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Haaslok

Haaslok's Art Thread

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Posted (edited)

So the Circular Saw badly need an improvement. Here's a small preview of what I am working on. I plan on adding more details and cleaning it up.

 

Spoiler

83ad6439-703c-4457-a61f-a5984216db41.png.2007e8e980fc933c3a06544864845ae2.png

 

Its fairly difficult make it feel like its spinning with only two frames.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Apaul27 said:

You could make something from Wool Ball.

 

Wool Ball? Sorry, I'm new to the Doom modding scene. I'm like a baby.

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4 minutes ago, Haaslok said:

 

Wool Ball? Sorry, I'm new to the Doom modding scene. I'm like a baby.

Well, you can check them out in your free time.

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Good luck on contributing to Freedoom. Your style from the examples is quite fitting for the project, so i'd love to see more from you!

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4 hours ago, Apaul27 said:

You could make something from Wool Ball.

Probably best if Freedoom remains to be the topic, not too many people are willing to contribute sprites ever since Raymoohawk's disappearance.

 

4 hours ago, Haaslok said:

So the Circular Saw badly need an improvement. Here's a small preview of what I am working on. I plan on adding more details and cleaning it up.

Looks good! It's nice to see that the sprites remain consistent with Freedoom's current artstyle. It would be a great opportunity to focus on the Arch-Vile monster especially, non-placeholder sprites are long overdue for it. There are also other monsters that lack a bit of polish like the Mancubus and Arachnotron monsters, but go at your own pace. Good luck on your sprites!

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Posted (edited)

I love your HUD face idea! Also, the circular saw is nice. Looking forward to your sprites!

Freedoom really needs to focus on it's art assets before thinking about levels, so seeing new artists joining is always cool.

Edited by mun

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My main strike against this project is that there is no solid narrative basis for artists to bite into. So I'm not surprised there are few artists on the project. There needs to be creative direction prior to creative produce. A narrative summary that composes of just a single sentence can go a long way. If you want Freedoom to continue limping along, then keep doing what you are doing. It may eventually become finished, but it will be a patchwork of creative ideas and it won't be as enjoyable as it could be. Freedoom seems to go wherever the wind blows. One of the first things the project should have done is make creative demands. If you have an interesting narrative foundation then artists (and others) will flock to the project like bees to honey.

 

I know there were some attempts at building a narrative structure, but it seems nothing came of it. I'm sure a lot of contributors entered the project with the idea that you could get away with a full creative replacement, but you can't. 

 

First of all, we need a narrative that satisfies all of the requirements that the Doom narrative offers. That being:

  • Sci-fi military environments
  • Demonic monsters
  • Hellscape
  • Ritualistic temples

I feel like the Freedoom project is reluctant to lean into the Hell mythos (as if Doom has a monopoly on this). Everyone is being too overly cautious. The solution is not to replace the demons with mutants and Hell with "Horizon", but to take the Doom narrative and add another layer on top of it. My narrative solution is this:

 

Satan has gained control of a high-advanced AI on a planetary human colony. Satan is now building an army of digital-demon-cyborgs to expand its realm.

 

We can lean into the Hell mythos by looking at it through the lens of a computer virus. In the form of digital satanic influence invading our meatspace.

 

Satan becomes a hellish version of Shodan, holographic demons stalk the hallways, the soul sphere is replaced with a floating file folder containing "dark knowledge", etc... This way we don't have to tip-toe around the Doom narrative requirements. Its Doom - but with a spin. I feel like this would make the tone and theme more harmonious with itself.

 

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Posted (edited)

Awesome!

I agree Freedoom does not have the demonic presence of Doom. And it's not like Doom can hold a copyright on satanic themes in general.

I do like the idea of some demonic dark presence possessing an AI and corrupting it to do its bidding.

Freedoom does not have enough mysticism I feel, at the moment it has too much of a theme surrounding aliens and too little dark magic. Freedoom is meant to be used as an IWAD replacement for Doom, yet it sometimes messes up the theme when it's used in PWADs that are intended to have a gothic feeling. In my opinion, and for the sake of PWAD compatibility, if a creature or object in Doom does not have technological elements (say.. the hell knight or hell's torches) its Freedoom replacement should not have them either. Conversely, if a creature in Doom is mechanic or cyborg, it should also be mechanic or cyborg-ish in Freedoom.
I have to say I like the current soul sphere, though.

Edited by Ferk

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On 8/3/2018 at 6:13 AM, Haaslok said:

So the Circular Saw badly need an improvement. Here's a small preview of what I am working on. I plan on adding more details and cleaning it up.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

83ad6439-703c-4457-a61f-a5984216db41.png.2007e8e980fc933c3a06544864845ae2.png

 

Its fairly difficult make it feel like its spinning with only two frames.

I love this! Getting a Quake axe vibe from your design :)

 

9 hours ago, Ferk said:

In my opinion, and for the sake of PWAD compatibility, if a creature or object in Doom does not have technological elements (say.. the hell knight or hell's torches) its Freedoom replacement should not have them either. Conversely, if a creature in Doom is mechanic or cyborg, it should also be mechanic or cyborg-ish in Freedoom.

I'm not really sure I would agree. For example, Raymoohawk's Pestmeister has very good design on its own, and so far I cannot tell how its being an alien creature in high-tech armour makes it not a good replacement of the Baron/Knight, based solely on its appearance.

 

Generally I don't feel that there is any overt clash of styles between Freedoom and PWADs created with Doom in mind, unless you count assets that are in need of improvement.

16 hours ago, Haaslok said:

My main strike against this project is that there is no solid narrative basis for artists to bite into. So I'm not surprised there are few artists on the project. There needs to be creative direction prior to creative produce. A narrative summary that composes of just a single sentence can go a long way. If you want Freedoom to continue limping along, then keep doing what you are doing. It may eventually become finished, but it will be a patchwork of creative ideas and it won't be as enjoyable as it could be. Freedoom seems to go wherever the wind blows. One of the first things the project should have done is make creative demands. If you have an interesting narrative foundation then artists (and others) will flock to the project like bees to honey.

I agree with your analysis generally, but it should be noted that at this point, the project's already long history cannot be simply written off, whatever creative decisions might be made in the future.

 

For example there's a long tradition I would say of attempting to steer clear from the Hell theme. This is not something taken arbitrarily but a result of extensive discussions within the community, for example, here.

 

I would say that in practice this kind of discussion actually concerns two very different topics:

a) there are assets in the Freedoom IWADs that must function as counterparts of assets from the Doom IWADs;

b) Freedoom needs its own story, setting and generally identity that does not copy or mimic that of Doom.

 

In my opinion these are two very different objectives. For the most part, the first one can be said to be more or less accomplished. For example, when I started playing Freedoom (that was v0.7) I mostly used it for PWADs as I did not really like the level design of the official IWAD levels (I can tell you why: I perceived a clash between the rather simplistic art style and the amount of detail put into maps). Some assets felt incomplete or in need of quality improvement but the PWADs were all playable.

 

The thing is that while achieving objective (a), you can actually more or less ignore objective (b) altogether. There have been rather extensive discussions concerning the art style and story of Freedoom here over the course of the project's history, and none really arrived at any concrete solutions. I cannot find this post now but one participant suggested that much like Freedoom, the original Doom also cannot be said to have a single consistent art style, which assets coming from different sources (digitised and hand-drawn, photos and clay models etc.). The fact that you have lava flats and stone wall textures with eerie gargoyle faces doesn't with necessity entail a Hell theme, or any other theme for that matter. It is the story/narrative that provides context for any elements found in the game, not vice versa.

 

The truth is that Doom, and by extension Freedoom as well, narrates its story primarily through gameplay itself, that is, through the levels. And levels is what I'd say is Freedoom's weakest point ATM, because so far there has been very little coherent effort to create a fluid level progression sequence, as opposed to individual map contributions from various authors. As far as I can tell the "czar" development model that was proposed a while ago has not been particularly successful thus far.

 

I mean that you can actually go with any narrative you want (Horizon, Hell invasion, whatever), but unless there's a solid mapset to support this narrative the story will remain as detached from actual gameplay as it was.

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On 8/4/2018 at 6:30 AM, MrFlibble said:

For example there's a long tradition I would say of attempting to steer clear from the Hell theme. This is not something taken arbitrarily but a result of extensive discussions within the community, for example, here.

Long tradition or not, I still don't feel it works.

Lava flats, gargoyle faces, and decorative skulls heavily invoke Hell. Freedoom simply won't embrace it. It just attempts to sidestep these obvious motifs and everybody sees it. It doesn't exist in a vacuum.

 

On 8/4/2018 at 6:30 AM, MrFlibble said:

I mean that you can actually go with any narrative you want (Horizon, Hell invasion, whatever), but unless there's a solid mapset to support this narrative the story will remain as detached from actual gameplay as it was. 

I am not talking about a storyline, I am speaking about a broad narrative basis from which all of the artists and mappers can jump off of. More of a backstory. It needs strong tone and theme. The impression I get is, "kinda Doom, but not quite confident about it"

 

On 8/4/2018 at 6:30 AM, MrFlibble said:

As far as I can tell the "czar" development model that was proposed a while ago has not been particularly successful thus far.

Again, I am not surprised. What's there to be excited about? Freedoom views itself as a resource IWAD. Freedoom should have had grown a soul first; then the creatives will come and build its body.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2018 at 1:16 PM, Haaslok said:

 

I feel like the Freedoom project is reluctant to lean into the Hell mythos (as if Doom has a monopoly on this). Everyone is being too overly cautious. The solution is not to replace the demons with mutants and Hell with "Horizon"

 

 

Honestly I personally love the alien storyline and wish Horizon wasn't as hellish. This might just be me, but the biggest appeal to Freedoom imo is the aliens. I get enough demons. We all do. By now we've reduced every cyberdemon on Mars, Earth, and in hell to a fine red paste. Freedoom offered something different for people to work with and create. And honestly, most alien games out there are either XCOM or bug hunts. Freedoom was fairly original with the atmosphere too. If we go to "cyberspace demons" the atmosphere the project instills will be replaced with about as much seriousness as Chex Quest or H Doom

 

Sincerely, someone who's beat both phases and loved them more than the actual Doom games

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11 hours ago, Haaslok said:

I am not talking about a storyline, I am speaking about a broad narrative basis from which all of the artists and mappers can jump off of. More of a backstory. It needs strong tone and theme. The impression I get is, "kinda Doom, but not quite confident about it"

To be fair, Raymoohawk created some highly original and internally consistent monster designs, without relying heavily on a richly defined backstory. In fact, there were attempts to invent a backstory based on existing designs, not vice versa, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

 

At any rate, Raymoohawk had some strong opinions about what monster design should be, regardless of the story, and held to them. I wish they'd come back and complete at least those monsters that are already partially done (Octaminator, Nukeptyle).

 

The maps are an entirely different thing in this respect. There's a perfect possibility of telling a story through map design alone, as proven by many megawads out there. Of course, mappers have to work with something to put level progression into a single framework, otherwise the project may end up with many maps that are individually well done and internally consistent but fail to combine into a smooth narrative.

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23 hours ago, Haaslok said:

Long tradition or not, I still don't feel it works.

Lava flats, gargoyle faces, and decorative skulls heavily invoke Hell. Freedoom simply won't embrace it. It just attempts to sidestep these obvious motifs and everybody sees it. It doesn't exist in a vacuum.

 

The reason behind it is to avoid creating a derivative work. id made it very clear when this project first started that if Freedoom was too derivative, they'd act to defend their IP.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/4/2018 at 12:30 PM, MrFlibble said:

For example, Raymoohawk's Pestmeister has very good design on its own, and so far I cannot tell how its being an alien creature in high-tech armour makes it not a good replacement of the Baron/Knight, based solely on its appearance.

 

I wasn't talking about its appearance, but its concept. I'm not saying the Pestmeister doesn't look good. What I'm saying is that if I play a WAD meant to have a demonic or medieval/gothic theme (like Castle Nevermore or so), having a futuristic warrior in full hitech armor does look a bit out of place. And you can tell that the mapper intentionally wanted to avoid too much hitech and use more fantasy creatures if possible. There aren't even zombie marines in that map.

 

On 8/11/2018 at 3:03 AM, Dear Hoplite said:

I get enough demons. We all do. By now we've reduced every cyberdemon on Mars, Earth, and in hell to a fine red paste. Freedoom offered something different for people to work with and create. And honestly, most alien games out there are either XCOM or bug hunts. Freedoom was fairly original with the atmosphere too. If we go to "cyberspace demons" the atmosphere the project instills will be replaced with about as much seriousness as Chex Quest or H Doom 

Can you point me out to a Free and Open Source proyect that offers FPS battles with demons? Because I haven't found a single one ...Freedoom was the closest thing.

 

From the top of my head I know at least 2 FOSS FPS games where you do fight aliens: tremulous/vanquished and alien arena.

I can also tell you some other non-free FPS that have aliens: Duke Nukem, Serious Sam, Quake 2 (and forwards), Halo series, Half-life, the "Alien" games like Alien Isolation, etc.

Honestly, most of the time when it's not about realistic modern warfare FPS themes tend to go the alien/sci-fi direction. There aren't many satanic FPS (zombies don't count, most of the time it's actually scifi virus infestation, not really hellspawn).

 

I don't understand your point about "instilling seriousness". Chex Quest is actually about fighting green aliens and it's definitely the most wacky looking of the two. What makes you think an alien theme would make Freedoom be more serious than using a satanic theme? some people even pointed out the Pestmeister hand looks cute. Raymoohawk's sprites are of great quality, don't get me wrong, but no matter how good you make it, a bright skinned space lizard fused to a hand cannot be made scary in such low resolution graphics. It's no wonder that games like Duke Nukem embrace the wackiness and humorous look of anthropomorphic animal-inspired aliens.

 

On 8/12/2018 at 12:05 AM, Doctor Nick said:

The reason behind it is to avoid creating a derivative work. id made it very clear when this project first started that if Freedoom was too derivative, they'd act to defend their IP.

You can keep the theme without copying Doom. A good example is Freedoom's pinky, it's very different from the one from Doom yet it does fit well in hell, it's sort of like the Cthonian from the original "Alone in the dark". Another example is the unfinished archvile replacement from Urric that sadly was left uncompleted.

I also like the concept of the pain elemental, even if the quality of the art might not be as good, the concept is fitting and very different from the original pain elemental. the art might be in need of improvement but that doesn't mean it should be replaced by a mechanical flying robot, I do hope it does not.

Edited by Ferk

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On 8/13/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ferk said:

 

I wasn't talking about its appearance, but its concept. I'm not saying the Pestmeister doesn't look good. What I'm saying is that if I play a WAD meant to have a demonic or medieval/gothic theme (like Castle Nevermore or so), having a futuristic warrior in full hitech armor does look a bit out of place. And you can tell that the mapper intentionally wanted to avoid too much hitech and use more fantasy creatures if possible. There aren't even zombie marines in that map.

This has been discussed before, here's what fraggle said on the subject, and I think this still stands as a guideline for project development (emphasis added):

On 12/27/2015 at 2:54 AM, fraggle said:

PWAD compatibility for the most part means texture compatibility - ie. you can play a PWAD and the walls, floors and ceilings will have textures should mostly make sense in the context of a mod that was made for Doom's texture set.

When textures are wrong, we get bugs filed and can objectively see that a compatibility issue exists. What you're describing is far more vague and subjective - "weapons have a different style and don't look like they match". And as far as I can tell this discussion is speaking entirely in hypotheticals - if we don't slavishly follow the art style, then someone might complain about a mismatch when playing some particular mod. It doesn't make for a very convincing argument.

At some point when talking about compatibility you have to accept that perfect 100% compatibility with all Doom mods is never going to be attainable, and this seems like a good cutoff point - ie. at the point where we have entered the realm of entirely subjective. Ultimately if the art style is different the game is still entirely playable.

But there's a deeper point here that I really want to stress. It's really, really important that Freedoom should have a distinct art style and be as original as possible. We've been pushing in that direction already by eliminating some resources recently which looked or sounded too close to the Doom versions. If you don't understand why, understand that copyright is not simply a matter of "I drew it myself so it's okay". As an example of how broadly copyright can be interpreted, read about this lawsuit for example.

That's why I was intentionally forceful in the language I used in my previous comment: please stop promoting this idea. Because doing so has the potential to be an existential threat to the project. When you talk about "compatibility" to this extent, what you are really talking about is copying Doom.

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On 8/3/2018 at 1:16 PM, Haaslok said:

My main strike against this project is that there is no solid narrative basis for artists to bite into.

Yes, absolutely, I'm 100% with you on this. Please go right ahead and put together a narrative and if it's good, I'll be the first to back such a plan.

 

The unfortunate history here is that there have been lots of "let's define the story for Freedoom" threads in the past, they all result in 4-5 people all proposing different stories and then nothing ever happens. If your plan is, "I'm going to define a story" - great! Maybe this is a better approach. You want to be Freedoom's creative director? Show us your vision and I'll back you all the way.

 

Quote

First of all, we need a narrative that satisfies all of the requirements that the Doom narrative offers. That being:

  • Sci-fi military environments
  • Demonic monsters
  • Hellscape
  • Ritualistic temples

I feel like the Freedoom project is reluctant to lean into the Hell mythos (as if Doom has a monopoly on this).

*Record scratch* and this is where you lose me entirely. There's no "requirement" that Freedoom has a narrative featuring those elements. On the contrary, I'd rather it didn't because:

  • Freedoom is its own thing, and despite the name isn't just "Doom but free"
  • Defining a narrative that is explicitly different will give a more interesting and compelling vision for the project that is more than just "a copy of id's resources". I think this perception of the project has caused deep harm to it in terms of turning off potential contributors.
  • Copying Doom puts the project in a potentially dangerous legal position that we should stringently avoid. And if all the creative content and style flows from the narrative, that lays a dangerous road for the whole project.

In summary, enthusiastically support the first part, please reconsider the second part. Please remember nothing is set in stone; the project can be remade to any vision we choose.

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Posted (edited)

Once upon a time I planned to write a story/aesthetic which was liberally based on  UFO: Enemy Unknown (itself not exactly the origin of most of those tropes) but then XCOM: Enemy Unknown came out and revived that franchise so I didn't. But fundamentally changing to aliens instead of demons I was keen on, to distance from Doom, and the idea of the antagonist trying to tweak our different primeval fears -- I thought was a great way of explaining the wide pantheon of monster types.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, fraggle said:

There's no "requirement" that Freedoom has a narrative featuring those elements. On the contrary, I'd rather it didn't

Come to think if it, there are lots of themes that are left completely unexplored by Freedoom Phase 1, which AFAIK are perfectly doable since there's not hard limit to what textures may be used. For example, why not have Episode 1 use an urban setting with appropriate textures from Phase 2? There's already a precedent set with E4 (Double Impact) largely using the techbase theme traditionally reserved for E1. I think that the skies may be similarly altered if needed, like E4 uses the starry sky unlike its Doom counterpart.

 

I will repeat my earlier statement about the value of the levels themselves telling a story. It seems that for a considerable period of time in Freedoom's development, many maps were made to be vaguely similar to Doom's maps, if not in layout or appearance then in general design leaning towards abstractness. Yet for example, no level appears to show Freedoomguy escaping from somewhere, although that would be kind of an appropriate theme if only as a form of name dropping. You don't need to do this Duke Nukem style either, Hell to Pay for instance starts with what is clearly the protagonist escaping from a prison cell.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ferk said:

Can you point me out to a Free and Open Source proyect that offers FPS battles with demons? Because I haven't found a single one ...Freedoom was the closest thing.

Actually, yes, yes I can, even three of them (one being a sequel though): Cube, Cube 2: Sauerbraten and Shadow Warrior (the data are not FOSS but the game is free and the source code is available).

 

On 8/13/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ferk said:

I wasn't talking about its appearance, but its concept. I'm not saying the Pestmeister doesn't look good. What I'm saying is that if I play a WAD meant to have a demonic or medieval/gothic theme (like Castle Nevermore or so), having a futuristic warrior in full hitech armor does look a bit out of place.

Personally I have no problem with an alien in high-tech armour walking around a medieval castle. In fact, I can make up a justification for that off the top of my head: the Pestmeister represents a technologically advanced alien race which at some point reverted to their old occult rituals, and some eldritch horrors answered their calls... So these guys use high-tech weaponry and can create cybernetically augmented mutants to serve them but monsters from beyond also fight alongside them. In fact, IIRC Lovecraftian mythos (and Raymoohawk admitted at some point that Lovecraft was kind of an inspiration) does combine advanced space-faring alien races and eldritch horrors so there's no contradiction IMO.

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That sawblade edit is phenomenal! I suggest giving it thicker teeth that alternate between frames to give it a better impression of spinning. That, and shifting the reflection just a bit.

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3 hours ago, Blastfrog said:

That sawblade edit is phenomenal! I suggest giving it thicker teeth that alternate between frames to give it a better impression of spinning. That, and shifting the reflection just a bit.

I've been thinking about solutions to better simulate the spinning motion in just two frames. I wasn't pleased with the method they were using before.

 

Unfortunately I can't show you guys on what I am working on b/c I am having internet problems at my personal computer. I am stuck using a different computer currently.

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On 8/17/2018 at 12:11 AM, Haaslok said:

Unfortunately I can't show you guys on what I am working on b/c I am having internet problems at my personal computer. I am stuck using a different computer currently.

Best of luck resolving these issues ASAP! Waiting for your updates ^_^

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On 8/11/2018 at 1:03 PM, Dear Hoplite said:

 

Honestly I personally love the alien storyline and wish Horizon wasn't as hellish. This might just be me, but the biggest appeal to Freedoom imo is the aliens. I get enough demons. We all do. By now we've reduced every cyberdemon on Mars, Earth, and in hell to a fine red paste. Freedoom offered something different for people to work with and create. And honestly, most alien games out there are either XCOM or bug hunts. Freedoom was fairly original with the atmosphere too. If we go to "cyberspace demons" the atmosphere the project instills will be replaced with about as much seriousness as Chex Quest or H Doom

 

Sincerely, someone who's beat both phases and loved them more than the actual Doom games

I remember there being a thread a while back talking about the FreeDoom story, That too strayed away from the hellish theme. It was pretty good, Too bad i can't find it anywhere.

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Just now, MrD!zone said:

I remember there being a thread a while back talking about the FreeDoom story, That too strayed away from the hellish theme. It was pretty good, Too bad i can't find it anywhere.

 

Damn. Sounds fun

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4 hours ago, MrD!zone said:

I remember there being a thread a while back talking about the FreeDoom story, That too strayed away from the hellish theme. It was pretty good, Too bad i can't find it anywhere.

I wonder, was it a story in one of the "story proposal" threads where multiple people give their take of what Freedoom's story would be? YukiHerz made a story proposal I liked the most.

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I thought way too much about an original story for Freedoom and even wrote a giant text-wall but I'll just summarize some ideas that mostly go off the direction I think most people lean toward.

 

-The enemies were formerly an advanced, technological alien civilization. They gradually degenerated after they made contact with the supernatural (things like the AI described below) and their society collapsed multiple times through their very long history. Basically they are supernatural-worshipping feudal aliens that build castles and use 'magic' but also have access to their old technology. This is a race that's been around for some geological scale amount of time. All resources are depleted, their advanced infrastructure is dust and this could be the rationale for invasion.  their main form of power is a type of geothermal for the powered technology they use and they use magic. Some super-science catastrophe made the world very volcanic (maybe they dropped their moon on the planet or something?).

 

-The 'demonic' iconography is their cultural/ religious artwork, since their dreams are invaded by the images due to the spooky Lovecraftian thing that's in their proximity.

 

-The different species of 'aliens' are due to ancient genetic tampering and unchecked evolution. These species barely get along and the feudal type system means they are disorganized and have convoluted and tenuous alilances. So they infight.

 

-Their planet 'Horizon' is hellish due to whatever endless Malthusian resource scarcities and technological disasters through their history. The gross tentacle things, walls of meat, ect are forms of ancient genetically engineered 'crops' that live off whatever bacteria and grows wild and/or is cultivated. They're originally descended from carnivorous apex predators and eat almost nothing but meat, but their entire ecosystem and food chain of their cattle collapsed so they designed mats-of-meat. They're practically obsessed with cultivating it and do so on earth. Maybe the pinkie worms are cattle as well.

 

Some other ideas that could work....

 

-The Map 30 face on a wall is a cloned abomination found dead in deep space or the suchlike. AGM intended to use it as the core for a strong AI supercomputer because they wanted technological singularity and approaches with conventional supercomputers never much surpassed human intelligence. They acknowledge it looks like a human skull (and it's image is plastered all over Horizon) but assume it's convergent evolution and try not to think about it too much. They chopped it up and plugged it into broad-band Internet access (basically) as an experiment. The fail-safes they created failed. It could be some derivative of the Lovecraftian entity.

 

-Alternatively, this abomination is another alien, one they genetically engineered in their history for a similar purpose and it's skull-shape really is convergent evolution or storywise, it's acknowledged but left as a mystery.

 

-The zombie enemies are victims of this AI, which found a way to manipulate the brain implants (via wi-fi) that most people have. Since the chips are essentially cybernetic smart-phones and not designed for this, this control has mixed results (zombies are kinda dumb, compulsively eat gibs off the floor, ect). Presumably you liberate all the zombies you didn't massacre if you kill the AI, or maybe it's permanent, or a virus that lives on after the AI dies.

 

-The AI used AGM's faster-than-light telecommunications tech used to communicate between colonies in real-time (they are tiny gauge teleportation devices) and somehow widened them and used them as conduits for physical invasion.

 

-Freedoom guy should be some sort of elite soldier/spy/cyborg/supersoldier, equipped with a non-standard brainchip. (Maybe it runs Linux so never had the automatic 'upgrades' that the AI used to control everyone else, haha.) Same with the elite soldiers or officers around the AGM facilities (the dead marines or allies in certain mods). Whatever faction he was originally from or other details, idk. I assert he should be some sort of elite soldier due to his toughness, speed and familiarity with weapons and technology you see in gameplay. Also his determination to systematically kill everything and push through resistance. The game doesn't work if his background is just some regular guy with selfish motives and modest skills.

 

Plenty of these ideas can be discarded since there are probably plenty of holes and contradictions I did'nt really consider.

 

Some problems with this, there are AGM facilities in the 'hellish' alien maps. Freedoom guy should probably think about finding a way to turn off the wi-fi before reaching map 30, Also the AI is presumably on Horizon. Also a hellish AI is apparently a plot element in one of the new Doom games for some reason. The link between the aliens and the AI is weak and the explaination for the teleportation invasion is weak, too.

 

Some Lovecraftian supernatural entity besides the AI could tie things together and explain the supernatural parts and the alien's 'demonic' iconography or it could just confuse the story even more. It can simply be a passive force of nature that inadvertently invades the alien's dreams by it's proximity and it has some energy that can be leeched off that allowes certain kinds of 'magic' so they started to worship it. Or not. I'd rather not have a god-like enitity too involved in anything.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Guy Montag said:

-Their planet 'Horizon' is hellish due to whatever endless Malthusian resource scarcities and technological disasters through their history. The gross tentacle things, walls of meat, ect are forms of ancient genetically engineered 'crops' that live off whatever bacteria and grows wild and/or is cultivated. They're originally descended from carnivorous apex predators and eat almost nothing but meat, but their entire ecosystem and food chain of their cattle collapsed so they designed mats-of-meat. They're practically obsessed with cultivating it and do so on earth. Maybe the pinkie worms are cattle as well.

I think it's worth pointing out that while the "hellish" theme texture set is in the IWADs for the sake of PWAD compatibility, there's absolutely no reason for Freedoom to actually use it in the levels. The inclusion of the Aquatex set on the top of stock textures/flats in the IWADs is proof positive that Freedoom has very considerable freedom (no pun intended, but hey) in where level design may go, as is the earlier inclusion of Double Impact in the Episode 4 slot: this means that a different sky design may be used without detriment to PWAD compatibility.

 

My opinion is that it would be more interesting to explore new themes for Freedoom instead of trying to fit the "definitely not Doom" story into the Techbase - Corrupted Techbase - Hell theme set of the original game.

 

For example, what about a largely urban themed Episode 1? There's some urban levels in Phase 2 (echoing those of the original Doom II to an extent), so the respective texture/flat set is in there, and I think that these resources could be used quite creatively for a unique feel of an episode completely unlike that of Doom.

 

I'd also very gladly vote for levels in an Ancient Greek/Roman setting, provided we can find appropriate textures and mappers to play around with them.

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Yeah, I  agree, the Freedoom campaign can/ should have an underlying plotline, and level theme transitions can be totally different from the commercial game. I don't worry about a story, but the background 'universe' for Freedoom should work with the commercial game's custom wads as well. Many wads have a 'hellish castle' theme, hell with human technology and vice-versa, guys stuck on pikes everywhere, ect. The backstory should maintain themes where the player can believe it still exist's in Freedoom's universe and not that they're just playing a knock-off reskinned Doom.

 

So the Freedoom campaign should have a at least a few meaty/hellish/green-marble castle levels and it should make sense for the Freedoom setting, but thematically justifies wds intended for the commercial game. I'd be 100% behind any effort to restructure the campaign, but so many maps made are so good the way they are that recreating them would be wasteful and working backwards. The lowest quality levels are from level 19 to level 30 on Phase2 so if this ever gets redone, it should have a good reason.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Guy Montag said:

the background 'universe' for Freedoom should work with the commercial game's custom wads as well. Many wads have a 'hellish castle' theme, hell with human technology and vice-versa, guys stuck on pikes everywhere, ect. The backstory should maintain themes where the player can believe it still exist's in Freedoom's universe and not that they're just playing a knock-off reskinned Doom.

I may be wrong, but if someone plays a Doom PWAD with a Freedoom IWAD it's because either the commercial Doom IWAD is unavailable or the Freedoom IWAD is preferred for some reason (e.g. aesthetics — I like the art better; or ideology — I don't use proprietary software, etc.). Pretending that a Doom PWAD was not created for Doom but for Freedoom outright (unless it was indeed created for Freedoom and intended to be played with it) seems like an unnecessary exercise of suspension of disbelief to me. Moreover it would be odd to try replacing the backstory of a custom PWAD with Freedoom's backstory, or combine them into something else. At least, a user can do that on their own, without the need for such backstory to be "official".

 

Personally I played quite a few PWADs with Freedoom starting with v0.7 and never felt the need to have a "compatible" backstory to justify whatever was going on in these custom levels and episodes. In fact, I'm pretty fine with no back story at all. For PWADs, my only concern is when one comes with edited Doom sprites or textures which creates a certain degree of art style clash, but this may be fixed by loading a small PWAD on top with selected Freedoom assets to replace the derivative ones.

 

And I certainly did not care if the original Freedoom levelset used any of the textures required by the PWADs I played. The content of default levels is kinda irrelevant when you play a custom map or episode/megawad. At least, that's how I feel it.

 

2 hours ago, Guy Montag said:

I'd be 100% behind any effort to restructure the campaign, but so many maps made are so good the way they are that recreating them would be wasteful and working backwards.

Again it is worth noting that even if maps are rejected from the project they don't lose their merit because they still may be used as custom levels for Doom. The problem is not with "wasted" assets (with Freedoom, nothing is really wasted) but with creating content that would work towards a separate identity, and a game in its own right as opposed to a derivative of Doom.

 

In fact, currently Freedoom is actually in a potential surplus of quality levels if you take contributions by Jimmy into consideration.

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