| 29 September 2013-pjw |
EASY SOCIAL NETWORKING LEGITIMIZES BIGOTRY, HATRED, AND DISFUNCTIONALITY
(There Are A Lot Of Crazy People On The Internet)
I've been doing some thinking about various forms of idiocy (e.g. racism, sexism, conspiracy theories, and radical political leanings (right AND left) that tend to turn everything into Us and Them), and wondering why, in a time where information is so readily available, so many misguided individuals insist on hanging onto ignorance.
There have always been unpleasant people around. Anywhere you go, there's always "that guy" (or gal), who is obnoxious, disagreeable, hostile, or otherwise socially "broken" or crazy in some way. Note that I'm not using the word "crazy" here to denote any specific mental illness (or, necessarily, any diagnosable degree of mental illness at all). I'm using the word "crazy" in the casual sense which simply means that this person believes things that the majority of other people think are very obviously wrong and "how the hell could you think that?!"
In any case, that person typically learns that they must either change those aspects of themselves that turn other people off, or they must restrain them, mask them, or otherwise hide them. If they don't, they will have no friends.
Well...maybe not NO friends, but only a few who share the same brokenness, either in details or in spirit. In other words, if you're an asshole, then you tend to tolerate others' assholery, either out of feelings of kinship, and/or from the realization that you can't afford to be too damn picky about your friends.
Either way, you and your buds are a small, isolated group and it's relatively easy for others to just avoid you when you start spouting off (and see you for what you are...broken and wrong).
But then the Internet came along. You can easily and fearlessly say whatever you want on the Internet. There certainly aren't any immediate consequences, and often there are no consequences at all. Read through any comment thread at the bottom of any major news story or article, and you'll quickly notice that unpleasant and/or crazy people come out of the woodwork.
Anyone who spends any significant amount of time on the Internet learns never to read anonymous comment threads of any length, because you'll inevitably read something mentally scarring and wish you'd never ventured down the rabbit hole.
The Internet is, in some ways, a very new twist on being subjected to others' unpleasantness. That being said, up until a few years ago, this didn't shake things up very much. Jerks spent a lot of energy being jerks, but things were still pretty much okay; you could easily avoid the spew by just avoiding jerky places on the Internet. Then things started to get weird...
Over the past decade or so, people have started to put more energy into harnessing the innate social potential of the Internet. There are now huge numbers of networking sites and forums and various means of easy interaction with thousands or even millions of people. These tools never existed before in the history of the human race. As social gathering becomes more and more specialized, and as awareness and use of Google and other search tools gains momentum, it's now very easy to connect with other people who believe...well...just about anything you can imagine.
Were you the one guy in your small town who believed that aliens regularly visit this planet, and that the government is hiding the evidence? Well, now you don't have to wonder if you're imagining things, or give up that belief, or worry about keeping it to yourself so people won't back away or point and laugh! Now you can instantly connect with hundreds of other crazy people who have thought about this a lot more than you have, and they will provide a ton of positive reinforcement for your belief in aliens and government conspiracies and a whole slew of other things at the same time! Look, they have pictures and graphs! It's PROOF! You're right!
And it's not just aliens. How about 9/11? That was a set-up you know--all smoke and mirrors. Hundreds (thousands?) of people will tell you so. Vaccines--you realize they're killing children with those things, right? Scientists who say otherwise are ignorant, or liars and part of the plot. Gays and lesbians? They're godless and should be put to death. Women's rights? Any men's rights activist will tell you that it's a calculated plot to keep those poor men down. (It all started with women's demands for silly things like the right to own property and vote, and look where we are now.) And don't even get me started on all of those various types of brown people who are making out like bandits and keeping all the upstanding white people from their rightful due. Oh, and Obama--how can you not see that he's obviously an alien. Or a Muslim. Perhaps even an alien-Muslim. You never know...
It was sort of painful to write that paragraph, but the point is this: Pretty much any horrible/stupid/messed-up thing that anyone can weave from stands of the finest bullshit already has it's own crazy echo chamber firmly established on the Internet. These places are quickly accessible to everyone who ever thought a crazy thought in their lives, and being a part of the group allows them to easily confirmation-bias their way past any and all doubt and rationality. Specialized social filters allow people to easily find and interact ONLY with people who already agree with them, and ignore anyone who doesn't. It's a organized social construct that focuses and concentrates the crazy. Facebook has just made the problem worse, and is a place where some crazy people only share the same half-dozen awful crazy ideas back and forth with other crazy people. They aren't forced to hear the dissenting opinions that they'd hear in daily life, since they can easily shape Facebook to give them only the comfortable feedback they want.
The result is that unpleasant people can now easily organize into large groups via the Internet, which gives their unpleasant views an unfortunate appearance of legitimacy through sheer numbers.
Do I have a solution? Nope. I'm just pointing out the issue, in the hope that greater awareness will allow others to do a few things:
1) Point out when someone is being cruel or dismissive of others.
Sometimes they don't intend to be cruel, and it may help. Often it won't, but at least you said something.
2) Point out when someone is ignoring facts, and learn to check facts yourself before passing others' ignorance along.
Wikipedia does NOT have the same legitimacy as an established scientific journal...but it's usually a halfway decent place to start. Snopes is a great site to double-check much of the idiocy that gets passed around the Internet over and over again. Please use it.
3) Realize that hatred usually arises from fear and pain.
It's difficult, but try to be sympathetic to those who are spreading abuse. That doesn't mean that you should agree with or support them; it only means that you should try to not respond with hatred or abuse yourself, and fan the flames. Even the worst of them aren't inhuman monsters, just broken human beings.
4) Don't react only to negativity. Recognize the positive!
When someone is kind, let them know. Point out when someone is supportive and trying to do the right thing, and encourage and help them! Do things yourself to support others. It doesn't matter what. Give blood. Volunteer time in a shelter. Help an old person across the street. Contribute to charities. Recognize when you've acted like a jerk, and apologize (and try really, really hard to not do it again, you jerk). Big things or little things--they all work to counterbalance organized ugliness.
Please be nice and love one another.
Make the Internet (and the world) less yucky.
* * * * * * * *
On a much less important note, I've reworked the Media section of the site and added multiple pages to the larger catagories of images and gifs, making them much easier to navigate. There's also a bunch of new content (images, gifs, text, etc) to entertain you all.
Oh, and Cats now have their own dedicated image section, and aren't lumped in with all the other Critters. You're welcome, cat people.
Finally, you'll see a new Portal 2 map on the list of Creations. It's called Cruel and Unusual, and the name does not lie. I suggest liberal use of Quicksave/Quickload (F6 and F7, by default).
14 October 2012-pjw
Iíve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately; that tends to happen when life is good, and things are going well, and I really donít have anything to complain about (other than piddly first-world problems and ubiquitous minor bullshit that never really goes away).
Thereís a quote from a fellow mapper who goes by the nick of ďKinnĒ regarding privilege and luck that I saved off quite a few years ago that elegantly sums up how excellent life is, and it seems to just resonate more as the years go on. Itís on the quotes page, but to save you from clicking a link, Iíll reproduce it here:
Consider this - unless you believe in reincarnation, then just consider the unlikeliness of your position - over all time and space, consider all the possible sentient beings that have ever lived, are currently living, and will ever live. It's a large number. You're one of them.
What the christ are the chances that out of all the times and places that you could have been born in, you happen to be living in one where you can sleep at night without fear of being eaten by a monster; you know exactly when and where your next meal is coming from (and have the luxury of being able to pick and choose about it). If you're ill, or injured you can be healed by technology, and what's more there's a good chance all your children are going to survive you.
For most of us, our biggest worry is what danger-free occupation we're going to concern ourselves with for one-third of each day (well, for 5 out of 7 days at least). The rest of the time we are either sleeping or entertaining ourselves with sex, drugs, or the latest toy.
We are privileged bastards.
Thatís true for me, and whatís more, I get paid to do what I enjoy. Think about that for a minute; Iíll say it again. I get paid to do what Iíd enjoy doing for free. How the hell did I luck into that? Yes, it took a lot of work and lot of hours, but thatís still time spent that I enjoyed. There are a lot of people out there who hate their jobs, or simply tolerate them and live for the weekends. I feel bad for those people and I hope they realize eventually that it doesnít have to be that way.
To add to the wealth of goodness weíre talking about here, Iím married to an incredibly wonderful woman who goes way out of her way to do a variety of generous things for me on a regular basis, puts up with far more of my bullshit than youíd expect, and continues to love me anyway.
The more I sit back and look at all this, the more grateful I feel. Am I a millionaire? Nope, and obviously more money is almost always a good thingóIím not naÔveóbut I donít lack for anything important, and thatís an amazing thing.
Thereís a slightly cynical and/or paranoid part of me that starts to tap on my shoulder and whisper things about how it canít last, and all this good stuff in my life has to be balanced out eventually, andÖdamnÖit must be pretty soon, right? After all, Iím no saint, and what did I do to deserve this, and so on and so forth. He has a convincing voice sometimes, and while I do my best to ignore him, he can be kind of persuasive. I hope heís wrong.
Anyway, enough of the deep thoughtsóletís just say Iím grateful, and leave it at that.
Itís been a good few months since my last update, and Iíve added lots of content to the media pageóthe newer stuff is toward the top of each page (unless itís NSFW (not safe for work) in which case youíll find it toward the bottom). Thereís also a new architecture page under imagesójust pictures of cool buildings and constructions that Iíve grabbed over the years.
Iíve also added links to a couple of Portal 2 maps I made to the creations page, toward the top under professional experience. The Portal 2 editor is a joy to use, and incredibly intuitive and simple. Both of those maps were created over roughly three nightsóone for the initial build, one for testing and bug-fixing, and one for final tweaks following some beta testing. Check them out if you enjoyed playing Portal 2óany feedback is appreciated. If you have any interest in making game levels, and you enjoy Portal 2, I encourage you to try the editor! Iíll probably be making more of these as time goes on.
I should also probably talk about a couple of games Iím greatly enjoying at the moment. The first is Dark Souls. This game had intrigued me for quite a while, but it was a PS3 exclusive, and I donít own one, so I regretfully passed it by. Then they came out with a PC port available on Steam. The game is fantastic. Itís quite difficult, especially when compared to most American games. It doesnít hold your hand at all, and learning the ropes will involve a lot of dying, but while itís hard, itís also very fair. Every time you die, you will find yourself saying, ďOh, well, damn it, I obviously should have done X there instead of Y.Ē There are lessons you will learn, and techniques, and secret ninja juju to get you past tough parts. I initially played for about five or six hours, and decided to restart and build my character in a slightly different way. I got back to where I was before in under an hour. The learning is strong in this game. Anyway, if you like a challenge, and enjoy exploring huge and deeply interconnective fantasy worlds and defeating gigantic horrors from the depths, buy this game. It rocks.
The other game Iím enjoying is Dishonored. The setting isÖdifferent, to say the least. Imagine Victorian London. Now, roll it forward in time, pretty much intact, to roughly the 40s. Mix in a strong whaling economyóeverything is powered by whale oil and the ships they are aí sailiní. Now add dark, occult magic, funky mechanical gadgets and fringe science, and a culture dominated by inquisitory extremists. Itís a hell of a mix.
Youíre the bodyguard for the Empress and her young daughter, andÖwell...the game starts off with you not doing your job so well. The daughter is kidnapped, the Empress is killed, and youíre set up for her death and hauled off to prison for execution. Can you escape, rescue the young heir, find those responsible, and get your revenge? Damn right you can! Iím not very far into the gameócurrently only on the second mission, but the setting and atmosphere are fantastic, the gameplay is very fun and full of options, and the environments are complex and fun to explore. The game brings back a lot of memories of playing the old Thief games, and Deus Ex, and System Shock, and playing it is a joy. Grab it!
That's all for now. If you're doing remotely as well as I am, and enjoying life remotely as much, you're an incredibly priviledged bastard, and I salute you. *raises tequila*
02 September 2011-pjw
LIFE IS NEVER BORING
As the summer starts drawing to a close, I'm thinking back over the last year, and seeing that there haven't been a whole lot of huge changes...and I'm okay with that.
Work is going well; it's public knowledge at this point that Raven is involved with the Call of Duty franchise...although I probably shouldn't say any more than that. Being involved in an endeavor with the sheer scale and scope of CoD is intimidating sometimes, but it's also very exciting, to say nothing of incredibly rewarding and gratifying to know that you're working on something that will be experienced and enjoyed by literally millions upon millions of people.
These entertaining statistics regarding Call of Duty: Black Ops were released at the end of January, so they've all increased significantly since then...and the CoD train shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
As far as this site goes, I've added quite a bit more content to the media page, including a couple of new categories, and additional quotes, and some entertaining bits of text, including the Dog Butter Story, Pale Luna and an entertaining list of FPS Rules. There's never a shortage of awesome stuff on the Internet, and I hope some of you share my odd tastes and will appreciate some of the new content (note that new images/gifs are placed at the top of each of the thumbnail pages to aid browsing).
I've also done a rework of the Trackmania page, and simplified it, replacing the exhaustive list of tracks with a few simple links to the appropriate track site pages. I've also started making tracks for Trackmania 2, having gotten in on the beta--it's an amazing game, and a nice improvement to the original. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where they go with this, and with the upcoming "Shootmania" and "Questmania"--an FPS and RPG built (I'm assuming) with the same elegant simplicity and satisfying gameplay that they brought to the racing genre.
Life is pretty good right now, and I hope you're enjoying yours as well.
01 January 2011-pjw
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, it's 2011. Weird. I don't really feel like a year has passed, and I'm feeling an odd sense of deja vu, having just read my last "hey it's a new year entry" and realizing that, hey, we had some more layoffs. Hopefully 2012 won't be a three-peat.
In any case, I spent most of the last week doing pretty much nothing, other than playing games and being a lazy bastard. I finally decided to be arguably productive today, and update this website, so, other than this minor update, the trackmania page is now up to date with all of my tracks (yep, I'm still hooked like it's crack, and eagerly anticipating Trackmania 2, which is due sometime in the next few months).
Also, the media page has received a significant update, and now contains more images, more gifs, and more text to entertain, delight, amuse, disgust, and/or horrify you.
06 March 2010-pjw
SOME CLEAN-UP, AND A BIT OF NEW MEDIA
Was just looking through the site a few days ago, and noticed a few typos... then some things that should be updated...then a few more. Yep stuff needed fixin'. I added a few things to the media pages while I was at it--stuff that had been sitting in the "Add To Site" folder for a bit too long. There's an old Chinese curse that says, "May you live in Interesting times."
Life is interesting.
03 January 2010-pjw
GENERAL SITE UPDATE...VACATION HAS BEEN A GOOD THING.
Well, 2010 is here and a decade is over. It's been an interesting ten years, especially when you consider that this site is nearly ten years old at this point. The site has covered my evolution from a hobbyist to a professional, complete with accompanying career change, and has gone through a few different hosts while I've gone through a few different employers.
I'm still pretty happy with Raven at this point, despite the recent troubling layoffs that forced me to sit and watch as a number of good friends were forced out the door to look for other opportunities. I'm not simple-minded enough to think that it was an easy process for Raven either, and I'm hoping that lessons were learned from the experience.
I'm currently continuing with my passion for making maps for Trackmania, and you'll find a few new ones on the trackmania page. I'm also toying with the idea of starting work on a new Quake 3 map; we'll see if anything comes of it. I have an interesting idea for a tourney map, and I'll have to do some basic playtesting first, to see if it's actually any fun, or just screwy and weird.
The media section has had a bit of a facelift. Gifs are now divided into catagories just like the images, for easier browsing. Although there's no actual porn or nudity on this site, there are some things that are rude and/or disturbing. Call it some added spice. These items are now clearly labelled as "NSFW" (not safe for work), and, in the case of images and gifs, are in their own distinct sections, following the more tame content.
There's also a bunch of brand NEW content in the media section to entertain and amaze, horrify and delight, so enjoy the browsing.
Happy New Year!
17 July 2009-pjw
MEDIA PAGE IS UP!
The Media section of this site is now functional!
There, you'll find a wide variety of entertaining things, such as gifs, sound files, images, and other stuff that I've collected from the dark corners of the Internet over the years.
Check it out!
8 July 2009-pjw
NEW PLATFORM TRACK (but still no "Media" page...)
Finally got a nice fast no-restart run on Hops and Barley and popped out a quick trackshot and uploaded the works. You can grab it here and see what you think. It's sort of tricky, and maybe a tad lucky, but not crazy-hard like some of my other tracks.
The media page will probably stay under construction for at least another week or so--I've been spending a bit too much time lately on Wolfenstein to be able to devote as much time as I'd like to personal stuff like this site. I should be taking a nice, long vacation sometime soon though...
21 June 2009-pjw
NEW (AND VERY DIFFICULT) SNOW TRACK
I just finished up A Sublime Cruelty which is very short (~30 seconds) and very difficult. I'm not sure if anyone will manage to finish this one, but feel free to give feedback on the track page (or just call me names, whichever).
And yes, work is continuing on the "Media" page. There should be something up in the next week or two.
14 June 2009-pjw
HELLO NEW SITE!!
It's been quite a while since I updated--way too much real life and busting ass on Wolfenstein, combined with a healthy dose of laziness has kept me from doing much for a while on the quake level-design front.
In any case, IGN decided to discontinue ALL free hosting--all the Planetquake hosted sites die on August 31st--so I killed two birds with one stone, and moved the site from Planetquake to my own hosting, and gave it a badly-needed facelift at the same time.
A final Planetquake note, most (if not all) of the hosted sites have been archived already, thanks to Chip at QuakeWiki, so I'd suggest bookmarking that site and using it to find old Quake stuff that would have been lost otherwise. You're a good guy, Chip.
You'll notice a few new things on this site, such as:
- a big ol' InstaUnlagged CTF map; somehow I had a major brainfart and missed adding it to the site quite a few years ago.
- Four Doom2 maps, that, again, I should have added a long time ago, and didn't, for whatever reason.
- a Links page with all kinds of architecture and level-design resources, along with just general Cool Shit™ for your clicking pleasure.
- a Media page. This is currently under construction, but will eventually contain a variety of entertaining, unusual, awesome, and/or disturbing stuff (e.g pics, sounds, text) that I've collected during my years of poking at the Internet's soft underbelly and seeing what falls out.
- Trackmania! I have created a bunch of tracks over the last few years for the amazingly cool series of Trackmania games from Nadeo. All of these games include a modular editor that allows you to quickly and easily create new tracks for the game.
I think that one of the reasons I enjoy making these tracks so much is because you can work on one of them for a few hours (say, over a couple of evenings) and end up with something very polished and fun. It's a nice relaxing shift from working on FPS levels that may take many hours to weeks or months to get close to a finished state.
Trackmania Nations is a FREE version of the game, and is only limited in that it includes just one of the seven environments and four play modes found in the full game.
If you like racing games at all, you should download Trackmania Nations and try it out. Right now. Seriously.
In any case, the site move and update has been long overdue, and now that Wolf actually has a release date and things are winding down a tiny bit, I'll see if maybe I can update this place with something a bit more often...
08 July 2007-pjw
It was pointed out by a very observant person on the Quake 3 World Forums that the pk4 for Sunshine still contained an addon.cfg file that referenced "beta 2".
The d/l has been updated with the new/fixed version, but if you intend to play the map online (as opposed to just playing with bots), then you should download it again.
Sorry about that, folks.
04 July 2007-pjw
AND ANOTHER QUAKE 4 MAP!
Sunshine (aka pjw4tourney1) is finally finished, after a bit of a rough and protracted development process that spanned multiple patches and several versions.
Most of the great textures in this map are courtesy of Evil Lair, while the cool skybox is courtesy of Hipshot I also have to say a quick thanks to Raven's Fred Hooper (hi Fred) for help with the glowy liquid. They all kick ass, just in case there was any doubt.
In any case, the map is available for your downloading pleasure, and I'm going to have another beer, and enjoy the rest of my 4th of July.
29 April 2007-pjw
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS TO...QUAKE 3?
The Small Place (CTF) (aka pjw3ctfduel1) is in place for your downloading pleasure, and is a quite small CTF map. Y'know, I really did think I was done with Quake 3, but an idea proposed on the Quake 3 World Editing Forum for a collection of 1-on-1 CTF maps was an interesting enough idea to get me to make one more Q3 map.
Most of the great textures in this map are courtesy of Rorshach, while the cool skybox textures and fog shader are courtesy of Sock and the crate texs are from the talented hand of Karloff. They all kick ass, just in case there was any doubt.
Hell, who knows, maybe I'll come up with something else Q3-ish one of these days. In any case, check the map out for some very frantic CTF action.
01 January 2006-pjw
NEW QUAKE 4 MAP IS FINISHED!
Woo, it's been a while since I updated the site. I've pretty much had my hands full for a while working on Quake 4, and then the new Wolfenstein game, but in the meantime I've been playing around with a new MP map, and it's finally finished after a good chunk of mapping time spent over the holiday break. High and Dry (aka pjw4dm1) is ready for your gibbing pleasure after a lot of fighting with performance and drawcalls. I tried to go for a somewhat different feel than most of the maps that shipped with the game, and the RG area was an eleventh-hour inspiration. Finishing this up felt like a decent way to start off the new year. I hope you like it.
09 Sept 2004-pjw
AND TWO MORE MAPS . . .
First Crate Efficiency (aka pjw3quickie5). I completed this map quite a while ago (July), but just hadn't gotten around to updating my website until now. It was created in two sittings like most of my "quickie" series of maps, but in this case, it was created as an entry into the Second 20-Brush Contest organized by Chaos (and isn't that a cool turn of phrase?). The terms of this contest were that you could use only 20 visible brushes, up to 10 Visible patches in place of a brush (e.g. you can use 16 brushes and 4 patches), only 5 custom textures, and no map-models or custom sounds. I was surprised to win, since there were some very cool and creative maps entered, and I hope Chaos does it again sometime.
Cremaster Conditioning is brand-new, and is probably my last map for Quake 3. You have to keep learning and you have to keep moving on to new stuff, and I'll be switching over to the Doom 3 engine from here on out.
This map has been floating around on my hard drive for a while, and I wanted to get it finished up before I said "so long" to Q3. It plays equally well in FFA or Tourney, and both versions of the level have distinctive item/weapon loads. The tourney version of the map is lacking the Railgun, since it is a very open and expansive level, and I wanted competitive gameplay to not revolve entirely around long-range sniping. I put a lot of thought into movement on this map, and there are a number of not-so-obvious shortcuts and tricky ways to get from here to there.
The cool skies in these two levels are variations of one created by ydnar and Hipshot. Hipshot gets credit for the cool textures (except for the second sky stage, which is ydnar's). The textures were modified slightly, but texture creation is not my forte, and both maps are cooler than they would have been otherwise.
In addition, the level features custom textures from Evil Lair, and a nice ceiling light from Finko. I got the ceiling light, and the cool waterfall featured in the map from FPS Mapmodels, but the waterfall was missing the shader. The waterfall model is courtesy of Rungy, and I can't seem to find a site or email anywhere. :( Thanks anyway Rungy!
I found the shader and sound for the waterfall in one of RKone's cool maps, where he credits the sound to Death2UAll . . . and I can't seem to locate a site for those two gentlemen either. If anyone can enlighten me, I'll be happy to update this page.
The map name? Oh yeah. The cremaster muscle is responsible for the cremaster reflex which occurs in males of the species when they are startled or afraid (like when you're about to be shot, or fall to your death, or get shot while falling to your death). This reflex causes your testicles to be drawn up as high as possible (sometimes actually into the body), and out of harm's way. It can also occur when you're simply cold, but that's not as interesting.
You learn something new every day.
27 Jul 2004-pjw
TWO NEW MAPS! (WELL, SORT OF)
The two maps in question are remixes. Tekhead from Q3 Generations was cool enough to want to include a couple of my maps in the 1.0 release of this great Q3 mod, and I couldn't hand them over without screwing with them at least a little bit, plus there were a couple of changes that were kindly requested, so Guns (Generations Remix) and Jumping to Contusions (Generations Remix) are now available for download.
The changes to Guns involve some slight connectivity tweaks, and the changes to JtC are slightly more significant, and include the loss of one freaky tele that I never really liked, some minor lighting tweaks, and the addition of a secret (oooh!). There's also a cool new sky that's a variation of one created by ydnar and Hipshot.
So, should you be playing these, and not the originals? Well, that's open to debate, and pretty subjective, but feel free to check them out and see what you think. (And no, you don't *have* to have the Generations mod installed to play the maps, but, hell, it's a great mod, especially if you're a long-time Quakehead like myself, so why not check that out while you're at it? Those crazy kids put a lot of work into it. The 1.0 release is coming up, but there's nothing to stop you from checking it out in the meantime.)
There's also a new addition to the KickAss Maps List. Grindill 2.0 by Quaker-X is an incredible map of waterfalls, mountains, cliff faces and outstanding atmosphere, and would have been on the list a long time ago if I didn't get brain farts quite so often.
07 Jul 2004-pjw
JUST A QUICK UPDATE . . .
Just checking in and saying that, yes, I'm still alive. Madison, Wisconsin is a very nice place to hang out (despite the record-breaking rain recently, and tornados!), and I am very much enjoying my job at Raven.
You'll notice a slightly different, somewhat purple look to the site. I had actually been kind of tired of the green for a while, but had been so ridiculously lazy that I didn't want to take the 15 minutes to change it out. Well, I was doing a few other things to the site this evening and finally got it done.
Nothing all that new on the mapping front at the moment. I am working on a new Q3 map, probably my last (yeah, I know, that's what I said last time), and I have a layout finished that I've posted in a few spots for feedback, but it has a long way to go before it's presentable.
I hope everyone's enjoying life as much as I am.
03 Apr 2004-pjw
NEW MAP! NEW JOB! NEW MOVE!
Big News up front: I've been hired by Raven Software, and am madly packing my crap and getting organized for the trip to Madison, Wisconsin. This is A Good Thing, since there are very few companies with Raven's track record re: making great shooters.
There are a few people I'm going to miss a great deal in Massachusetts, and I've learned a lot at my current job, but it's time to move on. I should be all settled into the new digs by this time next month.
The Small Place is complete (and was actually completed a while ago, but things have been a little crazy for the last few weeks). In any case, it's true to the name. It basically started with me wondering "Hmmn. How small of a playable map could I make for one-on-one play, and have it still be fun and balanced? Well, the answer is Pretty Frikking Small. Containing a couple of Combat Armors, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, Grenade Launcher, and BFG (!), there won't be much time to breathe between one frag and the next, so hold onto your naughty bits! This map is even better in CPMA (which adds one Jacket Armor), although it plays fine in regular Q3.
Most of the great textures in this map are courtesy of Rorshach. The outstanding skybox is courtesy of Jaj, and the crate textures are courtesy of Karloff (email@example.com). It also benefits, as usual, from ydnar and his continuing quest for potent compiling juju.
You'll also notice a new addition to the KickAss Maps List. The Abandoned Post by Electro and Killazontherun was actually added a while back, but I had a brain fart and didn't mention it in the update. Dead Souls by Glassman was just added today. These maps are quite amazing from both an artistic and a design point of view, and really demonstrate some of the amazing sophistication and elegence that seems to show up with regularity in the Quake 3 design scene these days. Good job guys!
And I'm off to Wisconsin . . .
09 Feb 2004-pjw
AND ANOTHER ONE :)
Guns is complete, and what a map it is. If you're in the mood for some serious urban grundge action, this is the map for you. If you aren't careful, you'll start to think you're playing something that's not even Quake 3 . . .
The map is designed primarily for medium-size FFA and TDM, but can also be played Tourney (although it's a little on the big side) and even CTF, thanks to the request of a somewhat twisted beta-tester. This map (like all my more recent creations) is improved by the addition of CPMA, although it plays quite well in regular Q3.
This map benefits more than usual from the talents of ydnar since it utilizes many textures and shaders of his creation, along with the usual q3map2 goodness which includes a heaping dose of portal sky (!) this time around.
There's also texture and/or model lovin' from Jezebel, AtriaLenkki, Elfinko, The5thHorseman, Kell, QkennyQ, and Mr.LyCon AKA Con Artist. Thanks to one and all.
28 Aug 2003-pjw
NEW MAP IS FINISHED!
Jam Number 17, my newest Q3 map, is finished, complete with textures from Evil Lair (and a couple from Kat), skybox courtesy of Jaj, and ongoing tools lovin' from ydnar. Check it out and enjoy.
21 Jun 2003-pjw
WOW. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is out, and seems to be a raging success, from all the feedback I've read and heard, problem is . . . I'm not a part of it. This makes me angry and sad (although, in the last few months I've managed to shift the emphasis from the former to the latter).
There are a whole host of reasons why the single-player portion of ET was cancelled and flushed, and I could go off on a gigantic rant about planning and time and communication, but I'm trying to just get over it at this point, so I won't. It's damn sad that some really cool maps will never see the light of day though.
All there really is to do at this point is to extend a hearty congrats to the very talented crew at Splash Damage. I really enjoyed working with you guys on ET; it's one of the few parts of the project that doesn't make me clench when I think about it. You guys rock, and I wish you all the best on your next project.
On the mapping front, I'm currently working on a fairly large (and quite vertical, as is my habit) FFA/2v2 TDM level. I should have a final beta test in a few weeks.
Finally, you'll notice a new button on the left. Creamy Radio is, hands down, the best Internet radio station I have heard. If, like myself, your musical tastes tend to be fairly eclectic and you like not hearing the same top-40 crap all the time, please check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
5 Nov 2002-pjw
NEW MAP--GET IT WHILE IT'S HOT!
1) I finally finished Pretend Girlfriend--an evil, nasty, treacherous little map, suitable for some very intense tourney or 3-4 player FFA gameplay.
2) It's a remake/expansion of Than's wonderful Q2 map, Pretend Best Friend, with a bunch o' cool textures from Mr. Clean.
3) I'm working way too hard on Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory to come up with a long update. I hope you all enjoy the map.
. . . as you were . . .
15 Sept 2002-pjw
LONG TIME, NO TALKIE
Thought I might as well let folks know that I'm still alive. I've been working very hard on the new RTCW game, Enemy Territory. Short form: yep, I'm having a LOT of fun.
Unfortunately, between working on ET and playing that incredible time-sucking creation known as Morrowind (just hit level 50), I haven't had a whole hell of a lot of time to work on Q3 levels.
Nevertheless, I finally got Bone Chips and Dip up on the site. This is, probably, one of those levels that folks will either love or hate. It's the third in my "quickie" series (one sitting at Radiant, beta testing, second bout with Radiant, release), so don't expect a ton of detail, but I got pretty experimental with the gameplay, and I think it's a lot of fun. Find out more!
I'm also working on a little tourney map that's a Q3 remake/expansion of Than's wonderful Q2 map, Pretend Best Friend, and it's . . . well . . . closer to being done than not, so look for it in a few weeks.
Finally, I added a few things to the Miscellaneous Crap section of the site, and cleaned it up a little. I added an insane little quad-rocket-jump-off-a-jumppad experiment that allows you to practice your timing and feel like Superman, and a few sample raw map files to d/l showing how to do stuff in Q3 like ladders, random items, and texture projection.
Hope everyone is enjoying their fall. Go outside. Enjoy the leaves. Breathe a little. Look confusedly at that odd bright thing up in the sky . . . what's that thing called again?
9 Apr 2002-pjw
A MAP AND A CROSS-COUNTRY MOVE!
This is gonna be a quick one--lots to do. Just finished up shine on which is a vanilla Q3 conversion of a level that I originally created for Quake 3 rocket arena, suitable for 2-4 players (thanks to Kiltron for the excellent textures).
Can you tell I'm wrapping up a lot of loose ends?
That's because I just got hired by a very cool company in Massachusetts called Mad Doc Software, to work on an as-yet-undisclosed Q3 engine project. I'll say more when they remove the duct tape from my mouth.
Holy crap, Batman, I have to drive across the entire country! I'm out.
1 Apr 2002-pjw
NO APRIL FOOLIN' HERE
Had plenty of that nonsense here today, so I won't contribute; I'll just give everyone another Q3 level instead. Deal? Deal. I've been working on this one for quite a while. Beneath A Distant Sun started off a while back as an evaluation exercise for a potential employer, and has evolved quite a bit over the last few weeks.
It's a very organic, alien-worldish feeling FFA map, and while it can be played 1-on-1, it's a little big, and also has the Quad. It's the most fun, IMO, with 3 or 4 other human beings (although the bots do okay on it as well--which was a lot of work, so appreciate it, dammit).
Special props on this one to (yet again) the unstoppable Mighty Pete for the skybox (available at The Wadfather. More props to Oak for the cool impaled skeleton and the three skulls light, to Cyber for the other sweet skeleton models, to Mr. Clean for the nice sand textures, to Rayden for the great tusk texture that he was kind enough to make just for this map, and to ydnar for the ever-improving q3map. Why are you still reading this nonsense? Go download it.
15 Mar 2002-pjw
OKAY, THAT WAS MORE THEN A COUPLE OF DAYS
Way too much real-life getting in the way of polishing up Harder Than Hate, but I finally got it sorted. Enjoy! See the 14 Feb update below for full details.
14 Feb 2002-pjw
OOPS, WAIT A SECOND! HOLD YOUR HORSES!
I've received a generous offer for the final of Harder Than Hate to be compiled with a spiffy new-and-improved q3map, courtesy of ydnar. I am, of course, taking him up on the offer, so if you are reading these words, don't get all bent when you get a 404 on the d/l link for the map; it ain't there by design. Give me a couple of days.
14 Feb 2002-pjw
NEW TOURNEY MAP! NEW BOT! NEW ASSKICKING ABOUNDS!
It's been a while since I ventured into tourney territory, but I decided it was time, and came up with Harder Than Hate. In addition to the default map, the d/l also includes an FFA version suitable for 3-5 players, and a custom bot that will make you squirm (especially if you are one of those large-testicled individuals who normally plays on "nightmare" difficulty).
I was trying for very, very serious gameplay on this one, at least regarding the tourney version of the map, and I put eye-candy for eye-candy's sake a distant second. To that end, even though the map is quite playable and fun with normal old vanilla Q3, I decided to tailor the map primarily to the CPM mod, simply because the changes that this great mod incorperate make one-on-one Q3 more strategic, more fun, and more intense. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend doing so. I also requested the help of all the hardcore individuals over at the Challenge Network Forums, and after their generous suggestions and playtesting, the map is much better, leaner, and meaner then it would have been otherwise (any remaining poor choices or screw-ups are, of course, solely the fault of the author). Thanks, guys! Additional props go to Evil Lair for the great textures and weaponspawn model, and to The Mighty Pete for the skybox (available at The Wadfather).
1 Jan 2002-pjw
TWO UPDATES IN ONE WEEK? FRIGHTENING!
Just some quick remarks this time around; the KickAss Maps have been updated. I have removed some Q3 maps that just didn't do it for me anymore (and I'm not quite sure why they didn't--part of the blessing/curse of this list is that it's just not real logical). In any case, the maps that go on it are the maps that I think are just pure fun, and that I keep returning to over and over again, and on the rare occasion that I lose interest in one of the maps that are already on it, I have decided that it would be best to just remove that map. Anyway, the important part is that there are four new maps on the list for your Q3 joy!
The first is AltarBeta (or smaller file without custom music) by 79dieselrabbit. This map has been out for quite a while, and while some maps make the list immediately, this map made the list because I (and my buddies) just can't stop playing the damn thing. It's fun tourney, it's fun FFA, and the gameplay personifies elegent simplicity (with a few odd quirks).
The second is The Abandoned Crate by unitool. This is a small, tight, absolutely brutal little tourney map that becomes absolutely insane as a small FFA. It has an understated derelict sort of look to it that perfectly matches the apocalyptic gameplay that results. It also has a bit of a secret, and while the secret doesn't affect gameplay very much (by design), it's fun, and it owns me anyway.
Third is another small tourney/FFA that's not much bigger then the previous map, but a bit less open and more convoluted in layout--Meatball Grinder by Fingers. I have had some incredibly intense 1-on-1 matches on this map with a buddy of mine, and it's the kind of map that would beat up little kids and take their candy. And then eat it in front of them and complain that it wasn't very good. Just mean. A cramped abundance of armor, weapons, and winding passageways over a yawning abyss of blackness.
Finally, if I want to be right in someone's face all the time, I'll play one of the previous two maps, which is why I didn't really take to Jax_Gator's Stranglehold--a tourney map that was so small and brutal that it was almost too much so (for my taste anyway). On the other hand, he released a much-expanded FFA version in December, and it just . . . well . . . kicks ass. I was eagerly waiting for him to release the final of this version of the map, and when he did, I knew immediately that it would take up residence on the KickAss list. This map is equally fun with varying numbers of players, and sports an outstanding layout, excellent connectivity and verticality, and wonderful item placement.
Get all these KickAss Maps now. You won't regret it. (Or if you do, feel free to argue with me about my choices.) If you know a map that you think should be on my list, and think that I may not have seen it, feel free to send me a URL, but I warn you, the list is incredibly subjective and irrational, so don't expect me to necessarily share your opinion.
Back to radiant for me.
1 Jan 2002-pjw
TWO FOR ONE--2002 WILL BE A BARGAIN YEAR!
Two new Q3 maps for you this time around. A relatively gigantic FFA/Team DM map set in a forgotten installation high in the windswept reaches of a mountainous chasm, and a smaller (but still spacious) Tourney/FFA version of the larger map. They are separate files, so that people who greatly prefer smaller or larger maps don't have to download both of them. Check out more information and screenshots for Jumping to Contusions, or the smaller tourney version, and please give me some feedback, if you enjoy them (or even if you don't).
It seems like thanking Evil Lair for the great textures is becoming a hard habit to break. Not that I'm trying. A bunch of other thanks go out on this one as well: Kat, Karloff, and Jezebel for additional textures, stecki for the tele, Maverik for the lamp model, KabaL for the flag-holder, The Mighty Pete for the skybox (available at The Wadfather), Death2UAll for the cool wind SFX (get more of his great stuff here, graciously hosted by GONNAKILLYA, and last but certainly not least, thanks to ydnar for getting me headed in the right direction with the tcGen vector rock shaders.
I would also like to offer up some additional serious gratitude here to ydnar for the incredible work he's been doing lately optimizing the code for the Quake 3 map compiler; all we lazy mappers owe you much gratitude, bud. Maybe I'll get the chance to buy you a drink one of these days.
Finally, I will be updating the too-long neglected
KickAss Maps list sometime in the next few days, so be sure to check back and see how brilliant I am in my picks (or to see how full of crap I turn out to be, depending on your outlook). Happy New Year!
20 Sept 2001-pjw
STEP ASIDE! BIG MAP COMING THROUGH . . .
Wow, this has been way long in the making. Kiss the Sky is the latest Quake 3 map that I have managed to cajole out of Radient over the last few months. You'll notice from one of the updates below that the map was "just around the corner" in March. Heh. It's always that last 10% that takes 50% of the time. Anyway, after five betas and . . . oh . . . several million hours, I'm pretty proud of it. It's a large FFA/Team DM map that's suitable for 4-12 players and has some really different gameplay and features.
There are a couple of people that I want to thank right up front on this one: Evil Lair for the great textures (I picked bits and peices from a number of his texture sets), and Death2UAll for the cool custom sound effect (get more of his great SFX here, graciously hosted by GONNAKILLYA.
Download the map, or get more information and screenies here, and please let me know what you think. (I'm toying with the idea of flipping and mirroring this map and doing a CTF version, so if you're a CTF player, give me your $0.02 on that idea, too.
Finally, this page was getting a little long, so the old news has been moved to an archive here.
Why are you still reading this? Go play some Quake!
18 June 2001-pjw
NEW HOSTING!! AND ANOTHER QUICKIE! (No, not that kind of quickie, you pervert--another quickie map.)
First I need to extend huge thanks to the PlanetQuake crew for the hosting. This is a big step up for me, and allows me to devote more of my leisure time and energy to making fun Quake3 maps instead of futzing around with a website. They do so much of the work and organization for me, that I could almost get spoiled. Thanks guys!
Kao Phat Chance is a funky little space floater with an outstanding skybox by The Mighty Pete (thanks Pete!). And additional thanks to The Wadfather, for making such great skyboxes available. Even though the map has a Quad, I think it still makes a fun Tourney map, since the Quad is . . . um . . . a bit difficult to get. Get it at the maps page, and let me know what you think.
Some of you who have visited this site in its previous incarnation may notice that there is no longer a "Humor" section. The humor section was removed so that I could focus solely on mapping here. If you miss the humor (or you never saw it in the first place, but are curious), I do send out a semi-weekly humor mailing. If you would like to be added to the list o' laughs, mail me and let me know, and you will soon be laughing along with me. (Warning: humor mailing is R-rated, and if you complain or are offended, I will probably not even pretend to care and will simply remove you.)
Finally, there is a new winner of the KickAss map award. The Chastity Belt Duel by jalisk0 is a tourney map that, although a little plain looking, provides some of the most enjoyable tourney action I've had in quite a while. Really, really excellent design, layout, and gameplay!
That's it, I'm back to Radient.
13 March 2001-pjw
WOW, THAT WAS QUICK!
Another new Quake 3 map. With another large one just around the corner. Stuff just seems to be flowing right along at the moment. I'm going to not question it, and just appreciate it. This latest offering is a very large, open, FFA or Team DM map--suitable for up to at least 5-on-5. If you like heights and like your friend the railgun, you will like this map. I tried to not make it too much of a camper's paradise, but the campers will probably find things to like about it. Damn campers. :-) Get it at the maps page. Nothing else new for now--I'm busy mapping!
22 February 2001-pjw
ANOTHER IN THE NOT-SO-LONG LIST OF MY NOT-SO-FREQUENT UPDATES
A new Quake 3 map. Finally! Although the maps have been slow in coming from me, I have a lot of cool stuff just around the corner (a team map 90% done, and another team map 75% done, and a very small, tight 1-on-1 map about 50% done). The current completed map is a small (2-3 person) map titled "Tandoori Despair" (don't ask), and is available on the maps page. This is the first in what will probably be a series of very small simple maps that can be at solid beta stage after on one sitting at Q3Radient. This is a very fun creative exercise, and a way to loosen up the mental muscles a bit.
There is also a new addition to the KickAss maps list. Check screenshots and download "Last Fortress" here. This is a map by Q-Fraggel, and it brings a real old-school Quake 2 feel to the Quake 3 maps scene (and is one of the few maps, IMO, to do it right--i.e. by by blending Q3 features and goodness with some great Q2 styling and getting the best of both worlds). The map has a couple of secrets as well, which I think is a neglected feature in most Q3 maps I've seen; probably because this can be a tough thing to pull off without unbalancing gameplay. Keep up the good work Q-Fraggel!
And, as usual there's a almost frighteningly large, moist bolus of humor just waiting for you in the humor section. (New stuff toward the top.)
11 September 2000-pjw
WHOA! SOMETHING NEW!
First things first: A new map! Yep, amazing as it seems, I have actually completed my first Q3 map (well, the first one that I thought was worth releasing, anyway). The map is titled "Hot and Moist" and is available on the maps page. It's a damp and steamy slice of gaming goodness, so check it out! I've already decided that my next map will be much bigger--and maybe I'll have some screenshots the next time I update.
There is also a new addition to the KickAss maps list. Check screenshots and download "fff" here. This is a new map by stecki, and it's pretty amazing--vertigo-inducing abysses combined with a factory-tech atmosphere and lots of death-from-above. Great overall feel, connectivity and flow. Remember, don't unzip the .zip file--just rename it to fff.pk3.
Some days, life just gets difficult. I got this warning from Q3Radient last night. Damn.
Finally, I couldn't let an update go by without adding something to the humor section. It's kind of a big download (2.5 meg), but it's one of the funniest, and at the same time, most horrifying things I've ever seen. One poor bastard, and his encounter with an . . . um . . . amorous donkey.
12 June 2000-pjw
A CHANGE OF VENUE, AND STUFF
Well, Quakeheads, my former host, seems to have gone belly-up. I received an e-mail informing me that the host had been sold, and that I would not have access to my site for a while, but that the e-mail would still work. Well, I have not gotten any e-mail from that address, and haven't been able to access my site for about three weeks now, so time to move along. I am now being hosted by the Xtreme Tournament Gaming League, a new organization that is just starting up that I predict will kick impressively large quantities of ass. If you are in a clan, if you play on line (or even if you have any interest in doing so), or if you just want to see something cool and new in the world of Internet gaming, go there. Extra special radioactive thanks to [TLN]PaTcHeD. I'll try not to beat your ass so bad in Q3 from now on . . . ;-)
If you want to contact me, the contact page is accurate; do not use the old Quakeheads e-mail any longer please, also please be patient in waiting for a response; due to odd circumstances, I am temporarily spending my weeks at work, so Friday night is e-mail response time.
On the mapping front, I am working at the remake of 9th Chamber, but it's slow going. I am rethinking my approach a bit, and may just start over . . . I am also involved in the early stages of a collaboration that may produce something interesting . . . move on that later.
There is a new addition to the KickAss map list. The map is Lost Forever by Kodiak, and it's my new favorite tourney map. The map is very tightly connected, well-laid out, and slicker than . . . well . . . something extremely slick.
Finally, there's a whole heaping helping of new humor in the HUMOR section. Since I'm feeling lazy, I'm not going to list it all here like usual. The eight newest bits of hilarity, goofiness, and twisted perversion are waiting for you.
21 May 2000-pjw
IT'S BEEN A WHILE . . .
since I was able to update this puppy, but I've been having fun commuting to my job at 3DO on Monday, and then returning home on the weekends--sorta cuts down on the time to screw around with a website. That is, if I want to have any sort of real life whatsoever, outside of catering to you people . . . ;-)
I was saddened to hear that the mapping side Pure DM is no more, so I have removed the link on my site. 'Smite, if you're reading this--you did a great job and I hope you apply your talents to something else fun soon! Let me know!
I have decided that for my first actual map for Q3A, I am going to remake a map that I really liked for Q2: 9th Chamber (johnnydm4) by Johnny which, although it's a bit of a strain for the Q2 engine (with high r_speeds and a real expansive feel to it), is a bit of minor design genius in my opinion, and quite fun to play 1 on 1 or perhaps 3 or 4 FFA. In any case, I think that this map will do quite well as a Q3 creation, and Johnny is willing to let me give the translation a try. This will be a total rebuild btw, no .bsp-to-.map here!! Hopefully, I'll have the basic structure in a couple of weeks, and looking for beta testers shortly thereafter.
No new maps on the KickAss List this time, mainly because I'm short on time today and disorganized as hell, but there a couple of contenders in the running that warrant a closer look . . . next time.
The Humor page has a few new items and bits of miscellany. First, if you're really bored and have way too much time on your hands, go here. Second, check this out. I feel like I'm allowed to join in the redneck stereotype, since I grew up in Oklahoma. :-) For everyone who's into useless bits of information, try these on for size (they're kinda funny too).
Finally, it seems like I regularly add something to the humor page that other people kinda wonder about, i.e. "Why the hell did you put that there? That's not really all that funny, it's just kind of lame." Well, ya know what? I'm kinda weird. No, really! (If you don't believe me, here's a picture of me.) Anyway, I just found this joke to be frikkin' hilarious. If you think so too, you're probably as weird as I am.
That's it for now. Tune in again, same bat-time (sorta), same bat-channel.
29 April 2000-pjw
VARIOUS TYPES OF SERIOUS OWNAGE!
Biggest news first: Starting on the 8th of May, I will be gainfully employed as a full-time level designer for 3DO. Yeah, I guess you could say I'm stoked. :-)
I've only spent the last few years fitting "this game stuff" in the nooks and crannies I could wrest from "real life", and man, has it paid off. My advice to all of you who are trying to make the leap into a paying level design position is to just keep at it. It can be done and I am proof (testimonial off).
Well, that gaming news site beloved by millions, Peej 'n' Fribs has gone the way of the dodo this last week. (I personally think it pined away after the unexpected demise of it's pal the Q-Board.) BUT ALL IS NOT LOST!! It has risen from the clammy crypt, morphed and changed under the strangly greenish light of the full moon, and now stalks the world as QMap! Seriously, this site looks to be one of the more exciting things to happen on the level design scene in a while, and is a brilliant bit of design. Notice as well that it is easily reached by the button on the left.
Another Q3 level has been added to my KickAss Maps list, and it's a real winner. Gate to Hell by Nihil is a creepy Cthuluesque creation. The design reminds me of something that's composed of equal parts of the movie "Alien", Harlan Ellison's brilliant short story "Croatoan" featuring flushed fetuses keeping company w. flushed alligators, and hmmn . . . I dunno . . . Toxic Avenger? This map plays as good as it looks. Get it now! (By the way, I have now added direct download links for all the maps on my KickAss Map list, so you peeps don't have to search around for them. Yeah, I'm cool like that.)
Finally there are a couple of new additions to the humor page. One is a sound file that just absolutely killed me. I think I went to high school with both of the guys involved in this phone call. Also, for your enlightenment, is Hell exothermic or endothermic? I know I've always wondered, and this explained it to me clearly.
16 April 2000-pjw
THERE'S TOO MUCH REAL LIFE GETTING IN THE WAY around here to accomplish all the things I'd like to accomplish. Whining about it seems to help though. :-)
It's been a while since the last update, and the big vague and cryptic news item from last time has been, well, delayed for a bit, so tune in again next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.
For now, for all you new content starved types, here is a link to one of the most endearingly weird adventures in real life that I think I have ever seen. Go there and marvel. For a quickie, here is a rude bit of joy for all you singles-bar-hoppers out there. On the other hand, if you've ever wanted to be a vampire, here are some rules to live by.
On the Q3 mapping front I have a couple of little gems that you should check out: First, you should realize that I am not a big fan of space maps, so when Dilvish was looking for beta testing on his new "gothic space map" I had my doubts, but it sounded interesting enough to be fun. Well, the finished product is available for download, and it turned out to be quite nice! Maybe I'll try another space map or two from time to time . . . Naaahhh.
Also highly recommended is this slick little creation by Senn. It's a very nicely laid-out techno-battleground with some good connectivity and a very different look to it. Check it out!
Just noticed that the hit counter is up over 500. Small potatos for the net, but a milestone, nonetheless.
Finally, the Q-Board has been taken out of commission by its creator. This virtual watering hole for the mapping community, a reliable source of education and fun for many folks for a long time, apparently hadn't been measuring up to (or had evolved beyond, or something) the expectations and desires of Headshot, its creator, who has pulled the plug. So, while the old information is still there, the Q-Board is no longer a living, changing thing. I am removing the links from my site, as I don't feel it's remotely as valuable an archive as it was a meeting place.
Headshot, thanks for all the hard work, and the great connections, and the fond memories. Now go make some more maps! :-)
1 April 2000-pjw
SERIOUS SICKNESS, REPTILIAN GOODNESS, AND THINGS TO COME
The weekend is stretching ahead of me after a quite stressful week in REAL LIFE, and I have way, way too much VB coding to do, so this is gonna be a quick one.
First and foremost, this is something for the "That's not funny, that's sick!" catagory. (Okay, well . . . er, it's funny AND sick.) When I first saw this, I didn't even laugh for a second; just stared and thought, "Oh. My. God."
On my personal mapping front, < vague and cryptic > I may have some interesting news next week < /vague and cryptic >, but in the mean time, Scampie has produced an amazing little map, Reptilian1: crippled plaything. I played this map for a good couple of hours the other night, and it may well be my new favorite small tourney map. Download it!
Finally, a couple more additions to the humor page that aren't necessarily as spectacularly twisted as the above, but still quite good: Check out these cards that didn't quite make the Hallmark cut. And finally, nothing like abusing a helpless target . . . I have been looking for a good, concise list of the best of Dan Quayle's brainfarts for a while, and found one. Enjoy.
26 March 2000-pjw
GLOATING AND LAUGHTER
Just a quick update this time around . . . It is SO COOL to have a new computer (just in case anyone didn't realize that). I am now getting 36 fps in Q3A at 1024 by 786 with all details turned all the way up (along with 32 bit trilinier textures and colors). Next week, I jump back into Q3R and map editing with a vengence!
In the mean time, some more humor for you--a little rude this time around to balance the niceness from last time. Howzabout way too many synonyms for masturbation?
If you don't like that, then check out this tale of telephone terror. Please note, this is not me! (Someone sent it to me.) I would never do this, although I did find it hilarious.
This seems to be a recurring theme, but here's another example of one of the differences between men and women.
Finally, if all of this is just too much for your fragile sensibilities, I have a new assistant to handle any complaints. If you would like to complain about the humor, then talk to the cat.
18 March 2000-pjw
STORMS AND KIDS, HOPE AND WILLPOWER
Geez, sounds like the headline to a real heartbreaker of a newspaper story doesn't it? Well, nothing quite so life and death, but stuff going on nonetheless.
After being sicker than hell last week and spending way too much time staring at the bathroom floor, I'm trying to get this update done so I can get my homework done, so I can get the hell out of the house and do some serious climbing on Sunday (first time this year, woohoo!).
I have now added a button to LvL on the left as it's simply a great site for maps and mappers. The beta section there is something cool and unusual where you can get and give feedback on maps-in-progress.
Speaking of maps, Lunaran's new map, Coriolis Storm is an un-frikking-believable example of atmospheric map-making. Set in a sand-blasted, abandoned outpost in the middle of a parched landscape, this dusty killing ground is the coolest thing I've seen in Q3 yet. Get it.
It's not often that I mention two maps by the same author in one update, but Spiike has a couple of good ones for you: the first is Hope, and although those of you with weaker machines may struggle with this large castle o' gibbing goodness, I suggest you download it just for the eyecandy. If it does make your comp strain, then try Willpower, a fast-paced 1v1 techno-terror that just popped out of beta. This man is showing some mapping skillz; I'm curious to see what he comes up with next.
Speaking of slow computers, I can't count the number of times I've nearly gone postal trying to learn Q3R on my 233 w. 64 meg--tough to place brushes precisely while waiting for the screen to redraw. So next week a brand-spanking new PIII 700 w 256 meg of ram and a bright and shiny nVidia GeForce card will arrive at my door. Much more gloating to come . . .
Finally, I've updated my humor section with something a little more cutesy than is the norm for me, but aside from being cute, I found it lol-funny--so what the hell, it fit the criteria. Check out kids remarks on love and marriage. Is anyone reading this humor stuff? Let me know.
/me wanders off to bed . . .
4 March 2000-pjw
HUMOR, SIN, and Q3R
Does it seem to anyone else that people are starting to get the hang of Q3R? There seems to be a ton of really cool maps out there recently ('course there's still a lot of shite being released by people that don't have much of a clue as well, but I was there once, and ya gotta start somewhere).
I suggest you check out Sinister Purpose, a really sweet new Q3 dm map from Wiebo de Wit. I was most impressed by the lighting (the thing that's probably most likely to piss me off in a map), as it alternates areas of shadow with bright sunshine coming in from above, and is never too dark or too bright. It also has really nice construction and flow, with plentiful natural rock amid the stone gothicness. Try it, you'll like it.
I have also updated my Humor section with some goofiness re: what to do in Wal-Mart when you're bored and a guide to Hickbonics. Thanks to Marianne and Dan.
If you have something so funny it made you pee your pants, then send it to me, and it may make it on to my humor page. Remember, if it's a file, then mail me first. If I don't know you it will be deleted!
26 February 2000-pjw
MEATPAK 'n NETSCAPE
Just got through giving the once-over to Meatpak, a three-map Q3 deathmatch pak by Pete Parisi of EA, and I have some mixed feelings. First impression: with all-new textures created by Pete, the three maps contained in this relatively large pak are really pretty, and have a very different industrial/techno look that I find very appealing. The design is very clean and crisp and for such large maps they run very well on my pitiful machine. Two of them (Darkmeat and Redmeat) contain fairly cool triggered deathtraps, and the third (Whitemeat) reminds me of nothing more than a gigantic skateboard park on a bright summer day (in a good way).
The downside? Well, all of the maps have the same sort of open, expansive, arena-ish "Bouncy Map" feel to them (although Redmeat is a little more confined in spots), and by the time I got to the third one, there was a little voice in my head going "Yeah, yeah, we've seen this." Plus, as Pete points out himself in the text file, "Bots do not do well on these maps." Heh. Yeah, you could say that. They fling themselves off into the abyss with wild abandon.
I am really looking forward to more maps from this author that are more of the "traditional" (i.e. not so 'one-big-room') deathmatch mode.
For those of you that are using Netscape, I have (hopefully?) fixed some b0rkage with the tables (thanks Than). Please let me know if things are still yucky and I'll *sigh* dl Nutscrape, check things out, and give it another go.
Gibfest has re-vamped his website; why not give it a look and let him know what you think?
Between work and school, work on 405 Degree Horizon is at a crawl. Maybe I'll shut up now and go map . . . :-)
19 February 2000-pjw
I am now hosted at Quakeheads, and am pretty stoked about the whole deal! Thanks, guys!
My new Q3 map "405 Degree Horizon" is coming along to some extent, but it's a bit of a pain in the ass going from Q2 and Qoole (yeah, I admit it) to Q3 and Q3R. Especially on my 233 w. 64meg :-(. If I can ever get done futzing around with this site I should have some screenshots up (probably in the next week or so). It's going to be a small one, especially compared with some of the monsters that have been coming out lately, but size isn't everything ;-)
In any case, it'll be done when it's done, and those of you who liked my last map, PJWDUEL1 should have a nice surprise coming, as it's loosely based on that map.
And finally, I suggest you hit this link to ztn's site, as his recent Q3 map "Beatbox" kicks frighteningly enormous quantities of ass, and is currently my favorite Q3 map.
12 February 2000-pjw
The new site is up! Whoo-hoo! Well, it's actually not up yet, ya see, as I'm typing this, but it will be up when you're reading it. An "adventures into the past" sorta deal, ya see...cause if I typed "well, the site is almost finished and ready to go up, but not quite", even though it would be true, you'd be confused. SeewhatImean?
Anyway, here you will find the absolute best in custom Quake 2 and Quake 3 Arena maps...er...well, my best in custom maps anyway (which isn't too shabby), along with an assortment of news, humor, and miscelleny. Please feel free to mail me with any feedback or suggestions on the site. Incidentally, I also have some old Doom 2 maps (dm and sp) that I made and would be willing to throw up here if anyone is interested . . . let me know. I think Doom 2 has kinda gone the way of the dinosaurs though.
I'd also like to throw out a big thank you to Gibfest for providing me with a brand-spanking new web design and a bucket o' HTML coding to play in. Why not give him a mail and tell him how astoundingly cool he is?
Finally, if you want a really different feeling (but excellent) Q3 map from a relatively unknown author, check out q3jdm9 by jude, available here.
Who the heck is the "pjw" person? Well, let's see...a concise history:
I was born in France (Navy brat), and have lived in Italy, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Massachusetts.
I have a graduate degree in psychology, and worked with children in a previous career. About ten years ago, I decided I would rather make game levels instead.
My wife and I settled in Madison, Wisconsin in 2004, where I work as a game designer for Raven Software. If you would like me to look at a level, or...heck...discuss pretty much anything, then feel free to contact me.
pjw -AT- pjwnex.us