Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wolfers on Youtube #3

Here are some updates on what various Wolfers are playing through on Youtube:

JohnLobo87 is reuploading some of his older videos, such as his playthrough of Trench Warfare. He is also playing through Treasure Hunt by serpens, and he has reuploaded a couple of old playthroughs for Halloween.

RussianStormxLobo88 is currently on a small hiatus till the end of the month. She is doing playthroughs of Operation Eisenfaust: Origins and Nocturnal: iLOW3D.

MrWolfForever did a playthrough of the first level of Green Arrow. He also did videos on some Map of the Month maps, such as Telekinesis and Meet My Friends.

KumanoMTG started a 100% playthrough of Green Arrow. His videos are usually very thorough, well worth a watch.

GarrettChan is almost finished with his 100% playthrough of Eisenfaust: Legacy. He's doing this playthrough both in English and Chinese. He is also doing a playthrough of Spear of Destiny Mission 2: Return to Danger.

SSGmaster is still working on a 100% playthrough of Project Totengraeber SDL by B.J. Rowan.

tankermottind (Executor) did a couple of demonstrations of the Wolfenstein Cosmetic Upgrade.

Real Skull did videos for Green Arrow and Splitwolf.

Protokol Cateko did a video on Wolf3D: The Old Relics.

Lingyan203 is doing a playthrough of Green Arrow.

If I forgot to mention a channel currently doing a playthrough, please let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Wolfer Q&A: Barry

Name: Barry Christian
Location: United States
Wolf3D nickname: vaultkeeper

Q: Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?
A: I had a great website called the Wolfenstein 3D Vault back in the day and I thought "vaultkeeper" sounded cool and I just stuck with it.

Q: When did you first play Wolf3D?
A: 1993. My dad had the old shareware version on our 8MHz 386SX. I remember asking him if I could play it, not knowing what it was. It completely blew me away and I fell in love with it the first time I played it. I spent hours upon hours, not having a hint manual or map editor, discovering every nook and cranny of Episode 1. I still remember the feeling of awe I had when I discovered the secret level for the first time, which was well after I had beat the game. In 1997 I finally got the full six-episode registered set and in 1998 I acquired Spear of Destiny.

Q: What is the best part about being involved in the Wolf3D community?
A: The people and the sharing of ideas and creativity. I love that so many are still interested in this old game and that mods are still coming out to keep it alive after all these years.

Q: Who is your favorite modder?
A: Gary Ragland, without a doubt. His mapping inspired me from the very beginning.

Q: Are there any dream mods you'd love to do at some point?
A: Right now I am going to focus on finishing Atomprojekt. After that, I eventually plan on doing the PTH follow-up with 128x128 maps. As for how ambitious that project will be, I am not sure yet. I am debating doing it on ECWolf so I can take advantage of the extra features. After that, I am not sure. I've always tried to keep it simple and focus on mapping as opposed to coding. The code changes I do enhance the classic gameplay that I am going for. However, I do have interest in maybe doing a full TC at some point. This sounds like a crazy idea, but when I was young and only had the shareware edition of Wolfenstein 3D, I had no idea what Episode 2 was like or what it was about. I had always envisioned it starting with BJ leaving the castle and having to fight his way back to allied territory. I think it would be interesting to do an "alternative Episode 2" starting right when BJ defeats Hans Grosse and leaves the castle. It would feature primarily outdoor environments, new enemies, weapons, bosses, and possibly a vehicle of some sort. Of course, doing this would be a HUGE undertaking, much bigger than anything I've ever done for Wolf beforeso I am not certain I will ever get around to it. If I do, I think ECWolf would be an excellent platform for it.

Q: What has been the most rewarding thing that's come from Wolf3D?
A: The satisfaction of completing a mod and the feedback I receive from it. Another thing is playing new works from other authors that inspire me to one up myself. Also, the fact that people are still playing my classic works such as Armageddon and The Road to Neuschwanstein after all these years.

Q: What is your favorite Wolf3D mod?
A: Mmm... this is a tough one because I've played so many outstanding sets over the years. I would say Assassinate Hitler, Schabbs 2000, Project Totengraeber and Countdown to Disaster are my favorites out of the classics. More recently, I have really enjoyed Executor's Wolfenstein Missions and am looking forward to the complete version.

Q: Which one of your mods are you the most proud of?
A: I will have to go with Passage to Hollenteufel for now, but that may change as future projects get released.

Q: How do you regard your older work?
A: I am still very proud of Armageddon and The Road to Neuschwanstein. They were great for their time and a lot of people enjoyed them. I really enjoyed watching PDGamer2012's playthrough of Armageddon with voice commentary. Of course, as the author and compared to my more recent work, I can definitely see their flaws, some of which are an overabundance of health and ammo and the lack of complex combat scenarios. For what they were though at the time, they were excellent. The original DOS version of Armageddon was actually done with a hex editor, before anybody had compiled the source code. Much thanks to Andy_Nonymous (where is he?) for converting it to SDL. I think the level design of the Road to Neuschwanstein was a notch above Armageddon, but it was more generic while Armageddon was more creative. As for my pre-Armageddon mods, they are interesting to go back and look at to see the maturation of my mapping skills but I wouldn't recommend them today. The Six Depths of Terrorism was groundbreaking in its time as it was only the third mod to change the EXE, the second to feature continuous levels, and the first to change the ceiling colors. In retrospect however, I am not as satisfied with it today as I am Armageddon onward.

Q: Are you currently working on any new mods?
A: Currently working on Atomprojekt, which is about two-thirds complete. The first two units will consist of maps that have an atmosphere similar to the original Wolf3D and Spear, as I usually go for. The third and final unit will be a departure from that. So far, the level design in my opinion is the best I've ever done and a notch above Passage to Hollenteufel. I am looking forward to finishing and releasing it. After that, I will likely do a sequel for Passage to Hollenteufel, finishing up the storyline ending with a showdown between BJ and Hitler. My plan is to do 128x128 maps in that one, which is why I ultimately decided to do it as a seperate project as opposed to completing it as Passage to Hollenteufel Phase 2 as originally planned.

Q: You were gone from the Wolf3D scene for some time, what made you decide to come back?
A: After I left in 2001, I had always regretted not at least finishing and releasing Blitzkrieg, which was quite a bit better than The Road to Neuschwanstein and was the pinnacle of my level design up to that point. During high school and college however I just didn't have the time to devote to Wolf. I returned in 2008 and announced Wolfenstein Forever, which I had every intention completing and releasing. However, I had a neck injury in late 2008 that made it difficult for me to sit at the computer for the amount of time I needed to make level. I then had some major personal issues in the summer of 2009 and in the fall of 2009, my hard drive crashed and I lost a lot of levels I had already made. At that point, I became discouraged and Wolfenstein Forever kind of fell by the wayside. However, it was always in the back of my mind. I always wanted to come back and finish it. In early 2016, I played Wolfenstein: The Old Blood and found one of the secrets that had a classic map. At that point I was drawn back to Wolf3D and I decided that I was going to actually finish and release Wolfenstein Forever, which I renamed Passage to Hollenteufel.

Q: Why do you feel that Wolf3D has such a long lasting legacy being it was released so long ago?
A: I would say because the game examplifies simple complexity and its replayability. To me, Wolf is still as fun today as it was back when it was released. I think the fact that the level designers were so restricted due to the technology of the time resulted in them making the most of what they had. Wolf3D (and Doom) are superiour to many modern shooters due to their non-linearity and the fact that they combined action with things like exploration and puzzles. Things like key hunting and secrets and having to remember my way around a map is a huge part of the fun for me. I feel a lot of newer games sacrifice things like quality, immersive level design and challenging gameplay in favour of graphics, cut-scenes, and online multiplayer. The result is either very linear mapping that just isn't fun to play after you've beaten it the first time, or online shooters like Call of Duty which I have never been a big fan of. I also think the nostalgic aspect keeps Wolf going. When it was released, there had never been anything like it. Doom has also remained similarly popular long after its heyday, while many AAA shooters from the new millenium lack the same kind of lasting loyalty.

Q: Where would you like to see Wolf3D go from here?
A: Wolf4SDL and ECWolf have been essential to bringing the game into the modern era (not having to deal with clunky old DOSBox) and editors like Havoc's Wolfenstein Editor and WDC have made editing much easier than having to resort to Mapedit (which is a pain on modern systems) or unstable editors like Floedit. I would say my hope is that the game continues to stay alive through new mods, both old-school style like my own and with new TCs. I also would like to see a new Wolfenstein 3D hub come online since the old Dome is no longer being updated.

Q: Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?
A: Make the mods that you enjoy making and others will enjoy them. Never map if you don't have inspiration just to get something done as it will show. When playing mods, don't look at the maps beforehand or use cheats as that takes a lot of the fun out of it. Always show respect to others' work as long as they've put effort into it (i.e. not rushed mapping, used Creator, or plagiarized), even if it might not be your style. Lastly, if you borrow ideas/resources/code, always give credit where it is due. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Release: Green Arrow


Team Raycast is proud to present its new mod: Green Arrow. Based on the Arrow television show and comics, you will be playing as Oliver Queen AKA the Green Arrow. A dangerous mission awaits...

With a combat system relying on various types of bows, a colorful setting, various enemy types, new lighting system and all kinds of new additions and features, this mod is well worth your time. Enjoy!

Download size: 44 MB.

You can download the mod from HERE
Its ModDb page can be found HERE

The DHW thread, where the mod can be discussed as well, can be found HERE

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Demo Release: Atomprojekt (5 levels) - Looking for feedback

Barry Christian has released a five level demo of his next in-progress mod named 'Atomprojekt'. You can find the thread and a link to the download here.

The author is looking for feedback based on the demo and all the maps are still open to at least minor changes, plus early feedback will not only help Barry when designing the mod but will also help me as a tester, so as such it would be highly useful and appreciated to give this demo a play and post your critique when possible.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Wolfers on Youtube #2

Here are some updates on what various Wolfers are playing through on Youtube:

JohnLobo87 is currently still finishing his playthrough of the original Spear of Destiny using the ECWolf engine. Currently he's at level 14. He has also started to reupload some of his older videos, starting with his playthrough of Coming of the Storm by WSJ, which he first played in 2011. You can watch those videos HERE.

LightningBoltForever did a video on Deadly Sleep (by Arielus and Schabbs) about a month ago.

RussianStormxLobo88 finished her playthrough of SoD Extreme II. She has now started a new 100% playthrough: Operation Eisenfaust: Origins.

MrWolfForever is currently still playing through Passage to Hollenteufel, which he has nearly finished. He also created a modified version of E5L7, to challenge himself. You can watch the video of this HERE.

KumanoMTG stated that his next full walkthrough will be Coffee Break Pt. 2. When this playthrough will start is unknown at this time.

GarrettChan finished his 100% playthrough of SoD Extreme II. The twist is that he starts every level with just the pistol and 8 ammo. Very skilled player! He has also just started a 100% playthrough of Eisenfaust: Legacy. He's doing this playthrough both in English and Chinese.

SSGmaster is doing a 100% playthrough of Project Totengraeber SDL by B.J. Rowan.

tankermottind (Executor) did a complete playthrough of his own mod, Wolfenstein Missions.

If I forgot to mention a channel currently doing a playthrough, please let me know in the comments.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Review: Passage to Höllenteufel

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7kuw0qt0viu0hn7/PTH.zip?dl=0

Details 
Title: Passage to Höllenteufel
Creator: Barry Christian

SDL Version Released:
23/07/2016
Length: 31 levels
Level Format: Continuous
Story: Yes
Graphics: Original game + some new ones 
Sound: Original game
Special Features: New objects, new doors, bad food, two new keys, increased amount of ammo
Dos/SDL: SDL

Comeback
Passage to Höllenteufel is Barry Christian's first mod in 15 years, and it's always great to see one of the old-school Wolfers return to the community. After releasing mods such as Armageddon, The Road to Neuschwanstein & Domination, Barry became less prolific for a number of years. Though new projects had been announced, they never came to fruition.

Until now.

And it is quite the return to form. From the start, you can tell that this mod is made by someone who is not only a big fan, but who is also very knowledgeable about the originals (Wolfenstein 3D & Spear of Destiny) and their map designs. There are various references and homages to the original game (e.g., Floor 25 is a clear homage to E5L6, E6 is referenced multiple times), and it stays relatively close to the original in design as well.


Mapping: The mod starts off a bit shaky. While it makes sense for the Tunnel-section of the game to feature a lot of mazes, it can be quite a drag to get through. It really puts a bit of a damper on the beginning of this mod. However, it does stay true to the original in the sense that this section is clearly inspired by levels 1 & 2 from Episode 6 of the original game. This (i.e., staying true to the original game in its mapping design) is a trend that continues throughout the whole game, and luckily, it means we also get a lot of stuff that made the original game so great. But the amount of joy you'll get out of these first few levels will heavily corrolate with how much you enjoy those first two levels of E6, and mazes in general. All in all, your mileage may vary for those first couple of levels.
        Once you've passed the tunnel-section of the game, which does contain the excellent level 4, a pattern starts to emerge. The designs become grander and grander, with more open spaces and larger hordes of enemies. The choice for mazes in the first level therefore makes a bit more sense, as that design choice really makes the following levels feel bigger. Next to that, I would say that the maps get better and better as the game progresses. Once you get past the relatively slow start, you're treated to a great old-school mapset which fans of the original game are going to love. The variation in room sizes, enemy placement and traps is akin to something like Chemical Warfare. Furthermore, the game is really well balanced. Though it is, at times, tough as hell, there usually are more than enough supplies to keep you going.
        Though the mapping is, in general, quite excellent, it should also be noted that there are some negative aspects. Overall, I'd say that alcoves containing enemies are a bit overused during the first portion of the game. There almost is no level where there isn't a big area where you have to pick off the enemies in their alcoves one by one. This mod also slightly overuses the 'enemy right around the corner'-trick. Though it is an effective trick to keep the player on their toes, it is also a bit of cheap trick when employed too often. And when it's mutants that are hiding in the corner, it is also a very deadly trick. But that is more of a nitpick and, for me, not too big of a problem. A slightly bigger problem is that the mod started to repeat itself a bit too much towards the end. During some levels, a fatigue started to set in because I started feeling like I was going from room to room, opening a door which was followed by a horde of enemies coming towards me. Luckily, this fatigue was only felt during a small number of levels, and was countered rather well with interesting traps, designs and enemy placement later on.


Likes: The mapping ranges, after the slow start, from good to excellent throughout the entire mod. In general, there aren't really any filler levels, though not all levels are as consistently good as the peaks of this mod are. But it keeps on getting better and better, and overall you can tell that the levels are building towards something massive. The levels are overall well balanced, and become more challenging the further you get into the game. There is a distinctive progression detectable, and that is no small feat. Because properly balancing a mod, making levels slightly more challenging every time you progress, is quite tough to get right. And I think this mod, in general, did just that. It also manages to stay interesting thanks to its colorfulness, the variation in room designs, and the enemy placement. I also really liked the addition of the bad food, which makes you lose health. It is, at times, hilariously frustrating to be in need of health but you only encounter bad food. I also appreciate the opening of floor 22, which is something I had never seen before. That's how you keep the player on his/her toes!
 
Dislikes: As I stated before, I think the game doesn't start off well. You really have to get through those levels in order to get to the good stuff, and that is unfortunate. Luckily, there are few bad levels after that, and I'd argue that those first couple of levels are never truly that bad to begin with. But those long passageways can become a bit monotonous, and they just aren't that much fun to play through. Finally, during the last section it occasionally felt like the game was repeating itself and the action sequences felt a bit uninspired. Luckily, this didn't occur very often, and quickly the quality of the mapping would improve once again.


Ratings
Ron's Score: 8.5/10
Difficulty: Very challenging!
Best Levels: 4, 7, 8, 11, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 28 
Worst Level: 2, 6, 12, 26

Wrap-up: Passage to Höllenteufel is a fantastic mod and a must-play for everyone who likes the original game. It contains some fantastic mapping, though you'll have to get through a couple of blander levels to get to them. But after that, you'll have a blast with this one!

Where Can I get it?: You can download the mod HERE or by clicking on the screenshot at the top of this post.

Kakhome1 (MrWolfForever) is doing a playthrough of the mod, which you can view right HERE.
Disclaimer: All reviews are only my opinion when playing the mod and are not intended to discredit anyone or the hard work they have put into creating their mod.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Splitwolf 1.0

Team Raycast released a new mod: Splitwolf 1.0. This release gives you the ability to play two-player co-op splitscreen with another player. Next to that, this new release features various new game mods, as well as new features such as MG42's and armored vehicles. Which you can all play in the classic Wolf3D maps! You can download the mod HERE. Its ModDb page can be found HERE. There's also the possibility to discuss this mod at its thread over at the DHW forum, which you can find right HERE.

Requires the original files to play.

Credits
Coding: Linuxwolf
Additional Art: DoomJedi






Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wolfers on Youtube

Here are some updates on what various Wolfers are playing through on Youtube:

JohnLobo87 is currently playing through the original Spear of Destiny using the ECWolf engine. Apart from that, John is also doing a playthrough of the 2016 version of Doom, showing off some of the classic maps that can be found within the game.

LightningBoltForever completed a playthrough of Castle Totenkopf SDL.

RussianStormxLobo88 is playing through SoD Extreme II. She is also playing through other mods on and off, such as Project Weltgericht and Nocturnal: iLOW3D.

MrWolfForever is currently playing through Passage to Hollenteufel.

Lingyan203 isn't playing through any Wolf3D mods at the moment, but it usually won't be long before there is a new playthrough.

Kikoskia is doing a playthrough of the original Wolfenstein 3D, if you're feeling nostalgic! :)

KumanoMTG just finished a 100% playthrough of Operation Serpent. His next full walkthrough will be Coffee Break Pt. 2. He also did a video on level 5 of SoD Extreme II.

GarrettChan did a 100% playthrough of levels 5 and 13 of Sod Extreme II. He also plays various other games on his channel.

If I forgot to mention a channel currently doing a playthrough, please let me know in the comments.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review: Operation Serpent

http://www.moddb.com/mods/operation-serpent/downloads/operation-serpent-first-encounter-v099

Details 
Title: Operation Serpent - First Encounter
Creator: Executor & Blzut3

Dos Version Released:
21/11/2015
Length: 7 regular levels + 1 secret level
Level Format: Continuous
Story: Yes
Graphics: Original 
Sound: Original
Special Features: Increased map size, floor/ceiling textures, new enemies, new weapons and much more
Dos/SDL: ECWolf

Initial impressions: You play as Maria Cortez, a Mexican-American spy who has been sent to the fictional country of San Salvacion in order to gather intelligence on rumored experiments, which are being performed by the fascist ruling party. When you start the game, it is immediately noticeable how crisp and colorful everything looks. It's fantastic, and really makes you want to explore the area. The size of the maps (4-6 times as big as a regular Wolf3D map) is astounding. Next to that, it sounds fantastic as well. There is a distinctive new soundtrack, and all the enemies have new sounds as well. It immediately sets itself apart from the original game. Atmosphere, setting, story, weaponry, enemies: from the start, the mod has its own identity. And that is definitely praiseworthy.


Gameplay: This mod plays like you'd expect an action-packed FPS to play, so there is no true learning curve for anyone who has played the original game and/or any FPS. It does stand out in terms of difficulty. While it is still doable, there are sections that are really tough and will require multiple tries. But overall, it doesn't exceed the difficulty norm for current Wolf3D mods. You will be tested, as it should be, but not frustratingly so. However, the increased map size can, on occasion, make the action feel a bit stagnated and dull. Luckily, in later levels, the enemy variety helps to counter this effect a little. Most levels require the occasional switch to be pulled, and there are traps as well to add a little variety.

Mapping: As was stated in the introduction, this mod features maps that are 4-6 times as big as the maps for the original Wolf3D were. The first impression wows, and you really want to explore these gigantic mapping canvasses. Unfortunately, however, the big map sizes aren't always a plus. It's like Hollywood sequels: they aim to go bigger, but that doesn't always make it better. That is the risk when you venture into areas previously unexplored by modders, and increased map size is just that. This and Gary Ragland's Leiche Soldat are the first mods to feature increased map sizes, and they both suffer from the same flaw: not all the maps remain engaging throughout. Some of the maps in this mod suffer from too much backtracking, disrupting the flow of the game. Next to that, these gigantic maps can also make you feel like the gameplay lacks some variety, as you go from fight to fight. You miss a sense of sequentiality, as if you just go from army of enemies to army of enemies. It ends up feeling a bit stagnant at times. This shows that the increased map sizes, while an interesting feature that definitely should be explored more, also need new features in order to keep the Wolf3D gameplay engaging for such a long time. While I'm singling out this big negative, I don't want to be too negative: overall I'd say that the mapping is quite good and never truly bad or anything. It just shows the pitfalls of these increased map sizes.


Likes: The variety in weapons and enemies is great. Level 4 introduces a new enemy, whose introduction is very memorable and scary. It's one of my favorite enemy introductions in recent years. Next to that, overall I'd say that this mod is a great showcase for ECWolf. It looks crisp and clean, sounds great.. a mod like this will definitely make Wolfers interested in using this as a base engine for their own mods. The difficulty of this mod is the right kind of challenging, and I think a lot of Wolfers are going to like how action-packed this mod is. The levels have a lot of variety in terms of settings, with levels taking place in the jungle, on the streets, in labs and in secret underground lairs. It is distinctively colorful in all these areas, which makes a game just that much more immersive and vibrant. It truly gives this mod its own distinct atmosphere. Finally, I think the secret level might be very cathartic for some, thanks to a recent hype. :) 
 
Dislikes: The increased map sizes aren't always a plus, as was explained before. Some levels can feel stale because of this, and I can imagine that the 100%-ers are going to have a tough time achieving perfect stats. The engine could also use parallax skies; while the uses of blue and orange shaded colors works really well, I wasn't fond of the starry sky ceiling texture. It looked fake and kinda took me out of the game. The music was great for its genre, but on occasion it would be out of place. While a (trash) metal soundtrack works particularly well during action sequences, it really kills the immersion when you're just exploring a level that is calm. I would have preferred a musical score ala Doom (2016), where the music gets loud during action sequences, but is calm or non-existant during calm, explorative sections of the game. Finally, there are some small details that can become a bit annoying. For instance, when opening a door, the player cannot shoot enemies until a door is completely open, while the enemies can. This (unnecessarily) killed me a couple of times, and would become frustrating on occasion. I also had one problem with the enemy sounds, which overall were fantastic, but they were very insisting when they were alerted and looking for the player. The constant Spanish comments were so frequently played that they have the ability to drive you crazy. Less frequently employed comments by enemy guards would definitely be recommended for the next mod.


Ratings
Ron's Score: 8/10
Difficulty: Ranging from challenging to very difficult, but never frustrating
Best Levels: 1, 3, 4, 5
Worst Level: 7

Wrap-up: Operation Serpent is a great showcase for the ECWolf engine, and overall an enjoyable and challenging mod. It is occasionally bogged down by some small bugs, and the increased map size isn't always used to its full potential, but overall this is a mod that is well worth playing.

Where Can I get it?: You can download the mod HERE or by clicking on the screenshot at the top of this post.

KumanoMTG did a 100% playthrough of the mod, which you can view right HERE.
 
Disclaimer: All reviews are only my opinion when playing the mod and are not intended to discredit anyone or the hard work they have put into creating their mod.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Balames87 new channel

It was brought to my attention that one of the best Wolfers out there, Balames87, has returned with a new channel on Youtube: johnlobo87. You can check it out HERE.

Good to have you back! :)