An interview with Winter’s Fury modder Pyroscourge!

  • May 27, 2019
  • |
  • By: Joshua Boyle
An interview with Winter’s Fury modder Pyroscourge!

In case you missed it, we gave some major props to Winter’s Fury, the latest WAD to be highlighted in our Nods to Mods series. Flash-forward to today and we have a bonus treat for all you modders out there: an interview with none other than this frosted frenzy’s own creator!

Pyroscourge has been making mods since 2007, though you may also find some under their more current handle, ‘Pieruskwurje.’ A resident of Canberra, Australia, Pyroscourge was ironically spared by the real-life furies of winter while making the icy mod. “Outside of media, I have only seen snow three times in my life,” Pyroscourge says, “and two of those times it was just barely sleet.”

But enough idle chit-chat, let’s ask Pyro some Q’s!

Q: What got you into DOOM modding?

A: A friend of my brother introduced us to ZDaemon, an online platform to play DOOM that supported mods. My brother and I played through a bunch of mods like Destination Unknown, Drown in Blood and Invasion of UAC, all of which I thought were awesome. We instantly knuckled down to draw up a bunch of maps on paper for a coop project we had planned called ‘Hell Unleashed’ with a sequel subtitled ‘The Awakening Shadow’. We were very creative kids.

Q: How long did it take you to complete Winter’s Fury?

A: A bit less than 4 years. The mod was started in 2009, over ten years ago as of writing. Ironically, the basis of the mod was created from a speed mapping competition a friend of mine hosted, where we had a weekend to make a map. MAP01 of Winter’s Fury was that map, originally called Snow Moon.

DE Winters Fury Map in-body

Q: How big was your team to make this WAD?

A: I worked on the project alone, but it would be a complete fallacy to say everything was done by me. The DOOM community has been around for a long time, and some members are generous enough to have created an incredible variety of resources that they offer for others to use in their own mods, provided appropriate credit is given.

Winter’s Fury comes with a credits file (and a credit map at the end) that lists all of the people whose resources I pulled together to make the mod possible. I am deeply appreciative of these people’s efforts.

Q: What tools did you use to create this WAD?

A: Doom Builder 2 for mapping and SlumpEd for data management, for the most part. In the last year of development, I utilized the GZdoom mode plugin which allowed the user to visualize 3D floors, dynamic lights, slopes, and other things which make life much easier. These days I can’t imagine how I managed to work without it.

DE Winters Fury Editor in-body

Granted, this software is very old now. There’s the far more advanced GZDoombuilder and DoomBuilder X for mapping these days, and Slade does both data management and mapping. SlumpEd doesn’t even seem to work on my computer anymore. The developers of all these tools did an amazing job, just like those who provided resources and I have them to thank equally for all the work they’ve done.

Q: What was your inspiration behind the enemies, including the new ones you made and the pre-existing ones you made edits on?

A: The icy variants were made originally just to suit the outdoor environments more but were eventually made relevant to the story. All the icy variants were intended to be stronger counterparts to their original but at some point early on, that idea was scrapped.

A few of them do still have stronger or at least modified characteristics, such as the ice Mancubus having a different firing pattern or the ice Archvile having more health and an extra attack. The ice Archvile was originally going to have an additional summon attack that created endless ice Hell Knights but was also scrapped based on ammo concerns.

The bosses were another thing all together. They were mainly coded by my brother (Maelstrom in the credits) since he came up with crazy attack ideas and could actually bring them to reality in DECORATE script, unlike myself. I’d have to ask him where his ideas came from next time I get the chance.

Q: Let’s talk about dat enemy knockback from weapons! How did you come up with that?

A: The knockback was created completely on accident. Beyond that, I never even looked into why it happens. I just thought it was awesome and moved on. This was the ultimate application of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Turns out it’s due to a property called Weapon.KickBack that works with ZDoom derived ports. I don’t remember why, but I must have raised it to a number much larger than normal without realizing what I was doing and then never changed it back.

DE Winters Fury Hall in-body

Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced making this WAD?

A: A big issue during testing and even after release was ammo balance. The mod does not feature any Backpacks in the harder difficulties, forcing the player to only have the original ammo limits. Combine this with weapons with unfamiliar damage numbers and players can face some trouble.

Putting Backpacks in may have solved any ammo balance issues straight away, but I wanted to try to make the player think about how much they overuse weapons and try to spread their ammo use out more. Whether or not this was a good decision, I’m still not sure.

Q: Any shout-outs you’d like to give before we go? No time like the present…

A: Thank you to anyone who played Winter’s Fury. I know it sounds a little stupid, but I really am happy that people had fun playing this mod. I hope that everyone who is yet to try it out is able to get some enjoyment out of it, and I hope to provide more mods you can enjoy in the future. The very near future, in fact.

I would also like to thank Jimmy, for carrying on a joke related to MAP08’s introduction text for longer than it deserved. I’m doing it here again now.

Thank you for your time, Pyroscourge! If you want a special look at Winter’s Fury, be sure to check out our upcoming stream where we’re tackling the icy mod. See you then, Slayers!