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About Touchdown

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  1. Touchdown

    "It's too cartoony"

    That's kind of where I always thought this creature should go when transitioning into photorealistic graphics - though I don't see it as they wanting me to put them out of their misery. More that they're unpredictable killing machines precisely because they're in constant agony. Kevin Cloud said in the Noclip series that he considers both D3 Pinky and D4 Pinky to be valid reinterpretations of the original monster. I disagree about the D4 version because I think it's one of the worst designs ever in any id game but I do share his sentiment. I think in the grand scheme of things there are different ways you can approach reintroduction of such ancient designs. I personally think that DOOM should lean more into the grotesque / disturbing direction - that's how I have always perceived it. But even though I largely disagree with the current direction I cannot objectively say it's completely invalid. It feels lazy to me, not gritty enough and not serious enough but it is a direction that is still valid for DOOM. Part of the reason is that I'm all for being surprised and I vastly prefer designs that capture the spirit of a creature rather than purely its physicality. DOOM Eternal in terms of monster designs seems to be more about nostalgia-pandering which I just don't like. I'd much rather have a monster that makes me say "THAT's a new Mancubus? Cool!". But that's not a popular approach. I guess most people just want something that's extremely faithful to what they already know. It's the same with music. A lot of people want a band to do the same thing over and over. But I've never been on that side of an argument. As for specific designs, the new Arachnotron looks cool, though it looks way more menacing in the CGI teaser than in-game but that Pain Elemental is a complete disgrace in my opinion. They should have just used the D64 version.
  2. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    I have watched a bunch of Romero streams of Sigil over the past week or so. Mostly had it playing in the background because he occasionally answers some questions from the chat. Not much point in really WATCHING it because Romero sucks at playing DOOM and he dies all the time so it's just a couple of 5min maps stretched into multiple 1-2h streams. Kind of funny how he constantly talks about how hard it is - I mean sure, if you can't dodge a projectile from a single Cacodemon in front of you then I guess you'd call it hard. I wonder if he's doing it on purpose because that's some novice skill level right there (I kid you not, try watching any of the archives). What about the maps themselves? Well, he showcased three and all of them are pretty cool. I don't know about the other levels but those three are really short and really small. I'm fine with that because I'm always up for short and sweet bite-sized maps but I guess some people might be disappointed by that. Two of those maps are set in single medium-sized rooms/areas with some minor branching here and there, Perfect Hatred style. One thing that I really like is that Romero is not shying away from making environmental hazards very prominent. All of the showcased maps make a heavy use of damaging floors and walkways that you can easily fall off from. Again, Perfect Hatred and Against Thee Wickedly come to mind. I wonder how all those action-action, rip&tear fanatics who think that DOOM is all about running around at crazy speeds and slaughtering hundreds of monsters will react to that... But to me that is very much "DOOM", if you know what I mean. Anyway, so far Sigil looks way better than E1M8b and E1M4b. The only thing I don't like about it is that Romero apparently thinks that all this soothing guitar music somehow fits DOOM but hey, the free version will have DOOM1 midis so I guess it's fine.
  3. Touchdown

    Witchfire [dark fantasy shooter]

    Witchfire Diary #2: The Crossbow This entry details the iteration process for weapons, in this case the crossbow.
  4. Touchdown

    [FINAL RELEASE] Eviternity

    Well, maybe I just have a terrible taste or something. ;) But at least I can say that those are the honest first impressions right after getting through it.
  5. Touchdown

    [FINAL RELEASE] Eviternity

    Having just finished playing Eviternity there's a couple of things I want to say about it. It's a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion - I've found large portions of the megawad really tedious and on the other hand there are levels that are absolutely amazing. The beginning of Eviternity was... really underwhelming. I don't think I can say that those levels were objectively bad but to me personally they were really boring. It's not that there was anything specifically wrong with them - they were competently made and had a decent amount of details. But they felt really generic to me, to the point where I considered just skipping ahead to other episodes. It's kind of the same problem I had with BTSX E1 - maps are well made but they're really boring to me. Not to mention the music (primarily in E1/2 but in most of the other levels as well) is something that I find 100% not appropriate for DOOM ever, under any circumstances. Episode 3 is really where I got a bit of hope for the rest of the set. From my experience winter levels in DOOM are generally either really cool or complete garbage. In Eviternity they were a bit more in the middle but leaning strongly towards really cool. This is probably my favourite episode overally and I had a lot of fun with it. As for the secret levels, I enjoyed both of them (except the broken map31 part where the door required the wrong key - did anyone even playtest this map?). Map32 was really great - I enjoy large levels sometimes and this one had a lot of great environments and fun gameplay. But holy crap, that was a bit excessive and it got a bit tiresome near the end. I'm pretty sure the only reason it's not even larger is because the author ran out of linedefs. E4 is were things got generic again. As before - not that there's anything really wrong with those levels but they were just more of abstract tech bases - not my cup of tea at all. My favourite level by far is Dehydration - great visuals and fun gameplay, thought it started dragging a bit towards the end, much like Map32. The indoor section in the second half felt like the author just wanted to make it longer which wasn't really necessary because that map is pretty long anyway. But it's a really nice level overally - I might replay it separetely later on. E5 was another good episode - I love the dark lighting and color usage. I enjoyed most of the maps but Viscera and Gossamer are definitely my favourites. Interesting thing about Gossamer - I didn't look at the author but somehow I immediately knew it was Mechadon. :) Looks great, plays nicely - another candidate for a replay. Very solid Hell episode. About E6... I knew there was going to be a Heaven episode and frankly I didn't have high hopes for it. I wasn't sure it'd work too well. But I'll be damned, Transcendence... Just wow. That was the best opening shot in any map ever, I think, and one of the most beautiful DOOM levels I've seen. That map single-handedly made playing this mapset worth it. And the ending was fantastic. Phenomenal job. The rest of the episode was neat as well (minus the music) - I like those open environments and the details were pretty interesting. The second half of Eviternity was definitely better in my opinion. I don't have any strong feelings about custom monsters. I didn't like that the new Demon was green and the other two enemies felt kind of overpowered sometimes. But a stronger melee enemy was a cool addition. So yeah, a lot of the maps were not my cup of tea. But I'm glad I got to play the other ones.
  6. This was revealed a year ago but we haven't heard much since then. Witchfire is a new game from The Astronauts, the creators of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Some of their devs also worked on Painkiller and Bulletstorm in the past so they're going back to that with this game. The game uses Unreal Engine 4 and sports the same photogrammetry technology that was used to create the amazingly detailed environments in Ethan Carter. It's supposed to be primarily gameplay focused with no story cutscenes. As of right now the developers expect it to be released in 2020. The reason I'm bringing this up now is that starting today The Astronauts will post weekly development updates, slowly revealing more and more about the game. You can keep an eye on their pages but I'm interested so I'll be posting any new dev diares for everyone who might not be bothered to follow them on Twitter or something. Anyway, here's the first one (a couple of gifs inside): Witchfire Diary #1: Witchfire, a Year After Reveal Excerpt: "Witchfire is a first person shooter focused on challenge and mastery. We’re trying to make sure it’s accessible and there are many roads to the ultimate victory but you’ll still need to prove your witch-hunting skills if you’re after all of its secrets. To get one thing out of the way: Witchfire is not a story-based game. There’s lore to discover and decipher, but no cut-scenes to follow. A project like that – e.g. like Bulletstorm, a game that some of us directed – would be bordering on impossible for a tiny team like ours. More importantly, though, the heart of the game is somewhere else." Aaand the original teaser trailer if you want to refresh your memory:
  7. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    It doesn't really feel like the final map to me. I've played it a couple of times and every time I felt like I was playing a Computer Station replacement because that's the kind of vibe I get from it - a prelude to the final level. There are some really weird design decisions like the out-of-place looking damaging cracks or the unfair ambush at the start. The final room looked neat but the scale made no sense for a couple of Barons - I always imagined a twin Cyberdemon fight there - that wouldn't fit E1 but hey, it's not like this level fits as an E1 addition anyway. Point is, it's not a bad level. But if somebody else released it you wouldn't see a single Cacoward nomination, let alone the award itself, let alone a physical one. Not to mention you wouldn't see people praising it as some sort of level design mastery. I was glad to see Romero releasing a DOOM level but come on, that doesn't mean doing such a thing deserves nothing but praise.
  8. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    There's obviously something special about an episode made by the original creator 25 years later but that curiosity is where it ends for me. People who apparently think we should all bow down before Romero just because he made a couple of maps are silly. It doesn't matter who made them, if they're good then they're good, if they're weak then they're weak - they don't get extra points for being made by the original author in my book. But who am I to say that? The highly questionable E1M8b won a physical Cacoward just because Romero made it. I'm sure another one is already being 3d-printed for Sigil.
  9. Touchdown

    Prodeus [retro FPS]

    Bit of an update. The guys behind Prodeus are apparently listening and in addition to allowing increased enemy resolution you'll be able to swap between the fake-sprites and 3D models. Observe:
  10. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    I have no complaints about Romero making more DOOM levels. But he's always using them for some weird reasons. Over two years ago he made E1M8b to get people to fund Blackroom by showing "the kind of gameplay you can expect" in a completely different game. I mean, come on. Who thinks it's a good idea to make a level for another game as a teaser instead of, I don't know, showing the damn game itself? Now he made an episode that won't be released for two months because he wants to sell a box with trinkets. Meanwhile his actual new game probably won't be released anyway.
  11. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    Disappointment. And Romero is trying make money off of it? What a joke. And to think that this will get so much more attention than all those amazing mapsets made by the community. I've watched a bit of the stream. Levels themselves look alright. Buckethead music is as unfitting for DOOM as I expected. Also, Romero can't play.
  12. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    I'm interested to see what it is but Romero has had so many companies / games and nothing really great ever came out of them (if at all)... I'll believe it when I see it. I certainly hope it's not just some set of DOOM levels but a full-fledged FPS or something.
  13. Touchdown

    Doom 3: Phobos

    As of right now I have finished Phobos E1 twice so it might be the time to share some of my impressions. Good but flawed is probably the best way I can describe it at the moment. I really like the mix of fast-paced action and slower exploration / storytelling bits. To some it might seem a bit jarring but I enjoy and appreciate that very much. There's something really interesting about having some of those scenes from the past and such - the contrast between the violent action and peaceful scenes with down-to-earth problems. The final scene is intriguing and I hope there'll be more of that in future episodes. I'm really interested in the story behind the whole thing. I'm already kind of trying to figure out if there's anything I might have missed about it and thinking about what might happen later. With that said I gotta say I'm not a fan of all of those references to everything that ever inspired you. I don't like it when creators do that because it somewhat makes their work feel a bit fake which doesn't do wonders to immersion. In mean, I can't agree on Life is Strange but SOMA is freaking amazing so I can see where you're coming from. But you already kind of reference it anyway through the plug-in / plug-out communication with Miles so all those names and quotes feel unnecessary to me. Not a huge deal of course, just something I noticed. I have to echo the complaints about writing and voice acting though, especially when it comes to the protagonist. A lot of his dialogs and reactions feel really unnatural, "read this line and act really surprised" kind of thing. A lot of it sounds like nothing anyone would ever say. I think the best part was actually the very final scene which felt the most natural out of the whole mod. I also don't quite understand what is the deal with Miles. She can get really emotional when talking to the protagonist but since we don't know anything about their relationship it just makes it look kind of weird. She doesn't really sound like a special agent she's supposed to be. Visuals are one of the strong points of Phobos. Most of it feels like a more "civilized" version of areas from D3 - they look different, sometimes maybe too different, but overally that gives them their own personality - they're not just more of the same like Lost Mission, for instance. I really like all the little details scattered around desks and such (though apparently none of the employees clean after themselves), it makes the place feel more real and, for me, kind of fills the space left by the absence of audiologs. In terms of gameplay I think Phobos does a decent job at making D3 more fast-paced with the inclusion of a rapid fire pistol, a better shotgun (even though the ultra-fast fire rate looks bizzare and the shotgun reload animation isn't very good) and unlimited stamina - though you could have added an always run option because there's hardly any reason to go slowly during combat (unlike for exploration). But I don't understand why did you completely remove recoil from the machinegun. It feels really weird compared to all the other weapons because it's unnaturally stable and the screen doesn't shake at all when firing. Levels themselves are fine, I had fun moving around and exploring, there's enough diversitiy to keep things fresh and exciting. I obviously wish we had more of them but it is what it is. Regarding sounds, I don't know if it's just me but it seems like either the gun sounds are too loud or the dialogs are too quiet because I constantly had to fiddle with the volume slider depending on whether I was in combat or listening to conversations. I kind of like it that some of the monsters are faster this time around - it works with the the more powerful shotgun, faster movement and unlimited stamina. It takes a few moments to get used to it but in general it does a good job at increasing the pace of combat. I do however have mixed feelings about the 'classic' features such as glowing red eyes on Imps or a pinkish tone of the Demons. I mean, it's nothing too extreme but that's like a very very mild version of what id did with DOOM Eternal by bringing back the original monster designs. It just feels unnecessary. Other than that it's pretty cool. I'm looking forward to when more powerful monsters appear in future episodes. Not sure why people complained about the difficulty. Once you realize that you have to be more aggressive, run around more and such it really isn't excessive. I guess maybe some folks were caught off guard because Phobos throws a lot more enemies at the time than D3. As I said before I enjoyed the ending. The new Pain Elemental looks really cool (definitely better than the cartoony abomination from Eternal), too bad the fight is kind of easy - if you pull out the Chaingun you can kill everything very quickly so it doesn't really feel like a final fight at the end of a chapter. The final scene was probably my favourite out of the entire mod so far though. There are some technical issues as well. The game doesn't save my video settings, there's this game-crashing button in the second room (how did that even make it there?). There are some smaller things like the fact that when you break that classic DOOM lamp the light still remains. In general I'm really happy that this thing is finally out and that it's not lost forever because it'd be a huge waste if that project was cancelled. I enjoyed it, there are some questionable decisions and elements there but what can you do. I'm personally looking forward to the rest of the mod so congrats on the release and hopefully the other episodes come out in a not too terribly distant future.
  14. Touchdown

    SIGIL - New Romero megawad for April 2019

    Oh, so it'll be another set of overrated levels that'll get a ton of attention and praise just because Romero made it. Ok. Also how do we know it's "clearly" DOOM related? Why would you have to pre-order an episode for DOOM1? Does Romero have a deal with Zenimax to re-release DOOM (again) with a new episode?
  15. Touchdown

    Dusk - Hexen + Quake + Doom

    MILD SPOILERS FOR EPISODE THREE BELOW; I don't talk about specifics or anything like that but if you want to be completely surprised you might want to skip it. Short version: it's freaking amazing. All in all, really cool game. No real filler, no siginificanlty weaker points. It's diverse and fun. Consistently ridiculous and oldschool. Clearly the authors had a lot of fun making it and it shows. Will continue playing it. Good job.