Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 375

Band Fuse, Frozen Endzone, Starbound, Fallout New Vegas, Peggle 2, Our History With Doom, Your Emails and More!

This week Shawn, Julian, Allen and Elysium talk their history with DOOM. We also have a new Graham Rowat reading!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.02.50 Band Fuse
00.12.09 Frozen Endzone
00.18.20 Fallout New Vegas
00.21.22 Cards Against Humanity: Bullsh!t Edition
00.24.33 Peggle 2
00.30.54 Assassin's Creed IV
00.32.50 Starbound Beta
00.34.46 This week's topic: Memories of Doom!
00.54.30 Graham Rowat reads Childish Things
01.00.59 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Evil Horde - Hangarmageddon (e1m1) - The Dark Side of Phobos - - 34:11

Waking Up - Dexter Britain - - 54:27

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks


Excellent remix choice for Doom music. That's one of my favorites from that album.

Listening to that Doom music brought back so many memories...

Doom caused me to flunk half of my 1st year subjects in University

My brother was in high school when I first saw Doom, which means I was somewhere between the ages of 7 and 12. I cannot recall which, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't 10 yet. I don't recall how my brother played it, but we didn't have a CD-Rom yet. It was basically around the time where a PC was where I pretended to be a writer using Microsoft Word, or I played the Interplay Fellowship of the Ring game on DOS.

In any event, the game didn't have music. It was nothing but the visuals and the sound-effects of the gun and monsters. We also kept the computer in our basement, one of the scariest places I can recall as a child. It was always cold down there and the silence was just eerie. So I head downstairs to see my brother playing, only he decides to get up and let me try. After starting a new game and showing me the controls, he just walks upstairs and leaves me alone.

I don't think I even got to shoot anything. I heard an Imp cackling in the next room and just stood near the doorway, trying to work up the courage to move onward. That Imp's cackle would continue to pierce the silence, which was already getting to me in that cold, dark basement.

I escaped out of the game, quit, and shut down the computer before going back upstairs.

Didn't revisit the game until high school, at which point I could not help but laugh. With music like that playing I likely wouldn't have been nearly so scared.

There really is something pure about the game's focus on combat. As I don't have the nostalgia attached I've never bothered to play all the way through, but it's still a good time.

Doom was distributed originally via FTP and floppy discs

shoptroll wrote:

Doom was distributed originally via FTP and floppy discs :)

My brother probably got it via Floppy from a friend then. We didn't have Internet yet.

Still don't know why there was no music, though.

No sound card or didn't do the config properly. DOS sound/music was always a pain.

I never played Doom multiplayer, but that did not prevent the game from having a profund impact on me. After graduating college in the mid-90s, my parents got me an Apple Macintosh. (My degree was Graphic Arts and the Mac was the preferred computer). This means that the Doom I played was The Ultimate Doom, which was the original Doom plus a fourth nine-level episode called Thy Flesh Consumed. Because I had never played a game like this, I was fascinated by it, even on my Mac's built-in 13" monitor. I always played at night, with the music off, headphones on and the lights off, just to fully immerse myself. This worked almost too well, because I would get genuinely scared at some points. The "action" and "alert" sounds made by the Imp will forever be ingrained into by brain.

Loved the reading in this episode, I felt every word as I'm experiencing that currently. Honesty can be so beautiful. Thanks... I might even make my wife listen to it so that she understands why a little bit of self-centered curmudgeon rises to the surface from time to time.

Doom - Played it, never got into it. Quake though... oh man Quake. Remember the extra hidden bonus level that was low gravity? I was in love. Thus, I was so disappointed when Quake II pushed the timeline forward that made it just another Doom-y sci-fi title. Where went the wood-punk pulleys and levers? I had my own special music mix (called "SoundtraQ" of course) that made me well nigh invulnerable, loved that game and all its expansions.

First year that Doom2 was out me and my friends spend 3 months or so working on our own levels with specified unfinished connecting hallways. We then for New Years Eve spent half the night connecting each of our levels together and networking our pc's to do multiplayer rest of the morning on the large map.

I'm trying to remember exactly how I downloaded Doom. I know I was a couple of years late to the party, because I first played it on the Power Mac 6100 that I bought second-hand in the spring of '96 to take to college with me that fall -- but I can't recall whether I had real Internet access yet, or got it off of a BBS.

(I got introduced to the Marathon series, via Marathon II, by a guy in the dorm my freshman year. It was kind of amazing how big a step forward each new game was at the time.)

And as for more recent nostalgia, much as Pyroman has been messing around with New Vegas recently, I got a whim the other day to play Oblivion again. And have spent much, much more time downloading mods and troubleshooting conflicts between mods than playing.

I remember that the electronics section at the local Wal-Mart had DOOM installed on the Win95 eMachines they were trying to sell.

And I also remember hanging out with one of my friends at his mom's place, and we'd just waste Saturdays switching off playing DOOM. One life, see how far you get, when you die the next person gets to play. I think we got most of the way through the game before having to throw on the god-mode to actually finish the game.

iddqd 4 life!

As for early multiplayer, I didn't get into it with DOOM, but I do remember some service called HEAT.Net. I also remember getting in trouble for wearing one of their t-shirts in high school because it said "cyber bullets don't kill people" on the back.

Man, such a throwback episode this week. Thanks guys!

EDIT: Now that I finished the episode, I do want to chime in as a Star Citizen backer. The common misconception that I keep seeing is that this is strictly pay-to-win tied to the various ships that you can buy right now during the funding drive. Yes, there's a wide range of ships that will let you have a wide range of experiences, but my understanding is that once the game launches, these ships are only going to be available for in-game currency, and at significantly higher costs.

The thing to remember is that the drive is still on-going. No one donates $50 to NPR and goes "man, that's one expensive tote bag". In the case of all these ships, you're donating a chunk of change and the reward is a bigger, badder ship - but nothing that other players will not be able to get at some point down the line once the game launches.

I don't see it as pay-to-win, but more like buying the Collectors Edition of a game. Instead of getting a statue and art book, you get a big hauler/pirate ship that can use a crew of 4. It might wind up being a leg-up for a few weeks or month, but eventually, everything will level out.

This issue gets compounded when you also look at the promise of being able to run private shards of the game, which can contain an anonymized two-way communication to the main shard. If I'm off playing in the GWJ-only shard, with my big, bad-ass ship, is there any victim aside from my wallet?

McIrishJihad wrote:

As for early multiplayer, I didn't get into it with DOOM, but I do remember some service called HEAT.Net. I also remember getting in trouble for wearing one of their t-shirts in high school because it said "cyber bullets don't kill people" on the back.

Now that's a service I haven't heard of in a while. That was Sega's little clone of MPlayer, but with the difference that it was basically a F2P system where you earned credit by playing and I think putting up with ads in their client?

I'm having flashbacks to standard articles you used to see semi-regularly in PC Gamer which compared all the competing online services at the time: MPlayer, TEN, Dwango, Kali, etc. You had to pay for all them too and not all games were supported by each service.

And then came out and everyone thought Blizzard was crazy because they weren't charging for online.

Funny how my experience was similar to Sean's. Doom was the game that pulled me back into gaming when I was in college. Good times!

This is great stuff. I love the podcast this week because it reminds me of the variety of early gaming experiences that this site represents.

I myself, was in College when Doom came out. I was working for the university's housing department and was lucking enough to have access to a 386 machine. One of the guys I shared my off campus apartment with had a computer IBM 486 and had gotten a copy of the game, on a bunch of 3.5 inch floppy's so I got to copying them and brought them into work with me. I spent many a night in a dark office playing Doom and loving it. When I graduated and took my first real job I got access to a Dell Pentium machine and got Doom installed and for a short period of time got several of my coworkers into Doom for Lunch!

I still remember the days of learning play with HIMEM.sys and .bat files to get the computer primed to run the game effectively from DOS. Also, I tought myself rudimentary IPX/SPX networking to get the office machines talking to each other in Doom.

Like the guys said on the podcast, Doom was the thing that brought me back to Computer gaming. I had been big into my Comodore64 in middle school and the start of HS but then girls, sports, and illegal drinking kept me away for awhile until I got my hands on Doom.

I'll never forget the day I took my first real paycheck after graduation, and went down to CompUSA and purchased a PackardBell Pentium machine with a 40mb HDD. I don't even remember how much ram it had. But it had a sound card and a discrete video card. I was in heaven. Doom, Doom II, Hexen, DarkForces, Duke Nukem....oh the days.

I am making it a point to buy the version of Doom on the XBLA and make my two sons (Jr. HS, Fr in College) play it all the way through over Christmas break.

Thanks guys

I have fond, but vague, memories of playing with a friend of mine (he was the cool older kid, I think I was 8 and he was 12) and messing around with map editors and custom maps (spawning a thousand Cyber Demons in an open courtyard and whatnot).

I also used to go to computer shows with my dad and get excited about the games on cd they had there. Remember those CDs you could get with "600+ Doom levels" on them?

I had that same Christmas revelation last year. My situation is compounded by the fact that my wife and I divorced three years ago and the bulk of the Christmas morning activities take place at her house, where I am still invited to take part, thankfully. But the feeling that Christmas is no longer mine hit me pretty hard.

That being said, I softened the blow this year by getting a launch PS4. All mine. They can play Minecraft on the XBox 360 all day Christmas for all I care.

Great episode, as per usual. I have one slight disagreement about Peggle achievements. Getting the Peggle Professor achievement in the first game is ridiculously hard. Yes, I'm sorry this is nitpicking. And, yes, I did spend a questionable amount of time getting said achievement. There, I said it.

When I was a kid, my mom was taking some college classes, so I went to the college every so often and one time some guys were playing cooperative multiplayer Doom (?) on the LAN in a computer lab. I got to play a little bit, they were pretty far ahead I think cause there was an invisible demon enemy.
I don't know how much later, but I rented the Super Nintendo version from Blockbuster and tried to play it when I was home alone, but it was too scary, couldn't do it.

MacGyverBomb wrote:

Great episode, as per usual. I have one slight disagreement about Peggle achievements. Getting the Peggle Professor achievement in the first game is ridiculously hard. Yes, I'm sorry this is nitpicking. And, yes, I did spend a questionable amount of time getting said achievement. There, I said it.

I'm with you, except worse, I guess... I'll give GWJ that random eventually enters into it, but a great Peggle player can imagine at least the first two pegs that the ball is going to hit. I guess the real question is, is it worth being a great Peggle player?