your teeth are like stars, they come out at night
Coq au Vin, more like Chicken on a Lorry
Week two of work in student finances
or the academic office or whatever the hell the branch of Senate House in which I have been spending my weekdays is called. Mostly I am doing one of the following things
- I get a big pile of cheques and I have to write them out onto payment sheets. Amount, what they're for, who they're from etc. The majority have been PLU house deposits
- Given such a payment sheet I have to enter it onto the system. Unlike last week I've managed to overcome my habit of pressing ^V at the wrong moment and causing the system to have a case of the heebie jeebies.
- All the stuff that's entered has to be checked by someone other than the person who entered it, so I'm checking things other people have entered. Also I've been told how to print off my own stuff ready for checking so I've been doing that too.
Note that it's all internal, that is everything I'm doing boils down to manipulation of the student finance database. I didn't think they'd trust me doing anything that actually fucked with other people's money, but on one occasion I was given a number of pieces of paper with credit card details of people who'd phoned in to pay their fees or whatever. I was shown how to use the card machine to put the charges onto their accounts. I found this utterly hilarious. One false move and some poor gobshite might find himself thousands of pounds in the red! Oh snap! I don't think I screwed up but only got to do it the one time.
Anyway as you might have guessed I am utterly convinced of my own incompetence, so it was all the more surprising when my boss asked me if I was available again next week. I'm not sure I like the idea of being on campus all day during term time, but I'm getting paid for it, so whatever. Unitemps did say the job was for two or possibly three weeks.
Then a guy in green ran into the bar and killed both imps with his shotgun. The end.
Finally I got around to upgrading PRBoom from 2.2.3 to 2.2.4; the changes are minimal, largely fixes for bugs that I didn't even know existed.
The one thing that is noticeably different is that when you're using the map cheat, collectables that count towards your item percentage at the end of each map are shown as a yellow triangle instead of the usual green triangle. This is funny because one of the things I miss about DIY is my rewrite of the map cheat that didn't just highlight items in this way but drew all the important objects in the game differently. For example demons were small pink triangles, cyberdemons were large brown triangles, and weapons were purple and had their own shape. I used to reckon that, using it, you could play the game entirely on the map, though in practice that didn't work out, because you wouldn't see if you'd fallen in a trench or stepped under a crusher or whatever.
I tried the experimental 2.3.0 release. It compiled but didn't run, and I was too lazy to investigate further. I haven't played the game that much recently either, but here are some wads:
- Road Kill This is an old wad but it's really very nice. It's part of a small town, sort of in two halves. The top part is a street with various small rooms and stuff on either side. Once you find the key it continues round past some larger buildings and a fort. The blue key is probably too well hidden but it's not too hard with foresight and was fun enough to be replayed quite a number of times. Recommended.
- PUEBLO OF PAIN! A silly name for a decent map with lots of height variation and lighting. The initial area, with a river of slime between two sides of a gorge, is very impressive. There's an abundance of ammunition but it's still quite a challenge in places. But there are too many crushing ceilings for my tastes. Thankfully crushers get used a lot less these days than they used to be.
- Castle from Hell! Another fine example of a map would be really good if it weren't for crushing ceilings and bugs. Firstly you go through the door behind your start position and climb a staircase crawling with monsters up to a switch to open the gates. The castle itself is well made, full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore and with some interesting reject map editing affecting the monster behaviour. It's just a shame there's places you can get trapped (e.g. a crushing raising floor trap has multiple triggers but the switch that resets it only works once)
- Run Darn You Run You're in a very long straight tunnel and have to run like buggery to the other end because behind you there are a huge crowd of revenants launching homing fireballs at your defenceless arse. There are various obstacles that appear in your path; walls raise up, there are mazes, and so forth. If in the unlikely event you get far enough you teleport into a similar tunnel where you have to run over thin ledges and jump on stepping stones while cyberdemons in front of you pick you off with rockets. I eventually gave up and used god mode to get past this to teleport back to the end of the map, which is hysterical.
- doom2_2 A full 32-map megawad in which you have gone back in time and have to kill all the monsters all over again! But wait, all it is composed of is a new title screen, there's no maps or anything! Hilarious! It's such an obvious idea that only a really twisted mind would think it up, so you won't be surprised to read that it (and Run Darn You Run) were both made by that guy who made Nuts, its two sequels, and Equinox.
Right that's enough for now. The next thing to look at will probably be Southern Cross: Gold Edition. I've played the first level of the original edition and it was good, and this one's supposed to be all spruced up so yeah it should be even better.