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2003 Archives

Christmas 25 December 2003

Well, a brief update to let you know that, actually, I did bung the two sections of The Tongs and the Bones together. It wasn't as bad as I thought.

This Christmas day was grey, windy and blah, weather-wise. The olds are jonesing for another Brisbane fix (although with temperatures of 35°C, I'll pass.) And giftwise, it was money. And there lies a dilemma.

I almost have enough to purchase a "swap-a-box" unit from a local computer shop. Actually, I need a little more for the 3D card, which'd bring the total to a tad over $500, but I have to ask myself, as I always do, if such an upgrade would be worth it. Do I need to be able to play the latest spiffy games, or run fancy Quake engines, or risk my mapping muse adding extra fat to my belly? Writing essays doesn't really need lots of computing power, and Mum even suggested she might be able to get a modern machine through her work.

If I can, I'll put it off for a year, as a celebratory present for completing my BA.

Vathek 14 December 2003

After some thought, and forgetting the filenames for the maps of the necropolis section I was working on, I've decided to return to an earlier and much more complete (not to mention better looking) incarnation of the necropolis. It really only needed connectors between the vaults, the addition of the end scenery, some fine-tuning of brushwork and entity placement. However, owing to system sluggishness I may keep The Tongs and the Bones as two separate maps. Pasting the two fairly complex sections together would be an utter nightmare!

Speedy has updated his "Speedbaze" and "Cr8" texture sets for Quake 1. There's actually now an add-on pack for Cr8. I'd get more done for Ontranto if I could stop fiddling with these damn things.

Which reminds me: I'd better get on with SF64 support for the Wraths.

Anyway, I'm going to waffle on a bit about my plans for next year. First off: Ontranto will be late coming out; I intended the blasted thing to be complete by New Year's Eve, but now I doubt that this deadline will be achieved. Expect a cattle call for testers sometime in January, and a release sometime February.

After that, I'll be knuckling back down to university study, completing my BA in English Literature and Philosophy. At the same time, I'm chasing a few leads for part-time work; if I get it, even less time rotting at home. Which makes me happy.

Further, I have other creative projects demanding my time, especially E Motel, that game I mumbled about earlier this year, and that book I'm currently half-assedly working on. I may try to keep slapping brushes together, but don't count on anything.

Otranto 2 December 2003

Finally! After stripping out and replacing a couple of tunnel walls, the mine section vises. Now I can concentrate on finishing the necropolis section of FC1M2, as well as plan the population of the mine half. (I can imagine about two "waves" of spawn-ins for it.) I may even try to toss in a secret or two.

Now that I consider the map that comes after it, I realise that I haven't really supported secrets all that much. Indeed, other than the first map, there's no provision for secrets at all! (Well, I can make the members' lounge of FC3 a secret, and maybe a fairly big one; also the necropolis may be able to furnish a few too; and some houses could be hard-pressed to unlock their doors.)

As for the mines, I actually still have some Z-fighting to mediate, but should be able to work out eventually.

Stuck 28 November 2003

Well, I've started planning a course of study for the next year, as well as starting work on the book.

Ontranto (I just found out that the name's misspelt, but never mind) is being held up by map 2, the second least complete map (#6 is the least complete.) With the complex geometry of the tunnel walls, microleaks seem to be abounding. I'm seriously considering dumping significant amounts of brushwork and replacing it with simpler stuff, even though I don't want to. (Then again, it's only brushwork, and at least I'd be able to see what I'm doing!)

Actually, let's have some lists.

Maps in order of Completion Level

  1. FC1M1: The Swamp of Ontranto
  2. FC1M4: The Docks of Ontranto (needs entities)
  3. FC1M3: The Queen of Ontranto (needs entities)
  4. FC1M5: Ontranto Towne (needs one more passage and a heap of entities)
  5. FC1M2: The Tongs and the Bones (two or so more areas, and population)
  6. FC1M6: Audience
  7. FC1: The story so far (start map, not yet conceived!)

Custom Monsters in order of Completion Level

  1. Electric Eels
  2. Archers and Crossbowmen
  3. Wraths (still need to add SF64 support)
  4. The Duke

Environmental Effects in order of Completion Level

  1. Barrels and Furniture
  2. Custom door sounds
  3. Incidental sounds (not yet tested)
  4. Dick Knuckle's singing when bored (not yet coded)

I have to admit that I've been going through a depressive phase with regards to the year more or less being wasted. It's not entirely my fault, but the big problem has been several situations which are still unresolved and seemingly unresolvable. They make it extremely hard to plan ahead, and I not only like to have all my ducks in a row, but accounted for as well.

Speaking of failures, I've finally got around to posting an article about most of my failed mapping projects.

Procrastination 31 October 2003

Owing to concentration on the 52nd special colour strip of E Motel, which I haven't uploaded yet because the bloody server won't respond, the reviews were a bit delayed. This did allow me to note Vondur's new address.

Anyway, I've been wondering what's likely to happen next year. Lemme slap on the Criswell hat...

I predict: that university study will once again consume my days as I return to achieving my BA in English and Philosophy!

I predict: that E Motel will celebrate its 104th strip next Halloween!

I predict: that I will return to reprogramming That Game as opposed to mapping! Yet...

I predict: that there will be only two maps released: A Q1SP on Halloween, and a Q2 unit some other time!

I predict: that I may start planning a book! I even have a title: How to Argue.

Belation 26 October 2003

RPG is apparently boycotting me because I didn't mention his SP map All that Could Have Been when it came out. There's a very good reason for that omission: I forgot about updating the site at the time. In part, because I was playing that Speedbaze-textured base map (one day I expect to avoid dying in it), and partly because I was doing other things that took up my time.

Anyway, while I was compiling a review to soothe his hurt feelings, I decided to go ahead and review Day of the Lords and Nastrond as well.

I wonder if Gom Jabbar is also boycotting me for not mentioning Kadath, his recent id metal-favoured DM map? Mind you, I don't play DM at all these days anyway.

Right now, I'm going through a period of "to hell with this shit." Ontranto may have map #2 coming slowly together, but I'm increasingly sick of thinking about it. I have been noodling with one or two map concepts, but I'd rather do something else next year - maybe reprogramming that game I came up with earlier this year. Or that "virtual memo cube" thing.

Oh - not including the filler art and the Red Meat thing, on Halloween there'll be a year's worth of E Motel. In case you care.

Medieval Madness 5 October 2003

A couple of SP maps have made a pleasant appearance. Unless you're wedded to ToChris, which crashes under both these maps.

Vondur gifts us with Nastrond, a delightfully challenging and secret-riddled pile decorated in Kell's "Knave" texture set (as seen in Contract Revoked), with some extremely impressive architecture and devastating gameplay. The endpiece is reminiscent of Matt Sefton's old base map Jawbreaker.

Also, Glassman graces us with Day of the Lords, which starts off just like E2M2 before taking off into the outermost realms of serious gameplay and a very gritty tan medieval texture set.

As for another medieval project that has been mentioned previously, well, it's still plodding along. FC1M3 has found and plugged some dodgy walls, but work still needs to be done on lighting and the engine room.

Actually, right now I can and should start rebuilding FC1M4's start to take into account FC1M3's style. I don't know how easy this'll be though, so the sooner I start the better, I guess.

I've also mumbled about a potential Q2 map project, but one of the problems I have with Q2 mapping is the difficulty in adding custom textures. Obviously, the default ones don't fire me up, so I've been converting Dave Bulow's tech textures to Q2 format! This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for there being about 13MB of 'em. Whatever the weather, it's probable that I'll have to offer them separately and urge the player to download the damn things. That or winnow out the ones I don't use...

Thirty Days 29 September 2003

Bengt "Aguire" Jardrup has released a new version of his lighting program - only available bundled with his versions of BSPINFO and VIS - which offers a cracking new feature: sunlight2, which offers more realistic and less contrasty outside lighting without the need for minlights. It also supports Tyrlite attributes, but doesn't do antilights.

I'm definitely using this program for Ontranto. Results on FC1M1 are very promising indeed, and as soon as I fix a bug in the delayed spawning code, I can test the first map.

FC1M3 is plugged (and thus visable,) and currently getting lit, so I can spot wonky brushwork. From there I'll start adding more detail (such as charts and things on the bridge, cargo in the hold etc.)

I think for now, I'll concentrate on finishing those four maps that are already almost finished - 'M1, 'M3, 'M4 and 'M5. If I can get that lot's brushwork all squared away, I can concentrate on the second map - and I may already have a mine layout all ready to go, would you believe. RCDM10ish, anyone?

The latest speedmapping pack (SM51) had a surprise entrant: me! The theme was "-ish" maps, with kudos to Xen for his Zerstörer textured version of the end, and CZG's Jackboot/Speedtech treatment of E1M3. Between Scampie and myself, there's a whole E1M1 in there too.

Boating Accessories 31 August 2003

FC1M1 is almost done bar stocking and full-vis; the riverboat level, FC1M3, is getting a few modifications from the original layout, mainly due to altered goal points.

This also means changes to FC1M4 - goodbye canal - and affects the ending of FC1M2. (I have to link them somehow...) And that's started the process of joining up all the bits of the Necroppolis section of FC1M2.

I'm beginning to think that I need to focus more on building sections of the mine part; I've two that are more or less done, two more that could use work, and a couple that need building. If I can get on with those, that's a fair whack of work done. More to the point, it'll give me two finished maps to stock and test.

FC1M5 is still very much in the lighting stage, and needs the "shrine" part installed. It also needs a reasonable exit, which in this case is a bloody great cathedral sort of thing. Something on the scale of the Necropolis, but far grander. That's something else to crack.

FC1M4 needs furniture - tables, chairs, beds, barrels, crates, that sort of thing. Sometime later I'll have to consider where to put more secrets. And fix the door sounds.

More leaping 21 August 2003

First things first: This arrived on Saturday. I've put in an order for a donor copy for my local library. Ain't it lovely?

Secondly, I'm now gluing together and lighting the above-ground part of FC1M5. Yes, stocking is still a questionable affair, but having most of the brushwork done is a major step.

However, FC1M3 may be radically changed. I've finally made it up to the riverboat level in the Cryptic Passage addon for Monolith's Blood. This means, obviously, that I intend to build FC1M3 as, for all intents and purposes, a void map. (Yes, the void will be replaced by animated textures, but the basic idea of a set of floors surrounded by a kill-pit remains.)

After all, in Swamp you had to make your way upriver. There's nothing holy about bashing your way along the banks. Besides, this is something I've never seen done before, to my knowledge.

Another Great Leap 13 August 2003

Barely three days after my last update, I have glued, plugged and full-vised FC1M4, the first Ontranto town map. The only caveat is some serious r_speeds (1200+ faces) around the central canal, with attendant stutter and greyflash.

Now, I don't want that sort of schtick. I want a smooth-playing map that allows for lots of monsters about. Once models are thrown into the equation... you get the idea.

In order to fix this, it looks like I'll have to move the canal and bring the "north bank" in touch with the southernmost buildings; one would have to fight one's way into the "dockside" realm before continuing, and it would look more authentic and bring the canal in line with the current design for FC1M3's river width.

Incidentally, I found Pablo Dictter's webby for those of you who want to try his map out.

Finally, I've started diddling with Stecki's Deconstruct texture set and a very old DM map layout, Tea and Tiny Cakes again. Yep, there may be an eleventh DM map on the way. Or not.

Chug Chug Chug 10 August 2003

Gods... I really have to get a move on with Ontranto. I've been lacking interest in pursuing the project for a while, apart from some piddling around the edges.

This might change, however, if I can get the two town maps more or less completed. Tonight I've been diddling the QuakeC for doors, since there are an awful lot of them; basically a smaller trigger field and a more subtle sound. And, since I had to test them, I began fiddling with FC1M5 again, basically doing the edging buildings (that you can't enter, but look nice anyway.)

The first town map is starting to take gameplay shape. Basically, you need two gold keys to exit, but lots of silver keys to unlock other buildings. Hopefully this will make exploration more interesting. (And more so when I actually add in all the damn doors and furniture.)

The second one needs a fair bit of work. There's a third bit I have to design (not to mention the entrance and exit) and then gussy everything up prior to bolting it all together. But if I can pull that off, it should be fun and let me concentrate on the second, third and final maps over the last three months before my self-imposed deadline. I honestly thought I would have had much more done by now, but I didn't take life into account.

OK, new releases.

QurneL has presented us with the interesting DM map Stormland, which is an interesting industro-base thing with a ton of eye candy (check out the scene from the window!) Shambler, who is rapidly turning into the scene's official curmudgeon, wailed on QurneL about including screenshots in the zip. Understandable; JPEGs don't compress at all well.

A potty-mouth called Pablo Dictter presented us with a nice idbase map, The F* Little Box, consisting of multiple small and highly detailed rooms. I've censored the title (fortunately, no name was written into the BSP) since I disapprove of gratuitous profanity. People tend to think "My god, what a cretin," when you do things like that.

Right, what's happened in real life?

Well, I now own my very own registered copy of Paint Shop Pro 7. Some of the new features are way cool, but existing ones have been altered in nonintuitive ways, which is a pain in the arse.

Also, that job I thought was in the bag in May/June has fallen through due to wrangles over where the funds would come from, and when. Fargnax.

Finally! The Unicorn Jelly Book Project has borne its first load of fruit, and e'en now (I hope) my very ownliest free autographed copy of Volume 1 is winging its way to me. Work is crunting along on Volume 2, so have your money at the ready for one or both volumes. And tell Jenny that Cardboard Box sent ya. :)

QExpo is Go(ne) 18 July 2003

QExpo 2003 came and went; The reason I said nothing was that I was too caught up in downloading stuff.

ChaineR released two maps: One's a dark idbase warehouse called Dead Cell, which is what you're likely to become. It's dark, mazey and crawling with creeps. Quite a blast, really.

The other is a metal/medieval dungeon that is again almost retro in its chunky, old-skool feel. Monsters tend to get hurled at you in bloody great heaps, and the situation beyond the gold key door is nothing short of terrifying.

Harb!nger of Fish put up a package he calls Assault, which he started over two years ago and only just wound up. As such, the best thing about its architecture is the use of a texture set called Juggernaut, which you can get through Mr Fribbles' place. Otherwise, you have a few small chambers in each map, very squarish and blank, with rotating fans and a custom monster that I dislike (Willy the Spider.) Frankly, the last map is probably the best looking of the lot.

Kona pickled off yet another map package: Carved In Flesh, three maps of truly surreal medieval structures and incredible rockwork wrapped in FAKK2 and Quake 3 textures, populated with some of the most vicious custom monsters I've seen and several new weapons.

Let's be honest: This pack does have a few flaws, suffering in places from greyflash and other BSP hiccups, but you get some truly hairy combat (those mini-fiends are nasty in packs.) I still haven't made it out of the first map yet. In normal skill.

Finally, Necros. Dawn of Eternity. This is a beast. Heavily modified beasties will help keep laundry detergent companies profitable for some time (and there's just under 300 of the buggers too!) It also comes with a "secret" map which tips the scales at about 600 beasties or so.

OK, off you go to QExpo and get all that and more.

Ontranto movement has taken a noteworthy step with the arrival of a decent layout for FC1M2. This is an event I have been waiting for for quite some time, and hopefully will allow progress to pick up speed.

The boss map - FC1M6 - is tipped to be an arena-style combat. This means I can worry less about architecture and more about getting the Duke operational.

FC1M1 hasn't been worked on much; it still needs some lighting work done and population with beasties. I also have to consider your starting weapons load, since part of the story is that you've taken a wrong turn after a successful mission.

Speaking of which, I've also been playing with metal textures for the start map. Hopefully I can also come up with something for a secret level as well.

FC1M3 hasn't made much more progress than a few foundation brushes, which is good, since I intend making some significant layout changes (i.e. no islands! They take up too much room, and I want to widen the river anyway.)

Kona's Loaded! 15 June 2003

Ontranto has been on a sort of hold while I get the computer working, but I'm currently embarked on trying (operative term) to construct some prefab parts for both halves of FC1M2. This map is a major sticking point for me, as a definitive layout has been elusive.

Also, I just completed a "tester" full vis on FC1M1, which took 25 hours. This has exposed some significant flaws in the existing map which will have to be rectified.

However! We have new releases!

Kona has finally released, just before QExpo, a two-map package of Guncotton. Not only have I beta tested this brutal claw hammer of a pack, but I have reviewed it as well. Now be good little whatever-you-ares and go a) read the review, and b) download this beauty!

DaZ has also recently loosed a cool DM map, Blood Sweat and Piss (it's a BSP called BSP, har har.) Dressed in Kell's pale stonework and plenty of lava, it also possesses a fine "old skool" feel. Time to break out those Omicrons, ne?

The new computer finally runs; after a week of waiting, I successfully bid for a copy of Windows 98, which I now address you from.

However, something in the new computer's motherboard didn't like the Maxtor at all, so instead of having 96MB to play in, I only have 56. You see, I had to transplant all the new bits onto the Front Computer's motherboard and vice versa. BUT, I do have 20 gigs of hard drive space, a CD burner, and 200MHz of computing goodness. And best of all, the era of broadband is coming! Whoopee!

Now, a CD burner without burning software is just a glorified CD-ROM. My OEM copy of Nero refused to work with this Sony - and the writer it was bundled with seems to have crapped out completely. Copies off shareware CDs timed out immediately. Thank heavens for BurnQuick, a tiny no-frills CD burning utility that does a very good job, and only US$15 registration. Even I can afford that...

The Merry Month 17 May 2003

FC1M4 has reached a modest milestone; that of partial compilation and lighting. In doing so, I have discovered a mistake made in the arrangement of certain parts that I now have to fix; fortunately this shouldn't be difficult. Then I can start tidying up the joints, do more to furnish the rooms, and then consider performing much the same to the other half, prior to joining them together. If I can do this, that'll be one more major achievement.

There have been some other releases over the last few weeks: Hrimfaxi has released the single-map mod Frying Obstacles, which sports numerous new and modified monsters, a somewhat eclectic take on the id metal theme, and relatively high r_speeds. Despite that the map is huge and challenging, and well worth having a look at. (See if you can reach the alternative exit!) Underworldfan has mirrored the map on FilePlanet.

Necros loosed a pair of small idbase maps, one using what look like Unreal textures. Both have some clever designs, substantial water sections, and both involve backtracking towards the start.

MaTi has uncorked Best of Vize, the sequel to his earlier Satarship Bunker. This beast is a two-level (and rather battered) base in Metlslime's Oblivion texture set, with some interesting combat and one cool skybox; but it suffers from greyflash in places, as well as somewhat washed-out lighting.

The new computer is still causing problems; whenever I try to start Windows 95, it resets itself. I suspect some conflict between it and Maxtor's MaxBlast program; but what the heck? At least I've managed to get the disk partitioned and formatted, and Win95 loaded.

Also, the last few days have been involved replacing the old, rotten greenhouse made of doors (I'm not kidding!) with a nice metal-framed unit. And believe me, the difference it makes visually to the back yard is nothing short of dramatic.

Very Worrying Developments 7 May 2003

I'll be starting a full-time job next month or thereabouts, which means far less time for working on Ontranto.

In case you're wondering where Ontranto's up to:

  • I'm considering returning to FC1M1 and giving it some fine tuning and population. As it's a start map, I'll overlook its relative simplicity and add interesting things, break up some of the large flat regions, and monsters. At this point, however, I think I'll forgo func_spawns in place of Zerstörer's "spawnflag 64" system.
  • FC1M2's mine section remains elusive. I may have to call for help. Also, I have to finish the tomb section, although I may redesign part of it.
  • FC1M3's concept is being "focussed," which at this point means drawing little graphs and thinking about how much complexity I really need.
  • FC1M4 and FC1M5 are still in bits, but I've been going through those parts I have done and retexturing the interiors. Also, the brick buildings from RC3 return, but facelifted. Half of FC1M4 is looking almost complete...
  • FC1M6 is still elusive in both design and visual style. Then again, I still have to code the Duke, so maybe that's understandable.

The fact that I'm making progress on the later "urban" maps is something I want to cultivate. If I can get those done, and maybe the first one, then I can be free to concentrate on the middle two and the last.

The little C++ game I'm coding has been getting a redo of most of its core code in order to be processor-independent. Currently the playfield is updated (if required) every 40ms (or 25fps), which has allowed me to make modest advances in animations and such. This has let me put off worry about how to code the system menus (e.g. starting a game, changing keys etc.) since I'm still unsure how to do so.

Over on Qmap (which Peej has set to redirect you to Metlslime's replacement,) Shambler hath returned, and started asking some interesting questions, which in turn have led to the asking of this question:

Have modern games, such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Unreal 2, become so complex and/or restrictive that the era of the lone mapper, and/or the standalone map, is over?

I have my own opinions, but I have yet to formulate words to describe them. But know that after Ontranto, I intend to quit Quake mapping, and if my new system will allow it, take up Unrealed and see what happens. (No, not Unreal 2, the original Unreal.)

The real challenge, however, will be making sure that my existing games collection will run on the new box; that is, checking that Quake, Quake II, Hexen II and SiN(!) will install without complaining. If not, I can play with making CD-ROM copies of the installed directories and see how that flies, heh heh.

Your Irregular Monthly Update 13 April 2003

The first week of April saw me holidaying in Australia (Burleigh Heads, to be precise,) so not much to report.

Ontranto work has mostly focussed on building... well, buildings. In FC1M5. There's three that have their brushwork laid out for walls, floors and roofs, another is on the way, so if I can get the momentum going again I should finish the next five soon.

One sidetrack is coding a little game in C++. The basic game itself works fine; now I have to code up a scoreboard, panic mode, two-player versus mode, menus, game-over detection...

Another is Blood textures, as in Monolith's [i]Blood.[/i] Think dismal urban and medieval, but with more bloodstains. In fact, I'm using a few in Ontranto.

Unicorn Jelly will finally finish next Monday, on the 14th April 2003. This means I will no longer have to slavishly save, clean and paste the day's strip into Word. Instead, I will have to save up to get my own copy. You too.

Mark Twain's Epigram 10 March 2003

Ontranto should have had a level completed by now... if I'd actually got off my arse and dealt to the job. As it stands, the current tally is:

  • FC1M1 - Brushwork >90% complete, entity placement 5%
  • FC1M2 - Brushwork 50% complete, entity placement 2% (mostly lights)
  • FC1M3 - Not started
  • FC1M4 - Brushwork 30% complete, entity placement 1%
  • FC1M5 - Brushwork 5% complete, entity placement 0%
  • FC1M6 - Not started

On a positive note, the Archers work, and quite well. (There's actually nifty code that turns the bipedal base baddies into medieval types automagically.) Now I have to make testers for the incidental sound effects and lantern lights, and, well, FC1M1 could soon be at a playable stage. Right now, it's just reached the "finally all plugged up" stage, which will be useful if I decide to go with radiosity-based lighting after all.

The lessons learnt in FC1M1 will help for the next "outdoor" map, FC1M3. Hopefully they'll make building a testable prototype much easier!

I have a nebulous idea for the mine half of FC1M2, but i still have to develop it to the point where it can be acted upon.

Next closest would be FC1M4, where half is still in the planning stages, but I know where it's leading (unlike FC1M2!)

I feel that Ontranto will be my swan song as a Quake mapper, seriously. I've spent six years turning out maps and QuakeC, and I feel that I've probably dried up with regards to this stalwart game. My pulling out of the second Coagula contest is probably a good thing; I just don't have the interest nor impetus to worry about it.

Would I return to mapping? I'm not sure. For another game, perhaps. But that would require a major change in circumstances which just isn't happening yet.

Also, there are my other developing interests: E Motel, C++ programming (I have an idea for a game, if I could only get resources to work!) and, of course, Getting A Paid Job. And laid. I really need to get laid.

Incidentally, my family and I will be holidaying in Australia at the end of the month, visiting old friends. (I'm going simply to say I've been overseas at least once in my life.)

Very Interesting Developments 21 February 2003

As you may have observed, I've rejigged the top of the site a fair bit to use dropdown menus. This is primarily an aesthetic decision: While a string of text links worked quite well, it didn't look very good. In fact, it looked messy. A little Javascript and a lot of thrashing later, voila! A slimmer, more efficient navigation system.

Ontranto exploits are mostly concentrating on the meat of FC1M1. This map is the closest to a complete (or at least playable) build; next in line is FC1M4. Once that map is finished, the QuakeC will be assailed, at least to include some monsters.

Getting in the way is Monolith's Blood. I rather like this Build engine FPS, mainly for its twisted humour and charming urban settings, although the hellish otherworlds feel too bland in places.

Actually, I can't help noticing that most of the games that appeal to me use two relatively fantastic themes, sometimes in combination. Doom uses futuristic base and blends into infernal medieval. Strife mixes medieval with high-tech as well, but more tightly. In those games, the two themes aren't entirely disparate, but can complement each other. In Doom, for instance, one finds a high-tech base being "overtaken" or "subsumed" by the forces of Hell. This gradual change becomes more pronounced as one travels further, obviously.

Hernkelsploink 8 February 2003

First off, Ontranto...

  • FC1 (start map): Considering some sort of DM style map, using Hexen II's "blue dungeon" textures.
  • I've wanted to make something in that style for some time.
  • FC1M1: Started building the tarpits. I really oughta try and develop the underwater
  • tunnel next.
  • FC1M2: The second half is virtually complete. However, the first is still maddeningly
  • elusive.
  • FC1M3: A tentative layout has been drawn up.
  • FC1M4: Been redesigning the south side of the river, and building the northern side.
  • FC1M5: No movement.
  • FC1M6: Currently fiddling with design concepts for how this map should look. Layout
  • is currently influenced by Iikka Keränen's Homecoming. Style is yet to be
  • defined.

Wazat has released version 1.4 of Jeht —the DM mod for people who're fed up of DM mods. While I haven't given it a thorough pokeor prod yet, the weapons certainly look interesting, and Frikbots are included.

Putting a dent in mappery are attempts to create a map for an upcoming second "Coagula" contest(see the review of the last one for what that's allabout) and Doom Collector's Edition. I use the ZDooM engine myself. And you can find outabout the competition over at Metlslime's func_msgboard.

Also, a few weeks back I went to a sort of interview-cum-spooge session at a startup gamescompany. I may be hearing from them later concerning Web stuff (as my programming skillsare not enough to ph34r) once they get their first project off the ground. Mmmm... And I'mwaiting impatiently to hear about another part-time Web job as well.

E Motel was updated last week with no less than four strips of meaty goodness,starting with this one. I'maiming at three a month, at the end of the month.

Jolly Gaffs 11 January 2003

All right, let's see where we're up to, shall we?

Ontranto is a good place to start, so let's see what needs to be done:

  • FC1M1: Most of the actual drawn plan is enbrushéd, but I still have to
  • work on the tarpits, underwater stuff, foliage and minehead.
  • FC1M2: The latter half is coming together nicely, but the former half is still so
  • much doodle.
  • FC1M3: Not started (yet)
  • FC1M4: Half blocked out. I'm now wondering if my initial design is a good one.
  • FC1M5: Blocked out, need to do interiors
  • FC1M6: Not even designed; I'm a bit stuck for ideas!
  • QuakeC: Started, but needs work

Hm. Two maps yet to leave the drawing board, two fairly advanced, two blocked out. Not bad.

I'm starting another webby to act as a dedicated portfolio of work done. This is mostlywritten, so it's just a matter of doing some graphics. Basically, it's a sort of formalportal to all my webbies and things; a way of saying: "Look how wonderful I is! I donedid wonnerful stuff and people thought it was sweet as! So you gonna gimme a job or what?"

Next week I'll be spending lots of time in town at classes again, so I suspect productivityQuakewise will be down again. Not because of coursework, but because of the bloody trains.It's high summer here, you see. And since all the track was continuously welded in orderto save on maintenance, the heat could buckle them; so, trains have to go slow, by order ofthe Land Transport Safety Authority, to prevent derailing. Throw poor communicationbetween management and staff into the mix, the track de-stressing crews being on holidayright when their services are desperately needed, potential buyers refusing to makeoffers until they see the books, which the railway refuses to open until they make a bid,the newspapers trumpeting a call to arms, and the generally shoddy state of the wholeshooting match in the first place, and... you get the idea. It's going to be ugly.

(I blame the government. If the silly cunts hadn't fallen for all that free-market crap,they wouldn't have sold the railways, would they?)

2002 News


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