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Status Updates posted by Mordeth

  1. There's a typo in your 'about me' url (double slash) thus causing a 404 error.

  2. I've removed your profile picture. Please pick a less offensive one.

  3. It's been 193 0 days since your last backup.

    1. taufan99


      And thus, the quest for Mordeth E2 continues... for an undisclosed time.

    2. esselfortium


      I hope this update doesn't mean you've lost any data...

  4. I've mentioned here before that some years ago I invented a way to construct a moving subway, able to carry a player between two different stations. This was way before the introduction of polyobject-portals to the Eternity Engine, and an even longer time before the inclusion of ACS.


    It worked by switching portal views. The actual cars and stations were connected by non-euclidean linked portals and didn't move at all. Anchored (visual-only) portals were connected to door ceilings, which as those raised or closed would reveal or obscure the linked portal and instead show a different view.


    With the gates to the platform closed, a player would see the view of a standard polyobject dummy train arriving to its current station. The gates would open, revealing the in-game cars. If boarded and once the gates closed again, a different set of anchored portals would show the view of the subway departing the copied-as-polyobject station, and the destination station slowly approaching. This worked in multiplayer too; even sound cues were linked to the correct portalgroups so as to only be heard when in the appropriate in-game location.


    In short: a perfect illusion. Well, "was", because I'm currently removing it.


    It's all going to be replaced with a bog-standard moving polyobject-portal construction. Technically it's the right thing to do, since the result would look exactly the same as what I had before minus this very complicated setup.  But it still pains me to replace it, since I was so proud of this trick.  It feels like inventing mikoconveyors way back in 1997, only to be superseded by Boom's standard conveyor feature before you could show your achievement to the world.


    Still, let's show off this trick. Here's the subway arriving at your station:



    Now ready to board:



    Subway 'leaves' with you onboard, seeing the (polyobject) station receding:



    Almost arriving at your destination:




    Once disembarked, watch the subway go about its return trip.


    1. Ichor


      I've had a similar experience. Back when I was working on AEoD, I wanted to make something that would affect monsters nearby as I walk around. I eventually called it the ice shield, and for a short time, it damaged and froze monsters nearby at every tic, centered on the player. It took hours of experimenting and trial and error until I finally discovered how to do it. It works like this:


      Step 1: I'd use an item and it spawns an actor.

      Step 2: That actor spawns a second actor (usually 'SomethingSomethingGiver') which immediately "attacks" the player and gives the player a specific item.

      Step 3: The actor would continue doing this every tic and gives a timer inventory item.

      Step 4: Once enough of that timer item is in my inventory, the powerup ends and the giver actor disappears.


      Once this discovery was made, I was able to use it for all sorts of things, such as the force cube, a thunderstorm powerfup which hits random enemies with powerful lightning every few seconds, a vampiric aura that damage enemies and drains their health for a short time, a dynamic light based torch, and even a simple direction arrow for an old Marble Madness wad for Doom (didn't release that one). They all work very well the coding in its most basic form is very simple, and I still use it even now. However, this was made long before ZScript was a thing and I'm sure that ZScript could do this much more effeciently and easily. Maybe one day I will change to it, but not for a while. It's not real high on the priority list right now.

  5. So we got some solar panels installed for our house. Which is nice. Too bad one of the guys plugged his power drill into the same box extender that also powers my desktop and affiliated hardware. The power surge took them all out. Which is not so nice.


    I've got backups plus the HD got recovered, but I swear there are some deities up there that just don't want the next Mordeth episode(s) to see the light of day...

    1. taufan99


      Was about to ask you "Mordeth II when" until that last paragraph. XD

    2. Linguica


      Mordeth E2 is cursed... finishing it will unleash a plague upon the wo- wait

  6. I like watching Lets Play's. There are quite a few for the first Mordeth episode, even ignoring those who played without properly installing E1 or without using the port-compatible version of E1. There's so much you can learn by watching other people play.


    My current top 3:
    Lingyan203 (no commentary, usually 100/100/100)
    WhamNinjaMolehill (English commentary)
    IMetalLordi (German commentary)

    Although it seems these last two vloggers were already familiar with the first level, the rest of the episode was evidently played without prior knowledge. And I find that kind of commentated run the most informative to watch, even if the players don't go for (nor are interested in) a perfect endlevel tally score.


    The most obvious thing I took away from watching these is that I now dislike my own crate mazes. Especially the one in E1M1. For lots of instances I think that one Old Man Murray theory rings true: crates serving as a cheap way to fill a room or to create platforming opportunities. So, while I'm still using plenty of platforming, E2 is rather devoid of crates. E2 also has a self-imposed rule about not using teleports, instead having to rely on sensical pathing and 'natural'-looking monster replenishment methods in previously-cleared areas. This forces me to get creative, greatly helped in that regard by Eternity Engine's portal innovations.


    The overall majority of E1 monster surprises / traps seemed to have played out as intended. Which is nice. Also, 1997-me seems to be more vicious in that department, so I guess current-me has to step up his game a bit... One major (but rookie) flaw was to use inconsistent ways to mark switches and doors, sometimes causing vloggers to mistake it for a decorated wall and thus missing it initially. E2 nailed this kind of consistency pretty much down, not even deviating from the scheme in order to hide secret stuff.


    And then, the progression puzzles. Two still stand out to me: the blue key enabled access to the red key area in E1M3; and the falling-through-the-fog solution of the lockout in E1M4. The former worried me so much I made the red key optional on lower difficulties, but so far nobody seemed to have had a problem solving that one. And it was the latter that got peeps stuck, either failing to find the switch or the way back to the fog area. Still, there's a clear line to be drawn from these first 'primitive' attempts to the way E2 handles progression.

  7. So, Doom is now twenty-five years old. It's been a constant companion since my early student days and to this current day our little community is not just active, but vibrant. That's... amazing. And while you could pick out individuals and point to their contributions, it really is all of us, from the old-hands to the newly arrived, who made this happen and who will carry on the torch.


    Thank you all, Doomers.

    1. taufan99


      I've been in this community since 2011, and now that we'll come to 2019, I can't say how much I love this game series and its community, even with a-few-year period of hiatus (that may or may not happen again)!

  8. Real Life stuff, including landing a new job, has been holding my attention for these past few months so there have been very little creative juices left for my favorite pastime. So, I've kept busy with mostly 'technical' stuff, including rewriting scripts.


    However, I've also turned my attention to monster sprites. Currently busy with several variations (Imps, Lost Soul) based on their Doom64 counterparts but vanilla'fied to my needs (WIP image linked below). Based on how well this goes I might be able to commission the more difficult stuff (human zombies) to a professional who actually knows how to sprite.


    Also, at long last, encounters are being implemented. Stuff I envisioned long ago but just couldn't implement at the time has finally become possible. Level details are being filled in; replaced if need be. And there's stuff that's seriously in need of attention (E2M2...) because I'm holding out for certain better / improved Eternity features.




    1. Memfis


      Are you going to use both imp versions at the same time?

    2. Mordeth


      @Memfis No. Above screenshot is from an earlier WIP test to see how the new sprite holds up to the regular one. Main difficulty, apart from the palette adjustments, is to reduce detail so the new higher-resolution sprite does not look totally out of place next to vanilla stuff. I've found that's about 0.7 scale max for monsters.

    3. Memfis


      Ohh, it's great to hear that you're thinking about the harmony in detailing. I've seen so many projects where hi-res stuff clashed with the original graphics badly.

  9. I've been working on lots of odds and ends since the last status update. So many I'll probably forget to mention a few of those here.


    Let's see... upgraded the breakable glass feature from 4 distinct states to a satisfactory 14; introduced more & customized debris for other breakable stuff; repainted several textures and trimmed obsoleted stuff from the resource WAD; detailing / refining / correcting lots of small stuff in existing levels. Also redid the "jumping monster" logic, which is now in a acceptable usable state. Current mapping focus is on E2M4, which is taken shape nicely. And while keeping a sharp eye on @printz's polyobject-portal developments.


    With the latest Eternity Engine update, it's finally possible to customize pickups thanks to EE dev @Altazimuth. So, I went ahead and... revamped the armor system for E2. Regular green armor now gives 50% and can be stacked to 200%; armor bonuses now give 2% extra. However, regular armor has a lousy absorption rate. So, I'm introducing a RPG-like element in the form of "armor tokens". The more you collect of these items over the course of the episode, the better your armor absorption is going to be. A form of permanent upgrade for your marine. If you already experienced OCD over the intermission 'secrets' tally, you can now worry about the 'items' tally as well. Whee! Going to run with this setup for a while; see if it performs satisfactory.

    1. Marn


      You're a friggin' madman <3

  10. I've spent some time exploring the EE-UDMF mapping format. It offers some more options for polyobject portals in particular that EE-DOOM format just does not provide. While seeing this stuff in small test setups makes you all giddy, it mostly is still too iffy to use in actual maps. Too many random visual / gameplay glitches, especially near other portals. Still, this stuff looks promising especially for a WIP... I wonder where the EE devs will be able to take this.


    Part of the experimentation included the manual conversion of a smaller level to EE-UDMF format. Whelp. I sure do not look forward to the absolutely enormous task of doing the same for the other, much larger levels. Will probably have to write my own custom tool in order to keep myself sane during that process.


    Not that I'm switching right now. There's no reason, yet.

  11. It's been a while since my last status update. Progress has been slow these last months. That's not to say nothing has happened. Some key areas in E2M3 are finished now; the final outdoors area is still waiting completion. You may have been the latest screenshot I posted on the "what are you working on? I wanna see your wads" thread.


    The rest of the time I've devoted to purely technical issues... like better textures; improvements in scripts, research... stuff like that.


    I will probably abandon E2M3 for a while, and focus on E2M2 next. That map needs some love desperately.


    My advice? Never do "filler" stuff, just for the sake of "being done". You know it's not up to par, and you will just end up replacing it anyway later on. Or worse: releasing it as is. If you don't feel creative enough, just don't open your map editor. It will still be there when the inspiration finally hits you.

    1. BigDickBzzrak


      How many maps will E2 have anyway?


      ...also sorry for sounding snarky, but you became a meme in the community for not doing filler stuff for the sake of being done

    2. Mordeth


      @bzzrak : There are currently six maps pretty much committed to inclusion for E2. In addition, there are lots of different map parts and other experiments lying about, which may or may not make it into new levels. At this point it's not likely that will happen: they are either being moved to a different episode for a better thematic fit, or they just don't bring a new idea or setup to the table that you haven't already seen used in the maps already committed.

  12. These last few days I've been exploring moving linked edge portals - at last. Now that I've got this working, creating an elevator as a box with a solid 3D floor and 3D ceiling that can (seemingly) travel between two portal planes seems to be theoretically possible. Until now I've been doing this with 3DMidTex elevators, with the same basic construction as used by the lift in the Vaporware demo. Remaining but crucial roadblock: the different edge portals for the elevator versus the edge connecting the two planes each require space, and I still need to find a solution for them not to interfere / overlap with each other before this can become of any practical use in an actual level.


    On a whim, I've also been working on a proof of concept for jumping hotspots. Placed on eg a raised platform, these invisible mapspots signal to a passing monster that it is possible to jump down here to the floor below. It only does so if the monster is jumping-enabled and its current target is actually situated on that lower floor.  This still requires a lot of tweaking to make the jump look right - not to mention sprite work. It is even possible to use this technique to make monsters crawl up or down structures (like pillars) to reach their targets.  Up to now this is basically just exploring the possibilities... not sure if I will end up using this.



  13. I've been keeping busy refactoring the yellow key area of E2M3. Originally a pretty bland straightforward area, a few key changes made the gameflow and -play interesting again. So far, I'm pretty happy how this latest incarnation turned out.


    Still haven't experimented with moving linked (edge) portals yet - for shame. First objective is to determine if I can redesign the current cross-portal 3DMidTex elevators (based on the same principle seen in the Vaporware demo) as a true 3D object.

  14. Not much progress has been made lately. A heatwave has decided to put up camp here, making it usually too hot to spend time sitting cooped up at home. Haven't even experimented with the new moving linked portals option yet..!


    What little time I did spend was focused on adjusting the facades of buildings in preparation of finishing the main outdoor area of E2M3.

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Albertoni


      @42PercentHealth It's simple. Quoting the wiki: Mordeth is a partial conversion by Gaston "Mordeth" Lahaut. The first six levels were released in 1997, while the remaining episodes are still in development.


      Basically, these whole 20 years were... Busy. First Mordeth lost a bunch of work in an incident. A loss of motivation followed, but in the end more time was spent making the Eternity Engine able to handle the features the rest of the Mordeth conversion will need.


      I might be wrong in some details, but that's basically it, a project that's 20 years in constant development.

    3. 42PercentHealth


      @Albertoni, Ah, ok. So it's like Half-Life 3 and Elder Scrolls 6, except that it's been 20 years?

    4. Albertoni


      A bit worse. We have clear, definite proof that Mordeth has been working all this time. But yeah.

  15. While pondering my options for E2M3, I went ahead and finally replaced the 'computer room paneling' texture subset. This is now based on a pattern taken from this submission by @YukiHerz.


    For the curious: a few other posters have also unwittingly made it to the credits section. For example, there's this texture submission by @Enjay over at the ZDoom forums on which E2's fan textures are based on; or a freesound.org sound submitted by @WildWeasel`. And there are the resources specifically made for the project, such as @ukiro's most excellent E3 house exteriors or the E2 subway car exteriors by Jonas Feragen.

    1. ukiro


      I made those textures, what, nearly 2 decades ago? This is not meant as a comment on your development pace—mine is even more abysmal, only less public—but rather a fascinating glimpse at the longevity Doom modding has had in our lives. I'm spending this Sunday morning in 2017 with a coffee drawing Doom textures, original palette and everything. Perhaps I have some you might like…

    2. Mordeth


      @ukiro: Let's look that up: on August 21st, 1998 I mentioned your new texture set as being ready.  And (nearly) two decades later, they really have not lost any of their shine... amazing :)

    3. ukiro


      Fascinating. I was a teenager living with my dad in northern Sweden then, I'm 38 and living in New York now. Yet Doom persists.

  16. Since the last update, I've finished the remaining work left pertaining to the breakable glass textures. Frustrated by soundsequences, I also implemented a similar ACS system for custom door actions and sounds. With this in place, doors can be locked, unlocked with assigned specials, complete with custom sounds and textures for any stage. Nice.


    A first attempt is being made at sketching out the last remaining big area of E2M3, after which this map will be pretty much feature complete.

  17. Today I finished creating proper glass textures in various stages of breaking. This took way too long. The impromptu placeholder textures I had so far are now being replaced in all maps. So far I'm pretty pleased with the results. Will probably take a few more days before this job is finished.


    Also, it turns out soundsequences can't duplicate the vanilla open-wait-close door sounds. There's no distinction between the 'open', 'wait' and 'close' periods. Meh :/

  18. I just saw BahdKo respond in a thread. Yes, Badhko.


    Do you guys know it was BahdKo was actually introduced me to the greater Doom community? Logging in to the erstwhile main Doom IRC channel with my own name, she told me to pick a *handle*, so I picked the name of my not-yet-released doom project "Mordeth". Much to the amusement of the residents there, considering there was already a guy present there using the handle "Deth"...


    You might think of me, @Linguica and @dukrous as "old-school"; us being founders of Doomworld nearly twenty years ago... but we were not, in fact, "old-school". We were the newcomers, the noobs. There was already a Doom community established at that time, using bulletin boards and the odd separate websites, in the days before Google even existed. TeamTNT already made its fame then, Adelusion and Fingers were the mapping celebrities, the Walnut Creek /idgames repository already established as our central hub.


    And that is why our Doom community still exist today. Because we welcome our noobs, just as this community welcomed the noobs called "Mordeth" and "Linguica" way back then. And in the same spirit, today's Cacowards winners are the people we welcomed to our little community just a few years before.

    1. traversd


      I've wondered at times if Adel is still doing game dev/modding stuff?

    2. Mordeth


      @traversd: According to Fingers at the time, he went back full-time to university and declined commercial game dev offers. As far as I know, he has not returned to modding or stayed in touch with anyone I know.

  19. Last days I did not do much at all due to either lack of time or just plain being tired. Still, the detailing of a major center piece of E2M3 is finished to my liking and I've been occupying myself with several modding odds and ends such as minor tweaks and sound design. For the latter, I usually scrounge sites such as freesound.org and adapt suitable soundbytes with Audacity to my needs.


    I've still not decided on a few key 'connections' between areas in E2M3, apart from some vague ideas. I'll probably return to this later and shift attention to other levels first.

  20. These past few days I did some much needed cleanup of the E2 ACS scripts. More importantly, I've started detailing a major but old section of E2M3.  And by "old", I mean "ancient". The level is in fact based on two rescued sections of a much older level that first made use of EE's just-released-but-then-unfinished portals. The only other level based on even older stuff is E2M5 of which you might have seen screenshots before ("catwalk suspended over poison basins"), although remade from scratch altogether.


    That's all that survived from the previous pre-portal incarnation of E2. The various type of portals really did transform the way I design levels in such a drastic way that most "finished" stuff was obsoleted instantly.


    Strictly speaking, there's also E3. Yes, that's still a thing too. Two of those levels are now partly rebuild with portals in mind. Although I'm focused on E2, I very occasionally go back to E3 when the inspiration hits me.


    1. Albertoni


      Good luck, man. Good luck. If episode 2 makes me feel one tenth as amazed as your first episode did, I'm nominating you for a cacoward and doing all I can so you'll win it.

  21. I've (finally) spend some time exploring the new Edge Portals in Eternity. They are basically an existing type of plane portal but unlike normal portals this plane does not need to match its surroundings. The exposed 'edge' is given a new linedef flag for a seamless transition. Hello tables, chairs and stairs :)


    Especially fun if combined with 2-way anchored portals. Unlike linked portals, anchored portals can be moved so you can create stuff like floating 3D platforms that bob up and down. You can even travel from underneath this platform back to the main area; but alas I have yet to find a way to travel from the main area back to the portal.

    1. esselfortium


      I'm eager to see what cool uses you find for these.

    2. printz


      Edge portals are meant for more complex structures than chairs and bridges :) stuff like new passages beneath other passages.

  22. Conversion to new breakable fixtures system has just been completed, although I will probably spend some more time tweaking stuff here and there in the coming days.

  23. It's a miracle..!


    So to recap: this breakable fixtures system I've been rambling about for the past days has two main components: a linedef that registers direct hitscan attacks and a nearby interactive mapspot that registers radius damage. The latter is done by the tried and tested method of giving this (invisible) mapspot a radius of 0, so that it becomes untargetable but still subject to blast damage.


    EE only has the "impact" flag for linedef activation, not the "missile" one. That means that players wielding the plasma rifle are out of luck: the mapspot only registers blast damage; the linedef only hitscans and never projectiles. And I was fully prepared to handwave this by giving the usual spiel that "energy weapons don't shatter stuff", etc.


    So I thought.


    Until, during testing of E2M1, some breakable glass was hit by plasma fire and...shattered as a result.  Wha..? Some debugging later, it turns out the mapspot is responsible for registering a projectile hit, despite the fact it is not / can not be targeted.


    Don't get me wrong: I'm absolutely delighted that this works. But I have NO CLUE how this is even possible.

    1. Arctangent


      Unless Eternity has an equivalent to the VULNERABLE flag from ZDoom's Decorate, I think the only way for something that gets damaged by explosions but not projectiles is for it to have 0 height ... and I wouldn't be surprised if some ports ( or, heck, even vanilla ) allow projectiles to collide with 0 height actors, because the actor still has a z-height.


      So, while I can't say I know what's happening from experience with Eternity, it's not improbable at all for the mapspot to be tall enough for projectiles be able to collide with and damage it. It would surprise me, since a mapspot having significant height is kinda weird to me, but if it's a type of mapspot specifically meant for reacting to projectiles and explosion, then it makes sense and isn't really strange.


      Though it would seem more than a bit cumbersome to use, considering actor hitboxes are axis-aligned squares from the top-down in basically every source port, and a demo-compat source port changing that is a concept that's pretty bizarre to me.

    2. Mordeth


      RE: Arctangent.


      Mapspot has 0 radius and 0 height, and yes this is specifically done to prevent it being targeted at all (so auto-aim does not lead your shots) while still being vulnerable to radius damage. It does not have Z-height, but is spawned at floor level. EE does have a "correct_height" Thing property, but the default here is also 0.


      And yet, I can fire a plasma shot at the top of a 128 unit tall glass texture but it registers an actual collision with this 0 radius / 0 height mapspot sitting at floor level. Weird.


      So weird in fact that I have never actually tested this before, assuming plasma just wouldn't work. Heh.

  24. Just finished working out all the kinks in the new mapspot spawning scripts.  E2M3 is now converted to this system. The other maps follow in the next couple of days.

  25. So, popular opinion (meaning, 8 peeps) has it that this space will be used for Mordeth E2 status updates. Very well.


    Lots of stuff in E2 is breakable, from animated ventilation fans to computer screens to glass windows. Some of this breaks at first impact; other stuff (notably the glass windows) crack progressively after initial damage and only shatter after sufficient damage has been dealt to it. Hitscan attacks are registered by the linedef itself; blast damage however was registered by likewise-tagged custom mapspots. Those mapspots also served to provide the x, y and z coordinates plus byteangle orientation to spawn the appropriate debris objects after destruction (eg. glass shards or metal shrapnel).


    Problem is, putting down those mapspots and using CLED / ExtraData to assign them to the proper ID / action is a lot of hassle. Especially when you typically have a few hundred of them for each map. So wouldn't it be nice if I could, like, NOT have to place mapspots..?


    Enter the new ACS functions GetLineX() and GetLineY(). With these, I can retrieve the X and Y coordinate plus deduct byteangle from the tagged linedef itself, without the need for an existing mapspot. The Z coordinate I can get by tagging the adjacent sector with the same tag and using GetSectorFloorZ(). The different types of breakable stuff I can currently only handle by making use of tag ranges.


    This means I only have to tag linedefs within a certain tag range and have a corresponding ExtraData field to assign a similar ID and action to the linedef. I can then use ACS to automatically spawn in the appropriate mapspots within the first second of gameplay. This is also future-proof, when (or rather: "if" ) there's going to be a doom to UDMF-EE format conversion tool.


    So these last few days has been spent tweaking the new scripts and reporting the inevitable bugs to the EE folks. Today I've started to convert the first map (E2M3) to the new system.

    1. printz


      Why not post updates like this in your Mordeth website? Just to revive it. https://www.doomworld.com/mordeth/

    2. Mordeth


      I've lost my credentials. Yes, sure, Linguica could probably set me up now that Doomworld is independently hosted but so far I haven't really felt the need.