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IrOn7HuB

DOOM 4 - History, Cancelation and Why You Should Care As A DOOM Fan

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   This whole research was made by Crispies (Ir0n7HuB) with the additional help from FeoUltima (Ritsu), SeanVS and the id/DOOM fans who joined me to unveil the mysteries from this canceled DOOM title we would like to try in the future. No matter if the project was left unfinished on its Alpha stages or hated for over 9 years. Doom 4 slowly becomes a material of lost DOOM media as time goes on and it deserves to be part of the DOOM franchise's history and the real documentation of its rough development and the things that offered to the two successful modern DOOM titles as part of its legacy.

 

 

WHAT IS DOOM 4? 
 

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   DOOM 4 was a canceled modern video game sequel to the most remarkable classic shooter IP developed by the studio id Software under the publishing of Bethesda/ZeniMax Media Inc. This project was planned to be a reimagining of DOOM II: Hell on Earth through many of its major design aspects and featuring "shotguns," "demons" and action-packed gameplay. This version of DOOM uses id Software's proprietary Id Tech 5 engine that was used on its sibling title known as RAGE. As id co-founder John Carmack stated, DOOM 4 also featured code enhancements, implementation of the Unicode superscript, and was going to be three times graphically better than RAGE sacrificing half of the framerates on the two competing 7th gen consoles. This was the design choice that developers wanted to focus on delivering the most reimagined realistic experience on a DOOM game and wanted to reach that milestone by doing so.

Sources: 
http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/doom-4/895668p1.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20080508233726/http://www.joystiq.com/2008/05/07/doom-4-announced-id-software-hiring/
https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/john-carmack-of-id-software-says-doom-4-will-be-done-when-its-done-3605111.html
https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/john-carmack-of-id-software-says-doom-4-will-be-done-when-its-done-3605111.html

 

 

 

 

 

PLOT AND GAMEPLAY 

 

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   Not much in terms of plot was revealed about Doom 4. Footage, claims and storyboards suggest that the game was about a hellish invasion on Earth provoked by the fictional corporation known as Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC). The cancelled game's story initially sets on the already invaded United States' New York City and Manhattan in the fictional year of 2038. You start as a lone surviving human who witnessed the hell invasion, and later be destined to meet a resistance army composed by remaining soldiers and civilians whose goal was to take down the demons and purge the hellish population. The gameplay of Doom 4 was of course going to be a first-person shooter with modern features, meaning that it plays similar to the final release of the game, but with modern features and RAGE-like combat. The project also had a new combat system known as "Synced melee." Synced Melee allowed the player to fight demons with consecutive melee commands until delivering the final blow to kill the enemy. Synced Melee would later be re-used and adapted for Melee Executions and synced stabbing in Wolfenstein: The New Order and for the Glory Kills from DOOM (2016). Apart from those focused combat features, the game would have scripted events the player has to experience. There were going to be complex characters and familiar weapons that are later repurposed for DOOM (2016) such as the combat shotgun, super shotgun, handgun, chainsaw and chaingun. The rest of the weapons were new in this installment like the surviving grenade launcher, vortex rifle and the assault rifle being later repurposed with new design changes. The game would also feature weapon modifications in form of attachments that enhance your demon killing like the final version. The graphic design of the project was also recycled for the final version Like the new stylish logos from the UAC and I/O Logistics Manufacture. I/O Logistics manufacture was previously known as Anubis Armaments in the cancelled iteration. The logo that represents VEGA originally was meant to be used as a logo for a fictional corporation known as "AGIS" focused on health solutions that fabricated a cure from an ongoing virus known as the ”Kafere Plague” before the hell invasion started. Some of these design traits were later translated to the final version of DOOM. 

 


 

 

ORIGINS, CANCELLATION AND LEGACY 

 

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   Its multi-million-dollar budget production and its announcement was stated by the former id CEO Todd Hollenshead in 2008. The initial development and its concluded direction began around May 2008 dividing the studio in half for RAGE and DOOM 4. It was stated that the production of the new DOOM game won’t take many years to develop and was promised to be shown at QuakeCon 2010. It can be assumed that the project had a planned release of 2012.

 

Sources: 
https://www.vg247.com/2010/08/11/expect-doom-4-to-come-sooner-than-rage-says-carmack/
https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/john-carmack-of-id-software-says-doom-4-will-be-done-when-its-done-3605111.html
https://www.shacknews.com/article/59981/id-promises-doom-4-news
Senior producer’s documentation: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iamgregstone/
 
   After troublesome trials and errors during development due to the shift of game designers and leadership, the original project was later cancelled by Bethesda's management solicited by id between August 2011 to 2012 due to developers’ decision to implement budget expenses on high end licensed cinematic techniques for the game’s narrative, external studio contracts, game designer layoffs and due to unpopular sales made from id Software's underrated game RAGE. The final nail that killed the project is the lack of personality that the project had comparing it to "Call of Duty" or any other 2010s' modern shooter after realizing they implemented gameplay design elements that other shooters were using, such as regenerating health, armor shield and other aspects that turns the combat to feel modernized against demons.
https://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/04/five-years-and-nothing-to-show-how-doom-4-got-off-track/

 

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   This DOOM project was later reorganized and repurposed for the successfully released DOOM (2016) and its sequel, DOOM Eternal that stepped the right direction for interpreting a "love letter" to the classic genre and enlightened the future of the DOOM franchise allowing fans and new players to recognize and rejoice its history and legacy closely interpreting its iconic action-packed gameplay. This happened thanks to the creators of DOOM (Kevin Cloud, Marty Straton and Hugo Martin) for making the righteous decision to restart fresh which resulted the best thing that happened on their careers. The new DOOM games impacted a lot the gaming industry and indie development. There are so many fan projects out there inspired by the new DOOM games like Prodeus, Postal: No Regerts, GRAVEN, Brutal Fate, WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, Fallen Aces and DUSK. This all happened because of the DOOM 4 prototype and its lessons learned from it to create inspirations on action gameplay coming back to our senses. After all these years of glory, is time for the DOOM 4 to be played by every id/DOOM fan to learn more behind the id technology, the true history of its development and documentation. 


Sources:

https://kotaku.com/our-first-all-too-brief-look-at-the-new-doom-1705212605
https://kotaku.com/doom-is-finally-coming-in-spring-2016-1711312032
https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/10/17674760/doom-eternal-gameplay-trailer-weapons-multiplayer-quakecon-2018

 

 

 

 

 

AS A DOOM FAN, HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT DOOM 4 

 

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   Historically speaking, it is understandable how tough a cancelled project couldn't work out as intended and former developers try to forget the amazing things that they wanted to implement in such ground breaking project like this one particularly for the sake of popularity and testing out new things that a DOOM game didn't experiment years before. Adding heavily scripted elements, modern gameplay combat aspects and story focused with pre-rendered photorealistic cinematics, uninteresting galleries of shooting demons seems like a travesty for a very well-known classic shooter, and we know how hard it is to not come out with anything that makes DOOM to develop back its original personality. This 9-year-old canceled project does not deserve to be forgotten and some people would have liked it as much as others liked RAGE during that early decade. The first DOOM game fans played were any of the series trilogy and specifically DOOM II: Hell on Earth. Once the portfolio leaks that belonged to an environmental artist back on early 2012, this supposedly "new" DOOM intrigued many fans to wonder how the game was going to play out. Many fans liked how the art and the catastrophic hellish environment invades our beloved buildings and monuments from our real world situated at the city of New York. The meaning of DOOM for this project was about getting into the flesh of a survivor witnessing humanity being Doomed by extinction and how they try to resist against the global impact of the hellish invasion on Earth. 

 

Sources:

https://web.archive.org/web/20120301094714/

http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/02/rumor-doom-4-cancelled-leaked.html

 

 


 

WHAT ELSE IS LOST? 
 

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   There are many subjects to talk about the infamous DOOM game and its consecutive pre-release leaks. It's been 9 years already and things have changed on the gaming industry now. DOOM fans and archivists want to request id software and ZeniMax Media Inc to let developers release the media that was lost on the internet that are meant to be portfolio material. There are former developers who used their stored work from DOOM 4 to showcase the stunning work they have done ever since August 2011 at the beginning of the slow cancelation and restart of the project in 2013 until the announcement of the freshly new DOOM. There are other former developers who are not allowed to show their work as portfolio like Mick Gordon’s short-lived music compilation of Doom 4 and Mark Bristol’s unfinished pre-rendered photorealistic cinematics and storyboards as ZeniMax Media created DNA restrictions and policies to ensure that the newer version of the project has the attention, complete secrecy and priority to be commercialized with the already decided direction that became DOOM (2016). 

 

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   One of the lost Doom 4 materials was the also-cancelled DOOM 4 multiplayer build formerly designed by developers who assisted for less than a year contributing it between 2010 to 2012 with few maps on alpha and one in beta stage situated on a school during the start of the hell invasion. This was the peak of realizing that the elements they have applied so far to Doom 4 didn’t seem to have developed an exciting sense of playing the originals leading the definite restart of the project. Many of DOOM archivists rescued the soundtracks that Mick Gordon made to interpret the "Hell on Earth" feel of the game, several concept arts, 3D models and prop screenshots created by others involved at id, and the portion of the cinematics from the lead cinematic/storyboard director who was forced to throw away all of his pre-rendered cinematic work for the game due to fears of being threatened by the DOOM fans right after the DOOM E3 2015 official teaser dropped. As for last, we still don't know how the story of DOOM 4 was going to play out based on the lost scripts from the long-gone prize-winning fantasy author Graham Joyce. Everything commented here are the things that were lost during the DOOM 4's development and they deserve to be surfaced out of obscurity and respecting the real history of the DOOM franchise and what made the new games great to impact the giant fanbase we currently have. 
 
Sources: 
https://screenrant.com/doom-4-cancelled-game-footage-video-call-duty/
https://www.technobuffalo.com/trailer-for-cancelled-doom-4-leaks
 

 


 

THE GOOD NEWS 
 

(Concept logo by Kenneth Scott, a former character/creature artist known by his work at QUAKE III: Arena, DOOM 3, DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil & DOOM 4)
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   Assuming that this is the second last DOOM game that the co-founder John Carmack ever produced at id that resulted to be cancelled, the general DOOM fans would like to experience in-game how this remarkable computer scientist and programmer envisioned his graphic techniques in this hell on earth version of DOOM. We also found out that the project features superscripted visual effects and lightning on the environment with no huge impact on performance as commented by the man himself. Fans will like to try how this synced-melee combat system wanted to play out on the average enemies like the possessed human receiving the final blow by the player stabbing the hooded zombie-man on the neck and playing as just a tenacious average human fighting for survival and trying to purge the global hellish invasion of hades alongside supporting characters you have to interact in the cancelled game. We filed a petition with the agreements from many DOOM fans who already signed to play the cancelled prototype of the game for entertainment and unveiling its obscure compilation of work and time developed into this project that was never seen by the public. 
 
   Before leaving a comment about this infamous project, then take note that this unfinished game is a source of material created by many former id Software interns, concept artists, designers, developers and programmers, and they should be allowed to document their work they put their own sweat into it from those 9 years while the true DOOM fans contemplate what the developers tried to accomplish interpreting the reimagining of DOOM II: Hell on Earth on its late pre-alpha status. The good news is that DOOM 4's single-player and multiplayer builds are stored somewhere. You can help on bringing it back from its ashes as a playable Alpha downloadable or purchasable on Steam. All you can do is to sign this petition so it could increase the possibilities for everybody recognize the game that made the two successful ones great. We currently found out that there are SIX playable levels in total and worth to learn what the game tried to offer us by experiencing it ourselves. The original DOOM 4 is a knowledge that was kept away from the fans for over 9 years and all of that deserves to be released.

 

   You can be glad that the project was canceled and we got a better one, but you can't be glad that its documentation, assets, media and development history in details are fading away from our reality as well for the unseen portions of the true DOOM's history as a remarkable franchise.
 
Playable evidence:

https://web.archive.org/web/20141017202101/http://www.waylandfong.com/game-industry/doom-4/
 
Sign the petition here! 
http://chng.it/t64yshHQTV
 
If you know extra information about the project or you would like to help us out, you can pass by to our public DOOM 4 Discord Archive Server: https://discord.com/invite/zt7a2t4

Edited by IrOn7HuB

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I'm glad they changed the Direction Gameplay Wise,

but i indeed would also like to see the technical Aspects of Doom 4.

And yes, also to see a whole Level and its Gameplay and not single Fractions.

 

But as mentioned in your Article, not all is gone, much Stuff went into Doom 2016 in some Way or another.

They riped out the "Duty" and made what worked into a better Game.

To have more Footage would gave us the Opportunity to spot out what they kept using :)

 

As i played much around in Editors in my Life, i've learned that sometimes an Idea seems better than the Implementation works out when it is done.

Making fun Levels really depends on the Gameplay and also the "Soul" of the Frenchise.

Making

So i can really feel with the Devs going so much back and start again.

 

Btw. i am impressed how well Eternal works.

Loading Times way faster than in 2016.

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Great thread! Is that top picture of the Doomslayer helmet from the Quakecon 2014 demo?

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I've honestly wanted to re-watch that gameplay reveal on so many ocassions over the years. I'm always amazed whenever I see some piece of it somewhere. It was a real privilege to see it live in 2014. I'd love to be able to see it again so I could compare even more of the evolutionary process the game went through to what we finally got.

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There's actually a little bit more footage you can find on Reddit and YouTube. A lot of it includes gameplay, some animations, and obviously, some "multiplayer" gameplay. I am happy that we got DOOM (2016) but I think being able to play a cancelled, or "lost" project, like Mission in Snowdriftland, would be absolutely awesome. But... I do fear that we may never be able to, considering probable copyright issues, and other things.

Here's the links:

Reddit: 

Youtube:  

 

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In the wake of Eternal some people have said they'd like a spinoff game where you're playing as resistance fighters during the invasion that leads up to Eternal's plot. Personally I think id could repurpose a ton of the stuff from this lost game to do something just like that and I don't think it would be bad - not being a mainline Doom title would give it leeway to be a bit slower, more methodical, and maybe bring in a touch of that Doom 64 and Doom 3 horror aspect since you're just regular people trying to fight against demons and not an OP god in power armor.

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9 hours ago, Quasar said:

In the wake of Eternal some people have said they'd like a spinoff game where you're playing as resistance fighters during the invasion that leads up to Eternal's plot. Personally I think id could repurpose a ton of the stuff from this lost game to do something just like that and I don't think it would be bad - not being a mainline Doom title would give it leeway to be a bit slower, more methodical, and maybe bring in a touch of that Doom 64 and Doom 3 horror aspect since you're just regular people trying to fight against demons and not an OP god in power armor.

Why don't we have a DOOM 3 sequel already??? It's was pretty decent tbh

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2 hours ago, Cipherz Gaming YT said:

Why don't we have a DOOM 3 sequel already??? It's was pretty decent tbh

I think that was the problem- it was a very divisive entry and “pretty decent” probably wasn’t enough for id to wanna pursue that take on the franchise. 

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I honestly would like them to release Doom 4 unfinished as it is and know more about its original intentions in story, premise and gameplay. I would be completely against the idea of making it canon to the slayers timeline. After all, Doom 4 was going to be a full reboot. Just like Doom 3 was and Doom 2016 before the slayer's rewrite during its 6-8 months away from launch.

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I will never understand why as Doom fans we should not acknowledge the canceled project as an actual Doom game that wanted to be and its development history that keeps remaining on obscurity for over 9 years. I understand sacrifices were done in order to offer a proper modern Doom experience for the fans to enjoy. Doom 2016 was very well received because of the changes and the core gameplay features extracted from Doom 4. We got DOOM Eternal, the game that contained so many Easter eggs we encountered in previous titles and now it seems the fanbase appears to have completely forgotten about the fact that the original Doom 4 was a thing and its development efforts were gone to waste and slowly vanishing to become lost. I am the only one archiving every aging Doom 4 material around portfolios and other websites that have such contents in order to recover the pieces of the Doom's development history that fans don't seem to care at all and don't research enough to provide more details from the game's media (directions, background and art.)

 

As a very general Doom/iD fan, I am very disappointed about the fact that fans hating art and development efforts exist than most of the material will never be surfaced outside the studio and former devs.

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