- Project Name: Skulltag Community COOP
- Game: Doom II
- Engine Needed: Zandronum
- Game Type: COOP
- # of Maps: Unknown
- # Contributed: 3
- Status: Canceled
- Release Date: -/-
The Skulltag Community COOP was in ill-fated project with a sorry history. The project started somewhere around 2005 and was canceled once. The project was picked up once again by a member named Tango and it was around this time I joined up. I was able to finish up a total of 3 large, 8-player COOP maps in the end. The project was canceled once again and leadership was transferred to a member named wario. From there, it was canceled another two times. I eventually just pulled my maps out since I thought it would never be finished. To my astonishment, wario and kuchi pulled together and released the very incomplete mapset in June of 2009, without my maps. I don’t consider that version to be in the same vein as what the project could have been, thus the “canceled” status. I contemplated sending them in to have them added to the pack, but I decided against it in the end because I’d rather just keep the maps and possibly use them for something else later on.
The first map I made was called Andromalius. This was very likely my 3rd or 4th map I made after officially joining the Doom community, and it really shows. I wanted to make a large spaceship map with the player traversing a cargo hold, the ship’s wings, the engine area, crew’s quarters, and finally the cockpit. I made all of those areas with gameplay to go along with them, and I think it was a fine effort overall. But it was a step down in quality compared to some of my previous works (I think in part because I was too busy trying to make use of features that were new to me at the time). The whole map is split into two sections, with the idea being that half of the COOP players would do one side, and the other half would do the other. There was even a puzzle that required both teams to work together in order to open up a door.
After finishing up that map, I started on the next one almost immediately. The second map is called Belphegor’s Crucible, titled after the name of a Skulltag monster. At the time, this was probably my largest and most ambitious map. I remember having to borrow a friend’s brand new laptop in order to finish the map because my machine at the time couldn’t handle it after it got to a certain size. Similar to Andromalius, the entire map is split and mirrored so that COOP players would be cut in half in order to tackle it. Both teams meet back up at the end of the map in a large bowl-shaped arena where the finale takes place. The map is draped in a fire-and-brimstone style hell, and I would say it looks pretty decent. This map is leagues better than Andromalius, but it definitely has some flaws. In particular there’s some really terrible platforming where the punishment is instant death. But on the whole, this map was quite the achievement for me at the time.
My final contribution to the project was called Neodymium. This map is by far the best of the three, and I would say it might be somewhat enjoyable by today’s standards (…maybe). Unlike the previous 2, this map doesn’t split up the players into teams. Instead its just a straightfoward techbase map taking place on some forsaken moon. Parts of the layout are a tad confusing, but there were some neat traps and set-pieces that I really liked at the time. I was really proud of the final area in particular; its a huge open area valley that ends in a custom boss fight (which used edited Cyberdemon sprites that I spent months working on). Honestly its not a terrible map considering where my skill level was at the time.
What will I do with these maps? Probably nothing, at least for the time being. I suppose I could release them as-is just for posterity’s sake. I think at some point I was hoping that a project would pop up where I could contribute them. But these days it seems very unlikely that a Skulltag-focused COOP map project will ever take place. So for the time being, they’ll be rotting away on my hard drive.