDoom. Port capabilities are used to simulate the look and feel of the old PSX conversion, including such details as slightly choppier animations and some subtly modified enemy stats/behaviors (untampered PC Doom player movement). Two 30+ level episodes of mostly slow-paced, straightforward action with frequent IWAD homages/references and the requisite Aubrey Hodges soundtrack, likely to appeal to fans of this version of Doom.
Notes: Verboten v3.0 version. Episodes 1 and 2 were released serially in previous years; the concluding E3 is new this year, with many technical and mechanical updates to the older episodes as well. E3 continues in a similar vein as E2, with increasingly grandiose and lengthy missions that communicate a great variety in settings (within the frame of the more or less realistic WWII setting) and game mechanics alike. Proceedings are thus never dull, though sometimes the piles and piles of ideas and other stuff arguably operates contrary to good flow and good sense (and perhaps occasionally good taste, depending on one's views). As a whole package, this is indubitably one of the most involved achievements in modding in the community's long history, though like so much else to have come from this workgroup over the years, its gloss is marred not simply by social controversy but by a more fundamental lack of creative focus and directorial maturity. Nonetheless, it's a memorable experience that I would recommend to everyone at least once (by the time you're reading this, an updated version should be available, which presumably addresses various content-related controversies, and hopefully some general bugginess/user-friendliness issues as well).
Perpetual Powers by Lorenz0 and a few special guests
Notes: Version RC2. GZDoom. Three episodes in three colorful themes, complemented by a well-chosen array of existing BGM tracks both new and classic. Tends heavily towards a modern encounter-focused style (with a diversion on occasion), but should be accessible for a wide range of players.
Rescuing Ducino by Al War
No Health (1 + 2) by Engired
Notes: Does what it says on the tin. An uncommon yet nevertheless familiar concept to niche/challenge-oriented players, this is a bit more gentle than many other entries in the genre and may be a good choice for someone looking to try this particular mode out for the first time.
Notes: Single limit-removing map with eight different authors working in tandem. Stock textures. Perhaps expectedly, whipsaws about in style/tone/difficulty, but is an enjoyable playthrough nonetheless. Good for players who like it oldschool/abstract/eclectic.
Twisted Reality by Zedonk
Notes: v1.0. A rare single map for Hexen, via GZDoom. I played on skill 4, using the Mage. Simple aesthetics belie highly creative scripting and clever use of portals and silent teleporters (some inspiration from the Doom classic "Impossible: A New Reality" perhaps?). The final wave-based battle is one of the best I've seen for Hexen, though granted most don't think of it as a particularly fight-y game. Nevertheless, highly recommended for Hexen fans, and perhaps for those who might be interested in a much more streamlined vision of the game as well.
Notes: RC1. Shortly after I downloaded/played, RC2 emerged, including a new m22 (an end credits map, customary for the series) and a few bugfixes. In this pack, m10 is DNF due to another instance of the all-ghosts bug, which seems to haunt this series of late. m19 has a likely softlock at the last elevator which IIRC is not yet fixed in current version; in the recording I suicide and replay to the finish, however. Another entry in this popular series, this time with a dystopian neon cyberpunk theme. A longer-form structure with a more definite sense of narrative and some unexpected sidetracks as well as a level of action that's a bit hotter than is typical for the series make this one of the stronger DBPs to date.
Ancient Temple by Zion
Notes: GZDoom. Strong visuals and atmosphere by a new/unknown mapper, using OTEX and some more traditional gothic assets to create something like a stone gibbet towering high into bloodred skies, leading up to an ominous ring of standing stones. Classic BGM selection makes for a nice contrast with the new textures. Solid action, fairly tight ammo balance. This one has passed a lot of people by, but I think many of you will enjoy this. Check it out.
Great Treasure by MiMa DM
GZDoom. From the same satellite community (and same competition) as Banana Factory Accident, elsewhere on the list. Birds of a feather, so to speak -- same crude sense of humor, a narrative that "really goes places", etc. This one is framed like the modern Doom games, i.e. a series of arena battles where monsters spawn in in waves, some of the action gets quite intense indeed. BFA was the competition winner, but of the two "Broleg" WADs to make their way here I actually prefer this one.
Heartland by Skillsaw
Notes: idgames version. Fresh hell comes to the rust belt in this sweeping and bloody adventure by one of the modern masters, showcasing the untapped potential of the Eternity Engine.
Full Moon by various authors
Notes: Third and final part of the "Moon" speedmap CP trilogy, along with "Tenth Gear" and "Halfmoon", elsewhere on the list. A few bugs of varying levels of severity (and occasionally, hilarity) here and there if played in "Boom" spec (read: -cl 9), presumably not present in GZDoom. The extra 30 minutes allowed for each map vs. Halfmoon is mostly invisible, to my eyes. What may surprise fans of the previous installments, and of this type of inclusive newcomer CP in general, is that this is basically an openly challenge-oriented set from start to finish, with sensibilities ranging from "hardnosed" to "open your meme-hole and say ahh."
Notes: idgames version. Short episode with a space station/industrial theme. In the FDAs pack, m05 is DNF due to a switchpress sequence break (at the console in the huge central courtyard) resulting in a softlock; I replayed the map in full shortly after diagnosing the problem. Despite a lot of rough edges, this mapset is charming, with a lot of Doomcute energy and a sense of playfulness that contrasts with its somewhat stark/sterile texture theme.
Notes: Large map set in a nebulous Otherworld, where brimstone, blood and bile flow freely. A feeling of gloom and unease predominates in spite of the colorful visual scheme. Houses some tricky encounters and a thing balance set so that you can never quite get comfortable, as well as one of the most hideously demonic trials you can find this year: a math problem. Solving the many secrets and puzzles is optional, but is the key to gaining an edge.
Notes: RC2 I think? Seems to be some nodebuilding issues in this version (monsters occasionally fall into the ground/etc.), but still quite playable. Outdoor desert/ruins map by the main organizer of the WADazine. A hearty dose of action in a relatively small space/runtime, with a lot of quasi-platformy emphasis on dashing around hoovering up goodies (alongside the killing).
Demons of Shiga by Origamyde
Notes: v1.1. Feels like an expansion or extra level for the author's debut release, "The City of Dread", elsewhere on the list.
Cosmogenesis by NoReason
Notes: idgames version. Hypermassive macroslaughter suitable primarily for dedicated genre enthusiasts. m05 contains just under 75,000 monsters; maps 01-04 are this same map divvied up into smaller portions purely for the sake of performance. Includes a high-contrast new color palette (green is plasma-charged, reds are replaced with magenta and mauve, etc.) and textures from some rarely-used packs provide a soothing accent to the carnage. Don't be fooled by the somewhat ridiculous stats, this is more than a modern Holy Hell or similar, and there is a lot of smart design here. Still, be sure you understand what you're getting into and adjust your expectations, playing habits and perhaps schedule accordingly if you're going to partake.
Valhalla Project by arch_93
Notes: Played with GZDoom. Adventure mapset in a 'Russian realist' vein, themed around ancient civilizations. Strongly assumes continuous play. Straightforward appearance and design belie some striking scenes and ideas as one gets farther in.
Notes: GZDoom. Full set of 32 small maps. Each map contains the same number of monsters as its mapslot (so for example, map 10 has 10 monsters, map 11 has 11 monsters, and so on). Not a conventional Doom experience, this is a grab-bag of gimmick/concept-maps with a humorous tone, with an impressive variety of ideas on display. Very short runtime (my full playthrough was somewhere around 90 minutes, and I am not fast) and a low skill floor make this a sure crowd-pleaser.
Angry Quilt by various authors
Notes: In the spirit of the old Exquisite Corpse project, a map comprised of 16 different square chambers, each measuring 512 x 512 units, by 15 different authors.
claustrophobia.wad by spindel
Belial's Keep by smeghammer
Notes: GZDoom. A brick/iron keep floating in a fiery, burning sea somewhere in the outback of Hell. Highly complicated 3D design with many nested layers/floors shows the author's rapidly growing facility for worldbuilding. Progression can be rather disjointed/obtuse, on the other hand, especially early on. A number of powerful custom/R667 monsters inhabit the place, but the marine is armed to the teeth from almost the outset, so they don't stand a chance.
Notes: RC2. Various bugs in this version, most notably ZDoomisms in E3M9 and some node problems in E3M8, but all maps are completable. Full replacement for Doom's third episode, favoring a surreal void-based liminal realm rather than fire and brimstone inferno (though there is a bit of that as well). Strong sense of variety in a moderately-sized package, with each author making the theme their own and offering their own distinct kind of gameplay.
Notes: Final idgames version, from July 24th.
The Descent of Evil by TOVA
Enigma of Sector Sigma by Albatross
Notes: Played with Eternity Engine. Modern encounter-focused mapset, not so 'rough' but a lotta 'tumble', with some modified monsters (alongside rather than in place of the classics) and an extremely bright, colorful aesthetic.
Nameless by Jimmy
Notes: RC1. Realms Deep 2021 mapjam participant.
DBK01: Dungeon Synths by various authors
Notes: RC1.1, played with ZDoom. Short episode by former members of the DBP group, featuring a whimsical theme of gothic castles with steampunk and neon elements. Lovely music. Should readily appeal to fans of the established DBP series.
The Deep by Major Arlene
Notes: RC1. Realms Deep 2021 mapjam participant.
Soaked in Blood by T.Will
Notes: RC2. KDitD replacement in a familiar vein....more or less. Initially feels starkly traditionalist with obvious map/mapslot homages to the original episode, but develops its own particular cadence over time, the latter half sporting a liberally expanded sense of both space and bodycount. A certain dry sense of humor seems evident, and the secret map is not quite what one might expect. Recommended for fans of re-imagined classics.
Skulltiverse by various authors
Notes: Fixed idgames version. Direct sequel to Hellevator, elsewhere on the list.
Hakros Complex by hakros
The Red Tower by evil_scientist
Mountain Lab by ArchRevival
Monroe's Killer by TheGreenZap
The Deep Labs by Doomax
Notes: Quality debut from a new mapper. Mid-sized map in an quietly creepy Deimos-for-Doom-II vein with strong mood lighting and lots of secrets. Hope to see more from this author in future.
Scream of the Triad by EmoLevelDesigner
Notes: RoTT-themed; uses Return of the Triad mod as an IWAD/base (download link available in thread). Realms Deep 2021 mapjam participant.
Basilica of a Thousand Torments by IvanDobrovski
Notes: Quake-themed; uses a Quake-based mod I'm not otherwise familiar with, bundled with the download. Realms Deep 2021 mapjam participant.
The Hanging House by DevilMyEyes
Big Dill by Killerratte
Notes: Deceptively sprawling and non-linear level with a mixed techbase look. The music is not the only thing that's sassy here.
deceased.cable by Obsidian and Fuzzball
Notes: Sid i thought we were cool dog
Zzul Bases by Killer5
Notes: Three small-medium dark metal voidbases and one bonus map using the new MBF21 format. Mainline progression in the main maps is surprisingly accessible and focuses on nonlinear room-by-room blitzes; the author's trademark webs of secrets again hold much of the real draw and intrigue, revealing rewards ranging from tasty goodies to intense ambushes to ominous puzzle sequences. The bonus map in slot 31 is a very difficult platforming affair, for enthusiasts only.
Meatbox Slam! by clamgor
Notes: Quite the title. Stock-textured showdown-type map with lots of energy/moving parts, and a particularly memorable opening room. Check it out.
Cycle of Sorrow by CHAINMAIL
Don't Get Burned by RetroAkaMe
Notes: Highly conceptual/experimental WAD based on arch-viles and their eccentricities. Interesting, but very, very rough in execution.
Grotto of the Scorned by Valhen
Notes: V2, played with Eternity. Most ambitious work by this author this year (so far), with a look and feel which put me in mind of a lost Alien Vendetta map in both pacing and tone. Colorful, claustrophobic, and dangerous.
Interstice by Dunn (& Dunn)
Notes: v1.1. Puzzle-type map with an abstract voidbase theme (which seems a genre standard setting for this type of map at this point). Simply reaching an exit is quite manageable if your Doom trivia power-ranking is reasonable; finding all of the secrets and seeing everything is quite a bit more of a brain-teaser. Some closed gauntlet-type encounters are present for contrast (mainly along the secret path), but it's the puzzles that are the highlight here.
DBP 38: Chronicles of Ghost Town by various authors
Notes: Sort of a wasteland/funereal theme this time (some Plutonia reference is also a given). Abandoned an FDAs pack for this one due to mounting levels of buggy-ness in later maps (which, bugs aside, are also generally the highlights of design this time). Business as usual for this long-running, popular series.
Uprising by Cheesewheel
Notes: RC2, played with Eternity. Fresh reimagining of the classic/fundamental Doom II story from the author of last year's CPD. A long but thoughtfully composed campaign with plenty of action and a few new foes that seems to find itself a place somewhere between classical and Alm-era references and more contemporary expectations in terms of pacing and tone, impressive for a single author. Check it out if you're up for something with a bit of an old soul, but with a bit of a modern flair.
Down the Drain by Benjogami
Notes: RC1. Gives the outward impression of a quaint/innocuous 90's era compilation WAD in look and general tone (music, ancient map tropes, etc.), but there's definitely a ghost in this machine, seemingly a very bitter one. Strange balance and strange progression schema spur you on through increasingly strange environments. TBH I suspect most players will find this baffling, or even actively unpleasant, but it's an intriguing and memorable experience for those on a certain wavelength.
Tarnsman's Projectile Hell by Tarnsman
Notes: RC2, Eternity version. Colorful, fast-paced, occasionally outlandish and always cheeky project which is both a goldmine of unexpected thematic diversions and a codex of insider-baseball mapping tropes.
The Mean Green 2 by Chris Hansen (no, not the one who asks you to "have a seat over there")
Notes: Continuation of a series begun in 2019 by a veteran mapper. Sassier and spicier than the first part by far. Good to see this author rediscovering a sadistic fondness for damage-floor.
Tricked and Trapped by Soulless
Notes: RC3. Clean/sterile industrial theme with some unusual medieval touches later on. Lots of traditionally-actuated moving parts (switches, lifts, deadfalls, etc.) and some very light scripting as well as a consistent sense of claustrophobia/spacial constraint dominates, making for a deceptively dynamic and indeed very trap-heavy environment. One of the author's most technically sophisticated releases to date.
Dark and Forgotten by Endless
Notes: RC1. Requires a relatively recent version of the OTEX texture pack to be loaded separately. Plays like a challenge-oriented set from an age long gone.
The End by Clippy
Notes: More of the manic concept-oriented design and late-90s retro look which has been the author's stock in trade this year, here in a more expanded form. Lots of bad guys and lots of danger here, but play along with the author's whims and you'll be fine. Also possible to exit the map without ever leaving the starting platform with just a bit of pacifist-trolling. Map 02 is the same as map 01, but played from a different starting point, making for an interesting contrast.
Silver Edge by Paul977
Notes: New entry from one of the classic "gauntlet" style's major modern proponents. Short in duration, abstract in theme, drum-tight in balance.
Haste by various authors
Notes: v1.3. Big things come in "small" packages. 17-map set of relatively compact yet fiercely unadulterated levels, in wildly and imaginatively varying theme, by a 'supergroup' of several of today's finest purveyors of slaughter & challenge-oriented mapping.
Hell Cellar by c0deNull
Rapidfire by jazzmaster9
Verdant Hollow by Makedounia
Notes: Spacious map with a green caves/earth theme from a new author. Has a look and feel in some ways reminiscent of early maps from Speed of Doom, unusual (but hardly unwelcome) in a debut map.
Dereliction Derby by PinkKittyRose
Notes: V1. Sprawling, polished techbase up in the mountains somewhere (plus endmap) with a marked slant towards representational or "doomcute" detailing. Starts about as you'd expect, ramps up into some genuinely surprising and gratuitous displays of mass violence. Very impressive debut.
DBP 39: Carnage Oasis by various authors
Notes: This one uses a desert base theme which reminds more than anything of Darkening II, though the asset pack is not shared. A broader number of authors than is typically involved in these projects gives this iteration a little stylistic more range than usual, though the typically on-brand sense of prim restraint reigns this back in to a degree. Unfortunately, once again very buggy, perhaps moreso than usual. Generally speaking, business as usual for this long-running, popular series.
Atmospheric Extinction by Velvetic
Notes: RC4. Triptych of short, 3-level episodes making exquisite use of the OTEX resource for an uncommonly lush visual presentation. Features a bespoke OST by the author with a number of memorable tunes new to my ears (and likely yours as well). Gameplay mild to moderate, occasionally laconic, suitable for a wide range of player skill.
Cydonia by AD_79 and Scotty
Notes: Beta 2. For The Plutonia Experiment. Authentically-styled tribute to the most iconic mapping joint of the Brothers Casali. Smart, efficient, and well-honed layouts that capture the rough-and-tumble feel of the original without being overly reliant on direct homage. Lots of fun. A later update is meant to add a second secret map in slot 32.
Arceon by DMPhobos
Notes: RC2. Six-level episode using OTEX for an almost curricular examination of the ins and outs of modern techbase design, with a marked slant towards looping, non-linear sensibility. More variety and range in action and content than one might initially expect from a rigid dedication to the 'regular' techbase theme. m06 is a particularly impressive work of craft in layout design. Great OST, partially bespoke, by a selection of familiar community musicians.
Old Still Life by Rednov
Notes: 11-map campaign combining a realistic aesthetic style with a decidedly surreal atmosphere. Gameplay comprises an unusual blend of brain-teasers, traversal-based puzzles, tough/gritty gauntlet-style encounters, and a wide variety of apparent influences and references, both old and new. Dozens of obscure secrets and an occasionally severe sense of balance make continuous play and/or HMP advisable for most first-time players. Difficult to pin down or attribute to any particular trend or counter-trend, this is a deep cut for the most adventurous among you.
Towen by hjordan159
Notes: No longer available for download as of time of posting. GZDoom. Large, effects-heavy castle/gothic map with something of a kitchen-sink design sensibility.
Dread Factory by sectrslayr
Notes: Current version as of this date (unlabeled). Scrappy tech/fortress setting rendered in OTEX. The more survivalist, encounter-focused design is a marked contrast with the author's KDitD-inspired work from earlier in the year, and shows range on his/her part. I would be interested in seeing the earlier, allegedly " "unfair" " version of this.
Shark in a Puddle by xdarkmasterx
Ode to the Odonata by Jimmy
Just a Mapset: E1 by Vortale
Notes: RC2. Conspicuously inconspicuous title glibly conceals an exuberant release pulling in many different creative directions over its substantial 12-map length. Weapons and most enemies have been given slight buffs/tweaks, making core game balance most reminiscent of relatively recent throwback-style partial conversions, ala Ray Mohawk, Rowdy Rudy, etc., with grungy, schlocky cyber-troma aesthetic to match; a bit more edge/challenge to proceedings than with either of those sets, perhaps. Most of the maps have a very distinct concept or gimmick to them (and widely varying visual themes to match), many of which will be familiar to veterans of PWADs, a few of which are quite fresh, and all of which are delivered with obvious gusto. Pacing perhaps bogs down a bit in the last map or two, but nevertheless a great sense of creative energy is evident throughout, and the variety on display is impressive.
Blasphemous Experiments by Cacowad
Notes: RC1, played with ZDoom. A collection of Heretic maps from across the span of its author's mapping career, assembled into a complete 9-map episode. Uses texture assets from Blasphemer (the Heretic equivalent of the FreeDoom project, for those not in the know), giving the settings a grittier, drearier look vs. classic Heretic. Relatively humble beginnings of earlier maps give way to some impressively sweeping, grandiose constructions, particularly in E1M6 (my favorite) and E1M7.
WMC03: Biophilia by various authors
Notes: RC1, played with k8vavoom. Contains: Trees, bases, tree-bases, dumpy little gremlin ravers (WTF?), puns. m06 is the highlight.
Rapidfire 2 by jazzmaster9
Notes: RC2. Reads like an alternate take on the first Rapidfire, both thematically and compositionally.
Axolotl by Xyzzy01
Notes: It's spelled Roebuck's but it's *pronounced* Throat-Warbler Mangrove
The Harrowing of Men by smeghammer
Notes: RC1. More abstract and experimental than the author's other releases this year, while retaining the heavily 3D, building-based design style. This initial RC is somewhat buggy, but still quite playable. Progression is again rather odd, especially in the early going. Perambulate the grounds, scale to the roof, warp out of there, blasting the smattering of hellspawn with the scads and scads of bullets & bombs again provided.
The Long Trek Back Home by hervoheebo
Judgment by Rayziik
DBP 40: Funnelcake Apparitions by various authors
Alpha Major by KineticBeverage
Literalism by various authors
Notes: "Final" version.
Fractured Worlds by Nirvana, Scotty, and Insane_Gazebo
Ad Mortem by various authors
- Show previous comments 3 more
Thank you. I've enjoyed taking in your particular vision of Doom this year, and I look forward to seeing "Dwelling", which I'm sure will come in its own good time.
This post is nuts. How on earth do you avoid burnout?! I am glad you enjoyed Haste and Cydonia, from what i can gather here.
I've never read such an incredibly fitting description of my work! Thanks so much 😆
@Murdoch here's my strategy for the final fight in Cyanotic Dreams, which worked for me during my playthrough on skill 4: The room is a big circle with a solid but fairly narrow spoke in the center, essentially a clockface without numerals. The switch which kicks off the action is at 6 o'clock; monsters spawn more or less simultaneously (the only thing keeping them back from all appearing literally at once is limited standing room, basically) in two-tiered fronts on the quadrants loosely aligned to 3, 9, and 12 o'clock; these are revenants + zombies; arch-viles + imps, and hell knights + cacodemons, respectively. The 6 o'clock quadrant where you're standing at the outset remains free of spawns, giving you a space to work from, though of course you have to act decisively and without hesitation as soon as the fight begins, as there is very little cover and nowhere to run. What you want to do is hit the switch at 6 and immediately nuke the arch-viles. You can (and should) pull the BFG's trigger before you're even aimed precisely at their spawn point; you can start at the same time you're hitting the switch, and then quickly flick your aim into alignment as you burst towards them. Once you know the spot where they spawn, you can eliminate them within 2-3 shots in a second or two, often without them retaliating, though if they hit you once it doesn't usually matter much in the long run. As soon as they're down, you want to immediately pivot around the central spoke and begin firing into the 3 o'clock quadrant, with the trigger held down on the BFG, directing all of its power into the revenant swarm as it materializes. Essentially, you're going to be tracing rapid, shallow arcs with your footwork back and forth between roughly 2-4 on the clock and the central spoke. Don't worry about aiming at any particular actor; focus on fanning the BFG's tracers into this general quadrant without relent. Don't worry about the knights, cacos, or imps overly much; they don't really matter (but be prepared to deepen your arc a bit if a particularly speedy imp starts body-blocking you). Done with determination, the front which spawns at 3 will be decimated nearly or entirely by the time you've spent the 480 - 520 cells you'll be holding when you began firing, and you'll be able to reload from the recesses at and likely adjacent to that quadrant, which will in turn give you more than enough power to vaporize the imps now spilling over into 6 from 9, giving you access to even more ammo on that side. Essentially, the design of this fight is about breaking a blitzkrieg with a blitzkrieg of your own; try to play defense and you'll be almost instantly overwhelmed. Basically, as soon as there is no active spawning on half of the clock's face you've won; after that the fight is simply cleanup, and can even be prosecuted with the plasma rifle and SSG if you prefer. Nuking the viles first is elementary (they're vastly too disruptive to any and all strategies if not removed immediately); the reason you focus-fire on the front at 3 o'clock, then, is that this wave is simultaneouly the most accessible, the most dangerous, and the most susceptible target. The HKs + cacos at 12 are farther away from you at the outset, meaning that to focus on them you'd have to cut through or operate in the midst of the imps from 9 as well, which is significantly less efficient and significantly more dangerous because the revenants from 3 will close on and destroy you far faster than anything else active in the fight at that point, even as they in turn make a much softer target overall than the clot of infernal HP spawning at 12. There is doubtless a temptation to try to continuously run around the edge of the entire arena from the outset in order to minimize your immediate exposure to a massive wall of enemy fire, but doing this both makes picking up ammo a lot more problematic (you'll tend to be hemmed into the recesses as things spawn, as you've observed) and makes it much harder to pick up the armor and soulspheres at the spoke when/if you need them, as enemies will tend to cluster around it on all sides if you're not thinning them fast enough. The central spoke does not make great cover, but it's adequate shielding from the linear fireballs/spells thrown by the cacos and HKs as you rapidly flit back and forth between it and a point on the periphery while melting the skellies. ^^ That's a whole lot of words to describe and explain a fairly simple strategy (sorry, I'm not really YT/Twitch material), I know, but hopefully it makes at least some sense. Win or lose, this fight is rather intense but also quite short, and as is often the case with this style of gameplay half of the battle is in reading the whole situation rather than getting overly fixated on one specific facet of it, which of course is easier said than done if you're not used to this kind of thing. Just keep trying, and don't be afraid to adapt what I've described to your ends if you think you're onto a better idea (and you may well be!). Don't sweat the losses, either -- a certain amount of trial and error and the resultant steady shaping of a gradually more nuanced and effective strategy is a big part of what makes this kind of thing fun once you get into it, and you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs and all that.
Moment to moment, I usually play with no HUD at all, i.e. screensize maxed all the way up so the screen is clear of everything but what the marine sees. I find that keeping a loose mental count on or even just a 'feel' for ammo and health status and such helps to keep me sharp, and has become second nature over the years. That said, the last thing one wants to have on mind when the fur starts to fly and the shit really starts to hit the fan is maths, so at those times I'll use a HUD for critical by-the-second info. For this, I most prefer the minimalist Boom-style HUD which is available in one form or another in most classic ports, though when using a Z-family port I generally just settle for the basic icon-based corner overlay HUD standard to those ports. Not that I don't appreciate the art qualities of a nice custom statusbar, mind you -- these I usually enjoy while viewing the automap (which also makes for a nice mental pitstop on actual ammo/armor/health status, by the by), which is evidently something I do more frequently than most.
Hello, good to see more from you. I'd describe what we see here as kind of "charismatically ugly", in that lovable Doom II sort of way. Who needs such niceties as delicate detailing, cogent representationalism, or a basically coherent texture scheme when you've got lots of grumpy mood lighting and improbable architecture to grabass around in? Not me, that's for sure. FDA (skill 4) The map is a good time, communicates brutality as you say, but also a sense of playfulness or even goofiness by turns. These contrasting attitudes synergize quite naturally here I think -- you're harried at every turn, yet there's also a certain endearing cheekiness to the whole closet-within-closet-within-another-closet deal that seems to mainly say "lol" as opposed to "fuck you." I like it. The final sequence once you drop into the big molten pit is particularly entertaining, though the second secret is perhaps overpowered, and largely trivializes the last part of the map. Thinking on it, though, the way it's basically in plain sight and simple to access yet liable to be totally missed anyway owing to the general time-pressured panic of the situation arguably suits the map's weasel-grinning tone quite well. There is only one design decision I have to say I categorically disagree with: D_RUNNIN + this map = pasta and peanuts, okay fair enough, BUT D_AMPIE + this map = bacon and chocolate. yas queen etc. Just sayin'
NP, NP You should definitely still do hubs again, though (at some point at least). Everybody loves a 'stage select' setup now and again, in fact I'd warrant that's probably one of very few things one could reasonably expect most players to agree on, regardless of countless other differences in taste and predilection and so on.
Hello again, I re-DL'd the WAD and played to what was functionally the end today, and there seems to be at least one final issue. The order I played the experiences in was this: Sempiternal -> Cyanotic Dreams -> LV-31 -> Omnia Mors Aequat -> Tech Duin All of the maps seemed to work as intended individually, but I noticed that when I was brought back to the hub after finishing Clay's map, the portals to the three maps I had played before it were open once again. I didn't try entering any of them, opting for the final unvisited map instead. After finishing that last map, I was again returned to the hub, with the portals to "Tech Duin" and "Omnia Mors Aequat" now barred, and the portals to the other three still open. Presumably, in order to see the final/farewell message for the mapset, I'd have had to enter and complete those three a second time (I tried re-entering "Sempiternal" again, and it seemed to load up just fine, as though I'd never visited it before).
In memory of Kentaro Miura, and the stories he told. The journey is eternal.