Duke Nukem 3D
That is not dead which can
Friday the 13th, October
Note 3: If you've been trying to reach me, one of the email addresses I was using has been basically spammed out. This address is the one I'm currently using.
Note 4: This is a damn long update containing very little useful information. But there are pictures. However it is helpfully written in inverted pyramid format, so the longer you read, the easier it will be to stop reading!
Wow a year since my last update. I am not dead, but rather just perpetually short on free time and inspiration. I graduated from University last May (with high honours, I might add), but since then I've had a tough time finding a decent job. Such is the fate of so many arts students, and I saw this coming, but living it is another thing. I've currently got steady, if unrewarding, employment at a warehouse and am absent from my rooms generally 11 hours or so per day (it used to be longer when I biked to and from work). Also, overtime has been the norm for the past few months. Not that I'm complaining: I do have a degree, which I'm sure will come in handy eventually, and I am making efforts towards returning to school to pursue further degrees leading to, at some eventual point, interesting and rewarding employment. Aside from that, even if I was stuck living like this forever, I'd still be better off than tons of people in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, trailer parks and ghettos everywhere, etc. I could still mess around with computer game levels and update my web site once a year.
Anyway, now that I've cried on my web site like everyone on the internet seems to be doing nowadays, on to something less narcissistic and more interesting. Some maps, or at least pictures of them.
First of all, I'm releasing four more rune maps: Dm-Bazaar (a large, vertically-oriented sky city), Dm-Forsaken (ruins in a desert canyon at night), Dm-LavaColiseum (just as it sounds), and Dm-Polaris (another void map like DarkStar). You can download all four in this file.
Second, I've rereleased my latest (and best) Quake single player map from last October, The Masque of the Red Death. Get it here. The new package is standalone, meaning it doesn't require Scourge of Armagon, but you still need Darkplaces or aguirRe's Quake to run it. Also, I fixed the start map Hollow Revelry so that skill levels now work no matter what (previously it was hit-and-miss). The map itself remains unchanged, but I figure if I'm gonna have this map out there I might as well patch up the package surrounding it. If you're bored this Halloween what could be more suitable than bloodily murdering your way through an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired environment?
A few other things pertaining to the map. First, Underworldfan reviewed it here, calling it "an atmospheric trail of medieval carnage" (and by the way, I'm still doing reviews for that site, and I'm very grateful UWF has been able to cover it solo for the past few months - many thanks man!). It was also mentioned by accomplished mapper Than in his article "Five reasons to reinstall Quake" during the latest Qexpo this past summer. And finally, whoever's interested can download Masque's source file here. Poke around, turn it upside down, make a harder/easier/capture the flag version, have fun, whatever.
And now more miscellaneous Quake related stuff. I finally got around to uploading aguirRe's improved An Old, Old Evil, my first Quake project. He fixed a few problems in the package and made all the maps more playable (Ep2m2, "The Knight's Stronghold" which formed the basis of Masque, is now completely playable!) He also sent me some comparison shots from the same angle between the two maps, which I post here for interest's sake.
Actually aguirRe's contributed more to this long-forthcoming update. He's compiled a Soul of Evil bonus map, Coven, consisting of both Soe2m4 and Soe2m5 in one map. This was the way I originally built the level (Coven being the original title), but due to technical limitations at the time I had to cut it in two. We both agreed that it was best, as such a huge finale map would have cut off all of the lower-end Quake users, right at the mission pack's climax. SoE was meant to be, and was, one of those add-ons where anyone whose system could run the original Quake could enjoy the entire project.
At the start of Coven you're given enough weaponry to make the map generally fair, if highly challenging, and the lighting's been improved and some secrets and map routes have reverted to their original, interconnected setup. In this incarnation, it's probably my best Q1SP map second to Masque (& as with that map, a custom engine is required). Grab Coven here if you've already got SoE, or get the SoE resource pack (required to play) first here.
aguirRe also put together a new Soul of Evil progs.dat which fixes some bugs in SoE's Arena mode (replaces the old progs.dat) - get that here. Finally, he also put together Hipnotic and Rogue mini-packs, which allow anyone who does not have Scourge of Armagon (Hipnotic) or Dissolution of Eternity (Rogue) to play custom maps which would normally require having those mission packs installed. I've put up these packs here: Hipnotic mini-pack, Rogue mini-pack. And finally as per his request I've reuploaded the original Night Journey file, containing the old (unplayable) maps and sources, which can be compared and contrasted with his much improved, playable version (UWF review).
With all the miscellaneous work, fixes, support, and so forth that aguirRe does, not to mention his ridiculously useful development tools which have spurred many a mapper into trying to complete monolithic maps that would have otherwise been dismissed as lost causes, I'm starting to think the man needs some kind of community contribution award, because he's up there with folks such as metlslime and Shambler.
And now finally, on to a status update on the various Quake maps that I have in the very clogged, very sewagey pipeline.
Arcane missed Qexpo through every fault of mine and none of Pulsar's. I have his beta: he does not have mine. My number one priority, lame as it is to say, is still to compile my map into a beta. Just as I thought I was ready I started building more architecture and areas like a retard. This map, though, is the closest to ready and least plagued by problems out of all my upcoming maps.
Unforgiven is still very much a when it's done project; we are taking this one very slow and easy and it's doubtful there'll be any humans left to play it when it gets released, but we don't care. My primary map for this project has something like 650 monsters in it, and lots of fuckups of various kinds. I'm not looking forward to tackling it.
Soul of Evil: Indian Summer. Umm, wouldn't you know it somehow my map for this project broke all of my own rules and ended up being really frigging huge, so huge I now have to split it into two maps. Some other people including Trinca and Headthump I think have joined, and given how long it's taking me anyone else can still join. Make something, make anything, I don't care anymore, lol!
Miscellaneous screenshots for ye Quake-starved masses:
And now for various other rambling. Warning: This will begin with vaguely game-related rants, and then stray more and more off topic until it ends with incomprehensible nonsense and incoherent sarcasm.
They finally released The Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, a game which I'd long anticipated. I was however disappointed, as while the game had great atmosphere and well-detailed, if claustrophobic level design, I really found myself far more interested in the story than in the gameplay which frankly just pissed me off. I understand well that in Lovecraft you can't win, but their attempt to emulate this in a game is basically, that one must think of adventure game-type puzzle solutions (push over the rock to the door, climb on the ladder to pick up the book, look at the book to see the clue, etc) at an action game pace, while being chased down by monsters against which one is almost powerless, even the low-level enemies. It's just bad gameplay, or a bad experiment, it's somehow bad, I can tell you that. Which is indeed too bad because in other areas they did such a good job. I'd cheat just to see all the cool cut scenes and character sequences and NPC interactions, but there are no cheats and without noclip and godmode it's basically impossible to navigate this game. Ah well, Lovecraft's legacy failed by mortals yet again.
On the plus side, seems someone actually thought of a really obvious, really cool idea that the assholes in suits who run the games industry would never fund and would totally ignore, until an awesome tech demo or three gathered a massive online following (Project Offset). And hey maybe new games aren't dead to greatness yet, as Chris Taylor's Supreme Commander is looking freakin' awesome. And the only console series I follow, Mortal Kombat, may be about to release its best, or second-best game ever: Armageddon. Alas, all of the aforementioned games are really just increasingly awesome elaborations on ideas originally made up years and years ago, namely Heretic (the first one), Total Annihiliation and Mortal Kombat.
I guess I'm just not into this football-simulation, dating-simulation, real-life-invading-my-goddamn-fantasy-world games industry they've got nowadays. I hate real life, and I don't want it in my damn games. Counterstrike can piss off, and games based on movies, WW2 clones, and pretty much any mainstream game, can all follow suit. Wow I feel like such a hardcore fanboy, always asking questions like: "Why do games suck now? Why does music suck now? Why is everything so mainstream? Can't we just bomb shopping malls, corporations, Disney, Paris Hilton, and everything else that produces, endorses and enforces this HOLLOW AMERICAN MATERIALISM MAN!!" Sort of like a hippie anarchist version of McVeigh. Err wait, that was the Unabomber.
I guess I have been reading too much Notes from Underground or something lately. Aha, there I made myself seem clever, by citing a respected but "weird/dark" book!
People I hate particularly, as in right now I'm thinking "what in hell is their problem?"
M Night Shamylan
Oh and last, and this is for whoever is reaaally bored, I wrote a story for a class a couple years ago. It received a good mark, and most people who've read it (including the 15 complete strangers in the class) liked it. It's short and violent, so any self respecting non-hippie should like it. Read (in MS Word format) "An Example to the Men." I'm currently trying to write a longer pseudo-sequel.
I meant to get this update together for months and months. It took me over a week to get it together. I would like having more free time. I would like that.
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