Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I just want you all to know how much this blog means to me. It's been a constant companion over these few years and I've come to cherish it. I never realize this more then when I join some other bizarre websites that stray away from the sterile safety I've become accustomed to here.

I won't say what site I've joined as I've been informed several times that I'm forbidden from speaking about it. Even so, I expect to disregard the antiquated etiquette of this awful place, I might even delete my account because honestly, I'm just not feeling it.

Assuming I do stick around I expect to be the local Rodney Dangerfield where I just barge in and do whatever I want with no regard for the consequences. Stay tuned!


I left because I hated it! LOL!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Armory of the Daleks

One of a video game's biggest selling points for me are it's weapons. If a game has boring, bland weapons then the rest of the game is also bland for me. However, if a game's weapons are fun to use, bizarre or as you'll soon see, shoot lightning I will play that game, even if it's only to use it's weapons because I think they're so cool.

I remember, back when I first really started to play games, I would load multiplayer without any people to play against and I would just run around the level, collecting weapons and watching them shoot at nothing in particular. For me, a game's weapons aren't a means to an end, they are a goal in themselves. I want the weapons not to kill, at least not exclusively, I want them because they're cool.

I have the same attitude towards money. I want cash not to buy things, but because dollah billz are a luxury in themselves. So, let's take a look at some of my favorite weapons I've encountered over the years.

The Soul Cube from Doom 3

As I look back, most of them games I played were bound by three common themes: fighting Nazis, fighting the occult and shooting lighting. In the case of Doom 3 it was fighting demons on Mars with what appears to be a tiny cube-shaped alien. Mother probably never realized that they were demons on the screen because, honestly speaking, they looked like aliens and the fact that they came from a fiery dimension which may or may not have been a place of eternal punishment was largely incidental to the game. Seriously, they could have just called them aliens and it wouldn't change anything.

I know that plenty of people don't like Doom 3 because of the boring levels and repetitive gameplay. I guess I agree with them, but that doesn't make me think the enemies looked any less cool, all the cybernetics helped form my early interest in biomechanics. But it's the weapons that it stands out for, especially the sounds. For some reason the sounds the guns made really stand out to me. They were all really quiet, even the shotgun was oddly quiet. It made all the guns sound underpowered and cheap. This wasn't a bad thing, just unusual.

While the guns (and the chainsaw) were great, I love the Soul Cube in particular. According to the game, the original inhabitants of Mars collected the souls of all their warriors into the cube as a weapon to fight the demons (aliens?). The player finds the cube and it even talks to them sometimes. I like that, I like the idea of having a little buddy as a weapon. Sometimes when they player is holding it it'll flip around and extend it's little blades to entertain itself. I love that.

The Tesla Gun from Return to Castle Wolfenstein

I never played the first Wolfenstein games, just like I never played the first couple of Doom's so I have little to say about those. Either way, I think this game is largely responsible for my early interest in Nikola Tesla. I'm pretty sure that this gun alone lead me to believe that he spent his whole life fighting Nazi ghosts with lightning guns. I'm sorry to say Mother, but this is yet another game consisting mostly of fighting zombies and Nazi-cyborgs (again, biomechanics, fun stuff!). I just felt so powerful with the Tesla Gun, I think I used it in exclusion of all the other guns. I just love shooting lighting at things.

Also, I have not played the most recent Wolfenstein game, but if I do it's going to be for the Tesla gun and nothing else.

The Painkiller from...Painkiller

I'm sure by now my Mother is silently fuming at the choices of content on here so far, probably thinking I've been keeping a secret Satanic double-life. If it helps, the final boss in Painkiller is Satan.

Let that sink in for a moment, the player kills the Devil.

Anywho, Painkiller had ridiculous weapons. There was a gatling gun that shot grenades, a gun that shot what I assume were telephone polls and another which shot ninja stars and, you guessed it, lightning. The titular painkiller could only be described as a weed-whacker on a stick that also fired laser beams. I was infatuated with it and actually drew a lot of plans for building one in real life, sans-death ray of course.

Again I'd like to point out that the player kills the Devil, please don't be mad at me Mom.

The Piranha from Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Crimsons Skies is solely responsible for my infatuation with zeppelins...and now that I think about it, planes that shot lightning. In the game, it's stated that the villain, a certain Doctor Von Essen (who, let's face it, was obviously a Nazi) had stolen the secret plans of none other than Nikola Tesla and used it to make zeppelins and airplanes that shot lightning.

The Piranha was probably the fastest plane in the game, and it's Tesla cannon had the ability to lock up the controls of enemy planes, making them crash into walls or buildings. While I never played multiplayer, I'm told that this is the single most hated plane for it's overpowered Tesla cannon. Overpowered? More like die ubergwehr! Lastly, near the end of the game the player has to fly through a huge cavern, since there's lots of tight spots the player has to fly through it's a good idea to use a nice slow plane with lots of armor.

But of course I didn't do that. I used the fastest least armored plane in the game because it SHOOTS LIGHTNING!

The Scorpions from Wanted!

One of the first games I played that didn't involve Nazis or supernatural monsters, Wanted! wasn't even a game technically. It was in fact a mod for Half-Life where instead of bespectacled scientists the player is a cowboy. It was tons of fun for me since it had working bots, meaning I could play multiplayer without having to deal with scary online people.

Wanted! had a couple capture-the-flag type maps, only instead of a flag each team had to capture the enemy's chicken from their chicken coop. I had a few giggles seeing my character holding the chicken by the neck running away as bandits shot at me. All great fun made even better because in a couple maps the player could pick up a little terracotta pot that gave them scorpions to throw at people. Just imagine that, a stereotypical cowboy throwing scorpions in people's faces so he can steal their chicken. Why didn't that happen on Bonanza!?

The Lightning Miracle from Black and White 2

The logical conclusion to Tesla guns. The Lightning Miracle was a Tesla gun ordained by THE GODS THEMSELVES! I can't even count how many times I've exterminated entire ARMIES of puny mortals with just one Lightning Miracle. I got so good with it as one point that I was able to throw them at enemy cities so that it would bounce off mountains and land right on top of their temple and electrocute each and every last one of their citizens. Sometimes I would cast a Water Miracle beforehand so not only is the ground the enemy troops standing on too muddy to wade through, but the Lightning Miracle does MEGADAMAGE due to extra conductivity.


The VSS from Desert Combat

Desert Combat was a mod for Battlefield 1942 and admittedly, was often times better then the game it was based on. It was so good in fact that EA hired the developers to make Battlefield 2. So if you ever find yourself asking why all the games now are about the War on Terror you know who to blame.

There was a secret weapon on one map that was easy for the Terrorist team to get but very difficult for the 'Mericans. Since I always played as the GIs I didn't notice the crate of guns hidden in the enemy base. Eventually I got good enough that I was able to sneak in and steal one. At first glance it was just a weird looking sniper rifle/machine gun thing. My adolescent brain wasn't impressed with it's woefully small magazine capacity...at least not until I actually killed someone with it. Suddenly I was a silent assassin, ending people's lives with a totally silent, automatic sniper I had captured from behind enemy lines. I was like an American James Bond, secure in my own sense of invulnerability with die ubergwehr.

I was delighted to find out that the VSS was in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Sadly I never found it, but I did find it's less evil, NATO twin in the form of the Z-M LR 300. A respectable rifle in itself.

The Spore Launcher from Opposing Force

Opposing Force was an expansion pack for Half-Life and one of the games I played simply to find the weapons. In addition to all the weapons from Half-Life it added a bunch of others, including a huge energy gun that shot portals and in singleplayer sent the player to Xen if it had enough ammo. This in itself is enough to make it one of my favorites, but it's out-shined by that nasty slug up there. That is the Spore Launcher which is actually a baby alien that fires globs of exploding green gunk. The player reloads by feeding it more green globs, making the launcher make the most adorable om nom nom face I've seen in a game. Like the Soul Cube, the Spore Launcher isn't just a weapon, it's a friend I carry into battle.

It got awkward though once I realized that the Spore Launcher was the infantile form of one of the tougher enemies in the game. To make sure I never forced the Launcher into accidentally killing it's parents I never used it when fighting that type of enemy.

Now that I think about it, Half-Life had no less than three guns that were also living alien beings. One of which shot bees. Another was a giant roach that attaches itself to the players arm and shoots, you guessed it, LIGHTNING.

The DeLisle Carbine from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Spearhead

I recently bought a combo-pack of all the old Medal of Honor games (at discount!) and played through them in just three days. It was a wonderful nostalgia-trip for me and the games are still solid, even in our world of fancy ragdoll physics and inexplicably brown color pallets.

Like the VSS, the Delisle Carbine is a very subtle weapon. It's almost silent and can kill those dirty Nazis in a single shot. The level the player got it in was perfectly suited for it and I once again felt like a super spy. Fun was had by all, except those filthy demon-summoning Nazis.

If I may sidetrack for a moment, another weapon from Medal of Honor that stands out is the Anti-Aircraft gun that shows up from time to time. It makes the most frightening sound when it fires. It takes a while to heat up before it can shoot and the sound it makes when doing this is like some horrible mechanical dragon coming to life before engulfing the battlefield in fire. I actually let it heat up a couple times just to hear the sound, I tried to use it as much as possible in multiplayer. I was killed for it but no one could deny that was the best sound ever. I'm pretty sure they don't do that in real life.

The Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2

Ah yes, the gravity gun. You can call it the Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator if you really want to. To me, this is the perfect weapon. It is at once a symbol of Human scientific achievement and our unbridled fury in combat. It's not just a weapon but a tool, it can create or destroy in equal capacity. It has beautifully hobbled-together appearance that doesn't betray it's high-tech nature. I remember when Half-Life 2 first came out I couldn't stop myself from thinking of all the ways having a gravity-gun in real life would solve all my problems.

Of course, the understated perfection of this tractor beam makes Doom 3's cheap ripoff all the more glaringly awful. See, everyone was hopping on the gravity gun band-wagon back then, and Id made an expansion pack for Doom that involved some ad-hoc plasma gun thing that could grab the fireballs enemy demons (aliens?) threw at you. It was ridiculous because it could only hold something for a short amount of time and it was so obviously a rip-off it made Backstroke of the West look like fine cinema.

Shame on you Doom 3. You went from cyber-demons and sentient cubes to stealing Half-Life's thunder (lightning?).

Notable weapons that I did not include:

The Portal Gun-mostly because it too is stealing the Gravity Gun's thunder.

The BFG-9000-It's too big for me to take seriously.

The FG-42-Clearly outshined by the Tesla Gun, you're still money though!

Anything from Halo-Because those games suck and their weapons suck.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I've been resisting the compulsion to show off a lot of Hypnophobia in the video's I've made recently, opting to have vague camera angles and creepy music do the talking. I'm liking it so far, it get's the point across.

In the meantime I've been working on a lighthouse. I'm very confident in it, it'll be a great addition when it's done...assuming it's ever finished. See, models and brushes (the blocks that make up the map) don't like to line up, which make it very difficult to use the staircase model.

Besides that, I've been thinking about cyborgs recently. If there was a way to alter a person in such a way that their breathing-holes were in their chest I think it would be much more efficient, it would take less effort to get air into the lungs and there would be no need for a nose on their face, something I'm always worried will get broken.

My nose is a constant source of fear for me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Unseen Enemies

I'm having a bit of a nervous episode so here's this:


Shaye hadn't left the house for several weeks. She couldn't remember how long ago it was when she boarded up the windows and doors. It had gotten so bad that she had to stuff the chimney with what was left of Kiki's novelty feather collection. It had been weeks, the stress of being isolated had started to take it's toll on them both.

Shaye was in her bedroom, the proportions of which were recorded every hour on the hour. She had a notebook for every geometrical property of the tiny space; concave angles, heigth, width, length, all of them were meticulously cataloged and stowed away in the "vault", which was codeword for her closet. She and Kiki had to use codewords because even though they had effectively trapped themselves in the house, they were still in danger of invasion.

The vault was starting to overflow with impeccably kept notebooks and was spilling out into the room itself.

How long had it been since all this turmoil began? Shaye couldn't tell, but the pile of records seemed to give an indication. She had been doing the hand thing longer then she cared to remember and it was only then that the realization began to sink in: with no frame of reference, she might be trapped in that room forever, doing the hand thing.

Shaye stormed out of her fort. The house itself wasn't much larger, her bedroom was connected to Kiki's with the only bathroom in between, the living room was only slightly larger than either bedroom combined and still had to accommodate the kitchen, hidden away behind the living room like a dungeon. Naturally, Kiki would be in there, behind a venerable pile of feather boas that had somehow escaped the attempt to clog the chimney, hiding herself so she could safely do that hand thing.

"Where are the Hollywood diet drops?" Shaye said. Something was shuffling around in the pile of boas but she wasn't sure it was Kiki. "You know I need those diet drops. Two drops, two pounds!" She said again.

The multi-colored boas reached as high as the refrigerator. She suspected that they've been there for so long that no one had cleaned out the fridge for a very very long time. The realization struck her like a cold blade to the chest, the contents of the fridge may have become sentient and was now lurking about the boas, ready to claim the house as it's own.

"Kiki, we're leaving!" Shaye proclaimed. "Get the convertible!"

Even during a crisis like this, she was prepared. There was a secret exit through the bathroom that not even that awful rabbit man with the paper gloves could find. Shaye hastily packed whatever she could into the duffel-bag she won on the cruise and made her escape.

What she failed to realize was that the emergency escape hatch was actually the broken window Kiki had neglected during the preparations from earlier.

Either way, Shaye was running through the streets with only a duffel-bag full of lip balm, now evading unseen enemies.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tiny Money

Progress on Hypnophobia has been pretty steady. We haven't run into any horrid problems yet with compiling so that's good. I can still remember the sting of various bizarre errors I got when Insomnia was baking, the teeth grinding, the hair pulling, the crying, good God the crying.

I've taken preemptive measures against such heart ache this time around, I've constructed a map specifically for defense against the frustration that comes with being, well, a genius.

This is Lounge Island, a quite home away from home for those times when you want to get away from it all, especially dubious amounts of entdata in compile logs. Lounging on these private beaches is also highly recommended for those who, against their better judgment, are out looking for jobs when they should be mapping.

See, a certain mustachioed young man here has applied to work at the local book stores and gardening supply stores, not because he needs the money but because he feels obligated as a newly christened adult to join the Kafkaesque world of day labor. It won't be a problem for him though, with the entire socio-economic system that forms the foundation of his being about to crumble there's barely any point in looking for civilized employment before we're all reduced to fighting each other over water in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Now, that's not to say this young man isn't looking forward to a life of stacking boxes and wearing ties. He just isn't getting his hopes up that someone would want to give him money for the aforementioned box-stacking and tie-wearing, especially not when it's been clearly established that the entire Western world is falling into chaos around him.

We could assume that this young man, rather than make a futile attempt at joining a society he clearly doesn't understand, would very much like to spend the rest of his life (no matter how short it might be) making maps in various states of illogic.

No doubt the cognitive dissonance this conflict creates in our mustachioed hero's mind can be too much to bare. At this point, he has two options: have a nervous breakdown or go for a relaxing swim on a tiny island he built for just such a purpose.

And thus, Lounge Island was born.


I will occasionally be uploading screenshots of my various doings on my Steam profile page. It would be the bee's knees if you check there for time to time. It should be worth a giggle, maybe even a snicker.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Beginning of the End

That's right. We've started work on the last of the Paranoia trilogy. It's a long road ahead of us and there's plenty of planning that needs to be done. I just hope that Hypnophobia will be completed in shorter time frame then Insomnia.

Just because this is the last map of the series doesn't mean this is the last thing I'll be doing involving Paranoia. While it hasn't shown up in the maps at all, there's a huge story behind them and there's plenty of things I'd want to do with that.

Making these maps has been a huge learning experience, not just in the Source Engine, but also a lesson in patience, planning and the drive to create. Of course, we're nowhere close to being done yet. While it'll be a long time until the next video and even longer until the actual map is ready to play I assure you that I will do everything in my power to make this the greatest map yet. Plus, if this all goes right I think I will finally one-up Valve in my own small way...

I'm just sayin'.