Monday, January 28, 2013

DOOM Wad Analysis: Introduction

There have been so many PWADs created by various authors, and each differs by quality and style as much as the authors themselves. But one thing is (mostly) clear. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are legendary. But why? Why is it that one person can play a wad (Plutonia for example), enjoy the heck out of it, yet others do not? There is a reason. The wad is lacking in a certain department. It could be game-play. It could be aesthetics. There are many parts to a PWAD, to a game even, and every part combined makes the whole.

Take for example, the aforementioned Plutonia. It is widely hailed as a masterpiece, one of the best .wads out there. It even has fan-made remakes, sequels, and many, many PWADs made in its style. Well, with all that praise, it must have done something right, and that's what this blog is all about. What makes a wad good or bad? It's certainly not clear cut, but it is worthy of discussion. 

Who the heck are you, and why should I (not) listen to you?

Well, I'm a doomer, a gamer, and a novice game-designer. I've also made my fair share of PWADs. I go by "insanoflex312" on and "death dealer" on I'm the author of "Hell Awakened" (my only released .wad, mind you). I've been playing doom since about 1998. I've been mapping since 2001. I've made a couple of unfinished works on GameMaker, and a few in C++. Remember when I said "novice game-designer"? Anyway, I've picked up a few things in my time and it's time to share my views on the matter.

What is this "DOOM" you're referring to, and is it a type of cake?

Doom is a 19 year old FPS released in 1994. No, DOOM is not a cake. It is one of the longest living FPS series to date, having millions trillions of player-made mods and a community that is still thriving today. Why you may ask? Because, there is a niche group of people that still believe DOOM is the pinnacle of FPS's. The game-play, while simple, is fluid, difficult at times, and, well, fun.  The graphics are horrifyingly outdated compared to modern games, but source-ports really give DOOM a modern feel. But the top reason why DOOM still lives is it's ease of modding. It's freaking easy to mod DOOM. Download a level editor and a source port and build to your hearts content. Simple. Or you can mod weapons, enemies, mechanics, or anything else you can think of with another program, the wad editor. Imagine if Mario had the modding capacity and ease like DOOM does. You have to hack a ROM (not recommended) or completely re-create the engine yourself in code. THEN you have to write (or use a SDK or something) a level editor to let you build levels.

The intent of this Blog:

I'm not going to review a bunch of wads. What I will do, is take a piece of a wad, for example, game-play, talk about my opinions on the matter and analyze two or more wads concentrating on only that subject. These are only my opinions, by the way, and if you disagree with them, well, feel free to write me angry troll comments. I'm not going to explain why a certain wad is good or bad for the most part. That's not the point. I want to know why people love the wads I hate and why people hate the wads I love. Why are the Doom World Cacowards sometimes controversial? What makes a PWAD great/horrible? Why is your favorite .wad the worst wad ever conceived? Why does any of the Terry wads have any recognition at all? Please follow my blog and all will be revealed. Also, I mentioned something earlier. This is a topic worthy of discussion. Be sure to reply in the comments and tell me your opinions.