In The Keep Podcast – #29 Kristus (Doombringer)

Kristian ‘Kristus’ Käll is the developer of the up-and-coming Arena FPS game Doombringer. With a unique blend of Quake 3-style movement and weapons that bring homage to the whole genre, Doombringer has quickly become one of the most interesting new games to grace the stage of AFPS. This DarkPlaces engine game features both PvP and single-player action and it is FREE in early access right here!

In The Maps of Madness

To preface this interview, I want to first thank Kristus for being so generous with his time. Not only did we record this interview but also two episodes of The Keep’s new show Maps of Madness where we play through games, levels and mods with their developers. We did one episode for Doombringer’s single-player experience and another for the multiplayer. Who better to explain the intricacies of a game than the person who made it? You can tune in and ask questions anytime you see us streaming Maps of Madness on The Keep’s Twitch channel.

Doombringer

Let’s go ahead and address the elephant before we start singing praises. If you checked out the video above where Kristus and I show off the PvP, you undoubtedly noticed that we experienced some crashes while playing on the Dallas server. Never fear! The latest build of the game has addressed the issue and I look forward to testing it out again soon with no crashes. That’s how quickly this independent developer has addressed the issue. What more can we ask for?

Regardless, Doombringer has been making waves in the AFPS community. Crazy Al (community organizer) has helped to put on events with Tastyspleen.tv’s Jehar providing commentary alongside Kristus. In these tournaments, you can see just how versatile a game Doombringer has become. While remaining unique, it successfully borrows bits and pieces from the legendary AFPS games we all know and love, implementing them into a clean, easy to use package. Game-play aside, I personally think a lot of people will enjoy the shear amount of control they have over the game’s aesthetics right out of the box. You can make Doombringer look as gorgeous and modern as in the above videos (better, actually) or as 1990-whatever as you like.

The Podcast

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In The Keep Podcast – #28 Kaapeli47 (FPS Historian)

Who the heck is Kaapeli47?

Kaapeli47 is a Finnish Twitch streamer who specializes in classic first-person shooter games. His show Golds of FPS explores the history of games like Doom, Half-Life and beyond. He is also a Quake esports commentator and a hobbyist Doom modder.

Kaapeli47’s Golds of FPS on Twitch

Over the past few years, he’s been on a mission to explore the genre of classic FPS games. From Wolf 3D to Half-Life 2 and everything in between, his mission to play through them all and share it with his generation is a gem on Twitch.

As a commentator, Kaapeli has done play-by-play for several organizations including: Rocket Jump Zone, QuakeAngelAvadica‘s Quake Cafe and the now defunct Quake Open League.

Kaapeli47’s Interview

You can listen to his interview and many others on The Keep’s website which contains links to subscribe and listen on your preferred podcast app. Or you can just listen on YouTube


Whichever you choose here is a list of timestamped topics provided by the incomparable Branflakes:

00:50 Cthalhamas/Motherload’s introduction to Kaapeli
02:58 Kaapeli- retro/classic FPS enthusiast
08:35 Golds of FPS
11:56 Console FPS gaming
16:26 How the Source Engine came about
21:40 Kaapeli’s Quake Champions commentary
28:04 Quake Champions & more casting
38:35 Build Engine games
43:42 Kaapeli’s origin in old school fps
47:01 Convenience in remakes and modern titles
51:05 Heading into the military
52:28 Newer games on his mind
54:16 Kaapeli’s MIDIs and absolute pitch
59:32 Doom modding
01:05:05 Kaapeli’s origin (continued)
01:09:15 Closing questions

Kaapeli47 on Twitter

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In The Keep Podcast – #27 GNiK (Quake Champions Pro)

GNiK by Hawr1x

GNiK recently made his way into the Quake Pro League by qualifying through the Challenger’s League and competing at Lucca. Here we cover topics such as picking up Quake 3 as a 5-year-old, his controversial escapades as a teen in Quake Live and his journey into the QPL over the past year.

First and foremost, we need to say thank you to Smango for making this interview happen. It is because of his diligence in monitoring the Quake Pro League (something I do not always have time to do myself) that this interview came to be. I’ve been a fan of GNiK for a long time but in all honesty; I had no idea GNiK was doing so well in the Challengers League. Fast forward to the weekend before Lucca Comics & Games when I receive a message from GNiK:

“QuakeFans is doing some thing on me and one of the questions was about you doing a podcast with me.”

THANK YOU SMANGO!

You can read that article (which is a profile of GNiK’s gear and settings) here.

Suddenly I’m up to speed on the recent happenings and GNiK is on his way to Lucca for his first ever major LAN event and to pursue his dream of becoming a professional Quake player. AND HE DID IT! The weekend of Lucca I had just transitioned to night shift at work, freeing me up to be awake during the event where I watched GNiK defeat Br1ck in an epic best of 5 match-up. More importantly, this win meant that GNiK was now an official member of the QPL.

After the event we quickly scheduled some time to sit down and record this interview as a celebration of GNiK’s victory and a peek into his unique journey to get here.

GNiK w/ Br1ck by Hawr1x

GNiK’s Journey

GNiK is a 21-year-old from British Columbia who had never (until Lucca) been further from home than Alberta. His Quake journey began while he was a child playing with his father and brothers. As he grew into adolescence, he made a controversial name for himself in Quake Live (more on that in the interview). Fast forward to Quake Champions. After the infamous Christmas patch of 2018, the official competitive scene took a LONG lull. Luckily, people like S L I P & UNKiND of State of Quake and IamFortyLions kept the North American competitive scene alive through various community events.

Enter GNiK.

Throughout that season, GNiK fought his way to the top, winning a disproportionate amount of events and showing the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. When the QPL began at Quakecon 2019, who better to throw their hat into the Challenger’s League than GNiK? You know the rest.

GNiK w/ belt by Hawr1x

Talking about Quake Champions

Now I am perfectly aware of how critical I have been of Quake Champions over the past 6 months. I’ve been involved in several interviews where I have laid out my opinions on the game, most notably my appearance on Beyond Strafe Jumping with Shazzik. None of this is to say that I am any less enthusiastic about Quake Champions or the QPL. Quite the contrary. It is only to say that my relative lull in involvement with the game left me a little out of the loop over the past few months.

So… we brought in an expert. I asked Hawr1x of quake.cz to join us for this interview as there is no one I can think of more qualified (and easily accessible) to ask questions of about Quake Champions eSports than the man who dedicates himself to covering it. Furthermore, Hawr1x was AT Lucca to witness all the happening in person.

Links/Credits

Artwork by Haducant/Spaced.

Music by Immorpher:
https://immorpher.bandcamp.com/

GNiK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GNiKgg
Twitch: http://twitch.tv/gnikgg
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/gnikgg

Hawr1x

Website: http://quakechampions.cz/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CzechQuake

The Keep

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In The Keep Podcast – #26 the_hack (Glitch Arena)

Ali “the_hack” Dark is the developer of Glitch Arena, a new independent Arena FPS with a refreshing, simplistic design. This game takes the Unreal Engine and creates a totally new, more Quake-like experience set in a maze of beautifully lit polygonal maps with John Carpenter-esque sounds.

My chat with Ali was very inspiring. We see a lot of developers who are out for a quick buck. Some go to work for corporations because they want to make a living. the_hack is not that guy. I see him as a soul searching artist. Part of his creative journey is making this game and as we all know, AFPS is not exactly a profitable genre, even at the Triple A level. JJ and Ali of Shock & Rockets are just out to make a really cool game for the sake of doing it.

Glitch Arena

Glitch Arena logo

Glitch has a lot to offer to someone looking to join into the Arena Shooter genre. It excels at being simple and easy to pick up because of the points I’ll make below:

Movement

In a genre riddled with lots of intricate tricks, Glitch makes the movement system quite intuitive for a new player. Strafe jumping, dodging, wall gliding… it’s all there. But the developers have succeeded in making it feel a bit more fluid. You won’t have to continually mash the jump button because auto-jump is there right from the start. Zipping around the map is a breeze with a unique but smooth take on strafe jumping. You won’t be taking full on CPMA style corners; you will be pressing the W key. But that’s the sort of thing that can go totally missed or rejected by a potential new player.

Weapons

It can be daunting for a new player to learn to manage 8+ weapons. This game cuts down the learning curve because there are only 5 weapons.

… Wait, what?!!

Before you get all uptight about your plasma guns, and your heavy & light machineguns/shotguns, hear me out. All 5 of these weapons are awesome! They are well balanced and they feel GREAT to use. More importantly, you don’t have to bind as many keys: a huge plus for a new player!

Your default is the shotgun. It’s chunky, it has a nice spread, it does plenty of damage. CHECK. You’ll find a really cool lightning gun that makes you feel like you are literally shooting lightning by charging more as it’s being fired. CHECK. You’ll find the rail gun which is exactly what a rail gun should be: quick, snappy, un-invasive for the user. CHECK. The rocket launcher… the quintessential weapon of AFPS… You better believe it! This little pixel-box packs a punch! And yes, you can do all of your favorite rocket jumping tricks. CHECK. Finally we have the nailer. Don’t let the name deceive you. This is not a Quake nail gun. The nailer is a unique and recent addition to the game which shoots singular projectiles which do 50 damage. You can also shoot the bolts with your LG to make them explode… CHECK!

LG!

Style

I can’t say enough about how beautiful this game is. It’s pixel-y, simple, clean, it has neon lights… What do you want?! Its a blast from futures past! With the sexy original synth-wave soundtrack, this game creates such a compelling atmosphere in which you truly feel that you ARE a robot in this arena. You CAN roll around bouncing, shooting, feeling nostalgic… And the sound design is so fun! You really need to hear the jump pad sound for yourself to truly appreciate the wonder of Glitch Arena.

Links

Glitch Arena

Website: https://shockandrockets.com/

Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/rjUu96b

$2.99 ON STEAM: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1083800/Glitch_Arena/

The Keep

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