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Not Jabba

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  1. Not Jabba

    doom terms to get rid of in 2022

    I'm not sure the OP was calling out the term "community project," just the abbreviation for it. In reviews and other serious writeups, I try to avoid using most abbreviations anyway, just because full terms are clearer.
  2. Not Jabba

    doom terms to get rid of in 2022

    I've made vague passes at using other terms, e.g. "original games," at various times and it's hard to get any of them to stick in my mind. They're vague, whereas the terms IWAD and PWAD are specific and accurate and easy to search for the definition. As another example of how generic words are easy to misconstrue and can lead to confusion, here's an example of a base WAD. I play everything with saves, but I'm with you on savescum -- it's a word that has a specific meaning separate from "saving," or that can be used lightheartedly in a lot of different contexts. I'd rather people would simply not be dicks than to get rid of a perfectly useful word. Using "kaizo" is a really interesting idea that I hadn't really thought of because most of my experience with gaming communities and terminology is through Doom. "Slaughter" is a weird term that's always been abused and argued over, but at the same time is adopted by mappers and grounded in specific tropes used in the Doom community, as well as being popularized as a nonsensical, inaccurate term used by ragey people arguing in bad faith. I'm on the fence, but it's good food for thought.
  3. Not Jabba

    Saltwater: A single-map Boom WAD

    Firstly, removing the links wasn't a claim that you were trying to attack people, just a safety precaution. People were both having trouble downloading the link and also getting messages that the site was infected. Secondly, I only removed them after someone else had already rehosted and then edited in a link to that person's post so that it could be easily reached from the OP.
  4. Not Jabba

    Doom Pictures Thread 2021

    Whatever that actually is, it looks great :)
  5. Not Jabba

    Ozonia Boom Megawad [RC3 Out!]

    I'm very psyched to play this! I loved Exomoon and have been looking forward to the sequel.
  6. Glad you decided to give it a spin. It's such a great mapset! I love all the totally different approaches to the theme.
  7. Not Jabba

    The 2021 Cacowards

    To underscore the bigger perspective, I was actually planning to run a feature this past year to retroactively give the Dootaward to soundtracks released from 2008 to 2019, similar to the Missed Cacowards. Not that I was in any way qualified to write about that subject, but I was going to anyway, because I cared about it. I had discussed it with the team, and I had picked out all the contenders and many of the awardees for those years (any earlier coverage would've been too spotty -- there were many early years with no OSTs at all). I'm not sure whether PlutMIDI would have gotten one, because that was also the year Unholy Realms came out, but it was still up in the air. 2019 would have been the easiest year of all; we literally had already agreed to create the music award by the end of 2019 and had selected Eviternity as its recipient that year, but ultimately no one was able to get the writeup done between a combination of existing Cacoward commitments, the publication of Roots, and real life. I had already run three 25 Years of Doom features, so I don't doubt that I would have managed to force the Missed Dootawards out one way or another if I'd stuck around -- and given how much text everyone else churned out this year, it would most likely have been by writing the whole thing myself. But I retired from the Cacoward team (whether temporarily or permanently, I still have no idea) because it was more extra pressure and work than I was able to handle in 2021. The Cacowards are a year-round process and a huge amount of work. There's not a single person on the team who takes it lightly, or who doesn't think that every extra word and every inch of sidebar space crammed into those pages is worth the effort for celebrating everything people have created each year. There have already been at least two or three groups of people who tried to create competitors to the Cacowards -- and I would actually like to see someone succeed at that -- but so far they have all given up because they didn't understand how much effort and compromise it was going to take. Criticism of the Cacowards is valid, and although it's an inevitable piece of the mental health toll of participating in the creation of the awards, it has to be accepted in stride and taken to heart. But what has really bothered me in the past few years is the growing numbers of people who come in fists swinging, whether it's on Doomworld or some other platform, expecting, demanding, or pressuring for awards to be given to their own work, as though loudly insisting upon their own greatness is the key to success. That's not how any of this works. Nobody is qualified to determine the quality of their own projects, and at the point where people are throwing tantrums about it, they've lost sight of ethics and integrity, let alone common sense. I don't remember this happening in the old days, although it may have. Maybe it has just become more common, along with every other aspect of creation, as the community has grown. But I hope that people will be more self-aware than that, or at least that the broader community will recognize it for what it is. I'll echo what many people have said, that it would be great to see a dedicated music writer on the Cacowards team (although DotW has been excellent at the award reviews). I've thought about this before, and I was always like, "Oh man, it would be so perfect if we had Jimmy or AD or Tristan hanging out and working on that." But aside from whether they'd want to do it or not, Jimmy and AD and Tristan are involved in like half of the soundtracks that come out. It would never work. So like rd said, if you're interested in reviewing music or anything else, please get out there and show your writing chops. Finally, although a lot of people have said it already, a huge thanks to everyone on the Cacowards team for producing the biggest awards ever. The expansions this year are fantastic, and you are all awesome.
  8. Not Jabba

    Unfortunate design coincidences

    You're in luck -- try as they might, Microsoft has not patented the concept of a hexagon. You can put as many of them in your map as you want!
  9. I've been hoping (increasingly desperately) for the last few months, the last few weeks, the last few days, to get my final major NtC review for 2020 published before the 2021 Cacowards. And lo, I have very narrowly succeeded. Alpha Centauri by @nicolas monti There are mapsets that some people love and some people hate. Then there are mapsets that some people love and other people just look at them and go "What the fuck!?" and then go out and buy themselves a smoothie and a teddy bear in an attempt to cope with the images seared into their soul. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed Alpha Centauri, but you may not. Nicolas Monti has always been sort of a surrealist. His maps tend to move back and forth with strange ease between eerily quiet and whimsically aggressive, between the sensible, everyday details of interstellar techbase life and the cosmic unease of the uncanny. It's not so much outright horror as it is the feeling of "wait, what is that doing here?", like if you were to be walking down a clean, dim hallway and you turned around to find a perfectly ordinary stack of crates sitting there behind you that hadn't been there ten seconds ago, casting a shadow toward you and seeming to smile pleasantly at you. Sure, they may seem to be smiling, but how do you trust a smiling stack of crates? That's what playing most of Monti's pre-Alpha Centauri mapsets feels like. His earlier releases (my favorite of which is approximately the middle half of Eviltech) combine shades of the classic Doom 1 and 2 IWADs across large, rambling spaces, backed by Monti's seemingly inexhaustible supply of obscure pop tunes and other weird MIDIs from the shadowed, bone-strewn closets of the early internet. The maps seem most normal at this period of his career, but you can never quite be fooled; the unreal feeling is an icing here, an echo in the hallway—but sometimes more than that, like when you suddenly traipse into a honeycomb cavern in the middle of a techbase, concrete-floored but with rivers running through it, hexagonal pillars of BROWN96 stretching ever onward like a parody of trees but the ceiling bearing down on you a hand's breadth above your head. Later, mid-2010s Monti is the mind behind Erkattanne, notably beloved by kmx; a more carefree sort of spirit whose work embodies the basement-dwelling maps of the '90s and a more cheesy, friendly sort of abstraction. Of late, the mapper has worked his way toward something more monstrous and unwelcoming, his works an inscrutable labyrinth of deathtraps, the atmosphere teetering into the void of cosmic horror at all times, but with any given decaying, crumbling pocket universe still cheerfully backed by some unheard-of MIDI that appears to be a mashup of KD Lang's "Constant Craving" with god knows what else. Each map, all the while, still seeming to smile pleasantly at you as it gazes into your soul with dead eyes. There was more than one person on the Cacoward team last year who opened up Alpha Centauri, looked around at the visual design, and decided it was not the sort of thing any reasonable Doomer could bear to play. Taken at face value, the texturing makes no sense at all. There is no alignment; the mapper appears to have let the texturing cards fall where they may. The textures themselves are a jumble of stock resources, the cartoony realism of the Doom Alpha textures (which Monti loves and uses in almost everything), and some other stuff that is dark, grainy, and doesn't really look like anything. It's all mostly a grungy mass of brown and gray without a lot of visual contrast, and before your eyes adjust to it, it's quite ugly. However, once you do adjust, the effect becomes more interesting. Rather than simple ugliness, I prefer to think of it as rot. The walls of each map are like a putrid corpse, the flesh sagging and running together. Both the materials of the walls and the formerly ordinary shapes of the rooms themselves are melting, deteriorating, settling into pools of their own juices as the lights gradually go off and the stuff of reality falls irretrievably into darkness—and there is you, the player, adrift in the middle of it and clawing for solid ground. Crumbling reality has been the stuff of Doom maps for literally as long as Doom has existed, but Alpha Centauri takes it a bit farther, and grosser, than normal. I've compared it to Lilith.pk3 before, simply because it's the closest comparison I can find, though that comparison isn't perfect. Lilith is a complete scrambling of reality at the level of quantum physics, while Alpha Centauri shows its unraveling through much simpler, more classic methods. But both have that same adjustment period before you realize, "Oh, I see what this is really about!", and both take an overtly destructive approach toward classic ideas of aesthetics in the name of a broader artistic vision. I should also note, however, that the lighting in these maps is a whole separate layer of aesthetics. It is quite moody, and provides the sharp, classical visual contrast that the textures themselves lack. It's easier to recognize Monti's competent hand here, and you can see some nice examples in the screenshots above. In a sense, Alpha Centauri's setting is the opposite of Eviltech's. Where Eviltech has very familiar, Doomlike techbase trappings overlaying hints of something deeper and stranger, Alpha Centauri's maps are mostly constructed out of the gibbering, nonsense froth of a rotting universe, but still contain tiny islands of sanity and realism—not so much glimmers of hope, but more like the last pieces of thin driftwood you try to cling to before the ocean inevitably takes you under. And so "Forgotten Colony" (map 04) may be largely unrecognizable in its general shape from what you can imagine it used to be, but sitting placidly within it like the dog in the "everything is fine" meme are an immediately recognizable monorail track and an almost pristine dining hall with benches for every table. "Photosynthesis" is stretched into only the vaguest resemblance of human-made shapes, but it also has areas that appear to have once been the base's hydroponics section—or perhaps it's the materials of the base themselves that have formed into the shape of the trees for some unknowable reason; who can say? The later maps share a network of train tracks, another trope Monti seems to enjoy and use a lot, and they reach their nexus in "Rigel Kentaurus" (map 09), where dead commuter platforms line a circle of track that encloses several deformed areas that could once have been anything but are now molded around a final set of combat trials. And I guess that brings me to the subject of gameplay, wherein I must acknowledge that even if the aesthetics don't drive you off in a fit of rage, the gameplay still might. Alpha Centauri is a hard set of maps, but it's not hard in the way Doom maps are usually hard. It's heavy-handed and often cruel. There are many fights where you have to know what's coming in advance to beat them, and even a few where foreknowledge alone isn't a perfect solution, and luck plays a major role. The truly rude fights in Alpha Centauri are relatively few, I believe, but the two I remember distinctly are 1) being teleported into a tight hallway with Hell Knights where the only reliable way to kill them before being overwhelmed is with the rocket launcher but you don't have time to switch if you aren't already carrying it, and 2) a few Arch-Viles in the open square dining hall with the doors locked and no cover whatsoever. Doomers as a whole tend to define good combat as needing to be fair and purely skill-based, for reasons that I probably do not need to explain. It's entirely legitimate to feel cheated when a fight pulls something on you that you simply could not have outwitted. It's entirely legitimate to criticize the mapper's work as incomplete and unpolished for this. That said, if the universe is literally melting and I am clinging to pockets of sanity like driftwood, do I really expect the monsters to follow the rules and treat me as the center of the game's existence? I don't have a perfect answer to that question, but my instinct says, "not necessarily." But a few awkward moments aside, I did find most of the combat in Alpha Centauri to be both fun and interesting. It more often toes the line than crosses it (though it does cross it); most of what it pulls on you feels evil but also ultimately beatable and exciting when you beat it. Those of use who liked the episode best last year compared it to Dark Souls, in that you don't really expect to beat a fight on the first try, and that's just part of the game, because the fun is in learning the lay and patterns of each encounter and developing the strategies to win them. They're a bit tighter and harsher, with less proven solutions, than established styles of combat puzzles, which will likely make them annoying for many less skilled players and players who normally play hard maps alike—but for my part, I really found it rewarding to unravel them and find the way to the next piece of monstrous wickedness. It just felt right to me. There was something about the questionably punishing nature of the combat that felt like a fitting complement to the unsettling, madness-fringed mood of the mapset as a whole—but I also had so many moments where I finally emerged victorious and was truly, cathartically thrilled by what I had accomplished. "Take that, rotting eldritch universe!" I would say as I took my next step and the terrors began to close around me again. And even as you take out the star of two-shot Cyberdemons at the pinnacle of the final map and make your exit, it's hard to feel like it's really over in the sense of winning, like you haven't simply reached the last tiny piece of land, laughing crazily as the dark sea of the cosmos swells up over you. I'll wager not many mapsets will make you feel quite like that. So in the end, I'm grateful for everything this mapset does that is bizarre, confusing, and unpleasant, both aesthetics and gameplay, although I will not say that it is perfectly executed or that it's an entirely smooth experience, even taking its own apparent design goals into account. Alpha Centauri is an Experience with a capital E, like Lilith or Three Is a Crowd or Alpha Accident or FCFF, the sort of thing that any long-time Doomer ought to seek out on occasion as a counterpoint to the more obvious and easily digestible flavors of brilliance and craft that we're so often blessed with. As a final caveat, I would not under any circumstances suggest that you try to play it without saves (though I don't play anything without saves, so take that how you will). But by all means, gaze into this abyss—it won't be long before you are unable to look away.
  10. Not Jabba

    "DOOM-ish" UDMF Map Recommendations

    Like I said, I think it's an editor configuration, not a different mapping format, so basically it should work as long as you only used features that were compatible with ZDoom. Oh, also I meant to respond to the OP but didn't. Creating GZDoom-compatible maps as "Classic Doom Plus" is a big thing nowadays, so it's a great time to be alive. It's also really popular with Heretic maps, since Heretic has no Boom format, so either you do vanilla or you step up to GZDoom, and that means a lot of people use GZDoom to try to go for a middle ground. For Doom: Mercury Rain and Nameless The Alfonzone Verdant Citadel Paradise Hell-Forged Alienated and Perpetual Powers and Skinship Ar Luminae (though it stretches the idea of "classic" a bit further) Freaky Panties 2 Technicolor Antichrist Box Tarnsman's Projectile Hell (targets ZDoom/Eternity) Dungeon Synths (also some other stuff I already saw mentioned, like Lullaby) For Heretic: Faithless Trilogy Sold Soul Quest for the Crystal Skulls Elf Gets Pissed The Wayfarer
  11. Not Jabba

    Heretic: The Way Raven Did?

    I think you're right about the "in name only." The IWAD itself looks a lot like a community-made "in name only" project, especially the first three episodes. It even has the same sort of variance in level design experience/skill that you'd expect to find in a CP. I'm looking forward to the WMC project and the textures look very good, but they also look like they'll require truecolor. That means they'd probably be tough to use in a project with a more classic bent (even a GZDoom-based one a la Faithless Trilogy, Sold Soul, or Quest for the Crystal Skulls), because they probably would not convert to the palette well without a lot of extra manual coloring work. I've done similar work on paletting a lot of the Hexen 2 texture set, and it's pretty time-consuming.
  12. Not Jabba

    "DOOM-ish" UDMF Map Recommendations

    I don't think any of this affects the map format, though. I know from experience that you can have a wad where you compile your maps as "ZDoom: Doom (UDMF)" instead of "GZDoom: Doom (UDMF)", but have newer GZ-only features in your Decorate or ZScript, and the maps will run fine in GZDoom. I'm curious as well what the difference between the two format configs is; I've been using the ZDoom UDMF config myself for simplicity's sake, and it still gives me tons of options to work with. I'm not sure what, if anything, is "missing" from the ZDoom format that is present in the GZDoom one. I'm pretty sure it's entirely a matter of what's configured to be visible to you in Ultimate Doom Builder, and not actually two different map formats.
  13. Not Jabba

    Heretic: The Way Raven Did?

    For those calling out for Heretic textures, try visiting the Heretic/Hexen texture and decoration thread. Baker's Legacy and Ettingrinder's pack (linked in the thread OP) and any new textures posted in that thread are the best place to start compiling a textureset. There's lots of great stuff in there that has made it into Faithless Trilogy, etc. You can also find some good custom textures in Hymn and Realm of Parthoris, iirc. And, as people have mentioned already, you can port Hexen textures into Heretic pretty easily -- it's possibly to find combinations that will clash badly, but mostly it works pretty well.
  14. Not Jabba

    Heretic: The Way Raven Did?

    Heretic is a neat game from a mapping perspective, but "the Way Raven Did" is probably the last thing I'd want to do with it. "How id Would Have Done" might be more interesting, as Romero, Petersen, and McGee probably would have done much more interesting things with the game's features. But to somewhat expand on what magicsofa said, Doom has been a much-loved game with a huge volume of mapping, which has evolved down many different paths. It's a game whose modding community has explored seemingly infinite possibilities, yet keeps finding new ways to make the game awesome. This also means that returning to classic ideas can be a useful way of re-grounding from time to time for many mappers. With Heretic, there have been few releases, and there's been relatively little exploration of what the game can do. I don't think that treading the same ground as the IWAD is going to offer much or be the best use of the community's time, particularly since most of the original level design isn't that good. Hell, even now, decades later, you can release a Heretic map and still have people tell you you're doing it wrong because you didn't put the keys in the "right" order or follow every other rule in that one very specific ideology of what the game originally looked like. Like, come on. You've got to live a little.
  15. Not Jabba

    More Memorable Maps

    I've often thought about how much harder it would be to declare the "most memorable maps" going forward from the 25th anniversary, especially if you tried to sum up the next 25 years in just a hundred maps again. A lot more stuff is getting released now than in the early days, and more people have the skills to make a large number of memorable maps in any given project or year or mapping career. There are very few "obvious" picks anymore, because it's hard to stand head and shoulders above your competitors when they're all eight feet tall. But it's still fun to think about. For my own opinions, I've already done most of the leg work for this, made the tough cuts and kept track of which maps were my favorite each year. "Most memorable" is a bit different from "personal favorite" (and that was the case when creating the Top 100 Memorable Maps as well), but has some overlap, and generally I'd expect the picks to be drawn evenly from my top 10 for each year, with 6-7 maps per year. If memory serves, most award winners from 2018 were considered for the Top 100 (and five maps from that year were selected: two from Adventures of Square, one from GS2, one from Struggle, and one from Maskim Xul), but a few were too late to give fair consideration, and I specifically remember disregarding a Rekkr map that I felt was a strong contender because of the release date. So, I think my twenty would be: One from 2018: Mistory (Rekkr E2M7) Six from 2019: Mechanical Embrace by Ribbiks (FCFF map 07) Remnant by Aurelius Transcendence by Xaser (Eviternity map 26) Verdant Citadel by exl Cryonology by AtroNx (Eviternity map 15) Ending by Jaska (Lost Civilization map 20) Seven from 2020: Mutabor by tourniquet Ar Luminae by Aurelius and Kaito Sheer Poison by Scypek2 (Three Is a Crowd map 29) Acheron's Needle by Xaser and Marcaek (Syringe map 06) Bastion of Chaos by Bridgeburner Felstoy Abbey by Razumen (Realms of Cronos) Gehenna by bemused (Abandon map 13) Seven from 2021: A Kiss from Gaia (to Gently Cradle) by Emma Essex (Time Tripper map 07) Infraworld: Coma Moonlight by Stormcatcher Lullaby by danlex Subway Sandwich by skillsaw (Heartland map 01) Unhallowed by CyanoBlugron Ventose by Roofi Voile, the Magic Library by Tarnsman (TPH E1M9) Don't count that too carefully. There are favorites of mine that are definitely missing from there, especially Anagnorisis. Regardless of how much I love it, there are a lot of competitors for huge epic sandbox maps, and the two shorter Eviternity maps stand out as more distinctive. In terms of sheer memorability, I would say (without much hesitation) that Ar Luminae is the #1 map released since the 25th anniversary, with Lullaby, Ending, Subway Sandwich, and Cryonology making up the rest of the top five.