The new Doom game will come with a bunch of neat tools that make it easier than ever to do your own levels and mods. Creativity and Doom have gone hand in hand for decades—the classic game first came out in 1993, and the first user-created level reportedly appeared in 1994.
Modders still go on building their own levels and creating their own twists on the Doom—my favorite recent example adds a selfie stick and 37 Instagram-style filters to your play experience. My colleague Liz Ryerson's YouTube series, Doom Mixtape, is an eloquent analysis of Doom maps that highlights their inherent artfulness and possibility.
It's cool to see the new Doom (when it comes out next year) will launch with a broad creative community in mind—these tools seem easy to intuit and distinctly un-intimidating, and I'm sure people who do want to do more complicated things will still find ways to do so.
People from IGN made this video showing the new Doom Snapmap tools at E3, the massive annual announcement-fest for commercial video games taking place in Los Angeles this week.
We at Offworld did not actually go to E3, because we decided to stay here and play games about human rights abuses, needy Russian in-laws, Hamlet choose-your-own-adventure, evil Keurig machines and ancient assembly language mysteries, because we are flipping batshit like that. I found out about Doom Snapmap from my pal Alice, who watched a whole presentation full of explosion men to learn about this.
Ever play a video game so often that it shows up in your dreams?
That's the idea behind Doomdream, an interactive experience created by Ian MacLarty to simulate what his own dreams look like after he's been playing the classic 1993 shooter Doom all day.
Although there are no enemies, no combat or really any plot, it generates a labyrinth of pixelated gray tunnels and bloody stalagmites for you to wander in forever, recreating the nightmare of so many players who got lost in the purgatory of Doom's looping levels, searching fruitlessly for an exit sign.
Basically, it's kind of like that Windows 95 maze screensaver, except you can control your movement, and also it's Doom. Interested? Download it now.
Liz Ryerson is one of my favorite game critics -- she has a great eye for the alien and oddly-beautiful design harmonies of game landscapes, and she specializes in the 1993 classic Doom, particularly its mods and maps.
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Charlie Warzel: "THIS is what google's self driving car can see. So basically this thing is going to destroy us all." [via Matt Buchanan]
In case you were curious, that atmospheric research satellite crashed to Earth without hitting a single person. It landed in the Pacific—scattering bits and pieces over an 800-mile-long stretch of ocean.
But, if your great dream was to be killed by a piece of falling satellite, never fear. Phil Plait points out that you'll have another chance in a couple of months, when the German X-Ray astronomy satellite ROSAT is expected to meet its firery end.
Smaller than UARS — a little over 2 tons, as opposed to over 6 — ROSAT will probably have more pieces survive the ride down because its mirrors had to be shielded from heat to operate. That means the odds of it hitting someone will be slightly higher than from UARS, about 1 in 2000. Bear in mind that’s still really small odds! The chance of a specific individual getting hit are still something like only 1 in 14 trillion.
The green circle in the lower right of this image marks the position of Earth's own trojan asteroid, discovered by researcher's involved with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer project.
What's a trojan asteroid? Glad you asked. The good news: It's not going to kill us all.
Trojans are asteroids that share an orbit with a planet near stable points in front of or behind the planet. Because they constantly lead or follow in the same orbit as the planet, they never can collide with it. In our solar system, Trojans also share orbits with Neptune, Mars and Jupiter. Two of Saturn's moons share orbits with Trojans.
Scientists had predicted Earth should have Trojans, but they have been difficult to find because they are relatively small and appear near the sun from Earth's point of view.
The team's hunt resulted in two Trojan candidates. One called 2010 TK7 was confirmed as an Earth Trojan after follow-up observations with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
The asteroid is roughly 1,000 feet (300 meters) in diameter. It has an unusual orbit that traces a complex motion near a stable point in the plane of Earth's orbit, although the asteroid also moves above and below the plane. The object is about 50 million miles (80 million kilometers) from Earth. The asteroid's orbit is well-defined and for at least the next 100 years, it will not come closer to Earth than 15 million miles (24 million kilometers).