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  1. Lüt

    Doomworld banned me!

    This is the result of an IP ban. If it were something as trivial as a generic spam bot flood that happened months or years ago, I'd clear it for you. However, it's a recent addition meant to deal with a specific user who was directly harassing other members, and given the rather extreme nature of at least one of the incidents, I'm not sure the ban will be so easily removed. This will need further discussion, so I'm going to close the thread for now. I'll send you a private message with the result later this week (or you can send me a private message with any other concerns in the meantime).
  2. I had considered this when looking at forum options, because the software does allow enabling star ratings for threads (among other features that could bring a forum closer to a review center), but two main reasons I figured this wouldn't be the best choice: First, even though it seems unlikely that Downloads will be fixed any time soon, I can't rule it out entirely because I just don't know what the plans are, so I still want to leave room for it to serve its own purpose rather than make a forum-based replacement for it. Second, and the more practical reason, is that the forum won't be starting fresh. We'll be moving existing release threads into the forum and tagging them as we go, so changing the display system for those threads might throw some of them into disarray (as Xaser noted, the chronology of replies can break rather awkwardly with that kind of setup). Then regarding the header section, the software only provides two forum types to select from - "Discussions" and "Questions" - with no further layout options, so repurposing the Unanswered Questions section to show topics of the day isn't a thing I can do, and while it's possible to set the thread listing to "posted date" rather than "latest reply" so that newest releases are always on top, that undermines the idea of having one thread per release since new replies to old releases would remain buried. I mean, the idea of a "newest releases" header section is fine by me, but it's beyond my capacity to implement, so people will just have to use the "sort threads by start date" option as their best alternative. That's a good point, I suppose they don't all have to be named "WADs & Mods: something-or-other." I'll add this to the ever-growing consideration list. IPS allows for usage of an API called REST by way of OAuth or API key. The control panel offers an incredibly vague description, which reads "The REST API provides a way for developers to consume and create data for third-party applications and websites." Conversely, the Invision website offers an incredibly detailed documentation page, which you can read here if you want. I'll not be going through that entire thing, partly because it's beyond my capacity and partly because REST is currently disabled - likely intentionally - so all I can say is that kind of third-party site access would be Ling's territory and leave it at that. I've seen some forums where the panel background of the pinned thread info is a different/lighter color. I might consider that if it's an option. I looked in the theme color settings, but they're all generalized entries like "Secondary title bar background" and "Reset area background," so it would take some fiddling to determine what setting affects what display element. Because honestly, I can't find a trace of where to edit the pin icon's graphic or color. It's certainly nowhere any reasonable person would expect it to be. I'm glad that all the Google Play and Apple App Store icons are readily accessible in 20 different languages though! Searching within ZIPs is beyond this forum's capacity. Even if we added user access to the content search interface, that kind of thing would have to be done manually by somebody building their own file archive index. I'm not entirely sure what's being suggested, but here's a thing that might be close: The forum offers a "recommended post" feature, which allows staff to mark a post as "recommended" and offer a reason why. This does two things. First, it gives the recommended post a highlight similar to popular posts, but with a different icon: That's all well and good, but the second thing it does is puts a trimmed and de-formatted version of the recommended post at the top of the thread, which I don't like, especially because it appears above the original post: Anyway, a few final points... Reputation/Likes: I don't have anything more to add to what rd already said. Leaderboard/reputation display was enabled for a short time after the IPS upgrade, but disabled rather quickly for exactly those reasons, and won't be coming back any time soon. That said, I prefer having likes as a manner of acknowledging or "thumbs-up"-ing a post without having to reply with a bunch of variations of "nice" every time. It's a good middle ground between excessive one-liner spam and ignoring a thing you like just because you don't have detailed enough feedback for a full response. However, we don't care to make it into anything more than that. DW having 4 like variations that all mean the same thing shows how seriously we take it. (The Rosetta Stone Starter Pack is something genuinely amazing though, heh.) Signatures: It's worth noting that images can be disabled in signatures, and that text lines/link counts can be limited as well. Regardless, DW generally leans toward emphasizing post content over personal identifiers, so don't expect signatures to come back any time soon. The "About Me" section of your profile is the best place to put the things you might normally put in a signature. Stepping out for now: It's been nice to see what else people want out of the site, and to get in touch with people about what's actually possible. I hope the replies have been adequate, or at least informative. However, the time I've spent taking in and replying to feedback here and elsewhere has taken away from my time to work on implementing any of the suggestions, so I'm going to step out of this thread for now so that I have time to actually work on these things. Once that's done, maybe we can move on to Suggestions: Round 2. Until then, feel free to keep posting here, but I probably won't reply to anything more than a quick clarification.
  3. It's possible to allow deletion of posts, but unfortunately a time window can only be set for editing posts. 10 minutes for content deletion is sensible, and if it were an option, I would enable it. Sorry, but there's no further options available beyond "Can Delete Attachments." You could try navigating away from the page to cancel the upload, but you might risk losing any written content as well. Beyond that, a "Cancel Upload" button would have to be added manually. So for now, you'll just have to be cautious when uploading your images. Also not an option, I'm afraid. As a possible close alternative, you could put things like that in your "About Me" info - it's only 1 more click away. It's actually not Invision this time. The idgames databases on the old and new servers got out of sync with each other, and that's why updating for both the /newstuff review center and the downloads section was disabled. I couldn't tell you about the prospects of it being fixed, but I don't see any reason to believe it'll happen any time soon. To be clear, I'm not a web developer in any way. I work exclusively with the Invision software; anything beyond that is beyond my capacity. It's been a long time since I've had the Doomworld main site login info, and when I did use it, it was usually to help with hosted sites content. Now that the site's entirely based around forums and databases, there's nothing I can help with behind-the-scenes anymore, so one of the people with that access and expertise would have to answer the question. That's an interesting setup. It really does emphasize the modding component of the community, and I like how it moves from most specialized to most general. The idea of having two Classic Doom categories, though... seems a bit of a stretch, I think? Like, the point of the categories is to lump large amounts of content into single general areas, so having two Classic Doom categories isn't exactly in sync with how the rest of the forums are divided. I mean, I'm not opposed, but... it seems disjointed and inconsistent at first glance. Might be a thing I could get used to eventually though. And some people seem to like it, so... we'll add it to the list of things to consider. The subforum route was part for the sake of consistency (compare with Doom Editing) and part not wanting to do anything too radical with the existing forum arrangement. But maybe it warrants a bigger change after all. We'll see. Either way, thanks for the suggestion. Well, the reason it's tied to Classic Doom is because it was meant to be Classic Doom General :P I mean, yeah, you occasionally get stuff like the "Doom Monster Comparison" video that covers all games in the series, and which could go in any of the main Doom forums. But that kind of crossover content is rare enough that I don't think it needs to displace this forum as a Classic Doom forum. The way it's set now, each Doom has its own general forum, and given how distinct they are, it'll likely stay that way for the immediate future. It'll be part of the new iteration of sticky threads, along with clarification of whether to place betas in Development or Releases. (Though probably the word for "release-like betas" would be "gammas," but how many people really use that?) It's likely just an image file, though I don't immediately see any settings related to pin icons in the control panel (only forum and usergroup icons) so I'll have to dig deeper another time. tbh this is the first time I've heard anybody say they can't notice sticky threads. Does anybody else find this a problem? Well, to be a bit more clear, an attachment database is available through the admin control panel, and it looks like this: But making a thing like that available to regular users is where the custom coding likely comes in. I'm not sure who talked about what, or that anything would come of discussions at this point due to the technical issues involved. And actually, when I first brought it up that we should consider adding the Releases forum, in anticipation of the databases remaining desynced, I had suggested that officially declaring The /newstuff Chronicles defunct wouldn't be such a big loss because a forum like this would serve the same purposes of showcasing new releases and allowing commentary on them. And even though it would be the creator presenting their own work, the comments afterward would still roughly act as the "reviews" (with us possibly emphasizing that reviews-as-replies are encouraged), so it's a close enough spiritual successor to T/nC, and may fill the "What's New" void as well. Hopefully within a few weeks. We'll have to decide on the final layout, get the new stickies written, and so on. To that end, I've been working on a tagging guide for most of today. Additionally, this is just one part of a number of changes that have been suggested. What I'm planning to do is roll out all the updates in one large batch rather than gradually over a number of weeks, that way I can write a single announcement addressing everything all at once.
  4. True, but that low level of activity tends to happen to forums that also have a dedicated Discord server, and EE's can be quite lively at times. I'm also not sure how I'd word the poll, plus it would be coming rather late into the thread's development. More to the point, large organizational issues like these are where I'm more interested in sound reasoning than popular vote, so I'd rather read arguments than tally preferences. Sure, no problem. "Discussion" basically translates to "Current WADs & Mods minus release and development threads." I had initially said that 3 main forums seemed excessive for what would essentially be 1 forum in 3 parts, particularly because we already have a 3-part forum model in the form of Doom Editing, therefore using the same 3-part model for another 3-part forum would be consistent and familiar. But I'm not uncompromising on that stance. No it's fine, I know you may not have meant it in the common meaning, but you're far from the only person I've heard say that we do this, so I just used that quote as an opportunity to address the topic in general. Something like that. It might even be easy, but I have no clue about web design beyond basic HTML5, so I'm not the one to talk to about that. Heh, well that much is true, but... work in progress :P Anyway, the gag was a demand for timeliness coming from somebody who's largely been absent for years and who runs the 2nd-most-delayed project in Doomworld history - the joke was meant to be on me, so sorry it failed and landed in the wrong place. tbh I didn't even know if you still had access, I wasn't actually expecting anything. (Though we did mention it to you on Discord when you first started fixing styles a few years ago, but it's understandable if that was long forgotten.) As for Questions, you're right about people using the forum as if it were any other standard-threaded forum rather than its intended answer-only format, but I'm not sure if that totally undermines the voting system. Best Answers are a thing Ling wanted to encourage, and I don't really change anything that Ling sets a specific way. Gez had already mentioned the resorting option, so there wasn't anything else for me to say on the subject. Another one of Ling's decisions, so you'd have to appeal to him. For now, people can use the Status Updates feed that rd showed. So, agree on "Releases = primary" being sensible, but one last thing: remember that the main forum likely wouldn't have a subtitle, and would simply be called "WADs & Mods." For example, if the main forum was titled "WADs & Mods - Releases," then it would be the logical conclusion that the nested forum structure would imply that the other 2 subforums are further expansions of the "Releases" topic, and not something else entirely; therefore, different/specialized types of releases, rather than non-release topics. And alternatively, if it were still titled "WADs & Mods" but now only limited to releases, people who'd been using it for months or years would have to adapt to the new format and adjust their posting habits accordingly. It's nothing insurmountable, but I have a nagging vision of months of "whoops, posted in the wrong forum again" edits to new topics if this were the case. That could probably be left to the thread author. If they want to start a new topic for the final release, fine - that's easiest for us. If they want to request their topic be moved, they can do it with the "report post" function - there's an option that says "this comment is ok, but I want to tell a mod about it," and that can be used for the move request. Thread length could play a role in the ideal decision as well. In the first scenario, I might want to look into a way to have members be able to close their own threads, but only for that single forum. Definitely agree on this, and that would be a point to emphasize in the upcoming instructional sticky thread. Can be looked into, but if it's not a readily available setting then it'll probably be a low priority adjustment. A quick browse through attachment and search settings says your awareness is spot-on. It's a useful idea, and I'd flick it on if it were an option. But it doesn't appear to be, so until somebody decides to code it, I'm afraid categorizing attachments has to be done the hard way. It could be, but it'll be on the main menu soon enough, so best to hold out a little bit longer. Those are possible options, but they're a part of usergroup settings and not a thing that can be applied by the warning system, which takes it back to moderators not being able to adjust usergroups. Up to the people who ran it in the first place, but if you browse their posts on the subject, you can gather all the reasons they have no intention of bringing it back. What it really should be is a functional downloads section with an up-to-date "What's New" listing that anybody can add their reviews to. It just depends at what point that may be fixed. Agree with this. I was already planning to write "1 release, 1 thread" into the sticky thread, along with saying that duplicate threads for the same release would be merged. As long as the bumps are relevant to the release, they should be fine. That's basically what the general discussion forum would be for. I suppose somebody could make a review thread index if they wanted, but I don't think there's enough of those topics to warrant anything more than that.
  5. Late response, but we've actually been addressing a number of the topics raised here, so now to reply to a few specific points... Expansion of WADs & Mods: This has been under discussion for a while, and though everybody's unanimously in favor of the idea, here are the two points of indecision that are currently on the table: whether to do a 2-way or 3-way split, and how to organize a 3-way split. In a 2-way split, there would be a "Releases" forum and a "Development & Discussion" forum, each of which would be a primary forum on the main index. In a 3-way split, "Development" and "Discussion" would each be their own forums, along with "Releases," and there would be a 1-primary forum / 2-subforum setup, similar to the current Doom Editing configuration. In that setup, the question is which forum would be the primary forum, and which forums would be the subforums. Option 1 is to make "Releases" the primary forum, with "Development" and "Discussion" being the 2 subforums. The idea is that people who go to the WADs & Mods forum are probably looking for WADs and Mods to play, therefore the first thing they should see is the full list of WADs and Mods that are available to play. Then if they want to go deeper, the subforums are available. It's sensible and straight-forward. Option 2 is to make "Discussion" the primary forum, with "Releases" and "Development" being the 2 subforums. This is consistent with the Doom Editing setup in that the main forum is the general forum, while the subforums are the specialized forums. It's also the closest to the current WADs & Mods setup, requiring minimal readjustment from users who've grown used to this configuration over so many years. Good arguments have been made in favor of each setup, and I'm honestly undecided at this point. I mean, if I were forced to make a decision right now, I'd probably choose 3-way Option 2 for its consistency and familiarity. But I'm not being forced, so I'm posting this here for additional feedback instead. I know a 3-way split might seem excessive at first, but we really do have the sheer amount of content to warrant it, plus each division serves users with the specific purpose of looking for something to play or looking for projects to follow or join. Also worth noting: in every case, "Releases" would include things like release candidates and public betas, not just final releases. Location and contents of sticky threads will be refactored when the new forum arrangement rolls out. Because you're right, topic placement is rather haphazard at the moment. Yeah, I looked at a few other IPS-based forums that have their tagging content enabled, and it appears that 1) you can click a tag to display a list of all topics with that tag, 2) you can search multiple tags simultaneously, and 3) you can also search for plain text within those given tags. So I'm already set to add tags to the "Releases" and "Development" forums. It'll likely be a closed tagging system, meaning we provide tags for categories like game ("Ultimate Doom" "Heretic"), release type ("beta" "final"), scope of project ("single level" "megawad"), manner of gameplay ("single player" "deathmatch"), intended source port ("limit removing" "GZDoom"), and so on, then people select the appropriate tags from the list when posting their topics. That way you can find things like Raven games projects or deathmatch mapsets without needing dedicated topical forums for each of them, since that would quickly get to be too much subforum clutter. Also, one other thing: Regardless of the final setup, it's going to take some effort to move all the topics accordingly, therefore I decided to bring in some aid from one of our most prominent and helpful members. For those of you who don't follow status updates, say hi to @Doomkid, our newest Super Moderator! Staff visibility: I agree that lack of clarity regarding who's on staff has been a problem, but the staff directory needs some work before properly publishing it. The first problem is that it's missing a number of people that it should have. Specifically, single-forum moderators are entirely absent from the listing. This is because the whole of their moderator permissions are assigned directly through their member profiles. What I'll have to do instead, is create a Moderators group that has a few of the core permissions that all moderators have, then assign each of those members to that group, leaving only their individual forum permissions in their individual profiles. That will allow me to add a category for single-forum moderators to the staff directory, as well as allow users to see their moderator status on their public profiles. The second problem is that it has a number of people that it probably shouldn't have. A lot of old staff have lost interest in the forum, if not the Doom scene as a whole. Looking at the Super Moderators group, one has 5 posts in the last 10 years, another has 1 post in 4 years, a third hasn't even logged in for 7 years... and the situation is similar for a number of single-forum moderators. What I'm going to do is (try to) get in touch with them and find out if they still want to participate on staff, or if they'd rather be removed. Cause the way I figure, if the staff directory's going to go public, it should reflect people who at least intend to make a few regular appearances throughout the year. Then when that's sorted, I'll add the staff directory to the main menu. As for making single-forum moderators visible on their respective forums, that doesn't appear to be a feature available in this version of the software. I've been through forum settings, block settings, and moderator settings, but can't find anything to that extent. It's strange, because I've seen earlier versions of the software that were able to include a "this forum is led by: [moderator]" in their member statistics block, but all other forums I see that use this version of the software don't have it. Possibly it was removed. Yeah I've seen that, but since some staff don't want a "Sheriff's Badge" on every single post, I won't force it on them. Now there were some instances of Super Moderators not having their status displayed in their public info due to inconsistent group assignments, but I adjusted those last week, so now their proper groups show in their profile and hover-over info. That, combined with the staff directory, should be enough to know who's who. Ban visibility: This is one of a few primary communication failures we have, but also unfortunately one we can do little about. I suppose the warning system could use a full explanation at some point, but for now let me give a brief summary. We have 2 ways of banning people: by using the restrictions provided by the warning system, and by manually setting their usergroup to "Banned." The warning system is the significantly superior system in every way. It's directly connected to the content reporting system, and provides all the necessary management tools to coordinate restrictions, handle inter-staff and staff-to-member communication, and oversee member history. It lets us set expiration dates on restrictions, and is available to all moderators. Usergroup management is limited to Administrators, and restrictions have to be undone manually. The one problem with the warning system is that its restrictions can't be displayed on a user's profile or in their title. Only manually setting their usergroup to "Banned" can do that. I've been all over the admin panel trying to find a way to get posting restrictions to display. User settings, group settings, and so on. The only option that adjusts what users can see is in the standard warnings settings, and it's only for their own profile: So I get that it's annoying, because it bothers me too. I mean, how many times have people tried talking to banned members, not knowing they were banned? And actually, back when we were new to this software, I even almost made a post in the staff forum saying that I didn't mind that somebody had unbanned a guy I had banned earlier, because I saw his group was "Members" - I'm glad I checked his profile one last time and saw his posting restrictions before making a fool of myself. The one possible solution, which is still a hackjob, is that now that I've enabled custom titles, moderators have easy access to edit a member's title, and can manually set it to "Banned" if they issue restrictions through the warning system. We might implement a thing like this for users whose restrictions exceed a certain time period (probably 7 days), but that would be as good as it gets, and any custom titles might not be restored once the restrictions are lifted. At any rate, I'd honestly never even heard of shadow banning before we were accused of it. I understand that's how it might look, but I assure you that's not what we do, and never will as long as I have any say in it. Other stuff: While we've pretty much accepted that DW's days as a news site are over, these other things could be addressed in an eventual FAQ. There is a Rules & Guidelines page being developed, which will finally be added to the main menu. I had wanted it to include FAQ material like the above suggestions, but depending on the amount of time it takes to write and organize, it's possible we'll separate and/or delay FAQ material in favor of publishing Rules & Guidelines sooner than later. The benefit of sticky threads is that they're far more easily updated by moderators, whereas pages have to be updated by Administrators. As such, parts of the FAQ might only be simple summaries with a "more info" link to a relevant sticky thread. We'll see how (or if) it develops. In theory, that topic should be open to many other types of development updates than just screenshots. But in practice, yeah it's basically Doom Pictures part 2. I have an idea for another type of update thread focused more on development specifics, which I'm planning to put in the Editing forum. When I do that, I'll probably lock the "what are you working on" thread. But not before providing an alternative to post non-screenshot-based updates in. As much as we want to support the wiki, listing another site's staff directory on our own site's staff directory seems a little outside of our territory. We could make a DoomWiki Editor usergroup, and that would show under a person's username on their profile and hover-over info in the same way that Super Moderator or Administrator does for those groups, but the question that follows is how many other groups from how many other sites could ask for the same treatment? And after that, who would manage the changes as group members come and go? (To partially answer that, usergroup assignments are an Administrator privilege, so we couldn't set up some kind of "group leader" that could assign other users to the usergroup - at least, not without some custom coding to the forum software.) So as it stands, it's quite likely that Doomworld usergroups will remain related to Doomworld status. The best and most visible option for the editors now is to do like you did and add it to their user title (which I realize wasn't an option when you wrote that post). Beyond that, the DoomWiki should host its own staff directory, if it doesn't already. It's possible, but IIRC Ling disabled those, so he'd have to be the one to re-enable them. Also possible, but the reason I wouldn't want to dump threads from all across the forum into a single archive is because they'd lose their categorization. For ease of search and reference, I'd much prefer threads remain in their original forums. If anything did get archived, it would be an entire forum by itself. That's up to the EE developers to decide. If they want a new description, I can change it for them. We might be making some updates to that forum, so we'll see what happens with that. Oi, are you seriously complaining when you still haven't fixed black-on-black and white-on-white style elements? >:(
  6. Lüt

    What Was Your Last Purchase?

    A license plate registration renewal that suddenly showed up in my mailbox: So much for upgrading this computer any time in the next few months.
  7. Lüt

    Why I left this community.

    Thanks for all the positive responses everybody, I really appreciate it. I'm surprised this went over with so little controversy, but I'm glad people are enjoying the change. Also thanks for keeping the disagreements civil and reasoned, I appreciate that as well. In particular, I wanted to address these points: This is fine and reasonable, in theory. In practice, however, it's been a long time since staff gave such titles for these kind of things on any regular basis. In fact, I'd say the amount of titles we've given in the last 5 years is barely equivalent to the amount of titles we gave over a single month in the early days of the forum. Back then, titles were used as probationary ranks, as well as for achievements or other "noteworthy" posting habits (usually of the stupid variety). Now we have better and more accessible probationary methods, which when combined with our current general indifference toward giving titles, means that this is pretty much a dead practice. So because we weren't using the feature with any regularity, I decided it was best to turn it over to the people who would actually use it instead. In particular, for whatever concerns the change may have brought about (whether objective or preferential), I found the concerns of the OP to be of higher priority. The issue that was brought up needed to be addressed, and coordinating a mass title-change effort between staff and other members who shared the OP's sentiment would have been a clusterfuck at best, so this was the most adequate and accessible solution. Perhaps if we had avoided the incidents leading to the OP, this wouldn't have been necessary. But we didn't, so it was. And while I do think the idea of having both the title and the post-based rank be displayed is fine, it is unfortunately one of the things we can't do. One overrides the other, and that's all that the software allows. Yeah no, that's pushing it just a liiiiiiiittle bit too far :P
  8. Lüt

    Why I left this community.

    Sorry to hear this caused an issue. I didn't come up with the forum ranks, nor did I edit these particular titles. However, I also didn't have a problem with them either. Not to dispute, but just to explain: the common understanding of the day was simply that such things were said or done in jest. Personally, I never put primary emphasis on a word's literal definition, but rather its communal context (that is, how different communities use the same words in different ways). And in this community, we gave no reason to take the rank seriously: anybody could see any number of intelligent or well-informed or creative posts from people with that title and know it was nonsense. It was just our way of not taking things too seriously, so I'm genuinely surprised that it gave anybody a dilemma. But in light of that, one thing I want to clarify: I knew a lot of the people running the forum at that time quite well, and the others well enough, so I can't have it be said that whoever gave the title was acting in some kind of malicious or oppressive way. Although it ultimately played out the way it did, I know it wasn't the intention of the staff member to cause any genuine distress, so please consider that when coming to whatever conclusion you finally decide on. As for how things stand now, I don't see any problem with users having whatever title they want. I've usually always given people whatever title they asked me to give them. Plus, most of the forums I've registered on in recent years have let me do that from the start, and I've generally appreciated that. Therefore, I've enabled the ability for all users with more than 4 posts (our default spam cutoff) to set their own titles, so if you don't like your current one you can go ahead and change it. Just go to your profile, click the "Edit Profile" button at the top right, and it'll be the second option.
  9. One possible explanation: if you use line specials that make tagged sectors inherit the properties of other sectors, the secret property might be getting copied from one of those other sectors. These line specials are typically used to make solid floors that drop into hazardous liquid, therefore the damage property gets copied from the surrounding liquid and the player gets hurt when standing on it. However, secret properties can be copied in the same way, so be sure you don't have a function like that in any of your secrets. [edit: which is also what ViolentBeetle meant by "floor changing texture/type," but that's what I get for starting a reply to a new thread and coming back to it 2 hours later without checking for new replies. It's a default plain Doom 2 action though, so it's indeed possible in that format.] Apart from that, try it in a different port like Boom or Eternity and see if the result remains the same. That would at least clarify if it's a map issue or a port issue.
  10. Lüt

    Doom Pictures Thread 2021

    I've never seen anything quite like this in a map before. It's oddly freaky in its own right, but its placement in the middle of a base-like building rather than a traditional hellscape only emphasizes that further. You and I, we have a very similar definition of "revision." Looks great.
  11. Well done, not many people get such an iconic guest by their 6th podcast. A few points of interest related to the level design topic: - I'm much the same as you two in that I almost never block out a level, but rather design it incrementally. The thing I always find is, scenes evolve as they're being constructed. Maybe there's a person out there who can mentally picture every vertex and line exactly where it should be before they start designing, but it sure isn't me, and it doesn't sound like it's you guys either. Often in large scenes, but even in small scenes, design ideas come to me in a progressive chain rather than a massive cluster, and designing one element of a scene always gives me ideas for further elements - ideas I never would have had if I hadn't started designing the scene in the first place. And a lot of them are related to function and progression. Like, once a core design is laid out, I'll look at a corner and think, "You know what would fit really good there? A door." Or I'll look a part of the floor and think, "You know what would be cool, is if this lowered into a staircase that reveals an underground passage." And as soon as that happens, there goes my blocked out level. That said, I don't always build in sequence. A lot of times I design a number of stand-alone scenes, then deal with connecting them later, so that's one area where I differ from Romero. I do, however, have a habit of re-testing the entire map every time I change one little thing. Some say it's a bad habit, but if it works for Romero, then it's fine by me. - Romero talked briefly about how they had trouble designing levels at the early stages of Doom's development because no reference for such advanced game technology existed back then. I first heard him mention this in the Doom postmortem presentation, but now that you paired it with Quake's development, it suddenly made me wonder if they had a similar reference problem for that game. I know he said it took about a year before they started designing the levels that would make it into the final product, but what I'm thinking is this: it makes sense that there was no easily adaptable reference for Doom's design, but couldn't some of that also be due to the limits of Doom's engine, rather than its advancements? For example, a lot of the 2D game design of the time dealt with multiple layers stacked on the "Z axis" regardless of side-view or top-down or three-quarters perspective, so there would have been no chance of adapting that to Doom's 1-floor 1-ceiling no-slope limit. However, Quake did away with that limit entirely, thereby creating something of a reference dichotomy. On one hand, you'd think that reference material for Quake would be similarly scarce to Doom... if you look solely at other FPS games. It's another similarly huge leap forward in game technology, so it should be another similarly blank reference slate, right? But on the other hand, those same advancements in game technology provided significantly greater design possibilties, thus opening significantly greater reference possibilities, whether from other genres of game design or from genuine real life architecture. So whereas Doom came with a long list of things that couldn't be adapted to its limited technology, Quake now allowed the team to look at all genres of 2D games and say, "Yeah we can do 3D versions of all of that," or to look at actual buildings and say, "Yep we can recreate those entirely." So if I'd been able to catch the live stream, that's probably what I would have asked - if the Quake engine advancements made it harder or easier to find design references compared to Doom. (I rewrote this part so many times, and I'm still not sure it makes sense, but that's as good as I can get it for now.) - I was a little surprised to hear he's not a big fan of optional content, but I suppose his levels bear out proof of that. Personally, I've come to highly appreciate things like secrets that are a whole new section of the map and not just a little closet, or large side-areas dedicated to specific powerups that are helpful but not necessary. I guess I see it as a mapper going above and beyond the minimum requirements, whereas apparently Romero interprets it as breaking the scope of the level. Still, I like his comments about reusing existing space, and revealing new things that were actually there all along, both of which are other design concepts that I highly appreciate seeing done well. - Lastly, super hyped about the Sigil 2 announcement. Admittedly, I'm nearly as late to playing Sigil as you were, but even without that, Romero's Doom 2 maps were always among my favorite maps of the game, and a new full 32-level set from him is some of the best Doom news I've heard all year. Anyway, there was a lot of other interesting and informative stuff on the podcast that made it an all-around good listen, so thanks to both of you for making this happen, it was a really enjoyable presentation.
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    Post a picture...that you took

    Sting. Harp.
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    What is Your Job/Career?

    Heh, you know, the best way to learn it is to teach it. I spent 3 years fumbling around with simple / compound time, and was so happy to finish the program and never have to get a test question on it ever again. Then they hired me, and the first thing that happens is I get flood of messages from MUS101 students needing help with simple / compound time, so immediately I'm like "ohhhh shit, here we go!" The first few lessons were a bit shaky, but I mostly got the students through with example exercises, and after that, it became really easy to explain. Something about seeing people react to your explanations can be a good guide as to whether you're even thinking about it clearly yourself, and because there's such a variety of personality types and educational backgrounds among college students, you get really experienced at adapting your explanations to all kinds of audiences. I'm pretty sure most of the things I learned in class would've slipped out of my mind or remained a confused haze if I hadn't had to explain them so many times to so many people. That process was the one thing that really made it all stick. Acing the classes was just a rough start at best.
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    What is Your Job/Career?

    Officially, I went to college for graphic design. They offered 3 separate focuses for graphic artist, print production, and package design. I ended up doing all 3, along with a digital photography certificate. It would end up being the certificate, rather than the degrees, that got me most of my work. I started off by doing some photo restoration using Photoshop, and eventually references grew until it became my main thing. That said, I've only done it freelance, and never as an official company employee. Not surprisingly, pretty much nothing has happened in that line of work since 2020. I'd like to get employed by a proper company eventually, if only for standard employee benefits. My last official job was as a private tutor at the local community college. I also did their music program back in 2008-2011, and apparently I did well enough that they decided to hire me to teach music theory / aural skills / class piano / music lit to enrolled students for the next 4 years. Once I finished working there, I still took a few general students for private lessons, but again, nothing has happened in that line of work since 2020.