Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Final Polishing

Those of you who have followed the evolution of this project from its conception will likely find this difficult -- if not impossible -- to believe...

...but I think this may very well be the final version of my Doom Upgrade mod.

These same members of my reading audience will most likely be disappointed -- but likely not surprised -- to hear that saved games using any previous versions most definitely will not work with this version. Sorry about that, but while many of the changes I've made since the last version were minor and regarding OpenGL lighting issues there were also a few major changes that simply made it unavoidable.

The biggest noticeable change making it so incompatible with its predecessors is the loss of a few weapons. Don't worry; I've kept the best ones. But let's face it: there were just too many plasma-type guns and half of them were kind of useless. I could have increased the damage done by said weapons or their firing rates, but still it just seemed like there were too many of them. The weapons which have been dropped are the Repeater, Pulse Rifle, Plasma Beam, Electro-Plasma Gun and the Freezer Plasma Gun. Likewise, any Zombie Soldiers armed with those weapons have also been removed. One might ask why I've dropped these and kept the Karasawa; the answer is simple: after playing through dozens of maps with these weapons, the ones I've dropped never felt useful regardless of the situation but the Karasawa can actually be used to shoot around corners so that makes it useful. And besides, the weapon roster was simply beginning to feel cumbersome. If any of the removed weapons happened to be your favorites, sorry about that. Maybe you still have the voodoo doll you made...

However, I've also improved one of the weapons that I've left in the mod. It seemed rather odd to me that, while the smallest energy cell you can pick up in the game holds 20 plasma charges, the Rail Gun needed to be reloaded after every four shots despite the fact that each shot had only consumed one charge. So I changed it. Now it only needs to be reloaded every 20 shots, but it still fires at the same speed with the same damage so there's still a reason to go looking for the Zombie with the Sonic Railgun. But then, most of the other guns in the game don't even require reloading so there's not much I can say for continuity or realism anyway.

The next change in order of its gameplay impact would be the newest monsters to join the mod...

...oh, wait... wrong screenshot...

Just a few more of these guys which I previously mentioned having added to provide the Spider Masterminds with some much-needed backup. It wasn't easy to take screenshots of this guy because most of the time I was too busy trying to dodge the flames...

At least one other creature in my opinion was in desperate need of an upgrade in order to fit in with the rest of the pack. The Fusion Spider has these neat pinkish projectiles that it fires out in a wide spread, but they just float through the air so slowly the creature ended up being not much of a challenge at all. So I sped up the projectiles just a touch to help make it seem more like a monster rather than a light fixture.

Speaking of light fixtures, it didn't take long for me to become frustrated by Railgun beams nailing me from out of total darkness and thus to realize that I had forgotten to attach some sort of lighting effect to my Railgun Sentries. I've fixed that as well this time around, giving them a nice red glow that of course goes out once they're destroyed.

Though I might have tweaked the HP and attack damage for another monster or two here and there, the remaining changes were mostly along the same lines as these lighting effects. I've corrected a few errors in the GL Defs that had caused some projectiles to be missing their lighting effects altogether. Yet perhaps the most noticeable addition of OpenGL lighting effects can be seen in the shadow or spectre creatures. I stumbled upon an unused effect in GZDoom's GL Defs pk3 that gives these creatures an aura of negative lighting, making it look like their very evilness is simply consuming all the light around them, even once they are dead. I think it's an extremely cool effect so I applied it to several creatures where it seemed appropriate. For the most part this should not have a major effect on performance.

And simply because I fully expect that at some point some moron is going to come out of the woodwork and say that my mod is nothing more than a lot of cut-pasting of other people's work, I've created my eighth original monster. I proudly present:


Speaking of performance and of creatures, the Rictus variant of the Lost Soul continued to frustrate me so I've removed him. As I mentioned in a previous post, he tends to get himself stuck in solid objects frequently enough that it's a problem and I've not figured out how to fix that. Sure, he looks cool with all his flames, but he's not a very challenging enemy if he's constantly reduced to nothing more than a light fixture. But fear not, I've replaced him with another similar Lost Soul variant that should work just as well and has fewer fancy effects to get in his way.

And just one last word about lighting and color. One of the things I did with this version was to better organize my DECORATE scripts simply to make it easier for me to find things. Somewhere during this process this has caused a few of the monster projectiles to change colors somehow. They still have the same attributes such as behavior, speed and damage; they've just changed colors. I didn't modify those scripts -- I simply re-organized them -- so the only plausible explanation that I can think of for this is that GZDoom scripts are much like the scripts and plugins that we are familiar with from other games in that whatever gets loaded last will override anything loaded before it if it modifies the same thing. Since the actual stats of the projectiles do not appear to have changed I'm not going to attempt to fix it at the moment because doing so would mean yet again sifting through 28679 lines of code and to be honest I'm tired of looking at that code at the moment and just want to get on with enjoying playing with the darn thing. Besides, the mod and all its new content makes Doom a much more colorful place now, so it's also likely that not many people other than myself will notice the changes anyway.

EDIT: 12 Hours Later...

Strike that. After having slept on it I realized that the mysteriously changing projectile colors can be attributed yet again to more sprites having similar names. I've gone through them all and renamed the sprites where necessary, so this should all be fixed now.

If anybody ever does come along and try to say I didn't put any work into this mod, they can just kiss my ass.

I understand now why Snarboo's mod only contained a handful of creatures; getting them all to work together properly has required a lot of trial-and-error troubleshooting.


As always, here are the most recent download links from MegaUpload:


Without Music: 31 MB

With PSX Music: 369 MB

So that's that and what's done is done. Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that you'll all agree with me that the latest changes I've made are for the better...


  1. I knew I was holding off on downloading the last update for a reason ;) I was also about half way through Evilution as well, so I wasn't in much of a rush to install that update anyway. I have only recently started Plutonia so I won't complain about having to restart with this update.

    I don't know when I will be able to play it long enough to give you any input, though. Got called back to work last week, and I'm hoping I can get my lazy butt grabbing what ever overtime they will offer me. And then there's finding time to work on "The Phoenix Imperative"...

  2. That's okay... I'm still seeking gainful employment myself and sometimes I forget that other folks have lives and things to do. But when you do get a chance please let me know what you think of it.

    But I'm really serious this time; unless I'm playing and I discover something in the mod that is totally broken, I think this is about as polished as I'm going to be able to get it.

  3. I'll let you know as soon as I find a way to live long enough to find out ;)

    Best of luck with the job hunt!

  4. Thanks for the drive-by. Keep at your work. I'm sure at some point I'll take a look at something you've made! Gameplay mods aren't my focus right now, but if you ever feel the urge to find another opinion on a WAD, old or new, stop by. The library's growing.

  5. can you move to another website? i can't download it with megaupload