WhoDunIt Mod for Zandronum Wins A Cacoward!

The news is a bit late. I’ve been really busy and haven’t had much time to write any more articles for this blog. But now that there is a slight lull, there will be a few new articles posted up within the coming days.

To start things off, the WhoDunIt Mod for Zandronum, a Doom source port I may have mentioned previously, won a Cacoward over at doomworld.com. Doomworld is frequently sited as one of the biggest networks for Doom news, and includes a mirror of the /idgames archive, a massive library of released Doom mods and levels. Each year, on Doom’s birthday (that being December 10th), a panel of folks review nominated mods released within the year and select the 10 best releases for awards, with several miscellaneous awards given out for best multiplayer, etc. Winning a cacoward can be sited as a great achievement worthy of some bragging rights.

The three men gaze at each other in silence. Yellow’s eyes dart back and forth, contemplating whether to fixate on Red or Blue. Once a party of six, only three remain, their dwindling numbers a testament to the raw fear that had been eating away at Yellow since awakening in the dusty old museum: a murderer had been walking among them. Yellow’s trembling hands grip the pistol tightly as he spares a glance at the old mirror in the room, once more spying the desperation in his own eyes. A sudden burst of movement and a thundering crack later, and Red is on the ground before Yellow becomes conscious of his own actions. The murderer now lies dead at his feet. He was sure of it. All evidence had pointed to Red: the suspicious movements, the time he spent wandering alone. It had to have been Red, right? Yellow’s final question was answered swiftly as he felt the icy blade of a knife piercing his back…

That’s not an excerpt from a (rather bad) mystery novel. That’s a description of actual gameplay from WhoDunIt, a brilliant new gameplay mode for Zandronum (formerly Skulltag) centering around deception and paranoia. It’s a simple enough concept: each round, one person is secretly declared the Murderer, and it’s their job to silently kill off the other players while remaining undetected. What really makes the gameplay shine, though, is the chaos that often results from the “innocents”. The beautiful film-noir-esque maps are littered with improvised weapons and the occasional firearm, as a means for innocents to defend themselves… in theory, that is. In practice, a “suspicious” act by an innocent can find him slain at the hands of his fellow non-murderers, a deed which does not go unpunished. Matches often slide in the murderer’s favor in such a manner, with the evildoer himself rarely getting his hands dirty. Now, who’s the real monster?

This sort of tension is unlike anything I’ve ever played. I’ve fond memories of hiding in dark shadows on a server somewhere, huddled behind my knife, silently gazing onward as rampant paranoia claims yet another victim. It’s not often you find a gameplay conversion of this scale turning out so well, even moreso in a multiplayer setting. As such, even in the face of solid CTF sets like Velocity CTF X and 32in14-12, WhoDunIt takes the crown in my eyes.

Of course, that won’t be stopping everyone from playing nothing but dwango5, but if that describes you, you may want to watch your back. There might just be somebody creeping up with a knife…

-Xaser

You can read the full cacowards article here. The awards came late this year due to some circumstances, instead arriving on Christmas. Quite the Christmas present, I’ll say!

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