Monday, August 15, 2011


Recently my most recent addition to the id Games Archives has undergone quite a bit of scrutiny and criticism by the community, to the point that I've been labeled as a delusional liar (though I'm told DoomWorld members never personally attack each other because they have far better things to do). At first I took great offense to this, but I now apologize for a large portion of my indignant rantings because, with a bit of guidance from a friend and fellow game modder, I've experienced a bit of an epiphany. You see, as I created the monster and item randomizer and playtested it I did so with the goal of making the game more challenging and unpredictable and yet balanced, but the fundamental flaw in that creative process was that I was the sole tester thus the elements of difficulty and balance were based solely on my playing abilities. I never took into account the fact that most other players may not be as skilled as myself. As I continued to receive complaints that the randomizer turns everything into an unplayable mess and yet here at my desk continued to successfully complete some of the most challenging maps to date on Ultra-Violence with the randomizer, I realized that most of the negative comments the mod has received require a bit of "reading between the lines" and are actually criticisms that the randomizer simply makes the game too difficult for the average player. That was the epiphany that has now prompted this public disclaimer.

If any of the following statements apply to you, then Herculine's Doom Upgrade may be the mod you're looking for:

1.) I like to be challenged by the games I play.

2.) I like variety in the challenges presented by the games I play.

3.) I like unpredictability in the challenges and rewards presented by the games I play.

If any of the following statements apply to you, then Herculine's Doom Upgrade definitely is not for you:

1.) I like the games I play to be easy and present no real challenges.

2.) I prefer to have the advantage of knowing exactly what to expect when playing a game.

3.) I play my best in games that are the same every time and I've memorized all the challenges.

Hopefully this disclaimer will help prevent any future confusion by helping players decide whether or not my monster and item randomizer is suited to their individual skill levels. For those of you who have not found the mod to your liking, I hope you find something else that is better suited to your tastes and continue to enjoy the great classic game that we've come to love. For those of you who have enjoyed using my mod, I hope you continue to do so and I thank you for your support and constructive feedback.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Worst Kind Of People?

Are gamers the worst kind of people?

Here's what Chris Kemp thinks...

Gamers have a pretty bad reputation across the board. Outside the gaming community, the daywalkers think of us as fat, lonely virgins, or anti-social geeks who would rather play with circuit boards than rugby balls. For ticks in the “pros” column, we’re usually agreed upon to be good with computers/electronics (mostly true) and possess Russell-Crowe-esque mathematics abilities (not true – I’m the guy who was stumped by a geometry problem with more than one shape in it).

Within the gaming community however, I’m not sure our reputation is that much better. If you asked a gamer if they think “gamers” in general are “nice people”, I think they may be hard pressed to honestly say yes – I know I would. Anyone who has had interaction online with fellow gamers in an even remotely competitive environment, would have had multiple encounters with people so obnoxious they could not possibly exist outside the anonymity of the internet.  For every really awesome, chilled, well-mannered gamer out there, there seems to be another who never misses an opportunity to complain, insult someone or tell you why he’s actually the greatest player in the world, despite his 0.3 kill-death-ratio.

Of course I spend a ton of time playing multiplayer online games, so none of this is particularly surprising or new to me. What I have been thinking about lately is not just gamers’ behavior within the confines of the game, but outside of it. Within a game I can acknowledge that tempers can get a little flared, egos can get bruised and the fiercely competitive amongst us can get a little aggressive. Obviously what that has to do with my mother, my sexual preferences and the various STDs I supposedly have I’m not entirely sure, but I’m going to chalk it all up to that anyway. 

Yet lately, and also not so lately, there’s been a lot in the news about “mistakes” companies have made, and the backlash that has followed. I often read these articles with a small measure of awe – awe at how video game companies today are pandering to their tantrum-throwing, outlandish customers. It feels like the whole gaming community has become a herd of whiny children moaning that the Ferrari Enzo they got for Christmas is red and they wanted the yellow one. 

Although everybody knows it’s pimping in pink.

Just recently, we saw the Nintendo 3DS take a huge price slash, in the wake of Nintendo themselves taking a big quarterly hit in the profits. Anticipating that maybe early adopters would be upset by this since the console has only been out for about six months; Nintendo has offered people who have already bought the console TWENTY free games. Twenty. This clearly wasn’t enough, as Nintendo have now had to issue an apology to fans who may feel “betrayed” by this price cut.

Why does nobody feel “betrayed” when they’re unboxing their new iPhone 3 in front of the TV and see an advertisement for “soon to be released” iPhone 4? Year after year Steve Jobs adds half an inch to a screen and a USB port or something, gives every Apple consumer the finger and takes his Lear Jet to the tropics to plan which 2-year-old feature he’s going to add to the next model, which will no doubt be out in six months. I’ve never seen hordes of Apple buyers with torches and pitchforks, demanding free copies of Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies or whatever people play on Apple products. 

My point is – Nintendo doesn’t have to give you free games, they don’t have to give you anything at all. People lower prices all the time, especially when investors are abandoning ship like they just realized Leonard DiCaprio is on board and its 1912. Nowhere else do you see this overblown sense of entitlement – the thought of a company giving away enormous amounts of free product as an “apology” for LOWERING their prices is so absurd it’s actually laugh-out-loud funny when you stop and think about it.

Now 33% cheaper! We’re really, really sorry about that.

Before the Nintendo fiasco of 2011, we had the Playstation Network fiasco of 2011. Now, granted, a lot of sensitive information was stolen, and when you give your information to a company like Sony you do so with what you would think is a reasonable expectation that they’ll keep it safe. That being said, the people who hacked Sony, stole your information and posted it on the internet got far less hate for it than Sony themselves. After trying desperately to stabilize their servers and spending millions on damage control, Sony then had to get on their knees and grovel for gamer forgiveness. Their offering of five games was spat upon and laughed at. These weren’t crappy games either, they were good titles, and all that 99% of people lost was hours spent on the PSN.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now – Sony would have gotten less hate if they’d offered nothing at all. A vast majority of gamers saw the five free games offer as an opportunity to pounce on how inadequate it was.

Then of course every time a game company makes a decision regarding a game without taking an internet poll first, they get crucified. What the hell do you mean there’s no multiplayer/LAN/free DLC/Facebook integration? Of course then the mass boycotts are staged and petitions are created, and “like, everybody” refuses to buy a game – like Modern Warfare 2 when they took out dedicated servers, and the enormous gamer boycott brought Activision to their knees. Oh, no wait, it was insanely successful, made Activision another couple of billion or so and bought Kotick another island mansion. For once I actually have to praise Activision – for not bending to the will of the chorus of angry nerds vowing their destruction. They had an idea they wanted to implement and they did it how they wanted to do it, regardless of how many tantrums were thrown. Of course, they were wrong and “IW Net” was awful, but the principle is there. 

Just because they’re trolls, doesn’t mean they can’t be right.

The most baffling whiners however are the ones that are so hypocritical they’ve actually become self-righteous. Every time a game announces its DLC measures, it is immediately “boycotted” and labeled “oppressive”. While this sometimes may actually be true, the real irony is that those complaining the loudest are the same people who were just going to pirate the damn thing anyway. The best part is, those people actually seem to genuinely feel hard done by, it’s like that sense of entitlement in the community has become so powerful that pirates have started to sincerely feel it themselves.

Game companies the world over need to put a stop to this. The fact is, you don’t have to fold to every unreasonable demand the community makes. It’s important to listen to the good ideas, take heed of the constructive criticism and be in touch with what your customers want. As long as you’re making a good product, you’re not going to lose customers over it. Every overblown massive outcry I can recall has had very little effect on sales – Modern Warfare 2 being a good example, lack of LAN in Starcraft 2 being another. Companies don’t need to be giving away enormous game bundles every time the community gets upset – make apologies if mistakes have been made, and give compensation when it’s actually necessary.

As gamers we have some serious attitude adjustments in order. It seems every day gaming becomes less and less about actually having fun – and it’s the gamers that are doing it. The community has become a mass of whining, sniveling brats and I think its high-time Daddy fetches the cane. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fiction Versus Fact



"It pretty much turns anything it touches into an unplayable mess."

"Want to make every map an unplayable mess of random custom monsters? This is the mod for you!"


The following videos of me playing through three different maps on Ultra-Violence prove that the above statements were made by people who didn't even try the mod before they started typing:




Now, I already predict that somebody is going to pop in here and say something like: "Well sure, they're the first easiest maps of all the MegaWADs!" Perhaps, but please note the following:

During the course of each map I let plenty of creatures do damage to me, I only use like one or two weapons the entire time and do not switch to the bigger weapons when I find them, I waste plenty of ammo and I don't even bother to pick up all the power-ups. And yet somehow I successfully complete each map with plenty of resources to spare. Unplayable messes? Not by any means.

I actually played through all the original id releases, including the Master Levels, with this mod to test it before uploading the final release. While I found some of the maps quite challenging, none were impossible and in fact were quite fun. I could record videos of myself playing all those maps, but frankly I have other things to do besides upload several gigabytes of Fraps videos for people who will still post ludicrous anonymous comments even after watching them with their own eyes.


"This required no effort at all."

"...creativity, originality and longevity. Your mod features none of these qualities..."


Again, obviously statements that were typed by people who never actually played with the mod.

The mod contains over a dozen custom creatures and power-ups created solely by me. Inspired by others? Definitely. Do they appear in anything else on DoomWorld? No. Why? Because I made them myself. Let me just list a few: Railgun Sentries, Pyro Evil Eye, Poison Evil Eye, Pyrotron, Drone Elemental, Guardian Elemental, UltraSphere... you get the idea.

Furthermore, I keep reading comments to the effect that all I've done here is copy-pasted a bunch of old stuff everyone has seen a thousand times before. Well, if those anonymous commenters knew all that old stuff as well as they claim then they'd know that half that crap wouldn't even work until I fixed it and that they definitely would not all work together in the same game until I rewrote most of the scripts and corrected all the conflicts.


"What are you, 9 years old?"


I'm a couple of years older than that.

Re-read the above post. No whining or crying. Just replies to cowardly anonymous comments with facts accompanied by evidence proving that they are facts, behind which I will proudly put my name and reputation every time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Newstuff Chronicles #392

Somebody with the alias of "udderdude" has published a review of my ZDoom randomizer and it has been included in the latest Newstuff Chronicles on the DoomWorld Forums.

I've included the above link simply for the sake of verification and for anyone who might want to post anything over there. You can also follow the procession of personal insults here on their forum thread. Here's exactly what was said in the review:

This is a mod for ZDoom/GZDoom. It's basically all of the crazy shit from Realm667 packed into one mod, that replaces the regular Doom 2 enemies/weapons with custom enemies/weapons. It also uses the monsters/weapons randomly. Since most custom monsters are significantly more powerful than their standard Doom counterparts, the difficulty in most maps will be substantially increased. Unfortunately, there is very little done to compensate for this. From what I've found, almost every map I've tried is unplayable using this mod.

The randomness factor really ruins things. There's absolutely no guarantee what it comes up with will actually be playable, or even completable without cheats. One game you may have a decent weapon and enemies that don't kill you in one shot, and then the next you have a crappy weapon and enemies that will destroy you with whatever lame, cheap-ass custom monster bullshit they're packing. Imps can be replaced with slightly more powerful imps, or some super god-mode imp that takes a zillion hits and shoots lazors out of it's eyes or some shit. Shotgunners can be replaced with railgunners. Demons can be replaced by demons that shoot projectiles. Yay.

If you want to play every map in Doom like it was suddenly infused with "ZDoom Syndrome Extreme Edition", this mod is for you. Everyone else will likely want to pass. It turns pretty much anything it touches into an unplayable mess.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Player Reviews

While there's been no official review of Herculine's Doom Upgrade in DoomWorld's NewStuff Chronicles, here's what's being said by players who have (supposedly) actually downloaded and played the mod:

"A great addition to the game that adds tons of new challenging monsters while keeping with the original feel of the game (i.e. no wizards from Hexen or Heretic and no characters from Redneck Rampage, The Simpsons or South Park). I highly recommend this one!"

"Just another realm667 collection that can be done yourself in 5 minutes with no effort at all. This required no effort at all. I don't give out stars for effort, but I will take them away if there is none to be found. You don't need to play this and nobody will hold it against you if you avoid it."

"Want to make every map an unplayable mess of random custom monsters? This is the mod for you!"

"A well-balanced collection of custom creatures and items that adds freshness and unpredictability to any map. I recommend it at least be given a try."

"Monsters are from the realm667 bestiary which half have been created there since a few years ago, and half have first appeared in the monster resource wad (id=12748) which has been around for at least 6 years, all of which have been relentlessly and spammed in nearly every unbalanced zdoom project since. You can play nearly anything else and see these monsters in them. We've all seen these monsters and crap before in other wads just like this one (id=15770 and AEoD). Fresh my ass."

So there you have it, folks! Don't waste your time with it cuz it's crap. For that matter, why are you still reading this crap?