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About Jonathan

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    I am not a leet hax0r :(

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  1. I played it and enjoyed it, and will probably buy the full remake when it's available. It's very faithful: The graphics are upgraded but the gameplay hews extremely close to the original, right down to retaining the slightly awkward, tile-based map layouts. If you have fond memories of the original, there is fun to be had in reliving it in gorgeous high-definition. But System Shock is really old now and whether the original's gameplay truly justifies such a remake is debatable.
  2. Jonathan

    Ultimate Doom demos [-complevel 3]

    E2M4 UV Speed 0:38.86 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/988922347 Twenty years to the day after Adam H got his 0:39s record, it is beaten. This was supposed to be a nice and easy follow-up to E1M3... Not so much, as it turned out. Yikes. e2m4-038.zip
  3. Jonathan

    Ultimate Doom demos [-complevel 3]

    E1M3 UV Speed in 0:38.83 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/962893883 Another old favourite. e1m3-038.zip
  4. Jonathan

    Ultimate Doom demos [-complevel 3]

    E3M4 UV Speed in 0:37.97 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/953122491 This wins back a WR I last held in Feb 1999 :-) Additional ramblings about that in the .txt. e3m4-037.zip
  5. Because I can't stand people being Wrong On The Internet, I'm compelled to point out that the most popular consumer OS isn't Windows, it's Android, which is based on Linux. Like it or not, smartphones are the predominant personal computing and gaming platform for most of the world's population. Regarding this acquisition, I think it's probably a good thing overall because of the relative incentives of Zenimax vs. Microsoft. Both want to make as much money as possible, but a standalone publisher's only way to do so is by exploiting its IP to the utmost. Whereas Microsoft's priority is the XBox brand, and they benefit more from having a diverse and high-quality library of games for it than from wringing every last dollar from a franchise like Doom.
  6. Jonathan

    Ultra-Violence and the opinions of the players

    When I started recording speedruns in the Nightmare with 100% Secrets category many years ago, I came to a strange realisation—played within those constraints Nightmare was actually the most fun Doom difficulty level. This surprised me because, like many players, before that I considered the skill level to be a joke. As others have explained in this thread, id supposedly only added it to troll players who complained UV that was too easy, and the combination of fast and respawning monsters ups the ante so much that even a highly skilled play has essentially no chance playing a level on Nightmare blind. However, this imposed necessity of strategic forethought in NM blunts the criticism that Doom is a "mindless" shooter. If UV can be approached a combat gauntlet, NM is more akin to a resource management puzzle. Routing in UV is an optimisation technique, in NM it is the only means of survival. Unless you understand exactly where you are, what you're doing, and what your plan to survive the level is, you are going to die, and quickly. And when it works, successfully executing a NM route of your own invention is incredibly satisfying. Many modern slaughter maps explicitly try to create this kind of resource management puzzle, but I'd argue you can get it quite cheaply by loading up a map you know by heart on UV and trying to figure out how to beat it on NM.
  7. Finally, my years of being too lazy to read Masters of Doom have paid off. I'm cautiously optimistic.
  8. altdeath.com hell.center portaltohell.com fragland.io boomstyx.net
  9. Jonathan


    The Sky May Be gets called the worst WAD ever, while this is feted with awards... What the hell's wrong with this community!? Kidding. After so many years of refinement and improvement in editors' skills, a lot of Doom maps are so exquisitely crafted that it's almost too much. Like admiring some ornate Gothic church, there's a part of your brain that rebels against the perfection on display, and wants something messier and uglier. Lilith.pk3 is, in its own way, just as intricately made as those other maps, except the craft is directed towards making something more experimental, corrupted and obtuse. Sprites, textures, music and sounds are all heavily modified, and engine bugs leveraged, to create the impression of a game world that is twisted and wrecked beyond repair. That player must navigate through a colourfully discordant environment that both does and does not conform to their expectations of a typical Doom game. The mod's aesthetic is not totally unprecedented, either in Doom modding, wider gaming, or art in general. Glitch art, as the style is known, has enjoyed some success over the past few years, purposefully employing the kind of analogue and digital corruption that occasionally affects regular media for stylistic effect. The same criticism that could be levelled at glitch might also be raised here: that it is style over substance. When you strip away the confrontational aesthetic, is there anything left? E.g. would you play these levels if they were presented in a more conventional manner? I would argue that, on balance, there is. While the gameplay is not quite as daring or original as the presentation it's wrapped up in, there are some cool ideas there. And the aesthetic is used to enhance these ideas, not disguise them. Towards the end, it does become a little needlessly frustrating, as the player must dance around moving and frozen projectiles over a series tiny platforms in a damaging floor. After reloading for the umpteenth time, you may wonder exactly why you're bothering to continue. But overall, lilith.pk3 admirably achieves what it sets out to do, and is well worth your time. Even if it ultimately turns you off, we should be glad that the Doom community still produces work as different and challenging as this.
  10. Very nice. With regards to recording a longtics demo. You obviously have the problem that Doom is listening for input as well, so you have to stop it somehow otherwise you'll get double input. I guess you could automatically rewrite default.cfg, to rebind every key to something else and disable the mouse, then do all the key and mouse input handling in the control driver interrupt handler (if that is even possible!?). My other wacky idea for recording longtic demos is this: The Doom network drivers (IPXSETUP and SERSETUP) work in a similar way to the control driver, except their interrupt gets called with a ticcmd, which contains the console player's input. So you could write a modified network driver that launches a single node game, stores each ticcmd in a buffer, then writes it to a demo file at the end of the game. The problem with this is, there are extra map things in co-op only. But you could modify the IWAD to remove these, making it the same in co-op as single player. The only question then is any of the other changes that occur from co-op play would result in different RNG that would cause the resulting demo to desync. Probably they would, but it could be worth a try.
  11. 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.
  12. Jonathan

    A new trick discovery: zero press!

    "Master Switch"
  13. Jonathan

    How to not suck at composing music?

    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.
  14. Jonathan

    Why was the DOS version of Doom stretched?

    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.