Doom2: MyHouse.wad

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Friday
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Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Friday » Wed May 24, 2023 9:58 pm

Spoiler Warning: This was an -experience- and as such it is best approached completely blind with no preconceptions.

No skill at Doom is required beyond the absolute basics, so if you are down for an experience, you have no excuse not to play this yourself.

I "finished" the wad earlier today. I was asked for an accounting of my thoughts, so I will give them below.

Last chance to turn back, close the thread, go pay 5 bucks for Doom2 on Steam if you don't already own it, and download this thing that is only able to be experienced blind for free.

myhouse.wad










Alright.

So I did what everyone probably does and "beat" this in about 3 minutes. Then the screen comes up with like 22% kills and 0 secrets and I can tell from context that this fucking map is going to be a thing.

So I go back and try again. This time I circle the house after getting the blue keycard and notice all the monsters have respawned somehow. I also notice that the house is more realistic looking and the doors now open in a realistic fashion instead of the techbase quickdoors.

"Oh." I think. "This is going to get really bad."

I notice the midi is starting to warp. "Yep. Really bad."

I start collecting the skulls and go for the blue skull. But instead of a small closet, it's now an attic.

I don't think I can tell you properly the dread I was feeling in this moment, staring at that blue keyskull sitting across the attic from me. Knowing that when I went back down to the house, things would be worse. I'm used to Doom keytraps, a classic trope of Doom where you pick up a key and all hell (literally, lol) breaks loose as monsters pour from lowering walls or teleport in or both. When you're low on health and ammo, picking up a key in Doom can be massively anxiety inducing if you've never played the map before and don't know what to expect.

This was worse.

Getting the key does nothing immediately, and I'd have been let down if it did. Going back down those stairs to the house, man. I wasn't prepared.

Normally the blue key lets you open the front gate outside and escape the map, so that's where I headed, expecting the worst.

Except I couldn't. Because the exits to the house were gone. Blank walls now sat where the doors had been. And I could hear a low growl outside.

At this point I started exploring the empty house again, stepping over the corpses of the stock doom monsters I had killed earlier. I felt trapped. The house had me. There was no turning back now, I was fully in the house's thrall. I ran around for a long time unable to progress and frustration started to set in. Then I remembered something. I remembered seeing files alongside the wad in the download link.

So I reopened that page and took a look.

"What the fuck is going on here," I said aloud.

The files were clearly both story and hints. Numbers in the dates were in red. the author described nightmares. There were images of a horrifying dog creature alongside real photos of a dog in the basement I was familiar with already.

So I loaded up my save and went to that basement. And noticed that the bookcase was slightly ajar.

I pushed it open and hit interact with the computer screen. The midi changed to a horrible screeching noise and the screen went black. After sitting in pure fear for a few seconds I emerged from the darkness back into the basement.

Something threw a fireball at me from the darkness. But not a stock doom2 cartoon fireball, but a smaller, more realistic and sinister one. I fired blindly back with my shotgun and heard something die. I went upstairs and found the house a burned out shell, and crawling with monsters.

But not Doom2 monsters. Horrible nightmarish things rendered in a much more realistic and unsettling artstyle. I killed them as they writhed at me.

Exploring further I found myself still trapped in the house despite it being a ruined burnt out husk. I was not surprised. Eventually I found an exit back in that pitch black basement and found myself in a brutalist concrete hellscape version of the house.

And then the fucking horrible dog creature killed me. "Bad doggies are bad."

I sat there for a moment, letting my pulse settle from the jumpscare. And then the screen started to fade out.

"What the fuck," I said. Doom2 doesn't do shit after you die. But this wad did.

I heard the steady beep of hospital equipment. I woke up in a bed.

The hospital was empty and quiet. I found a key behind the counter and used it to enter a room that scared me shitless. A dead figure stared at me from an enclosed bed as I suddenly found myself back to life in front of the dog.

I fled.

Eventually I found another copy of this brutalist concrete house. *Things* stared at me from windows. I found... another dog. A normal dog.

I knew, instinctively, that killing the normal dog would kill the evil one, and also that the evil dog was invincible. But I wanted to put it to test so I saved the game and emptied all my ammo into evil dog. Yep, invincible.

"You're not gonna make me kill that good boy," I told the game. I could explore this area and rely on my evasion skills.

Eventually I found the exit. An underground parking garage. I went downward and downward and downward. Finally I noticed an exit that led to an airport.

Ah. The airplane nightmare mentioned in the extra files I had read. I explored this detailed area, collecting a shirt from the gift shop for 200 armor and some health upstairs. I walked into the ladies restroom.

Let's just say that the jumpscare in that room might be the most effectively jumpscare I've ever seen.

Eventually I boarded the empty plane, which, according to dream logic, had already taken off. I went to the cockpit and attempt to take control.

Bad idea.

Alarm blaring, I headed to the back of the plane as shadowy things attacked me. I killed them and jumped out of the fucking jet.

Only to find myself back in the burnt out version of the house. Only now time had passed. It was even more decrepit and vines and grass grew up and through it. But now the front door was back. I stepped outside and the house ceased to be.

In its place was a For Sale sign.

I went to the exit.

52% kills, 0 secrets.

It's not over.

I'll return tomorrow.
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hngkong
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby hngkong » Wed May 24, 2023 10:47 pm

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I can't wait to hear more about you exploring the house.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby nosimpleway » Thu May 25, 2023 12:19 am

Record and/or stream plz

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby nosimpleway » Thu May 25, 2023 2:14 am

Friday wrote:I "finished" the wad earlier today.

You can take away the quotation marks once you 100% the secrets.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby hngkong » Thu May 25, 2023 7:20 am

nosimpleway wrote:
Friday wrote:I "finished" the wad earlier today.

You can take away the quotation marks once you 100% the secrets.

Well... there's also the QR code area and the 5 1/2 minute hallway.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Upthorn » Thu May 25, 2023 9:27 pm

Friday wrote:So I did what everyone probably does and "beat" this in about 3 minutes. Then the screen comes up with like 22% kills and 0 secrets and I can tell from context that this fucking map is going to be a thing.

So I go back and try again.


I'm going to spoil something here that doesn't affect the narrative at all: If you reach the exit, and play through Underhalls, it will take you back to the house.

It's likely that this an intended part of the play experience, since a large number of players would do this normally, particularly if they'd just written it off as a bog-standard "my house" map. And the rest of the events feel a lot more balanced if you have all the weapons and ammo you get this way.
How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 25, 2023 10:14 pm

That's not only intentional, but there's a mirror Underhalls too.

Really you need all the ammo you can get because, uh, reasons. Incidentally, yes, all the weapons are in the wad. Somewhere.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Bal » Thu May 25, 2023 10:56 pm

As it so happens I'm actually huge in to the classic Doom scene. Watching the thread explode on Doomworld in to what for classic Doom is a major mainstream crossover has been amazing. This thing is a work of art. The more you know about the engine, and Doom mapping tropes generally, the more amazing and impactful it becomes. If you ever get frustrated I suggest you try noclip

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 25, 2023 11:00 pm

Bal wrote:If you ever get frustrated I suggest you try noclip

Hm.

It is a genuine work of art though. Derivative/Referential perhaps, but in a fun way explored in an unexpected medium.

And yes, some of the technical achievements are bonkers, some by DOOM standards and a couple by any game standard, the latter mainly being how the fuck did he get working mirrors in a game. That shit is HARD. I guess character sprites being 2D makes it possible?.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Bal » Thu May 25, 2023 11:08 pm

Mirrors are relatively easy on a technical level, but extremely arduous, and the implementation here is excessive. In a basic sense, mirrors are just displaying another room that is mirrored, this is the same trick used in the Build engine for things like the famous Duke3D mirror in it's first level.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 25, 2023 11:10 pm

Yeah rooms are fine, because as you say you can just duplicate and mirror static environments. It's anything moving (i.e. the character) that's problematic because of the graphical load.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Bal » Thu May 25, 2023 11:13 pm

No, it's really not. It is in modern 3D games, but even vanilla Doom can easily handle hundreds and hundreds of enemies on screen at the same time, and the way Doom works is it loads the entire level and everything in it on map load (there are some exceptions to this in advanced source ports such as GZDoom, but remains largely true). So the load is actually close to zero. It's just looking in to a room that has a Doom Guy in it that matches how you move.

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby nosimpleway » Thu May 25, 2023 11:31 pm

As I understand it the far more interesting technical wizardry is how the house has multiple levels, when the Doom engine really isn't made to handle multiple floors on top of one another like that

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 25, 2023 11:40 pm

Bal wrote:No, it's really not. It is in modern 3D games, but even vanilla Doom can easily handle hundreds and hundreds of enemies on screen at the same time, and the way Doom works is it loads the entire level and everything in it on map load (there are some exceptions to this in advanced source ports such as GZDoom, but remains largely true). So the load is actually close to zero. It's just looking in to a room that has a Doom Guy in it that matches how you move.

That's what I'm getting at, that 2D character sprites make this simple. With any complex 3D object you're going to have to mirror changing/deforming surfaces etc. which is still possible, just a *lot* more technically demanding.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Friday » Fri May 26, 2023 12:00 am

OK FUCK YOU GAME

literally too spooped to continue tonight.

I took a closer look at the included text and pictures with the download, looking for clues. The dates in red describing certain dreams are 1, 2, and 3. I figured this meant the order you were supposed to do them in. First was mirror, then daycare, then drowning.

I also noticed that collecting the weird items with unique text when you pick them up makes them fill in some of the art in the house.

Walking through that mirror for the first time scared the fuck out of me. Everything is reversed, including sound effects and the midi. I also noticed that the mirror house has a separate 8 slots to fill.

What the fuck is this map.

The fire dream is crossed out. I assume that means that going down that path is a dead end, or perhaps just the wrong way. Or at least a very dark one. I'm not discounting that returning to that reality once you have all 16 objects will trigger something.

Most of tonight was pouring over clues and then running around the house trying to put those clues to use. Lots of dead ends and frustration. After about 40 minutes I finally found the mirror I could cross through and holy shit it was like an explosion in my brain. Part of me doesn't even want to continue.

But I will.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Friday » Fri May 26, 2023 12:04 am

Bal wrote:As it so happens I'm actually huge in to the classic Doom scene. Watching the thread explode on Doomworld in to what for classic Doom is a major mainstream crossover has been amazing. This thing is a work of art. The more you know about the engine, and Doom mapping tropes generally, the more amazing and impactful it becomes.


Yeah I know a decent bit about mapping and such so this is extra amazing to me.

I assume you've played Valiant and Going Down and The Thing You Can't Defeat. If not, give them a try, they're my favorites. Also the first ten levels of Scythe 2. Well, specifically maps 6-10. The maps after that are also good, but 6-10 might be my favorite run of five maps of all time.

If you ever get frustrated I suggest you try noclip


I'm not going to be using cheats if I can help it. I figure if I can't solve it without cheats then the house deserves to win. I'm not going to game genie my way out of a real solution.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Mongrel » Fri May 26, 2023 12:09 am

He Suggested You Try NoClip.

Friday wrote:What the fuck is this map.

That's pretty much the universal reaction, when you boil it all down, yeah. Like even if you more or less understand it, it's still What the fuck is this map.
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby hngkong » Fri May 26, 2023 12:30 am

For no reason whatsoever, I just want to remind people of my favorite book "House of Leaves" by Mark Z Danielewski and my favorite album "Haunted" by Poe.

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Bal
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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Bal » Fri May 26, 2023 12:37 am

Friday wrote:
Bal wrote:As it so happens I'm actually huge in to the classic Doom scene. Watching the thread explode on Doomworld in to what for classic Doom is a major mainstream crossover has been amazing. This thing is a work of art. The more you know about the engine, and Doom mapping tropes generally, the more amazing and impactful it becomes.


Yeah I know a decent bit about mapping and such so this is extra amazing to me.

I assume you've played Valiant and Going Down and The Thing You Can't Defeat. If not, give them a try, they're my favorites. Also the first ten levels of Scythe 2. Well, specifically maps 6-10. The maps after that are also good, but 6-10 might be my favorite run of five maps of all time.


Oh yes, I've played all of those and more. If you like Going Down Mouldy released a new set called Overboard last year that is absolutely fantastic, easily my favorite project from a very stacked year. I've played the entire Skillsaw canon. His most recent release, Heartland, uses a lot of the same tricks that this map does, but in a far more conventional manner. Requires the Eternity Engine source port, but it's worth it.

EDIT: Oh, and yeah, I love Scythe 2 like everyone else. I don't know if I have a favorite episode though

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Re: Doom2: MyHouse.wad

Postby Friday » Fri May 26, 2023 12:45 am

The passion of people like Skillsaw and Cyriak/Mouldy and James Paddock and Erik Alm and all the rest blows me away. The Doom community is really on another level. A lot of the wads I've played are just straight up better entire games than most modern fps, and I include like, Doom 2016 in that. And I like Doom 2016 a lot!

Really looking forward to Sigil 2. I loved Sigil, but because it was a Doom 1 wad it suffered from a lack of SSG and like all the best monsters. Romero is one hell of a mapper himself.
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