Everyone Loves Flying Stealth Archviles

Last year I made a Lovecraftian Doom mod to help me figure out how mods are made, and one thing I did then was turn Realm 667′s Flesh Wizard into an alternative Archvile.

I’ve now combined some of that Decorate code with Hexenmapper’s raisable Heretic monsters and made a very fast monster with a decent amount of hit points that resurrects fallen foes, turns invisible, and throws out low damage fireballs. He also has a high pain chance.

In the test encounter he wasn’t able to escape concentrated fire from a rapid fire weapon, but he’s much harder to catch in an open arena with other monsters around. He’s scary but not very dangerous by himself.

So let me know what you think about the FLYING STEALTH ARCHVILE

Learning Doom: Let’s Examine Yuan_Ti_Replacer.wad

Hexenmapper has been working on some monster replacements for Heretic and posting them in the HUMP discord server.

I asked if I could use them, since I want to make an expanded ‘Doom 2′ style monster roster for Heretic and he’s already made an Arch Vile type creature. He said yes, because he’s a really cool person.

I’m going to walk you through the inside of a simple monster replacer mod. Let’s have a look at what sort of stuff is inside…

1) First I’ll have to open SLADE, so I can rummage around the data file.

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2) Then I’ll find my data file. Luckily I keep everything well organized…

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3) Here’s what the inside of a Doom (or Heretic, or Hexen, or Strife…) wad file looks like:

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4) This is the DECORATE file. Decorate is a language added to sourceports that let’s you create new monsters and effects without much technical know-how. Pictured below is an Arch Vile type monster that resurrects enemies

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5) Hexenmapper has been hard at work; every non-Boss in Heretic is now replaced by an identical copy with a resurrection animation (their death animation played backwards). Because the other two new monsters replace Heretic’s ‘ghost’ enemies, those monsters’ resurrectable versions are disabled (but can easily be turned back on)

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6) Let’s have a look at the graphics for the new Yuan-Ti Monsters. As you can see, it’s a “Frankensprite” of the Ophidian and the Brown Chaos Serpent enemies.

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7) The side view had some sprite tearing I thought. However, other views of the Yuan Ti are very well done.

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8) Holy cow, that’s how it attacks? That lightning attack looks cool as hell

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9) The Arch Vile type monster is a smaller version of Hexen’s Korax

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10) The third new monster is an Archer, based on the Hexen II enemy. This is from Realm 667 and modified from the existing Archer resource.

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11) The Credits List

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So for reference:

DECORATE contains the programming for the monsters (health, movement, properties, lists of sprites to use for each animation cycle, etc)
SNDINFO is ‘sound information’ which assigns labels to the sound files so that the Decorate file can tell the game which sounds to play
GLDEFS tells the game to light up the area around monsters when they’re using their magic attacks
The rest is sound and graphics data that get used by DECORATE and SNDINFO.

Will I use it? In a modified form, probably.

I was thinking of using the Korax sprite for a boss monster so I might change swap the graphics. I certainly can’t ignore the work put into making each Heretic monster resurrectable though!

I think the archer would make a good “shotgun sergeant”, perhaps if I made their attack more like an ethereal crossbow attack.

I may have already put in a monster that does what the Yuan-ti does, so that one might not be used.

Heretic: Advanced Mapping

For fun and to brush up on my GZDoomBuilder skills I decided to recreate a major location from the freeform RPG I’ve been running on and off for the past 3 years.

There is a LOT of artwork of the various characters.

I really wanted to practice with GZDoom exclusive features more and hopefully this will help me learn some new tricks (the dynamic light shown in the above pic is the first time I’ve ever tried using them).

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The level itself is a small witch’s tower at the edge of a vast forest. So far I’ve only finished the cellar area.

Because Heretic has so few resources I’ve had to add stuff from Hexen and Realm667. After testing out my work in progress I do regret not simply using Hexen as the base, given that the combat feels closer to what I want and there’s so many textures and options available from the start.

Below are some pics from my test map where I’ve been testing out new sprites, animated textures, and monsters. I can’t begin say how proud I am for figuring out how to emulate the Wendigo’s fragmenting ice attack outside of Hexen.

Not only did I get the Wendigo’s attack working, but I’ve also edited the terrain files so that characters sink into mud and create splashing effects as they move in water/slime/mud.

I’ve even managed to create PolyObjects – swingable objects (in this case, a door that creates an ominous creak and slowly opens – this is no mean feat in an essentially 2D game engine based on static sectors).

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FRAG: The Elves Get Pissed

I’ve finished the first pass of the fourth army for FRAG – the Sidhe.The Sidhe (‘shee’) hail from a distant, magical dimension. After their world was annihilated by powerful arch-demons, the reminders of the Sidhe race turned their considerable might towards hunting demons and monsters across the cosmos. While ostensibly allies to the Earth Defence Force and the Lost Battalion, they remain mysterious and aloof.

More so than the Lost Battalion or the Forces of Hell, the Sidhe really rely on their characters to deliver their deadliest abilities. Most Sidhe pepper the enemy with amber wand fire; they depend on mages to deliver them to the right spot and increase their firepower, cardinals to support them defensively, and lords to rip the throats out of the biggest bads on the battlefield.

The Sidhe also have a few important differences to other armies. For one, they need to declare which artifacts they are using at the beginning of the turn (they have a lot). Secondly, many Sidhe are Slippery (they can leave close combat without triggering attacks). Careful planning, alongside the brute force expected from a FRAG army, will ensure they win the day.

FRAG: The Next Faction

Tried to do some work on the next update…. let’s call it the Sidhe update. They’re a new army for FRAG, my tabletop rulebook project. There’s not been much progress. Perhaps there’s been too much Real Life Work stuff on my mind.

When I started writing FRAG, I just wanted to make a simple but fun game about some of the cool stuff that’s gone on in the Doom / Id fan community. I also wanted people to be able to use pretty much whatever miniatures they liked – the fantasy list has a dual purpose of letting people use fantasy models as well as scratching that Heretic / Hexen itch.

Of course, it’s a bit tricky balancing that against armoured space marines shooting plasma guns at bulletproof demon-cyborgs in a simplified d6 system.

FRAG: First Draft of New Rulebook

Below are screengrabs showing a first pass at my next rulebook FRAG. FRAG is a simple d6 based wargame where squads of FPS heroes fight hordes of monsters.  The artwork is just stuff found online and added to look pretty for my gaming group, so I’ll be looking for commissioned pieces of art closer to final release.

Current armies are: Space Marines, Hell, and the Old Ones. The Old One list is only half-done, and the list is already so huge it’ll probably end up pruned or split off.

Work on the system is ongoing. Future updates will add The Order (Heretic/Hexen) and the SS Paranormal Division. I also want to make a list of themed NPC-type characters who live on the worlds each faction visits, like cops/guards/WW2 GIs, etc.