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Omniarch

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About Omniarch

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    Malign Master of All Creation. That or just another random D∞mer

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  1. Omniarch

    PUSS XXII: The Chilling Winds of Dis [DECEMBER SPEEDMAPPING]

    This is an absolutely fascinating theme. It's not every day a totally original resource pack of this caliber appears, that's for sure. I'm tempted to submit something myself... (no promises, mind: post-cacoward Doom burnout is a thing!). Regardless, I am very interested to see what the participants come up with!
  2. Omniarch

    Doom Pictures Thread 2022

    Into Omni's City:
  3. Omniarch

    Doom Pictures Thread 2022

    Thank you :) Interestingly, the sky is a colour remapped and vertically inverted version of a Mechadon skybox. I wanted to make it feel like the inside of a giant alien god computer, and am quite pleased with the result. This texture scheme is my own creation, though the assets themselves are mostly from the original public TNT2 resource wad (if memory serves) and the Useful Flats pack from R667.
  4. Omniarch

    Doom Pictures Thread 2022

    Been doing a bit of COMP-derived visual prototyping:
  5. Omniarch

    The Dean of Doom series (companion thread)

    In principle, there is nothing wrong with the whole "art as dialogue" bit, and trying to discern the intent (i.e design priorities / goals) of a map is downright essential for good criticism. However, getting into a huff and ascribing your subjective frustration to authorial egotism is ill-befitting of a high-profile critic, especially when said frustration is partially a result of one's own self-imposed restrictions (should have invoked the "except in cases when it's just not worth it" exception on a few ones here, me thinks). Before anyone misses the point and responds with the whole "he's allowed to have his opinions, dude" bit, note that I only bring this up because of MtPain's response to Yugiboy's criticism on YT, as posted by the man himself earlier in this thread. Additionally, I have long taken umbrage with his tendency to (implicitly or otherwise) ascribe negative intent to mappers (several examples of which have been brought up in this thread already), and am only posting now because I thought he'd gotten over it by now. I say the above as a fan of the show, mind you, and as someone who has yet to play BTSX E2. Personally, I very much doubt MtPain has any ill-intent towards the mappers or whatever; this little controversy strikes me more of an inevitable result of a systemic tendency to read too much into authorial intent, going beyond the critically-necessary discernment of design priorities / goals and into an implicit assessment of the author's character, which, while generally innocent, turns sour when compounded with frustration partially born of an adherence rigid set of rules that, by their nature, serve some maps better than others. Ultimately, it is MtPain's prerogative to style his reviews as he pleases, and my complaints amount to little more than minor, subjective blemishes on what is otherwise a very well-produced and well-written show that knows what it wants to achieve and does so competently. Also, as a final note, his mapper-centric approach can also have very positive outcomes: by way of example, I can imagine that many newer Doomers (like myself) have put Darkwave's work on their playlists as a result of MtPain's presentation of him. Few reviwers so eloquently and emphatically voice their appreciation of the mappers themselves, and that's my favourite aspect of the show. That's why this sort of pettiness stands out to me, and why I find it bothersome.
  6. Omniarch

    Favorite exploration/puzzle maps?

    I shall cap my recommendations to ten for the sake of convenience, one per wad, since otherwise we'd be here until the heat death of the universe. In ascending order of personal preference: "Lightbringer" (Three's A Crowd MAP11) by Scypek2 A compact and extremely inventive vanilla puzzle map that (as the name implies) makes excellent use of lighting as a puzzle mechanic in a way that I shall refrain from spoiling. This map is somewhat of an odd choice for this list, being less of an individual recommendation and more of a vehicle for plugging its parent wad, which is chock-full of ingenious puzzles and exploratory experiences. For those with a taste for the avant garde and / or an interest in vanilla hackery, the set as a whole comes highly recommended. "Transmitter" (URE2020 M9) by Zylinderkatze Technically more of a linear adventure map than a true exploratory experience, Transmitter is nevertheless one of the finest of its breed: a lengthy vanilla adventure where mere progression counts on its own as a puzzle. URE2020 in general is liable to delight fans of exploratory and puzzle-oriented maps, as well as those with a taste for doomcute detailing and innovative sector machinery. "Kloneteildiens" (Nihility: Infinite Teeth M7) by years A labyrinthine techbase, heavily inspired by OG Doom's second episode and dripping with menace and intrigue, Kloneteildiens is a masterclass in D1-style basecrawling with the horror elements of the original brought front and center. Like all the other maps in the set, midi music is forsaken here in exchange for an eerie silence, oft broken by a range of Quake-derived ambient sound effects (all implemented via vanilla dehacked) and the growls and groans of the damned. Nihility is among the most atmospheric wads I've played, immersive to a degree few others achieve. Strongly recommended for fans of the original Doom's second episode. "Castle of Evil" (CASTEVIL) by Stanley Stasiak A large stand-alone map for the original Doom released all the way back in 1994, Castle of Evil is, despite its age, one of the best exploratory maps out there, with a lengthy, non-linear progression to unravel and dozens (!) of secrets to find. If you can get over the map's aged presentation, Castle of Evil will doubtless provide an hour or more of puzzle-solving and rip-snorting adventure. If you wish to read more about this antideluvian artefact, I have written a post about it on the Wadarchaeology thread. "A Crack in the Skull" (Skulltiverse MAP15) by El Inferno A fascinating take on the Wormhole concept, A Crack in the Skull is essentially one giant progression puzzle, with strong visuals and finely-tuned, challenging combat. This one really is best experienced with minimal foreknowledge, so I shall reftain from elaborating further. "Miasma" (Miasma) by Tourniquet A vast, intricate non-linear megamap, Miasma is one of the most impressive advanture maps of all time, masterfully crafted across every domain and drenched in a dense otherworldly atmosphere. Devious secrets and tight, puzzle-like encounters abound in this sprawling magnum opus, offering potentially an hour or more's worth of engagement for those so inclined. While the map's relatively high difficulty (especially on UV) may be off-putting for some, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to any player with an appreciation for long-form, non-linear maps. "The Flooded District" (Ashes: Afterglow) by Vostyok While not strictly a map in the traditional sense (Ashes: Afterglow being one of the few Geezy wads to make use of the Hexen level structure), Flooded District stands out in my mind as one of the greatest examples of realism in waddom, immersing me in its bleak post-apocalyptic setting to a greater degree than many professional titles. Large in scope and packed with secrets and narrative tidbits, this map is a true delight to unravel. I am a fan of neither GZDoom nor total conversions, but I emphatically recommend Ashes: Afterglow to all those with a thirst for adventure and exploration. It is, with no exaggeration, one of the most impressive creations ever to come out of the Doom scene in terms of both polish and scope. "Ventose" (Deadly Standards 3 M4) by Roofi Hands down my favourite release of 2021 (a massive feat, given the staggering volume and quality of the competition), Ventose is a colossal, inscrutable dreamscape moreso than a mere Doom level. To quote my cacoward writeup on the subject: For fans of puzzle-solving and exploration alike, I cannot recommend this map enough. "River Valley" (Lost Civilization MAP04) by Jaska Lost Civilization is, without a doubt, one of the most unique and brilliant creations to ever grace waddom, and River Valley is perhaps its most iconic outing; an almost transcendental experience, a sublime melange of beautifully rendered architecture and environments drawn from all corners of the European continent with some of the best exploration and dynamic, open-field combat ever created. This is all I shall say on the matter. Lost Civilization is a truly special work, and I would encourage any and all players to give it a shot, regardless of preference. I cannot recommend this one highly enough. "Sanctuary of Filth" (No End In Sight E4M6) by NaturalTvventy Without a doubt my favourite map of all time, Sanctuary of Filth is almost beyond description: a vast, decaying edifice of rotten concrete and demonic machienery, its nukage-clogged innards crawling with nasties and abundant in evil traps and devious secrets. Merely reaching the exit is a grueling battle against the odds, the map's core progression being more obscure and non-linear than the carefully hidden secret exits of kinder outings. This map is the apotheosis of No End In Sight's design philosophy, the crown jewel among the set's many great exploratory outings (some of which, if not for the one-per-wad rule, would doubtless be on this very list). Despite its overwhelming hostility, or perhaps because of it, Sanctuary of Filth has stuck with me like no other map in waddom, and I cannot recommend it highly enough, to those with the stamina for a 2+ hour playthrough and a willingness to put up with all manner of sadistic abuse on the part of the mapper at any rate.
  7. Omniarch

    What makes you decide to play or skip a WAD?

    My selection process goes something like this: 1) Browse W&M, checking for interesting titles and any releases / previews by mappers that I like the work of. In the case of the former, clever, descriptive or evocative titles tend to sway me in favour of a wad, while silly, generic or misspelled ones tend have the opposite effect. This step is of course skipped if I discover the wad via other means, such as word-of-mouth or a picture thread or whatever. 2) Check port compatibility. If the wad is GZDoom-only, move on, unless something about the project really grabs my attention. While I have greatly enjoyed projects targeting the port in the past, my general distaste for most advanced features and unwillingness to tweak a thousand different settings to my liking mean that playing Geezy exclusives is rarely worth the effort for me. 3) Examine the opening post, taking into account screenshots along with the general quality of the post itself, which is determined first by information conveyed and second by aesthetic considerations (e.g well-made titlepics and inset headings and such). For older releases with no forum presence, try to acquire the relevant information via other means, such as idgames reviews, cacoward writeups, ONEMANDOOM posts and Doomwiki articles. 4) Taking all information contained within the OP into account, try to determine the meta characteristics of the wad (such as genre) and decide whether or not to download it based on the result. Certain genres, like retro-revisionist / retro-progressive works (the 'TWiD movement being an example of the former, and NEIS the latter) and modernist 'blockbuster' style content (e.g every skillsaw release since Lunatic, Eviternity etc) hold immense appeal to me, while others are either inaccessible due to difficulty (e.g Ribbiks-esque combat puzzles and most slaughter content) or are of lesser interest for other reasons (e.g most gimmick-oriented / newbie-heavy community projects). Sometimes I like to stray beyond my preferences of course, but in general I am a creature of habit and tend to stick within my comfort zone. 5) If the wad passes 4), download it and fire up the first map. There is no consistent approach here, since Doom wads can engage in many different ways and be judged along a range of axes. In the case of mapsets, if I am very impressed by the first map, I will play the rest map-to-map to preserve the surprise-factor of the rest of the set. If I am undecided by the first map, I will often idclev around a skim some of the other maps before deciding to continue. If the first map fails to grab me, I may skip ahead a couple of levels just to make sure the set isn't a dud before dropping it.
  8. Omniarch

    Coffee break wads

    Here's a handful of recent releases that may take your fancy: Amorphous Euphoria - a surreal, lim-rem Lilith-esque epiosde courtesy of SuperCupcakeTactics of Augur;Zenith fame and a collection of mappers from the young Doom Universe forum, reminiscent of the DBP series in its design philosophy. Consists largely of short, experimental maps, many of which abound in doomcute detailing, with an emphasis on presentation and high-concept over combat and exploration. Fans of DBPs and similar themed projects will most likely enjoy this one. Anomaly Report - a classic-style vanilla megawad by legendary retro-enthusiast valkiriforce. Elegantly combines '90s design sensibilities with a certain modern polish. Maps tend to be small but dense, featuring a nice mix of incidental combat and exploration, ala Ultimate Doom, punctuated by the occasional set-piece encounter, all underscored by a selection of classic '90s midis. This set is great for casual, piece-meal consumption, providing a consistent level of enjoyment throughout its 32-map run. Highly recommended for anyone with a taste for oldschool design sensibilities. Elysium's Curse and Hydrosphere - a pair of highly attractive miniwads in the modernist school, emphasising brevity, flow and refined presentation as the primary modes of engagement. Both of these are highly enjoyable single-sitting experiences. Mayan Reyolds, Pagodia and What Remains - the cream of the Squonker miniwads (in my not-even-remotely humble opinion), each putting a distinct and memorable aesthetic spin on the flow-focused, combat-centric design sensibilities of Egg Boy's semi-regular series. All these consist of a single-digit collection of speedmaps from series regulars, capped off by one or two showstealer guestmaps by high-profile mappers, a formula which gives the wads a clear engagement curve that encourages single-sitting playthroughs. All these come highly recommended, especially for fans of long-running themed series such as the DBPs.
  9. Omniarch

    Cacoward winners being overrated.

    I would question the efficacy of the term “overrated” in the context of waddom, or indeed any artspace that is not subject to market forces. I am aware that the term is generally used to describe the negative emotions that can arise when “people” (usually nameless inhabitants of the same sphere of interest) appear, from the viewpoint of the subject, to hold a given piece of media (or broader set of preferences) in higher regard than said subject does. This effect is compounded when the subject feels that their own preferences are held in lower esteem than the target of outrage, which can often induce a vague sense of persecution in the subject. This overblown reaction is, of course, ridiculous, though I imagine most have experienced it to some degree (I certainly have). When used in this context, the term “overrated” has little analytical value, instead serving as a means to encapsulate an entirely emotive position. To convey anything other than a vague, unjustifiable sense of outrage, the term “overrated” needs to be used with care. Here’s my method: Fundamentally, three components are required: 1. A subjective assessment of the target media on the part of the subject. 2. Empirical proof of the target’s relative popularity and prestige. 3. Tangible effects resulting from the relative popularity and prestige of the target, which are then evaluated subjectively. To illustrate the point, I shall make use of an example that is a) well known and b) has no bearing on any of my personal interests: the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Someone who describes the MCU as “overrated” can very easily meet the requirements of my proposed use of the term. For the sake of specificity, let’s say that this subject’s main critique of the franchise is its focus on broader interconnectivity at the expense of individual movies / series / whatever. This is a subjective but reasonable position to take. That fulfils (1). For (2), the subject need not look far for evidence: the franchise is enormously popular on a global scale, and has made billions of USD across many domains, and is held in high regard by a large portion of its audience. Finally, for (3), the subject need not look further than the many attempts by other franchises to replicate the MCU’s success, demonstrating the target’s tangible effect on its host mediums. Based on this, the subject can feel justified in calling the MCU “overrated”, because it can be proven to be both popular and influential, which, under market conditions, can have a detrimental effect on the subject’s consumption of media, both by crowding out potentially more desirable media – investor money and, ultimately, movie-goers’ disposable incomes are both finite resources, after all – and also by encouraging imitation. This does not mean that the subject’s reaction is purely rational, of course: the same trivial concerns I described earlier are more likely than not to apply in this case as well. The difference is that this subject can back up their “outrage” with provable negative effects on their quality of life, however ultimately trivial and insubstantial these may be. The above methodology isn’t the only reasonable way to use the term, of course. I myself have found another major use-case with regards to bought (or otherwise money-gated) media: namely, to describe a disconnect between the general perception of the target piece of media (especially its perception by influential figures such as critics, well-known reviewers, social media influencers etc) and its actual demonstrable qualities in a way which forms a misleadingly positive view of it in the subject’s mind, which causes said subject to purchase the target media. The subject, having now wasted some quantity of money on the target, can now justifiably call it “overrated”, since the disconnect described earlier essentially amounts to false advertising from a subjective point of view. Now, with all that being said, I will now (belatedly) explain the rationale behind my opening statement: both of the “reasonable” use-cases described above require the target media to be subject to market forces in order to function correctly. Both require there to be some large-scale “opinion-conveying” system, so that the target’s relative popularity can be empirically proved, whether that be a site like IMDB, Goodreads or MyAnimeList, which compiles user ratings and reviews for a given (set of) medium(s), or any service that allows for product reviews and so on and so on. Systems on this scale almost always depend on the large audience sizes that market-subject media / products generate. (aside: while free content on sites like YT or whatever can generate immense traffic, the lack of pay-gating means that there is little need for “curation” services, since users are unlikely to lose anything more valuable than a few minutes of their time to free media, as opposed to the actual cashbucks required to buy a game or book or streaming service subscription or whatever) In the case of the second method, there has to be some possibility of actual financial loss in order for it to function, again requiring the target to be pay-gated in some way and thus subject to market forces. TL;DR So, finally, my point: Doom wads cannot be reasonably described as overrated because a) there is no empirical way of judging something’s popularity in the Doom community due to its decentralised nature, small size and subsequent lack of large-scale “opinion-conveying” infrastructure, b) because one has nothing to lose when trying out an “overrated” wad save perhaps a few minutes of their time, so there’s no harm in excessive or misleading hype and c) due to the lack of market forces, there is little incentive for other creators to imitate or draw inspiration from high-profile wads beyond said creators’ own preferences, meaning that an “overrated” wad is unlikely to have any effect on the availability of one’s preferred style of content. Thus, the term “overrated” is overrated in this context. /rant … Actually, before I climb down from my massive, precarious tower of soap-boxes, here’s the thread-tax: people should honestly just see the cacowards for what they are: a series of relatively high-profile opinion pieces, nothing more, nothing less. There’s no pretence of curation, not that I can see anyway (as a member of the committee, I have more insight than most, mind); that label and the associated baggage is a symptom of circumstance rather than intent, from what I can tell at any rate. It would be better for all if this “institution” was seen as a highly subjective celebration of some of waddom’s finest content rather than some divine value-judgement. (note: this post is not intended as a call-out or response or whatever. I just saw the term "overrated" and couldn't resist the urge to ramble, heh)
  10. Eight* of my faves in alphabetical order, along with some unfocused rambling for each: AI War: Fleet Command An obscure indie genre-buster, combining elements of RTS, Grand Strategy, Tower Defense and even lite RPG mechanics. The premise is simple: you, the player, are tasked with leading the broken remnants of humanity in a desperate guerilla struggle against an overwhelmingly powerful machine intelligence, capable of wiping you out in short order should you provoke it prematurely. This conflict lies at the heart of the game; an experience of desparate struggle against a powerful, dynamic opponent which relies on a complex series of overlapping systems to create the illusion of intelligent opposition as opposed to the dull, predictable scripted AIs that dominate the strategy genre. Amusingly, as a teen I was so enamoured with this game and its (surprisingly extensive) lore that I wrote a 60,000+ word space opera heavily inspired by it, along with Star Wars and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Crusader Kings II The first Paradox Interactive Grand Strategy game to appear on this list, CK2 is best described as a medieval role-playing game with strategy elements. The premise is thus: you play as a land-holding noble somewhere in 8th-13th century Eurasia (sans East and Southeast asia), and your sole objective is to further your dynasty by whatever means, for when the last eligable member of your family dies, the game ends. The core gameplay consists of a mixture of interpersonal interaction, diplomacy, succession rule lawyering, plotting and war-waging, all conducted from a series of menus overlayed over the game's massive and colourful strategic map. While far from realistic, CK2 does capture the essence of the back-biting power struggles that have long defined the interactions between people in positions of power; I often found myself considering abhorrent actions (such as fratricide) as casually and clinically as I would the choice of weapon in a Doom combat encounter, which is very much to the game's credit. It also has a very immersive atmosphere despite its necessarily abstract presentation, largely as a result of a superb OST combined with intelligently designed UI and SFX, which really get one in the zone for some morally bankrupt aristocratic funtimes. Dark Souls III As a general rule, I think it is fair to say that one's first Souls(borne-Sekiro-Ring) game is typically one's life long favourite, and DS3 is my personal proof of this - while I adore both Elden Ring and Sekiro (the other two games in the 'franchise' which I have played extensively), nothing will ever be able to replace the transcendent moments of triumph against gamings coolest opponents, nor the profound melancholy brought on by hours spent in a beautifully-realized dying world about to gasp its last, exhausted breath, nor the myriad other unique experiences this game has given me over the years. While it may lack DS1's masterful level design, DS2's interesting narrative, Bloodborne and Sekiro's focused consistency or Elden Ring's awe-inspiring grandeur, DS3 exceeds its peers in two crucial respects from my perspective: atmosphere and boss design. I have no objective argument in the case of the former: I'm just a sucker for the dying world shtick, really; in the case of the latter, though, I am confident in saying that DS3's boss roster is unmatched in terms of sheer quality. Ask yourself this: what other Souls game can compete boss-for-boss with DS3's mid / late game lineup? The Abyss Watchers, Pontiff Sulyvahn, The Boreal Dancer, Champion Gundyr, Lorian and Lothric, The Nameless King, Soul of Cinder, Sister Friede, The Demon Princes and Slave Knight Gael are all spectacular and memorable fights with tough-but-fair mechanics and excellent lore. Much as I love the exploration aspect of these games (and believe me, I love the exploratory mode of engagement almost above all others), it is these awesome battles that stick in my memory the longest, and no other games (Souls or otherwise) can compete in this regard. Dominions 5 An obscure turn-based indie strategy game where you play as one of twenty or so mythology-inspired fantasy nations, with the sole objective putting your custom 'pretender' god on the Throne of Ascension, left vacant by the unexplained disappearance of the world's former chief deity (the 'Pantokrator'). This game is by far the most alienating on this list by conventional standards, due to its dated graphics, horrific UI, bafflingly complex mechanics and AAA price tag. Needless to say, 'tis right up my alley, heh. It's hard to describe why I like the game so much, but it may have something to do with the fact that you could quite concievably have a battle between Norse demigod horsemen wreathed in Glamour (a common fantasy concept, usually manifesting in the form of partial or full invisibility) and blood-powered Samurai demon ogres supported by mercenary mermaids wearing player-manufactured air-breathing necklaces, or any of a hundred similarly absurd and hilarious combinations. Idk man, I just like it. Doom I don't need to explain this one, heh. Just read, well, any of my lengthy posts on the matter to gain some insight into my love for this game. Moving on. Hollow Knight A beautiful, original and thoroughly engaging indie metroidvania, with a profoundly immersive atmosphere, gripping story, fascinating lore / world-building, surprisingly difficult and complex combat, ultra-responsive controls and paradoxically weighty and impactful gamefeel. While I do not generally play side-scrolling platformers (childhood flash game escapades aside), this one very quickly lodged itself in my Hall of Gametm due to all the reasons outlined above. Truly, a lovely indie gem, near and dear to my heart. Now, all I need is a Silksong release date... Get on it, Team Cherry! Your Omniarch commands it! Total Annihilation A truly ingenious RTS from the late '90s, featuring a (for the time) advanced physics engine and a weighty gamefeel that has yet to be replicated anywhere else in the genre, along with a similarly unparalled level of depth and complexity in its simulation of futuristic combined arms warfare. The premise is simple: there are two factions of self-replicating war machines that have been fighting for 4,000 years for reasons long forgotten, each headed by a sole remaining 'Commander' (giant fuck-off sapient mecha). You take control of one of these commanders and try to destroy your opponent's chassis before they destroy yours. At the highest level, TA is just like any other RTS from the '90s, featuring a singleplayer campaign to teach you the mechanics but with an ultimate focus on symmetrical competitive multiplayer. What sets it apart from most others, afore-mentioned gamefeel and complexity aside, is its invention of the so-called 'stream economy', which differs from the standard 'collect resource, drop off resource, spend resource like currency' model that dominates the genre by instead using a 'flow' style of income / expenditure, wherein resources are collected and spent at steady, per second rates, with player-built storage capacity acting as a buffer against 'stalling' (overspending). One interesting aspect of this setup is that every unit has a set resource value, which can be partially reclaimed via salvaging, making every battleground a potential resource. TA was ahead of its time, and frankly ours, in many ways. It also has a dedicated modding community nearly a quarter-century after its release (much like another favourite of mine), which helps keep the game interesting. Victoria II Likely my most-played game of all time at this point, Vicky 2 is by far the grandest of the grand strategy games I've played, boasting a fully-functional population simulation which models the needs and political beliefs of every household in the world (in an abstract fashion of course) as well as a truly dynamic global goods market. Every decision made on the part of the player directly effects the lives of millions of people: raise taxes too high, and the populace will not be able to afford vital goods, leading to massive unrest and possible revolution; wage a brutal war of attrition, and watch and your fighting-age population is decimated, potentially crippling your country in the long term. These are but a few small examples of the kinds of effects your decisions can have. Now, it is important to mention that this game is, by conventional standards, completely and utterly broken, especially in its vanilla form. The AI especially suffers from a completely immersion-breaking and challenge-negating level of incompetence, which limits the potential engagement of the singleplayer experience significantly. Multiplayer is also subpar, prone to regular desynchronisation and praticed by a small handful of often toxic individuals. There are also innumerable QoL issues that make playing the game a chore more often than not. Why, then, have I sunk so many hours into it? Simple, really: it's the only option when it comes to this kind of deep simulation. Despite its flaws, the game is a work of almost unparalled genius that keeps me coming back year on year like an abused but co-dependent spouse. Needless to say, I do not recommend this title. * I ran out of writing energy, heh.
  11. Omniarch

    Starfield Official Gameplay Reveal

    Leave it to Besthesda to create the most generic possible setting / aesthetic for their space opera game. The whole near-future space colonial shtick is one of the most played out concepts in SFF, so naturally the minds behind the (similarly generic and aesthetically bland) Skyrim portion of the Elder Scrolls universe would gravitate towards it. Frankly, SF creators should be banned from using the "2xxx century early interstellar expansion" trope-set until they develop some degree of imagination. Also, anyone who proposes to use the words "United" or "Free" in their faction names should be shot immediately.
  12. Omniarch

    "New year, new URE" - URE:E2 - E2M2 up!

    A much more compact experience this time around, though it still took me ~20 mins to unravel completely. As always, the detailing is exquistite, the atmosphere on point and the sector machinery inventive and satisfying to interact with. It was also very cool to actually see some of the stuff you've been posting about on here for months 'in person', so to speak. Here's a few things that I particularly liked: The tag 40 headlight toggle - I find any sort of superfluous light-based interactivity oddly satisfying and immersive, and this is a very nice example thereof. The entire barrel loading / canal area in the south-east of the map - a great example of pseudo-realist architecture, through which one can gain a strong intuitive sense of the fallen base's original function. The reactor area - just a cool set-piece in general, with lots of sector machinery to play with. I could go on, but this isn't a review, heh. I'll save that sort of granular analysis until after the set's full release... I did find one minor issue: the sector 204 lifts cannot be lowered from the inside, which is a potential soft-lock. Also, a more minor nitpick: I think the 'response' to the player acquiring the chainsaw is comically disproportionate, given that the BFG is present in the map lol. Not a fault, really, but a decision I find slightly odd.
  13. Lunar Something or Other A modest map I put together over the weekend, making use of the wonderful Syringe resources. The focus here is on chaotic, dynamic encounters that require some modest space-management skills to navigate. Key features: limit-removing port required no difficulty settings implemented tested with: DSDA-Doom, Crispy Doom, GZDoom, Eternity weapons: RL (primary), SSG and BFG (support) Commentary: my intention was to create a map centered around the RL, with the SSG being used primarily for dispatching enemies in close quarters in order to make room for rocketfire. Unfortunately, the SSG only really ended up being useful for half of the big fights, due to my inexperience with fine-tuning monster-space relationships. The BFG is mainly present to add a bit of variety to the final encounter, as well as a mini-objective of sorts to give the player a clear direction in the otherwise choatic situation.
  14. Omniarch

    Doom Pictures Thread 2022

    Finished a map for the first time in ages. This one is inspired by Syringe's moon episode.
  15. Omniarch

    A book about any wad of your choice

    “Wake up babe, the new Omnidump just dropped!” “No one cares, just let me sleep dammit!” Good grief, it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. Brace yourself, dear reader: this is gonna be a biggie. Enjoy! *** Great thread idea, though I find it impossible to nominate a single set, heh. If coerced, I would most likely choose one of the following in this context (though would doubtless pay actual money for quality tomes on all of them): No End In Sight An obvious choice from my perspective, as anyone remotely familiar with my posting habits can attest, both due to my simple adoration of the set and, more importantly, the many interesting ‘narrative’ threads one could pull together through discussing it, since a straight-forward descriptive piece would be of little value to me. By way of example, one could easily fold in a discussion of the ‘TWiD movement from which NEIS ultimately stems, not to mention the retro / retro-revisionist thought underpinning that; one could also include an analysis of the two lead mappers’ styles and histories, as well as the evolution of said styles over the course of the set’s development. I could go on, but I think the point is clear: this wealth of meta-material, and the resulting opportunities for interesting digressions, serves to enhance the potential value of the piece beyond the contents of the set itself. That’s not to downplay the value of discussing the individual maps of course, the majority of which could be the subject of a cacoward-length writeup at minimum, with the cream easily deserving their own Omnidump or equivalent. One could comfortably fill half of a standard 200-page paperback with just individual map analyses (some 30,000 words’ worth going by the average word-to-page ratio of 300/1), with the remainder consisting of various digressions and foundational material. Personally, I’d have the book structured like so: Introduction: sets the stage and provides a brief outline of the set. Includes a ‘Meet The Mappers’ aside. Background: contains a condensed history and examination of the ‘TWiD movement, its goals, its priorities and the practical manifestations thereof; the state of Ultimate Doom mapping circa 2011 is also discussed. DTWiD With NT Characteristics: covers the first episode of NEIS on a map-by-map basis, interleaved with asides covering NT’s prior works, the origins of NEIS as an offshoot of the DTWiD movement, and the history and general attributes of KDiTD-style wads before NEIS. The Point of Divergence: covers the second episode of NEIS on a map-by-map basis, interleaved with asides covering Xaser’s pivotal role in the set’s evolution and the history and attributes of TSoH-style wads before NEIS. A Different Sort of Hell: covers the third episode of NEIS on a map-by-map basis, interleaved with asides covering the concept of alienation in the interactive medium and the history and attributes of Inferno-style wads before NEIS. Thy Limits Removed: covers the fourth episode of NEIS on a map-by-map basis, plus an aside on the history and attributes of TFC-style wads before NEIS, and the interesting ways in which the set interacts with the TFC theme. Epilogue: conclusion followed by a personal retrospective on the set. Includes a segment about the abortive NEIS2 and Syringe, as well as a dissertation on the immense potential of the set’s design philosophy in a D2 context. Note: when I refer to ‘map-by-map’ structure, I am not implying an isolated set of mini-reviews. Rather, I would ideally like to see various continuous threads of analysis be carried over from section to section, so that by the end of the book the reader would be left with a comprehensive understanding not just of the maps themselves, but the threads of design that link them all into a cohesive whole. The Blockbuster Megawad Quartet Okay, this one is kind of stretching the premise of the thread a little, but allow me to elaborate. First off, definitions: what is a “blockbuster” megawad, and which instances thereof constitute this mysterious “quartet”? “Blockbuster'', from my perspective, is a label used to describe wads with a certain set of characteristics, best exemplified by the works of skillsaw, starting with Vanguard and reaching maturity in Valiant. These characteristics are, in no particular order: a flair for the cinematic, usually taking the form of technically impressive, almost Hollywood-esque set-pieces and climaxes; extremely refined and distinctive aesthetics, underlined by easily recognizable themes (e.g the Lunar theme from Lunatic and Valiant, or the egyptian / mesoamerican theme from the first episode of Ancient Aliens ); fluid, dynamic combat punctuated with often dramatic set-piece encounters; a heavily-modified bestiary and sometimes armoury, with an emphasis on game-changing new monsters; a strong sense of consistency across all domains (visual, mechanical, narrative etc), and finally, a heavy emphasis on accessibility and broad appeal, achieved through the attractive nature of all the above characteristics and carefully-balanced difficulties which cater to a range of skill-levels and tastes. Note: there is significant overlap between what I refer to as ‘blockbuster’ style content and ‘modern’ style content. I do not wish to go into detail here regarding my thoughts on what constitutes this ‘modernist’ movement; suffice to say that I would consider the ‘blockbuster’ genre to be a subset of it. Based on these definitions, there are four megawads that I am aware of which meet most or all of the criteria, and which are, as a result, the foremost examples of this approach in the popular imagination (or my heavily biased totally objective perception thereof). These are, in order of release: Valiant, Ancient Aliens, Eviternity and Tarnsman’s Projectile Hell. Each of these is a masterpiece in its own right, fully deserving of the thread’s premise. Why, then, have I lumped them all together? Simple: the complex relationships between these juggernauts, as well as their massive influence on the public consciousness, are almost as interesting to me as the individual sets themselves. Ideally, I would want books on all of them, arranged as a series which follows up on points raised in earlier entries as they become relevant, ordered like so: a tightly-interconnected duology or even double-length volume covering Valiant and Ancient Aliens, followed by a volume each for Eviternity and Tarnsman’s Projectile Hell in order of release. I’ll now go through each of the four sets, and highlight facets of the broader topic which I would like to see discussed in depth within the context of each volume. Do note that these asides are not comprehensive in any way, and are to be taken more as examples than anything else. Also, a deep examination of each of the sets themselves in their respective volumes is to be taken as a given, and shall not be discussed here. Without further ado: Valiant: this would be the most backward-looking of all the volumes, since its subject is arguably the first true instance of the ‘blockbuster’ style as I have defined it. I would like to see all of skillsaw’s past work discussed in relation to the subject wad, as well as any direct inspirations behind the various elements of its design and presentation. I would also like to see an examination of the features and origins of the deceptively minimalist texturing style that underlines not just blockbuster wads but the entire “modernist” movement of which Valiant is an essential component. Similarly, an exploration of the set’s particular blend of dynamic and encounter-based combat would be of great interest to me, since, again, this approach has proven highly influential. Ancient Aliens: this volume would be the most focused on its subject, as opposed to the meta surrounding it, since Ancient Aliens is in many ways a spiritual sequel to Valiant and thus inherits much of its surrounding context. The main meta-tier aspect that interests me is the interaction between the many guest mappers and the set’s resources and design priorities, which would make for an interesting aside. Amusingly, I would be inclined to throw in a call to action of sorts at the end, exploring the vast untapped potential of AA-Tex in an attempt to encourage its use in future wads, because I find the lack of such content to be both baffling and profoundly disappointing (no, I will not ‘do it myself’. Don’t @ me). Eviternity: this volume’s meta examination would focus on three main avenues: the subject wad’s relationship with Valiant and Ancient Aliens; its era-defining implementation of OTEX, and its massive popularity beyond the confines of DW and related spaces. Of the quartet, Eviternity has had the greatest influence on my day-to-day Doom consumption, having inspired a wide array of OTEX-powered episodes with a similar emphasis on consistent aesthetics and modern combat. Thus, I would find an in-depth examination of the set’s design philosophy very interesting. Tarnsman’s Projectile Hell: this volume would probably be the most interesting of the four from my perspective, due to the deeply subversive nature of the subject wad. TPH is the only one of the quartet which fails to meet one of the ‘blockbuster’ criteria - specifically, the set’s eponymous creator opted to eschew the broad appeal cultivated by the other three wads in pursuit of his own madcap vision, while still taking a great deal of inspiration from the genre-defining Valiant. The result is a very interesting dialogue of sorts between two of the greatest craftsmen in Waddom, one which I would love to see examined. TNT2 Now, this one is really pushing the bounds of the exercise, but hear me out: a single, large volume covering the evilution (heh) of the three TNT2 megawads, as well as the endless drama surrounding their near unprecedentedly lengthy period of development, would be bestseller-tier shit. Of course, such a tome would have to wait until the eventual release of TNT: Forever (formerly, Convilution), but I shan’t let that get in the way of my speculating within the already speculative premise of the thread (I’ve reached the point of nested speculation lol; speculation squared, one might say). At any rate, the wide range of involved persons and broad timespan would warrant an inordinate number of interesting digressions on design, covering multiple epochs of mapping. Lost Civilization I would love to see a travelogue-style piece on this one, examining each map individually from a mechanical and aesthetic perspective, with a particular focus on discerning the possible real-world inspirations behind many of the set’s jaw-dropping locales, while simultaneously building a general understanding of the wad’s design philosophy. Sunder While I am nowhere near competent enough to play this set (nomo wandering sprees aside), the sheer, staggering brilliance of the piece itself, combined with its immense influence, is well worthy of an ultra-deep exploration. If such a thing were to materialize, I would devour it in a heartbeat.
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