The Old Stuff Chronicles - Matt Dixon - Saturday May 12 04:18:34 2001

Often, several versions of any given map are released and re-released to the internet. This process of improved release is generally due to either author dissatisfaction with the original design, the discovery of errors in the first release and subsequent fixes, or the simple porting of a level (or, as the case may be, levels) from one engine to another.

In the weeks prior to today, I have presented you with a number of levels that have been available for either DOOM or DOOM2. The changes from map to map in these alternate versions have often been simply cosmetic in nature -- the addition of a new enemy here, a double-barreled shotgun there, and the occasional display of a new texture or two. Never new structure design to take advantage of the new textures and flats, rarely the inclusion of new linedef types and often the clumsy execution and inclusion of the new monster set that DOOM2 bestows.

Today's feature, Artifact, is by now-Team TNT member Paul Schmitz. Those of who familiar with Team TNT's Eternal DOOM III are undoubtedly familiar with Paul's editing efforts -- his work is breathtaking and he succeeds in immersing the player in his creations, accomplished by the sheer scale of his levels.

Schmitz's Artifact was made available for DOOM back in December '94, first giving the player access to the expansive landscapes that Paul took the time to carve out for us. Containing three levels, the DOOM version set something of a precedent for editors everywhere -- the Artifact trilogy was huge. Absolutely...huge. As Schmitz himself notes in the textfile, "I originally intended this PWAD to be one huge level, until I discovered that I could no longer save games because of the limit placed on the size of the save game file. Even though the original level is now broken into three parts, I tried to keep the look and feel of one big level." The three maps give the impression of being one single mammoth level. Continuity is provided from map to map with repeated structures and areas, and the player can see from one level to the next. It is a very convincing effect and well-executed...all accomplished back in December '94.

The success that Paul met with the original Artifact set for DOOM gave him the gentle push necessary to release a version for DOOM2 in June '95. As I mentioned above, too often authors release a DOOM2 version of a previously built map and fail to do justice to the new features provided by the engine -- not so with Schmitz. Not only does he architecturally revise and re-create several areas of the original trilogy to accommodate DOOM2's new texture and monsters, he also adds in several new areas to each of the three maps. The effect of these seemingly slight changes is uncanny, even to veterans of the DOOM version -- they insure that a fresh feel is generated though the player may actually be playing through a previously played level set. The DOOM2 version of Artifact is my personal favorite of the three versions available, though I urge you to play all three Artifact versions and come to your own conclusion.

But wait...three versions? I have discussed only two thus far -- the third and most recent version of Artifact was released in October '99 for the BOOM engine. The BOOM versions of the Artifact levels were released as three separate maps -- Ambush, River Dead, and The Artifact. Once more, like the three maps in each of the two previous builds, the BOOM version is spectacular. BOOM's Artifact set continues the trend of the previous two versions, combining the best elements of the three levels into a single epic nightmare of ingenious texturing, memorable confrontations, and brilliant architecture. But here, with BOOM, Paul crosses the line from 'revision' to 're-creation' and turns an already memorable set of maps into a gorgeous mosaic of editing talent, flawlessly blurring the lines of three maps into an illusory, solitary one.

Note: necessary to the playing of the BOOM version the Artifact trilogy is Team TNT's Return resources.

Take an afternoon or two to immerse yourself in Paul Schmitz's Artifact is time well spent. Take care and good luck!


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"Gorc" posted Thursday May 17 08:28:49 2001

I think I know the .wad you mean. I can't remember the name, but it's on one of the early PC Gamer UK cover CD's.



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"Similar Levels....." posted Tuesday May 15 05:35:02 2001

(Gorc makes his triumphet return to the Doomworld forums)

I once played a WAD like this one for DooM II, which had 12 levels.

Map08 was a level based in a time machine. There was this corridor with teleporters along both sides. In front of each teleporter, on the floor, there was a number from 1 through to 7, representing each of the previous levels.

The trick was that when you stepped into the teleporter it would take you to an area of each of these previous levels. And whats more, in order to complete the current level you had to jump between each past level and collect the keys, using them in another past level to get the key to the current level.

On the previous levels all the bad guys you had killed were still dead, but you sort of revisted all of them to see what had happened since. And, more often than not, opening a door which you couldn't last time you were there.

Do you follow me? Its pretty confusing but it used a similar concept. I think it may have been a homage to this one...

"To win the game, you must kill me, Bob of Ablex." 


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"Funny" posted Monday May 14 04:25:45 2001

I allways used Ambush to test rorDoom compatibility with Boom features...
Damn big and full of Boom goodies (so full of bugs with rorDoom ;) ).

rorDoom slave 


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"Seriously screwed shit!!!" posted Sunday May 13 15:11:32 2001

Okay, for some really buggered-up stuff, go to I dunno who gets kicks out of it, but I will bet a very large sum of money that they are lunatics. I know this is not at all relevant to Artifact, but I've got to say something about it somewhere other than my site...

PS. Don't visit it if your kids/spouse/<girl/boy>-friend is/are in the same room as you. They will think of you as a lunatic too if they see it (unless they are VERY open-minded and tolerant.)

"I was in the realm of the Essence of Tong" -- The Fall, "Dr. Buck's Letter" 


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"Jim Flynn" posted Sunday May 13 15:06:15 2001

quoting MrMGA:
"Back in those days ('94 - '96) the only other wad author in the same league with Paul Schmitz was Jim Flynn. What ever happened to that dude?"

He's undergoing an extensive UNIX education; the poor chap. ;-) So naturally he has no time to make Doom maps. (I know this because I asked him if he could make any Doom maps). Oh BTW, for all concerned here's his email and homepage:

"I was in the realm of the Essence of Tong" -- The Fall, "Dr. Buck's Letter" 


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"" posted Sunday May 13 10:52:49 2001

I guess Mattrim has an edjumucation.


Captain Napalm

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"Make me a chevy, so I can drive around..." posted Sunday May 13 04:20:06 2001

Yes a sperate section for old stuff is a great idea! And more screens please!

About the subject: I wanna be a car!

In my day we played Doom without 3D-floors and WE LIKED IT! 


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"what a review" posted Sunday May 13 00:03:41 2001

actually, looks more like an essay. First guy that actually cares what he posts on doomworld. We should hire more guys like him.... 


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"" posted Saturday May 12 20:32:06 2001

These maps are really cool, except for the size (IMHO). I don't like big maps which take 9253 hours to finish.

ACS || /me it up 


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"" posted Saturday May 12 19:39:11 2001

I can only claim Matt and Paul to be keen!


The Gemini

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"" posted Saturday May 12 16:59:31 2001

Nice 'review'... screenshot looked pretty damn cool too...

I'm the insect in your pie 


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"Stand back, I don't know how big this thing gets" posted Saturday May 12 13:53:36 2001 Adam said to Eve

And the review just gets bigger. Those screenies weren't there earlier were they?

This is a very good effort from Matt. If future Oldstuffs are going to be this size, it might be worth setting up a separate page for them. Previous editions could be archived to build them up into a comprehensive collection of classic Oldstuff WAD reviews.



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"Well done!" posted Saturday May 12 11:16:12 2001

After reading that huge review, I know why it was so huge!

The levels are amazingly gigantic and well done!



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"Good Choice!" posted Saturday May 12 10:35:44 2001

First of all, I would like to thank Matt for posting the Old Stuff Chronicles. I always look forward to that.

Secondly, I'm pleased to see my friend Paul Schmitz get some much-deserved recognition for the Artifact set. That's one of my all-time favorites. Paul made some great levels after that, too. Back in those days ('94 - '96) the only other wad author in the same league with Paul Schmitz was Jim Flynn. What ever happened to that dude?


Swedish Fish

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"okay," posted Saturday May 12 09:52:07 2001

God Matthew, I wish you would write me emails of this length weekly - perhaps we could continue out private dicussions of who does "retextured DEU tutorials" - rofl.

Money back guarantee on all my levels...but since you paid crap to play them... 


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"It's too big to be a space station." posted Saturday May 12 07:36:10 2001

I think I'm with Matt. I prefer the Doom2 version, but the Return Resource version is very nice too.



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"great article" posted Saturday May 12 07:15:35 2001

matt dixon is a damn doom writer. his article is great and utterly pertinent. he can find the right spot, the sparkle in doom art, and expose it without destroy it. congratulations matt !

personally i like the boom version of artifact, coz i didn't come to play the previous ones before ...



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"Maonth:" posted Saturday May 12 06:12:31 2001

It's a moon ... no it's a battle station!

Arioch, ArioCult(tm) church, Ariochville, Tennessee, 


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"Woah" posted Saturday May 12 05:06:47 2001

Look at the size of that thing.

What should i get? Quake3? Half-Life? Soldier of fortune? Arhh heck ill just go get DOOM2. 


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"" posted Saturday May 12 04:27:40 2001

Eyes... hurt...

Interest... lost...

Skull Tag - Project leader 


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"Damnit Dixon" posted Saturday May 12 04:22:41 2001

He appears to have a slight case of diarrhea of the word processor right now. :->

Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Kimmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie! 


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"yes" posted Saturday May 12 04:20:53 2001

that's right. that the info you wanted? 


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"" posted Saturday May 12 04:18:50 2001

Goddamn that's big.

King Ling 

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