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GoatLord

Doom 4's art direction

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What kind of art direction and aesthetic should Doom 4 have? I don't personally want to see a close recreation of the designs and textures of the original Doom 2. I would rather see something a bit more surreal and horrific. Here are three examples.


Take a gander, for instance, at this painting by H. R. Giger. I would love to fight something like that in Doom 4.


A scene like this painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski, would look killer.


Finally, this hideous depiction of a Hellish landscape would fit perfectly in a Doom game, painted by Heironymus Bosch.

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Don't worry. You pretty much can't do a sci-fi game with horror elements without referencing HR Giger at least somewhat.

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I understand, but it's easy to be a hack and half-ass a Giger-esque atmosphere. I'm using these examples to show the potential of surreal horror.

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I don't need all that jazz. I'd be happy with an American urban night where the windows in the buildings ahead in the skyline are normally lit, as if nothing's happening there, yet you're here on the streets trying to stop a sudden demon invasion that threatens to break into the nearby apartments and eat people. It just needs to be always night, because modern urban day looks mundane and unfitting for demon slaying.

Sigvatr's LME texture set from long ago gave an impression very similar to this.

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Would be nice if the monster gallery had at least a hint of different colors again to set them apart. In Doom 3 they were all the bloody same.

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Make it cute & happy and all of the demons look like plush stuffed animals. Then put it on the Wii. Millions sold.

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geo said:

Make it cute & happy and all of the demons look like plush stuffed animals. Then put it on the Wii. Millions sold.


Hissy would become famous!

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I would actually really like to see a plush version of the demon, cacodemon and revenant.

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GoatLord said:

I don't personally want to see a close recreation of the designs and textures of the original Doom 2. I would rather see something a bit more surreal and horrific.


Maybe we have a different idea of what constitutes surreal and horrific. While I love all those paintings for different reasons, Doom always had it's own style of dream-like, if not slightly nightmarish surrealism for me. That includes the techbase maps, though obviously the more the hell influences started pushing through the more weird and horrible the environment became. The technological limitations at the time worked it it's artistic favour, I suppose you could say.

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Mithran Denizen said:

Is there a link to this somewhere? I looked around for it a while back and came up empty.

Actually, it might be by Patrick instead, in collaboration with Sigvatr, or something...

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geo said:

Make it cute & happy and all of the demons look like plush stuffed animals. Then put it on the Wii. Millions sold.


A third-party Wii title selling millions of copies? Good one!

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Megamur said:

A third-party Wii title selling millions of copies? Good one!

And still call it "doom"? Good one!!!11

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GoatLord said:

I would actually really like to see a plush version of the demon, cacodemon and revenant.


Hissy is a plush cacodemon.

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Clonehunter said:

That second pic should be a texture. For like, doors or osmething, like the Doom 3 hell doors.

Too bad it's modern (no public domain), otherwise I would have thought seriously about doing it.

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Exactly. I looked up the project thread (when it was attempted as a community project) and saw some grainy city textures. I avoided using the full name "Last Man on Earth" because it sounds like the character is the last male on Earth, which I believe is not the actual intention of the theme. Is it? :D

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I want things to be colorful. By that, I don't meant that it should be cartoony or less violent. The game world doesn't have to be dark and devoid of any colors save for black, grey, and red to be "serious".

I'd also like to see the return of the old school sci-fi theme. I want the shotgun to be pump-action with a wooden stock, and I want to blast Zombies in the face with a Beretta. I don't want plain, black "futuristic" weapons with no sights and giant digital letters reading out how much ammunition you have left. And Vectrex maps are awesome.

I don't really want the techbase maps and artwork to be abstract though. To me, the original Doom techbases were abstract but they also felt like they could be real places and the objects in the level had a vague sense of purpose. I really only want to see the surreal stuff return in the hell levels and "corrupted" areas of techbases. Things like hallways with discolored lights which gradually warp into a hellish theme would be nice transition areas for Doom 4's equivalent of Episode 2. Even then, it shouldn't be too surreal and horrific. Doom is not a survival horror.

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You're right, Doom is NOT a survival/horror game. But look at PSX Doom and especially Doom 64. The high-fidelity sound effects and dark ambient music give the game a sense of horror that is not present in the PC versions. I see no reason why Doom 4 shouldn't take a hint and include such aesthetics. I'd love for Doom 4 to evoke the same kind of sense of dread as those console Dooms.

As for having old school weapons, I think you may be out of luck. That worked in the original Doom, because it was the early 90s, a much less serious time for gaming. These days, if you want to develop a futuristic shooter, you practically HAVE to make the weapons futuristic as well. The only way I could see what you're talking about being implemented is if Doom 4's weapons take on a "retro" aesthetic, which again seems unlikely. But I agree with you; black, vague weapons with digital ammo counters doesn't give me the same satisfaction as a fucking wooden stock.

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GoatLord said:

As for having old school weapons, I think you may be out of luck. That worked in the original Doom, because it was the early 90s, a much less serious time for gaming. These days, if you want to develop a futuristic shooter, you practically HAVE to make the weapons futuristic as well. The only way I could see what you're talking about being implemented is if Doom 4's weapons take on a "retro" aesthetic, which again seems unlikely. But I agree with you; black, vague weapons with digital ammo counters doesn't give me the same satisfaction as a fucking wooden stock.


I don't see how it's less "serious". Depends on how you define futuristic. Doom reminds me of old science fiction- technology has advanced but not in the same way that it did for us. Similar to steampunk in a way. The old computers/weapons in a space setting would make for an interesting atmosphere even in a new game. Yeah, I seriously doubt that the art style is going to head in that direction- but one can always hope...

And as I mentioned before, everything in the real world isn't black and gray so I don't see why venturing outside that color scheme makes the game in any way less serious.

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I implied games are more serious these days because the level of detail that gamers and developers demand from the product requires an attention to detail that wasn't present in the early 90s, when just about any strange element could be implemented, so long as it was cool. These days, developers are very serious about crafting these detailed, living, breathing worlds. Doom 4 will likely go that route, but if it sticks to the kind of aesthetics fans will likely want to see and experience (apocalyptic devastation, hellish landscapes, brutal weapons, grotesque enemies, expansive maps, straightforward gameplay), then it ought to be a decent game.

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GoatLord said:

But I agree with you; black, vague weapons with digital ammo counters doesn't give me the same satisfaction as a fucking wooden stock.

I like digital LCD ammo displays because I love technology. I think it's handy for a soldier to know right away how much ammo he has (hopefully battery doesn't run out too often). What about guns with Internet access (or more "practically", communicators)?

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printz said:

I like digital LCD ammo displays because I love technology. I think it's handy for a soldier to know right away how much ammo he has (hopefully battery doesn't run out too often). What about guns with Internet access (or more "practically", communicators)?


Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking such features. They're cool and I've thought about futuristic features myself, like smart bullets that can find their target while traveling at high velocities, or buck shot that could stay clumped until it hit its target, at which point it would uniformly spread. I imagine the weapons would all be networked to other UAC soldiers and personnel, not only for communication but as a form of friendly fire prevention. Stuff like that is cool. I just want it to LOOK cool, too. The Doom 3 weapons didn't look or feel particularly badass.

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In my perfect world, Doom 4 would be _MASSIVELY_ inspired by the works of Mark Powell and Beksinski (great taste, GoatLord!)...

Powell:





Some more Beksinski:





IMHO, I'd go 60% Powell, 20% Beksinski and the remaining 20%, all Giger. But of course, I'm not the art director of id... one can only dream, right? :P

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Haematobic, excellent examples. I have not heard of Powell; his work reminds me of some of the Cannibal Corpse album covers with a touch of Silent Hill. This is the kind of sick shit I'd love to see in Doom 4. I really like this kind of stuff because it's not just mindless gore.

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bgraybr said:

And as I mentioned before, everything in the real world isn't black and gray so I don't see why venturing outside that color scheme makes the game in any way less serious.

Largely because when developers try different color schemes these days, more often than not it looks far too saturated and cartoony.

As for the recent pictures, that's pretty disgusting and disturbing. Seems perfect for a hellish horror atmosphere.

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Haematobic said:

In my perfect world, Doom 4 would be _MASSIVELY_ inspired by the works of Mark Powell and Beksinski


Oh boy, brown. Just what I always wanted.

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