13/07/2006 @08:57:34 ^10:12:07

Efforts spent elsewhere

Few reviews recently as I have been doing more hacking on the game engine than actual playing. I don't really see the point of talking about that here though. As rboom isn't available anywhere, banging on about this bug fix or that feature isn't really giving out useful information, it's just going "look at me, look at all the cool things I've done! Wheee, no hands"

Having said that I did post some patches the other week, which you might find remarkably out of character. Now I'm caught by Warnock's Dilemma again!

Ogre Labs revisited

Indeed speaking of being shafted by Warnock's Dilemma and my own paranoia, I noticed with some satisfaction that Ogre Labs has been rereleased, with the bug fixes that were reported in the original thread. Of course, only a couple of weeks ago, I was complaining in some other thread that my carefully-written bug report on the pitfalls of using ZDoom for testing classic Doom maps had been ignored. Anyway, go download Ogre Labs and play it right now, it's excellent.

Grenian Doom

Grenian Doom is an 18-map PWAD released initially in 1998 and rereleased in 2001, which was when I became aware of it. I recently redownloaded it because I was thinking about two-sided linedefs that don't have the two-sided (transparent) bit set, but that's another story.

It's pretty oldschool. You wouldn't have been surprised if this had come out in 1995. Some of the maps are quite primitive, especially with texture usage. However, there's some good architecture and layouts. For instance, map01 (which I have just learned is also called Yaotzin) is one of those maps that... I don't know, it just has that spark that makes it really enticing, I don't know, it's hard to explain, it's just one of those maps. Use of height, a complex route, glimpses of places you can't get to, but then you find you can, etc. It's nonlinear, but there's definitely a "best" route to take, and finding it was very satisfying. Map02 has a similarly quite complex route but uses too much STARTAN3 in one place. Map06 was enjoyable too (and was the map I was thinking of, with the non-2s walls) and map15 is immense. On the other hand map04 is mostly a featureless, flat maze and is quite bland. Map07 is also a maze but an E2M2 crate maze, and map09 is a huge fortress with very high walls, and a spiderdemon in the middle. You have to do a lot of running, then teleport to the middle and hopefully snag the BFG before you get perforated.

Grenian is a mixed bag, quite literally. There's a certain feel to some of the levels that they've been converted from Doom to Doom 2 - lack of Doom 2 monsters and so forth. Map11 in particular appears to have been designed as an E2M8 replacement, but has had a normal exit added to replace the exit on cyberdemon death effect. I think the author has simply collected together all of his old maps and released them in a compilation wad. Fair enough.

So it's not going to impress anyone who doesn't like old school maps already, but it's not awful and I did like map01.

PS I almost forgot, it has a few sound replacements as well, the door open and close are okay but the pistol replacement is rubbish and I suggest you delete it with a wad editor or something