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New Doom Gets Author, Old Doom Gets Retrospective

Doom is all over the place today, with a sci-fi author signing on to write Doom 4, and an original Doom article from the vaults of Game Developer Magazine.

Everyone who bitched and moaned about Doom 3 being bland or antiquated now has slightly less to bitch and moan about, as CVG confirms id Software has hired British science fiction author Graham Joyce to "help develop the storyline potential" of Doom 4. This fits in with their previous comments about taking Doom 4 in a new direction from the past entries in the series.

I know it was never cool to like Doom 3 after it came out, but damnit, I liked it a lot anyway. Sure, the overt monster closets were a little embarrassing, but otherwise I thought it was a seriously scary and atmospheric shooter with a halfway decent storyline. Then again, having an honest working writer plotting out Doom 4 can only help. It's certainly worked for Half-Life.

Joyce has won numerous awards and published plenty of material; I hope he can bring his chops to bear to improve the narrative flow of Doom 4.

Hardcore nerds only, please.
Changing topic slightly from the next Doom to the first Doom, Gamasutra has published a sweet 1994 article from the vaults of its sister publication, Game Developer magazine. It's all about the state of id back then, and what went into making Doom what it was.

In an era where it often takes 20MB to put in all the advertised features, they did it in less than four.

At a time where soundcard compatibility was a big problem, they added on Disney Sound Source as an afterthought for demonstrations. As many larger game companies are coming to terms with cross-platform development, to them it comes naturally.

They write games that would take larger companies 30 people or more, and the whole company comprises seven people. They are the programmers at Id Software, and what they are doing could change the PC game industry forever.

It sure did. The article goes to a pleasingly geeky level of minute detail, as in this quote.

Id’s main working environment is a series of PCs networked together, some of which run DOS. However, when it comes to programming, NeXTStep is the team’s weapon of choice. John Carmack has never regretted trudging through the snow in Madison to buy a NeXT cube. The level editor that Romero made for Doom took five human-months to make, but would have taken much longer on any other operating system.

Check out the full article if you're a nostalgic nerd like me.
20 Comments
Posted by Brad

Everyone who bitched and moaned about Doom 3 being bland or antiquated now has slightly less to bitch and moan about, as CVG confirms id Software has hired British science fiction author Graham Joyce to "help develop the storyline potential" of Doom 4. This fits in with their previous comments about taking Doom 4 in a new direction from the past entries in the series.

I know it was never cool to like Doom 3 after it came out, but damnit, I liked it a lot anyway. Sure, the overt monster closets were a little embarrassing, but otherwise I thought it was a seriously scary and atmospheric shooter with a halfway decent storyline. Then again, having an honest working writer plotting out Doom 4 can only help. It's certainly worked for Half-Life.

Joyce has won numerous awards and published plenty of material; I hope he can bring his chops to bear to improve the narrative flow of Doom 4.

Hardcore nerds only, please.
Changing topic slightly from the next Doom to the first Doom, Gamasutra has published a sweet 1994 article from the vaults of its sister publication, Game Developer magazine. It's all about the state of id back then, and what went into making Doom what it was.

In an era where it often takes 20MB to put in all the advertised features, they did it in less than four.

At a time where soundcard compatibility was a big problem, they added on Disney Sound Source as an afterthought for demonstrations. As many larger game companies are coming to terms with cross-platform development, to them it comes naturally.

They write games that would take larger companies 30 people or more, and the whole company comprises seven people. They are the programmers at Id Software, and what they are doing could change the PC game industry forever.

It sure did. The article goes to a pleasingly geeky level of minute detail, as in this quote.

Id’s main working environment is a series of PCs networked together, some of which run DOS. However, when it comes to programming, NeXTStep is the team’s weapon of choice. John Carmack has never regretted trudging through the snow in Madison to buy a NeXT cube. The level editor that Romero made for Doom took five human-months to make, but would have taken much longer on any other operating system.

Check out the full article if you're a nostalgic nerd like me.
Staff
Posted by Tiwi

hell yea!!
and first

Posted by LiquidPrince

Has this one been supposedly planned for release for ever like Duke Nukem?

Posted by Snail

Oh wow. I'll be happier when I see the game in the shelves (that's something the gaming industry taught me).

Posted by myketuna

I loved Doom when it had no story (come on, let's be serious). Now that it might have one, then sure I'm all for it.

@LiquidPrince
I don't believe so. First time I heard about it was at QuakeCon last year.

Edited by AllThatBacon

"I know it was never cool to like Doom 3 after it came out, but damnit, I liked it a lot anyway."

Haha. That kind of reminds me of how its not cool to like anything George Lucas has done since 1983. Bah.

I was never too crazy about Doom 3. Hopefully Doom 4 ends up being like the Half Life 2 of the series and blows every one's mind. Eh... maybe.

Posted by DJDarkViper

haha Doom3 was an awesome game, and had an awesome engine behind it. Just .. never really took off. Id Didn't push its advantages over other popular engines.

oh well, HUGE iD Fan anyways, RAGE is on my list right the hell away

Posted by McQuinn

Final, a doom I may want to get into.

Posted by Sokkratez

I love Doom so fucking hard. Wonderful article.

Posted by Hamst3r

Doom 3 was fucking awesome! :D :D :D

Posted by HistoryInRust
LiquidPrince said:
"Has this one been supposedly planned for release for ever like Duke Nukem?"
It was only announced last year.  Besides, at least id released a Doom 3.  The Duke Nukem team has been silent. 
Edited by momentarylogic

What I would like to see id do is make it a tumbler of a game. I mean, what made the old ones so good is that I could (and felt compelled to) blaze through it, and it scared me because of the decorum. That and they made you fight through hell.

Story is cool, but I would love to see it take a backseat or a more passive role like in bioshock. I want to feel the dread.

Apocalypse now damnit!

Posted by Jimbo_N

I will never play Doom, or any other ID Software game, for the story. And never ever will I feel like their games need a "real" story. Id makes the best shooters out there even if I dont have a huge plot backing up my shotgun. The story in ID games should give you a reason to shoot stuff and they always succeed with that. Quake 2 is probably their finest example so far. I also think that Doom 3 is one of the greatest shooters of all time.. Not on par with the first one of course but still up there.

Posted by Alphazero

id sure does take their code indentation seriously. Bam. Indented. 4 spaces per tab might be enough for lesser developers, but they have like 12.

I liked big chunks of Doom 3, but that level in Hell itself was flat out awesome. Wish more of it was like that. Maybe if they indented their code more.

Posted by hyperslug

The first doom holds up really well i think :) still play it a lot every now and then through source ports

Posted by MrKlorox

I was really uninterested in Doom 3 when it came out. HL2 came out around the same time and it was sooo much more along the lines of what I wanted to play. However I'm curious to see where Doom is headed with III. I kinda wish they'd bring back the quake-1 feel before they made it all aliens and shit in Quake 2 through 4/QW. I'm excited about the Tech5 engine, and megatexturing is very obviously the future of open world game design.

I like how the Tech5 engine allows the entire team to work on the map at the same time from different PCs and updates in real-time. This facet is very undernoticed, and will be a huge mechanic in the future. LBP will give people a taste when they allow simultanous multi user level design later on. I hope id makes available a version of their level editor as they tend to.

Posted by jakob187

Brad, never fear, sir:  it is PERFECTLY FINE to love Doom 3.  People can bitch all they want, but it was a tight and well-made shooter.

As for story, what more does anyone need for a Doom game?  You are a space marine.  Hell has come to your dimension.  You kill demons.  That's all you ever need.  I don't need an explanation behind all of it.  I just need a reason given to me in order to kill a shitload of demons.  = D
Posted by Media_Master

not into it but I see why

Posted by CitizenKane

Just got around to reading this.  Sounds awesome!

Posted by vidiot

I loved Doom 3's tech.

I hated Doom 3 as a game, defiantly associated due to a level of blandness and unoriginality that made it feel it was a game mad ten years ago from a design standpoint. The horrendous thing they considered a plot defiantly helped shape my conclusion.

It's good that they are embracing the concept of a plot, versus say, firing someone for giving their product a form of context. They sure have come along way. *rolls eyes*

Best of luck Id.