Final – Run

For my final, I ended up massively reducing my original idea.

My original idea involved a narrative that guided the user through a level.

I ended up heavily reducing the scope of the idea in order to complete it before the deadline.  My final ended up being called Run.

Documentation of Arduino setup:

I was able to successfully get my arduino to control look left, look right, and move forward.  Here was my wire setup:

Here is the Arduino controlling the player in Doom with pre-defined times for each movement:

After I got this working, I decided to reduce the scope of my level.  In Run, the Arduino is simply pressing forward constantly.  This forces the user to passively experience the game.


I got rid of the gun and added title text.  here is the simple script for text: 

The player starts off in the corner and is constantly propelled forward.  They only control the look movement with the mouse.

Art pieces are scattered throughout the map.  The user is forced to explore these, as they are propelled forward.

The climax of the level is a wide open room with several of the doom monsters spread out.  Comically happy music plays as the monsters attack each other and the player.  The player experiences the madness around him/her passively.  Eventually the player dies, or all the monsters kill each other and the player is left alone.


I enjoyed this project and especially appreciated the opportunity to get experience with the Arduino.  I will see some of you in the VR class!

Kill ‘Em With Kindness

In my final project, I really wanted my wad to become an interactive space full of small, intimate surprises. However, this proved to be a little bit trickier than I initially anticipated. It was really difficult for me to figure out how to make my weapons so that when I water flowers, the flower “dies” and begins the dancing animation, but when I water the dog or the tree, there is no effect.

I was so happy, after staring at the shotgun class and reading ZDoom for a few hours, to find that this was possible with custom damage types.

It wasn’t as simple as adding “Damage Type Water” to the weapon’s class, however. I figured out that the damage type and other things associated with the punching mechanism were handled by a flag called “A_Punch.” In order to change these things, I needed to use the flag “A_CustomPunch” instead and create a custom hitPuff, which you can see above.

Then, in an actor’s class, you can create different reactions/deaths to different damage types as you can see in the above example of a flower’s death animation.


As I was making and testing these changes, it became incredibly apparent to me that what I was creating was no longer just a wholesome environment.

I was modifying death animations so that when you water a flower “enemy” with your watering can “weapon,” the flower starts to dance rather than die. Or the dog, a modification of the demon, goofily wobbles around and follows you of of a need for love rather than out of a desire to kill.

I was taking over this extremely violent and masculine game and turning it into something very gentle and feminine.

Especially as a woman in tech, re-purposing this game in this way meant a lot to me. Being involved in a space where I sometimes feel small and unseen, games that make me feel just as important and powerful as everyone else are special.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness has become my way of saying, “Yeah, I belong here.”



Doom Diaries: Catching Up

Hey, it’s been a while.

In these last couple weeks, the class has ramped up quite a bit. Starting with the 6th project, which involved scripting Doom, using a decorate file to code in custom sprites, it all started getting crazy. My decorate file straight up didn’t work until Patrick and I went through and carefully checked every single character in the code. It turned out that there were invisible spaces carried over from when I copied the example codes on zdoom wiki and the project 6 assignment. Those spaces confused the program and prevented any actors I had from showing up in the Decorate repository. Annoying right?

In the end, I was able to crank out my level a week late. I based it upon the Saturnz Barz music video by Gorillaz, which involves the characters going on a trip through space after moving into a haunted house (I do have a theme going with these spooky atmospheres this quarter). I tried to convey every different scene from the video in my level, such as the beginning in the house, the trip into the asteroid belt, the fights with the worm monsters, and the strange, multicolored vaporwave-like sequence near the end. I ended the level at a mural depicting the end of the video, with the gang trapped in rooms while delivering the last lines of the song.

Saturnz Barz, in Doom.

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way a lot of my sprites and artwork turned out, mostly because I have pretty much no experience with photoshop. All my textures and sprites thus far have been hand drawn, which typically involved either freehand drawing something or tracing over source images using the layers tool. After our photoshop tutorial though, I was able to gain a rough understanding of some more advanced techniques that would reduce the amount of ‘brute force’ methods I was using.

Transition into zombie mode

For my final project, I’ve decided to build on my second WAD, which was the trip through the haunted house. I want to add a continuous story that builds throughout the level, with all of the plot being conveyed through scenery and sprites, a la Daniel’s level in space. In addition, I want to convey a very tense, survivalistic mood where the player has to move carefully through the map, rather than speed through it. I’ve obtained a couple of monsters from the Realm 667 repository online, in addition to a few weapons that would fit the aesthetic (AK47, revolver, knife). As a final plot twist, I wanted to have the player become a zombie, and play the rest of the level as a member of the undead that they were slaughtering not a moment earlier. I figured it would be a cool way to switch up the gameplay and add a mild plot twist to the level.

One of the more abstract parts of my level.

It’s a shame I won’t be able to incorporate the arduino in my final, I just don’t have enough knowledge about the machine to take advantage of its capabilities in a meaningful manner. Our class on learning the basics did go fairly quickly, but I was able to get the gist of some basic functionality, such as scripting the machine to press a button on a timer. It could make for an interesting project which involves a level that plays itself. It was cool to learn about soldering and scripting in the arduino’s language, and maybe I’ll try working on some ideas in the future with it, since I do own it, so it might be a good idea to mess with it a bit.

Overall, this class has been a crazy time, and I’m actually very excited to exhibit my final level at the event on Thursday, to show off how far I’ve come since week 1, where I could barely even play the original game.

DOOOOOOOOOOM: What Happened?

At the end of my journey through DOOM, I have come out the other side with new insight into my creative interests and a few lessons about game design. One of those lessons, and perhaps the most important, is that I should make my expectations as limited as my time. I did not even come close to achieving my goal of making an entire episode of DOOM, mainly because I wanted to make the three levels I did finish full-fledged, detail oriented, individual yet contributing to an entire project. But this is not, to me at least, a story of my failure. I set out to make the best final product I could keeping to the DOOM aesthetic with a modern perspective on them. I made the best levels I could with my time limitations. They aren’t perfect, but improving each time I look them over again. Overall, I am proud of my accomplishments and I will continue my work on this .WAD until it’s finished.

“Sifting Through the Ashes” is a replacement for the first (three levels so far) of DOOM aimed at challenging the player and introducing the best of DOOM‘s modded resources as if part of the original game. It represents the largest undertaking in my creative career so far, one that I see as a pinnacle moment in my game design. Working late nights on this was hard, tiring, stressful, but also fulfilling, fresh, exciting, and thrilling, especially when it resulted in praise from my peers and mentors. This quarter, and especially this class, will be remembered as the time period I started getting serious about game design.

First Mod (catchup 2)

I remember being incredibly excited to finally delve into the code of the grandfather to all FPS, which had turned out to be surprisingly more in depth and puzzle-like than what I’d expected from such a title and outward appearance. I wanted to create some sprawling dungeon or giant temple, something notably un-Doom-like despite usage of default textures. I remember the day we first downloaded Slade, I’d messed around with sky textures on columns descending from the ceiling, and the resulting abstract surreal columns of negative space made me excited to really create some novel stuff. Ideas like enormous Cacodemons firing Touhou-esque bullet hell waves of projectiles and lumbering Souls-like melee enemies were at the top of my list. Unfortunately, this time also marked a pretty rough patch I had in the middle of the quarter, where absences and late work built up and caused a bit of black hole of stress and backed-up workflow.

The resulting level I actually ended up making definitely carries a feeling of restricted creative flow, but I still think I managed to get some good ideas through in it. Dramatic lighting was one part I really wanted to learn how to convey well in the DOOM engine, and I honestly found the area by area lighting system to actually be more outright effective and efficient at times than Unity’s 3d lighting.

The other aspect I wanted to work with that DOOM really lacked was the verticality, though that’s more a factor of GZ Doom allowing for new features like vertical mouse movement than a creative decision in the original game.

Though it was technically very possible and straightforward to implement, one large flaw I noticed was that you immediately start to see how enemies and sprites were 2d images on a horizontal axis. Both of these design aspects would be revisited in my final project.

Speedrun (catchup post 1)

I’m really going to have to hustle and catch up on posts, so bear with me. I seriously regret not keeping up with everybody’s dev logs. They’ve all been really interesting, and would’ve seriously helped me stay inspired for my DOOM projects.

Going back to my speedrun was pretty nostalgic, but mostly traumatic. I didn’t remember which of my saved WADs was the actual successful run, and I had to go and just look through every single one of them, most of which were my most infuriating near misses and attempts. This ranged from being killed with the exit in sight, to making a perfect jump just to have the hallway bodyblocked by an imp, to perfectly doing everything just to run onto a nonexistent bridge because I didn’t manage to flip the switch when I rushed by earlier.

I still don’t regret my experience though. The first time I made the “jump” was an enlightening moment where the mechanics of DOOM suddenly massively opened up for me, and the actual mechanical, Nintendo-hard intensity of trying to get the perfect speedrun gave me a refreshingly familiar feeling of immersion in a game’s most core play. If I never did this speedrun exercise, I feel like the kind of levels I aimed to create during the modding period of the class would’ve been really different.

Doom Diary 9: Apples & Bananas

The day before we showed our games at The Plays The Thing event I had only taken pictures of an apple, banana, and a tree. I knew I wanted to make two main map areas, a normal space and a magical space. I was showing my housemate the first sprites I made and told her my rough idea of a game and she started to sing the I like to eat apples and bananas song, and I knew that’s what I wanted my game to be. The song is a kid song but I also think its kinda creepy, weird and random so i liked that. In the normal space you eat normal apples and bananas and then in the magical space there are apples, bananas and bushes with eyes and dancing trees.

These were the final clay models I used. 

For the map I drew out an apple and banana because that’s my favorite type of map making . 

I kind of like how it starts out with the Doom start screen, but then you just pick fruit…

First level stuff! (Final catching up on blog posts)

I think? this is the final blog post I have not written, so here was my thought process in making my first original DOOM level!

I really wanted to toy with the idea of something cinematic and pretty linear for the player, but not something gameplay heavy. While critiquing my level someone compared it to Brendon Chung’s Thirty Flights of Loving (I had experienced the game in TCS 110), it was definitely something that contributed to my thought process in designing this level. I think more of a direct inspiration for me was Terry Gilliams 1985 film “Brazil”, where a bureaucratic worker dreams of being somewhere else (among many other things). The narrative of the film breaks several times and cuts to different surreal dream sequences involving the main character. This was exactly what I wanted my level to feel like.  I had also wanted the spaces that the players traveled to in the level to be abstract, as if the player were examining their own mind.

I started with the idea of the player trying to reach the end of the room and have them completely dissociate (the room with the sky box on the floor), and have different rooms of varying stages of abstraction on the way there. I think this project would have fared a bit better if I had been using GZ Doom rather than chocolate Doom as a way of playing the game. Initially I had the first computer room much larger, so that the player could not see the end. Chocolate Doom could not handle it so I just shrank the room but I think an ‘endless’ path of computers would have really helped this level.

I think that’s my last blog post — it was great seeing everyone’s levels and I hope to see you guys in the VR class next quarter!!

Halloween Stuff! (Catching up on blogs #2)

(Please bear with me as I post about my missing blog posts from weeks ~4 and 5)

This .wad has been in the box for project five but I didn’t demonstrate it in class! It was around Halloween time and I had been trying to construct a level that both fits with the ‘Halloween’ theme while subverting what ‘doom’ was. Because of that, I tried to go for a cute Halloween aesthetic:

Image result for cute halloween aestheticImage result for cute halloween aesthetic

(stuff like that). I had a LOT of difficulty with this project (hence it being a week late when I submitted it) because I wanted to try and make a non-uniform height building that you started outside of.

There are some screenshots! I ended up (kind of) getting the outside building to work.. but I feel like the tone was partially off due to the level still being combat-based with imps everywhere. I tried to set up the final part as a face off with zombies in a graveyard (bottom picture).

I think more than anything though this week was really beneficial for learning texture work in photoshop. I had previous experience editing photos but next to nothing in terms of making up things from scratch. I am not much of a 2D artist either so learning the tools (even if to make such simple textures) was very important and something I am definitely going to utilize in the future.

Doom Diary 8: Final Game Progress

I wasn’t really sure of what I wanted my game to be the week before it was due. I just had a bunch of random ideas. I wanted to do stuff with flowers or maybe a garden, then I thought of possibly adding a magic mushroom. Either way I did know that I wanted to work with making my own clay models. I thought it was cool that some of the Doom characters were made from clay, and I thought that this way of making sprites would be easier than drawing them myself on Photoshop. It also gave everything in my game its own style. I started out by making things I knew for sure I would use like trees, fruit, a bush. Making these clay figures was fun and since I knew the sprites were going to be really pixelated, I didn’t have to worry much about details.

Apple photoshoot

It took my awhile to figure out the best way to photograph the figures because lighting had to be bright but not be at the wrong angles because then there’d be shadows. Eventually I found the best technique that worked to photograph everything.