If you’ve recently been hankering for some new Jimmidis (and I admit my output has withered down to a trickle lately), then no worries, I gotcha covered.
Waaaay back in 2013, Robin “NightFright” Reisinger contacted me about writing stuff for the Duke Nukem 3D addon “Duke It Out In D.C.“, which I was happy to do. The amount of time that has elapsed since that initial proposition has been largely down to my uni commitments, Square, and other big projects getting in the way of me really knuckling down and taking some time to study the works of Lee Jackson, Bobby Prince, and Jenna Ramsey (Duke: Caribbean, The Gate) in order to create a brand new soundtrack for DukeDC that did justice to not just the maps but those original composers too. I had a good chunk of time over the last Christmas season so that’s when most of this project was knocked out, although a good portion of the material in this pack does date back to 2013-2014.
The resultant 12 tracks I wrote are now part of the Duke DC Music Pack 2.0, which features the original looping MIDIs plus OGG renders with added metadata. This will require EDuke32 to run, and of course it is recommended that you play them with the Duke It Out In D.C. expansion (dukedc.grp) loaded.
Of course you can extract the MIDI/OGG files yourself and listen to them out of context, that also works. 😛 And yes, these are free to re-use in your own projects.
You can read a lot more in-depth stuff about the project’s (long-winded) gestation in the readme for this project.
It’s probably time I used this website to promote what I’m doing in the real world of music. Let’s give this a go:
I have a recital coming up! It’s the culmination of the last three years of studying Composition and Music Technology at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). I still have another year to go, but this 20-minute recital is essentially a warm-up for my full graduation recital.
Still this thing has taken a lot of planning and forethought and it’s happening in the next 2 weeks. Come along to the WAAPA Music Auditorium on Saturday 29th October at 8:20PM, where I’ll be performing live music, showcasing my compositional growth, and showing gameplay footage of The Adventures of Square for anyone who hasn’t seen that yet. Yes, I’ll be working my silly game project into a musical performance, with the help of a live percussion ensemble.
For what it’s worth I am aware that YouTube has a slew of problems far more severe than what I go into here. I exaggerate my annoyance anyhow. That’s kind of what you do on a blog, though, right?
So, as it happens, a lot of people play, or at least have played through one time, The Adventures of Square. It’s really cool to see new videos and reviews continuing to go up on the youtubes even if it’s more of a person playing through just the first level. It’s enjoyable for the most part, or at the very least interesting to watch different people’s commentary and play styles.
I have to keep up with this sort of thing, so naturally I’m typing “adventures of square” into YouTube virtually once a fortnight.
All the details are here, and you can get tickets here.
If you’re around there and then, come check us out! Myself, my brother Baratus (the voice for Square), Matt “MTrop” Tropiano (the voice of the circles), and Jerry “jmickle” Mickle (our PR guy) will be showcasing the game over this period.
Needless to say, this is exciting stuff. It’s been a little over three years since I left England, so itshould be great to be back “home” again. I also get to meet two of my developers face-to-face for the first time. We’ve worked on this project purely through the power of the internet, but now it’s time to take things a step further, now that we’re pushing Square further out into the indie gaming sphere.
Yep, after just over a year of solid labor, an official release of my ZDoom magnum opus has finally seen the light of day.
This thing has already been described as “a total conversion but more” and I’m inclined to see it as its own independent game. Absolutely no assets from the original Doom game are present here, apart from the game engine itself, and even that is modified greatly by the ZDoom port. It is officially now a throwback to the original Doom, rather than simply being a mod designed for it.
Anyway, enough ego-jerking, here’s the release post from Doomworld!
The brilliant Doctor Octagon has been kidnapped! Square must find him, and rescue him from the clutches of the Circle of Evil, a mysterious cult hellbent on the domination of Shape Land. He will square off against terrible monsters and impossible traps in order to prove that he’s no square when it comes to justice. Guide him to the center of the Circle’s domain, unravel their malicious plot, and win the day fair and square.
The Adventures of Square™ is a wacky and wonderful total conversion for the DOOM engine by Bigbrik Games: a new company of level designers, programers, musicians and procrastinators whose impetuous charge is to make things blow up in fun and interesting ways! Lead by James Paddock from 2011, the project began as an ambitious, one-man attempt to bring to life a hidden world of paint, puns and shapism, but soon grew to become the flagship title of a small and dedicated team, including community veterans Xaser, Alfonzo, MTrop, Pavera and Tarnsman. While the first episode is a complete and paid-for experience, it’s only a small taster of the crazy delights we have in store for later – so stay tuned!
Square makes extensive use of ZDoom’s advanced features in the UDMF format, with a unified approach to its level design, art direction and gameplay. Players can expect to find all the best elements of DOOM’s fast and frenetic pace unencumbered by a sharp focus on fun, shapely layouts and free-flowing combat, and with a variety of new and familiar mechanics that build upon this brand of play. The game is made with speedrunning and multiplayer in mind, and features exclusive deathmatch (Square-Off!) maps in which to blast your buddies. It’s the whole shebang, I tell ya!
The Squareware™ features the first episode of the game, Cornered By Circles: Radial Dawn, including:
9 fully playable levels, fresh out of Shape Land.
16 tracks from The Adventures of Square OST, courtesy of the musical minds of Jimmy, Xaser, Alfonzo and jmickle.
All-new textures and artwork.
All-new sounds and voice acting.
4 exclusive deathmatch maps.
Arcade style Time Attack! Mode for single-player support in deathmatch levels.
Support for Xbox controllers.
Partial support for Mac users.
Really, really awful puns. I mean Jesus.
Be There And Be Square!
Also we have a website! Watch that page for all changes.
As you may or may not be aware, for at least two years now, I’ve been working on and off on a silly little game project called The Adventures of Square, a first person shooter/platformer using an advanced version of the engine from Doom. You may have already read about it on the page I made on this blog.
I am very pleased to announce the long-awaited release of its four-level demo. Check out the screenshots below. (Click to see the full version.)
The Adventures of Square is planned to be a full total conversion for the ZDoom engine, making extensive use of DECORATE and UDMF to create a whole new world completely separate from that of Doom, but keeping more or less the same fundamental gameplay mechanics that make Doom such a fun and loveable game – as in, run into rooms, shoot enemies, make them explode, get weapons and finally beat the big badass at the end.
Expect goofiness – that particular dial has been cranked up to 11. The cartoony art style is something I’ve wanted to try for ages in a first-person shooter engine. The mod features a plethora of villainous geometrical characters, and let’s not forget that there will be geometry puns aplenty, given the nature of the characters.
This demo showcases what will probably be its final gameplay, but knowing me, anything is subject to change at this point. Further levels are planned. It’s been a long and hard development cycle with an extensive bugfixing period, and all feedback and criticism is incredibly appreciated. I sincerely hope you enjoy the game. 😀
For those of you not familiar with this absolutely brilliant game, it was released in 1994 by Apogee Software (aka 3D Realms), who you might know as being the creators of Duke Nukem. It was a first-person shooter in which you took the role of a group of anti-terrorists infiltrating an island full of Nazi monks, and scattering their various body parts across the place with an improbable arsenal of completely ridiculous weapons.
…That’s all that needs to be said, really.
…Oh, you want more? Fine. Glutton.
Now, I haven’t played the game terribly much – mostly due to the fact that I never got into it in the same way that I got into Doom, on account of one of the many ludicrous weapons offered by the game actually terrifying me as a child (that is, a 2- or 3-year-old child who quite honestly was frightened of anything that moved a bit funny). The “Hand of God” turns you into an invincible, monstrous hulk with the ability to blast your enemies into atoms with a swipe of your fists. It was the eerie, incredibly loud reversed groaning noises it made randomly that for some reason scared me to shit.
Nowadays, of course, I think it’s hilarious. And it is, because the whole game is a non-stop pixellated marathon of ridiculously over-the-top, almost cartoony violence and gore. It’s not for the weak-stomached.
In this game, you can lure enemies in spinning blades, riddle them with bullets, blow them up, set them on fire so their charred skeletons collapse into a disintegrated heap, evaporate them, club them to death with an enchanted baseball bat, and you can also turn into a dog and make them explode by barking at them. It is all kinds of gratuitous awesome.
However, my personal attachment to this game comes not from its gameplay. My love for it is due (almost purely) to its music. Each track in the soundtrack to ROTT is a masterpiece in its own right, and perfectly fits the quirky but stupidly hectic feel of the game. Most of them are a neat blend of fast, synthy, melodic rhythms, coupled with awesome string-and-timpani orchestrations and even some Latin influences – and together these elements work brilliantly. All of the tracks were written as MIDIs (eeeeee!) by MIDI virtuoso Lee Jackson.
Just one of the tracks used in the game can be listened to below – and this particular track I think is quite possibly the best track to have ever featured in any video game ever. EVER. I say that with absolutely zero fear of hyperbole.
But hold the phone, maybe they do! Interceptor Entertainment, the outfit behind the upcoming remake of this classic, have promised a full revamp of the entire game’s soundtrack courtesy of musician Andrew Hulshult… in the style of electronic metal.
So far, the only music track I have heard is the one used in the trailer, and can be viewed below.
Now, if I were to be brutally honest, I’d say that this remake of the track, while undoubtedly awesome, feels a bit “empty”. I think some of the harmonies from the original are missing here – although those were programmed by hand by Mr. Lee Jackson, rather than being played on an actual live instrument (you’ll notice that all the remakes I linked to above use the original MIDI as a base, so they are all exactly the same composition-wise). There’s even some kind of new bit added on at the end that I’ve never heard before – are you allowed to take a track like this and tack something “extra” onto it? I can’t be sure whether it does the song the full justice it deserves, but I can stand to listen to it – at least it has kept in that orgasmically awesome melody.
In summary, I am very excited by the news that such a loveable, classic game is getting a modern reboot, which, if you’ve looked at the trailer, actually looks as though it will retain all of the weird arcadey elements of the original that made it so unique – the mysterious floating platforms, the stupidly overpowered weapons, the fast gameplay… it’s all there. And apparently we might see a PC release by the end of the year.
…’Scuse me while I just go change my undergarments.