A few minutes ago I was reading a personal message from on of the Doomworld members regarding a demand for an excuse. Before reading the thread in question, I had absolutely no idea what it was all about and after reading all the pages to the end, I was shocked. I felt terrible, unconscious to a certain degree. Why?
In the past, I have done mistakes, no need to deny this. I send my excuses to esselfortium regarding the texture fraud for my Refinery release years ago, it wasn't one of my most decent and clever dickmoves but I kept learning from it. Yes, I got a lot of inspiration from the Adventures of Square website when creating an appropriate place for Blade of Agony's space, because MTrop hit the nail on the head, the page is perfect. Adding an easter-egg into Torment & Torture from Laz Rojas' Rheingold is something that doesn't ignite but feed the fire. But plagiazing maps for one of my most respected co-mappers Dragonfly (having worked together on Stronghold)? This sounds so wrong - but unfortunately it's true.
Disclaiming that assets from Epic 2 have been used in my Skulldash contribution "Sekhmet's Fury" according to the facts that have been found would be very implausible. So why did I use parts of one famous and well-known mapset in a map for a project that - with a high certainty - will be played by a huge amount of members discovering, that the assets have been copied and pasted? When reading the thread I wasn't able to answer the question myself. Almost stunned I took the time to research, and I found an explanation - not an excuse.
I am mapping for Classic Doom since 1996 - that's 24 years now. During such a long time, mapping and creativity approaches tend to change organically. For a very long time I was mapping in a way that I called myself "Baukasten System" (a building set). I played all kind of community maps as an inspiration. If I found some interesting architectures - no matter if they are generic or complex - I saved these little snippets in a folder called "/inspiration/" or rebuild them from scratch to study and also put my interpretation in a folder called "/pieces/" for later use. When creating a completely new map, I started off with a) building new structures I just had in my mind, b) building structures that I drew inspiration from and c) using finished room pieces in the map, texturing it and connecting it organically to the rest of the map.
I used this technique over 12, 13 years between the early 2000's and the middle of 2010's, collecting and creating a huge amount of content for both, the inspiration and the pieces folder. These folders served as a base for Stronghold, ZPack and Austerity.
While I was working on Blade of Agony, Dragonfly and I were talking about his new project. I loved the concept and when he was asking for guest mappers, I wanted to support the project as Dragonfly was a great help when I was working on Stronghold years ago - one hand washes the other. It was also a chance to ultimately release a lot of unused material from the "/pieces/" folder, so that's what I did: Aligning unused structures and ideas in a very linear map, speeding up the process of contribution and still deliver a qualitys and entertaining result. Unfortunately - and this is what currently annoys me the most about myself - I had no careful organization with the folders. Between original assets from me, one of the wad files in "/pieces/" contained structures that should have ended up in "/inspiration/" but instead ended up in Skulldash as altered original material from Eternal.
There is not much I can say at the moment, I feel ashamed and I feel angry about myself. The community is a place that is kept alive with original ideas, with syndetic support and inspiring each other. Yes, I am not a good texture artist, neither a programmer or a sprite drawer. But I am a visionary, I am a mapper, I am putting my heart and soul into this. And the least I ever wanted is to be a thief, that's not my nature as I respect everyone's effort and work that keeps this beautiful community so lively and creative.
Dragonfly, I am sorry for bringing you into this situation, accounting yourself for the accusation of plagiarism that was induced by my inaccurate operation. I also want to apologise to Eternal for using his wonderful assets in the map without his agreement and his credit, I didn't do this on purpose and it was not my intention to steel your work and present it as my own creation. Last I want to beg the community's pardon: apologies to everyone I disappointed, especially those that I work and discuss with side by side for over two decades now.
I also want to mention a little update from April, 8th 2020 and speak out my gratitude to everyone giving me encouragement and sympathy during these days (some people know it's not only about the plagiarism) through e-mails, forum posts and personal messages, especially Redneckerz and Maxim for their words. It's not about whitewashing what has happened, it's more about seeing that behind every nickname there is a person, a human-being that can make mistakes - and that can improve himself.
Daniel "Tormentor667" Gimmer