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About Helm

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    from the shadows

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  1. Helm

    Mappers you wish to see make a comeback

    Malcom Sailor! Also it would be great if Azamael and Lainos continued their work. Voyager getting finished would be excellent
  2. Helm

    What is actually the "essence" of doom?

    Doom essence after 30 years too multifarious to pin down, too kaleidoscopic. It changed the media landscape and it arguably changed the world and continues to change it by having introduced immersive 3d 'metaverses' to the mass market... for lack of a better term. Dialectical materialism would dictate that 'if Doom didn't get invented, we would have to invent it by another name'. As in to say, on the spiral we are on we would do this immersive 3d viewport technology because humans eventually do all the things, but on our timeline it was Doom, made by a bunch of texans in the 90s and we were around for that. So when we are searching for some 'quintessence' we are essentially doing some sort of reduction and it's hard to reduce something so inchoate to the broader culture, if it even is a worthwhile exercise to do so at all. Depends from the vantage you're describing it and the moment in history etc. What I love the most about my interaction with it is that when I am playing the game I feel connected to every other 'doomperson' who is also looking at the dumb mug in the middle of their hud and they're on to some strange adventure somewhere out there in the infinitely broad but charmingly particular wadverse. It's the same doomguy/gal because it was the seminal, original one. There's no other game where you can engage with a living piece of history that is continuously expanded by generations of users who have cut their teeth on it. I think perhaps only the competitive tetris scene has a game as ancient that is still getting sharpened, and truly none so ancient that is also applied so continuously to new contexts, new milieux, new 'campaign settings' as it were, like the stuff doom mappers put their abstract purposes to. In increasingly many generations of videogamer people (on the internet it feels like 'a generation' is like 5 years to the 50 in the real world), reinforcing what they learned from the past and joyfully rebelling against an ingrained status quo, reinventing... that's the best thing about the doom 'scene', perhaps. The essence of doom in the play of it is run fast, shoot demon, don't die
  3. Helm

    Doom Pictures Thread 2023

    reaching nirvana
  4. this looks like basic retouching on Jasc Paint Shop Pro to me
  5. Yo I really really loved blasting through these. UV pistol starts with saves, one sitting all the way through. I don't really have any constructive feedback because I didn't find anything off, so here's just a load of praise to pile on with the rest of the thread. Snappy, low-monster count FUN layout maps, verging onto challenge wad territory towards the end, but in terms of difficulty It was well within 'saving before big fights' range for me. I much enjoyed the workout and it's always inspirational to see interesting layouts, good perched archvile usage, to be challenged by 20-30 monsters in a situation in a way that requires good movement. I think I'll keep this one in my folder, I want to replay it, so that's some extra praise besides for the immediate fun that was had, a commitment for more fun in the future. Thank you for sharing your work with the rest of us for free, it's a real blessing.
  6. Thank you very much for sharing the beautiful pictures from your route back home. Glad my worldsalad made you miss your train :) Warm greetings from Greece.
  7. Pistol started your demo at UV. Lovely first map, atmospheric, great midi choice. Exquisite amount of moving-parts detail work, but not placed on the layout but in the walls and beyond, to promote clean movement. Second map, I am beginning to realize that there will be an emphasis on wide open spaces with room to do smooth sailing gliding doomguy motion, but there won't be heavy opposition. Even the little hunt for shotgun shells in the outside area was a nice distraction from the full speed curvy line motions that this layouting promotes. No deaths on UV so far, as we are easing into your would-be megawad at TNT-average levels of early map difficulty, it seems. Enter trite point about how 'open space layouts with very few moments promote a feeling of atmospheric desolation' as we move on to map 3. A what a change of theme! Foreboding, spooky, different locales, I loved going down to the tomb to get the SSG. Now, if a revenant or two spawned in along with the two barons, we'd be talking! Nonetheless claimed one death at the chaingunner reveal :) Having fun with it! Map 04, I get the sense by this point you love making these big spaces, and I although I am lusting for more opposition, at the same time I commend you for the slow build up. No deaths, but I let the final baron take care of the two chaingunners, but it still wasn't enough ammo to kill him, so I let him guard the temple and fucked off to next map. Map05, oh I love me some sector pyramids! The gameplay is getting more fun, some concentrations of enemies, some interesting layout complications. I enjoyed the megasphere secret (I like it when the layout itself says 'there's something here' before a silver linedef does). At the end perhaps put a few more mancs to slow the player down so they get to engage with the cacodemons, unless you just like nice speedy exits! I continue to commend you and enjoy these huge layouts, the feeling of being in these spaces is unique and worthwhile, and the combat is starting to pick up! Map06, the fun huge layouts and increasing risk in combat continue. I am very impressed by all the different themes we are visiting, if you carry on for a full 32 with this amount of invention, it'll really feel like a time trip of an adventure. It's giving me joy to play, so take that as an overarching comment. Loved the circular switch trap that culminates with the archvile drop. The dread staircase at the end was dope too. One of my favorites so far! Map07 ah, I have a dislike for city maps in doom because I get lost easily, so I exited early here, didn't get all kills, but I found the keys without major difficulties and found the optional areas like an art gallery and museum very charming. Once again a very fun change of theme and pace. Map08. Athens! Where the Acropolis is! I have to say I much enjoyed this huge space, the beautiful decorative sector work on the sides, the sense of adventure (I forgive you the hedge maze). As a greek citizen I also have to commend you for the historical accuracy, I give this Athens a 13 out of 10 Athenses. Map09 Partial digestion, an act of good karma, I suppose. I had some ammo troubles on this one but I suspect ammo starvation might be part of the zero course meal, here. I did feel like I was passing through higher and higher gross demon guts in the wrong order so mission successful, I suppose. The superdark enemies were a nice touch. Great atmosphere, a bit more demanding combat, had a couple of deaths on this one! Also you can get softlocked here, attachment at end, along with a 'wish you were here, caco' postcard from Athens. Map10 The sense of grand scale continues! I am having great fun just waiting to see what else you have in store for me. This has a sunder-lite kind of feel to it, sorry for the trite comment. A map to really zoom around on and go for a fun max, it feels like. I had a couple of deaths at the archvile plus revenants reveal, then I went around and killed the vile through the metal bars of the other side, kind of cheap but rewarding to think of! The rest was smooth sailing, and this is a great map to just straferun to your hearts content, tracing nice little curved paths around the titanic metal spokes of the fortress. The imp fight at the end cemented to me that you're not mapping this stuff to torment anyone, that was a free bfg vs imps climax that best serves as a capstone to someone playing super fast. The deeper we get the more fun I'm having regardless of level of challenge. Map11. On the final note, I have to say I quite enjoyed how these huge layouts promote movement. Doom movement is the most joyous thing, and if one attempts to sppedmax or just speed through the UV of this set they will be more rewarded than if they take their time and look at every little sector. There are large swaths of kind of simple lit vastness which if one looks too closely might appear a bit plain but if they play at the proper clip then the details do not matter, what matters is the time-and-globe trotting adventure, gotta go fast. I very much enjoyed the demo of your set and wholeheartedly implore you to continue all the way up to 32 maps. If this is the first 11, my mind staggers to think where else you're going to take our doomguy-racecar! Thank you sincerely for sharing your creativity with us for free, you made my monday, life is very rough currently for a lot of people and I see a lot of sadness and pain around me, but for an hour I was transported in another place. Sincere regards.
  8. Category 1 192/666 Crushing defeat dwironman-contain-helm-category1.zip
  9. Helm

    Doom Tips

    Some non-obvious automap things your friend would do well to know if they get easily lost (like me). F toggles follow, M marks the automap, C clears a mark... less important but still, G shows the grid so they can curse at the blockmap once they understand what that is. Getting used to binding guns above chaingun around the WASD space is probably a good step for anyone who intends to play seriously, like Q for Rocket, E for Plasma, D for BFG. Setting always run on and using shift to go slow selectively is probably a good idea as well, though everyone plays differently. Blue Armor non-obvious math. On pwads, try to play things as they were meant to be played by the mapper in terms of observing ports of choice, complevels, just playing the wad no bells... a good soft bit of advice to give, though most long time players come around to this on their own after their forays into mod-on-top-of-mod-on-top-of-wad, which is also a fun thing to do with this game. Watch better players go through things you are struggling to get through, we learn with our eyes and brain, not just with our fingers.
  10. if I'm just being a tourist taking a tour, I rewind. If I start feeling a sentimental connection to the wad for whatever reason, if it's a great atmosphere, if the fights are within my range or slightly above but not pure total punishment, I stop rewinding and start doing manual saves before keys/keydoors as many people here also seem to do. If I really love a map set it goes to the folder where the wads live that one day I will pistol start and try to do saveless attempts for. Switching between these mindsets isn't a problem, I don't think so at least, though the reasons for switching are a bit opaque to me, this is why I say some sort of sentimental connection above everything else. Sometimes it's also a matter of mood, I've played all the way through maps01-10 on a long of megawads where I hit a wall of what I perceive to be some bullshit I have to savescum through, and then on the next day that map10 is an easy saveless reapproach. Humans are just a bunch of moods strung together that we give our name to.
  11. Helm

    The Dean of Doom series (companion thread)

    The Dean of Doom show over many episodes increasingly feels like an exercise by the (very talented) writer/presenter in coming up with interesting turns of phrase to say much the same range of things, over and over. The overfamiliarity with mappers both current and of a different time comes with the general overfamiliarity with its own package and format, as the show has become ingrained in the subculture. This is a very difficult thing to avoid if you make some sort of serialized content for the internet, and especially if you are successful! The initial creativity that is self-fuelling, the novelty of doing something of depth about something as seemingly simple as Doom maps, and the spontaneity of the initial problem solving wane as the obligations of the format itself become heavier and heavier. "Content" is a self-regurgitating machine. Perhaps a long running (in essence) tv show about megawads ranked against each other has a small hybris at its own core. Art was never meant to be ranked, ranking things actually isn't fun, or at least it isn't as fun as it initially seemed. Getting an outsider's view and ranking about something you made can be an insightful fire-starting thing, a very punk rock thing, a 'fuck you if you don't like it, that's how I felt!' kind of thing. But what if the one ranking you and your creativity is now enmeshed in the community and widely respected? Should the tone change? With more power comes greater responsibility. In essence though, perhaps we get ranked enough - or too much - in our daily lives as it is so there is a hard time limit to such projects no matter how charitable one feels about them. If you've ever written coppy for anything that's supposed to be packaged entertainment for an audience you know personally the anxiety of having to come up with interesting language and delivery every single time to basically say the same thing over and over. One can feel like a telemarketer that has to write a whole new fable for every new telemarketing item that comes up on the screen, lest they be exposed, in some strange way as someone engaged in something more cynical than the self-propelled joy of a cultural appreciator sharing observations about a loved thing. I maintain that Doom maps - though entertaining - are art, especially in the sense that custom wads are made and distributed for free, by amateurs. They should not be held to the rules of the marketplace (or we should protect them in any case from as much of this mentality as possible) and ranking them against each other is a consumer tendency that has been beaten into us by the hierarchical systems that oppress us. Then, additional tensions arise, when any one successful and eloquent authority figure has funny quips for us when he hates a map and in order to get their content across with impact, they get familiar with what is essentially very mysterious people: Not superstar game developers, not John Romero, not paid professionals that sold us a product, but amateurs, teenage mappers, lonely friends from 10, 20, 30 years ago, all with their private stories which we may never really know, who shared their creativity with us for free. And now we have for them a funny turn of phrase and a letter grade for their work, thanks a lot, the past! This is how we repackage ourselves. A deeper humility towards actual human beings that spent parts of their finite lives to make 3d mazes for a myriad of different reasons gets washed away inexorably by the demanding strictures of the format. Think of your own self and how many youtube channels you have enthusiastically subscribed to and then for strange reasons, down the line you unsubscribe to even though the content itself has not changed in quality - there's just more and more of it - slowly subsuming its own purpose by its own success. I remember when there was nearly nothing Doom related on youtube and what a rush of Recognition (in the Hegelian sense) it was to start seeing interesting voices pop up and establish themselves but there is a rise and a fall to such things, governed by market strictures and the rules of media content creation that I am describing above.
  12. I really loved your stuff! You're very talented, you have a great mind for encounter design, for atmosphere, for a simple (in terms of sector count) layout that is both devilish and vanilla-reminiscent in aesthetic in the key ways, without being slavish to the jank that often came with the old stuff. Great choice of music (I only played 10-14 so far) and the escalation of violence is much to my liking. Your Pain Elemental usage is a good spice on your spice rack. I would absolutely love to see your set grow to a full megawad, I say this very shelfishly, I know how hard it is to make such a thing, I only say this because I would want to see where you'd start narratively and where you'd end in a longer format. There's a lot to be inspired about in here. I hope many people play this.
  13. Quite enjoyed, though at UV I would rate this as 'extreme challenge' so my run quickly got bogged down in the save/reload swamp. Nonetheless I pushed through and got an exit, didn't find the secret fight. Didn't notice anything broken at all. This is in some ways I think some of the best doom that's come about this year, so thank you for sharing your creativity with us. I will echo the first time you get a couple of viles in the mud, you you're sending a message to the player that I do not think is necessarily the right message given the kinds of setups that are to come later. Not that it's the hardest encounter (oh boy, there's a couple in here) but that it's a certain kind of encounter that might convey to the player 'there's some meme shit coming up'. Not the case at all. Your imp trap is one of the best imp traps I've seen. I quite liked how the map escalates to the kinds of fights where congestion in your way to more health and ammo is the main enemy, not any one particular monster combo. I'm going to be looking forward to a max run of this for as long as it takes for some doom god to get it right. I agree the cybers should be recoloured to convey their health, another point of early despair that shouldn't really matter if it's signposted well. Green guts would suit the general aesthetic. Once I noticed I was missing one candle to open the main doors I was like 'heck, I will get lost in this place trying to find it' but it turned out to be adjascent. I am always at awe of maps that are in essence linear, like you can go this way or that way but then you get funnelled down a series of setups, but it's not 'placed on a long line of rooms'. Everything looks overconnected but it's not, this gives an impression of a living, real space to explore, but without any of the usual hiccups of a truly non-linear sprawl. You're very talented! I hope you make more! I'll go back and replay at HMP at some point.
  14. Helm

    On abusing saving in doom

    Valid angle but even if you do not end up reloading you depended on lifting the tension by saving. This is why if you ever go through a map 100% completely saveless you get a different feeling of accomplishment than if you went through though the same map with three saves you didn't end up having to reload from. It's interesting to imagine it in diegetic terms as well, what is Doomguy doing inside his sci-fi helmet? Are they maniacaly blinking at a UI button in their heads up display that says 'SAVE' that does nothing of the sort but just administers a benzodiapamine microdose?
  15. Helm

    On abusing saving in doom

    echoing what spineapple tea wrote above as practical advice to not end up with a quicksave fixation. This doesn't have to come from a macho or tryhardism place at all, you can look at it like this: when you've made some mistakes and you're down to 20 health and hell is descending upon you you're robbing yourself of a deep thrill by taking a quicksave and elevating all that tension. Of course any brain's tolerance for fake stress for funsies is different but if you're actively trying to test yourself look at it that way. Climbing up from a bit of despair (or perishing bitterly) are the moneyshots of playing a hard game like Doom, why would you rob yourself of the thrill ride? I wanted to add, I agree with playing the iwads and then something mild so you can get exits without dying but I found more return for my time invested playing one really hard wad (in my case it was Sunder) where getting out of the first room will be a struggle for a while. But if you get out of that first room you can now get out of a lot of rooms... The hard grind can teach doom movement much more than going down 30 megawads worth of mild udoom corridors. Then after a bit of a hard grind you can return to a lot of the milder stuff and feel naturally less or not at all compelled to save. Practice works, humans aren't lying about that.