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About HexenMapper

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  1. HexenMapper

    Earth - 7 maps for Doom64EX

    Yep, I haven't done any mapping for a few years now. Have finally registered a game music company after doing it for many years informally and am running that instead... https://tom-jensen.com/ Will be at GDC in San Francisco this year if anyone is around and wants to catch up
  2. HexenMapper

    The Music of REKKR Part II.

    Thought I'd type up a little bit on the final stage of the Music of REKKR (the fourth episode), as I recently wrote about this on my website Steam Releaaaaase! April 2021: REKKR - the viking / norse total conversion for the original Doom was doing pretty damn well by this point - it had been released by Bethesda through their mod workshop, and we had all been given a cash bonus from the company who we had only dreamed of working with as kids (iD software). It was at this time that project lead Revae was looking at creating a proper 4th episode for REKKR, as the 4th episode in late 2020 was a collection of maps that didn't make the cut for the original 3 episodes. Revae and his mapping minions were on the job, however, and had come up with an entire fourth episode of new maps. Revae had also been tinkering with an executable for REKKR (rather than running the .wad file with something like zdoom) and gearing up for a full steam release. While he didn't have the budget for a full musical score for this new 4th episode (named "Sunken Land"), he did commission me to write three new tracks for the episode. These would be for the maps E4M1 - Postern, E4M7 - Ill Ellii, and E4M8 - Gardien. Tinkering with Time The music for E4M1 was fairly straight forward, and the music for E4M8 was to be boss battle music, but the map E4M7 / Ill Ellii posed a bit of a problem: the map involved time travel to 4 quite disparate locations. Firstly the player was taken to Ancient Egypt, and later in the map would visit a science fiction moonbase, modern day city, and ancient Rome... So how would I handle writing music for this? Clearly I need to find a middle ground that would support all 4 areas without leaning too much into the setting of either. I decided to try find a cool angle that fit the idea of time travel. Some people (ok mostly just Goethe) say "music is liquid architecture, architecture is frozen music" - so music already exists over a period of time, I can't just write music and say it makes use of time, but there is a way to tinker with time using music... I decided to make use of a musical device that involved temporal shenanigans - something as old as time itself (well as old as the baroque period at least) - the canon cancrizans, or "Crab Canon". Oh shit, I've got crabs Many moons ago (ok 1736), composers liked to play little musical games and puzzles, like "what If I played this piece upside down", or "what if we put this piece of music between us and played it reading from different directions?". Pieces like Bach's "The musical Offering" are full of these, and sometimes they'd expect the 'reader' to complete the puzzle in order to play the piece. So what's with the crabs? well, one of these musical puzzles was called a Crab Canon, which involved a melody that if played backwards, would accompany itself. So how does this work? well, counterpoint - counterpoint. counterpoint is like, I have a melody, and now I want a second melody that sounds good when I play both melodies at the same time. If you do it right, it sounds great. If you do it badly, it sounds meh. Composers in ye olde days loved counterpoint, but nowadays people think it's a bit old fashioned. To be fair, most composers don't think it's old fashioned, and in fact use it all the time, just maybe not as extensively as they did back in the period from like 1500 - 1900 Anyway, history lesson aside, crab canons are cool, and you can do cool shit with them. So I set out to write a crab canon, and use it as the spine of my track for this time travel map. Thanks to a little video from Adam Neely, I had some good resources on actually approaching the writing of a crab canon, as it's not something you can just kinda dive into. And here's what I ended up coming up with - note this is MIDI data rendered by a default windows synthesizer, it aint gonna be pretty: Note the backwards looking treble clef on the right hand side of the image above? yeah that's the secret code old timey composers used to say "play this fucker backwards and see what happens my dude" The final track opens with a blown bottle motif, and immediately launches into heavy drums and low synth pads. Solo harmonica – an instrument I began to associate with loss of sanity – enters the fray, often microtonally pitched to unnerve the listener. The whole track has an eerie feeling, which is emphasized by the slow crab canon starting at 0:35. Material in this section seems to move forwards and backwards, appearing from different directions, and sometimes moving in opposite directions at the same time. By 2:06 the crab canon concludes and a more direct action section takes place, intensifying into a harmonica solo at the end of the track: To be fair, a crab canon is something that no one would even notice just by listening - its more of a fun personal joke for the composer. It just so happened that in this case the unnerving, odd feel of the crab canon suited the gameplay and setting-jumping of the map nicely. An example of one of Bach's more famous crab canons: Why do I hear Boss Music? For the very last map of the game, involving a fight against the game's main antagonist, I had to write some BOSS MUSIC! The first draft for this track was quite high-energy: https://voca.ro/1hQQlicLmGva Project lead Revae had the following feedback on this track: “That might be a little too high energy for the parts where you're not fighting, after the boss. It sounds nice, but aggressive. Trying to think of a way to balance that. Like if it were more like a dance or something. Or sinister I guess. A sinister waltz” So I started again, trying to hit the sinister waltz trope. I presented two options to the Revae, a slower and faster version. The faster version was chosen, and so I progressed and expanded on the track, keeping the fast 3/4 feel throughout. The final track takes us through this sinister waltz, with plenty of bending oboe solos, heavy drums, organ, harpsichord and choirs: And so that's the story of the final phase of REKKR - Hope this has been interesting!
  3. HexenMapper

    REKKR - V1.16

    I would have loved to score the whole 4th Episode for free, but my time is just too limited, working full time + honours degree + other paid game music work :( Would love to see what other composers come up with based on the music that's already there. @Gez The track titles are (I'll upload them to youtube and do a write up article at some point too - will be fun to talk about the crab canon in E4M7): E4M1: Aphotic Zone E4M7: Temporal Rifts E4M8 - Den Sidste Vals The melody from the crab canon: audio: https://vocaroo.com/1eg0FkagQVI6
  4. HexenMapper

    Hexen: a Morte [15 new maps - Released]

    Your anachronous weapon's wo- Ah! there are 3 rock formations :) Once you hit the 3rd, Den-Shial's lava power source will be cut off and you will be able to kill it with regular weapons. Hope that helps! enjoy the rest of the mod.
  5. HexenMapper

    Vanilla Music Limits and Oddities

    Very interesting... I completely forgot about .MUS files. Also interesting to see the way tempo is handled too - would explain why things are acting as they do for the 6/8 track. Thanks for the post links - lots of good info!
  6. HexenMapper

    Vanilla Music Limits and Oddities

    I'm trying to compile a list of limits and oddities for vanilla compatible MIDI files. One of the limits I encountered when writing the REKKR score was the file size limit of 99 KB - any larger and Chocolate Doom won't play it. Upon further investigation I made a MIDI file exactly 100 KB large, and Chocolate Doom played some kind of weird, single-note piano thing (nothing like the original track). Another interesting issue I've found recently is that the OPL synthesizer on chocolate doom doesn't seem to support pitch bend all the time (only on some instruments, and only some of the time). The OPL on zdoom seems to work fine for pitch bends, just chocolate doom seems to have the issue. I'll check it out on prboom over the next few days. An issue I've also encountered just today is that a song in 6/8 seemed to be played slower by a factor of 0.6571 when played by both zdoom and chocolate doom. Speeding up the song by a factor of 1.52 solved the issue - but none the less it is curious! Anyone have any other strange vanilla MIDI facts or limits? or know of an old thread that covers these?
  7. Quite the necro bump... I'm still around, but not doing any mapping or modding these days, focusing on doing music. The instructions for how to convert maps to IMPATIENCE are listed in the zdoom link in the OP of this thread, but beyond that I don't think much is going to happen with this mod unless someone else takes over.
  8. This project is looking great! Looks like I might be coming on board to do some egyptian-esque metal MIDIs...
  9. HexenMapper

    REKKR - V1.16

    I'd be happy to do new music tracks for the 4th episode, might be fun considering we have plenty of time now our country is in lockdown for the next 4 weeks at least. I'll flick you an email some time Revae
  10. HexenMapper

    REKKR - V1.16

    Also while we're on the topic of music, someone released an HD version of the REKKR score on ModDB last year... Not sure if it has been posted here or not (searching DW for it seemed to find 0 results) https://www.moddb.com/mods/rekkr/addons/rekkr-hd-music/#7288709
  11. HexenMapper

    REKKR - V1.16

    Great work! thanks for your time / diligence :) I listened to a few of the tracks and they seem fine - no noticeable changes (and there shouldn't be if you're just removing redundant controller messages)
  12. HexenMapper

    REKKR - V1.16

    Its interesting that only some tracks that go over this limit seem to have trouble playing - most of the tracks go well over 8 voices simultaneously. I generally wrote with a 16 channel limit, and 16 voices simultaneously being around the max that regular MIDI could play. If we can work out a cause / solution I'd be happy to take a look at the offending tracks, since there's only a few of them.
  13. HexenMapper

    The Music of REKKR

    Uploaded the remainder of the soundtrack to youtube (8 tracks I hadn't got around to uploading yet) You can hear them as the last 8 tracks of this playlist (from Chained Remains onwards), there's some metal, a FFVI inspired regal track, and a mash-up of every iD/Raven starting track (Begin - (E3M9)). You can click on the top left icon to get a drop down of all the tracks (not sure how to make a playlist start at a specific track here...) Well done to Revae and team on the cacowards! honored to be mentioned as well :)
  14. HexenMapper

    Editing map names in Heretic

    yeah MAPINFO / ZMAPINFO is the way to go for altering map names and intermission stuff, HHE should only be used for Vanilla targeted projects. Here's an example of the .HHE file from Hump-mini: @Mikolah made this .HHE file (which is just a text file) and I just edited it. I think you can just use notepad to create these .hhe files, then rename the filename from .txt to .hhe The list of strings is here (the 4 digit numbers are the identifiers): https://github.com/chocolate-doom/chocolate-doom/blob/master/src/heretic/deh_htext.c#L47 Each string has a 4 digit identifier, as well as a number indicating the length of the title. Map titles cannot exceed the length of the original title (unless the original title was shorter than the nearest multiple of 4, in which case you could go as long as the next multiple of 4 .... iirc). The numbers indicating length must be exactly correct or the whole thing will fail to parse and/or you'll get errors. Vanilla modding is very fiddly and complex, I would certainly advise using MAPINFO for map info unless you're specifically making a mod for chocolate heretic. I attached the .hhe file from hump-mini HUMP_mini.zip
  15. HexenMapper

    heXen Upstart Mapping Project (RELEASED!)

    Now on idgames, link is also in the OP :) https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/hexen/v-z/xump latest version is 1.4