Monday, December 18, 2017

Wolfer Q&A: Atina

Location: Europe
Wolf3D Nickname: Atina

Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?
It’s still my old nickname which I was using when playing Quake 3 Arena online.

When did you first play Wolfenstein 3d?
It hasn’t been too many years ago. I don’t think I have played it as kid since I rather played Amiga, NES/SNES games or Tomb Raider, Quake and other fps then. I have known and seen it since I was a kid but only played it around 2009 when Nexion showed me the game again.

Why did you decide to do modding and why was the choice Wolf 3d?
Always wanted to do a game myself. Nexion had some unfinished mod (Deathtrigger) around and asked me if I wanted to give it a try since he saw some potential. The game mechanics/tools seemed simple enough to understand and N has been teaching me ever since.

What are your goals regarding modding?
Taking the old game and shaping it to something new. Usually I come up with a concept and try to make a full thing out of it so it stands on its own feet where all the parts like graphics, sounds, levels blend together as one thing. Often there are ideas which I would like to see myself or things I like.

What is modding for you?
For the biggest part it’s a hobby and fun thing for me. Also a way to realize my own game ideas. I like to create things and draw. At the same time it’s a way to express creativity and improving myself in different sections.

What is the best part about being involved in the Wolf 3d Community?
Meeting new people who share similar hobbies and having all kind of good or bad discussions.

Who is your favourite modder?
Haha, that would be obviously Nexion. There is also Mr. Wolf, a close friend to us, but he can be so damn lazy as a modder. Jayngo was quite fun with all the insanity of the Haven chats but has been inactive been for so long now. Everyone has different ideas or styles but I like what Poet did for his Doll’s House sets. MadWolf has nice fantasy TC ideas. ThunderEnema/Gerolf are similar but Beyond the Grave is still too recent.

What are your favourite Wolf3D mods?
Some of the more exotic ones. A Doll’s House, Mutant Blobs From Outer Space, Planet N, some of the unfinished mods by Mr. Wolf/Nex. “The Best Mod In The World” is quite interesting but I can’t tell where it really belongs.

Why do you feel that Wolf 3d has such a long lasting legacy being it was released so long ago?
It’s the mother of all fps and has spawned several big sequels over the years till now. It has the basics and the core gameplay of all the shooters so it’s easily accessible for anyone who wants to see the beginnings or can be bothered with such old graphics. A smaller reason is possibly the bloody and controversial theme that is being brought up every now and then. One of the biggest reasons is for sure the modding tools and the release of the source code which spawned many mods. John Carmack had the right feeling regarding this. Tools and source don’t guarantee it as you can see with some other games. I think it’s so long lasting cause of a combination of all those reasons and some smaller details.

Where would you like to see Wolf 3d go from here?
One of the big things that is still missing would be online multiplayer. It can keep a game with its community floating for quite some time. Scripting instead of source code editing and having packs of assets which you can just add instead of replacing the whole wl6 files is something that came quite late in shape of ECWolf. While it’s limited in usage for bigger mods it’s an attractive start for new people. Doom community got it for ages. Some more varied or interesting community projects would be also nice to see. And I hope to see more mods that aren’t set in WW2.

Everyone has an ultimate mod that they'd love to make if coding and graphics weren't limited, what would yours be?
I don’t see the limitations as a problem but rather as a challenge. It’s way more fun to try to come up with a way around some limitation than having all solutions solved. If there were no limitations games would be sort of without any idea behind them. I could quote here a 12 year old kid who once said “If I could make a game it would be part Minecraft, part GTA, part pokemon, part …”. Too much freedom is sometimes not a good thing.

But for an ultimate mod I actually have an idea for many years. It’s rather something massive and gonna take me long time to finish. The graphics, sounds and all don’t need to be any less limited than they are now. It’s a personal concept with focus on gameplay and plenty of characters. For now I’m getting experience with smaller mods so i can make the ultimate mod one day in a way that i’m happy with it. Even if it’s just a handful of people that would play it =p

What was the inspiration behind Witching Hour?
Was one week before Halloween and I was wondering if I can make a mod in one week ><’
Besides that I generally like horror and wanted to try something new for a mod. Something outside of the usual run and shoot mods. I was wondering what would be scary in real life and one of the things is being chased in a forest by a mad hog. So from there went on by replacing the hog with something more scary and so on =p

On your Youtube channel, you’ve played through a couple of unreleased mods that looked very interesting, is there a chance some of them will still be released at some point?
Not all of those mods were mine so doesn’t only depend on me. A lot of those on Youtube were made by Mr.Wolf. There are some that were made by Nexion or by both of them. A few are still on the “to do list”. Some others are gone for good and some might be remade in a new way. But at moment none of us is working on any of those.

One of the unreleased mods you made a video of is ‘Assault on Precinct 13’. Are you a big John Carpenter fan? Are his movies an influence?
Mr. Wolf, Nexion and me are all fans of Carpenter. The 2 of them probably the bigger ones. I like his calm and brooding style without those modern epileptic camera changes. He seems to be a kind guy and tends to creates a great atmosphere in his movies. His movies are certainly one of the influences. “The Thing” is one of the best horror movies having incredible effects and atmosphere. Especially the music which Carpenter is making himself is a charm for the ears and a big influence.

Your mods often feature horror elements. What is it about horror that draws you to this genre?
I enjoy fantastical ideas, strange creatures and the mysteries around it. I have grown up with horror movies so entertainment based on reality is often boring to me. Lot of this is based on things you see each day or have common things which are already explained to death. Horror and supernatural things are far from the mainstream and often don’t have any scientific answer which makes me wonder and think for myself. There is also creativity involved even if it’s just some super boring horror film with a lame killer mask design. What’s the meaning of life? Would you want to know the answer and keep living till you die or prefer to keep it fresh as a mystery and riddle?

Are you working on a new mod?
Yes. I always have new concepts and ideas but not enough time for all of them. I never rest and never sleep but the mods still don’t want to get done =p So it comes when it’s done. Besides that I’m also working on some small mod for Hovertank 3D which should be done in near future.

You seem to have a penchant for old-school gaming. What makes these older games more appealing to you (compared to modern games)?
The argument of new vs. old graphics and all doesn’t matter so much if it all blends together and creates a coherent design. Except the sentiment to them, old games were more focused on gameplay I think. Modern games tend to focus on the storytelling and become more and more like movies. Of course I don’t say all modern games are so but it’s hard to deny that old games were way more challenging, non-linear and mainly about game. You didn’t need the storytelling to have fun, just being thrown into game “Look, see those guys? They are moving, they look evil. Now go and kill em all”. You could make up your own story as kid or imagine how those pixels were supposed to look like in realistic design. In many modern games before you can do something you need to go through loading times, intro, tutorial, cutscene, then you can walk for 2 minutes till next cutscene…. The worst part is that most of the cutscenes are terribly boring or you've seen them already. Even John Carmack said in a video that he hated to wait through the logos of publishers at beginning of a game and just wanted to skip to the game as fast as possible. Therefore the fast skip for Wolf3D. Don’t get me wrong, I play new and old games. Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the best games for me. But around 2005 games started to become more and more interactive movies. Most things are now described, defined and thrown at the players like they have no clue. Sort of like TV generally dumbing down more and more. I’m also a big fan of Tomb Raider and the difference in difficulty of the riddles between part 1 and the reboot is one hell of an insult.

Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?
Never drink rum on empty stomach.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Wolfer Q&A: WLHack

Name: Toni Salonen
Location: Loppi, Finland
Wolf3D nickname: WLHack

Q: Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose it?
A: This nickname is a pun... Nearly all the files in the Wolf3D source code start with the prefix "WL" and as I was trying to hack said source code, hence WLHack.

Q: When did you first play Wolfenstein 3D?
A: I played the game back in 92 - 93 (memory is quite fuzzy but I was around four back then).... Also back then I had a computer with only a PC speaker available, so when I learned that Wolfenstein actually had voice acting and music, it was a mind-blowing experience.

Q: What is the best part about being involved in the Wolfenstein community?
A: People openly sharing their ideas and thoughts. Also the fact that you can ask help for nearly anything, as there is always someone to help or support you.

Q: Who is your favorite modder?
A: This is quite a hard question actually... From the current modding scene I'd say Doomjedi. However, if you had asked who influenced me most, then I would have answered WSJ or AReyeP.

Q: Is there a mod of your own you're particularly proud of?
A: Operation Wintersturm, due to its atmosphere and ideas.... one day I wish to remake it in SDL, where I would expand the content.

Q: What has been the most rewarding thing that's come from Wolf3D?
A: Meeting interesting people and learning new things. And of course being able to help people with their projects.

Q: What is your favorite Wolf3D mod that you've played?
A: Again a hard question, as there are actually three that come to my mind: End of Destiny, Totenkopf SDL and Operation Eisenfaust: Legacy. All of them are so different from each other, so it is quite hard to say which one of them would be the very best.

Q: You have a couple of unreleased mods that looked quite interesting, is there a chance some of them will still be released at some point?
A: At some point, yes, if I have the time and inspiration to do so... My biggest problem is that I have too many ideas and when new ones come, I usually momentarily lose interest in the previous ones.

Q: Everyone has an ultimate mod they'd love to make, if coding and graphics weren't limited. What would yours be about?
A: Something within these lines:

- The setting would either be space or some alternative universe where technology has advanced differently.
- Story is told not only through intermission screens but through paper scraps and articles which the player can find on the levels... Player can view all the found story pieces whenever they want (alongside bestiary).
- Game has choices that affect the story progression and also multiple (either temporarily or the whole time) playable characters.
- The game has both a good and a bad ending.
- Hub level, so instead of linear progression you can choose the playing order to some extent.
- Multiple paths for the player to take like in Orb of Dilaaria (e.g. you find the key to the mines in one level so you can use that key to unlock the mine entrance in the hub).
- Levels have more than one exit aside from the regular one (e.g. one that requires player to sneak undetected through the enemy lines, or it will be close and requires item from another level to open).
- Levels have height differences.
- Upgradable weapons and skills à la Absence.
- Maybe some sort of shop system for the upgrades and other items.
- Enemies have more animations (e.g. for being killed with specific weapons) and capability to use different weapons and items they pick up from the ground (vastly improved AI).

Or something completely different: A stealth based puzzle-game where you combine the drone mechanics from Team Raycast's Green Arrow with the shading from Wolfenstein Lite.

Q: You have your own Youtube channel, on which you do playthroughs of various games. What made you decide to do these playthroughs?
A: Mostly to showcase the games and mods that I personally enjoy playing and hopefully get other people to play them too.

Q: Why do you feel Wolf3D has such a long lasting legacy?
A: Well, first of all we have strong fan and modding communities like Diehard Wolfers, Wolf3D Haven and Team Raycast that are working together to keep the legacy alive.

Also despite not being the very first 3D shooter, due to its technical innovations it had a huge impact on gaming, basically creating the basis for the FPS genre we know and love today. I believe that has helped in keeping people's curiosity up for the game (especially now due to a nostalgia boom).

As for Wolf3D itself, the game is quite easy to get into and despite being quite simple by today's standards, it is also highly addictive and provides quite the challenge. Wolf3D also has great replayability due to its varying difficulty levels, hidden secrets and time challenges (par times). So for these reasons it is a game that is suitable for both old and new, casual and pro players.

And we can not forget the fact that modding Wolf3D is not hard, as you have good tools and (as mentioned before) a strong community to help getting started with it. This has made Wolf3D a good platform for people to express their creativity and get started with game modding (Heck, I am quite sure there are other people like me who started learning coding through Wolfenstein).

Q: Where would you like to see Wolf3D go from here?
A: I would like to see more experimental mods and also modders who have the courage to deviate from the typical Wolf3D setting that is WWII. Also new genres of gaming like survival horror to be applied.

Q: Any words of wisdom you would like to leave us on?
A: When it comes to modding, never stop experimenting.....

If you have an idea you would like to try out, no matter how stupid it might be, just try it out. Even though the result would be something that you can not use, at least you have learned something new and when someone else has a similar idea, you can help them out.

Also, I know this is a bit of a cliché, but I honestly believe you should have fun with the things you do.... When it comes to creative work like this, if you are doing something because you feel like you have to, I don't think anything fruitful can emerge from that. If you are not enjoying what you do, do you think the people you are doing this for will enjoy it either? 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Released: Wolfenstein II - The New Colossus

I'm an old-school gamer. I've enjoyed newer games, don't get me wrong, but older games is where it's at for me. Which is why Wolfenstein: The New Order was such a pleasant surprise to me. Old-school yet fresh and new, this 2014 release truly revitalized the series. Today, the sequel has been released:

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has been getting some splendid reviews, and it's great how the Wolfenstein series is still relevant today. I also wanted to draw attention to the fantastic marketing campaign of this game, which convinced me that the team working on this game truly gets Wolfenstein. Kicking Nazi ass never goes out of style. Get psyched!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wolfers on Youtube

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

JohnLobo87 reuploaded some of his older videos, such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Super Wolfenstein HD. He has also started a playthrough of Blake Stone.

RussianStormxLobo88 is still finishing Atomprojekt. She is currently at Level 30. Next to that, she is playing through Novowolf by Thomas. She also does a livestream every saturday, playing various mods. Right now she plays The False Spear by WLHack. You can watch all her previous livestreams HERE.

TreeSapThief is still doing a playthrough of one of the best mods ever released: Orb of Dilaaria. He has made it pretty far into the game! Next to that, he's also continuing his playthrough of DOOM: Legions of Hell.

tankermottind shared an early alpha of Wolfenstein Missions Deluxe Edition.

Lingyan203 is doing a 100% playthrough of Atomprojekt by Barry Christian.

If I forgot to mention a channel currently doing a playthrough of any Wolf3D mod, please let me know in the comments.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ronwolf's music for Atomprojekt (SDL)

Lingyan203 is currently playing through Atomprojekt by Barry Christian, which features tunes composed by yours truly on a couple of levels. You can watch the videos (and have a listen) here:

Lingyan is playing through the mod at a steady pace, updating his playthrough daily. You can find all the videos he has done for this mod so far HERE.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Wolfers on Youtube

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

JohnLobo87 is reuploading some of his older videos, such as the demo of Stealth, Anticipation by ack (the mod, not to be confused with the perfume of the same name 😛), the DOS version of Deadly Sleep and Chemical Warfare. He has also done videos for some of his favorites from the latest release of the Map of the Month competition (such as Planetside by AlumiuN). It also looks like he has started a new 100% playthrough of Mac-enstein 3D First Encounter.

RussianStormxLobo88 is still playing through Atomprojekt. Next to that, she is also doing a full playthrough of the WSJ classic Project: Eisenritter. She has also started a new series: Reflections on Mods, in which she reviews the various mods she has played through on her channel.

TreeSapThief is doing a playthrough of one of the best mods ever released: Orb of Dilaaria. Next to that, he's also doing a playthrough of DOOM: Legions of Hell.

tankermottind did a video on levels 3-6 of his own mod Wolfenstein Missions

Lingyan203 did a complete playthrough of Tristania 3D.

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

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

MMC 2017 released!

Finally, another round of the Map of the Month Competition has been released. There are 12 maps in total. You can download it HERE. If you want to vote on your three favorite maps, you can do that in this thread. Big thanks to AlumiuN, for creating the EXE and overseeing the whole thing, and to all the mappers who contributed to this round!

Monday, February 06, 2017

Wolfers on Youtube #4

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

JohnLobo87 is still reuploading some of his classic playthroughs, such as Eisenfaust: Legacy. He is also continuing his 100% playthrough of Treasure Hunt by serpens, and he has done a blind playthrough of the first two floors of Atomprojekt.

RussianStormxLobo88 is playing through two mods concurrently: Thomas Weiling's mod Endlösung and Barry Christian's most recent release: Atomprojekt. She has also finished a playthrough of Operation: Hidden Secret.

MrWolfForever finished his playthrough of Passage to Hollenteufel.

KumanoMTG is still working on Green Arrow, but he hasn't uploaded a new video in quite some time.

SSGmaster is still working on a 100% playthrough of Project Totengraeber SDL by B.J. Rowan. He is currently at level 36.

TreeSapThief is doing a 100% playthrough of Green Arrow.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Atomprojekt RELEASED!

(EDIT - Just a note, if you grabbed this mod before 2/1/2017, and are still in the first 7-8 levels, you may want to consider re-downloading it. It is not necessary, however, as no changes involved anything that was game-breaking. If you are on Floor 8 or later already, there is no need to consider another download.)

After almost a half a year of continuous development, Barry Christian has released his long-anticipated mod Atomprojekt. In this mod, BJ's objective is to stop the Nazi's nuclear physicist, Dr. Josef B. Engelke, in his attempt to develop a deadly nuclear weapon capable of destroying London. You must get to his laboratory and stop the doctor in his tracks! The location of Engelke's lab is currently unknown and the project is being managed from the military installation at castle Erlangen. You must first go to Erlangen, uncover the location of the lab, and then get to the lab and kill him. Be quick, because it isn't known how far he is from having a usable weapon!

Atomprojekt contains 34 consecutive levels which span multiple themes but mostly stay true to the flavor of the original Wolf3D and Spear of Destiny games. Every level has been specifically balanced to be playable both on pistol start AND continuous. There is also a variety of other new features: new 'Read This!' and intermission screens, graphics, enemies, sounds, and even some new music tracks, all while staying true to the spirit of the original games. And a handful of other surprises which, of course, I'm not going to reveal here!

Look carefully too, for there are three additional secret levels to discover - the last of which finding may prove particularly tricky.

Click the video at the top of this post for a trailer of Floor 33 - the Reactor - and the second-to-last level in the game. The link in the first paragraph will take you to the release thread where you can find the download, potentially more information, and a handful of screenshots.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bobby Prince Medical Fund

It has come to our attention that composer Bobby Prince, who wrote the soundtracks to such games as Wolf3D, Doom and Duke Nukem, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. His brother has set up a gofundme page to give Bobby some relief in his expenses:

"My Brother, Bobby Prince, found out that he had colon cancer last year. He was operated on, had a colostomy, was thought to be cancer free, and had the colostomy reversed.  Now,  all these months later,  they have found another tumor in his colon. He is beginning chemo to shrink the tumor before they operate again. Once again, he must go through this process.
     Bobby is best known, in Athens, by his musical career. He was THE original Jester. He is my hero and probably the smartest person I have ever known.  When computer music was in it's infancy, he was at the forefront and wrote the music to Doom, Duke Nukem, and many others.
He has never let me down when I needed help and it is my wish that this fund will give him some relief in all of these added expenses"

You can donate here: Bobby Prince Medical Fund