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 – #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!

In The Keep Podcast – #25 wadaholic (Total Chaos)

wadaholic’s Total Chaos

Sam “wadaholic” Prebble is the man behind the epic total conversion Doom mod Total Chaos. This 15-years-in-the-making project became one of the most interesting and impressive displays on the Doom engine, while also making its mark on the survival horror genre. wadaholic is also the creator of Shotgun Frenzy and is currently working on the short film Love Bytes.

Like the game being discussed, this particular interview was a long time in the making (though not nearly THAT long). Ever since I first saw the IcarusLiv3s review of the early game, I’ve been chomping at the bit to play this game and to get a hold of wadaholic for the show because of how amazing this game really is.

The Interview

This interview is another that felt to me like I was talking to a long lost friend because Sam and I covered a lot in our hour together. We had some beers, spoke about his passion for his projects, bonded over Steve Wilson’s Porcupine Tree…

Mainly this is about the juggernaut of a project that Total Chaos is and what it takes to create a truly terrifying experience. This is a conversation between an artist and a patron: two people who share a mutual passion from totally different points of view.

Wadaholic: The Renaissance Man

Wadaholic’s site has links to his various projects:

https://wadaholic.wordpress.com/

You can get Total Chaos right here because we love you:

https://www.moddb.com/mods/total-chaos

He is also working on a short film because games aren’t enough:

Credits

Artwork by Haducant/Spaced.

Music by igracsimon:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ-0cSKe6RqiLeKqODlaAiw

The Keep & Other Podcasts:

http://inthekeep.com/

https://quakefans.net/network/

In The Keep Podcast – #24 Hawr1x (quake.cz)

Pavel “Hawr1x” Kymla is an eSports journalist (quake.cz) dedicated to providing an insightful and statistical analysis of Quake Champions.  Quake.cz has covered every Quake game since its inception, with Hawr1x taking over during the hay day of Quake 4. He is now covering the Quake Pro League on an international scale. We discuss the state of the QPL, the modernization of eSports, how he gets his information, the challenges of his work/life balance, our favorite Quake players and much more. 

I enjoyed every bit of this 90 minute conversation with Hawr1x because he is FULL of great information. His insane stories, long history in the game, well formulated opinions and overall positive personality make for a near perfect candidate to be on In The Keep.

Timestamps

Provided by Branflakes!

00:50 Caco-lantern contest/Thank you to our Patreon supporters!
2:48 In The Keep T-shirts
5:06 Hawr1x’s introduction
7:52 quake.cz’s evolution into quakechampions.cz
10:56 Player stats
14:50 Changes in weapon pickups
18:28 Controlling spawn points
20:58 Journalist and analyzer
22:29 Beginnings with Quakeworld/Meaning of Hawr1x’s name
24:07 Czech gaming associations
26:26 The switch from Czech to English on quake.cz/Quake’s evolution along with eSports
29:18 Origin of quake.cz/Visiting id Software and conventions
36:22 Promoting eSports on National TV isn’t always effective
45:00 Non-disclosure agreements
47:18 Promotion of Quake/Spreading the word of community
54:58 Trying out other games
58:51 Gore in games
01:03:30 Olympics hosting eSports
01:04:12 A shift in eSports due to microtransactions
01:08:10 eSport associations and organizations
01:13:40 Players Hawr1x is excited about
01:17:25 Stats can’t always define a player
01:22:37 Closing thoughts/Lead by example and be positive!

Hawr1x

http://quakechampions.cz/
https://twitter.com/CzechQuake
https://twitter.com/Hawr1x
https://www.facebook.com/CzechQuake/

In The Keep & Other Podcasts

http://inthekeep.com/
https://www.redbubble.com/people/inthekeep/works/41131524-the-keep?asc=u&p=t-shirt
https://quakefans.net/network/

Credits

Artwork by Haducant/Spaced.

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