Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
GoatLord

Why an Earth sky on Phobos?

Recommended Posts

Doom was never meant to be a particularly realistic game; I get that. But why didn't id go with a background that at least remotely resembled what you would see on Phobos's surface, that is, a starry background and perhaps a rocky surface? The overcast sky and Earthy mountains have always made for an intriguing look, but it's entirely inappropriate. Perhaps all the black for the starry background would have clashed with the textures? Or maybe the stars would have warped unsatisfactorily when the player turns? Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

It had precisely such in the prebeta version. It didn't look very good. Very boring and blank, and too dark to match the architecture.

Share this post


Link to post
Quasar said:

It had precisely such in the prebeta version. It didn't look very good. Very boring and blank, and too dark to match the architecture.

In fairness, it probably would have looked fine if they had finished it -- the completely empty black sky above the mountains could have used some nice star and nebula formations in deep blue or dim gray. It would have set a distinctly different atmosphere than the vivid brightness of the E1 mountains we know and love, though not necessarily a bad one.

I wonder if the E1 mountains are so iconic primarily because of their actual appearance, or simply because they were associated with E1.

Share this post


Link to post
Quasar said:

It had precisely such in the prebeta version. It didn't look very good. Very boring and blank, and too dark to match the architecture.


There's always a BUT ;-)

But yeah, terraforming (or even a containment dome covering Stickney's crater, where every building is supposed to be built) is a plausible explanation, as far as making sense of Doom goes, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post

I remember reading an interview in which John Romero said that the original brown and black sky looked dull and uninteresting, so the artists decided to give the moons a partially breathable atmosphere and attributed it to the forces of the Phobos/Deimos Anomalies.

Share this post


Link to post

Now that you mention it, I'm thinking a dark starry sky wouldn't really look good at all. I'd go with the terraforming theory.

Share this post


Link to post

Nowadays we are so accustomed that games are accurate. Back then realism and bringing it to games wasn't easy. I know that skybox is easy to fix but I'm saying that now we more easily question these decisions that designers made back then and think what the where they thinking. I wonder if game makers tried to peek to the future and wonder what gamers would say about their games after some time had passed.

Share this post


Link to post

I always tought that the pre beta sky looks pretty cool, i like that over the final phobos sky, the black part of that sky would look better with stars or mars in there, i really never liked too much the sky of the first episode... and the second episode, idk why it has like snow in it.

Share this post


Link to post

If it's realism you're going for, a bigger question would be why there is any gravity, since Phobos is tiny. Anyone on Phobos would for all intents and purposes be weightless.

Share this post


Link to post

Artificial gravity and a semi sustainable atmosphere was introduced to keep the personal as mentally and physically healthy as possible. The UAC was willing to pump a lot of resources into this project to ensure the best possible returns. My assumption has been that this project had become their most important project for the purpose of securing their role as the leading military arms dealer.

Personally, I love to over-think things and come up with reasons for stuff like this but really, i think it just looks better and i agree with their reasoning for changing it. Visuals and game-play should always trump logic when making video games.

If we do need logic then we should realize that many maps are open to the outside and without some kind of atmosphere we wouldn't hear anything outside of the Doomguy's helmet. The atmospheric sky is much better than an open space one.

Share this post


Link to post
fraggle said:

If it's realism you're going for, a bigger question would be why there is any gravity, since Phobos is tiny. Anyone on Phobos would for all intents and purposes be weightless.

That explains why Doomguy can carry 500 pounds worth of weaponry without slowing down, and can fall any distance without taking damage.

Share this post


Link to post

Two of the pre-release skies were similar to the Inferno over-map swirling sky and endless desert.

Another one looked like a depiction of the Moon, with an oversized Earth in the sky (IIRC).

I wonder whether they went for Phobos and Deimos for these reasons:
- they wanted Doom to be in space
- they considered Mars, but didn't want to place the action on Mars, to avoid any "little green men" association
- so they chose its two moons, less often mentioned in movies
- they didn't want to be realistic at all; rather choose what would look best were the moons habitable: a cool friendly overcast atmosphere for Phobos, a hotter hostile dry one (eventually hellish) for Deimos.

Nobody seems to consider Episode 3 taking place on Mars, despite being all red.

Share this post


Link to post
printz said:

Two of the pre-release skies were similar to the Inferno over-map swirling sky and endless desert.

Another one looked like a depiction of the Moon, with an oversized Earth in the sky (IIRC).


Anywhere I can see these? I think the moon one was posted in the Doom 64 in Doom 2 thread (blue mountains?), but the others I havent seen

Share this post


Link to post

Nope because you wouldn't fall any distance on Phobos. It's not just a matter of being "low gravity": the gravity there is so low that you'd essentially be weightless. It's less than 1/100th the size of our own moon, making it barely much larger than an asteroid. And Deimos is even smaller.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah a football player could hit himself in the back of the head with a well-thrown pass, assuming there's even enough gravity to keep a well-thrown pass from hitting escape velocity (who feels like doing some physics?!?!?!)

Share this post


Link to post
fraggle said:

Nope because you wouldn't fall any distance on Phobos. It's not just a matter of being "low gravity": the gravity there is so low that you'd essentially be weightless. It's less than 1/100th the size of our own moon, making it barely much larger than an asteroid. And Deimos is even smaller.

This is, of course, why jumping has been disabled for the player's safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Quasar said:

Yeah a football player could hit himself in the back of the head with a well-thrown pass, assuming there's even enough gravity to keep a well-thrown pass from hitting escape velocity


Having just finished the motion unit in AS Physics and not encountering escape velocity, I doubt I'll be studying it any time soon. So instead...

Wikipedia:Phobos said:
Escape velocity: 11.3 m/s (40kph)


If I understand correctly though, this assumes that Phobos is a spherical body, which it is not. I'd guess this lowers the value further. EDIT: Since they used the mean radius of Phobos, this would be an average escape velocity of sorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Eris Falling said:

If I understand correctly though, this assumes that Phobos is a spherical body, which it is not. I'd guess this lowers the value further.

Using that value, a pro quarterback can chuck a ball at 112 kph. So yeah, he'd need to scale it back or that thing will be in orbit around Mars in short order.

Share this post


Link to post

Phobos sky is very memorable. It has a very quaint and "hospitable" feel. However, I have to admit that I also liked the way it was played in KDiZD. From an ambience point of view the sky getting darker as you move through the moon base was quite a well-played move. Screw the fact that it was practically impossible physics-wise, since only bodies with atmospheres have differing times of day.

Share this post


Link to post
Xfing said:

It has a very quaint and "hospitable" feel.

False sense of security, that's the reason of the skybox. :P

Share this post


Link to post
CorSair said:

False sense of security,

Well it's still the easiest and least scary episode in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
printz said:

Well it's still the easiest and least scary episode in the series.


Yeah. That said, I don't know why it also seems to be everyone's favorite. The texture scheme is the samest and most uniform of all episodes, there are virtually no hellish hints in it. I suppose it must be the level geometry, which was done by Romero and therefore better than many levels of E2 which were done by Petersen and especially Hall. Phobos Anomaly is also very, very iconic and it can and does make you fear the boss battle, even though it's just two Barons. But I can't even begin to imagine the terror and pounding pulse of someone who got there for the first time.

Personally, however, I like Doom's E2 the best appearance-wise, as it connects E1 accents with E3 ones. While the level geometry is probably at its sloppiest, the texture scheme is actually surprisingly nice to look at. Some of the Inferno levels are also a sweet sight to behold, I mean mostly Slough of Despair and Mt. Erebus. IMO, Inferno was much better in DTWiD, though.

As for a "false sense of security", I think that nothing conveys this more poignantly than E4. The sky of Thy Flesh Consumed suggests that the worst is already over. What bullshit.

Share this post


Link to post
Xfing said:

The texture scheme is the samest and most uniform of all episodes, there are virtually no hellish hints in it.

Your reasons for being mystified as to why people like it are some of the reasons that it is my favourite. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Ragnor said:

Anywhere I can see these? I think the moon one was posted in the Doom 64 in Doom 2 thread (blue mountains?), but the others I havent seen


I extracted these skies with SLADE from the pre-release beta:


Now, these skies make me wonder more about the development of Doom.

Share this post


Link to post

The blue skies look like night-time versions of the brown ones, to me. I like the idea of having animated lightning in the sky light the place up briefly!

To be fair, a starry sky with Mars looming over proceedings like a baleful red eye would probably have been pretty cool for E1, but I think the Vietnamese bay picture, with the light grey clouds and natural-looking mountains really fits the fairly bright E1 maps very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Xfing said:

Personally, however, I like Doom's E2 the best appearance-wise, as it connects E1 accents with E3 ones.

I mostly like E2's theme myself.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×