Jonathan

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About Jonathan

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    I am not a leet hax0r :(
  1. Obviously these games are mostly terrible, but isn't the less cynical explanation behind them that they represent the first efforts of some young, wannbe game developer, not some nefarious attempt to cash-in on the retro gaming fad? I know I programmed my share of poor "retro" arcade game clones in QBasic when I was a teenager. I didn't try to sell them, but if Steam had been around I might have. More broadly, all growing artists go through a phase of imitating their influences, sometimes slavishly. In the past, these efforts would have remained private. Now, for better or worse, the internet lets them be distributed and sold through marketplaces like Steam, Etsy, Bandcamp, etc. You can argue the creators shouldn't be trying to sell inferior goods, but it's not like anybody's getting rich off this. It seems like a fairly harmless phenomenon.
  2. "Master Switch"
  3. I'd recommend lightnote and the learningmusic.ableton. Both are free, interactive guides to music theory and composition. Lightnote is more focused on explaining the physics of sound, and how it makes particular scales and harmonies work, whereas Ableton is more focused on rhythm and song structure.
  4. The HUD art might just a consequence of Id's artists using Deluxe Paint DOS in 320x200x256 mode, rather than a conscious decision to optimise for that resolution. They definitely used DP for Quake, as they were still using it in 1998 to do the art for Quake 2.
  5. Yeah, I think regular SR50 got conflated with automated SR50 in the attitudes of various speedrunners in the 90s, and so there ended up being a lot of strange antipathy towards it. Quite a contrast with modern speedrunning, where any and every weakness of the engine is hugely exploited, no matter how ugly the result is to watch. Does anyone still have a working example of a SR50 mousedriver? I had one, but lost it a long time ago on an old computer. Would be nice to archive one somewhere like the Doom Wiki, as it's an interesting artefact of history, and seems kinda pointless trying to keep them under wraps now, when there are far easier ways to cheat.
  6. ZeroMaster, that really was an incredible watch. It blows my mind that it's possible to play so aggressively and incorporate so many tricks and still be successful. I remember when I found the Map09 RJ thinking that it was useless because nobody would ever be crazy enough to include it in a UV run, let alone a NM run. WRT to Winterfeldt, he and Girlich were friends, attending the same university, when they did most of their Doom playing and demos. Although Girlich is the most associated with demo tech, it was actually Winterfeldt who did a lot of the initial reverse engineering. He is credited as such in the LMP format description. Obviously, we will never know for sure, but the fact that they were both skilled at programming and reverse engineering, both definitely were investigating Doom and demo playback, and both produced very suspicious demos around the same time offers strong circumstantial evidence, at least. And, as I understand it, people such Adam Hegyi, Yonatan Donner, etc. did a lot of research around detecting cheated demos and were pretty certain that a number of demos from both players were not authentic. But it is all ancient history now.
  7. I'm a backer for this. To my eye, nothing in the teaser looks especially better, or worse, than the earlier demo. But if the developers feel UE4 is a better choice for what they want to achieve, then I've no problem with it. I don't like the attitude that, because you chose to donate to a project, the developers are obligated to deliver the product exactly as you imagined it at that point in time. As a backer, you're not signing a contract for delivery of goods, you're making a long-term bet on somebody's artistic vision. That's not to say that developers have carte blanche to do whatever they like. But I make a clear distinction between changes made a result of a good faith intention to deliver the best product, in line with their vision, and a bad faith attempt to mislead potential backers, or under-deliver on earlier promises. For example, if the developers announced that, instead of a full remake, they were only going to build the first level of System Shock, that would be clearly unacceptable, and I'd expect my money back. On the other hand, deciding to make a less exact but, in their opinion, better remake, is clearly a decision made in good faith. And so, even if I personally might have preferred their earlier vision for the game, I should accept that this is their decision to make, not mine.
  8. Yes folks, that's right. Today, the 22nd of February 2017, is the 20th anniversary of the release of Mordeth Episode 1. It also marks twenty years of waiting for Episodes 2 and 3. Something commemorated through the Mordeth Award in the yearly Cacowards. And it's very nearly the ten year anniversary of the last official update from Mord himself... which was about the tenth anniversary. If you haven't ever played the original Mordeth Episode 1, why not do it now? Either with Chocolate Doom, for the most authentic experience, or a fancy GPU-accelerated port like GZDoom. Be sure to follow the instructions on the Doom Wiki in order to get it working in a modern port, as the WAD has some Vanilla-era oddities that cause problems otherwise. Does it still hold up today? I'll let you be the judge of that. But its influence can still be seen in levels like Brigandine, whose aesthetics can trace a lineage back to the labyrinthine alleyways and sewers that Gaston Lahaut laid down in a map editor two decades ago. Personally, I can't be objective about Mordeth Episode 1, even now. It was the first WAD I ever played that felt like more than just a new level, but a piece of art. It created a sense of atmosphere and place that became the yardstick by which I judged other WADs, and other games. It was a huge influence on my own mapping efforts, particularly my levels for 10 Sectors and Crucified Dreams. See you in 2027!
  9. I use portfolio sites like Dribbble and Behance to find designs to rip off get inspired. I like Dribble's filtering of items in popular, recent, and debuts. Particularly, the latter, as it helps people's first effort get a bit more attention than it otherwise might. I like the ability to follow people whose style you admire, or are working on projects that you're interested in. And to get suggestions of similar work that you might like. Also, Behance has pretty rich filtering, with multi-level categorisation and tagging. They also have areas where people can organise and hire for teams. I guess analogous in a wad archive would be the ability for authors and in-progress projects to connect with each other.
  10. I missed the rocket launcher on my first play-through, which explains why I was having ammo trouble a little later.
  11. This is incredible. This is my favourite Doom aesthetic, and you've taken it beyond anything I've seen before. I love how the architectural detail extends way past the playable part of the map, so that you feel truly enclosed in this labyrinthine city. The texture choice, the verticality, the geometric composition and contrast between the different areas — all amazing. Gameplay-wise, it felt challenging, but not unfair. The only point where I had ammo trouble was just after fighting the Mancubuses by the blood pipes in the main marble area. I didn't feel I'd been particularly inaccurate or profligate, but was reduced to fists, and had to charge through the next set of monsters to find some ammo on the other side. I also encountered the issue of slipping through the cage near the blue key. I was playing in QZDoom.
  12. Yes, I know. That's the problem. Because most of those billions of colours are not represented in the Doom palette. That means you have to work in high-color and do a final conversion to the Doom palette. Which can have... mixed results, depending on how well the colours map to those in the palette. Some old editors let you work directly in 256 colours. For example, you could do a gradient fill, and it would only use those colours that were available in the palette, but would apply special dithering to make the gradient seem smoother. Similarly, when you drew shapes, or blended layers, the result would be constrained to the palette colours. The result was that what you saw in the editor was always equivalent to what you would see in the game, and it allowed you optimise for the limitations of the palette at every stage, instead of having to use trial and error to create something that would convert well as a final step.
  13. I'm kind of surprised to learn that destroying evidence, e.g. spoilation, often doesn't carry any sanctions beyond instructing the jury to draw a negative inference. There is no tort of spoliation in Texas. Doesn't this create a strong incentive to destroy evidence? If the evidence in question is negative anyway, and there's a non-zero chance that the destruction won't be discovered, then why not do it? If it is discovered, then the worst that will happen is the jury draws a negative inference, which they would presumably have done when presented with the evidence anyway.
  14. What software are people using to create these textures? Years ago, I used Paint Shop Pro, as it supported using layers, blend modes, filters, dithering, etc. in 256 colour mode. But when I look nowadays, it seems like all modern graphics editors have dropped support for palettes.
  15. Maybe you already saw, but they released a "Surface Tension: Uncut" update this year that apparently restores the missing content.