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About Phobus

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  1. I do love a vanity search... Couldn't believe that the DWMC was going through this megaWAD after all of this time though! Glad to see my map has gone down pretty well, even if my name has clearly faded into obscurity. As a bit of a post-mortem for you, the map you've played is actually a complete rebuild of the initial design I had. Simply put, when I first made the map I had no real understanding of the vanilla Doom limits. I'd built a limit-removing map which hit a lot of the same points, but had way too many lines, plus some VPOs. The major change, aside from an extreme reduction in visual fidelity, was my decision to remove the central arena from the main body of the map and make it a teleport trap. Originally, you'd have a lift in place of each teleport pad and the area with the key at the end would've been a bit different... Partially because you'd have entered at the right-hand side rather than the left. Getting halfway across triggered a trap with the key and one without, as I remember it, so you'd still get the two waves, but you'd have been in the middle of it when they triggered, rather than just being dumped in a big room full of monsters. I probably had a lot of trouble balancing the start of the map, but that trap was very much my kernel, as I loved the idea that any firing would open up the room into a clusterfuck. The suicide exit shortcut was a case of emergent design, as I don't think I intended it, but when a tester (probably Belial) told me about it, I was sure to leave it in (probably with some urging, given how Plutonia has a few shortcuts too) and may have even tried to help facilitate it. I feel like, with this map and Plutonia 1024 (or Plutinya, if you will) MAP23, I actually get in the zone with Plutonia quite easily. It's got a distinct design philosophy and the maps are easy enough to make. Cant believe this was 6-7 years ago already! I must have made this around about the same time as my second CC4 entry (MAP07)... Which may explain why they're basically the same map idea, come to think of it. I was basically in everything back then... Good times.
  2. What gets me started is when it's new and exciting. All through the 90s I was learning the ropes of it, so it was easy to make a little map, be really excited and finish it. Then in the early 2000s it was the discovery of ZDoom and the ambition to make a megawad that excited me. After that the combined novelties of a Doom community and advancing ZDoom features like Decorate really captured my imagination. ZDCMP1 was a massive inspiration for me. Now that I'm in a load of community projects and even got to take part in a successful ZDCMP2 (as well as the ill-fated original), I'm kind of done with community participation. Speed mapping and other limits and themes provided some nuance, but judging by how slowly I've been making Triacontathalon and the Escalation series, the shine has worn off then, too. I did think the advent of accessible 3D floors in ZDoom would get me going, but after playing with them for a bit, my curiosity was satisfied. The only thing that brings me back now is that I've got unfinished and not officially abandoned projects sitting about. The thing is though, I feel like they'll keep indefinitely, so there's no sense of urgency. Short answer: Novelty, which explains why I've barely made a map in three years.
  3. No idea how well known she is, but whilst I was bored earlier and scanning YouTube for interesting Doom videos I came across this: I'll concede my major interest was vanity, but looking through her playlist, she's done quite a variety of maps and, whilst not setting any new records for player skill or developer insight, I found the commentary whilst playing to be a lot more compelling than just watching somebody play a map. So, given that she's played my shit, even without any sort of mention of the author, I figured I'd share hers. She's done a multi-parter on 50 Shades of Graytall, that might interest the authors at least, plus a lot of stuff I've not heard of. If I had to guess, she's just plucking random files off /idgames, as it's the only reason I'd imagine anybody playing Urban Escape!
  4. A good 40+ minute map is a much better and shorter experience than a megawad, as far as I'm concerned. A megawad full of short maps is very compelling but still needs multiple sittings, whilst one full of large maps (like that "The Awakening" one I reviewed years ago) is a proper slog, even if the maps are all good I also believe that a good megawad tends to have a large climactic map in it anyway (usually 29), so that megamap within the megawad will still be the highlight. It's why CC3 is difficult to play through despite it's quality. Most maps are events in and of themselves. There's no appetisers or filler to just go through and gain a sensation of progress.
  5. Honestly, it's a hobby that I indulge in when I feel I haven't got anything better to do. So if I had a job that filled my days, my PC still had a ton of yet-to-be-played games on it and I lived with my girlfriend you'd probably never see or hear from me again. As things stand, only the PC bit is true, although it isn't with me during the week at the moment. My dooming expands to fill my free time.
  6. I'd come out of community project retirement for a British Community Project... Or maybe Community Chest 5.
  7. Having renamed "Phobus Challenge Maps 1" to "Triacontathalon", I'm now up to 9/30 maps made. Doing the odd one every now and then is fun, but not enough to make me knuckle down and really start pushing for progress.

    1. Alfonzo


      Good to read that you're still plugging away in the wings, Phobus. Have always been a bit partial to your work!

    2. Fonze


      Seconded; it will be interesting and fun when you release these :)

    3. Phobus


      I find these positive responses very encouraging :) Maybe by the end of the year we'll see results!

  8. Speaking of ZDCMP2, where I just dumped an unfinished old-school map layout in for the Hell section and set up some concepts, I think you did an amazing job of picking up that ball and running with it. Your spiral cage tower continued on the torture motifs and added more variety to the mostly stringy environment. Probably the best example I could give of a "there, finish this" where the spirit of what was started was realised and added to with a recognisable touch.
  9. Obligatory self-promotion: Warpzone Coils of the Twisted Tale
  10. Like a few others have said, my ideal "collaboration" is for somebody to pick up my map when I'm bored of it and get the last 5-30% in. I'm not fussed about detail, so anybody who likes adding greebles, vistas and other visual flair to a solid functional map would have a blast with my work... But would probably change the texturing significantly. Likewise, getting Things into my maps is often a hurdle, so somebody who can look at an empty, but functioning layout and see battles, traps and more would be handy. For a proper collaboration, they'd need to be more keen on it than I am, but also committed. Nothing kills this sort of thing like somebody losing interest or starting something else. If we can both excitedly get through large chunks of work in the initial couple of days, preferably with some sort of focus or plan, then I'd guarantee success. Drag it out beyond a week and one of us won't be finishing it. So a quick worker who doesn't get lost in the details before having a finished layout. Somebody with the experience to realise a vision, but the enthusiasm to get right into it. Ideally, somebody who could just as easily make the map without me. That way there's no pressure and the exchange of ideas will be interesting and exciting. I'd want communicative working too. Either a conversation ongoing whilst working or a decent handover at the end of a shift. It sounds like a lot, when I write it out, but I think those are the things my various failed collaborations have been missing. Same deal with the stagnation in community projects. If I had to name names, then 40oz seems like a good fit. Previous experience tells me that esselfortium is good to work for and with, as well. Aside from his attitude to collaboration, I think Memfis would do well under my criteria for a map or two, but not a bigger project (so, much like me). In a "there, finish this" situation, Tormentor667 is good if it's his project already, whilst Tarnsman seems to do this well on a more general basis. Of course, this is all pontificating as I barely map at all these days.
  11. Plot-wise I'd be happy with a complete lift from Doom 2016, but the movie focusing on a team of marines who get hints and glimpses of what the Doom Slayer is doing, in addition to fighting through themselves. Maybe have Samuel Hayden guiding them to achieve his ends as the Doom Slayer is too destructive to be reliable, but ultimately have the latter save whoever is left in the team in some incredible action climax against the Spider Mastermind or Cyberdemon. However, rather than them getting any sort of acknowledgement or understanding from the Doom Slayer, have it end with him heading off to find more stuff to kill and the survivors being talked through the next points of Hayden's plan. Sequel potential right there. As for actors... Main characters can be any reasonable action actors, to be fair. Not The Expendables levels of recognition or age, but maybe a big name for a survivor (or shock early death, like in Alien). Doom Slayer may as well be CGI for how little characterisation I'd want him to have. Somebody big and imposing just being a force of nature with no communication.
  12. How I see them (and implement them): 1) Double excessive ammo and low enemy population 2) Excessive ammo and low enemy population 3) Unbalanced in your favour 4) Tightest balance 5) Novelty mode By making Ultra-Violence a tight ammo balance with enough health and armour to forgive a few unlucky hits, I find the reduction of enemies the easiest way to make a map easier. Only on maps like the Escalation series do I actually balance lower difficulties to avoid ammo and health excess. This mindset may explain why I get the odd complaint of low ammo.
  13. Well... 1) Setting difficulty modes. I'm not sure if that's worse on maps like the Escalation series where I'm trying to be clever with them in order to maintain a number of enemies, or when I'm just half-arsing them in a normal map by reducing enemy numbers. I mean, who else is playing my maps anyway? 2) Playtesting and bug checking my larger efforts. Particularly when I've left thing placement until the end of the creative process and have some hours of work on my hands. 3) Being done with an idea before I'm done with the map. Most of the maps I've ever abandoned were down to that. 4) When it becomes totally routine and mundane. Making my 60th (or more) limit-removing map with vanilla line actions it'll take a really special idea to even get me started. Especially when I start to think about all the tweaking and the like that comes with meeting any sort of standard. 5) My own standards. I expect myself to produce maps that have some basic artistic capability and technical accomplishment. This gets much worse with ZDoom mapping where there's so much more fidelity. 6) That 3D floors and MAPINFO aren't in some sort of basic standard of mapping. They're so enabling, but going into ZDoom mapping always encourages me to play around with advanced features and other fun stuff. 7) Getting distracted by resource creation and manipulation. In making a 8-hour map I ended up spending 3 hours messing about with textures, ZMAPINFO and other stuff. The novelty definitely excites me more. And let's not forget... When the fucking editor crashes on you. Some of my earliest editing memories are of the "Nodebuilding" and "Saving" progress bars in DEU creeping up to a certain point and then freezing before bombing out due to a lack of RAM or whatever. That majorly let me down... These days at least GZDoomBuilder just crashes near enough incidentally, wiping out potentially much more work :p
  14. Good point, but to me it still stands out amongst the more traditional tech bases and gothic maps.
  15. As somebody who was already pretty comfortable with ZDoom, I find Graf Zahl's work on UMAPINFO to be the most exciting prospect here, as it's a simple concept that grants a lot of power to people making projects. The ability to remove the 32-map megawad from future production and have megawads that end when they want to, with secret maps that aren't known to be on certain slots, is something that's been missing from the community at large for a very long time.