Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Doom II In Name Only RDC


By some accounts, Doom 2 In Name Only was a disaster. The initial goal of the project was to just take a level name and then do whatever seemed appropriate - to create a map that justified its appellation. When opened up to the community, though, some of the authors went counter to the potentially experimental direction, creating a mixed bag of levels that at times explored one of the most common criticisms of Doom II, that the experience did not hold up to the expectations of the setting, enforcing monster progression and vanilla textures (outside of Xaser's madness) coupled with clashing author styles and a lack of focus. The Russian Doom Community took some inspiration from the release, from which comes this episode covering the first nine levels. Doom 2 In Name Only RDC has some clear goals; it dumps any aspirations of vanilla compatibility, even sneaking in a few scrolling floors. It also uses a bunch of new textures to further distance itself from the original Doom II experience... even if there are some obvious homages crammed in there.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Way Too Many Dead Guys


Way Too Many Dead Guys is Urthar's first release, a seven-map episode for Doom II published in 2015 that targets limit-removing ports... and, the author recommends, something that also disables infinite actor height. Personally, I only ran into a couple of problems with cacodemons biting the top of my head. While this PWAD isn't on the archives yet, it's pretty much finished, and it's definitely worth a play. Urthar shows a lot of craftsmanship and a style that is very much his own in terms of architecture and what he decides to fill his architecture with.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Breach

BREACH
by Alun "Viggles" Bestor


Every now and then, an author comes along to show us just what kind of depth of detail you can get out of Doom in a limit-removing setting. And, every now and then, one of those guys manages to pair it with cool gameplay. Breach, a MAP01 replacement for Doom II  released in 2015, is the first thing Bestor has done since a couple of deathmatch levels he kicked out waaaay back in 1996. It's just like they say - they come back. They always come back. Actually, Breach is only half of Bestor's intended experience, since he actually ran up against the NEW seg limit. Supposing he finds himself motivated, we might get to see the second part. And, uh, I'd be very excited to play it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Estranged (ESTRNGD.WAD)


Foodles is a more prolific author than this blog suggests. He has two Doom episodes to his name and a Doom II hub, all of which I understand are recommended, but which I haven't played. My sole bout of exposure was his joint venture with Esselfortium for Back to Saturn X E1, so I can't say I really had a clear picture of his sensibilities... until now. And how! Estranged is a full megaWAD for Doom II, to be played in Boom compatible ports, released (more or less) in 2015. Like any self-respecting one-man megaWAD, it's apparently been in development a long time... just how long, I dunno, since there wasn't a .TXT when I played it (in a "finalized" open beta). From a perusal, it looks like it started out as "Unleashed" and then morphed into "Uncaged" in 2011. Now, we've got Estranged.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Abyssal Speedmapping Session 2 (ABYSPED2.WAD)


The Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions are an institute founded by Doomworld Forum superstar Obsidian, though it has its foundations in one of Doom's smaller communities, The Abyss. The goal is to get a bunch of folks together making a speedmap in the same timeframe with two hours for the main work, fifteen minutes of texture / music selection, and then fifteen minutes of bugfixing. A common Skype call only serves to add to the feeling of community involvement. The initial showing wasn't that big, fielding a paltry four entries. The crowd almost doubles here, though, with the addition of a handful of community staples.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Erkattäññe (ERKATANE.WAD)


Nicolas Monti has made a lot of PWADs that I have not yet played. After a single level release in 2010/11, he exploded out in 2012 with Eviltech: Soul of Megawad, a Doom II release, then cranked out four Doom episodes, all centering around tech themes, whether it's Phobos, Deimos, or the Alpha aesthetic. While his Doom II followup - Reticula - remains in development as of this writing, he published this eleven map episode for Doom II in 2015 - Erkattäññe. And, now, I'm finally giving Monti a try. Erkattäññe can be played in any engine and comes in two distinct flavors. The first uses Doom II textures while the other is draped in the Phobos theme that Monti is so fond of. Both can be found in the .ZIP file. For this playthrough, I stuck with the Doom II theme.