Reasons for going 32 bits per pixel
- Being able to specify automap colours exactly as RGB triples instead of palette indices. PWADs with replacement PLAYPAL lumps can no longer make your automap unreadable.
- Seeing how the water flats in Epic2 quickly degrade from light blue gradients to grey with sharp, dark blue lines under low light conditions - this is best observed at the start of map28.
Must give credit Odamex's rend32 mode for the idea of actually doing something interesting with a 32bpp renderer (as opposed to PrBoom's which doesn't do much besides emulate the original renderer with its lookup tables of palette indices for depth fading). However as usual seeing something else and thinking "oh I like that, I wish rboom did that" wasn't enough - it seems I have to actually be annoyed by something to muster up the will to fix it.
I hope to be able to start playing maps again soon...
NERVE.WAD (aka No Rest For The Living) A 9-map episode developed originally for the Xbox360 port of Doom, it quickly became available for real computers and I eventually got hold of a copy from somewhere or other. Well-interconnected layouts and good detailing and fun gameplay, it is truly great and well worth searching for. Much better than the sorry additions to the original Xbox port...
Arcadia Demade A large level with a nice palette, sky texture, and good architecture. Fairly sedate, exploratory gameplay with a few flash points. Some bugs e.g. you can lock yourself out of the exit (the door closes as you approach it; there are many linedefs to close the door, but only one non-repeatable switch to reopen). The story behind its creation is well-documented elsewhere so I won't bother to repeat it.
Stardate 20X6 "Purple Sunder". A seven-map wad that emulates the particular "sunder-style" architecture and uses a replacement palette that basically swaps green and magenta, and smothers everywhere with the latter. It's not that hard, despite being assumably a slaughter wad, I was able to do it on the lowest skill level (it actually recommends using ITYTD for the half-damage, as HNTR hardly differs from HMP - an interesting level design time-saver...) However, marred by the presence of annoying pillar-hopping puzzle sequences.
Zone 300 A 32-map megawad, inspired by another of Doomworld's perennial diversions where designers impose some arbitrary limit on their maps - in Zone300, all but one maps are composed of exactly 300 linedefs. So the architecture is simple and the maps small, but it's really fun to play, you can blast through it in no time. Some of the later maps are surprisingly hard. (The one larger exception was intended for D2TWID but not accepted)
Abcess.wad public beta The author of many of my favorite maps from Realm of Chaos has resurfaced and started uploading versions of his old stuff from 1996-8. Needless to say I love it - old maps are the best. Although, I did have to resort to using savegames (after I read that that was how he plays it himself).
Double Impact (the original, not the parody!) is in Freedoom now after it was submitted as an episode 4 replacement (months ago...) This required some changes, as Double Impact was originally designed for Episode 1. (Disclaimer: I merged it in, so you can blame me for any bugs I suppose...)
And finally: No obvious awardbait map from Eternal released two weeks before December 10th! But what of tradition... Also there's been so much stuff there I haven't even looked at yet...
Well it turns out another month passes and I have nothing to say. I've spent much of it replaying Epic 2 in the same way I did Plutonia a few months back, by choosing maps at random from a list and removing them from the list when beaten. This turned out in many cases to be easier than expected, maps I thought would be hard went in one go. A few were as nasty as I was expecting though, and I'm pretty sure there's a couple I'll never do without excessive use of savegames (27 and 29).