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LouigiVerona

Doom II Community Lifespan

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2 minutes ago, Tartlman said:

Interesting how the posting amount fell so drastically after doom 3. It looks like we haven't recovered to pre-doom 3 levels yet.

 

There was a lot more childish shitposting on the Doomworld forums in the early 2000s that we are too square to tolerate anymore.

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I’d like to think Doom has its shot at becoming one of the great, culture-defining games, on the level of chess, backgammon, go, mancala, etc. Whether that happens is hard to predict, especially since a part of it depends on how much *we* do to make it happen. I suspect the biggest turning point we’ll face as a community is when the living memory of Doom circa 1993 dies out. In some ways, even though it’s still decades off, I feel like that’s something we should start considering how to navigate, at least if we want to shoot for the stars and put our weird little space marine demon murder simulator in the all-time pantheon of games.

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The great thing about Doom is anyone can pick up DoomBuilder and make a map. It's a very accessible format for anyone curious about 3D level design.

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Good point @Linguica. To be specific I mean the wider cultural impact, the feeling of Doom in the air circa the mid-90s. You're very right that the official history of id and Doom's development is well documented, probably among the most documented of any video game, really.

 

This is just conjecture, but I know for me there's something special and motivating about actually living through that time where the spirit of "Doom as a public good" was new, vital, and almost mainstream. Kids trading floppy disks with WADs in the back of the school bus, all that jazz. We'll always have the official history of how a scrappy team of underdogs built and released a Great Game and, oh yeah, some people liked it enough that they made their own levels. But I think I basically agree with you--if that's all we have, Doom will be a museum piece and a historical artifact, not the living, breathing "art scene" that Jazz Mickle once described. I think the real trick, and probably the best shot we have at putting Doom in the pantheon, is keeping alive that idea of Doom as a canvas for your imagination. And I just wonder if there will be certain challenges--though hardly insurmountable ones--to preserving that aspect of the community once there are no people left who experienced that special time of Doom's initial cultural impact firsthand.

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The Doom community will never die if there is atleast one Doom fan out there :D!!!

Sing this song but replace metal with Doom ;) (Though Doom IS Metal)

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Having just a few centralized locations to discuss classic Doom modding as helped prevent fractures and atrophy. The collapse of Doomworld or ZDoom forums would probably take a significant toll on the community.

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1 hour ago, Curunir said:

 

This is fascinating stuff, really! Do you also have any idea why the AI in IFury is such a complete mess as well? I have seen the devs half-admitting it IS indeed because they took too many shortcuts with levels as well and the geometry is way too complex for the AI to navigate in a lot of places, but I'd much rather hear a second opinion, if you could provide one.

 

Ion Fury is fully based on Duke Nukem features, most importantly its internal AI and its scripting language. And I'm sorry to say - but both of these are low quality products that have been haphazardly patched up for extended modding. But it's inevitable that if you base your game on a weak foundation, all the flashiness in the world can't hide the turd below.

 

Regarding map complexity, that's basically the same for all old games. The AI was written for simple levels ans restricted calculation resources. In Doom it's the same, but compared to Duke3d's AI, Doom's is a lot better designed so that it doesn't show as prominently. From what you describe I'd say the AI uses the hitscan function to decide what to do ( I haven't checked yet), and on high detail maps that simply cannot work.

 

1 hour ago, dr_st said:

The way I see it, based on my limited experience with playing the games and some of their mods (never creating anything, but half-following the scene), as well as reading the explanations of experts such as our very own Graf Zahl, is that the fundamental differences in code quality, philosophy and original implementation between DOOM Engine and Build engine, make Build great (and impressively advanced) for running the original games it was developed for, with the original levels and assets, but not much more; whereas DOOM's initial simplicity has made it almost infinitely moddable and adaptable.

 

We have to make a few important distinctions here. Build is a pure rendering/physics engine, it has no AI. It consists of a renderer, a few movement/collision detection functions and a generic hitscan function, and that's it. And it was written by a guy with great ideas but very poor software designing qualities, which make the engine very poorly scalable.

The 3 main games - Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior and Blood - all put their own AI/play engine on top of that - and here there's vast differences in code quality. Blood only exists as a recreation but it shows a generally well structured approach that mostly works right concerning monster AI. Shadow Warrior also has relatively decent AI code, its main problem is that the code is technically rather dirty, depending on implementation details of a 32 bit little endian system, which is the main reason preventing a decent port so far. But Duke Nukem is a completely different story. Like I said above, the code quality here is located at the bottom of the low end, to put it politely.

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9 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Shadow Warrior also has relatively decent AI code, its main problem is that the code is technically rather dirty, depending on implementation details of a 32 bit little endian system, which is the main reason preventing a decent port so far.

 

So that's why Shadow Warrior never had a decent source port? Interesting

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One of the reasons. The code as-is has lots of problems and most can be tracked down to hardware and toolchain dependent coding. Which is kind of sad because the overall coding quality here isn't really that bad.

From what I heard another problem is that the released code was incomplete. I cannot say what parts were missing a quick check over the supposedly complete code didn't show me anything definitive aside from the networking code.

 

 

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I guess I can chime in as someone pretty new to really liking Doom. Whilst I have a fairly long history of playing FPSes, I've only really engaged with the Doom games in the past couple of years. I basically started with Goldeneye, Turok, Quake and Duke Nukem 64. And for most years following I generally played whatever FPSes came that seemed interesting to me, which 90% of the time was as long as it wasn't a military game. And I have to say, this might come across as jaded but I think I see it differently. I kinda hate modern AAA games. Not all of them or everything, but, they're all mostly the same, and I'm bored of them. I also kind of feel a lot of the time that these games have had millions put into them to make them seem big and great and epic and yet as experiences they're inferior to games made in the late 90s. I'm also bored of attempts to tell stories in them because most of them do a really poor job and tend to be bad games to boot. If you want to call me a mainstream hating hipster, go ahead, I get that a lot :P

 

But along with all this is the realisation of how engaging something like Doom 1 and 2 are, artistically, technically, and to appreciate the combination of simplicity in concept yet intricate in gameplay, only really limited by the level designer's imagination. In fact its drawn me to contemplate getting into making content for them, and I have basically very little artistic talent or technical talent outside of writing. But I see people say with Doom they can make things by learning and that (at least compared to most things with making games) its pretty accessible, and I'm just really impressed by stuff I see in wads like TNT Revilution. Truly jumping in and starting something is difficult for me sometimes but I have played with GZDoom builder a bit and tested some concepts. The main reason I'm here is to join this community and engage with it creatively, so hopefully sooner than later I'll be bugging people to play my maps. 

 

I also dig Heretic a lot especially with Notjabba's work on The Wayfarer's Tome mod and I definitely want to work with that game as well. 

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7 hours ago, ETTiNGRiNDER said:

(Big post)

RE paragraph 1: The idea of an FPS creator studio that is actually easier yet superior to doing things in Doom may not be as far off as we think.

 

I can picture a day where creating and assembling all the stuff for a ‘low level’ game is possible in a matter of hours - at the rate technology and programming is accelerating, I would not be surprised at all if highly functional yet super easy “make your own game” software will become a thing. It’s already out there in it’s baby form, between things like Unity and GameMaker and all that, but I can only imagine them getting both exponentially more powerful and simpler at the same time. Recreating your own, ‘truly unique’ Doomlike experience will be even easier than mapping and modding the actual Doom. When that day comes it will, finally, be the killer of new Doom maps, or at least will slow the frequency of releases down exponentially.

 

Regarding WarCraft II, despite the fanbase being arguably larger at peak, I’m going to assume a smaller percentage were totally obsessed. I can’t explain it, but Doom just seems to draw - both then and now - a more preservation-based audience. Maybe it’s because Doom, even in its old age, has this almost universal appeal, since the gameplay takes just minutes to understand. Doom is to FPS as Mario 3 is to the platformer.

 

These archetypal games have the luxury of being “the first great one of their kind”. Warcraft II, despite being a good game of course, doesn’t have anything super revolutionary or unique to draw crowds back in time to it, the way Doom and Mario have. I remember my brother absolutely loving WC II, but it’s almost like it’s since been depreciated. I can’t imagine him ever going back to it. I’m not saying that it’s a ‘good’ thing some games get largely abandoned, ideally all old games and mods would be eternally preserved, but it’s my guess as to why the Doom community is so wonderfully clingy overall regarding its past.

 

Now, I don’t think Doom (or even Mario 3) will ever hit chess-level popularity or pique as much interest in future historians as Ur. However, once the aforementioned software allowing super easy game creation comes to be, interest in Doom will definitely be more ‘strictly historic’. Even now I see younger gamers taking a purely historical interest in Doom. People who have never played watching many videos about it, that sort of thing. My point is, even when it ‘dies’, I don’t ever think it will be forgotten until society itself collapses. [/ramble]

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I concur with others saying disillusionment with the modern AAA game industry is a big factor. Retro and new "retro style" games are a growing market. Smart publishers and developers will continue to embrace this with time. The demand for the absolute best modern graphics is diminishing I think and will likely continue to do so. The demand for fun, drama free experiences regardless of how they look is growing and will likely continue as well. I have actually stopped following virtually all gaming news YouTube channels and sites because 95% of it is "Know shitty company did shitty thing omg I am so shocked and horrified shame on them!" over and over and over. It is tiresome and dull. You could set your watch by how often the big gaming publishers screw up and/or do something awful and yet people are still somehow stunned by it and still throw money at them expecting change.

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28 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

RE paragraph 1: The idea of an FPS creator studio that is actually easier yet superior to doing things in Doom may not be as far off as we think.

 

I can picture a day where creating and assembling all the stuff for a ‘low level’ game is possible in a matter of hours - at the rate technology and programming is accelerating, I would not be surprised at all if highly functional yet super easy “make your own game” software will become a thing. It’s already out there in it’s baby form, between things like Unity and GameMaker and all that, but I can only imagine them getting both exponentially more powerful and simpler at the same time. Recreating your own, ‘truly unique’ Doomlike experience will be even easier than mapping and modding the actual Doom. When that day comes it will, finally, be the killer of new Doom maps, or at least will slow the frequency of releases down exponentially.

 

 

An easy make-your-own-FPS engine would not kill Doom mapping. Mapping for Doom is huge because people like Doom itself- otherwise we'd be seeing a lot more GZDoom indie games than Doom 2 megawads. 

 

No matter how easy the engine is, it will never be easier than just mapping for Doom because you'd need to make all of the resources and design the gameplay from scratch, basically. And if people wanted to do that instead of mapping Doom, Doom would be dead already. But as it turns out, Doom's gameplay as-is is fun enough to keep people interested this long, and I can't see an "easier Unity" being a threat to that.

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@Doomkid I would say StarCraft is a game on par with DOOM. It's still being played. It also has this balance between simplicity, creativity and replayability. And its level editor is incredible.

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9 hours ago, Curunir said:

Speaking of low-level hacks and tools made for the creator and not the engine, it continues to amuse me how the Build crowd keeps defending eduke32 and mapster32 and even somehow feels they are superior to current Doom ports, despite the clusterfuck of an interface, abysmal shortcuts and general usability, as well as the "yeah we can do that if we jump through a couple dozen hoops", i.e. the low-level hacks Graf mentions.

I've seen people defending Build map editors with the logic that people who don't like them are just too lazy. As if it's good for an editor to require a huge amount of memorization and constant reference checking. Elitism or perhaps just stockholm syndrome i suppose.

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3 minutes ago, whirledtsar said:

I've seen people defending Build map editors with the logic that people who don't like them are just too lazy. As if it's good for an editor to require a huge amount of memorization and constant reference checking. Elitism or perhaps just stockholm syndrome i suppose.

 

That's literally what the Ion Fury devs said when I brought up the matter with even mapster32 being very unwieldy compared to even original Doom Builder. The justification is always "Well, it sure takes time, and yeah, we know - A LOT OF TIME, but once you get to know what you're doing, it's a VERY powerful editor!" :D

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52 minutes ago, TheMightyHeracross said:

No matter how easy the engine is, it will never be easier than just mapping for Doom because you'd need to make all of the resources and design the gameplay from scratch, basically.

I hear what you're saying, but what I'm imagining would have everything Doom has and more in terms of premade/prefab content. You could spend the time designing your own models and sprites, or you could choose from the thousands of premade assets.

 

Imagine a Doom-like base for modding, but it also has all the Realm667 assets, plus a million and one prefab room designs, it's easier to implement slopes and swimmable water, no need to learn decorate or dehacked or whatever to achieve customized effects, all of that stuff. I can't think of anything as easy as Doom in terms of building your own world in an FPS, for now, but surely something more popular, more customizable, and with a rider range of choice in terms of graphical fidelity will come along in the future. With a "Basic mode" for people who just want to build stuff on a snapmap-like level, or a "guru mode" for people who want to get in and do every last bit themselves. It's almost harder for me to imagine that in the next few decades, we won't get some kind of open-source, easy to wrangle, catch-all engine/development suite that makes the process of game creation far more easy, and yet also more customizable than ever before, at some point in the (nearish) future. In what I'm envisioning, one person could make a Doom-like game in a matter of weeks, even if part of that is built from premade assets and borrowed code and what have you.

 

I know we're getting into the realm of futurism and speculation, but it was all really triggered in my mind by the question "how will future historians view Doom" and moreover, "how will the general populous remember / experience Doom in the coming decades". I don't think it will ever be forgotten, and not just because of my attachment to Doom on a personal level. However, the idea that Doom modding and mapping will remain just as popular in a future where the ground-up development process of a standalone game is easier at every turn than creating a Doom wad seems very, very wishful to me. We're currently nowhere near that point - Doom is still way, way easier to comprehend and wrangle than things like Unity. For now. There's sure to come a point where that's no longer true though.

 

I can only speak for myself, but if in the time it took to make 5 Doom maps I could instead use this "unspecified future game engine" to make 10 maps that are just as good because the tools and resources are just that easy, I'm afraid I'd have to leave Doom mapping behind at that juncture.

 

Maybe I'm wrong though, maybe Doom will remain the most easily accessible, easily moddable engine for decades to come. I honestly hope not though - that just sounds like total stagnation to me.

Edited by Doomkid

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this community is also standing because some of the fans' favorite modders come around here because they're too still fans of the game and its status symbol.

unlike with other games where the community only gots to stand by itself, with no particoular communicative relation with the development team/artists (unless $$ is involved).

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For me, the collective Doom forums and wikis are the spiritual/digital manifestation of Tom Hall's ill-fated Doom Bible. Considering the actual Bible has been around for almost 2 millennia, I don't think we have anything to worry about.  

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I don't have statistics to back this up, but it feels to me as though the past half-a-year or so has brought a surge of "my first WAD" posts over in the WADs & Mods forum - I definitely have the sense that new creative blood continues to pour into the Doom community.

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16 hours ago, LouigiVerona said:

The Doom II community is going pretty strong. It's the end of 2019 and this forum is still very active, people are still playing and creating Doom levels. The mere fact that a forum is active is a testament to this community's power, since we are in the age of social networks and forums are (regrettably) not a thing anymore.

 

But how long do you think this will last? Is Doom II here to stay for years and years to come, or do you think that slowly but inevitably the amount of engaged users is decreasing?

Do we have the stats that address these dynamics?

hey at least it's not reddit, or the doom discord that won't let you in because you need a phone number.

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I just hope this community lasts as long as there are humans living on planet earth.

I'll probably keep playing classic doom and classic fps in general for as long as I live. Modern shooters simply don't have the gameplay I get when playing the classics, even when I like them. (I know there are some games try to recapture that, but it's not the same as just playing the classics themselves)

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12 hours ago, Linguica said:

Look at this Graf

 

I love the three outlier spikes in traffic...

 

  1. Doom 3
  2. Selfie Doom
  3. Doom 2016

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19 hours ago, TheMightyHeracross said:

The peak "most online" members for this forum so far was in 2015- considering that this forum was made in 1998 that seems like a good sign to me. Same with ZDoom- its "most online" count peaked just this last June, for a forum made in 2003.

Most Online

9847
February 15, 2015

 

What was happening here on February 15, 2015? Was there an event, news release, or just coincidence?

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Hard to say without any context. Was this a one day spike or just the highest value in a phase with increased activity?

 

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