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9/29/98 Mailbag

Recently (well, actually, quite a while ago), Doom Legacy announced that they've been working on a sort of dynamic lighting for their source port which would allow projectiles like plasma bullets and rockets to light up surfaces as they flew past. What does the Doom community think of such an idea? Well...

What? Doom Legacy is gonna have dynamic lighting? Damn I've been living under a rock. I guess AOL doesn't want people to know anything. We can blame anything on AOL and they won't deny it. And as for Doom Legacy, can't they fix the exit code? Who spiked my Kool-Aid with acid? Why are there sheep crawling down my screen? Who let me in here? Why can't I get out? Where's the red key on Map 2? Where's the red key on Map 1? Why aren't there any keys on Map 30? Why does Doom always crash when I see an Imp firing BFG blasts that turn into bright green Barons that walk on the ceiling? Why is my [NO CARRIER

Matt Denham

So I'll mark that up as a yes... no, wait, that's a no... uh... damnit...

I think it fits Legacy perfectly. After all, they are (or seem to be) going for an all out Quake/Doom port. Everything they have implemented is something from Quake (console,skins,lighting,mlook etc..), which is fine, thats what keeps Legacy diverse. I think they need that kind of diversity with the advent of the Merge :) . I think it is a great piece of eye candy and I can't wait to see my rockets light up the hallways of Doom.


We can only hope that Doom Legacy doesn't begin to imitate every aspect of Quake (instantaneous weapon changes... horribly imbalanced weapons...)

I WANT IT!! This might even improve the speed of WADS, when you consider the way we make shadowing now. Think of all the waisted Sectors, that could be used for other things!!

Kurt Kesler

And so says, Kurt Kesler, the man of a thousand WADs, who will probably start making a klegacy series when the dynamic lighting is released. More power to ya, Kurt.

i would love to have the new lighting in levels i think, but i hope its not like quake is... every level u play is too damn dark
i get so sick of walking around these dark places.. anyway
i hope that makes since


Have you ever, uh, tried gamma correction? Maybe adjusting the contrast? Still, you make a lot of since.

As with many added features, I think there are good points and bad points to it. Dynamic Lighting, is without a doubt, an impressive feature. And I see no reason why it shouldnt be done, and if it is playable, it should be a very good addition to doom legacy, and other source ports if they implement it and Carl Persson releases the source code.

The bonus's are fairly obvious, Dynamic Lighting explains itself. A year ago, no one would of even imagined this in doom, much less many of the other features implemented.

The detractors are only there if Dynamic Lighting takes alot of processor power, and since I like the fact that Doom Legacy runs on lower end systems, I think it would be bad if Dynamic Lighting was unplayable on anything less then a pentium.

And getting rid of the 'old' lighting system isnt something I look all too forward too. Quake 2's dynamic ligting and colored lighting is great, no doubt about it. But if you've ever tried to make a level and compile it for 4 hours, then when you zip it up, its 1 meg, then you see the problem.

And also, I dont see how it can be compatible with old levels, as many levels was based on the sector-lighting of certain areas, not only for effects, but for things such as the level 28 ambush when you get the chain gun.

We doomers do take things for granted, asking for more and more features, without thinking of the time it might take to code it, or what might actually come out of it. Hi-Res is a similar issue. People wanted it, so many people put it in there 'mods', but I for one think that its taken for granted. Hi-Res isnt all its cracked up to be if the textures arent designed for it.

I usually post on the TeamTNT discussion board (www.customforun.com/teamtnt), and there are many good arguments and discussions there. Granted, I havent actually been able to *play* doom in a while, or even go online or check my mail for a while due to 'stuff'. But I try to keep up with whats happening.

My opinion overall will be decided once I get to see it for myself, as you cant judge something or someone until your absolutely sure you know what your talking about. And until its released, no one does.


I think I'll count that as a "yes."

Who in the right mind would want sector based lighting. I say hell yes to quake style lighting.

Jim Kirk

Well, in 1993, I didn't hear too many people clamoring for lightsourcing in Doom...

Anyone can play Doom. It's the common denominator. When legacy implements dynamic lighting correctly, I imagine it would take a pretty big toll on a 486dx2/66's frame rate. Yes, it looks cool. Yes, it adds to the atmosphere of the game. Yes, it could make doom a better(?) game. Heck, i'll play it. But I hope when a wickedly-fast internet port is released, I hope it doesn't use one of the performance-hogging beasts as a base. Of course, i'm assuming everything about legacy's performance since i'm no longer cursed with a slow computer, but that's my opinion.

Dave Kiddell

You gotta remember that everything here is going to be completely optional... people will still be able to play normal, sector-based-lit, Doom.

Abhor or applaud it? Geeze, it's hard to say. Personally, I look forward to it, should give Doom some interesting qualities, and save alot of time while editing levels. But the only problem is, how long is it going to take to compile a lightmap for a level? And what type of perfromance hit is it going to make on the game? There are people who run 486s still that would be totally dicked over by this. And well, Doom was designed for a 486 and it is still said to see the people who have them not be able to run some of the newer ports well.

But back to the lighting. This is an interesting topic, because, well, it takes one of the most important skills of realistic level design out of the loop. Creating good lighting with sectors has very much become and art, which has been perfected by Ola Bjorling, and his technique has become the new standard for lighting in Doom levels. And well, if dynamic lightsourcing was added, it would diminish lighting as an artform of Doom level design, because it would be quite easy for anyone to add realistic looking lighting, and that just detracts from the way Doom levels are made. But, also, it has it's ups. I would love to see those plasma balls light up a room, or the BFG cause a huge flash that white-outed the screen when it exploded. Those would most deifnately be good features. Even the texture scorching that was demonstrated was cool. But personally, I feel that if using the lightsourcing was too automatic, and didn't leave most of the choices of how it was to be used up to the level author, we could see a cheapening of Doom level editing.

So personally, although I would love to see dynamic lightsourcing in Doom, I don't want it to cause every Tom, Dick, and Harry to simply press a button and have his lighting be done for him, and have it equal the quality of something that some of the best wad authors spend hours of time perfecting.


I have some Quake mapmakers I would like you to meet. Who wish to rip you into tiny little pieces for thinking that placing lightsources is as easy as pushing a button.

I'm going to base my comments on what was stated thus far on the Legacy page regarding the lighting issues.

If they have static lighting that doesn't significantly impact execution speed, I see no reason to disallow it. Hell, if it looks good, and it doesn't slow stuff down, go for it.
The issue of 'purity' doesn't really mean a whole lot, since it won't effect levels that don't have it, so it doesn't alter the playability of the original levels or patch wads, and it'll look cool in levels that allow for it.

Dynamic lighting, on the other hand..
This is something I'm not so sure about.
In order for me to accept this, it has to be *fast*. That is, it has to still chug along at a decent framerate at near-fullscreen on a 486.
Tall order.
If it doesn't, then it's harming gameplay. The system requirements can't be upped significantly. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm adamant on this one.

Even if it /can/ be done quickly enough.. I'm not sure if I like it. It would have to be optional, definitely. It would change things quite a bit for light to spring up from rockets/plasma bullets/BFG blasts/etc. The impact would be quite complex, and I'm not sure if I like the possible results.

But I have to admit, it'd be pretty cool looking. =)

Teflon the Almighty

It seems to me that static lightsourcing would change Doom to an immeasurably greater degree than would dynamic lighting. What's going to more noticed -- a rocket lighting up the hall as it flies down it, or an entire level lit in the same manner?

DLight for Legacy? I'm totally for it. The existing Doom engine is quite old and runs very quickly on new PCs, so I don't see anything wrong with a slight slowdown -- and the benifits of dynamic lighting far outweigh even this concern. This is exactly what Legacy needs to stay in the race for best Doom TC.

Julian Selman

What we need is for Legacy to add all of Boom's extended linedefs and then put in the OpenGL rendered and great TCP/IP play and DOSDoom's scripting and... anyways, back to reality.

I think that once the bugs have been worked out of it, that dynamic lighting could be a great addition to DOOM. Especially if it can have multiple options, like fire flickering and shadowcasting. (Shadows may need to be limited to level structure only, to speed things up)

However, I persoanlly like sector-based lighting. It makes ambient light so much easier to create, and certain effects would not turn out right if dynamic lighting or even static smoothing were implemented. I think that somehow there should be a way of turning off the smoothing, or some of those just-plain-eerie effects will be destroyed. That is, after all, one of the reasons I think DOOM was so great.

Michael Niggel

Shadowcasting from players and monsters? If you even mention that to id or Epic today, they'll probably run away screaming like a little girl.

All in all, 30 people gave their opinions about Doom Legacy's dynamic lighting, breaking down to:

Good idea: 93%
Bad idea: 7%

Once again, the overwhelmingly vast majority are in favor of the Mailbag's topic question. Now, I have to go try and find something which might be a little more evenly split...

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