I finally finished my exams yesterday!
But wait... before I talk about that there is something more important to tell! It seems like just yesterday that I finished my first official released map ICK, set up a website at Tripod about Doom, and sent news about it to Doomworld. This was in March 2001. And on March 24, I found an email in my inbox that made me really, really happy:
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001
Hi there, I'm Jason from Newdoom.com. After coming across your Doom page recently we at Newdoom thought it would be great if we could have your Doom page hosted here at Newdoom. So if you are interested please contact email@example.com
And of course, I replied to that mail, saying that I would indeed love to be hosted at NewDoom.com! Soon, I got my setup info from the Mindless Games/NewDoom webmaster, William Mull:
Subject: New Doom Hosted Site Setup Info
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001
Hi Karthik, You're all set up!
After I uploaded my pages, I sent a mail saying that my site was all set up, and then:
Subject: Re: My site is up
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001
We'll announce the site on the news page soon, and add your link to our navbar!
On the morning of 29 April 2001 (in my timezone atleast :)), I found the announcement about my site (posted by Stphrz) on the main page of NewDoom.com - you can look here at their News Archive Page for April 2001 to find the news post! And tomorrow, it will be 29 April 2002...
Hard to believe ONE WHOLE YEAR has passed already! Doesn't time fly! I'd like to wish myself (my site actually) a very Happy First Birthday :)
I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to William Mull and Jason Sloan at NewDoom.com for being the cool hosts that they are! And I have to thank all the people who visit this site for reading the stuff that I write and downloading the stuff that I upload, and to the Doom News Sites and the community for all their encouragement. Thanks for everything!
I actually wanted to do a redesign of the site to celebrate, and I spent today evening working on that, but it didn't turn out as I expected so I decided to let this design stay till I make a better one.
Finally, I'd like to say that I finished my III Year II Semester Computer Engineering Exams yesterday. And I have TWO MONTHS (you read that right) summer vacations!
I'll be back later with some actual news, I didn't want to miss posting the 'one year old' thing. :)
Although I didn't have much to write about in this update, that doesn't mean I'm going to leave you empty handed :). I have added some cool stuff for you to download/read!
First of all, there is a new wallpaper for you! This is called Doom - Instant Zombification, and you can grab it from the Downloads Page. Or you can just click here. This is a zombification... er... I mean modification of an old wallpaper I made back in 1999. That wallpaper was part of a desktop theme I made, which you might still be able to find floating around on some theme sites on the net. The theme was not a very good one though, but I liked the wallpaper, so after a little retouching and a little enhancement, I uploaded it here. It is a ZIPped PNG file, and is a 1024 x 768 wallpaper.
Some cool goodies at the Download/Info Page of The Other Side of Phobos...
For all those of you who thought the secrets in my The Other Side of Phobos level were tough to find, I have done a 100% kills/100% secrets demo on Ultraviolence skill. You can download the demo here. Use doom.exe v1.9 to play it back.
Also, the level got some very good reviews from a lot of people, and a nice review by AndrewB at the Doomworld /newstuff Chronicles. Thanks to all who gave me feedback - Opulent, Brad Spencer, Stphrz, Tobias and Damian, and everyone else who posted comments on the forums. The comments were very encouraging! I know it's not the best level ever, but I'm glad people liked playing it. So I will see to it that my next level, which will be for Doom II, will be better than osp.wad.
Stephen Clark (The Ultimate Doomer) sent me a mini-review through mail, which I have posted on the OSP page. Wim Vanrie was kind enough to do a detailed analysis of the design and the gameplay of the level! Thanks to both of them, you can read their reviews on the OSP download/info page.
And finally... my brother Varun finished his final exams on March 27th, and he did well in all of them. So after that, he set up his personal site at Varun 20787 and yesterday, he made a mysterious update... Two days from now there will be a surprise on his site, so stay tuned! (I know what it is, and let me tell you, it is worth waiting for!).
Though it has been nearly a month since I updated last, there hasn't been much to talk about. This is because I have been busy with college work as usual. This time, our semester was a very short one, lasting only for about three months. Recently, I finished my final practical exams, including what is probably the toughest (for me) practical exam of my entire course! The one I'm talking about is Language Processors (that is, compiler design). But I did well in both practical exams. For the Language Processors exam, I had to write a program to demonstrate Brute Force Parsing, which I was really relieved to get because that's a pretty easy one.
Anyway, the theory exams will be starting on April 15th and will get over by the end of the month. After that, I will have TWO MONTHS of summer vacations (yay!!!) during which I will have lots of time to devote to Doom. But until then I will not be able to update my site.
Here is some of the news I wanted to write about...
- 13 Mar - Happy 4th Birthday Doomworld!
- 14 Mar - Varun's final exams started.
- 17 Mar - Happy 1st Birthday Doom Center! My WAD, The Other Side of Phobos also got some great reviews at the Doomworld /newstuff Chronicles Page.
- 24 Mar - Saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Terrific movie.
- 25 Mar - Saw the 74th Annual Academy Awards on TV.
- 27 Mar - Varun's final exams got over! He's got a lot of time for Dooming now... see the post just above this one for more about that!
- 1 Apr - Watched Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction again after a while. One of my all time favourites. "You gotta appreciate what an explosive element this Bonnie Situation is!"
- 2, 3 Apr - My practical exams got over!
And finally, I changed the font on my site, as you may or may not have noticed :).
I feel rather silly about this - this afternoon I wasn't able to access the NewDoom FTP and so I put up my new level at my Tripod site (here). And I sent mails to a lot of people, sending them off to that temporary page! Three hours later and things are working fine with the NewDoom FTP itself.
So there's no need to go anywhere else, you can just go to the The Other Side of Phobos Info Page to get the level and play it. Sorry for the unnecessary trouble. Tripod's downloads are slow. Now that I've uploaded it to the NewDoom FTP you should have no problem getting the level, because their FTP is always FAST!
By the way, all the links to the FTP on the Downloads Page also work properly now.
Finally, after more than a month's work, The Other Side of Phobos is done!
I completed the map last night (well, about 1:50 AM this morning anyway), and Varun gave me some suggestions this morning. Final WAD built at 10:40 AM.
Check out The Other Side of Phobos Download and Screenshots Page to go and get my latest Episode 1-inspired map. It is bigger and better than any of the levels I've released, pretty tough too, on Skill 4. See if you can find all the secrets in it, watch out for those imps, and don't get instantly zombified.
Update: Just tried uploading my files and found out that NewDoom's FTP server - the one I use for storing my files - is currently down! I couldn't even connect to upload anything. So although I have updated the links on my pages, they won't work until I get the files up there. Sorry about the inconvenience, I will upload all the files when I can. If you want a particular file you can always email me.
I've uploaded The Other Side of Phobos to my Tripod Site, you can get it from here.
There is not much of Doom stuff that I've been doing lately - except mapping. Last Monday (5 March) I recorded a demo of Doom II MAP18 in 0:31. I watched a demo of that map by Adam Hegyi in 0:22, which was amazing, and then Varun told me to try it myself. 31 seconds is what I got.
7000 HITS! On 10 March (night) I just wanted to have a look at the counter on this site - and there it was, staring at me - 7000. Thanks everyone!
Today I updated the links on my Downloads Page - I removed all the old links pointing to files on the NewDoom Review Center, and replaced them with links to the FTP server where my files are stored now.
Check out Varun's excellent Doom Nightmares Wallpaper at Doom Center. Pablo wrote several updates at Fehler 404 recently, and I watched 13 Ghosts yesterday - very cool movie.
This is an update on the progress of my Episode 1 style map. I have received a number of emails about it so I thought I should let everyone know how it's coming along.
Pablo gave me some comments on the screenshots I had posted in the earlier update. Those areas have been improved now, there are changes in textures and flats. Opulent told me to work on the map instead of on college stuff - and that is what I have been doing over the weekend (heh, heh... seriously though, I have had some free time)! Hopefully, the next update I make on this site will be about the release of the level.
- The level is called The Other Side of Phobos.
- It will be a single level for Doom, Episode 1, and it will follow much of the Episode 1 style of texturing and use of monsters.
- It will most probably replace E1M1.
- There will be new music in the WAD, composed by Josh "inferno_45" Frazier (thanks Josh). The music is an ambient, moody song.
- The level will be comparatively larger than my other levels and this time I AM aligning all the textures.
- I've already made a nice TITLEPIC for the WAD.
I have a holiday today so I'm going to try and finish the level!
Tobias Münch and Pablo Dictter updated both their sites recently, and Pablo released two Doom levels yesterday! These are called Pretty Hate Marine: Entryway and Pretty Hate Marine: Starf***ers Inc. Also, the site that they both run, Fehler 404, was updated several times recently, with a number of Pablo's articles, and a Driving Licence Aptitude Test (the first test in the series - and a must-see). Tobias also updated The 9th Gate site with the progress report that I posted earlier. I downloaded Metabolist's new release Mortiser 4: Chemical Plant, and I thought this level was simply great! One of the screenshots you see on his page shows light falling on a grill-like floor - this is beside a rocky floor and that particular combination of textures/lighting is one of the best sights I have seen in a WAD.
Until next time...
There won't be any cacodemons in this new map I've been working on.
That's because it's an Episode 1 Style Map! I was very inspired by Tobias and Pablo's work on E1 styled maps (especially Tobias' Comm Center) and I thought I'd give it a try myself. I began working on it on 27 Jan. I would have mentioned it here earlier, but I wanted to get atleast 75% of the level done before I announced it. All this time I've been working on two maps in parallel - The 9th Gate's E4M3 and this one, currently with the filename e1map.wad.
Take a look at these screenshots from the level (hover your mouse on each one of them to read a description)...
The level is about 85% complete! All I have to do now is to build the final exit area, put monsters/ammo in some of the later parts of the level, choose proper textures for the newer areas I've built, align textures everywhere, and think of a name for the map.
I am making this map as close to the Episode 1 style as I can. Please don't expect a very large, difficult and complex level, I am going to keep this simple and fun to play, but challenging on skill 4. I hope to finish it soon.
Although the screenshots have been taken with the latest ZDoom version, the map will be perfectly compatible with the original doom.exe (that probably goes without saying, heh). It will most probably run on E1M1. I will replace the titlepic, I'm not sure what I will do about the music though. I want to have a song that sounds just like something from the E1 levels. Going to have to search for something nice. If I don't find anything suitable I will use one of the original Doom E1 MIDIs.
An informal report on what's been happening on this project. I already added a comment on this to one of Doomworld's posts, but I thought it would be good if I wrote about it here as well.
Status of maps -
- E4M1 (mine) - completed
- E4M2 (Tobias) - in-progress (pics 1, 2, 3 in Doom Center's Gallery)
- E4M3 (mine) - it's being worked on and it's getting closer and closer to being finished (pics 4, 5, 6, 7 in Doom Center's Gallery)
- E4M4 (Damian) - the map itself is built, but changes need to be made (improving existing areas, monster placement, stuff like that)
- E4M5 (Pablo) - finished
- E4M6 (Pablo) - finished
- E4M7 (Varun) - in the beginning stages (pics 8, 9, 10 in Doom Center's Gallery)
- E4M8 (Tobias) - completed, but Tobias was thinking of making a new map in it's place
- E4M9 (Damian) - this is the only map we haven't started working on yet
- Other resources - A lot of the required music tracks have been finished already, Damian's music is very cool! Varun's made an AWESOME titlepic. Some of the other graphics have been made. Varun will make most of the remaining graphics necessary, I'll be doing the level names.
Status of the team -
- Me - busy with college work, not finding time to update this site or my personal page, but no matter what, I am going to work on my maps (both E4M3 and my e1map) whenever I have the time! :)
- Tobias - his job keeps him occupied. He is also doing some serious mapping for Visions of Eternity. He has also kept updating The 9th Gate site now and then.
- Damian - his computer was mean to him and crashed a couple of times. Fortunately all of us keep sending copies of our maps back and forth, so Damian didn't lose too much of what he had done on his level. Everything's back on track now.
- Varun - will be finishing school next month! His Final Exams begin on 14 March, once they are over, he will have lots of time to work on the project.
- Joel will come back to beta test the maps once we have everything done.
As you can see, there HAS been progress, but not as much as we'd like it to be :(. Anyway, we are definitely not going to rush things - we'll be patient and spend as much time on The 9th Gate as we have to. We want these levels to be really good and enjoyable for everyone.
I apologize for the lack of updates, but I couldn't help it. There have been two maps I've been wanting to do reviews of (Pablo Dictter's A Lonely Place to Die and Tobias Münch's Deimos Control Center) but I didn't have the time for that. Anyway, I have been doing quite a bit of mapping in the last one month or so. I have a long update here which should cover everything Doom-related that I've been doing in that time!
- Sun, 13 Jan - I started working on a new E4M3 for The 9th Gate! The previous level I had started was different in style from the other maps - it had lots of lava in it and a feel of being in a very large, ruined place. The problem was that it was too big - I couldn't think of detail to add in those few areas I'd made, and in general I ended up not liking it. So I started a new one. I made good progress with it, and you can see 4 screenshots from that level in Doom Center's latest Featured Gallery.
- Fri, 18 Jan - Pablo released A Lonely Place to Die... and re-released it a couple of days later. I thought this map was just terrific! Another very good news for me is DoomCAD being back in development - thanks to Nick Van Winkle. Since it's the editor I use to make all my maps, I'm really happy that he's going to add lots of cool features to it (I've been adding a number of entries in his Suggestions Page, heh).
- Fri, 25 Jan - Pablo released ...and death came along. As you can expect from a Pablo Dictter map, this had flawless texture alignment and overall great design! But I liked his previous map more than this one. Tobias also made some updates on his project Visions of Eternity - this is another project that I am really looking forward to! Everything Tobias has posted about it on his site sounds great - and I know that I will enjoy playing his levels.
- Wed, 30 Jan - Opulent posted a demo of Out of Phase II MAP01 at the Doomed Speed Demos Archive. Mark Thompson did the demo, it was a speedrun of the level in 0:58.
- Thu, 31 Jan - I "upgraded" my version of ZDoom from 1.23 beta 31 to 1.23 beta 32 :). Actually I got beta 31 just a few days back, I had been using the 1.22 version all along. The last beta I remember downloading was beta 7 long, long ago, and I never used that much. So, as you can imagine, the "jump" was rather big. I was very impressed by the new features in ZDoom. All the work that Randy Heit has done on ZDoom is great - I run it at 800 x 600 resolution and it runs smooth, fast (the computer is a Pentium II, 333 MHz) and it's very stable.
- Sat, 2 Feb - Newdoom made a post about Doom MP3s, so I followed the link and got Chuck Dodgers' Monster Condo Remix. The site was DJ Pretzel's Overclocked Remixes - and I had all the other Doom MP3s that were listed there, only this song was missing from my collection :).
- Sun, 3 Feb - Speaking of MP3s, I heard two more Pablo Dictter songs. Mr. Clappy Moe, a short, 30 second track which had some cool beats, and There's No More Chinese Goo - a great remix of one of his own songs.
- Tue, 5 Feb - I got some very nice Doom-themed wallpapers from The Phobos Lab. I have one of those on my desktop right now (the one that says DOOM: Walking Nightmares).
- Wed, 6 Feb - Watched some spectacular TAS demos for MBF after reading some comments by Erik Alm on one of Doomworld's posts. All of Doom II in Ultraviolence in just a little over 16 minutes? All of Ultimate Doom Episode 4 in 3 and a half minutes? Has to be seen to be believed!
- Thu, 7 Feb - I am now using ZDoom 1.23 Beta 33. And my personal site crossed 5000 hits! I thought I'd missed my 5000th hit - but a few days later Pablo Dictter surprised me by sending me a 1280 x 1024 screenshot of the 5000th hit! Thanks, Pablo!
- Thu, 14 Feb - Bigdog posted a gallery of screenshots from The 9th Gate levels at Doom Center! More about the project is on another update on this very page.
And non-Doom news...
- Dragonball Z gets better and better with each episode! Currently, this is the only show on TV that I'm watching regularly. The Saiyan Saga got over quite some time ago, we're now well into the Namek Saga - the Dragonball gang is on the planet Namek, waiting for the arrival of Goku. The situation is pretty tense there - Vegeta got one of the Dragonballs, the evil and all-powerful Frieza has FIVE of them...!
- Our college has a Students Chapter of the IEEE - and I am one of the council members. So, some days back I set up a website for it. It's at http://snist-ieee.tripod.com.
- In 2 February's update on my personal site, Karthik's Home Page, I wrote about how to make espresso coffee. Very easy to do and tastes great.
Well, that was the update! Long, wasn't it?
And I have ALSO been working on ANOTHER map during this time, more about that is in another post on this page!!
There's nothing actually new on this site, just wanted to talk about some news...
- Sun, Jan 6 - 6000 HITS! Thanks everybody for visiting! Actually I was the 6001th visitor, I don't know who was the 6000th.
- Pablo Dictter has moved his site to this URL, and he is now working on a new base style map! The screenshots he has posted look really terrific and I can't wait for him to finish the map!
- Tobias Münch's personal page, The Worlds of Toby M. is back! Nice to see his drawings again. And until Doom Center's hosted sites are back, the site has a temporary version of his Phobos Wad Lab. Tobias also released a new map, this time for Doom II, called Steel Conquerors. This is inspired somewhat by MAP03, and is as usual, a well done level. Towards the end there are some interesting scenes.
- Speaking of websites, Varun made a great looking design for his Doom Inferno site. It has been posted as Picture of the Day at Doom Center for quite some time now, but let me tell you that the actual site is even more impressive!
Out of Phase II got a number of demos... thanks to everyone who took the time to record LMPs of the level(s) and to send them to me. And I appreciate the feedback people have given me.
- Albert Valls did a MAP01 speedrun in just 30 seconds!
- Opulent did a maxdemo of MAP01 in exactly one minute.
- Based on Opulent's route, Albert did MAP01 in 0:58 and MAP02 in 1:46.
- Wim Vanrie later sent me a demo of MAP01 in 1:10, but later improved his time by 11 seconds to 0:59.
- He also did MAP02 in 1:43.
- Richard J. Sham sent a demo of him playing through both levels in Ultra Violence.
- Thanks Joe Pallai, Tobias Münch and Pablo Dictter for their feedback on the levels. Joe said he liked the graphics, especially the status bar :). And since it's the first status bar I've ever made, that was nice to hear!
I don't know what happened to the NewDoom Review Center, it has been inaccessible for quite some time now. Most of my files on the downloads page (especially the levels) have more than one download location, but there were a couple that were only uploaded at the Review Center (also, one map that I reviewed - Return to Hangar - isn't available anywhere else as far as I know). Anyway, in the next update I'll fix all the links.
First update of 2002... cool, isn't it? Well, I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope you all get that megasphere that gives you 200% of everything you wish for :). I've been hard at work the weekend and I've got some good stuff for you...
First of all, I've made a New Year Card and it's up at my personal site. Here's wishing everyone a very happy 2002!
And I've uploaded TWO more Winamp Skins - these are Doomtech - a cool looking skin, and Shotgun Dude. Go to the Downloads Page to get them.
SURPRISE! I finished Out of Phase II this afternoon and it's all ready for you to download! There are TWO action packed levels, with new graphics made by me, and new music! Though they are primarily designed for single player mode, these levels can be played in Deathmatch too, and they are done in the style of the first Out of Phase level. The gameplay is a little less non linear this time, and slightly more difficult. But I think you'll have fun playing these.
» Out of Phase II Download and Screenshots «
The two levels in Out of Phase II were partly based on two of my speedmaps. But a lot has been changed in them. The music is also similar to the one I used in Part I. I think you'll like the new graphics too, they're simple but look good. Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on the first ophase.wad (and to all those who recorded demos for it... Joe Pallai sent me an interesting one yesterday, featuring an invulnerable no-clipping caco! So that's what the monsters feel like when the players cheat...). I've used METAL1 doors in Part II as well, because I like them - but this time they are more clearly marked. It's being released on January 1, 2002 so I guess that makes it one of the first releases of the New Year.
In other news, Pablo Dictter has a new site up here, and Tobias' and Pablo's site Fehler 404 was updated too. I heard three more Pablo MP3s - called The Land of Goo, Express to Goo Land and She's Got the Jimmy Legs. All three were great. There's something about Pablo's music that appeals to me - I like all his songs.
Hope you like Out of Phase II, and hope you have a great time in 2002.