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Wolfy Anytime

Something strange happened to me while I was working on a client’s website this weekend. Since music distracts me from such tasks, I typically play some of my old tapes or other spoken-word stuff in the background. This time I happened to select an old recording of Wolfenstein 3-D gameplay, and I have to admit, this got me seriously thinking about doing some more Wolf3D level design.

Not too long ago I created a new 10-level episode around a slightly modified Wolf3D engine, which my friend Pooch playtested and gave the thumbs-up to. I never went back and did any more levels though. I was planning to release the first episode by itself, then add episodes to the package as I created them, but I’ve once again dropped out of the Wolfenstein scene by virtue of the fact that I always seemed to have something else to do, and couldn’t devote the time to it anymore. That shit is like a full-time job, I tell you.

Which reminds me that even though I feel like I could get back into it and draft a few levels for episode two, I can’t really afford to. I’ve got a lot of side work to do. Even after spending pretty much the entire weekend working on the bikini website, there’s still more work to do—although at least I got two-thirds of the items crossed off my list of changes. Following that, I’m helping some friends at work with a project in the off-hours, and a former employee emailed me last week to ask if I wanted in on a job designing iconographic labels for remote control buttons. I guess I’m going to accept. I need money for my computer upgrade.

But yes, Wolfenstein. It’s the game that just won’t…go…away. Now that I have a dedicated DOS box under my desk, and the ability to run both it and my main machine at the same time off a single monitor, it’s much easier for me to actually just say, “I’m going to make some Wolfy levels now.” Perhaps when things slow down a little bit on the freelancing scene, I’ll get back to it. Much like writing prose, you can’t develop good Wolf levels when you’re not in the mood. Lately I might get in the mood once a year, but when I do, it’s just like old times.

Speaking of Wolfenstein, I read the most idiotic thing on a message board this morning. The topic was about the new Doom 3 expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil. There’s a lot of hating on Doom 3 out there for whatever reason. I thought it was a good game, but a lot of people damned it straight to hell (no pun intended) for stupid issues like the fact that you can’t hold your flashlight and a weapon at the same time. All I have to say is, if this kills the entire game for people, they obviously have no concept of patience whatsoever.

Anyway, shortly after the thread was started, the usual crappers came in and started making cracks about how much Doom 3 sucks and yada yada. Shortly thereafter it turned into a “bash John Carmack” exercise, which led to some majorly misinformed idiot claiming that John Carmack had nothing to do with Wolfenstein 3D, and that “someone better than that no-talent assclown” had written the Wolf engine. I mean, yeah, I pretty much thought id’s six-year stint working on nothing but those hollow Quake games was a waste of talent and energy, but come the fuck on. If Carmack didn’t write the Wolfenstein engine, then who the hell did—and why are their subroutines named after him?

I posed that exact question to the poster on the board, and asked for the name of Mr. Mystery Programmer who actually did write the game engine. No answer yet. There were other posters chiming in on the blatant ignorance of these claims too. The guy who posted the opinion has been a board member for a long time and is generally a good guy but for some reason he has a SERIOUS chip on his shoulder about certain things, and I’ve noticed in the past that when he gets to talking about those things, he really sounds like a frakkin’ idiot. No exception this time. I guess we’ll see how it plays out.

“That’s all for now, and we’ll have another dandy broadcast tomorrow. Bye-bye.”