World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...


The Dark Mod Experience: Part II

TDM screenAfter the reformat, I obviously had to get everything in working order on my system. After some trouble with some programs, including the ATi drivers for my graphics card (I eventually had to roll back to a previous version), I was about ready to install Doom 3, and then after that, put TDM on my HDD. So after about half an hour or so, I had it all set up, and then ran the TDM launcher. I was at the main menu of this mod, which had eluded me for nearly two years since its release – and I’d craved to play it for about twice as long.
The only game I’d wanted longer than this was Duke Nukem Forever, which I also managed to play last month – and if you were wondering, sort of inspired this two-part series in a way. Yatta over at wrote a series called “The DNF Experience”.
But there were problems once I tried to actually play the game. After installing one of the FMs and attempting to play it, the screen froze once the game was restarted, and I also noted that the Doom 3 intro screen flashed in front of me at one point. So I had to hit alt+ctrl+del and go back to the desktop. I tried firing up the launcher again, but then I ended up with a blank screen.

After this, I ran Doom 3 itself, and tried loading the mod from there, but that was also a no-go. I couldn’t figure out what to do.

I perused the TDM forum online to see if anyone else had the same problem, and came across some similar ones, and there were several suggestions thrown out – some pertaining to ATi drivers and other similar issues.

I really need to get rid of this graphics card and go back to nVidia. I rarely had any problems back then.
But I thought that since I’m only running v 1.3, I should really update it to v 1.6 to see if that would fix the error – I’d read of others having fixed problems this way. So I waited nearly another month.

A month later; I hadn’t played any games for weeks and I was starting to feel the strain. I needed a break from reality. I had just under half of my data left, so I took TDM off my HDD and put a clean version on there in the Doom 3 directory and ran the updater. It was so slow; it would have taken hours to get the process done. Even though I’ve since learned that the updater can resume downloads, I didn’t know that at the time. So I cancelled, and instead waited until the next day.

Water arrows - gotta love 'emThe Builders are kinky b*ggers...You don't gotta look at the compass to find the door, son.

On the Monday, I ran the updater, and it was much faster. I was able to get all of 340 MB down and installed within an hour and a half. It only took longer than that, because while I was in the bath that evening (it’s winter here now – I don’t shower this time of year), my firewall started blocking the TDM updater’s access to the web. After allowing it through, it finished up, did a bit of housecleaning and patching, and it was done.

I then backed up the full v 1.6 and all the FMs I had at that point (about 35+). I wasn’t too sure if this would fix the problems I had with it, and instead of trying it, I left it for that night, instead opting to play some DNF.
Then the following night I had the courage to fire up the TDM launcher, and got to the main menu again. It had been weeks since I’d last been here. I installed just the included training mission, without loading in all the FMs to the appropriate folder, and TDM restarted. I was anticipating yet another blank screen or something. Then I saw a loading screen for the first time.

“I haven’t got this far yet,” I thought.

I crossed my fingers and waited. Bloody long loading times.

To my amazement, it happened - I was in the game. I was in the training mission – in the room with doors all around me. I couldn’t believe that running the updater actually worked! I thought I’d at least have to try the torrent again, or perhaps run the updater and grab the full 2 GB of TDM that way – which I hear is the most painless way of going about it.

I played the training mission a bit, and exited. I wanted to see if I could get back to the main menu again and not see a blank screen. I could.
It was working just fine.

I always find that when I’m so eager to play a game or mod, then it’s like life chucks everything in front of me, not allowing me to have any fun. Whereas all the games I’m not so amped about work fine. Murphy’s, or Sod’s Law, I guess: if something can go wrong, it will.

But now I don’t play TDM. It sits there on my HDD. At first I didn’t want to play it or install any more FMs because I might’ve broken something, and I’d have to reinstall and it wouldn't work… again.
From the screenshots, you can obviously tell that I have played the mod, and at least several of the missions. But now I have TDM and all the FMs out there, and everything’s working – I’m not interested anymore. I spent nearly two years trying to get the mod - jumping through all sorts of hoops, getting around tons of obstacles.

The chase is better than the catch, as they say.


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