New In The Keep Series: Maps of Madness

So we gotta new show for you guys called Maps of Madness. I would like to say that I had brainchild and that this was all part of the plan, but it wasn’t. This is a little something different. Its been one hell of a year, but we’ve managed to create a unique, self-sustaining show with guests and content that I personally find invaluable, regardless of my own involvement. This show has connected me with some of the most amazing people I could ever hope to interact with over the past year.

Every single episode has been a wonderful learning experience for me.

But I wanted something more. Inspired by some of Jehar of Tastyspleen.tv’s latest streams titled Mapper’s Mark, I thought a little more about what sort of content I want to see…

I Spend Too Much Time Watching YouTube…

I spend a LOT of time watching my favorite YouTubers’ content. Civvie 11, IcarusLiv3s, GmanLives, Quake Fans… Probably too much time, actually. Fans of In The Keep Podcast know and share my passion for FPS games. I watch these shows and streams and I think, what do they do that I don’t do? Conversely I think, what do they not do that I might be able to bring to the table. The vast majority of gaming content is simply the gamer him/herself playing, a personality, having fun and adding some commentary. The names above go a bit deeper with top notch editing, well-thought-out opinions and unique perspectives that make them each special and worth watching.

What I liked about these recent streams from Jehar was one thing in particular. The creator is present. It’s not just the perspective of the player. It offers live commentary from the creator who is able to guide, explain, elaborate and showcase what they intend for the viewer/player to take away from their experience. This, from my point of view, offers a whole new layer of player/developer interaction that can be extremely valuable to our niche genre of gaming.

Maps of Madness Is Born

So when I had the opportunity to sit down and play Glitch Arena with developer the_hack, I seized it. I launched The Keep’s ol’ Twitch stream up and proceeded to get the tour of a lifetime through one of the games that I believe to be among the most interesting within modern AFPS’s.

This inspired me to do more. Thus, Maps of Madness was born. We are now 5 episodes in featuring ZDaemon City, single-player & multiplayer Doombringer and an early look at UberGewei of Final Boss Entertainment’s latest contribution to his ZDaemon Sessions Christmas Special wad.

You can check out Maps of Madness via the above links or here is a nifty playlist.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkWrttFf2ofe7V7Jg7X6SFiIaellu5egn

Whatever you do, happy Cthalhamas and thank you for joining me on this journey over the past year! Rest assure that your donations through Patreon help cultivate The Keep!

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

You can listen to this episode of In The Keep (and all others) on Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube or visit our website for links to all featured podcast directories.

For more shows like In The Keep, check out the Quakefans Podcast Network!

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

Go to http://inthekeep.com for all episodes, links and podcast directories.
Go to https://quakefans.net/network/ for more shows like this!