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  1. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    ^ I don't know the details, but Shawn is one of the few id guys I've talked at length with over the years & at one point he made it clear that Sandy had taken several of his WIP wads & finished them up. Not trying to belittle Sandy's role or anything - from talking to Romero in the late 90's I believe Sandy was the main factor in Doom's unreal statistics balancing (dmg/hp, etc.) - which few games have managed to replicate since, but as only one author is credited per map I'm under the impression that at the end of the day Shawn's efforts in the mapping field were probably underrepresented. All third-hand knowledge of course, so I wouldn't put any more stock in it than that. Those guys have a tendency to have wildly varying versions of the same events, lol.
  2. If you're having problems getting that PSX emulator running, don't hesitate to ping me. It's not too hard in the end, but it is slightly more involved than most older emulators which are basically "Load ROM and play."


    Meanwhile, back to me trying to rush this map to completion before the Beta 3 release!

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Dark Pulse

      Dark Pulse

      Hmm, well, the most basic way to break it down is this:

      1. Download RetroArch and extract it somewhere.
      2. Download the appropriate BIOS files for the PS1 - google up "Sony Playstation Bios" and from there just click the first link. You only really need SCPH5500.BIN, SCPH5501.BIN, and SCPH5502.BIN (which will cover all three major regions of PS1 discs). Make sure they're all named exactly those (you'll need to rename SCPH5501 to remove the dash in it). Put them inside RetroArch's system folder.
      3. Run RetroArch, and using the arrow keys/Enter/Backspace to navigate, head to Online Updater > Core Updater. From here there's a ton of cores for a ton of systems, but the ones you'd want to get are Sony - PlayStation (Beetle PSX HW) and Sony - PlayStation (Beetle PSX). There's other cores you could get here if you wanted to emulate something else, which naturally I'll leave to your tastes. They'll automatically download and extract themselves into RetroArch.
      4. Load Core, then load one of the Beetle PSX cores. If you got a remotely modern GPU, use the HW core; if not, just use regular Beetle PSX.
      5. Load Content. This will bring up a menu that works as a directory browser. Simply browse to your game (or in this case, the GEC PSX Doom disc images), and have it load the CUE. (It may ask you to confirm what core to run it with - again, use HW if you have a decent GPU, and the regular core if not).
      6. Assuming everything is set up right, after a few seconds, the game should load. Since you probably won't have it disabled, you'll likely see the PlayStation bootup logo sequence. (You can actually disable this in the core options.)
      7. Assuming the game loaded properly, you're now set to configure your controls. You can do that via the top menubar: Command > Menu Toggle to bring the main menu back up, then Settings (the gear icon) > Input, with the actual keypress bindings being done under User 1 Binds. (There's also a keybind you can do to do this without having to click that, in case you like playing fullscreen - you can configure this as well. The default would be L3+R3 - that is, pushing the thumbsticks in on a PS-style controller.)
      8. From here, you can basically quickly re-access the game next time simply by going to the History section in RetroArch. It looks like a clock. If you want to play a new game, you can basically begin from Step 5 - just navigate to wherever the game's CUE is, tell it what core to load it with, and off you go. (Beta 3 will be coming out probably on Monday, so you'll get experience doing this if you try Beta 2 before then.)

      The setup may be a bit daunting at first, but it's actually not too bad. The good thing about RetroArch versus using standalone emulators is basically the simplification of the process - rather than need to rebind and do all sorts of stuff for a whole bunch of emulators, you've got them collected under one umbrella.


      There's also a ton of options you can do to tweak the emulation, including the aforementioned CPU overclock (unless you enjoy PSX Doom chugging in bigger maps). You can get explanations for what the options do on the LibRetro doc page for the cores. From my experience, a setting of 300% seems to eliminate slowdown in all maps I've dealt with thus far.


      Not all of these work for Doom - for example, due to the way the renderer works, we can't actually increase the smoothness of the image since it's rendering a bunch of polygon "strips" - but they may benefit you in other games if you wind up playing those.

    3. Soundblock


      Ok, thanks for the breakdown. Firing up Doom isn't part of my weekly routine atm, but it usually comes back to me as something I need to spend some time on eventually. When and if it does, I'll be sure to go over this in detail.

    4. Dark Pulse

      Dark Pulse

      Well, assuming we keep to schedule, Beta 3 will release on Monday, so by that point, we'll have almost all the maps for the project completed, including all of yours barring Mephisto's Mausoleum. (Which, again, if GEC really can't handle it, I might take a crack at it.)


      Trying to get the word out to other Doomheads as well (such as Derek from Stop Skeletons From Fighting), so if nothing else, hopefully videos of it get uploaded to YouTube.


      (If you'd like to see one example of the sort of stuff we've done, here's my take on making E3M8: Dis a bit less of a cakewalk for the project.)

  3. Wow, i just realized who you are! Not going to lie, i'm not all that familiar with your maps as i haven't played the Master Levels all that much (but i have played through it a few times, just not recently). I do plan on playing through them again soon though, as well as your whole Cabal series so that should be quite fun. I just wanted to say hi lol :)

    1. Soundblock


      Hey, no biggie - glad you’re finding them of worth your while. Reccommend coupling them with hidfan’s neural texture upscales!


      Made Plasmaplant & Echelon more recently, if those should be of interest

  4. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    Should I ask him if he was responsible for The Chasm? :]
  5. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    You know, I really don't know. The whole episode took me by surprise a little, think it was pretty much done when I first heard of it. I spoke to Sleep some about it while we worked together in Dallas, which was a couple of years after the fact. The fuzzy impression I have of it now is that since they were finally making an official Doom box for the store shelves the chief reason for its existence is avoiding bad "this is just repackaging" press, since the original 3 episodes had already seen worldwide distribution by less conventional means. I'm sure by comparison to "digital Doom 1" & Doom II it could technically be considered a "scrape", with every author only chipping in a couple of maps, very little code alteration & no new art. Not really surprising considering Quake was being developed alongside. From what I understand Shawn had been a bit of a ghost-mapper for Sandy for a long time on the previous games and no longer so busy with beta-testing, got to finish some of his own 100% for this, which I wouldn't be surprised if were unfinished parts or residual ideas from the original productions. Willits had recently crossed the corridor from Rogue's offices & would have been a very fast mapper at the time. American & Romero could feasibly just be chipping in during available spells, waiting for Quake maps to render out lightmaps & such - that took ages back then, even with fridge-sized computers. Sleep likely had available work from his ongoing Inferno series & was asked towards the end by Shawn/John to slap the neccessary cherry on top to call it done, would be my best guess. He was a very meticulous guy though, he'd have fussed over it endlessly in whatever available hours he had before delivery, but whether he had actually seen any of the other maps when he made his, I kinda doubt. I'd think parts of the project had older roots than two weeks, but a final push to consolidate it all might have materialised that way. Really don't know much about how it was orchestrated though. Obviously Adrian was busy, or we'd have a fourth episode map!
  6. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    Don't know what reference that is, but my little Deadlock sprung entirely out of Hexen. That's where I found out runspeeds/player reach extents were different in multiplayer, as a pixel-perfect jump across a chasm could be made in SP, but not in deathmatch mode.
  7. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    ^ Yeah, seems we'll only ever be in partial control of our destinies no matter what we do, or there would be less freedom of choice to go around I guess. I'm unfamiliar with most all of the console ports of Doom, though I've noticed that my maps are often given a miss when ML content is included. I know that for one version in particular, lack of vertical ability of the port was likely to blame for Mephisto's Maosoleum & TEETH omissions, since those (the latter in particular) relied a lot on verticality. I used to figure architectural choices were to blame for the omissons, I tended to work close to the contemporary visplane engine limits - it's not until recently I'd even considered monster variation being a factor, but from the memory consumption dissertations I've seen on here about it - I understand Archvile's omitted entirely from some ports because RAM, so I guess it's possible. As for checking out the Bloodsea build, I've never run PSX Doom, or any other console Doom build, so I'm in the dark on how to get it up and running and where to get the files. I tend to pick one port and stick with that, during the spells that I'm active firing up Doom. The reduced detail version of the maps & cast don't excite me greatly tbh, but the inclusion of certain extra effects unavailable in the original are always neat, though I generally find the end sum markedly lesser (checked my MLs out recently with hidfan's neural upscale though, which was a treat). If you can point me to how to get it up and running and I don't derail for lack of know-how along the way, I sure wouldn't mind checking it out.
  8. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    Heh, interesting. Been wondering if he ever finished any & released them or made a clean cut with DEU. :)
  9. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    Yeah Sleep was already well fortified as the best out-of-house mapper at the time, though I personally had Jason Hargreaves as a close second (I unsuccessfully tried to locate Hargreaves via his university for a potential Daikatana team hire, lol). I pitched Shawn what I had at the time, so all 7 Cabal levels are technically ML rejects - not that the project would have fit more maps from anyone, for reasons already mentioned. I'm afraid he'll forever remain a mystery as it's only a few years back that I talked to Shawn about it, asking if there was any chance of the maps having survived somewhere, which he was sure wasn't the case. All I know about him is that he was supposedly a young kid at the time and that he got pulled out of the project by his father, who didn't approve of his activities. From what I understand he was working on 4-5 levels that weren't finished, but I have no exact data on that whole chapter. No names of levels, people or nothing. Unless an id harddisk with them on it are unearthed at some point in the future, humanity will never know. Shawn seemed pretty sure they were history anyways. You could say, my gaming career was brought about by one hard-working boy's misfortunes...
  10. Soundblock

    How did ID settle on 20 (21) master levels?

    The total number was pretty arbitrary, the main factor being how much time project lead Shawn Green had to spare on that particular side project. A similar level quantity difference as that between Doom II & Doom I guess, especially if you discount the secret levels (& the yet to be released Thy Flesh Consumed, obviously). - to be considered, maps 100% had to be unreleased on what internet there was back then, cover discs & such, thus forfeiting the possibility of the Maximum Doom entries taking part, which were all pulled off cdrom.com if I remember correctly - the authors communicated via mail some & several wanted to make an entire episode of it, but in the end id didn't want to spend the extra resources playbalancing a full episode - the answer was always a hard no. We had first started sending Shawn levels maybe a year (?) prior to them being finished, so there would have been a way if there was a will I think - all the maps were completed and delivered about 6 months before the actual release, I don't know what the hold-up was but by that time the D-Zone craze that initiated the whole thing had kinda died down & other new FPS offerings were coming out, so I think they kinda missed the boat a little on the release date
  11. Soundblock

    Random Image Thread

    Simon Stålenhag rocks:
  12. Soundblock

    The Doom Confessional Booth

    Though familiar with Sunder for a long time, I only very recently realised "Insane Gazebo" was a reference to one of these: ... and not one of these: ...yeah, not a native English speaker
  13. Soundblock

    John Carmack on the Joe Rogan show - it happened!

    That was awesome! :) "We were trying to do so many things. Six degrees of freedom rendering, modding, internet based game servers, 3D models... it was a lot of stuff [...] we could have done half of those things in a Super-Doom, shipped it earlier and then done the other half better in [...] Quake" Super Doom craving enabled!