Tue Jan 11, 2022 6:47 pm
Hello all, hello you reading this post!
My name is Difficult Old Stuff (DOS) and I'm here to not-rant for once. On the contrary, I'm here just to talk DOOM modding in very, very general.
First, the setting. It's 2am at my place. Beer open, DOOM Eternal OST has been running in the background for hours now. Year 4 of making a DOOM mod, year ~25 of playing the original DOOM.
Before I've started modding, I was just a hardcore vanilla player for years. This game, alongside Quake, has always been in my life, for better or worse. As a young clone I've been repeating the shareware version of the game countless times after school, trying to find all the secrets, kill the most monsters or just absorbing the atmosphere of Knee Deep in the Dead and later the later episodes. Every corner of the map was telling a mysterious story, promising secrets, whispering lies. How can you not get hooked on that?
During the years I've been observing the franchise from a distance, always coming back to classic OG DOOM I whenever the mood hit me. Heck, later on when I started streaming I even made up a new speedinking category (that's speedrunning + drinking at the same time): Switchless Keyboard Only. It was fun. It's always been fun. But I've never really tried out any of the absolute multitude of various mods for this game. Hell, I've been using DOS Box, later Chocolate Doom for most of my modern dooming. But then, I wanted to have... more fun. I've known the first game like the back of my hand, so there wasn't really much to discover anymore. So... I've started tinkering.
After the very first try at dynamically changing the game via some Python scripting and memory-tinkering I've opened some tutorials and stepped into the world of proper modding with GZDoom. I think I can track the last 4 years of my life to that dreadful afternoon at work, when I've written the first lines of ACS code (on company time of course). Sometimes I wish it never happened. Sometimes I want to go back to that very moment and just slap myself with a chainsaw, yell "STOP, YOU MORON! YOU'LL RUIN YOUR LIFE!" at the top of my lungs. What was supposed to be a 3 months long project grew and evolved over time, always improving, always delayed just one more bit. As they say: The longer the project is in the making, the bigger it will become.
What was a hobby quickly changed into a job, later transformed into an obsession. As a first time modder but a long time programmer the challenge of doing something bigger, smarter, better followed me whenever I went, sometimes into the mountain ranges, sometimes to my literal dreams. Hah, will never forget the moment when I yelled the solution to a limiting problem, isolated somewhere on a mountain trail. Or when a very funky dream inspired a map.
During all this time I've constantly battled. Battled with lack of knowledge, experience, time to sleep. Fought with the urge to just give up when after a year or two an unknown problem plummeted the FPS counter down to single digits. Screamed in rage at the missing pieces of information on the wiki or threads. Angrily stared down the quirks or bugs in the engine. Cursed my own stupidity, rewriting thousands of lines of code just to rework an already existing system. And on top of that - my testers proved to me that there's always something to fix...
Being creative was always in my blood, but one of the pinnacles of creation I always wanted to achieve was making games. What other medium can provide such an interactive, unique, personalized experience? My very first "gaming" project was realized around 2002, in the forgotten age. Since then various multiple ambitions projects were started, only to be shelved a couple of months later, either due to the lack of motivation or the overbearing mountain of things that needed to be done in order to realize such an undertaking. But not this time. This time is different. There's something stronger about this one. Frustrating, addicting, insanely rewarding. And I know it's going to materialize one day or another. This odd certainty has been driving me for years now, always defeating any doubt or problem encounter along this road to hell.
The beer glass is getting lighter and lighter, so I'll wrap up by thanking you. I thank you all, from id Software, through the creators and curators of GZDoom to people playing and still having any interest in this legendary classic of a game. It's almost 30 years later and we're still obsessed. We must be, aren't we? So, to all you involved in DOOM - thank you. Thank you so much for being a part of this adventure. You maniacs. You insane, grinning demons. My own mod is not relevant in what I wanted to share today but rather the overall emotion I experienced again tonight. This... this feels good. DOOM is a part of us, and we're a part of it. It feels like we can make it last longer than 30 years. Let's make it until it's 50 years. No, let's make it last a century! No. Let's prove to the world that DOOM... DOOM is infinite!
Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:16 pm
This was quite a surprise to read, nice to see you here on the forums, DOS.
I think I remember during one of your streams some time ago you talked about ZDoom modding?
Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:24 pm
Oh heck, Dragonn! Fancy meeting you here! Yeah, I might have, this has been my life for the past couple of years, so you might had the chance to catch me rambling about it at a very late hour.