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The Release of Metamorphism!

Saturday · 21 Jun 03 · 11:31 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

What is Metamorphism?  You certainly haven't heard it on my site before, have you?  Well, it's a Doom II map, and things have been pretty quiet about it.  Now it's time to come clean, heh.

Metamorphism is a bit different from all my previous Doom levels, because it's a collaborative effort.  Brad Spencer had this idea back in January that him and me could make a map together.  I thought it would be a cool thing to do, and agreed.  We've been working on the map for the last 5 months and it is complete at last!  I have to say that I had a great time working with Brad on this.  We initially intended to make this level require a port, but towards the very end, Brad spent a lot of time and made it doom2.exe compatible (thanks also to stx-Vile and Natalya Shilyaeva).  Anyway the level has nicely been packaged for you to download, and it should also be reviewed in Doomworld's next edition of /newstuff Chronicles.

You can go to Brad's site (link above) to see his update about the level, and also go to my Metamorphism info-screenshots-download page.

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The Recent Past (Doom News)

Saturday · 21 Jun 03 · 10:51 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

I seriously have got a lot of Doom work done in these holidays.  I knew that I would have to leave to Manipal for my Management course at the end of this month, and so I decided to finish all the pending work I had.  Apart from that some interesting stuff has also happened, all of which I'm glad to talk about in this post.  To make things a bit more interesting, I've classified them into subheadings:

  • The Ninth Gate: This project, as some of you may already know, was started in 2001.  It's a replacement for the entire Episode 4 of The Ultimate Doom.  I am contributing two maps to the project (E4M1 and 3), and I finished one of them a long time ago (E4M1 in 2001 itself).  But in the recent past, I finished the E4M3 I'd been gradually working on over the last one year or so, and I brought it up to a good standard.  But then, the old E4M1 was a very early map of mine, and therefore, a pretty poor one.  ESPECIALLY when compared to the high-quality stuff of the other mappers (Pablo Dictter, Toby Münch, Damian Lee and my brother Varun).  Also, using a mediocre map like my old one with Damian's awesome opening song was just criminal.  So I decided to make a new one.  I not only decided it, I've also completed the map (codenamed "N4M1", which stands for "New 4 M 1", which is in turn derived from "New E4M1").  It's one of my best levels till date (and a pretty terrific E4 style map if I do say so myself).  I finished that on 15th June, and sent off the map to the team.  Apart from that, Damian also completed another map for the project just a couple of days back.  Varun and myself are working on a Ninth Gate site update, so that should appear shortly (Varun has some exams now).
  • Reviews: Eric Buck, a.k.a. The BluePaladin has done a large number of reviews for the Doom Wad Station.  Recently, he reviewed my Chaos Punch, Out of Phase, and Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon (also Varun's The Anomaly Part II).  Well, thanks Eric!
  • Demos: Yesterday, I went to Opulent's Doomed Speed Demos Archive (after hearing that he'd updated), and was a bit surprised to see a demo for my Out of Phase 3, by Michael Novikov.  Surprising, because he'd done a huge batch of Ultimate Doom demos as usual, and I was a bit puzzled as to why he would do a demo of Ophase3 out of the blue.  The reason was that this site, Doom Power, had started a speedrunning contest on June 5th or so, and they'd picked my map to conduct the contest on!  I thought this was a really cool thing, so I got all the demos so far posted.  The contest page is here, but you should know, though, that it is in Russian.  But you can easily make out the demo links (there were 21 demos when I checked).
  • A map worth writing about: Last Sunday's Doomworld /newstuff Chronicles had a very good map for Doom II called The Wicked and the Damned by ReX Claussen.  I mention it here specifically because I really liked the concept and execution of the level.  It's unusual because you start off near the exit room, and travel through much of the map without meeting any monsters (all the switches also won't work).  Then, once you activate a "power switch", you'll have to backtrack from that point.  There are monsters now and the switches throughout the level now work!  Innovative map.

I'd also been chatting quite often with Pablo and Toby recently (and a couple of times with Damian and Ismaele), and I also downloaded Ismaele's latest two levels (which should appear in tomorrow's /newstuff Chronicles).  I played only one of them (Run & Kill, the other one was Outpost of Hell 2) though, but it was nicely done.

Well, there's still more good (Doom-related) news from my side, and that is important enough that it deserves a whole post all to itself.

Papa got my Net4India hosting renewed today, and we also got a new computer!  P4, 2.4 GHz, 80 GB HD, 512 MB RAM, DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, WinXP + Win98, SoundBlaster LIVE! 2.1, super cool.  Also got a new pair of glasses.

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The Recent Past (Non-Doom News)

Saturday · 21 Jun 03 · 02:34 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Before starting this update, I should let you know that there is a reason why I didn't update for so long.  Two reasons actually.  First of all, I am leaving to Manipal to join my management course at TAPMI, on 25th.  Now I wish I could stay at home for a longer while, but that's not possible.  Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time finishing all the pending work (Doom stuff mostly), and also on shopping, etc.  Secondly, if I had not got a viral fever a couple of days back, I'd have updated sooner!  I'm fine now and so here's the requisite long update!

  • Sat, Jun 7: Hectic day!  In the morning I went to take the test to get my driver's licence, and it went very well.  After this, my parents and myself attended a lecture given by our President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.  I'm glad I got the opportunity to attend this presentation!  And immediately after that, I attended a get-together organised by our TAPMI seniors.  I was pretty tired after coming home (about 11 PM or 12 AM).  The previous night I'd watched Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep on HBO.
  • Mon, Jun 9: My brother Varun's site crossed 1000 hits, and I watched The Animatrix: Final Flight of the Osiris on HBO (followed by The Matrix).
  • Fri, Jun 13: Srikanth and myself went to college (heh, my previous college) to apply for certain certificates and documents, which I will require in order to show that I've completed my Engineering course.  We were there from morning and I reached home at about 5 PM!  But the job got done.  I watched part of Fargo and The Touch on TV, and at night I watched Cruel Intentions on AXN.
  • Sat/Sun, Jun 14/15: I got my driver's licence on Saturday!  And in the evening some shopping got done for my Manipal stay.  On Sunday I watched The Mothman Prophecies on HBO, which was a good movie.  Now after this, HBO was showing The Frighteners, and STAR Movies started Back to the Future Part II at the same time (11:15 PM), so I watched both (switching channels... anyway I've seen both movies and BTTF2 I've probably seen some 30 times or something).
  • Mon-Sat, Jun 16-21: I finally got to see The Matrix Reloaded in the theatre (went with my mother and brother on 16th), and it was an absolutely awesome movie!  The ideas presented, the visuals, fight scenes, everything were a cut above the original, and so I liked it even better than the first The Matrix.  After coming home from the movie though, I had a cold, which developed into a high fever by the night.  The last couple of days I've been recovering from that viral fever.  Anyway I watched The Tailor of Panama on HBO on Wednesday night.

Several interesting Doom related happenings also took place, which will be discussed in the next post.

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New Movie Reviews and other stuff

Friday · 6 Jun 03 · 02:47 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

On Tuesday, I watched The Lawnmower Man, a nice science fiction movie on STAR Movies.  I first saw it sometime in 1996, on STAR Movies itself.  Was good to watch it again.  The movie after that was Anaconda, which I also watched (I've seen this a number of times).  The Friday before that, I also watched Mortal Kombat on HBO.  As always this is a cool movie.

Today, I had the pleasure of watching director Ram Gopal Varma's latest film, Bhoot in the theatre (Varun and me went).  It was a very well done horror movie and I really liked it.  By the way, here is the movie's official website.

So, I've added three new Movie Reviews to the site:

  • Cyborg, the Van Damme movie I was taking about earlier,
  • The Lawnmower Man, and
  • Bhoot, which I saw today.

Finally some other things: May 31 was my father's birthday and June 1 was my parents' wedding anniversary.  I should also be getting my driving licence in a few days time.  I also think I am going to be very busy on Saturday!

Oh and after a long time, there are two new entries in my Guestbook, one from Mike and one from Sani.  Thanks to them both.  I'd also like to say here that I like getting entries in my Guestbook, so visitors - do keep writing comments there (no problem even if you have already done so)!

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Plenty of Doomed goings-on

Friday · 6 Jun 03 · 01:58 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Over the last few days I've been doing a lot of Doom stuff, and that is the subject of this update.

Firstly, concerning reviews of my levels.  Ismaele updated his site, Outpost of Doom II with some new reviews.  These are of Erik Alm's Europa 3: The Dark Side of Vrack and Scythe (about which I'll write some of my own comments a little later), and my Congestion Control 2.  My brother Varun's maps Short 'n Quick and it's sequel also got mini-reviews at his site.  Then, Kak Home sent me yet another detailed review of one of my levels: Dark Fate this time.  I've posted the review on the Dark Fate page.  Also, I've updated that page with the info that there's yet another review of the level at the Doom Wad Station, done by Eric Buck a.k.a. BluePaladin (who reviewed CCT2 also earlier).  Thanks Ismaele, Kak Home and Eric!  Also, thanks to Brad Spencer, for taking the time to do a first-try demo of Congestion Control 2.

Something strange also happened while Ismaele was playing CCT2: the two archviles that run out once you open the red key door, started fighting against each other, and one of them killed off the other one, and then proceeded to commit suicide!  Ismaele's got a couple of screenshots on his site showing this unusual phenomenon (I've never heard of this happening before).

I've also been working on my E4M3 for The Ninth Gate, and it's now 99% complete!  I just sent the map to the team members yesterday and I'm waiting for their comments.  Next I'm going to complete the new E4M1.

Recently, I also downloaded the latest version of ZDaemon.  And it was very cool to play some deathmatch with Pablo Dictter on the morning of 2 June (my time).  Actually I was intending to set up a server running my CCT2 so that I could actually play it on DM with someone, but it wasn't working (ZServ would crash whenever I queried the master server).  Anyway this time when Pablo and me met on MSN Messenger, we tried getting the thing to work but it didn't.  We later played DM on an existing server and it was fun.  It was my first DM game playing with a human (heh, until now I've only played with bots), and I took several screenshots to remember the moment!  I also managed to get a ZDaemon server with CCT2 running, but I kept seeing a message "Connection Interrupted" on the screen.  I guess I will try later with Dark Fate!

Also, after reading Ismaele's Scythe review (and his recent emails) I decided to play the maps starting from the first till the last.  Until yesterday I'd only played some of the maps on various skill levels, individually, and watched demos (thanks to Opulent's DSDA) for nearly all of them.  But last night, I started playing the whole thing, and got through 22 levels.  I played the rest today.  I played all the levels on Skill 1, and on MAP28 and MAP30 I put on IDDQD (heh).  Anyway I enjoyed playing it and I must say, it is my favourite megawad.  It's also the only megawad I've more or less played fully, till date.  Most of the levels are short and can be completed in a very short time, which is something that really appealed to me.  The gameplay is excellent and in my opinion, the looks match the standard of the gameplay.  Although to the authors (Erik Alm and secret-level author Kim "Torn" Bach) gameplay assumed a higher priority over looks, I love Erik's style in these levels, and to me the looks range from great to absolutely beautiful (MAP29 and MAP30).

And finally, there were some interesting comments regarding the voodoo doll trick (which I used in Simpler) on the Doomworld Forums, and thanks to Grazza I got some old (from 1995) WADs which used the trick too.  Also, I got a package of interesting Doom v1.2 stuff from Gokuma's site.

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Dark Fate 2 — a Doom II map by Karthik Abhiram

Dark Fate 2 is a singleplayer level for Doom II, replacing MAP01.  It's a small-sized hellish level — and there's a walkthrough video as well.

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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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