Thursday, February 22, 2018

Testament of Judgement I v0.2c (demo) (TOJ_E1M1.WAD)

TESTAMENT OF JUDGEMENT I
v0.2c
by Sam "The Metabolist" Woodman


Take two. Or not, since this one's for the original. SW put out a promotional release of his Testament of Judgement project in 1999, then for Doom II. By 2000 he had switched gears, going back from Boom to the original executable and more or less disowning TOJ_15B. While still a single map replacement, this time E1M1, Sam included quite a few custom resources including a level title graphic. He certainly seemed committed! Alas; time makes fools of us all. Sam had more luck with his Mortiser series and shepherding the Plutonia 2 project through its early days, among other things.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Testament of Judgement 1.5 promotional release (TOJ_15B.WAD)

TESTAMENT OF JUDGEMENT
1.5 PROMOTIONAL RELEASE
by Sam "The Metabolist" Woodman


Ol' Sam had a long and checkered history in the Doom community with a number of small solo releases as well as major contributions to Hell Revealed II and Plutonia 2 (in fact starting the latter) and even smaller footprints on 2002: A Doom Odyssey and Alien Vendetta. While his legacy has been tainted by his music submissions to the FreeDoom project, I can't deny his importance as a vanilla proponent during Doom's source port boom. Sam had not one but two stabs at kicking off his authorial career with a one man megaWAD. Both were titled Testament of Judgement and neither really made it past the first map. The Doom II version, called the "1.5 Promotional Release", found its way to the archives in 1999. MAP01 is entitled "Spaceport" in the included BEX patch. There's a MAP02 replacement, too, but it's actually a deathmatch level, I suppose patterned after The Darkening E1 or E2 (though the finished product as advertised was to be a single-player adventure).

Monday, February 12, 2018

Triple-Play (3X-PLAY.WAD)

TRIPLE-PLAY
OR, PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH :)
by Bill McClendon


Bill McClendon's main claim to fame was as one of the authors of The Unofficial WAD Designers' Handbook which offered lots of great information for prospective authors looking to dip their toes in the Doom pool. While BM would eventually go on to contribute to Requiem as well as STRAIN (the latter also sporting his partner in crime, Ron Allen) he was initially unwilling to reveal his works for the judgment of his contemporaries. His main concern was the thought of being held to a higher standard due to his hand in assembling the guide, which among other things contains a list of typical errors including
Texture Misalignment
This is the single most common error made by level authors. Although it has been mentioned several times in this document, properly aligned textures are an absolute must. Enough said. (The Unofficial WAD Designers' Handbook, Release 2.1 by Ron Allen and Bill McClendon)
That's painting a big target on your back for someone to post a "Gotcha!" Thankfully, Bill got over his fear of retaliatory nit-picking and presented his first official release, Triple-Play, for Doom II in mid 1995. It's a MAP01 replacement like so many others and the author recommends using IDMUS 18 to invoke "Waiting For Romero to Play" as the intended, complementary soundtrack.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Lost Seraphim (SERAPH.WAD)


Virgil started out making vanilla Doom maps including his passion project, AfterDoom 2, but he was also quick to experiment using feature-rich source ports. This started out with Boom in 2000 but accelerated to ZDoom for 2001's Lost Seraphim. SERAPH is a four-level minisode for Doom II and has some unfortunate realities resulting from the differences between the port it was ostensibly released for - v1.22 - and the inexorable progress of development. It's a shame because there are some pretty cool ideas in Lost Seraphim that contribute to an interesting early ZDoom era experience and the problems render it relatively inaccessible. Above and beyond the usual issues associated with Vick's level design, that is.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

3-Tech (VRGL_3T.WAD)

3-TECH
by Vick "Virgil the Doom Poet" Bobkov


Ol' Maligheri wasn't much of a community project guy beyond his work with Plutonia 2, but he did try to get in on a few contests during his active period. One of these was 10 Sectors, where Vick had the faint distinction of being picked for the top 32 leftovers collection, 10 Sectors 2. The other considerably less popular contest nonetheless had him rubbing elbows with Erik Alm and Doug Merrill and might also have been the genesis of his Sam Woodman bromance. Though The Metabolist ultimately collected the results as the One Week Mapping Contest collection in 2001, Virgil saw fit to publish his one entry on its own during the same year. The fancifully-titled 3-Tech is a MAP01 replacement for Boom-compatible source ports.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Marine Army 1 (M_ARMY1.WAD)

MARINE ARMY 1
by Vick "Virgil the Doom Poet" Bobkov


When I downloaded this, there were a few givens. It had a huge warning label at the top of the accompanying file specifying, among other thing, that M_ARMY1 (a MAP01 replacement released in 2001) was designed for ZDoom and had neither solo or multi-player functions. The author attempted to shroud it under the cloak of experimentation and even went so far as to command a lack of criticism. All this, and for what? A "nice surprise?" The /idgames comments were characteristically descriptive and the information offered by Virgil himself was coy, to say the least. My imagination conjured the image of some sort of scripted ZDoom event not unlike the opening of Doom 64 where a complement of marines takes on some of Hell's finest.

Friday, January 19, 2018

AfterDoom 2: Deep Space Pirsuit (ADSP.WAD)


Virgil released a number of PWADs as part of his "appetizer" series (Black and White, Dark Castle, Ash to Ash) while trying to talk up his big project, the main course. As far as I can tell, though, Vick never actually finished it; fair Euterpe withdrew her favor and all we have left is the 2001 pre-release of AfterDoom 2: Deep Space Pirsuit. ([sic].) While the teaser only includes thirteen Doom II levels out of the planned thirty-two, I think that I have a pretty good feeling of how the finished ASDP would play out. Oh dear goodness do I know what the rest was going to be like.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Void and Rainbow (RAINBOW*.PK3)

VOID AND RAINBOW
by "Serious_MOod"


Serious_MOod started an authorial career on the unassuming, orthogonal Dark Side of Deimos in 2013. While S_M's following releases weren't staunchly traditional, neither were they wildly divergent from the typical Doom experience, especially when you consider that the alpha textures utilized in Beta Labs and BLABS2 have become a recognized theme in its own right. Color me surprised, among other things, with Void and Rainbow. It's a single level release for GZDoom published in 2017, featuring running and jumping and fighting and humping. Well, mostly the middle two, plus a healthy dash of Roy G. Biv.