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The Roots of Doom Mapping

The Roots of Doom Mapping

Next to the Annual Cacowards this year, the Doomworld community has posted an article about the Roots of Doom Mapping written by not Jabba. It's an amazing article about the past 26 years of Doom modding, showcasing a lot of people and mods that had a huge impact on the way, modding and mapping for Doom has evolved. The author has done a very good job and a very neutral point of view which makes reading the article a pleasure. While reading, I stumbled upon Chapter 6: Big Budget Doom and I somehow was honored to see that a long paragraph featured my influence to the community - in a more positive than negative way - I honestly didn't expect this.

"Tormentor’s releases—including the many group projects he’s led over the years—are all defined by a sense of grandeur and drama. There’s a sweeping, cinematic feel to every aspect of the map design, from the slow, deliberate buildup of enemy firepower to the special effects. These directorial sensibilities are perhaps the most far-reaching aspect of Tormentor’s legacy, as later years have seen many classic-styled maps (Jade Earth or Remnant, for instance) that also tend toward that same cinematic feel, albeit within the limits of vanilla or Boom format."

It is crazy how long I am already part of the community, how much time I have spent on this game and how many friends I got during this time. Reading about someone's Legacy it sounds for me like some kind of retirement - strange feeling to be part of the older Doomers but it's certainly true.

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Sonic Robo Blast 2 gets a new release in 5 years

Sonic Robo Blast 2 gets a new release in 5 years

It is that the Cacowards of this year saw multiple great achievements - From Jimmy's Espi award to Mikoportal's to John Romero's SIGIL one would totally miss that Sonic Robo Blast 2, the 3D platform game running on everyone's favorite engine from hell had a new release.... in 5 years!  In case you don't know what SRB2 entails, it is described as a ''free 3D Sonic the Hedgehog fan-game built using a modified version of the Doom Legacy source port of Doom. SRB2 is closely inspired by the original Sonic games from the Sega Genesis, and attempts to recreate their design in 3D.'' Since its first outing all the way back in 1998 it has developed a cult following for everyone loving the old-skool platforming gameplay of the world's most known hedgehog. With version 2.2, the SRB2 team has significantly updated the campaign and outright remade entire chunks from scratch, added in two new Zones,  improved AI, added slopes, and much more! In short, 5 long years have seen the game get its biggest update yet so what are you waiting for? Check this out! And whilst you are at it, be sure to check out SRB2 Kart made by the community there, for a frisky standalone racing mod that gives Mario Kart a run for its money!

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Cacowards 2019

Cacowards 2019

It's that time of the year again: The Annual Cacowards have been announced and I want to congrat everyone involved in winning one of these but also to those "Runners up" and the staff pronouncing the winners and writing the articles. Sometimes I am surprised how many releases I have missed even though being an active member myself. You can check the whole article at the Doomworld page. Congrats to the community, I am glad we are still alive!

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Vietdoom Alpha released

Vietdoom Alpha released

Just spotted over at ModDB that SeargentMarkIV has released his currently developed project VietDoom as a first alpha showcase and I have to admit it's doing a very good job. It's hard as hell but features a lot of interesting content already that makes the 60MB worth being downloaded. You can find the download link as well as two gameplay videos of the mod in the link below - get them Vietkongs!

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Ray Mohawk's Manic Monday!

Ray Mohawk's Manic Monday!

From the likes of DoomKid comes Ray Mohawk's Manic Monday!, a tropical minisode of 6 levels that is 100% vanilla-compatible and should run in any port. Away from the gloom and doom of the Shores of Hell, Manic Monday sees our protagonist Ray Mohawk take a nice holiday to the tropics, to the beachside neighborhood he knows and loves. But in 2027, the UAC developed Nukage™. A revolutionary fuel alternative for then current oil and petroleum. It was ''the savior humanity was waiting for.'' But not for Ray Mohawk. Whether it was because of Nukage™ or not, the ecosystem and coincidentially Ray's neighborhood polluted - including his former neighbors. Only one option is left - to travel to the UAC heart of operations, and reassure that Mohawk's future holiday's to the beachside are saved. Check it out!

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Hocus Pocus is released

Hocus Pocus is released

Well, yeah, not the sidescroller from the early 90's but ravage's own approach in turning the old 2d game in a 3d environment - and man, it's so good at doing this. Hocus Pocus Doom has relatively the same features as the original Hocus Pocus. You complete maps by collecting all available crystals. However, you can also find red crystals that let you warp to secret maps at the end of the level. You are awarded points for finding treasure, killing enemies, and completing each map within a time limit. At the end of every episode your highest score will be recorded. NightFright pretty much put it in a nutshell with his review:

"After staying away from this until it had reached final release status (which was REALLY hard to do), I have now played the first few levels and gotta say you ABSOLUTELY nailed it. This is what I would have expected from an official 3D sequel made by Apogee themselves in the 90s if they had done one. Level design, enemy behavior, shooting (no hitscanners!), sounds, music... it totally takes you back to the old days while still delivering on the visual side. Of course you have a slight advantage if you played the original game since you recognize the game mechanics right away, but it's not like anybody who doesn't know Hocus Doom wouldn't get used to this within a matter of minutes. And it's still so addictive to collect all the treasure, no difference to the original at all. There's also a great visual variety throughout the episodes which cannot be praised enough."

Anyway, make your own experience, this release is top quality, and a definite winner of the Annual Cacowards - I'd bet!

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Scattered Evil 1.9 released

Scattered Evil 1.9 released

A new version of Scattered Evil has been released, bringing it up to version 1.9 and is now available at www.koraxheritage.com featuring a lot of new features that further improve the complex mod:

  • New Armor System
  • New Feature: Carried Weight
    Inventory items (including money) now have a specific weight and depending on your character’s stats, sooner or later you’ll become overburdened
  • New Feature: Banking and Finances
    You can now open a bank account at Ocadia’s Counting House and deposit some of your cash in it, both lightening the load in your backpack and earning interest with time.
  • New and modified Class Abilities
  • New Dungeons
    Rebuilt from scratch, The Rift is open once again, connecting The Canyon to the Dark Conclave, Hytesthani Ravine is now the target of Senior Wizard Robert’s quest for the ultimate weapon.

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Deathless released

Deathless released

Just spotted by accident, that jimmy has released his 27-map project Deathless at the Doomworld forums a few weeks ago. How could I miss that? And what is it all about? This is what jimmy said: "As with that set, I condensed the process of creating it into the slimmest timeframe I possibly could. The 27 layouts for the three new episodes were first blocked out starting midnight 1st Nov. The 27th map was thingplaced and balanced at about midnight 10th Nov, so the total build time for this is nine days." Considerind the quality of the mapset, this is a definite Cacoward for this year. Check out the thread and get your copy!

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Tartarus released

Tartarus released

The mapper RonnieJamesDiner has just released his new masterpiece Tartarus at the Doomworld forums. "The air chokes with the metallic mist of blood. Unimaginable pillars reach above and below to unseen structures of Hell. The Gates of Tartarus tower amidst the haunted vapor -- a Stygian fortress guarding the passage to realms beyond. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." This map had several sources of inspiration, but the biggest one were the Nether Fortresses in Minecraft (both visually and mechanically). The mapper always wanted to make a Doom map that had the sensation of finding one of these in the Nether, especially with the idea where the environment is as dangerous as the denizens lurking within. That said, there are no teleports if you fall off any of the ledges into the chasm - you are dead! Check it out!

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Heresy Palette

Heresy Palette

ReaperAA has released a new custom palette for Heretic. It has been created in about a week that changes/tweaks some of the colors that he didn't like much and felt that they needed an improvement. The main changes are to the blues and greens. And unlike some other palettes, he did not include any new assets. This palette should work with vanilla assets just fine and give you a very interesting new experience when it comes to the old classic gem.

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Hocus Doom

Hocus Doom

Just noticed that ravage posted his next release candidate of his amazing Hocus Pocus Doom total conversion. Clock's ticking! Check the latest version with final fixes and additions at the official ZDoom development thread and be ready, we are almost there - the most anticipated release of 2019 is nearing.

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Drought | D4D

Drought | D4D

Here it is, my present for the 1st Advent: Tango has released his second release candidate of his mapset Drought. 3 short, Boom compatible maps built with the excellent D4V mod and using the wonderful OTEX texture pack. Each map is originally a ~1 hour speedmap that has received tweaks and refinement over the last month since their initial version. Should work in any Boom compatible port - tested in PrBoom+ and GZDoom, might be bugs in other ports still. Truecolor hardware rendering recommended, if only for the sake of color quality in MAP03. Also skill levels have been implemented but not extensively tested outside of UV, so most settings probably still need balance adjustments. For more information just read on and give Tango some feedback for finetuning.

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Survival Horror Doom

Survival Horror Doom

Taking inspiration from classics such as Resident Evil franchise, the modder mrtaterz brings Survival Horror Doom to us, a mod that, as the name implies, intent to turn the fast paced, arcade slaughterfest gameplay of Doom into a survival horror experience. 

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Angled Doom

Angled Doom

For years i always thought how Doom would look like if it had angled weapons instead of centered. I know that we already had angled weapons before - heck, now it's easier to find custom angled weapons sprites instead of centered ones in a Google Search - but i mean the original Doom weapons. The real deal. 

During the last decade, lots of great angled weapons inspired by vanilla's design surfaced on forums, but still no avail, no angled weapons mods in development. I thought that sometimes, you must be the change you want to see in the others, or in this particular case, you must do the mod you (and lots of others) want to play but no one ever started. The seeds of Angled Doom were planted. 

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MOTI - Mystery Of Tyskie Islands

MOTI - Mystery Of Tyskie Islands

One of the things I like most about the Doom community is how it can always surprise me, even after so many years. Especially if we are talking about total conversions. Mods like Blade of Agony and Ashes 2063 need no introduction, and the love and effort to craft such masterpieces are evident. WojtTheDoomer, MOTI's lead developer, seems to share this very same passion. MOTI, or Mistery of Tyskie Island is a new total convertion project that is also a remake of his previous attempt with the title. In the words of the author: "The older version was rushed and I didn't include half of the stuff I planned on - this version will have this, and more. It's the MOTI I wanted to create in 2017, but didn't have the skill, time, or will to do." And boy, this guy sure have skills and will to do it now. Although the mod isn't available for download yet, the project seems to be alive and well, with constant updates in its oficial thread on ZDoom.org.

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Shrine

Shrine

This is one of those mods that grabs you instantly by the looks. A full Lovecraftian themed mod, with distinct 8-bit art style that makes you wonder what Doom would look like if it was released for Gameboy Color back in the day. Welcome to Shrine.

In the words of scumhead, the mod developer: "Shrine is a total conversion mod for Doom 2 set in a Lovecraftian inspired world. Battle new demons with new weapons, while exploring ancient cathedrals and eldritch worlds from the dark beyond.

  • 8 New Weapons to rampage your way through the Elder World
  • 13 Enemies to Blast into giblets
  • 16 challenging but fair levels to test your might against the eldritch Horde
  • Completely custom assets, textures and Sounds!
  • -Made for use with Gzdoom.
  • -You should have Jump enabled.
  • -Iwad is DOOM II "

You can get your hands on this mod at the official thread, at Doomworld.com.

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The final chain-link | Airport Tempelhof

The final chain-link | Airport Tempelhof

After the past three months have been pretty silent when it comes to public news, the team had been working unweary on the final chapter of Blade of Agony. We made huge progress leaps in the mapping department and there is only one map left to be finished in the main part of the third chapter - Airport Berlin Tempelhof (without mentioning our secret operation and the three specials that can be played at the console, but more about that in the future). After that we will concentrate on polishing the storyline and the structures, adding sidequests and making sure everything works without any flaws and is playable from the start to the end.

"And what comes next? A release?" Well, it's not as easy as that. One of our additional goals for the final release is the localization and the voice acting. For the localization we plan to release the game in various different languages (german, italian, russian next to english) to reach a wider audience. On the other side, we want to improve the atmosphere with a special audio addition, therefore we plan to add voice actings to the briefing, the dialogues and the ingame messages. But this all can only be done as soon as most of the game is set in stone to avoid gaps or redundancies. Anyway, we won't be able to do all this on our own.

So if you are used to translating texts in the languages we aim for, or if you are interested and skilled in doing some voice acting for a specific character in the game, drop us a line, get in conctact over the forums and let us know. We are looking forward to any kind of support in this area.

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Doomed Redneck

Doomed Redneck

Throughout the years you can see a lot of mods that aims to be callbacks of old games. We could spend hours talking about amazing mods in the past that ported (partially or not) games like Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, Blood or even the likes of Quake through the sheer power of (G)ZDoom. Doomed Redneck is the most recent mod to follow this trend, bringing back the old Redneck Rampage - sometimes referred as an underapreciated Build Engine game from the 90's - into the scene again.

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Kriegsland II: Untergrund

Kriegsland II: Untergrund

Killing pixelated nazis never seems to get old. Since the good old days of the original Wolfenstein 3D on DOS, passing through all the great WolfenDoom mods that have spawned every since, here we have Kriegsland II - Untergrund.

Made by GAA1992, that's a sequel to Kriegsland: Blutorden, a well received WW2/Wolfenstein themed mod. In Kriegsland II, you'll see a very different take from the first, ranging for a more complete (but not boring) gameplay. Forest Tyler (the mod's protagonist) has many tricks out-of-the-box, partially thanks to his glasses that grant a nice HUD, Nightvision and zooming view! While this mod does not have the astonishing laser effects, dozens of weapons, cross akimbos (YET), sliding and spetacular effects from the first, you'll notice that weapons are far more simple, more effective, more satisfying to shoot, game looks more beautiful in general. 

 

The mod also has a lore attached to it, set in an alternate reality where nazis won the second world war - just like in Wolfenstein: The New Order. You must fight against nazis in K2's own version of the 80' which is pretty much a sci-fi setting. 

 

You can check this and much more at the official Kriegsland II - Untergrund thread at ZDoom.org.

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Vanilla Essence

Vanilla Essence

Ever wondered what your favorite modern engine mod would look like when it was released in 1992? With Pixel Eater's mod Vanilla Essence 4 you can exactly have that experience, it makes entering and exiting vanilla mode easy with a single key bind. You can even configure it to your needs and personal taste. I tried it with Blade of Agony and it actually worked like a charm. Wanna try it yourself? Check the release thread over at ZDoom.org.

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