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Demon of the Well

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Status Updates posted by Demon of the Well






    1. LadyMistDragon


      Nehemah was such a quality act within their somewhat limited musical mileau (this song sounds as much like doom as black metal).



    1. Cynical


      Did you get to see them on either of their recent tours pre-covid?  The first time I saw them, they played this song as their encore, it was soooooo good.

    2. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      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...

    3. Cynical


      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.

  3. 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

    Doom: Toxicity by Paar - FDA

    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

    Operation CyberHell by HLRaven - FDAs



    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.



    Wiremaster Ritual by Misty - FDA

    Notes: RC1.

    Long-term Storage and Gore Processing by _sink - FDAs

    Notes: Another of the year's many promising debuts.

    To the Portal! by kinker31 - FDA

    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.

    DreamTek by Orcsbreath - FDA

    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.



    Wolfenstein: Blade of Agony

    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.

    Chilled Chicken by various authors - FDA

    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.



    DBP37: Auger; Zenith by various authors - FDAs

    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.



    Jailbreak by Mr. Misfire - FDA

    Notes: V1

    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."



    Fragor Portum by RiviTheWarlock - FDAs

    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.

    Viscous Realms by Horus - FDA

    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.

    Ruins of Sathryn by Endless - FDA

    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.



    WMC02: Thy Flesh Vored by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: RC3.



    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.

    32 Piece Cliptucky Fried Chicken Special! by Clippy

    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.



    Deadly Standards 3 (a.k.a. Atypic Death) by various authors - FDAs

    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.



    Zone 400 by PCorf - FDAs pack

    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



    Warspite by Yukarin - FDAs



    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.



    Slith by Pistoolkip - FDAs

    Notes: v1.07

    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

    Notes: RC4

    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

    Notes: lol

    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

    Notes: RC1. Career-spanning omnibus megaWAD, arranged as a single campaign. Refitted for the new MBF21 standard, with various new monsters and some minor tweaks to the player's arsenal for a different feel. A wide variety of texture schemes / level themes are present, with a gritty gothic feel seguing into some post-Sunlust metal/neon abstraction in the final/most recent minisode. The wide span of time in the creator's career covered by the WAD is readily evident to the seasoned eye, but the experience is fun throughout, with an upbeat / fights-forward immediacy to the action and mostly mid-sized or smaller levels making for a more digestible experience than some might expect, given the range of influences expressed.



    DBP 40: Funnelcake Apparitions by various authors

    Notes: RC1. Happy Time Circus theme in general, though with a lighter tone, and typically casual / concise level design. Less buggy than other DBPs in the second half of the year. Business as usual for this long-running, popular series; worth a look to a newcomer for the unusual theme.



    Alpha Major by KineticBeverage

    Notes: RC3. Inspired by the (mildly infamous) cavalier / borderline unreasonable/dysfunctional balance of Dimensions, by Killer5, with a more po-mo color-forward neon/metal abstract theme. Rather extreme in spots, the author's understanding of the specific niche-within-a-niche is evident in the design's ability to overcome the somewhat RNG-dependent wildcard nature of its predecessor while communicating a similar frantic energy, though it is still far outside the bounds of what most players will find palatable.



    Literalism by various authors

    Notes: "Final" version. CP where designers were tasked with designing a level based on a pre-assigned, randomly generated (?) map name. Fairly consistent quality for a CP, lots of visual drama, though the arrangement of the map roster has had the side-effect of it peaking in the middle and trailing off towards the end somewhat.



    Fractured Worlds by Nirvana, Scotty, and Insane_Gazebo

    Notes: v1.6. Intelligent, well-schooled evolution of the Stardate/post-Stardate sub-genre. Powerfully focused aesthetics and production design, with a truly impressive variety of innovative encounter-designs.



    Ad Mortem by various authors

    Notes: V3. Vaguely Halloween-themed CP from the /vr/ satellite community. Lots of Blood influence and some strikingly attractive new weapon sprites. Thread activity suggests this may be an incomplete release that will see more maps in the future; I'll believe it when I see it, but this would be quite welcome. The spooky autumnal atmosphere and variety of map styles with a marked adventure-style lean make for something quite appealing. This is easily the best comp release to come from this community to date, and even in its incomplete state is low-key one of the most consistently strong CPs to come out this year, in competition with 1KL3 and other high-profile Doomworld-based releases. Check it out.



    Chikai Jigoku by ShiroiAkuma51



    Warglaive by EANB

    Wormwood ]I[ by Grain of Salt and Ribbiks

    Notes: Continuation of an ongoing Halloween tradition. A short and well-balanced release, contrasting relatively conventional atmosphere-forward maps with some highly mechanical, gimmick-based experimental design. Huge disparity in pitch and pace over a short duration. A bracing, spooky good time.



    Crypts of Eternity by Decay



    1000 Lines 3 CP by various authors

    Notes: RC1.



    The Civvie 11 Massacre by various authors

    Notes: RC4. GZDoom. "Small" CP from a satellite community based around the popular Youtuber/streamer. Arranged in hub/level-select format, ala RAMP or similar. Wide variety of level sizes and styles, many at the beginner level of design, some quite accomplished. I imagine there are a lot of references/in-jokes here, none of which I personally get, though the set's playability to an outside audience doesn't suffer as a result. Good deep-cut selections for fans of the particular idiosyncrasies of the CP format.



    Inferno by CHIEF QUEEF

    Notes: Requires OTEX to be loaded manually/separately. An outwardly simple clusterfuck scenario in a classic HR/HRII vein, more of a tactical puzzle than a straight-up fight.

    Aquarius Ruins by inflame the dragon

    Notes: Loosely inspired by the aquatic ruins stage of "Dracula's Curse." Much more chill than that stage of that game, but appealing for cross-fans nonetheless.

    Altar of Sacrifice by Esperpento



    DBP 41: Hell Revealed III (pt. 1) by various authors

    Notes: Beta 1. I am disinclined to dignify this with a real response.



    3 x 3 Take Two by various authors



    Broken Whispers by kuro_mahoh

    Notes: GZDoom. Short, linear, haunted-house style experience, no combat.

    Undermine by Benchy

    Notes: Second version/edit.

    Lunar Laceration by finnks13

    Notes: RC2. Another MBF21 release, clearly patterned after Skillsaw's Lunatic thematically. Features a few new enemies and some minor arsenal tweaks, as has been the standard for releases on the frontier of this new port spec. Maps are all compact and mostly shortform in design. More of a traditional techbase slant for most of the runtime, with terser balancing as escalation in the later maps, vs. the rollicking, soft-arena style of Skillsaw's minor classic.



    Infested by ginc

    Notes: v1.0. A variety of representational settings (museum, sewer, corporate highrise) host a marriage between traditional Doom and Doom 2016/Eternal design sensibilities: incidental exploration trades off with wave-based combat. Confidently delivered, the action scales well over the set duration and sits fairly naturally within the setting, with arenas reading well as parts believable parts of various buildings as opposed to simply as VG arenas, ala the modern Doom games.



    Gehenna by LiquidDoom

    Notes: idgames version. Phobos replacement by an established member of the Czech community. The very loose handling of the theme and approach to atmosphere (heavy Hell/abstract thematic slant in the back half) couples with straightforward, room-by-room design and slightly overscaled construction to create a very authentically "retro" feel that recalls the days of 90s webcrawling, long before the TWiD movement was a tingle in its parents' keyboards.



    Ashes: Afterglow by Vostyok, ReformedJoe, et al

    Notes: Continuation of the Ashes 2063 series/universe. More open/exploratory vs. more straightforward action-oriented design of the original and its "expansion" episode, Dead Man Walking, with more fleshed-out level/world construction and more nuance at every level of design in general.



    NoSp3 by NoReason

    Notes: MDF21. idgames version.



    Ray Mohawk 2: Ray Wreaks Havoc! by various authors

    Notes: idgames version. Fullscale sequel/expansion to the popular short episode from 2019. Immediately engaging, action-forward set with a lot of character, eliding from both its bright / sunny island aesthetic and cheerfully overclocked weapon balance, which different contributors explore in a variety of exponentially escalating ways. Strong example of an open, community-sourced project that reads as a cohesive experience, as opposed to a grab-bag of different/disparate ideas.



    DeadTech by various authors

    Notes: Beta 2. GZDoom. CP using Doom64 assets, based on the D64 Retribution conversion (if this means little to you, don't worry -- suffice to say it looks like D64 and feels like the idtech1 games, via GZDoom). Very buggy and unpolished in this version -- different maps expect you to manually rejig your graphics/emulation settings, m10 is totally nonfunctional due to broken scripting, locks/blocks of various severity present in other maps, etc. Nevertheless, the set comes out of the gate very quickly (on skill 4), and offers more than initially meets the eye, with strong concepting on display deeper in, ranging from flooded/water-based maps to timetrial countdowns to highly abstract void-based sojourns. Obviously of great interest to D64 fans, though it is probably wise to wait for the fixes of the announced Beta 3 before partaking.



    The UnMaking by Ryath

    Notes: idgames version.





    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      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.

    3. Scotty


      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.

    4. Xyzzy01


      I've never read such an incredibly fitting description of my work! Thanks so much 😆


    In memory of Kentaro Miura, and the stories he told. The journey is eternal.

    1. Endless


      A master of his craft, a legend of the industry and a man that devoted his entire life to his world. A shall always have him as my main inspiration. A true struggler.


    Seasons change / though I do not notice

    At night I hear the hares dance / though I can but imagine the moon


    Sose gilimida sin

    I keep my sword sharp

    For I will have need for it again

    1. Cynical


      These guys really should have stayed doing this instead of becoming a joke band...


    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      Fine choice. I've always favored this group's ballads (which is probably why Seventh Son is my favorite of their albums), but Piece of Mind and Powerslave are surely close seconds, with something like The X-Factor as an uncommon/dark horse pick.

    3. Nine Inch Heels

      Nine Inch Heels

      I like many of their songs that somehow still happen to somehow jive with the current zeitgeist be it 2 minutes to midnight, or for the greater good of god.


      And overall it's pretty good energy as far as I'm concerned.

    4. Cynical


      DiAnno > Dickenson

  7. New PWADs played, FYE 2021



    Festering Cesspool by Soulless



    Abstergo by Austinado

    Hyperload by El Inferno



    You are the Big Rocket Launcher (I'm Just the Shot Gun) by TheHambourgeois - FDA

    Purgatory by Silhou3tte

    Notes: DNF; uncompletable as far as I could see, several broken/unlinked teleporters.

    Quartzite Quarrel by Btyb88

    Notes: Rare release for Eternity engine.

    Hangar B by sectrslayr



    DBP30: The Magnificent Five by various authors



    Fairchild Island by Lawrence

    Notes: Brutal DooM recommended but not required; chose to play without.



    Snap the Sentinel by various authors

    Notes: v1.1 release



    Interloper by Snaxalotl

    Toxic Leek by elio.exe - FDA



    Abandoned Project "MAB" by AnonimVio - FDAs

    Notes: Seems like it would have been worth continuing, certainly.



    Doomicorn by Azuris - FDA



    Sandstone by OrbitalSpaceGarbage



    Infested Base by Valhen - FDA

    Assembly Line by Regular Warren

    Never Stop Never Stopping by whybmonotacrab

    Notes: played with GZDoom



    Firebox by Suitepee - FDA

    Notes: v1.1, pre-idgames release

    Wither by forgettablepyromaniac

    Aspect of Daedalus by LVENdead - FDA

    Notes: RC1.1

    Hellsrevenge by Bloodbath Giraffe



    Destruction Rush by elio.exe - FDA



    Autumnal Infernox by ReX Claussen



    Transcend Mankind by Irvinou - FDA

    Notes: Nifty 90s-style adventure map, nostalgic in a good way. FDA unintentionally exits early.



    Crimson by Hastagazpacho

    Oops! All Greyboxes! by various authors

    Notes: v1.3. Map 09 DNF; Quake-style teleporter just after YSK is broken (presumably leads to finale).



    OverBuffed by Mr. LBN

    Notes: v2.2. Currently available content (as of this date) is deprecated, according to the author -- major overhaul/remake planned for the future.



    Hotel Conundrum by LavaWave



    Your Friendly Resident Boring Techbase Map by C3ntralPr0cessing

    Incursion m01: Wretched Outpost by Orcsbreath - FDA

    Unearthed Ruins by Blue Phoenix - FDA

    NOICAREPSESED by Opercot

    Halls of Aethelwulf by Maniacalrobot

    Notes: Big, crude, somewhat ungainly, yet oddly endearing/atmospheric, rife with more 90s nostalgia.



    SIDERURGIA by Cacodemon187 - FDA

    Notes: FDA does not finish due to inescapable pit deep into the map, reportedly an intentional design choice. Immediately replayed and completed the map following this failed recording; strong Deimos-style offering.

    C'est la Vie by iUsuallyDie



    Funeral Genocide by dannebubinga and Darkreaver - FDA

    Notes: RC1 version. Vanguardian Tang-Hell with heavier/darker atmosphere than usual for the particular look. Despite this, fairly gentle, only two very silly slapstick deaths in FDA, IIRC.



    Hellevator by various authors - FDAs pack

    Notes: idgames release. Community-made successor to Going Down.



    3x3 Community Project by various authors - FDAs pack



    Micro Slaughter CP by various authors

    Notes: On-brand product from the Hellforge, arena-based slaughter/semi-slaughter with OTEX flair. Much like Rush by Archi, makes a good introduction or "beginner's" set for this type of gameplay, not for lacking intensity per se but rather for the brevity of the levels making them accessible without hours of study apiece. Went from a rather rough beta stage (one map with a mildly infamous exit based on pure luck, etc.) to become perhaps the most polished of all the Hellforge's non-GZDoom work to date.



    Tribute to the Lamplighter by JudgeDeadd - FDA

    Notes: v1/original version.

    Omni's Slag Heap by Omniarch - FDAs

    Notes: Promising solo debut release. Several of the core layouts and structures give the impression of having been procedurally generated (with much elaboration) at some point, but gameplay ideas are consistently confident/creative. Map 01 appears in a cruder form in the 3x3 CP, above.

    Curse of ReverenceAttack on Io by Bri

    Notes: Another one to watch.

    Delta Military Facility by Pompeji

    The Descent by BuddhistPunk

    Stimulants by Breezeep



    Umbra by Dubbag

    The Gun Turret by Maniacalrobot

    Ungodly Dwellings by Paul814

    NELLI.wad by AustroDoomer

    Storage Room B by Frankiemanz227

    Crud by Moustachio - FDAs

    Notes: A little bit of a Scythe x Memento Mori II crossover feel in this short set of small maps by an increasingly seasoned author. Softlock possible in this version by leaping out of certain windows in m04.

    Techbase1 by tuturbo1991 - FDA

    Arcane Archive by Orcsbreath - FDA

    Notes: Deceptively nasty. Another promising prospect.



    RA.wad by Doomdude89

    Notes: Tiny, rough, unassuming first map gives way to large, relatively progression-complicated (many switches/multiple paths leading to same places, etc.) 2nd map, housing several hundred monsters, often found in vast closets, reminiscent of early King REoL, I thought. Bizarre music track. Quite crude in many ways, but hard to argue that it doesn't leave a lasting impression.

    Isle of Death by Maniacalrobot

    Crepitations by Soulless

    Land of the Imps by Valhen - FDA

    Notes: More to offer than the innocuous name may suggest.

    DBP32: Tomatomania by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: Ah, I see. So that's how it is.



    Time Tripper by msx2plus

    Notes: version v20210118a.

    Production Line by Orcsbreath - FDA

    Uncharted Territory by Fiendish - FDA

    Notes: Another strong debut release. Has the flavor of a Requiem-era adventure, but with a modern look and some disarmingly sassy traps (a lot of them). Watch your step!



    Crimson Temple (again) by FrankieSmileShow

    Dumping Ground by Orcsbreath

    Notes: Slough of Despair? Just me...? Also: excellent barrel placement.



    Tombs of Torment by VisionThing

    Notes: DNF, final doorway is broken somehow (leads to cyberdemon showdown in a grand hall). Simple beginner-type map (minimal height variation, basic spoke layout, etc.) that performs highest in the area of aesthetic detail, with some nice sector lighting, etc. Good music choice, perhaps unsurprising given author's handle.

    The Unending by Remilia Scarlet

    Notes: played with k8vavoom; first practical experience with this port. Lighting effects are more stylish/attractive than in any other port I can think of (including GZDoom), and some other minor simulation/rendering features are charming as well (body mass, corpse-render flipping, etc.), though strafe control feels like it's blown out (ala PC version of Powerslave/Exhumed) and performance/FPS seem somewhat shakier than in GZDoom/etc.

    Hilltop Cemetery by Voxelvoid

    DBP33: Rainy Days in Casablanca by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: RC1 version, several bugs. Map 01 is DNF due to broken/blocked lift (played the rest with IDCLIP afterwards); map 03 has a softlock as well (also seen in the demo), but it's easily avoidable and something that very few are likely to encounter.



    Evil.wad by elio.exe - FDA

    Notes: DNF, breaks in -cl 2, something goes horribly wonky with the big spider's cage near the end. Nicely textured map, very similar to author's other efforts up to that point.






    Haunting Outbreak by Omniplex

    Notes: Full megawad for OG Doom by a single author. Very clean visually, but level design is mostly very basic (flat, open, door-heavy hubspoke layouts, total symmetry in structure and thing placement, etc.), with a tendency towards " " slaughter " " encounters that involve protracted door-camping exercises vs. small armies of foes, not helped by limitations of the OG Doom bestiary. Shows growth in author experience over total span; at its best moments (often the more restrained in this case) is somewhat reminiscent of Agent Spork's popular megawad Simplicity.



    The West Virginia Anomaly by E. M. - FDA



    Iron Keep by knightoftherealm



    Stairway to Hell by MarzoLeon

    Chain v1.0.2 by 1Destro3456

    Notes on both of the above: Played with GZDoom (I mistakenly thought it was required -- it's not in either case.)



    Starlight Processing by rd. - FDA

    Notes: Celebrating one calendar year closer to death this evening with lobster curry, a somewhat mediocre trippel, and a lovely map revealing more lost lore from the ever-growing mystery that is FIREBLU. Attractive texture scheme once again demonstrating the boundless robustness of the stock set, with an engrossing nighttime atmosphere. An initially tight resource balance and a variety of sassy fights, both enclosed and open, offset by very powerful secrets which require both mental acuity and athletics, and are fun to search for. A true pleasure to see this author working again.



    Trousled by A.o.D.

    Notes: It's an Undertale (TM)

    Yinut's 1st WAD by Yinut

    Tu-vok by romsu89

    Notes: Small austerity/survivalist-type map, very gritty/atmospheric look using stock techbase textures and a tastefully restrained amount of colored lighting. Memorable.

    Prison Heck by Dwimepon - FDA



    Malacoda's Lair by Quacken - FDA (PrBoom+, -complevel 2)

    Notes: V2. The music track does not play in PrB+, but everything else works fine. Well-done map that very capably captures the ambience of a canto from Dr. Sleep's Inferno cycle, with a somewhat augmented level of violence more akin to one of Kvernmo's Cabal maps or the like. I would be very happy to play more of this.

    Bunker Buster by Kami

    Notes: Played with GZDoom. I.....don't know what a .bak file is :s.  Also: "nikatine?"



    Acid Labs by VisionThing

    Archi-Tek by romsu89

    Notes: From the author of Tu-vok, above. A coy release post (likely detrimentally so) conceals an out-of-nowhere WAD of three immersive maps, ranging from "big" to "massive." Using 99% stock textures, the author has rendered a truly imaginative vision of three classical Doom settings -- haunted industrial refinery, demon-conquered Earth, and a really memorable bio-tech Hell -- that are vibrant with interesting visuals and a sense of interactivity. Many traps and snares and a generalized "Final Doom" sort of feeling. Quite recommended.



    Modest Mapping #2 -- Wretched Coven by various authors - FDAs pack

    Notes: RC1.

    Waterworks by iUsuallyDie



    Fear in Your Memories (a.k.a. Bad Nightmare) by GhostPlayer



    Hellclimb by Mystiq6

    Disintegration by Scorpio

    Notes: Version RC2. Requires OTEX to be loaded manually.



    Ikidomari {Pac Man Doom} by Lippeth

    A-Silo-M by VoxelVoid



    Cardinal Sin by smeghammer

    Notes: RC1.1. This is a Heretic map with a neat/memorable 'volcanic tropical island' sort of feel. Very conventional (for Heretic) in other respects.

    Jungle Boogie by Cheesewheel - FDAs

    Mawson's Nightmare by F0U

    Notes: Played with GZDoom; though billed as "Boom compatible", it will not run in PrBoom+ (or, uh....Boom, I imagine) due to a reject table problem. Symmetrical square arena; the broad-laned bi-level build makes it very easy to exit without firing a shot. Feels similar to Hellclimb from 3/20, though less over-the-top.



    Wood of Skulls and Geryon's Empire by Quacken - FDA (Skulls) / FDA (Geryon)

    Notes: Further continuation of the author's Dante's Inferno-inspired series (see also: Malacoda's Lair, above). Again, the music tracks don't play in PrB+ or some other ports, but otherwise these function perfectly as limit-removing (and possibly true vanilla) maps in a nighttime gothic/marble/mortar style authentically capturing the feel of the late Dr. Sleep's unfinished series, though peppered here and there with designed combat setups with a bit more of a modern feel. IMO, one of the best classically-inclined mapping endeavors going this year.

    Metabolized by Soulless

    Notes: A short mapset with a decidedly Contra-like premise (you'll see what I mean). Not as polished or carefully thought out as the author's previous release, "Crepitation", perhaps, but conveys a lot of energy, and you can tell a good time was had in putting it together. m02 fields a surprisingly original variation on the classic "descending elevator" fight trope.



    A Piece of Hell by InfernalMonsoon, MFG38 and DCraven_0ne



    Super Slug by Lippeth



    The Hate Flow by LordEntr0py - FDA

    Notes: RC 1.3.1

    Nessus' Challenge by Quacken - FDA

    Notes: Another "Divine Comedy" series map, plays in slot 07 for map special tags.

    Power Distribution by VisionThing



    Corona Infection by Elendir

    Notes: Brutal Doom recommended but not required; chose to play without.

    The City of Dread by Origamyde

    Notes: v1.0

    UAC Storage Station by ZedMarine610 - FDA



    Plutonia 7 by the inevitability of fate

    Notes: bring me my plasma rofl



    BACON by kuro_mahoh

    Notes: 5-map series. Simple fun, if somewhat high in cholesterol.



    The Little Death by Dubbag - FDA

    Notes: Played in PrB+ with no complevel set, as none was specified. DNF, lift for accessing the blue keycard's switch is untagged. If I had played in -complevel 2, level would've been completable (but still very visibly bugged), incidentally.

    The Lost Base by BeastOfBeasts

    Sweettoothed Brimstone by C3ntralPr0cessing

    Notes: v1.4. Short, open-air, all-action romp with a heart of molten gold and a beautiful purple sky.

    Primordial Chaos by xdarkmasterx

    Notes: A vaguely/sometimes not-so-vaguely (and always kitschy) Lovecraftian fever-dream with a Hell-Revealed-on-bad-LSD-trip kind of vibe (maybe it's the music) by one of the community's most enigmatic authors, challenge-oriented gameplay somewhere in a pocket dimension between oldschool and modern sensibilities. Pretty cool, even the signature tacky bits seem to fit somehow this time.



    Limbo's Harrowing, Gate of Destiny, and Charon's Crossing by Quacken - FDAs

    Notes: Three more (unsequenced) maps from the author's in-progress megaWAD, now named "Sleeping Hells."

    DBP34: Luminous Gloom by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: The intercepts overflow/all-ghosts bug is a significant risk in m06, but is easily avoidable if one understands the phenomenon.

    10 Minute Speedmaps pack by MAN_WITH_GUN - FDAs

    Dawn by elio.exe - FDA

    Notes: Strong mood lighting and atmosphere, perhaps the author's best effort to date.

    WorldCorp Enterprises by Origamyde

    Notes: v1.0



    Bloodbath: Hell's Deepest by Dunn & Dunn

    Notes: Played with GZDoom (author recommended for m31). Begins as something like Scythe II's austerity episode, and ends in full slaughter territory, all in a Petersenesque Inferno setting. While visually somewhat rough throughout (though not distractingly so past the first couple of levels), and very homage-y in spots, there are nevertheless many creative/individual ideas throughout, particularly as regards voodoo-scroller 'fakeouts' to create a sense of fevered surrealism.

    Geothermal Zone by CrocketRocket



    Marax Dungeon by DoomRevolver



    Shotgun Mayhem by Kuro_mahoh



    Toughnut.wad by Killeratte (and various)

    Notes: Played with GZDoom. A relatively short map assembled piecemeal from ideas/suggestions from /vr/ posters. As the name suggests, the intent was presumably to pull a lot of dick moves, which it does in a sense, though for experienced (or 'jaded', if you like) players I think the overall result is still pretty tame. While perhaps not exceptional as a challenge level, it is a pretty good demonstration of the number of discrete ideas which can be slotted into a short runtime.



    Hot Springs by Orcsbreath - FDA

    Project Charon by elio.exe - FDAs

    Notes: Map 03 can softlock if the first switch-activated door somehow closes again.

    Don'tShootTheDemon.wad by ImpendingDoom

    Notes: Played with GZDoom. Short experimental Inferno-type map involving pacifism as a navigational aid; interesting idea, though the automap soundly undermines the concept.

    Lost Luxury by Alper002

    Notes: A rare Hexen hub, played with ZDoom, using the fighter. Large, somewhat barren maps gain a certain atmosphere from scale and relative emptiness. Prime point of interest is a quite involved secret/optional sidequest for the character's final weapon.



    Tenth Gear CP by various authors - FDAs pack

    Notes: Compilation of speedmaps made within 10 minute time limit.



    Project: Unity by various authors

    Notes: I abandoned an FDAs pack halfway through this WAD due to frequent vaguely-tracked/unnamed versional changes -- maps 01 - 15 and 31 alone required 4 different versions of the WAD to playback correctly (always an understood risk playing a beta-stage project, of course). Finished the WAD on the fifth(?) version nevertheless. Features a kind of rough/tumble "rapid grind" playstyle with a marked arcade thrust, and a dirty, bloody, abstract Hell theme that surprisingly/boldly persists through all 32 maps. For those searching for something with an oldschool look/feel but that reads as something 'a bit different', here it is.

    Little Castles by E. M. - FDAs



    Why They Die by sectrslayr

    Notes: I managed to find the girlfriend-designed secret. :)

    Overgrown Outpost by VisionThing

    Heavenly Rock by Dunn & Dunn - FDA

    Notes: v1

    The Chasm of Sinful by Paar - FDA

    Notes: v1.0



    URE2020 by Zylinderkatze - FDAs pack

    Notes: idgames version dating 4/18/21. In the demos pack, E1M7 is DNF due to nasty softlock near the end (beware). Also, on E1M9 I played the last 25 minutes or so of it under the effect of the PrB+ sound corruption bug (lol); the demo ends/crashes at the exit switch, not showing the tally screen, but this is in fact the end of the map. A project partially based on overhauls of some very old maps (dating from the 90s in some cases), offering an unusual blend of abstraction and detailed/interactive 'Doomcute' sensibilities. Successful play from pistol-start involves being able to consistently root out a wide variety of very complicated/clever secrets; I personally find this edifying, but continuous play is recommended for most players.



    Raft to Rimea by Telemassacre

    Notes: Beginner PWAD with a 90s grab-bag partial conversion slant, reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, etc.

    Donuts by A2Rob - FDAs

    Notes: V2. Compilation of assorted speedmaps/CP submissions, updated and redecorated in OTEX. I've played some of these before in their original incarnations; changes are significant in at least some cases.



    STONEGATE.WAD by AustroDoomer

    Notes: New 90s-style release. m03 can be surprisingly tricky.

    Alpha King by TheGreenZap - FDA

    Notes: Somehow reminds me of m02 (I think?) of AFTERDOOM.wad. Not a bad thing.

    PhilsoDOOM: Cogito, ergo Doom by Albertoni

    Notes: Essentially a chill joke/comedy map, though of a more intellectual stripe than usual, if that's your thing.

    Black n' Blanco: Adventures in (mostly) Monochrome by Origamyde

    Notes: v1.01. Short cartoon-style partial conversion with simple assets, more port-modern (jumping, scripting, etc.) than author's previous WADs.



    Tunnels by bobbotron



    Crate Factory by Basin_is_BACK



    The Event Horizon by Killer5 (a.k.a. Mr. Zzul)

    Notes: version "hotfix 1", no formal title for the project when I first played. Clean challenge-oriented maps with a generalized broody ooze theme. The title map (m03) features a deep, dark rabbit-hole of highly obtuse (inc. meta-mechanical) layered secrets and eerie surrealism, and should appeal to fans of FCFF etc.



    Novis by jdagenet - FDA

    Notes: Well laid-out, mid-sized terraced fortress with a bricks 'n mortar-x-Hell theme. Recommended. Watch out for the last arch-vile.

    Tetraptykon by Demonologist - FDAs

    Notes: Four maps of varying OTEX-driven theme in a rollicking ZoI-type slaughter vein, for those who still remember the old ways. Another author I am sincerely pleased to see back in action.

    Mission: Techbase by mxbobbie49 - FDAs

    Notes: Phobos replacement by a Joy of Mapping pupil. The episode visibly grows in confidence over its span. E1M8 is surprisingly dramatic.



    Slime Control by minebolt - FDA

    Deranged by xdarkmasterx - FDA

    Notes: I wander aimlessly in the demo for a bit because I forget I pick up the YSK quite early on. One of the author's more subdued outings, OG Doom in style (Deimos more specifically), no obvious absurdities to be found. Operative word 'obvious', the final fight has some subtle but very sassy "mischief" afoot which will doubtlessly amuse some more than others.



    Castle of Lead and Fire by The Fairy God-Bomber



    Half Moon by various authors

    Notes: Sequel to Tenth Gear CP, elsewhere on the list, with 30-minute limit. 64 maps. Some appear elsewhere as well, i.e. solo releases by their respective authors.

    Onn Uake (a.k.a. Waste Facility) by United VirusX

    Corruption Begins by Lazlo Panaflex

    Notes: Pleasantly spacious/outsized corrupted techbase from longtime Doomer, first-time publisher. Classic feel with very generous item placement ala 90s Chris Klie or such, with some somewhat obtuse ZDoom-scripted progression at play (i.e. the first turret-cyb must be killed from afar to open a door to progress, etc.).



    Corruption Factory by Lazlo Panaflex

    Notes: Another from Mr. Panaflex. The clean/roomy mixed tech/nukebase style continues, and monster placement is more satisfying this time, with plenty of bloodshed driven by thick & hearty closets opening at strategic times along the road and a good dose of barrel-clobbering to boot (while still remaining mostly easygoing due to generous ammo distribution). Sense of progression is also much improved from the previous map, with much smoother/cleaner backtracking routes provided and a bridge-building theme to afford a sense of 'doing something.' I reckon many players will find something to like here.

    DBP 35: Stroggman's Tundra by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: Business as usual from this popular, long-running series. m07 softlocks if you strafejump to the blue skull from the ice pillars in the lake, as opposed to approaching it from behind (as intended) by breaking through the ice caverns.



    A Nail in the Skin of the World (a.k.a Hammerfall) by smeghammer

    Notes: Short map, the title is quite literal. Be aware that the map can break and become uncompletable if there are monsters under the heads of the nails as they come down, so it's probably best not to be a smartass and kill off each wave before moving on.

    Corruption Nexus by Lazlo Panaflex

    Notes: And another. Perhaps not quite as elegant as the author's "Factory" map, with more of a combat focus, gets a bit hammy (w/out much real pressure) in its later stages. Nevertheless, many of the same virtues, particularly in the pre-hub part of the map. I anticipate good things from this author going forwards.



    Vanth by Delisk



    Arrival by Pavera, music by AD_79 - FDAs

    Notes: Seminal solo "debut" by a longtime community member, with many maps in various CPs and team projects over the years. Soundtrack by one of the best of the new wave of composers. Tons of cool texturing, tons of cool music, tons of room to run, tons of items to collect, tons of ammo, tons of action, tons of fun.

    Supercharged Radiation Factory by StoopidBoiEthan

    Notes: GZDoom, for use with the Supercharge gameplay mod.



    Doom II in Spain Only by Trustworthy Software (i.e. the usual suspects)

    Notes: version "RC Final." Certainly the most openly homage-y and (self-) referential of the TWiD-brand projects, the team has a lot of fun with the concept and plays it from many different angles, some expected, some anything but. Somewhat spicy like a nice paella, with a pace and difficulty curve as close if not closer to a never-was chapter of Final Doom than to Doom II itself. Despite tongue being firmly in cheek throughout, this should not be dismissed as a joke WAD, as it features a heaping helping of serious (oldschool-revisionist) mapping of serious quality (.....m30 perhaps excepted).

    Vanilla Wafers by E. M. - FDAs

    Notes: v01. In the growing tradition of short episodes of small maps named for confectionery goods.

    Baloney by Killerratte

    Notes: um actually it's spelt "belowknee"

    Safe Haven by Jimmy

    Notes: RC1



    Wadazine Master Collection #1: The Rising by various authors

    Notes: Played with GZDoom. Short episode created by staff and supporters of the Wadazine. General Doom III techbase theme (with spots of Mars ruins), using a hi-res Doom III texture pack. Great smooth electro track on m06.

    Detrimental by Dunn & Dunn

    Notes: From the author of "Bloodbath" and "Heavenly Rock", elsewhere on the list. Uncompromising niche gameplay heavily featuring banked-curve platforming, pacifism, infighting as a primary form of offense, so on and so forth. Straightforward visual style with fascinatingly eclectic minimalist texture use. m01 is the title map and conceptual showpiece; m02 is by far the most enjoyable of the three. m03 is a very short (and humorous) AVJ map.

    Sucker Punch 2 by Rook - FDAs

    Notes: RC1. Nine small all-action levels featuring good use of OTEX and a novel 3-tier color/intensity cross-coding scheme. Much fun / recommended.



    Destroy Hell 1 and 2 by LiquidDoom (a.k.a. enkeli33)

    Notes: Lightly played/toured with ZDoom. Dating from 2006, but only released for general public play this year, this is the first solo megaWAD (plus expansion/sequel) by an author later involved with various Czech CPs. While clearly the work of a fledgling mapper, the author somewhat understates the work's relative merits ("it's shitty", in their words) in the thread linked here. Closest comparisons are to earlier/older parts of the original Hell Revealed, with various concept maps (Wormhole-style 'base' trilogy, a maze map, etc.), spacious if somewhat stark environments that some 90s enthusiasts may find endearing. Sequel is very much in the same style but makes light use of port features (slopes, etc.) and heavy use of contemporary monster entries from Realm 667.



    Death's Dichotomy by various authors

    Notes: version "DDFINALV1.pk3", downloaded 5/25/21. Five outings mainly in the new-wave/neoclassical arena style (and an unexpected diversion or two), with an existentialist theme/throughline.

    Corporate Nightmare by smeghammer

    Notes: RC1. Odd little map with a motley bunch of R667 enemies, more or less framed or 'justified' by the setting.

    A regular base, no monsters in here by 1Destro3456

    Notes: def no false advertising in here

    Pact of the Damned by Blue Phoenix

    Notes: v1.1. Another short easy/breezy episode with a 'partial conversion' slant from a new mapper, clean/professional in presentation. Perhaps the start of something greater.

    No Title by galileo31dos01 - FDA

    Helium by jacnowak - FDA



    Intergalactic Xenology 2 by Dreadopp and Lord_Z

    Notes: Played with GZDoom (author recommended). Direct sequel to and natural continuation of the original Intergalactic Xenology from 2020, again with AAtex and a leisurely open-air style, and now with an enhanced sense of narrative.

    Sold Soul by Fryuko

    Notes: RC 1.4. Complete episode for Heretic in a steadily growing canon of them. Inspiration from Not Jabba's The Wayfarer episode readily apparent, though the author's own particular sense of pacing shines. Solid action and lots of quality secrets.



    MESS HALL by evil_scientist



    Line in the Sand by various authors

    Notes: Version "beta 1", played with GZDoom. Three sizeable maps, each comprised of two distinct halves, each half composed by a single author. A striking sense of openness and expanse persists throughout, particularly in m03. In the beta version I played, m03 will not load in all target ports due to embedded texture pack issues (hence the GZDoom).



    Decimator by Borax Man - FDAs

    Notes: Four levels for E2 of OG Doom. Complex layouts, lots of atmosphere, and all of the delightfully wrongheaded abstract nonsense that a Deimos fan could ask for. E2M4 is a real treat from pistol-start. Do avoid swimming in the big outdoor lava lakes in E2M3, though -- it's a very tempting and very fatal red herring, and the only real blemish on an otherwise very enjoyable genre piece. I would be very pleased to see this become a full 9-map episode.

    Killing Demons on Adrenaline by ScrappyMcDoogerton - FDA



    Testing Pool by yakfak (a.k.a. Zan-zan-zawa-veia) - FDA (PrBoom+, -complevel 9)

    Notes: In the spirit of the little-known but very fine Spidersilk, by the same author, comes a complicated and multi-layered sealed zone of blood, magic, and bullets, with many hidden things to discover and a subtly infectious BGM track. A second, 'true' exit and a quite creative and dynamic final fight are waiting for those determined enough to find them. Recommended.

    splinty.wad by yakfak (a.k.a. Zan-zan-zawa-veia) - FDA

    Notes: This PWAD's primary purpose was to act as an album cover (read: a piece of graphic art to be viewed in full textured overhead map view) for the soundtrack to an indie roguelike made for a game jam (see here for the curious). Monsters, items, and an exit were later added. Despite the unusual backstory of its creation, quite conventionally playable as a standard Doom map, likely to its author's bemusement and/or horror.

    AORTA by eoomu



    DBP 36: Aquatic Wonder by various authors - FDAs

    Notes: RC1. Business as usual from this popular, long-running series.

    3030 by Albatross

    Notes: Played with Eternity. Colorful virtual skyscraperscape with setpiece-based action on the lighter side.

    Unhallowed by CyanoBlugron

    Notes: Pre-idgames version downloaded 6/02/21; runs in PrB+ with no complevel set, returns 1 fatal texture error in -cl 9 or with recording command in place (weird?). Stunning use of OTEX for a moody vernal-gothic shrine complex; gorgeous brown/green/blue scheme. Beautiful somber music track by Alfonzo. Setpiece-based action from start to finish, occasionally just crossing the line into slaughter proper; the 1200+ monster count (on skill 4) belies an experience that is very smoothly paced and evinces forward drive and spectacle over stress/oppression/abstract battle-puzzling. If you are curious about this kind of grandiose slaughter/slaughter-adjacent realm but have been intimidated by its reputation, this is likely a good gateway piece. Recommended.



    Enceladus by Nicolas Monti

    Notes: E4 replacement by one of the most prolific authors of the past several years. Here, Monti continues to explore his technique of using totally abstract, occasionally eye-gouging (tbh) texturing to idiosyncratically suggest realistic/representational spaces for an oddly compelling effect, achieving some of his greatest successes to date in this regard (E4M9, E4M4, E4M7). Also at play is a DEHACKED patch altering the behavior and attributes of the classic monsters, with some frankly baffling choices and a surprisingly drastic effect on the pace of the game that will make or break the experience for some (though it's hard not to be amused by the new Barons if nothing else!).



    TOO MANY ZOMBIES by Theperson

    Notes: I concur

    Banana Factory Accident by bigsmoke1919

    Notes: A large, joke-y map that happens to turn into quite the adventure by the end. Quite crude in more ways than one, but rather charming if you don't take it (or yourself) too seriously.



    Yet Another Hell Castle by P0NYSLAYSTATION - FDA

    Notes: DNF: I could not for the unlife of me get the final bridge to rise. I thought at the time something had malfunctioned, though it's also quite possible I gave up too soon and missed a switch or other trigger somewhere. Open/spacious marble/mortar castle with simple floorplan, lots of monsters to kill, and a late 90s vintage feel.




    Mortal Mechanism by DoomRevolver

    Notes: Sprawling, somewhat labyrinthine single map with very light ZDoom scripting but a decidedly classic Doom style. Palpable Deimos vibe in look, feel, and general mood in spite of a staunchly Doom II tech/industrial theme, presumably intended (i.e. the music track) and well carried off by the author. Check it out. Totally unrelated/irrelevant trivia: final PWAD I played on the old business/archival-oriented machine I ran from 2016 - 2021.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. galileo31dos01


      Thanks, and thank you for the demo(s)! It was nice to watch how you dominated every section of the map (24), as also exposing yet another still-existent cheese/alternative to the BK fight, so that the original intended way --activating additional cover via the skull switch-- wasn't necessary at all. I came up with that setup hoping it would fit inside the layout's size limits, according to the rules, but not without some side effects that I didn't see in time... Lots of things yet to learn, though I'm still very satisfied with the overall piece...


      Hope you found some entertainment with my map, and of course the whole set!

    3. Rook


      Many thanks for playing Sucker Punch 2 and for your demos, Demon!

    4. big smoke

      big smoke

      i am late to the party yes 
      thanks for the review (banana factory accident)
      i can agree this isnt my best wad yet since it was one of my early maps and it was also a contest wad, i had to use some odd humor to entertain the audience and the streamer 
      for banana factory 2 im trying to make something more unique and special and use less or no crude humor this time 


    1. Nine Inch Heels

      Nine Inch Heels

      Not sure if "Metal of the Well", or "Demon of the Metal"... Wait... It's actually "Well of the Metal", or is it? Now I'm confused to the point where I might accidentally post some Drum and Bass, hehe.

    2. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      Heavy metal is the only one of my other interests that has been with me for about as long as Doom has, so if nothing else I suppose I'm quite the repository of potential namedrops. There are a few other styles I like as well (and sooner or later I'll probably post something from them here), but more often than not you'll find me listening to stuff like the last few NPs I've linked in this space (the main reason I started doing that being that I couldn't think of anything else to do with said space, incidentally).


      Perhaps ironically, though, for as much as I love Doom and as much as I love metal, I find that the two more often than not don't actually seem to go together all that well. There are exceptions to every 'rule', of course, and I can think of some midi-metal tracks that I've liked in Doom, but generally when I'm shooting demons I seem to prefer smooth melancholic prog-rock ala the BTSX WADs or atmospheric background ambience or the like, for whatever reason.


    1. Nine Inch Heels
    2. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      Ah, Decapitation. Pride of Poland there for a time, though they've long since been eclipsed by Behemoth on the world stage, at least in terms of overall popularity/brand power. Haven't heard these guys in nearly a decade, last time was sometime after Vitek was killed in that terrible bus accident, but before the group later reformed and started writing/recording new material again. This track is a lot heavier on the machinegun chugging (and also the crunch in the tone) than earlier material, which falls in line with the meteoric rise of modern brutal death metal (and later/eventually what came to be called 'slam death') beginning around that time, although even in comparison to how that style sounds today Decapitated are here, shall we say, a lot more 'composed.'

    3. Bashe



      Favorite Morgoth track


    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Cynical


      This compilation is one of the best things Dark Descent has put out.

    3. Demon of the Well

      Demon of the Well

      Yeah, that sure was a prosperous period there a few years back, where pretty much every piece of DM from the 90s was getting lavish reissues/compilations of one sort or another. Picked up a lot of stuff I'd missed that way, though this particular EP was one I actually own an original copy of (it used to be cheap/bargain bin until The Internet sort of went of wild with "Rarity Rabies" a few years prior). Of course, the usual marketing discourse for all this stuff is "AMAZING FORGOTTEN GEM TRUE UNDERGROUND CLASSIC" etc. etc. etc., and while naturally this simply does not hold true in many cases, nevertheless a lot of good stuff got a second lease on life as a result.


      That really fever-pitch "OSDM" fad has now more or less passed its peak, as these things inevitably do, though another side-effect of it during its height is that a lot of bands dating from that 90s period, many of whom had been largely unappreciated or glossed over in their own time, ended up reforming to try to catch the 'wave' while it was happening (though I don't believe Depravity was one of them, IIRC). Results on this front have been very mixed, perhaps to be expected. A number of these reformations were quite good, IMO, but there were also a fair few that proved to be downright tragic, middle-aged men phoning in a style they have blatantly long lost the true passion for. Always a double-edged sword, the power of Marketing Unbound!

    4. Cynical


      Any "fad" that causes Imprecation to come back and Incantation to get back to releasing good material is OK by me.


      Yeah, the Seance and Pestilence reunions were garbage, and the Asphyx reunion turned to shit after that first great album, but oh well!  IMPRECATION!!!!!!!

  11. Dig the namechange. Can't read it without hearing a little dash of spanish guitar in my head.


    1. Octavarium


      I can honestly say I've never heard singing quite like this before... Not really sure what to make of it, heh. Like the music itself, though

    2. rehelekretep


      i was expecting some crazy never-before-heard singing style but this is quite usual for black metal :)

      pretty good stuff DotW, thanks!

    3. Octavarium


      Huh, really? Guess who doesn't listen to much black metal then :D

  13. I was originally going to post this in a recent thread that basically revolved around the idea that the (mapping) community is actively hostile to new ideas and new mappers, as predicated on some series of events I've not investigated in any real depth where a certain mapper's efforts were barred from a community project for essentially refusing/failing to abide by the project's ground rules. Included was a layout shot of the map itself, which some cursory investigation showed to be essentially a disjointed collection of mostly dissociated rooms and ideas slathered in a motley mix of ZDoom features--a pretty ordinary newbie map of the 'fingerpaint collage' style, in other words, something we've all seen before. As I was writing this, the thread rapidly descended into the worst sort of Internet Melodrama (which was presumably the OP's intent from the get-go), and it seemed somewhat foolish to me to dignify it with a direct response, but I still want to post it somewhere anyway, in the off chance that a new mapper might chance upon it and find a little food for thought. I've edited it to be more general in thrust, but some specific references to the original thread/OP are still there, which surely introduces some awkwardness in parsing, and my posting this here instead of there will  perhaps be seen as needlessly cowardly or passive-aggressive by the reader of a certain social predisposition, but I suppose I can live with that.





    I've been playing the game more or less actively for as long as it has existed, and I've seen many a design trope or philosophy rise and fall, and in many cases rise and fall again. I suspect I'll see some of them rise and fall a third, fourth, even a fifth time, if I keep watching for long enough. While the play/design styles between some of these forms are as different as day is from night, they've all proved to have lasting appeal for some significant subsection(s) of the community because they learned from, built upon, or honed in on something that people liked about the base game or from one of the WADs/mods that came before, while de-emphasizing or even entirely discarding other aspects of the game of less present interest to the creator. There is no rational or justifiable reason to view learning from what has come before as a necessarily toxic or self-limiting approach to creating, and the implication that the 'established' community at large really only "wants one thing" as a result of some slavish devotion to convention is, at best--and this is me being artificially civil, here--willfully ignorant at best.


    Lately, for instance, I've been watching one of the community's members stream (on Twitch) the creation of a painstakingly detailed, balls-hard but entirely monster-free puzzle map. This is a map that will--quite understandably!--likely appeal to only a fairly niche audience, but I can almost guarantee you most onlookers will be able to appreciate and respect the level of craft and thought involved in the creation of such a whimsical and idiosyncratic thing, even if it's not the sort of thing everyone might actually enjoy playing in their leisure time. I can also almost guarantee you the map will be remembered a few years down the road, something predicated not only on it being what it is, but also on it functioning correctly and at least reasonably intuitively for what it is, which, again, is a state of affairs largely built on drawing from established wisdom and experience (selectively interpreted, of course!). Certain extreme cases aside, most appeals or references to established practice, particularly those between fellow creators working alongside one another on this or that project, are not used as blunt instruments to stamp out creativity or new ideas, but as whetstones to hone them into the best they can be.


    I've seen the map screenshotted as a layout in the OP before. I've played it. I first played it in early 1995 or so, when I got my first shovelware CD. I've played it hundreds of times since then, and I'll probably play it many more times in many more iterations before I'm through. I've seen it rendered in a form that will run in the original distro version of the original executable, and I've seen it buried under a veritable mountain of advanced engine features, requiring bleeding-edge SVN builds of modern sourceports to load and launch (I hesitate to say "to function"). It's not without value or potential! I've seen it provide interesting ideas and memorable vignettes that I'm thankful I got to experience. More often than not, I've seen it take the form of a mechanically dysfunctional, effectively and occasionally quite literally unplayable mess, which in the worst cases reads like a tragedy because you can still occasionally see flashes of the cool ideas crushed under the weight of the sundry failures in mechanics and implementation and basic usability design, like a mangled hand poking out of the rubble left in the wake of some natural disaster, weakly grasping at the air. Happily, there have been occasions where I've seen it nurtured, refined, and ultimately built into something worthy of a visit by everyone, giving the cool, sometimes quirky ideas within a chance to shine and get some of the appreciation they deserve. More often than not, though, I've seen them rot on the vine, sacrificed at the altar of wounded pride.


    I've also seen the Grand Prophesy declared in the OP (** essentially the idea that the community is doomed by being shackled to convention, though basically phrased as "the meek shall inherit the earth and cast down the Tyrants") spoken many, many times before. Not once in over two decades has it ever been vindicated, which, if we take a little flick of Occam's razor, is likely because no one really wants it to be--newcomer or old hand alike. Something to be thankful for, yes?

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Tristan


      "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

    3. Misty


      I played half of the map(you needed shoot switch behind pilliars to progress further). It wasn't worth all drama and attention. I played better zdoom maps than this. Now I feel bad for playing that map.

    4. Da Werecat

      Da Werecat

      You were obnoxious and people are yelling at you? Pretend you're being punished for your opinion.


      You made a weak map and are being criticized? Pretend you're being punished for your innovation.


      It's a long list, but it's unnecessary, because it all looks about the same.