August 28th, 2021
An endless story about the endless Wadazine, by Endless.
I think we all know by now what the Wadazine is, don’t we? The Wadazine is not only an online magazine, but an entire community project dedicated to Doom and all its wonderful manifestations. And like any project, it has its origins and stories to tell. Today I want to give you, dear readers, a few curious facts and sweet trivia about how this fantastic magazine came to be. From its humble beginnings, through the difficulties along the way, and up to the present day with its fascinating quality and freedom.
I started planning the foundations of the Wadazine long before it had any kind of prototype or public mention in Doomworld. Probably the first mentions I ever gave came from maybe 2018, a time when I remember being an active reader of the /newstuff Chronicles; an ancient and legendary collection of monthly (in its early days, weekly) round-ups with reviews of the latest WADs added to the /newstuff section of /idgames. During those times I wasn’t very active in Doomworld, and I couldn’t even be, as my English wasn’t great so I stayed away and preferred to quietly read whatever came out. The reviews were something I particularly loved. Seeing each month a new collection of WADs of the year, reviewed by a huge number of contributors, from prolific authors to one-timers, was always something I loved. I began to imagine what such a system would look like, if it were in some sort of physical format. While the whole idea of a magazine, and the way we do it nowadays, didn’t really hit me at the time, it was during and thanks to these deep explorations between /newstuff Chronicles and the old independent reviews of various authors, that I started to come up with some sort of project that would allow us to gather reviews and illustrate them in a cool way. Two years later the idea would take shape.
Unfortunately, after a year of actively reading them, and more than 25 years of activity in general, the /newstuff Chronicles series has come to an end. In 2018, their last issue came out and they never came back. Suddenly, my monthly supply of reviews had been cut off and my body couldn’t take it. For me, /newstuff was not only a sort of simple round-up of the latest work, but it felt like a sort of personal group where you could share comments, reviews, ideas and just read and chat with other passionate gamers as you delved into the vast world of WADs. That, to me, was what the series was all about. A kind of therapy group. So when after 6 months, they never came back, I started to think about how to bring back something similar, but this time… this time it would be different, distinctive and demonic.
On July 17, 2020, the first prototype of this fantastic magazine will be published in Doomworld. There, I would explain more or less the general idea of this project, and give a small outline of how it would work and how it would be structured. Some things have changed, while others were kept, and some have been evolving. The prototype is now, a sort of relic that shows on the front page the initial ideas I had for the Doom Master Wadazine.
The prototype had a fantastic and friendly reception; the community gave its voice and I could see that the interest in a literary project of this type was something that everyone wanted to see. It wasn’t just a hidden community, but a kind of need that would turn into a strong passion. Thanks to the great reception, the positive comments and the tips given by different members, two days later, on July 19th, I launched the first edition. All done in glorious MS Microsoft, with fantastical newbie layouts done by pretty much just me, on its entirety.
But despite its clear lack of overall quality, this one-man project ended up receiving a very high reception. The community saw past the clear graphic design issues, and focused on the essence and potential it had. Soon, the project grew, and very quickly. The first issue is a fantastic thing to remember, because for me it meant not only the beginning of my history as an active member of this community, but also the first step I would take in a journey through which I would end up getting to know the community in depth; I would meet one of the best doomers of this place and become friends with fantastic contributors.
I’m sure my memory serves me correctly, but shortly after the first issue, and the second, my first public contributors began to join. Taufan99, UndeadRyker and elend, my first three contributors and members forged the pillars on which the Wadazine stands today. Taufan99 and UndeadRyker were two community sages with deep Doom knowledge. Taufan99 created a fantastic article on Doom in East Asia, while UndeadRyker specialized in obscure trivia about the game, creating lists of fascinating trivia facts. On the other hand, elend was a graphic designer, and the author of the iconic logo we still proudly use today. These were my first three contributors, my first team who, although no longer active in the Doom community, left a big mark without realizing it. However, the Wadazine did not stop there, and soon after more and more members joined, including authors who continue to work with me to this day. TheEvilGrin, TheNoob_Gamer, two WADs reviewers with deep knowledge about the game; Gaia74, leader of the latin community; Immorpher, Doom 64 genius, and, of course, my two buddies, 4MaTC and Nikoxenos, editors and graphic designers of the Doom Master Wadazine and my right hand in this crazy feat.
The team has grown and varied over time. From loyal contributors to magical one-timers. Not only do we have great internal supporters, but also fantastic members who help us externally, like our hosts, Doomkid, Chris Hansen and Ryath, the trifecta that gave the Wadazine a home and made sure to safeguard it for posterity. Of course, we’ve also had loyal supporters who keep up with our progress, and are always more than willing to mention our name in order to support us. In short, the Wadazine is not just a team, but an entire community, full of passionate readers, hardcore doomers, fantastic artists and much, much more. A nice to place to have a good time while playing some freaking Doom.
Being me, a person with no self-control, constantly shitting ideas, I ended up doing a huge amount of side-projects that in the end would cement the place of the Wadazine as a project beyond its literary theme. Among the first ones, I can mention the Wadazine Survival Sessions. Inspired by the ZDaemon Sessions, I wanted to start playing multiplayer with friends and create a community of events that could stay active. The WSS were weekly events where we would select a different WAD each week to end it completely in UV, or survive as long as we could. We had 17 events in total, over the course of about half a year. They were fascinating, fun and challenging. Some took about 30 minutes, while others took up to 6 hours. Total madness. After that, I became very interested in the Deathmatch aspect of the community. Now, I founded Wadazine Deathmatch Madness, a weekly event where we would pick a particular WAD and play it for a certain set of maps. All in all a magnificent free-for-all madness. This event was also my first attempt to create a sort of ranked system; I attached titles, prizes, points, experience and created a leaderboard. I even hosted a tournament! Incredible fun. Oh, and let’s not forget my leap into the world of Ironman challenges. The DWMaster Endurance Tournament, inspired by DW Ironman League, was a special challenge created for the most persistent and patient players: I choose one WAD per month and players must finish it as fast as possible: The trick? There is no limit of lives and no difficulty. Your speed, survival and pain resistance is all that counts. elend helped me with the creation of a fantastic logo and prize set. A genius.
Unfortunately, none of these 3 events are currently active. The WSS and WDM were put on hold due to my change of residence, which now has worse internet and also the fact that I went to college, so I couldn’t afford to play Doom for hours at a time anymore. The Endurance Tournament suffered a similar fate, although it was also affected by the low number of participants in its last months. But not everything is sad and gloomy, because more events were born, and these do allow me to stay active.
The first of these was the Endless Random /idgames WAD Adventures, aka ER/iWA, a bi-weekly event where different participants are invited to join different game sessions where we explore the /idgames WAD archive using its Random File option. In a nutshell, it’s a blind WADs exploration, where we play whatever drops and risk discovering lost gems or abominations that should better remain forgotten. Currently, the event is maintained by the good ICID, who offered to help manage it after I entered college. After this event, Wadarcheology was born, an event inspired by the classic WADs of yesteryear. This event is a long-term project that not only aims to be a gaming session, but also an active way to contribute to the community; it consists of exploring classic WADs from 1994 to 2004, and exposing them in a new light so that they can be rediscovered once again. This project is managed by myself and Arrowhead, a fascinating guy experienced in exploring this world of yesteryear. And of course, the holy-unholy mapping project, the Wadazine Master Collection, an sporadic release of maps made by different members of our community. Each project, a new theme and visual flair! I started this project with the help of Mistress Remilia, and she’s now pretty much the head of this amazing enterprise, leading, managing and even compiling all projects. A true mapping savant and lovely leader.
Currently, while some multiplayer events remain dry, I hope one day to be able to revive them. I would like to have more hands to be able to handle this, people who decide to take them on, but I understand how difficult and time consuming it can be. Many may ask, why am I doing this? And the truth is that my only answer is: I like it. I like to create, I like to design, I like to organize, I like to run events and projects, I like to interact with the community and I like to play Doom. Even to this day, I have a small folder where I keep future ideas that I would like to use: A Capture the Flag event organized by the Wadazine, or a yearly challenge club dedicated to WADs, or a weekly Mario Party style shuffle game event. Ideas grow, but now I’ve learned not to bite off more than I can chew.
We have been through quite a lot. From our highest points to our lowest points. Times when we’ve felt worn out and tired from so much work, and times when we’ve felt inspired to do anything. The Wadazine, through it all, remains, because as long as there is Doom, we will be. Even if I were to disappear, it is my wish that this project continues to express the fantastic love we have for Doom as a community. From the first moment it came out, that has been the number one task of this project.
Now, the Wadazine is not only a simple literary project, but, personally, it’s become a kind of hut for me. It’s the place I go to when I want to forget about the problems of real life. When I want to chat with friends and play some Doom while having a good time. Some projects may have been stopped for reasons beyond my control, but the main project will always go on, and now, with so many readers and such a loyal team, I’m sure that even if I were to disconnect, the project would continue with beautiful life. That’s what I want, and I can say that if it is under my power, the Wadazine will go on and on. Your #1 Doom companion and your best guide in the world of WADs and Doom knowledge. The Doom Master Wadazine has no end!