30 Games That Made Me Who I Am: 2004

Like everybody else in 2004, I was eagerly awaiting Half-Life 2. But I wouldn’t be a massive Doom geek if I wasn’t looking forward to Doom 3 more. I was 16 when Doom 3 came out in the summer of 2004. I’d been back into the Doom scene for a solid two years, probably more, and that’s on top of Doom having been one of the biggest games in my house for most of the ’90s. I was making my first maps at this point, awful as they might have been. Doom was in my blood, and I was ready

30 Games That Made Me Who I Am: 1997

1997’s “game” is a late entry on this list. If you looked at the thumbnail previews before today, you might have been able to identify a screencap from Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, which is most certainly not what is pictured in the banner above. I wanted desperately to feature Turok as a part of this retrospective, as a game very dear to my heart, and one of the first I can recall that was a real social gaming experience. I didn’t own it, so I was forced to go to friends’ houses and play, and those friends and I spent many

30 Games That Made Me Who I Am: 1996

1996. Enter WarCraft II. Or… more specifically, WarCraft II‘s map editor. Or even more specifically, the map editor for WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal — the expansion to the original game, which was the version of it that I owned. Beyond the Dark Portal came out in 1996, a year after OG WarCraft II, which conveniently allows me to sneak it onto this list! I’ve told this story a little out of order. The journey that started as a taste of creation in the early 1990s with SimCity — and ultimately led to creating full game mods in the 2000s with Doom — was

30 Games That Made Me Who I Am: 1993

On that same shareware collection that brought Wolfenstein 3D onto my family’s home computer, there was another, even more important game to me. Probably the most important game in my life. We’re talking, of course, about Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold. Nah, I’m just messing with you. We’re talking about DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! As good as it was, there’s no surprise Blake Stone is completely forgotten in the wake of the game that came out just a week later and literally changed the world: id Software’s Doom. Doom forever changed the landscape of videogames. It codified an entire genre, appealed to people who’d never considered themselves gamers, ruined

30 Games That Made Me Who I Am: 1992

Get psyched! It’s time for some profound carnage. My family got its hands on a reasonably powerful PC sometime in 1994; I’m not entirely sure how, given how much my mother already hated the Atari, Nintendo, and SNES. Maybe she convinced herself that the family would use it mostly for educational games and word-processing, and there’s at least some merit to that theory. See, in the old days games were significantly harder to find and purchase for the PC than they were for dedicated videogame consoles. A lot of them used the shareware model, where the first portion of the game

The What’s Awesome, Doom? One-Map WADstravaganza!

By now you’ve probably noticed that I lean more toward bigger WADs and megaWADs to talk about on What’s Awesome, Doom? As a result, I have a growing list of one-map WADs I’ve either enjoyed or been meaning to play that’s just been getting longer and longer for years now… You know what the means! That’s right — it’s time for another special episode! Welcome to the One-Map WADstravaganza: eight single-level releases from the last five years or so. Let’s jump right to it, before I get wrapped up in some long, masturbatory introduction! Presented in alphabetical order:

What’s Awesome, Doom?: OCD-Doom

I adore Peter Hawes’ OCD-Doom… even if the WAD has jack shit to do with OCD. It’s a hard WAD to recommend, though. Its gimmicky focus means OCD-Doom has ended up with a relatively unflattering 2.5 stars on the /idgames Archive — and comments describing it as both “innovative” and “enjoyable” (5 stars)… and as “nauseating tripe” (0 stars). Hoo boy.

What’s Awesome, Doom?: Mano Laikas: A road to Gamzatti

Nicolas Monti is an artist. Maybe the Picasso of Doom mapping. I’ve made a point of playing all his recent releases as they come. That includes my 2014 WAD Of The Year, Apostasy on Amalthea; one of my favorite WADs of 2015, Desecration on Thebe; and his most recent and expansive work, 2016’s Mano Laikas: A road to Gamzatti. Rounding out that roster is Erkattäññe, in my opinion Monti’s weakest WAD and yet the only one to win him a Cacoward. Erkattäññe didn’t work for me in large part because it was a Doom II WAD. Doom II‘s textures just don’t jive with