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Andy Johnsen

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  1. Andy Johnsen

    Who coined the term "Slaughtermap/wad"?

    That term was used loosely and regularly during the 90'ies Compet-N days, the origins would be impossible to track, but for sure it predates the 2000s by several years. Casali maps and Hell Revealed were already referred to as "slaughter maps" by then. Erik used to hang on irc #nightmare a lot, and probably got used to the term being chucked around there, as it was the primary nest for speedrunners back in the day.
  2. Andy Johnsen

    The Top 100 Memorable Doom Maps of All Time

    What a fun read, this must have taken quite the effort to compile. I'm sure Kim would have been thrilled to see his legacy map position itself anywhere on a top 100 list at all, so to see it notch the top 10 is quite heartwarming. More importantly tho, this list is a great testament to the variety and personality that can be crammed into the game - what an awesome display of memorable bits from 25 years worth of user made content. A tremendous effort from the team behind said list, thank you for the grand read - and also to Linguica for the darn neat view shot of Misri Halek, that's a keeper.
  3. Andy Johnsen

    So why is Alien Vendetta in particular so well liked?

    Would agree, if it was correct. Run the map again with normal strafe from a save load spot at the bottom switch, it's just a regular straferun, with precision required. :) I agree that it's not a very exciting twist on what is (especially nowadays) your standard Icon fight.
  4. Andy Johnsen

    So why is Alien Vendetta in particular so well liked?

    It's hard to narrow down why some stuff linger, while another quality release may fade into oblivion quickly. Timing seems pivotal, you have to fill a gap, help push certain aspects forward, introduce something that make some kind of an impact. We didn't have a huge catalog of quality megawads to compete against at the time, and the late 90's offerings were already starting to show signs of age, and from a players perspective many of them had issues from an obvious lack of polish and testing. AV is generally quite polished for what it is. It was made to be fun upon repeated playthroughs, and even the simplistic maps in it received a fairly high dose of scrutiny. Most of the team members were experienced players first, and mappers secondly. Some of the gameplay quirks in Alien Vendetta came as a result of wanting to keep monster crowds from scattering throughout the maps, thinking such would make maxkill 100% runs more frustrating. This came at the expense of how dynamic the gameplay ended up being in some maps though, and I would not have opted for it today (also, nowadays we have about 20 years more of material to look at, there's that :) In my subjective opinion, AV's greatest achievement was a minimum level of quality and polish for all maps, and nothing so insulting it's prone to trigger mass rage quitting half way through. In today's age with Doombuilder and primarily port based mapping it's also hard to realize how much more testing and scrutiny that went into rooting out bugs, and how limiting it was on your design to have to test ingame for every minuscule architectural addition. In that sense, something like AV20 is easily underestimated when approached with today's toolbox, especially if you're not considering vanilla limitations and crummy editors. Pistol start assurance, fairly balanced gameplay, coop shortcuts, and a rather simple but generally quite fun gameplay makes it edible for repeated playthroughs. It's borderline crummy in a few maps, but never downright ugly to look at. AV has plenty of issues one could improve upon in hindsight. Less linear progression, a more dynamic gameplay in some of the stockpiled maps, a few borderline exhausting slaughter maps should have been trimmed and a few maps should have been replaced all together. Also; stacking ammo on top of ammo should be a cause for swift physical punishment. Map30 is a bit of a letdown, too. I was feeling the depletion at that point, there were grand ideas for yet another entry by Kim Malde instead, but it fizzled out before we got to it. As for the green torch in Map01 - nobody really knows what kind of vile spirit possessed Mr. Hunsager when he lit that thing. I usually just noclip and go play Eternal Doom Map30 instead.
  5. Having played Doom regularly on multiplayer cooperative mode for near 25 years, I figured it might be time to do a post on a few elements of annoyance that were prevalent back then, but seem to still prosper just fine in many modern maps. These were certainly even more common issues in the nineties, but they are still very much evident in modern maps, in all probability still because most mappers don't have the incentive, the interest or the testing environment needed to consider them. All of these pet peeve issues have relatively easy fixes. Please consider them friendly and trite reminders if you're knee deep in a mapping project at the moment, and want to make old crusty cooperative mode cats happy: - Paths / traps that are blocked by features that only trigger once. The most common issue in a Doom map on multiplayer is the kind of feature that work just fine on singleplayer, but leave you unable to pass a certain blockade upon respawning. These are found in almost every megawad out there, one would find a surprising short list of full 32 map sets where several of the maps do not require a restart upon death. The easy fix to this is to have either a shortcut implementation at the start area, or simply allow the blockade to be lowered again at the site. I can see why this was easy to forget in the early days, but that it should still be as prevalent in modern maps is weird considering how accessible multiplayer is now. ** - Keyed doors that are not stay open. Beyond the aesthetics and gameplay consideration there is very little reason to allow a keyed door to close again. In almost every scenario it would be vastly preferable to always use "stay open" on a keyed door, especially in a lengthy map. The repetitive hunt for already used keys becomes a huge chore and a harsh progression killer in way too many maps. If one do not want the door to be permanently stay open for whatever reason, the easy fix is to implement shortcuts at the start area, or have the keys lower / spawn at start once picked up. ** - Similar to the above issue; having to hunt for weapons in already explored areas before you can resume map progression. Again the simple fix is to make the weapons available at spawn once they are discovered. If one combine this with lowering teleporters to shortcut past lengthy distances, the multiplayer flow really comes alive. Tracking for five minutes through empty corridors, or climbing the same ledge sequence repeatedly and what not, is the bane of many multiplayer sessions. ** - Avoid flooding spawn starts / teleport landings with monsters. The chore of spawning into a boiling pot of revenants and barons when basically weaponless is a good way to deplete the fun. Usually some architectural tact can be applied to avoid this scenario. Similar consideration should be used if you allow monsters to flood below a drop, where you get a "clog" if death appears once the monsters have gathered at said spot (only an issue if you play with vanilla settings / infinitely tall actors, but easy enough to avoid). ** - Bio-Suits that become pivotal to get past hurt floor areas, or deplete you to unfair levels repeatedly when expired. Similar to the paths being blocked off or lowered because of traps and what not, this pesky "required" Bio-Suit, health boost or invulnerability variant completely breaks a map in multiplayer if death occur. ** - Lifts / moving floors that only carry one player. Some of these must be allowed for architectural freedom, but the need to make every lift in a lengthy map just wide enough to carry one player becomes a bit of a slog. One cannot accommodate for 15 players at a time, but at the minimum allowing for two players in a lift / moving floor sector, would be an improvement. ** - Stacked ammo, or items placed in front of doors or paths where you cannot avoid picking them up. We sinned with this in Alien Vendetta as well, so this is a lesson learned in-house. Very annoying, especially on multiplayer where you wanna be able to share the goods.
  6. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    That's nice to hear, but be forewarned - I might as well release screenshots instead of the actual map when it's eventually done, because the frame rate will be about the same. :) The map brought my former (outdated) GZDoom version to the breaking point already (It was unable to render it properly and just drew all kinda trippy stuff). Latest version runs it, but I'm guessing there might come a time. Because of the open architecture, and various effects applied (and quite possibly some uneducated decisions), a GZDoom map of this size kills most current high end hardware completely. I'm getting from 5-25 fps on a rather up to date rig, with no monsters placed yet. Fortunately, I'm having fun just creating the environment, so I'm mostly seeing that as the end goal here, the process of it. Like knitting a sweater that no one will wear (I guess?). As long as it's fun work :)
  7. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    That would be correct sir. Thank you for the enthusiasm. : ) Downside is, it won't be playable for ...well, almost everyone. I'm having too much fun with a near limitless format.
  8. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    UDMF obnoxiousness in the works, at a celebratory sidedef # (probably more already than all of Alien Vendetta combined...ouch)
  9. Well, there was this Russian guy with a web store selling off megawads burned to discs, with cover-art and all. Strange to happen by Alien Vendetta on ebay. Unfortunately I didn't have time to buy an overpriced copy before someone reported him :)
  10. Andy Johnsen

    Jim Flynn

    Sad news indeed. Rightfully legendary, as much for his work on Boom as for the pioneering and memorable puzzle maps he made. For years we've had a local saying during cooperative bouts; when stuff becomes heavily puzzle oriented we refer to it as the map "Flynning up". Perhaps a testament to how solving a Jim Flynn map the first time around was a memorable and satisfying experience, quite different from the usual. Condolences to the people who knew him, and thank you for informing us, Lee.
  11. My constructive advice would be to aim for proper quality control in order to root out hideous maps from the final product, if the goal is to receive grand reviews. Opinions differ, and that's all fine when it's free content. Sometimes it's okay to summarize your impression without having to go through each section of a map to explain why. If that is "abuse" then we have a different viewpoint of the term. As a whole the product is a highly mixed bag in my opinion, and I pointed out what I consider polar highs and lows. Always fun to check out new stuff, regardless.
  12. Map32, 18 and 19 are absolute 100% trash. Yikes. 19 killed my last incentive to complete this. The cave ara in Map02, Urbanismo's stairway climb and the dynamic nature of map17 were the highlights, beautiful stuff and stark contrast to the overall quality.
  13. Andy Johnsen

    Aaron "DemonSphere" Emge has passed

    Very sad news indeed...I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him personally, but his reputation as an excellent player and a nice guy was evident. I'm sure we would have spent hours discussing the game if the timelines of activity matched up. Condolences to his family and everyone who knew him.
  14. Andy Johnsen

    Historical/Informational AV Crap

    I think you actually mean Lake Poison :) Nukefall was an even earlier map than this. That said, this horrible mesh was one of my first attempts at "atmospheric" settings utilizing a new texture wad, I belive I made most of this back in 1996 and as such it's a good representative of my early, cringy efforts. As a little bit of trivia the indoor part of it was based on the Derceto Manor from Infogrames "Alone in the Dark", but you'd have to put some effort into seeing that when comparing the two!
  15. Andy Johnsen

    Historical/Informational AV Crap

    That one went through the wringer a few times as well, yep. I don't wanna complicate your fun with this, but maybe it would be good to present these with a little bit of commentary as to why the different parts got changed specifically and what the reasoning for cutting the Croatian map was :) You decide on that, if you wanna go ahead and showcase feel free. I'd love to team up with you for some commentary tracks on these relics to give them a context perhaps. I'll hit you up on irc to discuss it further when I have the chance. That said, feel free to present what you desire, you have a pretty good idea of the backdrop for most of this - fun incentive.
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