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About Jonathan

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    I am not a leet hax0r :(

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  1. Jonathan


    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.
  2. 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.
  3. Finally, my years of being too lazy to read Masters of Doom have paid off. I'm cautiously optimistic.
  4. altdeath.com hell.center portaltohell.com fragland.io boomstyx.net
  5. 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.
  6. Jonathan

    Playing longtics demos in original doom2.exe

    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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jonathan

    A new trick discovery: zero press!

    "Master Switch"
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Jonathan

    DOOM II demos [-complevel 2]

    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.
  12. Jonathan

    DOOM II demos [-complevel 2]

    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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!