The Nostromo's Run Project


First there was Doom.  Then there was my introduction to the Internet.  Then I found out you could design levels for Doom.  This was incredibly exciting to me as I've been a game player / designer since I was about 10 years old - including being a Dungeon Master for AD&D for over 10 years - so creating new worlds was right up my alley.  I began building Nostromo's Run.  Some time thereafter, Doom2 (the greatest computer game ever made) was released and I quickly switched to Doom2 for the completion of my game.

I spent a year on NR.  Regardless of the fact that I'm a working man with little spare time, I wanted to create a fantastic world to explore for my introductory offering to the Doom community ...I wanted to make sure it was as perfect as possible ...and that takes time.  It was finally released in December of  1995.

When I make levels, my goals lie in the exercise of creation and in the enjoyment of those that share in my experience.  When I released NR, I was hoping it would be well liked and enjoyed by many.  As with most things we create, however, we may think they're great but we don't usually know how they're going to be accepted by the public at large.  As it turns out, I was completely surprised by the results.  It was an overwhelming success for a debut level.  The letters I received said things like, "This is the best Doom2 level I've ever played!"  I hadn't planned on making another level for Doom as I was ready to move on to other things but the public reaction spurred me on towards developing NR2.

During the development of NR2, I also began a newsletter called the 3D Gamer's Group news.  There's always been a lot going on in the Doom community but most of the attention centered around the most popular people and the biggest projects.  I wanted to create a newsletter as a sounding board for the little guy as well as the well known guys.  The newsletter was quite successful and generated a lot of close Internet associations.  Somewhere along the line, I thought that I could really get the Nostromo's Run series crankin' if I has a small group of level designers that combined our efforts to produce 2 or 3 new levels at the same time.  Hence the birth of The Nostromo's Run Project.

NRP consisted of level designers Ron Allen, Eric Roberts and myself with technical assisstance from Lee Killough and some texture work from Adelusion.  But, it appears that NRP was destined to fail.

Because of the popularity of the original NR, I was asked by the Alpha Dog Alliance to join them on a full scale 32-level TC called S.T.R.A.I.N. that was destined to be a better game than the original Doom2.  I couldn't turn down an offer to be a member of such an ambitious project so NRP was shelved with the full intention of returning to it once my work with the ADA was complete.  I ended up spending a year and a half in the development of S.T.R.A.I.N. - I developed levels 8 and 30 and was involved in the massive playtesting and modifications of the game - and I must say, it was the most supremely satisfying gaming experience of my life.

Before I had actually finished my work with the ADA, the newsletter and NR attracted the attention of John Herndon, owner of Banjo Software, and he asked if I'd like to make some levels for HACX.  Once again, how could I turn down an offer like that?  I ended up performing the same tasks on HACX that I'd performed with the ADA.  I developed level 12 - absolutely my best level design ever - and playtested / modified many of the other levels.

Right after the release of HACX, Banjo began work on HACX2, a true 3D game ala Quake2.  So, I've spent the last 2 and a half years working with Banjo on the development of these games.  This, of course, pretty much destroyed any time towards working on NR2 so the 75% complete level has been collecting dust, so to speak, on my hard drive since July of 1997.

Recently, my personal life has taken a turn forcing me to come up with alternate sources of income.  Now that I'm basically working 3 jobs, I couldn't possibly maintain my committments to Banjo Software anymore so, reluctantly, I had to leave.  However, I simply cannot stay away from my passions for long so now that I'm no longer part of any projects, I can pull NR2 out of storage and finish it up in my spare time ...when I can find some ...yeah, right.  If NR2 does become a reality, it's going to take awhile so don't hold your breathe. If I ever do finish it, I think it's going to make the original NR - and perhaps map 12 in HACX - look like amatuer projects.  Stay tuned.

Download the original Nostromo's Run.  You may also like to play my high action and extremely challenging Lynx - a wad that was inspired by Edward Castle who ran an Atari Lynx page and wanted a wad in the shape of an Atari Lynx.

Main Hacx Page