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tomthecrazzy

doom and fear

which do you think?  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. which do you think?

    • action
      35
    • horror
      5


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i have played doom for quite some time and made a whole s@$# ton of
maps and i noticed some interesting things

doom in its nature is an action game (and i stress this for the
sake of my own mental health) but it seems that the ability to scare
the player can be easily done in so many ways (and is used in many instances throughout the game) so would you say that doom could be
defined as horror?

does the horror override the action?
or does the action subdue the horror?

for example


in one map i experimented with, i had a good test subject in one of my friends, and thru him i realized that as a level designer, you have the ability to train the player into a habit. (may it be healthy or unhealthy)

using the line of sight gag i set a group of hallways set end to end on a 90 degree angle that was shaped like the letter T with one direction being the path to follow and the other a dead end with power ups

i tuned the experience by always placing the power-ups on the left path and monsters down the right (and this trend continued for some time) and that's when i noticed something

he stopped looking left!
(it may seem dumb but this changed the way i make maps)
because of his feeling of safety made him feel it was ok to
turn his back down the left hall

it also has to do with the subconscious mind trusting an action that it has already preformed

and because as stated above doom is and action game that has a set pace of movement and shooting (which can become repetitive)

by making you look right i can hit you from the left with
some well placed monsters

this caused a surprise reaction that i didn't expect when it came to testing because not only was he startled by the sneak attack
but when he turned around he saw a arch-vile which made him jump out of his chair effectively ending his run on that test

but this made me learn something else

monsters that look more skeletal have more of an effect on
ones Psyche when seen when compared to a bloated or filled out body

psychologists believe that this innate fear comes from the
understanding of death itself because logicaly dead things dont
move which explains the interest in zombies in popular culture

a popular addon for doom2 the ghouls forest used photo quality pictures for sprites and used an ai that amazingly a single monster could scare the living crap out of you

i hope that soon someone will put these game stiles together

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tomthecrazzy said:

a popular addon for doom2 the ghouls forest used photo quality pictures for sprites and used an ai that amazingly a single monster could scare the living crap out of you

i hope that soon someone will put these game stiles together


Ghouls Forest is an abysmal example of a wad that utilizes horror. With the exception of Sjas, there's absolutely no build up or anything. It all boils down to the classic "AND THEN A SKELETON POPPED OUT!!!" (somewhat literally with Jitterskull). A monster pops up in your face, makes a loud noise, and then you die. Even the creeper, an enemy that's supposed to be a more subtle enemy, relies on sheer shock tactics in order to scare the player. It's easy to startle someone like that. You can walk up behind someone with a balloon and pop it right behind them and while it might startle them, it sure as hell won't scare them. For all you know, you could have passed the monster already without even noticing.

Now Happy Time Circus 2 on the other hand, that's an under-appreciated classic when it comes to utilizing horror in doom wads. If I remember correctly, there isn't a single monster that screams in your face or roar, groan, etc. as they approach you. No, these are the kinds of monsters that creep up on you at night as you sleep and then drag you into the darkness, just as silently as they came. Its key to achieving terror is not shock, but silence.

There's one particular monster that is essentially a giant light bulb with clown paint on it that spews bolts of energy at you. The thing about them is that you rarely see them initially in this form. They disguise themselves as regular light bulbs hanging from ceilings and If I remember correctly, lamps as well, and then when entering a certain area or triggering a specific event, they drop from their sockets and expose themselves as the monsters they really are. The thing is, there are normal light bulbs that will occasionally come crashing down from their sockets as well, which leads to a sort of grim anticipation when one hears a light bulb come crashing down that leaves the player wondering whether a light bulb just popped out and shattered harmlessly on the ground, or whether a monster has decided to spring an ambush

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It's both an action game and a horror game, for it contains elements of both genres. It's an action-horror. Anyone who picks one of the two poll options is overlooking half of the game's personality. Why go to the trouble of splitting hairs over something like this? :p

Doom 3 is slightly a different matter. A much stronger focus on horror (whether you actually find it scary is a matter of taste etc), so I would personally consider it a horror game.

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I think one of the keys to Doom's success was that it was both in equal measure.

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The problem with "true" fear in Doom as Craigs touched upon, is that engine limitations make creating anything other than "HOLY SHIT MONSTER CLOSETS" tough. There's a reason why HTC2 is ZDoom-based.

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Action all the way. It's possible to create somewhat of a horror atmosphere, but it's really trying too hard.

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Gonna side with action. I always looked at Doom as atmospheric, not horrific. You don't feel powerless at all - in fact, the opposite. You're moving at superhuman speeds, carrying a ludicrous arsenal and able to take punches from 8 feet tall demons and keep going. It is hard to feel dread when you're essentially playing a demigod.

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DooM is something along the lines of an atmospheric action shooter for me. I enjoy the action in it as much as I enjoy the atmosphere. By atmosphere I enjoy the twisted landscapes, and the otherworldly lovecraftian feel that some of Sandy's maps have. Or if we're talking Pwads as well, I also enjoy the majestic feel that AV has in it's E3, and the insignificant feel that it gives you with it's insane (but also tasteful) difficulty that you could die very easily in any encounter. I could care less about the nu horror Hollywood element some of the more pretentious Zdoom wads have brought to the table though.

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Mr. Freeze said:

HOLY SHIT MONSTER CLOSETS


It's gotten to the point where I'm more surprised when I pick up a key and monsters don't appear.

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I enjoyed Happy Time Circus quite a lot actually. Definitely under appreciated IMO.

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Scet said:

It's gotten to the point where I'm more surprised when I pick up a key and monsters don't appear.

This.

For today's standards, I would consider it action with some scare jumps here and there. Nothing I would consider horror. However, when the game first came out, I would think that with the unprecedented graphics of the time, it may have scared a lot of people quite a bit. I don't have personal experience with this as I was too young, but I could easily see that.

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It's an action game with horror elements. But those don't have to appear in every map, or to the same degree. Chex Quest, School Doom, etc. downplay or eliminate those elements. Aliens TC tries to do the opposite. Those are all extreme examples, but similar effects can be done in regular maps.

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For me it began as a lot more of a horror experience. You know, SNES version, being a kid at the time, yadda-yadda.
Also, i think that Jitterskull is the best ghoul and definitely the scariest :)

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While Doom seemed a lot creepier in its early days, it was still mostly limited to atmospheric creepiness, along with a few shallow scares there. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call it horror.

In my opinion, Doom II then moved away from the few spooky aspects present in the original game, and Final Doom did so even more. Doom 64 brought the atmospheric tension back to the forefront with the creepy subdued lighting, bigger/meaner looking sprites, etc. but I still wouldn't classify it as a horror game.

Doom 3 stepped far enough into that direction that I consider it at least largely horror-based, but it's still focused on more action than many 'truer' horror games, and the overuse of monster closets makes the scares seem kind of lazy in comparison.

Which is not to say that creating a good horror-themed mod for Doom is impossible, though.

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Phml said:

Gonna side with action. I always looked at Doom as atmospheric, not horrific. You don't feel powerless at all - in fact, the opposite. You're moving at superhuman speeds, carrying a ludicrous arsenal and able to take punches from 8 feet tall demons and keep going. It is hard to feel dread when you're essentially playing a demigod.

exactly this. not only take punches, but punch those 8 feet tall demons to pulp. slaughtermaps were made because doomguy is so ridiculously fast and his weapons so powerful that the monsters in the original game simply can't touch him.

as for doom being scary, i have to account for the game being the first of its kind and me being 18 years younger back then. but anyway, i was impressed by the hellish style, those guts floors, skin walls and moving faces were exactly how i imagined hell in a game.

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Action.

Even though some of the levels have more of a "scary" atmosphere, most of the time you feel in control.

There are some ways to really scare the player, though. Hearing the laugh of an Archvile lurking in some unknown section of the level is a good example for me.

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well it seems you all have a great basis in which to understand
key gaming aspects

one of you said that silence can be more so scary than a loud noise
wich is very true but i bet that you had moments in which a feint
sound of a monster made you jump

and as i said about the ghouls forest using photo-realistic
sprites had quite an impact on players (amazingly with one monster)

basicaly low light low ammo and scary faced fast as a bullet monsters
makes a very suspenseful experience that borders survival horror

and the most important is lighting
let me reiterate
LIGHTING!!!!!!!

makes the differece between a walk in the park and a apprehensive stroll

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DOOM scared the crud out of me when I was a kid. Just being able to hear the monsters lurking about in surround sound when I couldn't see where they were was enough to freak me out.

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Why is this a blog?????

seems like General to me....

Doom is action over horror. I never really found Doom scary, but then again, I didn't start playing it when I was 5.

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it seems that some fat politicians would freak out about the level of
violence and satanic art stile which was unheard of at that time

it also loses its scaryness after the first few hours because
i beleve from the cookie cutter sprites (not to say its bad)
and lack of truly quick and deadly enemies (and that theyr not scary)

that mixed with proper lighting makes things startling but not scary

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this is also why i say it could really be made into the best of
both world and may be a thing of true glory when accomplished

and because the simplicity of the sprites in doom it could be
a potent combination mixed with the ease of lighting and
level design

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Scet said:

It's gotten to the point where I'm more surprised when I pick up a key and monsters don't appear.

So I was playtesting one of Mek's maps for Vela Pax, and there was this long narrow walkway with a yellow skull key at the end of it, and the only way out was back down this long passage the way you had entered. And I stood there looking at that skull key and I thought to myself, "This is going to be brutal." So after steeling my nerves, and equipping my biggest weapon, I picked up the key. And one Arachnotron teleports in. One Arachnotron. And I was like, "Is that it?". It's funny coz I was almost offended.


Awesome map tho Mek, in case you read this. :)

Also, tomthecrazzy, you make some really interesting points. For me, Doom used to be horror, but now I know the game so well, it is mostly action, though it can still be pretty scary sometimes.

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i thought that it would be just freakin awesome if you could script a basic prowler type monster so he would stay out of your field of vision (up front) and try not to get cornered while attacking from behind (as to balance the experience also giving them less health) and would know when a player is close enough to spring a surprise attack (like a cat in a corner) also a strafe that would be effective enough to discourage the attempt to fire wildly into the distance (and low ammo helps with that too)

so almost like corralling deadly grotesque creatures in the dark low on ammo and to afraid of removing there back from the nearest wall

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I was trying to make a decorate "monster" that would be invisible and just kinda teleport around, but if he got behind the player and close enough he'd turn visible, stop and stand there, and if he then got into the player's view he'd scream really loud or something and die (and if the player didn't turn around for no reason and got away from him, the monster would resume teleporting around being invisible). Too bad that one decorate function, "JumpIfInTargetLOS" or something, doesn't work as intended and instead works exactly like "JumpIfTargetInLOS" so the monster just screams when HE sees the PLAYER (after appearing out of nowhere with his back turned to you), and the idea is pretty much wasted. :(

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it scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, I really sucked at the game back then and I was terrified of the imps and the bloody face of the doom guy. today well placed spectres can still make me jump a little.

so id say its both horror and action but its not as scary any more as it used to be. because nowadays we have extremely horrifying games with very detailed stuff.

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