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hardcore_gamer

What is the feasibility of creating a standalone game with the Doom 3 engine?

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Now that Doom 3 is open source it's possible to make standalone games, but I don't know how user friendly this experience would be. How well is the Doom 3 engine documented? How easy is it to import stuff into it using modern tools? If I have to mess around with converters & stuff because more modern file formats aren't even supported then that would be a massive turn off for me. I am interested in the Doom 3 engine because it has certain qualities over more modern engines such as the lightning system and the fact that it supports traditional bsp level editing which modern game engines don't. But at the same time, if making stuff or it would be a massive hassle because of lack of support for things like modern file formats & tools then I don't know if it would be worth it. It would also be a moot point if there is barely any documentation on it.

 

How easy is it to get started making stuff for the Doom 3 engine? Is it worth checking out or should I just stick with other engines?

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2 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Now that Doom 3 is open source it's possible to make standalone games, but I don't know how user friendly this experience would be. How well is the Doom 3 engine documented? How easy is it to import stuff into it using modern tools? If I have to mess around with converters & stuff because more modern file formats aren't even supported then that would be a massive turn off for me. I am interested in the Doom 3 engine because it has certain qualities over more modern engines such as the lightning system and the fact that it supports traditional bsp level editing which modern game engines don't. But at the same time, if making stuff or it would be a massive hassle because of lack of support for things like modern file formats & tools then I don't know if it would be worth it. It would also be a moot point if there is barely any documentation on it.

 

How easy is it to get started making stuff for the Doom 3 engine? Is it worth checking out or should I just stick with other engines?

 

Let's analyze some aspects based on my basic experience.

 

1. Choose a good source port (DO NOT USE ORIGINAL DOOM 3 GPL)

  • Do you want to make a full "retro" game?, you don't wanna use any modern tech in your game, just what's used in Doom 3?, then Dhewm3 is your source port (Blendo Games uses this one for Skin Deep project, I use it also)
  • Do you want the Doom 3 engine but with some modern techs and aspects?, then fhDoom is your choice probably.
  • I don't recommend any Doom 3 BFG edition GPL source port, from what I know the lack of tools and also that everything is binarized makes a bit harder to work with assets and maps. There's a source port to make games using Doom 3 BFG Edition GPL called Storm Engine 2 but I never tried myself so I can't talk about it.

2. Engine programming

  • If you wanna modify some aspects in the engine, and you probably will and need, then you need to have an intermediate level in C++ at minimum.
  • The engine's source code (atleast the game logic) itself it's very clear and easy to modify if you have a basic knowledge in C++ and programming in general.
  • Knowing OpenGL programming would be helpful but not 100% necessary unless you wanna make some deep modifications to the graphics itself.

3. How well is documented?

  • Now that's a very good question and there's some documentation out there, many but not a lot and many things you would need to learn by practice, trial & error. From my experience working in this engine the best you can do is join at some fourm and also the Discord server that was made for IDTech 4, there's out there lot of people with lot of experience in this that can help you to solve really specific troubles that you cannot find solution anywhere.
  • Some links: https://modwiki.xnet.fi/https://www.iddevnet.com/doom3/http://idtechforums.fuzzylogicinc.com/https://discord.gg/9wtCGHa (IDTech 4 discord server)

4. How easy is it to import stuff into it using modern tools?

  • I'm going to talk about the only kind of assets that can be problematic while working in IDTech 4, and that's the .md5mesh and .md5anim. I personally work with Blender 2.72 (but you can use 2.79 as a normal person) to import and export files with that format. Only thing you need to be careful is that you need to rig everything well and also remember to have all your bones in the layer 5 in the armature layers (I took my time to learn this). Also while working with animations never animate directly from your original .blend file you used to export the .md5mesh. Export first the .md5mesh, then import it in another .blend file and then only you can animate, otherwise when you export a .md5anim everything is going to break.
  • About other assets I don't find any trouble using any modern tools.
  • GLProgs can be a pain since they're made using ARB shading language (assembly shading language), would be nice to have a cc0 free glprogs packs for IDTech 4.  But they're easy to make, atleast the most basic ones.

5. MAKE YOU SURE TO FIRST CLEAN EVERYTHING AND BEING ABLE TO RUN THE ENGINE WITHOUT ANY ORIGINAL DOOM 3 ASSETS

6. How easy is it to get started making stuff for the Doom 3 engine? 

  • Depends mostly if you have previous experience with another engine or not. In my case I never had any prior experience with another game engine so that's why it took me a lot to learn about IDTech 4 and being able to start making stuff, but if you have some previous experience developing games or complex mods then it's not that hard. In fact, recently a member in IDTech 4's discord server who's used to make HL2 mods was able to develop a small game using IDTech 4 in just 2 months without any previous experience in this engine or in Doom 3 modding.

7.  Is it worth checking out or should I just stick with other engines?

  • I can't answer that since I never used any other engine but I can tell you that IDTech 4 is not hard to use and it's a really pretty easy engine to work in if you have plans to make a FPS game (and you can make many other kinds of games but that requires some extra work obviously, and in that case I would recommend another engine)

 

From a guy who started working with this engine non-stop since September 2018, may another people with more experience can join and say more things or even correct me if find me wrong in something I said.

Edited by Doommarine_maxi

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I've actually heard quite a few people telling that id4 is superior in SOME parts to UE. I'm not sure how that would be as I don't know Unreal, but come to think every engine has its ups and downs.

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5 hours ago, DooM_RO said:

I am not sure. Do any of the source ports even support PBR?

 

Why not use Unreal?

 

 

No, there's no PBR yet in any source port. (I believe that there's some WIP BFG edition source port that was working on that but I don't recommend using bfg edition forks to making games.

 

If you want to make a modern game then yeah, pick Unreal. I only think IDTech 4 is fine for retro '2004 - 2008' games (atleast using Dhewm3).

 

This engine is pretty neat for making games that can run in old pcs.

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5 hours ago, xyzz said:

I've actually heard quite a few people telling that id4 is superior in SOME parts to UE. I'm not sure how that would be as I don't know Unreal, but come to think every engine has its ups and downs.

 

I'm sure it could become quite good if updated for the modern era.

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