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Cammy

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About Cammy

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  1. Ah, no worries then. Sorry for misconstruing you. :)
  2. Preparing to host Christmas stuff over the next couple days (plus a couple other Doom things) has me stretched a little too thin to talk about maps in long-form, so for now I'll just say thanks again to everyone who's playing! I'd hoped the responses to some of these maps would have been a bit more positive, admittedly, but that's life. I've been learning a lot, and getting a lot of ideas. Those of you who were exhausted by map23 will be happy to know that it's the longest map in the wad - shorter levels are ahead. I'll do some work on map23's blue key fight especially - probably starting off by making the plasma gun not a secret. I have to admit I wasn't expecting map20's final fight to be such a huge roadblock. I have an idea for how to make it a little more palatable, though. Thank you again for all the kind words about my music, I really appreciate it. :) I don't plan to change a lot of these songs all that much from their current incarnations, but better balancing is a given - and I have ultimately decided to replace map06's midi with something a lot more chill and sinister. I might as well donate the song currently in that slot to Realm of Chaos 2, huh? Though I will say that this reads to me as an accusation of plagiarism, which I don't appreciate or take lightly. I definitely hear the resemblance in some sections, but it's hardly a direct copy.
  3. Cammy

    Megawads ruined or redeemed by 1-2 maps?

    Depending on your tastes, A.L.T. could fit either end of this description, and any number of maps could be the one(s) that fulfill it. I played it fairly early in my Doom career and I wasn't prepared for how switch-hunty and obscure a lot of it was, but when A.L.T.'s mood hits just right (which it especially does in the last 3 maps), it's kind of impossible to forget, and made the whole experience up to me.
  4. map16: The Wolf's Hour is Jim Bagrow's final note in the wad - and the community. I've said before that I wish he stuck around longer, but I won't repeat myself. Instead, I'll reveal that the northern sewer section which connects the two main areas of this map together is wholly my own design (and I'll admit it's not one of my stronger ones). Yet another instance of discrete map sections being joined together by a traversable area, and this time also replacing a stack of long, dark, 64-wide hallways. Take one look at the '96 layout and you'll be able to tell how fun that part is. The wooden abattoir, currently the first place you visit on your trip to the red key, used to house a teleporter to the cave. In order to get to it, your first order of business was to conquer that hallway section, and it was not a compelling start to the map. Realm of Chaos '96 actually features a disproportionately high number of maps in its middle third which have thin, dark hallways like this - they also show up in Hollow Oblivion, Bloodlands, and No Escape. Between the four of them, Bloodlands had the most interesting application of those dark halls, so it was the only one where I kept them exactly as they were. The ending of this map was also fun to spice up, because the '96 version ends off with only about 10 imps, after a map full of mean long-distance hitscanners. In the DWMC's July 2013 thread, a pile of complaints rolled in to the tune of "oh what the hell, it's just a few imps!" So why not add about a hundred more? ;) map17: No Escape didn't receive a lot of changes to its layout, but the order in which you visit its attractions has changed up. The exit used to be tucked away in the northeast area of the base, which didn't lend the map much of a feeling of progression in my opinion, so I moved the exit into the outdoor area. In '96, it's a grassy backyard home to one Cyberdemon, which can be accessed whenever you want by jumping out windows in the western area of the building (and also gives you two secret partial invisibilities to """help""" with fighting cybie). Naturally, it evolved into a double-cyber finale. Fun fact, that third cyberdemon only shows up if you find the BFG secret. If you go in there without having found that secret, you only fight two, and the third gets crushed in his teleporter closet. No Escape '96 also has a very questionable beginning, because this map is actually quite stingy and can be tough to wade through with the limited supplies it gives you... unless you find a secret in the first room that gives you a megasphere, super shotgun, and backpack before you encounter any enemies, which basically destroys the map. I split the middle by giving you the shotguns for free, but no megasphere. But easily the most questionable part of the No Escape '96 is the "RUN" room. The room is packed full of hitscanners, so if you take the map's advice, you get lit up and lose all your health in an instant. Not only is this an excessively mean trap, but the most effective way to disarm it is to door-fight it in total darkness. I wanted to replace it with something that actually required you to RUN, to give the unique concept some actual payoff. As usual, archviles were the obvious solution.
  5. map12: Home Sweet Home is a real shocker for people who thought map10 meant Jason Fowler was some kind of lazy or incompetent designer. He pulls out all the stops here, for by far the most impressive-looking map in RoC '96 - the room-over-room trick, the barred sky window, and the imps sat atop self-referencing sectors were all from Jason. If he applied himself and stuck around, there's no doubt in my mind he would have given Iikka Keranen a run for his money. Somewhere out there in the multiverse, Jason made some killer maps for Requiem. I didn't even touch up the action in this one as much as you might think - the only big new addition is the climactic final triple-archie fight, because I felt like the one thing this map was lacking was some really beefy payoff. Aside from that, the biggest change is that the entire lower half of the map was mirrored to create a connection back up into the watery cave area. I think those two changes together make the whole thing feel like a more naturally-realized journey than just reaching a circular cave and teleporting your way back to the start to walk out unimpeded. I'm very happy that the tonal shift between map11 and this one smacked so many people as hard as it did, because it was 100% intentional. I knew it would elicit a reaction to have the first earth map be this tense and overcast, especially after so much pep in the previous maps' music. map13: Bloodlands - first of all, I did consider changing the water to blood to make cannonball happy and satisfy the title of the map, but I just thought keeping it water looked better. Maybe I'll ask Steve if I can make Bloodlands II for RoC2 and have it be made entirely of blood textures, 1x1-style. Second of all, welcome to Realm of Slaughter-lite. You got a taste of this in map12, but letting the player blow up a bunch of fodder is my thing, and it made sense to pop the cap off the glass for the earth episode - just another part of that tonal shift. As you guys have experienced, the fights and kill counts have gotten much bigger now - even bigger than a lot of the Hell episode maps will end up getting, if you can believe that. Not that there aren't some heavy-hitters in the final third of the megawad, of course - be ready for those. I'll admit this isn't the kind of thing people would readily do in '96, as has been said, but this goes back to the inability to please everyone. A lot of the '96 maps are sparsely populated for their size, and "overscaled" as a complaint tends to arise more readily these days than "overpopulated", in my experience (unless the overpopulation comes from tanky demons). I doubt people would have found it fun if I had shrunk these maps down to fit their '96 kill counts, and either way it's much more aligned with my personal tastes to scale up the kill counts to fit the maps' sizes. map14: Die Hard was a fun challenge to work on, and one that I have a good idea of how to further tweak. Thinking on it now I understand the unpopularity of the big barrel room, which I didn't do much to change up. I'll give it a second pass. This map also has a bit of Machine Gun Etiquette syndrome, with its excess of aesthetic styles. Not sure that I'll change that part too much. :) I'll admit I don't have too much to say about this one specifically, but I'm happy with the work I did on it. Even with its flaws, I took a map that I enjoyed and made it just a bit more focused and action-packed. Especially that final fight, which in '96 is just a grass square with a few switches you press to reveal a single Spider Mastermind and the exit switch in a big old dirt pit. That's just not what it's all about, if you ask me. map15: Infestation foreshadows what is to come in 32, 18, and 19. I'm glad you guys are playing RC1.5, because the central courtyard being flooded with lava was an absolute last-minute addition. In RC1, that area looked and played only a quarter is good. Not to mention it used to have about 6 dozen more imps than it does right now (yes, really), which was completely unnecessary and made the fight 75% cleanup. Yuck. Now that it's over faster and more treacherous to navigate, it's a lot more interesting. Aside from that, all the wide-open spaces combined with my knee-jerk reflex to add gradient lighting everywhere resulted in this map being very, VERY difficult to make vanilla-compatible. Even the plus-shaped arena with the barrels everywhere was hard in that regard. I want you all to thank Michael Jensen, because he's the reason those barrels are there. He rightfully told me that cleaning up all that fodder was a pain in the ass without them, so I figured turning them into fireworks was the way to go. Nice bit of catharsis. The final outdoor area was also a huge pain in the ass to get working the way it does. I want to revisit it and make it a bit more satisfying (and also a bit more similar to the original version of the map, from which my iteration has always felt like a dangerous departure), but I just don't know if it'll be worth the time. I had the idea of making the huge stone pathway that you ascend drop down into the lava, revealing a cavern behind them with a second contingent, instead of just facing one small army from the front in the current version. Every time I sit down to make these changes, I second-guess myself. I think I should pull the trigger, because it sounds much more exciting. map31: The Mansion had the easiest fix in the whole megawad, because in the '96 version every first-time player of this map will drop into the exit room in the first 60 seconds of the map and get stuck there because they don't have all three keys. This is their punishment for having investigated a completely unmarked and innocuous lift. I don't expect I'll get any complaints for changing this. It only seemed natural to me to move the exit from out of that tiny cellar, and the most logical place for it was the prominent outdoor courtyard. From there, I used the map's pre-existing layout to my advantage, and turned it into a pair of quick treks to those balcony switches. The location of the secret exit is pretty out of the box, I hope everyone was able to find it okay. Being able to shut yourself out of the bathrooms was an obvious error on my end, whoops. At first I didn't want to fix it because I thought it was funny and true-to-life to be able to screw yourself over like that (I did that once before at a friend's house when I was a kid, and I thought I had permanently ruined their ability to go to the bathroom, so I nervously left and never spoke to that friend again), but good sense won out and it'll be fixed for RC2. map32: Nowhere to Hide was a fun one. This one has been significantly different from the original in both visuals and gameplay from the very first revision. Nowhere to Hide '96 is a smidgen larger than this map and contains only 69 enemies, which is actually not very nice since it made the map about as empty as the rocky chasm area of TNT map12, and significantly less easy on the eyes - with sludgy BIGBRIK walls clashing horribly with the red sky and rendered in fullbright. Hence, the introduction of one of the Wolf3D textures to match the floor. From there, I just didn't stop adding monsters until the map was as insane as it is now. There's a LOT less switch-hitting this time around, too; it was replaced with the Keen hunt to give you something more interesting to do while still necessitating a full lap around the map. Yet another removed feature from the '96 version is a bunch of enclosed side corridors in the outer ring, where you could slow-build stairs to make your way up to little groups of cliffside imps while you hid from the single-digit number of baddies that were out there to get you. Yuck. All these changes stemmed from a single question - why would there be places to hide in a map called Nowhere to Hide? From there, the ammo deprivation / Keen cache gimmick became an obvious addition. I'm glad it hit the spot for so many of you, because I was worried it might have felt like too much of a departure, even for a map32. :D
  6. Cammy

    What are some WADs that deserve a new MIDI Pack?

    I contacted the company that I think he works at but haven't gotten a response. That was at least a year ago, though. I really should try again... Thank you - I guess I'll need to put it on my to-do list, then. :) Although I've seen it said that the Doom community doesn't have many composers to pick from, it's something I disagree with myself. If anything, I think the proportional number of skilled musicians here is shockingly high - the population of mappers is definitely a lot higher, but there's more than just a fistful of song-slinging stragglers on the sides. There are dozens of talented, friendly, and hard-working musicians who are as passionate about Doom music as mappers are about mapping. (And that's to say nothing of the multi-talented beasts out there who can do both.) I'll take any opportunity I can to give my fellow musicians a platform and a new credit on their resume! Now if I could just clear out my current workload...
  7. Cammy

    What are some WADs that deserve a new MIDI Pack?

    I haven't told anyone about this, but for a while I considered leading a joint double MIDI pack for both Hell to Pay and Perdition's Gate. Akin to the TNT MIDI Pack, it would have entailed expanded covers of the original songs in their debut slots, backed up by original MIDIs in slots that were previously occupied by duplicates. Funnily enough, when those rules are spread out across both wads (which is to say that, for instance, a track debuting in one megawad's map01 and the other megawad's map20 would be considered a duplicate in the latter case and replaced with an original song), there would be exactly 12 covers per megawad. Nice and balanced. That just made me more inclined to do it, but I never ended up pulling the trigger. Obviously, a double MIDI pack would be an absolutely enormous undertaking. I've got other things I'm working on right now (one of which is another MIDI pack), but would this be something people would be interested in seeing down the line?
  8. map08: Research Lab has been through a few major revisions at this point, and let me just say I'm glad nobody seemed to have triggered the extremely easy yellow key fight skip that exists in RC1.5. Phew. I remember having an awful day when I first edited this map and I removed the red key puzzle section entirely, but I have since added it back in and touched it up, because it's one of the few times RoC really goes ham with switches and puzzles, and a research lab seems like just the right place to do so. This section's only real sin in my eyes was that it came at the ending of the map; I think moving it to the middle helped this level feel better-paced. The fireblu shootable switches were an extreme last-minute addition to RC1.5, mostly added so you only alert teleporter-closet monsters right before they warp in. I didn't know this until Michael Jensen told me, but vanilla Doom 2 sound effects behave very strangely in map08, which is apparently a leftover from Doom 1's boss levels. Monster sounds get louder the further away you are from them, instead of the opposite, and they're impossible to mute even if you turn the sound effect volume slider all the way down. In RC1, all the teleporter closet monsters were alerted the first time you fired a shot, and it was really unpleasant to hear two arachnotrons stomping around and a whole army of imps and zombies mumbling to themselves for half the map's entire run time. The elevator fight was actually inspired by a comment made by this very club! In Research Lab '96, Cybie and the Hell Knight crew are stuck in a shallow pit in a much larger room that you teleport into. If you fall in the pit, you can simply get out by hitting use on the edges to trigger an unmarked lift. @dobu gabu maru played the map in July of 2013, accidentally fell into the pit, and had to contend with the infighting party in very close quarters because he didn't realize he could have left, which made the fight much more interesting. I figured it wouldn't hurt to rebuild the fight around dobu's experience. :) map09: Machine Gun Etiquette is a funky one. Those of you familiar with Steve Duff's other work may see his design philosophies loosely taking shape here, what with the affinity for tall ceilings and multi-height fights, but this map lacks focus to put it mildly. Every room looks completely different from the one before it - it uses 96 unique textures, which has got to be in the top 3 of the whole wad. Its visual identity suffers due to this. I'm actually always excited to see maps like this, because I think it's an essential stage of the learning process. Once you get a grasp of how your editor works, it's hard not to get hit by an overzealous wave of "holy shit, I can do ANYTHING!!!" and so then you make a level that does everything. It reminds me of map24: Probably Maybe Certainly from the Japanese Community Project. For passionate mappers, the logical next step after that is to dial it back a notch and begin to create maps with a much tighter focus. These maps may not be palatable to most people, but they're a stepping stone to greater things. As I said before, I didn't do much work on the layout of Machine Gun Etiquette, but I kind of wanted to. It's a pet peeve of mine when different essential areas of a map are connected to each other solely by teleporters, with no tangible route that joins them. Of course, sometimes the map is built around it as a defining feature (as we'll see in map20), and sometimes there's just no other way to make stuff work (especially considering vanilla limits), but I think it's generally a virtue for maps to intuitively make sense as a real-world space, no matter how abstract or unusual that space looks; that sense is harmed when areas are connected together only by teleporter. Other maps in this wad (a rather high proportion of which are Steve's maps, now that I think about it) physically connect together areas that were previously only accessible via teleporter, and I think the maps are better for it. map10: Hollow Oblivion is teeny, as we've established. Steve has already given you guys the skinny on how this map came to be - and how it could have came to be larger - so I'll just say that I'm glad people seemed to enjoy the descending pinky sequence, because that was an addition of mine. The '96 version of this map has the same gunpowder-rich start, but after that you descend into a few underground 64-wide tunnels and fight one or two pinkies before reemerging for an even more abrupt end to the map. As I've said before, there was a time that I was much more conservative with my changes to action setpieces in this wad, and this map was a gateway towards fixing that, because I couldn't not add a fight in this area. There needed to be something. The only standout part of the dark tunnels in Hollow Oblivion '96 is a small circular clearing midway through them that's hemmed by glowing scrolling tech texture and has one pinky in it. I made it a lot bigger and put a whole bunch of pinkies in it, and cut out the dark hallway section completely. As much as I wanted to add some more stuff after that, it just didn't feel right - and still doesn't - to use one of these maps as an outright springboard for something completely original. Not even Sewers really does that. That being said, I did get an idea for a fun ending ambush I could add, so it doesn't feel quite so much like the map just stops on a dime. I'll give it a whirl. map11: Mars Starport was a challenge as far as vanilla limits are concerned, which you might not expect for such a small and enclosed map. There's a very good reason the far south part of the map is blocked off. I wanted to reinforce the airport starport theme, hence the extension of the runway, and the towers now being topped with glowing fireblu lights, but I can't take credit for the adorable baggage carousel. That was all Antoni. The spaceships definitely could have looked a bit more advanced, but even if I didn't want to keep their cute 90s-ness around, making them much more detailed than they are right now would be asking for drawseg overflows. I only barely managed to prevent them as it is; I even ended up needing to employ the old "walkover trigger that closes a distant door to shorten sightlines" trick. I don't think that was necessary in any other map.
  9. Alright, time to start catching up with map talk. map05: Mission Control has always been one of the first maps I think of when I think of Realm of Chaos, which is kind of weird because admittedly there's not a lot about it that's memorable or novel. I guess it's hard to forget a map that opens with that many shotgunners, huh? This map and map22 were the first two where I experimented with changing outdoor geometry to look a little more flashy while not impacting gameplay, and it ended up becoming an essential part of my process. I'm currently working on a new version of the blue key area, which smushes the nukage pit area and the storage crate hall into one large room that combines elements of both. map06: Splatterhouse . This map makes prominent use of one of the Plutonia brick textures. I added a handful of Plutonia textures to this wad because I love the gritty edge they have - they strengthen the environment while maintaining the classic feel. They're great replacements for Doom 2's big brick textures, most of which I absolutely hate, hence the near-nonexistence of STONE2, STONE3, and the BIGBRIKs in this megawad. As for the map itself, it's another one where I cut down the number of locked doors throughout the map in favor of a single point that requires multiple keys, which I think is a good fit for this map - even in the original (or I guess not quite the original, since it was added afterward), its wide hallways and tall ceilings make Splatterhouse feel like it wants to be thoroughly interconnected. In hindsight, I completely agree that this map should have had a more quiet and tense midi rather than the explosive aggression I poured into the one that ended up going to it. I'm considering writing a new one, which I doubt Steve would object to. He's told me in the past that his favorite kinds of midis, especially for maps of this nature, are what he calls "perpetual fugues" - to use IWAD comparisons, these are songs like Sinister, Demons on the Prey, and Agony Rhapsody, which are in a constant state of suspense and buildup, never really exploding into anything grand but constantly keeping you on edge. I suck at writing music like that because I have no self restraint and every song needs to have a solo or I'll die. map07: Deathstay is one of the most aesthetically touched-up maps in the megawad while not being especially different in terms of layout or gameplay. Inevitably the map will end by going to the red key hall and then the blue key pit area, so I figured it would be fun to allow the player to approach the red key itself from two different angles this time, rather than just the one. It's a very bottleneck-heavy map at the moment so I might need to do some reworking. Deathstay also contains a new easter egg that reveals the TMT logo in the northwest courtyard if you return to it after having visited the exit hallway area. It felt like a suitably '90s thing to do. :)
  10. If Eviternity II map33: Catalyst has a million fans, then I am one of them. If Eviternity II map33: Catalyst has ten fans, then I am one of them. If Eviternity II map33: Catalyst has only one fan then that is me. If Eviternity II map33: Catalyst has no fans, then that means I am no longer on earth. If the world is against Eviternity II map33: Catalyst, then I am against the world.
  11. Noticeable sky error in map16 Also probably a bit too easy to see the sky vertically tile in the north-east area of map34 imo, but that could be difficult to fix without adding a bunch of new geometry so it's not a huge deal. In the same map, linedef 10657 is visible on the automap while the surrounding are not.
  12. Actually, this is the intended way to access this secret. I'm not sure how you managed to fall in one of the caco pits, because they raise when you jump off the red key balcony. I wonder if you accidentally performed a linedef skip. I'll try and make this softlock less likely to occur - sorry about it!
  13. I've fallen way behind...! Sorry for my inactivity here. On top of the typical holiday antics, working on a couple other projects has made this a pretty nutty month. For the record, I'm not offended at all if some of you guys dip out of the thread to play Sigil 2, or Eviternity 2, or UDINO. I've done that myself - an absolutely insane week for Doom! I'll give my write-ups on the maps themselves later, but for now I'll reply to some stuff. Actually, there was a brief time that I used that red rock texture (plus a couple other ones I added but have since removed) for almost all of the outdoor areas in episode 1. The names of maps 03 and 11 give away that RoC's first episode takes place on the surface of Mars, and I wanted to go with a red rock theme to enforce that, but I didn't end up pulling the trigger as it made some of the maps feel a little too different to me. Or maybe that's just me. The map08 elevator room is one of the only remaining vestiges of that theme because I just really dug the way it looked, especially compared to this room's flat stargray look in the original RoC. :) Thank you! I'm really, really happy (and relieved) to have heard such a positive response to the music so far. I hold David Wise's music in incredibly high regard - he's one of the best to ever do it. My work being compared to his is almost as insane as this post to me. Rest assured, Wise and Tristan would both rip me to shreds in a music-off. It's funny you should mention that about the secret maps, because map32's midi actually takes some inspiration from a bonus room theme from Donkey Kong 64. You were really close! Ha, blue invuln is a good idea! I'll have to throw that into RC2. The blue theme was largely my own design, but it's not without precedent, either - the ammo clip and shotgun shell sprites have that cool silver/blue theme in '96, too. TMT even went the extra mile and made the shells blue in the SSG's reload animation. But why stop there? It's a little thing that helps the original stand out from other wads, and I thought it would be fun to quadruple down on it, hence all the blue in this wad. As a side note, some people mentioned liking the Mancubus's new blue fireballs. The only reason those were also made blue is because they share explosion graphics with rockets. It bears repeating that it's a very difficult balance to strike, and it hurts not to have a guidebook on it. Not that a guidebook could really ever be made. This is the kind of thing that is simply impossible to come to a consensus on, so the easiest thing to do is to just do what feels right. As a consequence there are maps in this wad I could have changed more, and maps in this wad that I worry I changed too much. I have to admit, Machine Gun Etiquette was one of the more difficult levels in the wad to restructure, at least for me, because of how linear it is, the lack of a clear theme, and the fact that the layout is packed so tightly in on itself. Sometimes you can rearrange the layout of a map to make things connect in a more logical way, but MGE is such a tightly-woven ramen block of a layout that it didn't feel worth it to try restructuring it. Ultimately, the less I stress out about establishing and following a set of rules to follow that can be trusted to preserve soul, the more energy I have left over to instead stress out about whether stuff needs changing or if my music is good. Even with all that said, though, I'd love to do another project like this again, after I've recovered from spending so much time in this chaotic realm. Not sure what wad it would be for, though. I'm open to suggestions. Damn, another comparison to Touhou! Again, I didn't directly sample any music other than my own for RoC25's soundtrack, but I'm becoming increasingly aware of the similarity between my style and ZUN's. Lots of strong melodies with a call-and-response structure, a general proclivity for high speed, and liberal use of simple key changes. Map09's midi fits that description perfectly and uses a ton of brass, so it's overflowing with Touhou vibes. Wish I was as good (and as productive) as ZUN. But if the consensus on my musical style is that it's Donkey Kong Country mixed with Touhou, I'm very happy to take that. There actually was one time that I took conscious inspiration from a Touhou song for one of my midis, which was The Knives That Carved the Megalith from the TNT MIDI Pack. The final part of that midi was inspired by The Sea Where One's Home Planet Reflects, the final stage theme from Touhou 15. Someone noticed. They will.
  14. Aren't there only like a few hundred human beings left in the universe in Iron Lung? That kinda sucks.
  15. Incredible news! Congratulations to the whole team - I've already made it about a third of the way through. I couldn't wait for Zandronum to add MBF21 support - not for Eviternity 2. Thank goodness DSDA runs well on the oversized Nintendo DS I call my laptop. @Bri map08 was magical. An issue I encountered in map32 (no spoilers): At linedef 5597 there's a noticeable gap in the rock wall, and I eagerly jumped down expecting a secret, only to get softlocked. Hard to be upset when the map is this fun. :)
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