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  • Writer's pictureSlaveyko Slaveykov

Origins of Slate

Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to my blog. I'm Mr. Slate and this week I've got an odd one. It's my super-villain origin story! Well... a part of it. I'm old. Erm... anyway!

Before I continue, a little housekeeping. I still intent to do the "MoonWard going Forward" series of updates in between patches. I'm aware I missed October. Life got in the way again. I'll do an update for November. Promise. Now back to the plot.

1. DoomEd

So back in the early 2000's there was this game called Doom 3. I'm sure you've heard of it. With it, Id Soft tried to pivot the Doom franchise towards survival horror, rather than fast paced action like Doom 2. Apart from the Flashlight Problem, the game was generally well received and I think sold well too. It was in fact one of the first games people recorded themselves screaming over. It was spooky with lots of jump-scares. So this is where I come in. As a young child of (mumbling) years who was interested in alt culture and metal this was my proverbial Jam. Obviously I played Doom 3, but even more so, I got a little obsessed with it. I'd already been interested in making levels/maps for games and honestly I was a bit bored so I was looking for a new game to mess around with. What helped a lot was that I'd been doing some fairly complex visual programming in the original Warcraft 3 editor so I had a good idea of what to look for and how to do basic logic. So I went in search of the Doom 3 editor. Almost immediately I stumbled onto a forum called Doom3World. This was the place to be back in the day. I have to guess because I have no statistics, but it seemed like this was the largest Doom 3 modding community out there. So I made an account with an edgy name and found the pinned thread for newbies. This is where I found the magic word - "+editor" - the command you put in your executable path to launch the editor instead of the game. I didns know it at the time but soon as I first saw "DOOMEdit" I was doomed.

2. Good Times in Hell

I'll spare you the boring part but rest assured the editor is a fairly complex tool so it took me months to get the hang of it. It was a bit of a nightmare. While I was doing that I got familiar with the game's enemies, weapons and map building. The basics. Confident, I started making my own maps. A simple hell map here, a simple base map there. I quickly realised I'd have to learn to use the scripting language to achieve my ideas, so I taught myself the C++ based scripting language by looking at the included script files. Again, this took even more months of suffering, but at the end I had a limited understanding of the engine and what I could do with it. Over the next year I started and then abandoned so many ideas. There was a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. inspired mod, a zombie apocalypse in the desert, a few short Mars base themed maps and all sort of weird little experiments. During this time an idea was beginning to brew. What if Doom 3 was more like Deus ex? With skills, body mods, weird weapons, large exploration hubs with no combat, a sprawling cyberpunk setting and story with conversations and meaningful choices... and all the Edge. So I started work on a new project.

3. Wrathchild Act 1

Spoilers, if you didn't pick up on the subtle hint, this was way beyond the scope of a (mumble) years old and there was in fact never an Act 2. I spent a couple years working on Act 1. I learned a hell of a lot about the engine and making games during that time. I also learned a lot about feature creep, crunch, learning to let go of ideas that sound good but don't mesh well and most importantly - creators block. It was a tough time. Originally it wasn't even meant to have acts, it was suposed to be a single mod. The final product was glitchy, poorly explained and oh so edgy. It iss pure cringe and it doesn't reflect who I am today at all. But some of the techniques and code I learned doing it still sticks with me today and ultimately it was a massive project that I managed to somehow get to a shipable state. Regardless of all its flaws I'm genuinely proud of what I achieved with "Wrathchild".

4. Undeath

So... While writing this I went on a little adventure. I was qurious. Can I still find and download Wrathchild Act 1? Is it lost to time? In short - yes, other than a few dodgy links I couldn't find a good, reliable host. I didn't like the idea of it being sent to oblivion. After a little digging I got lucky and found an old hard-drive that had the full mod on it! I uploaded it to ModDB this morning and am waiting for authentication as I write this! Unfortunately I didn't plan this well so it might take a while. If you are indeed a connoisseur of fine mods, why not check my old ModDB account:

EDIT: Wrathchild Act 1 just got authenticated! get it here:

Wrathchild should pop up in there soon, but while waiting you can have a look at some of my other work... Ancient as it is!

I hope you enjoyed my little ramble and got some fun things to play with in the process!

As always, I've been Mr. Slate, be awesome, have a great week and I hope to see you soon!

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