I'll tell you my modding journey if you're interested.
Go for it!
Well, it all started in 2010 with the very first DeathBattle I saw from ScrewAttack:
Master Chief vs. Doomguy. Y'all might remember this cringe-ass scenario.
I had actually never heard of Doom up until that point. I had no idea FPS games even existed
back during the 90s (I grew up on classic arcade games, 2D platformers, and other Flash games). However, I figured that since it was so old, then it could run on my laptop (which was slow AF, I couldn't even dream
of running good games on there)... so that warranted further investigation.
It was also through my discovery of Doom and its ridiculous plotline I wound up inadvertently discovering the existence of Satanism, considering all the pentagrams strewn throughout the game. I had no idea that existed up until that point either, and as a Christian, my heart sank at the notion. However, I was into Doom for the game
and not for the plot,
and I was still curious about what the game had to offer.
Boy, was I not
prepared for what came next.
I learned all I could about Doom over the next few months. The game seemed a bit scary at the time (even though I was just a teenager), but I discovered the usage of cheat codes that would make the game easier. Of course, this was all useless considering I never had the game to begin with. Then I came across the Flash version of the Shareware Episode, and I played through that with one of my brothers, so that we had each other as company and we could try to figure out what exactly we were looking at. Of course I used the IDFA and IDDQD cheats throughout, so that I could better explore the game, and not be afraid of running into monsters or running out of ammo (to my dismay, I couldn't acquire the Plasma Rifle or BFG-9000 from the cheat, as I found out later that the Shareware version doesn't grant them).
I came across Doom 3 later on. Seemed cooler, plus I liked the more familiar 3D graphics (it was jarring to see 2D used in a 3D environment like I saw in Doom, but cool nonetheless). However, it was too dark... and even after getting the game, I still haven't played Doom 3 to this day.
Then, in 2011... I discovered Brutal Doom.
I wish I could find the original video I watched showcasing Brutal Doom in action... it was some map in Alien Vendetta, with a lot of blood, brown bricks, torches, and whatnot... but seeing the graphics, the dynamicism, the way everything had changed...
I was impressed by how much this guy was able to do. So I continued searching for more and more. However, it wasn't until 2012 when I discovered Steam (my brothers knew about it because it was required to play this one game they wanted to play). One of my brothers had a friend who gave us each a bunch of games we wanted off of the store... so naturally, I chose Doom II, Doom 3, and Doom 3: Resurrection Of Evil (and again, to this day, I've not played either of the latter two).
I played around with Doom II as it came installed, but had no idea how to play it with mods. It was around then I discovered that Doom could be modded using a "source port engine"... and that's how one was to run Brutal Doom.
I chose Zandronum 'cuz I heard GZDoom wasn't good for multiplayer, and I played the heck out of it... until I stumbled across Project MSX.
I had seen some map that looked more like a cityscape, and I couldn't find it for the life of me, 'cuz I kept searching for "Doom Real World". This led me to a couple of interesting Doom mapsets titled "Real World" with very
unfitting music, and some gameplay footage through one of the maps with Project MSX. I recognized some of the sounds and mechanics very easily, coming more from a Halo background ('cuz I had friends who were absolute Halo fanboys): sprinting, recharging shields, reloading (though of course the reloading was also present in Brutal Doom), good gore (not as detailed as Brutal Doom's, but still awesome), and COOL-ASS GRAPHICS AND MONSTERS. Through it I also discovered Putrefier.
Point is, I discovered all of that, and found that I'd need GZDoom to play this newer stuff... so I did.
This brought me to the ZDoom modding community, where I downloaded all the stuff. Then I grew really curious about how this stuff was made, so in 2014, I made the decision to create an account on the ZDoom Forums as "DoomKrakken" and asked around for scripting help. Unfortunately, most people around weren't willing to help with Brutal Doom code, as it was some of the jankiest and sloppiest code anybody had ever seen... but I was determined to not give up. Not only did I want to learn about how to Brutal Doom (
), but also how to combine mods and bestiaries and turn them into a big-ass class-based mod. When it comes to me, sometimes I learn best by throwing myself into the deep end.
Ultimately the project failed, but I learned the basics of actually looking into a mod and modifying it. Also, I had a patient tutor in my corner named "Ed the Bat" (who happened to be a prolific DECORATE aficionado), who answered all of my scripting questions over private messages. I was able to get to the point where I understood DECORATE well enough to modify others' mods... so I actually started editing other mods I came across (like Guncaster and Trailblazer, upon discovering those) to suit my specific needs.
I came across an interesting mapset called "Z-Pack: Random Maps For ZDoom", which featured some feature-intensive maps and custom monsters. Loved the mapset, loved the monsters, so I had to make a monster pack using those monsters... which became known as the "DoomKrakken Monster Randomizer". In later iterations, I got plenty of monsters I liked off of Realm667 (especially those which used Eriance's/Amuscaria's monster sprites, 'cuz those were awesome)... and then I also made a compatibility patch for Guncaster that allowed its custom affliction systems to work with every
monster in the game, so they'd be even more of a challenge and the rewards would be that much more awesome. I don't know how, but a lot of people really liked the mod,
even going so far as to call it "balanced" (which I didn't exactly
keep in mind while authoring the mod, but people still enjoyed it plenty, so I was fine with that).
For Trailblazer, since it didn't have a custom affliction/item drop system in place... it was easy for me to come up with a patch that takes Trailblazer's puffs and projectiles and give them the DamageTypes/PainTypes/DeathTypes seen in Brutal Doom's Monsters Only version... so the different weapons/items could do different things to each of the monsters, without having to change any code in either of the original mods.
On the forums, I asked a lot for help, but I found myself increasingly giving
more help than needing
My brother invited me to Discord and I've been using it since. I had a friend there who invited me to become a moderator on the Project Brutality Discord Server, and I've been there ever since. Once I discovered that the ZDoom Forums had its own Discord server there, I had to join due to Discord's instantaneous nature, with real-time responses (when people were active, of course
). From there, I've been helping people out there.
DOOM (2016) was released later on, and I wanted to play it so bad, but I didn't have a computer that could run it... meanwhile I kept seeing promising 2016-to-Classic Doom mods out there, but all of them took liberties in an attempt to critique the game. I wanted to see what would happen if someone decided to make things faithful
to the original game... but I also didn't like the Doom hands on the jankily-detailed weapon sprites.And then it happened.
I figured I'd make a proof-of-concept to show that it was totally
possible to faithfully recreate the weapons, items, combat mechanics, and upgrade systems of DOOM (2016) in the classic Doom games, advantages and disadvantages alike. I was hesitant to use the sprites that were presently available, though. However, in 2017, while I was working on Brutal Trailblazer, I saw a sheet of weapon sprites drawn by artist Franco Tieppo: styled enough to fit in Doom, detailed more correctly
so they looked more like their in-game counterparts, and they all used Praetor Suit hand sprites.
These sprites would be used in the 2.0 release of the Death Foretold
mod, a passion project of DBThanatos. I resolved that once those resources were made available, I would begin work on this proof-of-concept... however, at this point, I was resolved to prove that not only was it possible
to faithfully recreate all these gameplay aspects of DOOM (2016) in classic Doom, but that it would also be playable and fun.This proof-of-concept evolved into what y'all now know to be "Embers Of Armageddon" ("EOA" for short).
Ever since 2016, I had been watching gameplay videos of DOOM (2016), memorizing the location of every upgrade item in the game,
seeing what would happen when one fully completes
the game. I did so for 3 years, relying purely on observation and nuances which people who had played the game passed onto me, which I couldn't have gotten from observation, and I hadn't played the game even ONCE up until that point.
People heard me talk a lot about my progress in the mod and were looking forward to seeing some sort of demonstration (but I wasn't ready to release the game in such an unfinished state). I was able to release alphas later on in 2018 and they helped me put together additional resources for the game. I garnered sounds from DOOM (2016) itself and graphical resources from D4T, ZION, and from a few other places and people who volunteered their time and energy to help me out. I brute-forced my way through libraries of DOOM (2016) sounds to make sure I had the right ones and cross-referenced them with the ones used in-game (and got them right for the most part).
On January 1, 2019, I started the Official EOA Discord Server and gained hundreds of members, releasing the mod to the public through the server as part of a public beta. That number had since exploded into the thousands
ever since YouTubers like Martinoz, Kills Alone, The Blue Savior, and even TheSpudHunter began playing my mod and promoting my server (I have almost 4000 members in my server right now), and I have amassed a following of various scripters, spriters, and modelers who have all volunteered their time to put together even more resources to make EOA even better: first-person item interaction animations, more faithful-looking sprites, etc. In 2020, after having taken a final step to scale the sprites in-game so they were sized accurately (like in 2016) and ignored GZDoom's 5:4 aspect ratio distortion, I felt my mod was ready for an official
release to the public... unfortunately it also came around the time DOOM Eternal was to be released, so it got a bit overshadowed by that.
In the end, I have my own 2016-to-Classic Doom mod to share... one which I wanted made, which no one else cared to make, or thought impossible. I stuck to my vision. I kept all the advantages
of the game in my mod (so the Charged Burst Combat Shotgun still sucks, for example, but is otherwise kinda cool to use).
Since then, I've still been helping other people out with their mods. I recently released a new version of the Brutal Trailblazer Patch that made the most recent versions of Trailblazer and Brutal Doom (Monsters Only) compatible with each other. I'm currently working on overhauling some code in Project Brutality, and I'll hopefully introduce some new paradigms to be used throughout the entirety of the mod. My own team is currently working on acquiring resources to make EOA 2: a mod that would attempt to faithfully recreate the weapons, items, combat mechanics, and upgrade systems of DOOM Eternal into classic Doom via the GZDoom Engine, and I'm coming up with some pretty cool code to handle all the detail work of each weapon in-game.
It's actually thanks to my adventures in Doom coding that I wanted to pursue a career in technology (software development especially).At this point, I guess y'all can tell that I like to code.
Anyway, that's pretty much it. Any questions?