| NEWS:ARCHIVE:2002 (V2)
Your Quest Is Not Over Yet...
Time for another update on the situation of my Doom
project "Visions of Eternity". I started two (yes, two)
new episode 1 styled maps for it about two weeks ago.
Both of them are extremely nice and really close to
the "Knee Deep In The Dead" style. You can check out
screenshots of these maps below. Sadly, inspiration
left me after few days, and I haven't continued these
maps until now. I won't, however, force me to work on
them, because I believe that forcing yourself to work
on something that you aren't really in the mood for
will end up in bad results. And I don't want VoE to
be released early, but with mediocre maps. And thus
I'm going to wait until inspiration comes back before
I continue working on these mapas. For now, check out
the shots, but please don't drool onto the keyboard.
Yes...yes...yesterday I started another new map, right
after I played Doom's episode 3. I haven't made any
episode 3 styled maps, apart from some ep3 inspired
areas in "Unknown Fate" and "Deimos Control Center",
so this is still pretty new for me. But sometimes a
break from ep1 styled maps can be very refreshing. Plus,
I don't want my mapping to be in one style only, so
I'll have a go at different styles too. However, I don't
know when and if at all I will finish this map, and
I'm not sure if it will turn out good enough to be released.
Until now it is still lacking style. I hope that I can
clear this up and turn the map into a nice piece of
Doom. Here's a shot.
By the way, the photo section that I promised in the
last update was delayed, sorry about that. I will need
to make some decisions about it, and the page might
be up one day, or it might not. I'm sorry if you were
looking forward to it. Just have a little patience with
March was supposed to be the "Month of 404", as Pablo
and I were preparing lots of updates for Fehler 404.
We really were in a writing mood. Sadly inspiration
left me, I had some really weird stories going on, sadly
they haven't been finished until now, and to be honest
I don't know if these would be suitable for 404 at all
(do I seem to be a little disoriented and indecisive
today?). At least, Pablo has posted some stories, and
I updated with a story about a "Sunday family trip",
including some photos that I snapped (this might partly
make up for the delayed gallery, I hope).
Ok, the tone today is really weird, and before you
end up sending me "Get Well Soon" cards, I'll better
quit talking for now. But, no doubt, I'll be back!
Thank You Mario. But Our Princess Is In Another Castle.
A few days ago I dug up the hatchet...er...I mean...dug
out my old Nintendo NES console. Ah, memories of a happy
childhood, sitting in front of the TV for hours (despite
the constant beefing by my parents, buy hey, who bought
that thing back then?), playing games like Super Mario
Bros, Donkey Kong or Ice Climber.
Now, even such a robust piece of technology as the
NES shows signs of age after nearly 15 years. The most
common problem with the NES is that it starts to produce
the infernal and notorious green screen of death (the
green shows that there's no Windows OS (where it would
be blue) in this console). This is because the connector
pins of the NES wear out and fail to get a good connection
with the game cartridges. Some time ago I found an article
at ClassicGaming.com (link to the article here) which
shows a way to fix this problem. You have to open the
whole console, take out all interior parts to finally
get access to the cartridge slot. Then you can take
a needle or small screwdriver to carefully bend the
conenctor pins back, so the connection to the cartridges
will be restored and improved.
I decided to try this, after all it couldn't get worse
than it already was. So I unscrew the whole thing and
fixed the problem like it was said on the webpage. After
that, I reassembled the console, connected it to the
TV and...nothing worked. What was this supposed to be?
I decided to unscrew it again and clean all the contacts
with a handkerchief. After this, it finally worked!
Now I can enjoy endless gaming sessions again. Well,
actually most of the games that we owned are somehow
lost, maybe we had lent them to somebody and never got
them back, or sold them or whatever. The only games
that remained are Super Mario Bros, Boulder Dash, Megaman
4 and Tennis. Maybe I'll be able to find some games
at a flea market or something.
Why am I sharing this with you? I don't know, but
I had fun during this repair procedure, and I took some
photos of the disassembled console with my digicam.
I'll post some of them here, have fun.
Speaking of digicams, I thought about that photo section
and since I have already used 10 of my 20 megs Tripod
account, I registered a new one. The page itself is
nearly completed, just a few minor tweaks have to be
done. I'll upload it either tomorrow or on Thursday.
Quote: "Mario and Luigi - They look so goddamn
like the same person" - From a funny Mario Flash animation
that I found on the net (don't remember where though)
Yes, it's supposed to be a novel
Today I'm writing with the colour of the sky. Well,
it may look at bit too dark in conjunction with the
black background. But a sky of this colour has been
a rare sight lately. For the last few months to be more
exact. Maybe even since last summer. Anyway, the weather
is really good right now, so why am I sitting here writing
updates for the page instead of running and jumping
around outside? Well, that's because there's lots of
stuff to tell. But first, let's get rid of this blue
Yes, much better now. I've got a lot of stuff for
you, but this time it has nothing to do with Doom. Well,
almost. Until further notice, Pablo Dictter won't make
a map for Visions of Eternity. He wants to quit mapping
for Doom altogether, at least for the next time. He's
currently more into Quake editing. So I'll continue
to work on VoE on my own. This gives me one more open
slot for a map. I've got quite some ideas for base maps
lately because I've been playing a lot of E1 styled
episodes, like "The Classic Episode" and uh...Knee Deep
In The Dead (-: I haven't started to turn these ideas
into levels yet, and they're mostly vague ideas about
the style, not actual designs. Let's just say that I
learned even more about E1 design
Today I want to unveil the mystery about my announced
new game section. I think that it won't turn out to
be as huge as I wanted, since it seems like I won't
do overly much mapping for the game. To give the child
a name, it's Daikatana. No, don't run away yet! I know
that the game didn't get many good reviews and comments,
but I don't care too much about other people's opinions,
I like to get my own opinion. And I can say that this
game certainly has it's positive sides and is very fun
to play. Sure, the sidekicks often don't work like they're
supposed to be. I had to retry some areas several times
because the bots got squashed somewhere or just disappeared.
The patch takes over half an hour to install and doesn't
improve anything. The documentation should have included
at least a hint about the various specials in the game,
like these plants with the orange fruits that you can
eat (it took me a long time before I finally got the
idea to USE these plants). Many of the puzzles are lacking
logic. But if you can live with these things and bugs,
and concentrate on the game itself, then you'll certainly
have a lot of fun. Travelling through four different
ages, each with it's own theme, puzzles, features, enemies
and weapons is definitely fun. And since it has four
completely different themes, the game is level designer's
The editor for Daikatana is IonRadiant, Ion Storm's
leveleditor, which is a direct descendant of QeRadiant
for Quake, with all the added features of Daikatana.
This program is really hard to install. You've got to
do a lot of work with batch files to unpack the Daikatana
data and set the directories. After a few tries, I finally
succeeded in installing the editor. Creating maps with
this program is fun. It's quite easy to learn once you
get the hang of it and know a few basic controls. It
even has an - although limited - online help. The worst
thing about the Quake system is that you have to compile
maps before you can use them ingame, and you cannot
compile them back into the editor's format, and thus
you cannot look at the original levels. Observing the
original maps has been a critical learning factor in
Unreal editing for me. In Quake, you have to look at
the various tutorials or try to discover it yourself.
I was surprised, however, that many of the things and
effects were actually quite simple, and so I came up
with some nice looking maps in just a few days. Of course
I've got some screenshots for you to show.
This is a map that I've been working on in the style
of Daikatana's first episode, Future Japan.
This started of as a test map in medieval style, but
by now I developed a whole story for it. It's supposed
to contain at least two maps where your mission is to
clean a castle of evil knights that have occupied it.
This one already has nice architecture and should contain
some puzzles and nice features
And now I've got another short game comment/review
for you. It's about Deus Ex. Won't make this a real
review, but I found some really interesting things about
this game that I want to share with you. I was highly
impressed by the game's non-linear approach and role
playing elements. Many games claim to feature at least
one of these things, but Deus Ex is one of the few games
that really succeed in them. I play it for the second
time now (the first time I got stuck in Paris at the
cathedral, where my ammo was drained and the only way
(I think so) was guarded by a lot of unfriendly mechs,
but I guess I was just too stupid to find the side entrance),
and I haven't seen about half of the areas that I've
seen now in my first game. It's all about to whom you
talk to. You get submissions from some people that allow
you to proceed in a different way to complete your main
goal (maybe by getting a code for a backdoor). Often
there are two ways to achieve a certain goal: By brute
force or by thinking.
To give one example: In a subway station you have to
bomb your way through a barricade to continue your main
mission. If you don't have any bombs, you can either
talk to a gang boss, who will give you a bomb if you
kill a dealer that controls another part of the station,
or you can walk around and talk to various people to
finally find a junkie who will exchange a bomb for a
vial of a drug (of course, you've got to get that drug
form somewhere, you may already have found it in an
earlier mission or buy it from the dealer). Since the
whole game is made up like this, it's not predictable.
Depending on which items you pick up and carry along,
different chances appear to complete tasks. Same thing
with conversations. You might get hints or items from
NPC's if you talk to them correctly or help them out
in any way.
It is a considerably hard procedure to plan out a whole
game like this. You don't have single, independent levels,
but the way you act during the game will change your
way to proceeding in the game, and will (so it is said)
even affect the outcome of the game, making for some
The level designs are very well done in this respect
of non-linearness, but the appearance of the maps is
somewhat ugly. Some of the areas look very plain, texturing
is discreet but not really spectacular (which may fit
the dark and gloomy but somewhat realistic environments).
Polygon counts are very low often, but very high in
other areas (like in the starting mission at the Statue
of Liberty). A bit more attention to detail by the level
designers wouldn't have hurt the game, especially in
consideration of the game's age (not even two years
old), but actually it doesn't hurt the game at all.
The emphasis here is clearly on the gameplay, not the
looks. This works really well and the game is a refreshing
break from all simple "Kill 'em All" kind of games.
So much about that game. But now I've got a lot of
stuff for another Unreal engine game for you, namely
Unreal Tournament. I've uploaded all my UT maps (that's
four of them). If you're into the game, make sure to
at least try out the map with the funny but insignificant
name DM-XXX. This is my latest and best map so far.
But the other maps do also provide some nice fights.
Sadly my menu bar isn't wide enough to contain a fully
labeled "Unreal Tournament" button, so the "Unreal T."
will have to do.
Ok, this update turned out to be quite a novel, but
I hope that you're still awake. So get up and get to
play! (-: PS: Sorry for the lack of updates at Fehler
404 lately. I hope this long update makes up for that.
Quote: "You can't fight ideas with bullets"
- Deus Ex
Even More VoE Stuff!
I finished another map for Visions of Eternity yesterday:
E1M1. It turned out to be a nice intro level for the
episode. MUCH better than the old E1M1, that I released
with my "Best Of" pack for Doomcenter's Wadster feature.
This new map features some very nice E1-style architecture,
very close to the original Doom, and a decent play time
of about 3:30 minutes (for me, guess it will take you
a bit longer the first time you play it), which is quite
suitable for an entry map. It has 52 monsters in UV
mode, and 22 in easy mode. That's much more than the
original E1M1, which features not more than 29 monsters
at UV, and 4(!) at easy skill. (-: All in all I am very
satisfied with the result, it's a nice looking map with
While browsing through the junk in my Wads directory
some days ago, I recovered a real treasure! It's a map
that I started a while back, but for some unknown reason
never continued working on. Well, I had run into a problem
with one of the secrets, but I was able to solve it
now. I'll continue working on that map. It's style is
roughly similar to Doom's 2nd episode. Mainly it's dark
with a dense atmosphere, using a lot of Metal2 textures.
I don't know what to do with this map yet, but it certainly
won't be part of VoE. Maybe I'll just release it on
it's own. For now, have a look at a screenshot of the
I recently bought a digicam. I think I'll post some
photos once I get some nice ones, but right now the
weather here in Germany sucks big time (as it did continously
since last autumn). The camera is a Canon A20, and it's
a really good camera with excellent image quality! If
you're looking for a good 2 megapixel camera, you should
check this one out. Here are a few links to pages concerning
the camera. Firstly there's a Yahoo Group about the
camera and it's smaller brother, the A10. Members exchange
pictures and experiences there. Sadly you cannot see
any pictures without signing in as a member. Anyway,
here's the address: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CanonA10_A20/.
Recently, we (the members of the group) have started
another message board, since the 20 megs of space that
the Yahoo Group features are a bit small for a lot of
photos. You can see the new message board here: http://powershot.inxtec.net.
And of course, check out the Canon digicam page at www.powershot.com.
Today I did a little photo manipulation piece. I took
a photo of my keyboard (hehe) and...well, see for yourself.
Quote: "I brought my pogo stick just to show
her a trick" - System Of A Down
Not much today, but Pablo showed me a really nice thing:
The "Best of Toby M Pack", that came with my Wadster
profile at Doomcenter, is the second most downloaded
file at Doomcenter! This is really unbelievable. I never
thought that so many people would be interested in my
maps. Thanks to all you people out there who are interested
in my work! (click here to see a screenshot of the download
statistics at Doomcenter. Obviously my maps do not belong
to any game, but what are they then? (-: )
In the comments to the news post at Doomworld concerning
my last update, there were some statements about the
map size topic that I brought up last time. Obviously
some people don't care about the mapsize, or if it is
increasing throughout the episode. This is interesting
to know. If you have any comments about this, I'd be
glad to hear them. It helps me to decide on the further
planning of my episode. Thanks to those guys who posted
I worked just a bit on E1M1 of VoE. I reduced the
size of the big room (which is shown on the VoE project
page, the room with the grates and the soulsphere (sphere
won't be there in the final map)), because it was way
too big. I also found another old map of mine that had
a really nice small outdoor area with a good architecture,
very close to the original "Knee Deep In The Dead" style.
Since the map was abandoned, I copied the area into
Pablo complained about the lack of detail in my recently
completed VoE map. This brought up some new thoughts.
That map has got an architectural style similar to Doom's
original first episode. That means that it does is not
crowded with detail. It's just pretty basic architecture,
with a big emphasis on gameplay, rather than on looks.
E1M1 is even less detailed. Some other maps in VoE feature
more detail, but in general I won't go crazy with the
details. No Pablo Dictter kind of detail, that is. (-:
Go to the project page and check out the screens of
E1M5. Is it a reasonable amount of detail or does it
look plain? Also, look at the other maps like E1M6,
that one has more detail, but I don't think it's like
they're worlds apart in terms of style. Here's a screenshot
of the rather undetailed outside area of E1M1.
Pablo Dictter has released his map "...And Death Came
Along" today. It a really good base map, very challenging
and fun to play, with incredible architecture. It's
really big, and it has an interesting unlinear approach.
I'd say this is a "must have" map, so head on over to
Pablo's Place and get it. You won't regret it!
Ok, this has turned into a bigger update than I thought
(-: See you!
Subverted Visions of Eternity
Good news! Yesterday I finished one of the maps for
Visions of Eternity. It is the map with the worktitle
"Subver", it was sheduled to run at E1M4. However it
has evolved into a rather large map, so I will change
it's place in the episode. I thought about E1M5, but
when playing the map together with the already finshed
E1M6, I realized that the latter is just about half
as huge as the first. Now, I cannot simply swap the
positions, since all maps have a progressive style element:
The farther you come in the episode, the more hellish
signs will appear in the bases. In "Subver" there are
just some marble faces, whereas in E1M6 there are room
parts covered in skin and snakes and broken pillars
with skin on the inside. Now the two choices that I
can think of right now are those:
a) Enhance E1M6; which I wouldn't like to do because
I love the map and it's perfect as it is.
b) Leave it as it is and hope that noone will notice.
I'll think about more altenatives and I hope that
I can come up with a good solution. Crap, why do I need
an ongoing story after all? Let's just cast it overboard
and we're free to place the maps where they fit best.
Hehe, no way! I actually created the story for VoE last
week, too. It's quite cool. Of course it's just a story
that justifies the massive bloodbath, but hey, this
Anyway, here's a little action screen of the new map.
Usually there are more enemies around than in this scene,
Btw, if you wonder what "Subver" means, I named the
map like this because it was originally planned to be
for Pablo Dictter's project "Subversion". But that was
a long time ago...
I am thinking about using a new sky texture for VoE.
I've got one lying around. I made it just for fun and
later proposed to use it for The 9th Gate, but we decided
to not use any new textures for 9th Gate. This sky fits
my VoE story quite well. Basically it's similar to episode
2's sky texture. I created it from a photo that I got
from the net, just like id did with the episode 1 sky.
But I heavily modified the image. When I tried the sky
with the new map I noticed one thing that I haven't
even noticed during the map's creation: It doesn't use
any sky at all! (-:
I'm sure you all have noticed that Pablo recently
released a map called "A Lonely Place to Die", which
was originally part of VoE. We took it out because it
didn't fit the style of VoE. It looks more like an episode
2 map, well not really, but it certainly doesn't fit
the episode 1 theme of VoE. That said, there IS a rather
huge change in style throughout the episode, check out
the pictures of the later maps like E1M7 at the project
page. Pablo's map is definitely great, I love it and
I shed tears when deciding to drop it )-; Get it here,
In his recent site update, Pablo notes that he has
started some editing for Quake 1. I've seen some of
his efforts and they look extremely good already. Just
like the original maps. You can defintely look forward
to play these, they're going to be great (like all of
A quick note on my new game editing project that I
announced when opening this site: I'm still at it, it
looks cool, but by now I'm quite sure that nobody will
give a damn about it. But that won't distract me from
it, since I'm doing it because I like it. I'm going
to prepare the new section, and once I have a decent
amount of stuff to show, it'll go online.
Quote: "My brushes touch each other. They love
each other." - Pablo, Quake editing
More Visions of Eternity
I uploaded the Visions of Eternity Project Page. Currently
I'm reorganizing the project. Some maps may be shifted
around again. There is a map that I'm building together
with Pablo Dictter that was supposed to be E1M2, although
no screenshots of it have ever been uploaded. Each of
us has built one room at a time and then passed the
map on to the other dude, who would add another room
etc. Thus the map has quite a unique style, and it doesn't
really fit into the episode. I am thinking of making
it the secret level instead. Currently I'm also working
on a "Super Secret" in this map, so it might fit the
secret map theme even more. Not sure if I'll definitely
use this map yet, I'll see how the final map looks and
decide whether it fits into the episode then.
If you look at the screenshots of Pablo's other map
for VoE, E1M5, you'll notice that it doesn't look very
much like an episode 1 map, due to the gray-green "Ickwall"
textures. Pablo is eventually going to create a new
map for VoE that will be used instead of this one.
And we close today's update with a few shots of the
above mentioned Pablo/Toby cooperation map.
Quote: "Hate having to look for quotes for every
update" - Tobias Münch
Visions of Eternity
In case that you are experiencing problems with the
page, I already know about it. As you can read in my
latest update of "Fehler 404" (you should know about
Pablo's and my gossip page by now, we randomly shattered
links all over the 9th Gate team member's sites), webdesign
is giving me quite a hard time right now. The menu wasn't
displaying correctly in 800x600 resolution or less.
This is fixed though (thanks Karthik for helping me
out again). If you encounter any more problems, especially
when viewing the site in Netscape, let me know.
I uploaded my manga drawings to the site. The manga
page contains various manga-style drawings (no, really?)
that I made a long time ago (-: There are no new pics
(that haven't been shown on the old page before), and
sadly I'm not drawing much anymore (although I'd like
to), so there's not much new content to expect.
But now look at this: Yesterday I worked a little
bit on my Doom project "Visions of Eternity". Well,
I only made one room for E1M1, but at least this is
something after months of not doing anything. I really
want to get ahead with this project. Sadly I'm not into
Doom that much right now. I was thinking about cutting
VoE down, taking some levels out or merging them together,
and releasing a short episode with five levels or so.
But I'd rather like to release the whole thing, so I'll
try to get my ass to work on the project. Meanwhile,
enjoy this new picture. The room isn't finished yet,
stuff might change, but I guess that's normal with in-progress
pics. Sorry if the pic is a bit too dark...
Quote: "Good morning! *yawn*" - Tobias Münch,
arriving at work this morning
Finally I have a personal homepage again! It was about
time for me to create a new one to share my stuff with
the world. Let's come straight to the contents:
Currently only two sections are up: Guitar Tabs and
The guitar tabs page contains all those tabs that
were present at the old "Worlds of Toby M". No, actually
if I remember right I wasn't able to upload the tab
for Him's "One Last Time" before NBCi closed down their
sites, so this will be a new tab for you. I still have
some more new tabs that will be uploaded in the next
time. I tabbed out Orgy's new song "Faces", which is
featured on the "Zoolander" soundtrack. It is so new
that obviously nobody has tabbed it out yet, so I tried
my luck and it was actually quite simple. So this tab
will come soon.
As long as Doomcenter's servers are down, this site
will host a simplified "Phobos Wad Lab". It will mainly
contain my released maps. News about my Doom work will
also be posted here. For the good news, I have a new
map release for you! So hurry up and follow the signs
to the Doom page, hehe.
During the next time I want to upload all the old
sections again, all game pages, the manga section and
the "What's Up?" column. I also have big plans for a
new section, but I won't tell you anything specific
until I'm ready for it. Only one hint: It is about a
game. And no, it's not the game from the quote below.
Now this is not much, but it's a start. Expect more
Quote: "Open for business!" - Caleb, Blood