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An interview with
David "Tolwyn" Shaw
dated Feb 03, 2007
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----- Original Message -----
From: Jean-Yves "Jive" Delpech
To: David "Tolwyn" Shaw
Sent: Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:43 AM
Subject: Re: Tolwyn at Doom Legacy Wads - Interview for DoomWadStation.com?
So, here is the interview.
Thank you by advance for your answers.
We (Bob Larkin, the owner of DoomWadStation.com, and me) will inform you of its publication as soon as possible.
Ok. I suck at interviews...1) if you must present yourselves at somebody who does not know you, what would you say? And why such a nickname: "Tolwyn"?
I'm now a 35 year old father of a 5 year old. I still do music, but not for any projects. I sort of missed the boat when the recording software technology boom occured. In a time where most of us were using analogue recording techniques, there was many younger and more adept folks realizing that there were a lot of software and computer-related recording techniques coming out. I didn't keep up with it, and have been trying to play catch up ever since.
That and recording music now isn't as much of a passion anymore. Doom inspired me. The gaming scene for PCs was so new at the time. I really focused my attention on it and immediately moved toward General MIDI recording.
2) When are you interested in Doom and why?
I first saw Doom when I had moved back from college in 1993. My friend, JR Dietz, my band director from my highschool, showed me this game running on his 486. I immediately realized what potential this game had. It was the shareware version. It was at that point, between Doom and Star Wars: X-Wing, that I decided I needed to purchase a PC.
3) Are you still involved with Doom?
I am involved in creating levels now. If you go to WIP (Wads in Progress) at http://www.wadsinprogress.info/ you can find the two releases of my work. My main idiosynchrosy with Doom is to understand how everything works. From Patches, Texture Entries, Sprites, Binary Space Paritions.... I need to understand how it works. I never really created many levels, and later, when JDoom (Doomsday Source Port) came out, I re-discovered just how well this game was put together. This game allows the end user to apply a feature that many games today cannot... the end users' imagination. Also, with the release of DoomBuilder, the best, in my opinion, PWAD editor, it's just too damn easy to make new worlds.
I now create maps with new textures, features, but hardly ever new music. Kind of wierd for me, I know. You can see some of my technical writing from Dr. Sleep's page at newdoom.com.
4) On the text files accompanying your wads, you wrote:
"Music contributor to: TeamTNT Icarus, Bloodlands, Grievance, Pursuit, Memento Mori 2, Gothic DM, Gothic DM2, Strain, The Talosian Incident, Requiem, and probably several others."
I would be pleased if you could give us more details (the list of your musics), and where it is possible to listen them.
That is the complete list of all of my MIDI work... I think. Also, you can find many remasters at http://www.tolwyn.com in the downloads section.
5) do you have created other wads else than "Outpost Recon" (tolwyn01.wad) on 02/05/2004, and "An Affinity For Pain" (tolwyn02.wad) on 08/25/2004?
Well, yes. When WADED came out, there was this book that came out with it. I can't remember the name of it, but I know I have 3 copies of it somewhere throughout the house. I was at my wife's best friend graduation in Pullman or some other Washington State university. I walked to the car, sat in the passenger seat, and read this 3-inch book from cover to cover. They had example PWADs in there. I used those as a template to create the VERY SAME levels in the book. I released them, embarassingly, and then released my first actual custom map, insrt02.wad. I also did a lot of clean up work on all the TeamTNT DeathMatch levels. Now, please understand, this was not creative in nature, but technical in nature. I'd flip linedefs, sidedefs, fix tags. Fix sector references, all that stuff.
6) You are surely advised of the existence of Doom Builder, made by Gherkin (Pascal vd Heiden, aka CodeImp). Do you think that such a tool is easy enough to make good pwads? More generally, what is a good wad for you? And what is bad for you?
Doombuilder is the best wad editor I've ever used. Before I discovered it, I contemplated installing Win95 or Win98 to utilize DETH again. No other PWAD editor is as easy to use and as well-organized from a programmer's point of view, than Doombuilder. Period. End of Story.
A good PWAD for me has a story. Has no errors. Has no texture mis-alignments, accomodates COOP play, utilizes difficulty levels and item countes appropriately, and architecture, architecture, architecture. Two of my all-time favorite PWADS of all time is Return to Phobos and Fava Beans. This maps create an "area" or an "environment" that I can believe in! I need to feel like the place exists. Coop play is what really "makes" Doom for me. The same goes for Quake2, which to me will ALWAYS be Doom3.
7) Another great composer of music for Doom was making the same work at the same time than you. It was Mark Klem, also author of the famous "Cringe.wad". Did you fight one against the other, or were you friends?
We are friends. I invited him to my wedding this last June. I first heard his music with Memento Mori 1. I knew immediately that he had an ability that I would never have. I have to work at creating music. I have to put forth great effort or inspiration to create a good tune. Mark on the other hand, is a pure natural. I love the guy. He knows it, too. As a matter of fact, I'm cc'ing this interview to him right now! How's it going, biznatch?? I took a tape of his to a trip in Alaska with my first wife back in 1997. I listened to it the whole time. One fundamental difference between Mark and I is that I "play" all my parts. I'm a pianists. Mark is a composer, through and through. The guy literally points and clicks all those flippin' notes. It impresses the bejeezus out of me. He has a natural talent for composition. Here is something I've never said in an interview. It was Klem's work on Memento Mori I that literally GOT ME INTO WRITING MUSIC FOR DOOM. Period.
8) Could you plan to create wads again?
If I had the time, yes. My main problem is that I'm pulled too many different ways with things I enjoy and not enough time to apply to those pursuits.
9) What you think owing to the fact that Doom is always also well alive 12 years after its creation?
It's a good game. It has good game play and replayability. It has coop support. It has a great set of different developers creating excellent sourceports for it. It changed the gaming industry.
10 What are the best pwad and the worst one that you have ever played?
The FIRST custom one I ever played was spankme.wad or spank10.wad or something. I used to run a DM ladder on a BBS in 1994. The best PWAD is still Memento Mori 1. The second best is Dario and Milo Casali's Final Doom "The Plutonia Experiment". After that, it's still MM2. Gothic DM 1 and 2, shit. There's a ton of great endeavors, but those stand out as the best. MM1 was and will always be the best achievement ever done, given the timeframe, of Doom. Steve McCrea, Simon Wall, & Elias Papavassilopoulos did the Trinity trilogy. That was an awesome set of maps, as well. TNT always does quality work, but it doesn't have the continuity of the other projects.
11) Is there a question which you would have liked to answer? If so, which is and that you would have liked to answer?
Nope. I'm good. Good interview!
I would be pleased if you could ask to Mark to contact me, so that I will be able to propose the same kind of interview to him. Thank you!
You are, both of you, as well important for the Doom world than the official creator of the musics for Doom, Bobby Prince.
Here that, Mark?
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