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hardcore_gamer

Why haven't there been more indie Doom clones?

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Posted (edited)

Ok so there have been a very handful in recent years such as Dusk, Ion Maiden and that Hexen/Heretic style game, but that's about it. I must say this seem pretty weird to me. Doom/Quake style games seem like they would be among the easiest to make for indie devs since the gameplay formula is simple and these games could in theory be made without ultra realistic graphics. So why have we seen so few? One would have assumed that with the huge number of people making indie games these days and the availability of free tools like blender and Unity that we would have seen far more of them by now. Is there any special reason for why there have been so few considering that indie game development has become so widespread?

 

EDIT: I should point out that by "Doom clones" I just mean the general gameplay style of Doom. Games don't need to use sprites to be Doom clones.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Between Dusk, Ion Maiden, Devil Daggers, Strafe, Amid Evil, Immortal Redneck, et al I think we are seeing a resurgence of this type of shooter. A lot of them are just very low-profile.

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21 minutes ago, Gifty said:

Between Dusk, Ion Maiden, Devil Daggers, Strafe, Amid Evil, Immortal Redneck, et al I think we are seeing a resurgence of this type of shooter. A lot of them are just very low-profile.

 

Yea like I said there have been a few but not that many and I don't even consider games like Strafe to be Doom clones in-spite of the old graphics style. My point was that considering the insane number of people who have downloaded and used Unity or some other engine and with the ever growing growth of the indie gaming scene one would have expected there to be a whole lot more by now.

 

3 minutes ago, dybbuk said:

Don't forget Project Warlock ;)

 

That looks more like a Wolf3D clone honestly :/

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It's because of Zenimax, If a title has doom in its name, or has its similarities, they want money.

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9 minutes ago, Equinox24 said:

It's because of Zenimax, If a title has doom in its name, or has its similarities, they want money.

 

Zenimax has nothing to do with this. It isn't possible to copyright a genre of gaming, no matter what the makers of PUBG say...

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Ok so there have been a very handful in recent years such as Dusk, Ion Maiden and that Hexen/Heretic style game, but that's about it. I must say this seem pretty weird to me. Doom/Quake style games seem like they would be among the easiest to make for indie devs since the gameplay formula is simple and these games could in theory be made without ultra realistic graphics. So why have we seen so few?


Cause you can fart out a ton of crap but it takes real care and attention to detail to craft the good ones, like the games you already mentioned.

I gotta say STRAFE's pizza rolls mini-game made me wish there was a full game like that, as it was very Doom-y.

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I'm confused. In your OP you mention Doom/Quake clones, so you clearly start the talk about the retro FPS genre as a whole. But then you specifically start knocking off Quake or Wolf clones. Nail the goalpost down, please.

 

Anyway, re: Doom in particular. Even though Unity is accessible and relatively simple to work with, recreating Doom's specific 2.5D movement model and limiting yourself to no room-over-room architecture is a strangely specific set of constraints. The Wolf3D clones are much easier to make and the Quake clones are properly using what the engine has to offer, the middle road makes very little sense. For a proper Doom clone with proper Doom feel, you simply need idtech-1, build, or your own custom 2.5D engine - and therein lies the reason why not so many people rush in to create them, I would say.

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cuz there no budget right now to do clones, people need abt 50000 in bills to do it

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No one needs to create a clone - we already have Doom, which can become just about anything, using mods vs. rewrites.

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EDIT: I should point out that by "Doom clones" I just mean the general gameplay style of Doom. Games don't need to use sprites to be Doom clones. In fact Quake in a way is itself a Doom clone.

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1 minute ago, hardcore_gamer said:

EDIT: I should point out that by "Doom clones" I just mean the general gameplay style of Doom. Games don't need to use sprites to be Doom clones. In fact Quake in a way is itself a Doom clone.

I dont think it would since The same people that made doom made quake..

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Equinox24 said:

I dont think it would since The same people that made doom made quake..

This statement makes no sense, but I'm going to assume a definition for it.

Quake more-or-less is a Doom clone. That id made it is irrelevant. It was released in '96, same year as Half-Life, well within the timeframe of the "Doom clones" that came about shortly after '93.

Heretic, Hexen, and Strife are Doom clones, and yet their gameplay is rather different from Doom (Heretic less so, but Hexen is more puzzle-based and Strife is an FPS-RPG in theory).

Speaking more broadly, pretty much any FPS that exists today is in some way a Doom clone because Doom was what popularized the new genre. Any new genre of video games would be called clones of the original before a name for the genre would be settled upon.

 

Half-Life was released in '98, not '96. I'm such an idiot sometimes. Thanks to Empyre for correcting me.

Edited by Aquila Chrysaetos : Correction

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Posted (edited)

I can't tell you why developers don't bother in the first place, but I feel that a lot of developers don't really "get" Doom. 

 

I've always felt that Doom is predicated upon three "pillars" that comprise its gameplay- Action, Exploration and Suspense. A lot of clones wind up going full action and leaving out exploration and suspense, killing the pacing or making the gameplay monotonous. Strafe is a good example of this- a supposedly "retro" FPS that turns into an annoying slog very quickly (I have little faith in Dusk or that bluish-HR Geiger-looking game either).  

 

Either that or the gameplay has some annoying gimmick (weapon upgrades, RPG elements, alternate fire modes). Fuck off already. 

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I considered making one, but it's a lotta fucking work for sprites alone (before any other stuff is considered); at best, 5 angles with stand/walk/attack/hurt/death frames (although the latter is just the one angle) for about 20 or so enemies is the better part of a year's work AT LEAST for a solo developer like me.

But there's an answer for you. Not the definitive. An answer.

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I'm trying to make one myself! Can we mourn the cost and time required to make enemies together? ;_;

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I feel its because most would be clones become full TCS for Doom instead. 

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20 minutes ago, Tompig said:

I feel its because most would be clones become full TCS for Doom instead. 

 

Agreed. 

 

I think the era has passed though. The 90's had a number of Doom clones and some really good games that were made from using Doom as an inspiration; Blood, Duke 3D, Star Wars: Dark Forces, etc. 

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Haven't there been a veritable fuckton of 'Doom clones' released basically every year since Doom came out? Just how many more do we need, am I missing something here?

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Many indie FPS games these days but most of them follow the rogue-like design. Few others I think have a big open arena.

It's only when Dusk came out that my faith was restored, single player designed levels with focus on exploration/secrets and than some good gameplay.

Ion Maiden looks and plays pretty well too, many many secrets and easter eggs in the demo. Amid Evil has really crazy architecture, though the shooting feels not as good. That's all I know from the ones that go for level design, hopefully we will see more in the future.

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1 hour ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

Quake ... was released in '96, same year as Half-Life

I didn't think that was right, so I looked it up. Quake was released June 22, 1996, but Half-Life was released November 8, 1998.

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3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

EDIT: I should point out that by "Doom clones" I just mean the general gameplay style of Doom. Games don't need to use sprites to be Doom clones. In fact Quake in a way is itself a Doom clone.

 

2 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

...Quake more-or-less is a Doom clone...Heretic, Hexen, and Strife are Doom clones...

That's not how I see it. With that logic, Doom is a clone of Battlezone. No way, right?

 

For me, calling something a Doom clone suggests the same level of technology: First person shooter, partial, restricted (some call it 2.5D, which is another less-than-stellar term) 3D, sprites, basic lighting, software rendering. To "clone" is to create something that mimics something else. Heretic, Hexen, and Strife are not clones - they are, in fact, games using a modified version of Doom's engine.

 

Building a Wolf clone is pretty easy, with straightforward math, with a simple map format. But the tricks used to speed up Doom make duplicating that technology a lot more difficult, even with its restrictions. For a new game, does it make sense to put that much effort into your project, while accepting the restrictions inherent with such a design?

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I like your point. I was using the term Doom clone in its looser variation, but ultimately, a Doom clone would run on the same engine or an equivalent thereof. It makes sense to consider it would be much easier to simply mod the game than write an entirely new engine with the same "personality." Sure, a team of six people could build a fun game, it's been done before, mostly in the 90's as I'm aware, but that much effort for such a design does seem to lose some of its appeal.

 

That said, some might like the idea of an engine of that "personality" (there I go using that word again), accepting the limitations inherent within, for the sake of creating a game that pushes these boundaries. However, many mods today do just that with an order of magnitude less effort put forth because the engine's already built, it just looks different and maybe functions a little differently and some could qualify as standalone games simply running on this engine, so maybe indie "games" of the Doom color really aren't dead or just not being made, per se.

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Quantity doesn't mean "Quality".

 

Many Doom-styled games doesn't mean that we will have a lot of cool Doom-like games. Half of those indie projects are shit.

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39 minutes ago, Halfblind said:

How about these games? Do these count?

Hell, yeah, they count. The real shame of it is that, if those games had been built in the early 90's, they would have snatched up all the glory id Software got. But, just because of when they are built, you rarely even hear of them.

 

2 hours ago, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

...Sure, a team of six people could build a fun game, it's been done before, mostly in the 90's as I'm aware, but that much effort for such a design does seem to lose some of its appeal...

 

Nowadays, it's easier and it has much higher return to build a 3D-accelerated game. Why render pixels and do a bunch of complex math for humble frame rates, when you can throw a mesh and/or some polygons out there, and get perfect lighting, shadows, 3D models, and all the other niceties  that come with the modern capabilities of these magical video cards. And, yeah, they are about as close to magic as anything you could dream of, graphic-wise. The younger people take these things for granted, I think. We're talking about dozens of billions of calculations, like it was nothing. Why build Doom when you can have 60 FPS 3840x2160 photo quality, for the same amount of work (or less)?

 

Still, building the resources is a bitch nowadays, but, sprites are no cakewalk either.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Zenimax has nothing to do with this. It isn't possible to copyright a genre of gaming, no matter what the makers of PUBG say...

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

 

Capcom tried to copyright the fighting game genre back in the 1990s by suing Data East for their fighting game "Fighters History" which rather shamelessly copied Street Fighter 2's play mechanics:

 

http://www.patentarcade.com/2005/08/case-capcom-v-data-east-nd-cal-1994-c.html

 

The 9th Circuit ruled against Capcom, so I certainly could not see Zenimax having much of a case.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, kb1 said:

Hell, yeah, they count. The real shame of it is that, if those games had been built in the early 90's, they would have snatched up all the glory id Software got. But, just because of when they are built, you rarely even hear of them.

 

I massively disagree with this. Some of the games posted above are great examples of how most indie retro shooter devs don't seem to have a good understanding of why games like Doom were actually so fun except only on a superficial level. Most of these games fall into the trap of not understanding how to make good gunplay. It's not enough to just create a generic combat system where you point at something and it dies. The combat has to feel meaty and satisfying, and that means having strong and powerful gun sounds as well as good audio design in general, in addition to satisfying death animations. The overwhelming majority of these games don't understand this whatsoever. I have only taken a brief look at that Neon Shadow and Retro blazer game and both are great examples of what I am talking about. The graphics themselves don't look so bad, but the combat looks lame because the guns sound like shit and enemies just explode or die in a boring manner. Doom is fun because the combat feels gory and messy, and even more so if you are using a mod like Smooth Doom or Brutal Doom.

 

Most devs just don't seem to understand how to make good fps combat.

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