15/03/2006 @23:28:07 ^00:39:47

Visplanes and large dropoffs

I've managed to waste the whole day trying and failing to work out why rboom segfaults when you go over a large dropoff (say, 0 to -31000). All I've learned is that it's not in the gameplay code as I first thought, it's in the renderer; specifically, the part that handles visplanes. If you compile it with rangechecking you get a R_MapPlane error instead (and then the thing segfaults somewhere else... damnit)

I've also learned that I still don't understand how the renderer works at all and also that I still don't know how to use a debugger properly. Damnit. I even managed, while typing that last paragraph, to spell "renderer" as "rendererer". It's one of those words like "banana" when you don't know where to stop.

This all came to pass since Andy's WAD (review somewhere in this post) was uploaded into /idgames this week. I mentioned the fault, which also happens in prboom stable, in the thread and another WAD in which it happens was posted in response.

It's all so very frustrating, very little I've tried to do these past couple of weeks has actually worked. Anyway I've played some maps:

Baron's Keep This is Agent "Mapper of the Year" Spork's first map. I can't imagine why he uploaded it to /idgames, except perhaps egotism, because it's dire. There are literally thousands of shells in piles of boxes, and barons and hellknights everywhere, usually in quite small rooms where they're hard to avoid. There are also ugly mazes with teleporters most of which are traps and instantly kill you and ends up in a mad circle-strafe around a crowd of cyberdemons. If you want a half-decent "my first map" with barons in the title, try "The Baron's Domain" (av46sp01.wad)

Endoomed A sequence of rather unmemorable rooms. The least unmemorable was the strobelit poisonous maze full of crushers. It's easier than it looked to start with as you get another megasphere every 10 seconds or so, though. I liked the look of large brick chamber with the spider, I like starkly lit grand chambers with high ceilings.

Haslam's Book Store of Doom Some guy who owns a book store made a map out of it. It's not bad, actually, there's quite a lot of room to run around, certainly a lot to shoot at, plenty of ammo and so forth. Lots of barrels around too, except they don't look like barrels. The one secret area is a right pain to find, I needed a map editor, so I'll spoil it: you have to get up on the shelves to the balcony with the rocket launcher and then run all round the edge on the bookshelves to the yellow door. When you fly off the end of the shelves (over a sign that says "Gunt/Hunt/Nautical", there's some shells on top of it) you should hear a floor descending. Oh yes there are also a number of invisible doors that you need to find to end the level, so maybe you should use the map cheat or an editor anyway just to get it over with. Anyway niggles aside this is actually a very fun map to play and the extra graphics aren't too annoying so give it a go.

The Apocalypse Project Man, look how long this has been in the archives, it has a three-figure /idgames frontend id. This is a whole episode of 9 maps that replaces Doom episode 1.

So yeah I didn't hate it, well, I hated the mazes but not all of it, but nevertheless it's probably not worth the bother. A final note on the Doom 2 conversion: it's terrible and really lazily done. It's basically a search and replace on all the textures that aren't in Doom 1, and a search and replace on some species of monster - for example, barons have turned into arachnotrons. However no tweaking or bug-fixing appears to have been done afterwards; on map 6, where instead of getting two barons chasing you after you pick up the computer map, you get two arachnotrons stuck in the wall. Hilarious.