Sunday, June 5, 2011


I know, I know... go ahead and get out that nekomimi voodoo doll you made like three updates ago...

I suppose I should learn to be more like our friend Nos: working on these projects in secret, only vaguely whispering of them to my most trusted colleagues until the work is completed and then possibly sharing them with the ungrateful public. But noooo... not me. I get all excited and jump up shouting: "Look at what I can do!"

But since I'm only aware of less than half a dozen people who have ever actually looked at my blog, and any forum posts I've made about this project have been totally ignored, I suppose I shouldn't worry so much about the world thinking I'm insane...

I previously mentioned that I was pretty much satisfied with the Doom Upgrade mod as it was, and that was 99% true. But there were two creatures that as I've played through the Plutonia Experiment have continued to annoy me... the Hades Sphere and the Core Tentacle. They didn't annoy me because of their behavior; that seemed quite befitting of the instances in which they were used. What annoyed me was their appearances and sound effects. Visually neither creature seemed to fit the environment in my opinion, and they both made these lame squishy sounds that, if done correctly could have made them rather creepy but instead to me they just sounded very cartoonish. So I went in and changed them. The results were better than I had hoped for...

Now that's what I would expect to see rising up from the remains of a charred black skeletal creature, not some big red squishy blob. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that; originally I had described the Death Incarnate as being perpetually self-resurrecting, but I finally figured out which weapon will put him down for the count. Good thing I just happened to include that weapon in the mod...

So this of course led to a flood of new ideas. There were several creatures from the Realm667 Beastiary that I had previously avoided including in the mod because they either did not seem to work well as standalone creatures or they spawned creatures that I was not happy with. Having just figured out that I could easily change that now, I suddenly found myself on a roll...

Two such creatures were the Shadow Beast and the Phantom. Each of these monsters, either in the form of projectile attacks or at the time of death, spawned what were supposed to be wraiths but instead to me looked like those cut-outs you put on a stick and hold in front of a candle at Halloween to make ghost shadows on the walls. Now you might say: "But Herculine, the whole game is based upon sprites; everything looks that way." Well, that may be partially true, but in most cases the creatures at least have enough frames of animation to make that bearable. But in the case of these wraiths, there just wasn't enough animation and they looked really poor in my opinion. So I replaced them.

On the Beastiary webpage right next to the Shadow Beast is a smaller creature simply called Shadow. As I looked at the page I thought that it would be appropriate if when the big Shadow Beast died one or more of these smaller Shadows would pop out. So I made it happen.

The case of the Phantom was slightly different since he used the Wraiths as projectile attacks, but still once I got on a roll it was actually a simple matter to replace them with something more appropriate as well.

This led me to rethink two other Heretic-style (or was it Hexen?) creatures I had not previously used: the Lava Demon and the Fallen. Again, as standalone enemies I had felt that they just weren't quite up to par with the rest of the monsters that I was adding to the game, but having the Fallen spawning from the remains of the defeated Lava Demon seemed to fit the bill much better.

The Hell Warrior was a Hell Knight variation that I had included in the mod because I was impressed with the way his creators had taken the time to create sprites that as he dies make it look like his shield is actually rolling away from his body. His overall challenge rating, however, seemed somewhat lacking to me. But I'm modifying creatures and their attacks now, so there must be something appropriate that can be added to this monster. So, how about having him throw magically-animated scimitars at us?

I also replaced the previously-mentioned Core Tentacle with a more fitting creature simply called Nightmare, but taking a screenshot of him didn't work out too well since he's dark, translucent and doesn't like to become visible for very long unless he's attacking, much like the other ZDoom Stealth Creatures.

Speaking of Spectre-like creatures...

There were two more small flying Lost Soul-type creatures that I wanted to find a way to use: the Drone and the Guardian Cube. I also noticed while looking at my list of random spawners that the Pain Elementals were seriously outnumbered in terms of variety by the other creatures in the game. Also, there really weren't any Stealth or Spectre versions of these guys. So I made those as well, one version using the Drones as projectiles and the other using the Guardian Cubes.

Like the default game's Lost Souls, most of these smaller spawning creatures do only minor damage and can be taken out fairly easily with just a shot or two from the rifle or shotguns... but as you can see in the above screenshot, they are also like the Lost Souls in the fact that, if you're not careful and don't destroy their spawners fairly quickly, you could end up finding yourself drowning in a sea of the ankle-biters.

While looking over my list of random spawners I also noted that, while I had a healthy variety of CyberDemon variants, the Spider Mastermind was kind of poorly represented. That's partly because there just aren't many good Spider Mastermind variants available. However, I decided to attempt to increase that variety anyway by including in the mod some other boss-type creatures that are more like the CyberDemon than the Spider Mastermind but yet have their own kind of species and appearance.

Now, I haven't actually encountered these guys outside of my little testing arena yet, but from the looks of things they should be quite challenging.

Oh, and just for those of you who like to keep track of such things, the DECORATE LUMP is now up to 29173 lines of code. I honestly have no idea if there is a line limit, but if there is I'm likely to find out if I continue to add stuff.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. As usual, here are the download links to the latest versions of the mod, and the links in the blog sidebar will be updated as well.


Without Music: 31 MB

With PSX Music: 368 MB

If you're in the middle of playing a megaWAD with one of the many previous versions of my upgrade, there's a 50/50 chance that you could overwrite the mod and have no problems with your saved games or you could get the game to crash. It's not the adding of the new monsters that causes this but rather the removal of monsters. Thus if you saved your game in a map where a Hades Sphere or Core Tentacle had spawned, with this new version that save will crash the game. But if you saved in a map where those monsters had not been present, you could continue on with the new version like nothing ever happened. I got lucky and was still able to finish the last five levels of Plutonia, so it could happen. Either way, making backups is always recommended.

Another note about saved games: I noticed this morning that suddenly the MegaMap power-up was not working properly for me. It was revealing the entire map just like the default computer map, which it's supposed to do, but it wasn't showing the positions of the monsters and items the way it's supposed to. This was very puzzling to me because in every incarnation of the mod the item has been exactly the same and I've never altered the code in any way. I was on the verge of starting to pull my own hair out trying to determine what had gone wrong when I decided to start a new game and use the console to give myself the item and, lo and behold, it was working properly. I honestly have no clue what had caused the problem in that saved game, but apparently it was just some random glitch. So if you notice this same issue in your game, it's just one of those things and is not a permanent problem.

So, do I plan on adding more stuff after this? No, not really. But I still never figured out how to keep DoomGuy from picking up certain items when he doesn't really need them, so who knows? Maybe someday I'll find solutions to those problems and release a fixed version. Otherwise, I'm pretty satisfied with my work and have no plans to add anything else. I know, I know... that's what I said last time, and probably several times before that...

I've played completely through Doom II, TNT and Plutonia with various versions of the mod now, so I suppose to be thorough I should probably run back through Ultimate Doom with the mod as well. But aside from those Chaingunner sprites I had forgotten, I really don't see how there could be any issues with that game that I wouldn't have seen in the others. And besides, Ultimate Doom only uses half of the monsters anyway, so I really couldn't be thorough.

Maybe it's time I tried the mod out with the Master Levels on Ultra-Violence? I've played through the original 21 maps on UV without any enhancements, but I've only played the other maps by those authors (which I've reviewed in an earlier post) on the default difficulty. Some of those should be rather interesting on UV with all these new monsters...

A quick update:

My new floaty skullkeys could have some unexpected glitches on rare occasions. On Raven Map04 the red skullkey is found in an alcove where the ceiling immediately begins to crush you when you enter to pick up the key. Well, when that ceiling started to move it somehow made the key drop almost completely into the floor and while I could still see a bit of it I couldn't pick it up. Fortunately I'm using the Ultimate DooMer's autosave mod set to 60-second intervals so I just reloaded a save, waited for the key to be at the apex of its little floaty animation and then ran in there and collected it with no issues. This is probably just a glitch with the openGL engine and likely won't happen very often, but still I thought I should mention it. Nobody's perfect...

Also, speaking of openGL glitches...

I've noticed on numerous occasions now that the Rictus variation of the Lost Soul often gets its animation frame stuck in floors or walls, likely something to do with the fiery lighting effects involved. I don't want to remove the creature from the mod since he's pretty nifty and I'm going to look into some way to fix him, but at the moment I'm not sure if there's anything I can do for him...


  1. Wow, that is a lot to respond to, lol! I figured there was a reason I hadn't bothered to grab the last update. I think I'll wait a bit and see before I grab this one ;)

    The screens of your new creature inclusions look good. Especially the red-eyed black cloud death sprite. And the Lava Demon and Fallen look perfect.

    And yes, if you don't take care of the spawning creature for some of the Lost Soul variants, you can end up with an awfull lot of the things. I recently had a playthrough where I had to restart because my laptop was stuttering due to the amount of spawns >.<

  2. Yes, that's one of the drawbacks to using those fancy new open GL lighting effects. Even on my would-be super-PC if I am in an area with too many monsters using lighting effects or even just a room with too many light fixtures I can get a bit of stuttering.

    But then, I've been told by folks on the Nexii Forums that my video card could be better, so whatever.

    As for waiting to get another update, I'd tell you that I don't have any plans to release another one soon... but you already know better than to believe that...

  3. "I suppose I should learn to be more like our friend Nos: working on these projects in secret, only vaguely whispering of them to my most trusted colleagues until the work is completed and then possibly sharing them with the ungrateful public. But noooo... not me. I get all excited and jump up shouting: "Look at what I can do!""

    Nos does these things because he is not as insane as he is often pretending to be, yes? Though he is currently speaking in the third person, which most likely rates as pretending to be pretty goddamned nuts.

    He used to announce things, oh yes, but game crashes, undocumented engine features/bugs, and his general proclivity to succumb to what he calls the "Ooh, SHINY!" impulse of distraction tended to render most projects dead shortly after beginning.

    Rather than suffer the tide of anticipation, he one day began to keep details of mods to himself until they were near enough to completion that release in some form could be assured.

    ...And the amusement of typing in the third person is wearing off.


    Ah. There's the nutbar vibe again.

    Also: Core Tentacle is totally a hentai monster. I know it is. I remember that one! The monster retrained this schoolgirl and...

    ...What's that? You don't want to hear the synopsis of the scene? Well, fine. Be that way.

  4. Restrained a schoolgirl.

    Retrained just doesn't work. I mean, it was the first...

    ...Fine. Not going into it.

  5. Heh... the hentai references never even occurred to me... but I'd bet it was indeed inspired by such a scene.

    There was a mod, a TC, once that turned DoomGuy into an anime girl. I wonder if I could still find it...

  6. Doom marine as an anime girl.

    I am at once intrigued and repulsed.

    This being the internets, I'm sure someone has a copy, someplace.

  7. Sounds like the Touhou mod for GTA San Andreas I saw once. Disturbing.

    BTW Herculine, I never really thought of those cyclic autosavers until you mentioned them in a previous post and here and got me searching for them in other games. Not very common but very handy, thanks :)

  8. No prob. For those huge, challenging maps an incremental auto-saver can be a lifesaver.

    In case anyone missed previous mentions of it and would like to use it, I've changed my mention of it in this post to a link.