My first DOOM WAD – in progress

Bit of old news at this point but I figured I may as well collect it all here. It’s not that old news, and technically it’s still ongoing news, seeing as I am still– wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

These past few weeks, I’ve been using my 30 minute train ride to and from work to map out my first DOOM WAD.

“A DOOM WAD?” you may ask, appearing to speak in all-caps because of spelling conventions and acronyms. “Why would SQH, an adventure game player of ill repute, be spending his time making a DOOM WAD instead of, I dunno, playing adventure games?”

Well, I’ve always wanted to make DOOM maps. And now, thanks to the adventures of fellow YouTuber David X. Newton and his series of DOOM WAD playtesting (accompanied by his always hilarious commentary), my inspiration was rekindled. After having watched 2½ hours of tutorial videos, I set out with Doom Builder (for some reason not in all-caps) and have been at it ever since.

After making my first map, I invited David on my livestream to 1) play the map I had made:

and 2) create a new map for the WAD — this one an underground lair of hellishness that, bizarrely, ended up looking a bit like a mutant version of the Wendy’s burger chain logo.

Much fun was had, and, as I’m writing this, the WAD project is still moving forwards. The premise, as alluded to in the video of the first map, is that you’re playing a dude that showed up for work one morning with a pistol, intent on killing everyone at the office, but, to his dismay, found that the hordes of Hell had beaten him to it. Now doubly pissed off, he decides to murder all of Hell instead.

I’m 5 maps into the 8 map episode (and I will, of course, also be including a 9th “secret” map that will be deliciously stupid). You will be kept updated, of course.

“But hang on,” you may interject, rudely and unnecessarily, “what happened to all that ‘DOOM killed the adventure games’ nonsense of the mid-to-late 90s? Weren’t you–”

And then I cut you off, saying, “Way ahead of you there. Check this out.”

And then you watched this vlog:

The importance of good world building – or, how Resident Evil 7 won me over

Not so long ago, I watched some Let’s Plays of Resident Evil 7, and wanted to write about being surprised that, for the first time in my life, I found myself actually giving a shit about a Resident Evil game. I’ve also watched the DLC stuff — in fact, recently, I watched some of the second DLC package, in particular the “Daughters” segment.

You be quiet, you little demon spawn!
You be quiet, you little demon spawn!

Now I feel like I have a handle on what I actually want to talk about, which is what made me suddenly give a shit about Resident Evil. It’s not just the masterfully creepy suspense that I think almost everyone agrees is done to damn near perfection. It’s also the keen sense of world-building and history that went into crafting the story.

Because, on the surface, Resident Evil 7 sounds like any survival horror game: you’re trapped in a confined location, monsters are out to get you, and you have to survive while the game does everything in its power to dick you over. Monsters will jump out when you least expect it; you’re always running out of space in your inventory; you’ve never got enough bullets in your gun to take down even the puniest of enemies.

Even story-wise, at least on paper, it sounds kind of hokey. A rural family in Louisiana has gone batshit insane, apparently taking your wife hostage, and your first instinct is to just go in there after her, instead of doing something sensible, like call the police or, at the very least, bring a fucking gun.

Luckily, the Baker family anticipated your arrival and kindly left some out for you to kick their asses with.
Luckily, the Baker family anticipated your arrival and kindly left some out for you to kick their asses with.

There’s more going on here than what’s just at the surface, though. So I want to dive into that for a bit, but first:

Huge, dinosauric spoiler warning. If you haven’t played Resident Evil 7 yourself, and you intend to at some point in your life, you might want to find something else to read.

Continue reading “The importance of good world building – or, how Resident Evil 7 won me over”