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Guest ZombiZ

Doom: Legacy of the Last Space Marine [v2+Re:

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Guest ZombiZ

ZombiZ's DoomWorld POST- Doom: Legacy of the Last Space Marine

This document may be freely distributed completely unmodified. But then again, there's nothing I can do about it if you decide to violate that.

They should have seen it coming ... the flood of ideas, damn, we're all doomed (no pun intended) to become faces in the crowd. Oh well, some ideas will get through, let us hope.

I've been hard at work modifying this post since I first blindly flung it out to sea at DoomWorld. I hope that it make just a tad bit more sense and it at least somewhat apealing.

First of all, let's not make this game a rehash of the original- even with 512 x 512 textures and curved shiny surfaces, hardware T&L support, S3 Texture compression and Intel Multi Resolution Mesh models, skeletal animation to save RAM, etc. etc. etc... a Doom III / Doom 2000 void of any plot would quickly dissolve into another "forget-the-damn-single-player-campaign-where-can-I-find-that-new-DM-mod" vaporware first-person gore-fest free-for-all waste of hard drive space. Of course Doom remade would kick ass. We know it would. But for how long?

Remember SiN? Why did this game fail? I purchased a copy of the original and it's expansion and found this game to be a true gem, especially it's expansion pack-Wages of SiN. The game was able to take on a very different twist depending on which of the secondary objectives were completed. Blade's personality and character are brilliantly displayed throughout both chapters and the plot almost never drags

(Unreal- c'mon! When is something relevant going to happen?
Tomb Raider- artifact piece? What? Oh! I remember the intro now...)

and from start to finish is a total blast. The downside to this was of course the game didn't sell well and the community around it was short lived, and I don't believe any truly significant contributions have been made as far as modifying the game besides the easily foreseen slew of nude skins for Sinclaire.

The Doom community however is very much alive thanks to the release of the Doom engine source code, as dozens of projects are actively attempting to push the Doom engine to it's limits, this announcement is simply a little napalm for the ongoing eternal midnight bonfire party. People will be talking about this for at least the next five years-but only if there are some changes to the Doom franchise.

Half-Life shines in it's own way with seamlessly connected maps and it's scripted sequences are pure genius, and the skeletal animation is easy on the RAM, and the enemy AI still catches me off guard. The whole package is complete and the community is louder than the NY Stock Exchange. As for mods, the hits just keep on coming. Live forever Freeman.

citrus-bravo and encore for your comments. You obviously have the right idea.

Taking Doom back to its roots is suicide, the target audience has evolved so much since the original. We expect more than just wall-door-wall environments with non-connected-yet-solid-linear maps where there's not a friendly in sight and the enemies all seem to know where you are at all times. Gone are (or at least gone-should-be) the critters that

"have the bloodlust of a Norse Berserker, the survival instincts of a kamikaze pilot, and the tactical intelligence of a Junior Mint" -PC Games/January '98 page 68; heading "The rules of engagement"

I mean damnit, some of these people still want the end-map readouts.. pre-rendered cutscenes? Someone drag these people out to the streets and flog them thoroughly with wet noodles! This simply should not have been in the first place. Must we drag this game back to what games were like in the early to mid 90's with pixelated blue screen actors and Studio Max pre-rendered cutscenes? Stop this ride, I'd like to get off please.

So from the ground up, here are my thoughts and feelings on the new Doom.


"Doom III" might work, but "Doom2000" sounds like some dumb-ass '80's B movie. No. I've always liked "Doom: Legacy of the Last Space Marine" or something that didn't involve numbers. (Can you honestly imagine a sequel to Half-Life called "Half-Life 2"?) The title should not say "rehash" or "same game, new graphics" or even "Same game, different number at title".


A plot to Doom by now is fairly easy to come up with. Crack open the novels, and a cloud of inspiration will nail you in the face like cigarette smoke at a teen rave- thank you Dafydd ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver.

A post-invasion

(please, not "post-Apocolyptic," no one-climate Earth where civilization is void of all technology and everyone has turned into a materialistic sex-hungry bum)

Earth with the basic concepts of religion on the edge of collapse, where it's the survivors vs. the invasion force and the sellouts, with endless worldwide warfare seems to be the most likely outcome of the previous "Dooms." The novels inspire vivid images of street-side shootouts and warfare hardened youngsters who have been forced to mentally mature at a much younger age. Once again- post invasion, not post-Apocolyptic. None of that crap. I'd once again refer to the novel's idea that these are alien beings engineered to look like demons because of what we were like two-hundred years ago- the invasion force expected us to be just as fearful and superstitious. Oops. The idea of actual demons coming from hell, invading Mars (what? Did they hyperjump to Earth and miss their mark?), then working their way towards Earth is just a tad corny.

Society in general probably won't change much from what it's like now, and while we'll never be quite as perfect as in the Star Trek universe, we'll hopefully never be quite as fanatical and obsessed with honor as in the BattleTech universe. However, I do see BattleTech in a post Doom invasion world in a way: where everyone packs heat, some form of armor, and cultural gatherings such as drinking taverns and the like and the occasional barfight still exist. Or picture children in what will then pass for a school, chatting about lost loves and their funniest or most courageous demon kills after class.

The plot of the previous "Dooms" was all right, but in almost no way at all did this plot affect, or reflect gameplay. My ideas on this would be better understood by reading all of the categories and mentally jumbling around a whole image. I can't really explain what I'd like to see the plot of Doom become without saying "Follow the novels but don't stick him in a computer at the very end"- besides, that would only serve to yank the player back to reality- duh, you're sitting at a computer.


We've all by now seen what long periods of exposure to warfare can do to one's mind. I doubt that after The Ultimate Doom, Doom ][: Hell on Earth, Final Doom: TNT Evolution, and Final Doom: The Plutonia Experiment, that DoomGuy is going to be 101% in his right mind. Even the description of DOOM in the Quake 3: A manual hints that DOOM isn't quite all there. More like eighty-something percent in his right mind with the occasional flashbacks of the early years or memories of warfare against Terran humans. Or sudden fits of rage accompanied by a loud cry in heated firefights (Refer to Dawn of Darkness Q2 TC- dawnofdarkness.com; it's damn good) in which his view has a dark reddish tint and gameplay is somehow affected- accuracy, rate of fire with semiautomatic / melee weapons, and/or damage with melee weapons or overall strength for better manipulating environment.

The player should be constantly exposed to DoomGuy's character, something must be going on constantly that keeps DoomGuy talking. He should either be in radio contact with someone similar to SiN or he should be with some very intelligent NPC's that always have some interesting conversation buzzing around in their AI brains. Or how about both-he's in a group and their all in radio contact with an another group. Maybe this radio contact group is not 110% on DoomGuy's side ... maybe your radio contact is a bunch of those shady (if not down right flaky) UAC guys...

DoomGuy is undeniably a white male with both functional eyes and all limbs plus a few burn marks and scars- undoing the vintage box-art would just piss people off.

And for heaven's sakes name the man. Something besides "DoomGuy" or "you." Taggart is somewhat widely accepted but let's leave this to id to straighten out once and for all.

Why just DoomGuy at all? How about being able to play as other characters? Other Marines? Female Marines decked out in similar fashion? Perhaps a few characters from Q3A? Somehow tying all of Doom and Quake together? (Wolfenstein takes place too far back) UAC? Renegade demons? Hybrids? (All together now, imagine someone in bed with these things...) "EEEEEEEEWWWWWW...." Thank you, As You Were.
But that can never be because different characters may call for different plots, and id probably just wouldn't take the time to draw that out. Although if they did I could understand charging $100 retail for this game easily, so long as it was compatible with Quake 3 Mods and/or previous Doom WAD's (this would be impossible with TC's, as id would at best only keep a few updated legacy textures). Maybe it could be a stand alone game as well as an add-on to Q3, it'd certainly make any kind of character selection easier, and save that precious resource known as hard drive space by borrowing elements from Q3A (But just a few textures and models and such and the network code! No need to make the new Doom look too much like Q3!)


ID, DAMNIT, TAKE YOUR TIME. The past two Quakes have that rushed feeling, like something wasn't quite complete. Especially Quake][. I say don't budge for publishers, you're the one making the game. However long it takes to do it right. "When it's done" and "When it's great." Don't let a calendar influence when a game is released. Do it right the first time and you won't spend a year trying to patch in features that were missing in the retail box (although Quake][ could really benefit from modern network code).

This question should be simple, but it may not be as simple as you might think. Should id use the Quake 3 engine? Or should they look for their tech elsewhere? The Unreal(Tournament) engine features some astounding lighting, perhaps this should be at least looked into. Then again, of course id shouldn't look for their tech elsewhere, it's the solidity of the id engines that make it feel as if the bullet actually penetrates and wounds the actor, rather than simply causing blood to come out of nowhere right in front of the affected actor. But the lighting of Unreal Tournament adds significantly to the game, as it would to Doom. Some features to the engine could be added, however:

Hardware T&L- this is more than "hot tech", it allows the same system to handle vastly higher poly counts and allow lighting to go to whole new levels of whoopass without a major performance hit. 3dfx is wrong to say that T&L will someday return to the CPU, it is in fact here to stay. 3dfx is a hobo in the graphics industry and denounces hardware T&L simply because their cards don't currently have it. In fact I'll bet they can't figure out how it's done. :-)

I'd like to see some high poly models in the new Doom. In about three years everyone

(those who care enough to upgrade)

is going to have geometry accelerator cards (such as GeForce) or better anyway. Or maybe a low-quality (hundreds of polys) /high-quality (thousands of polys) model setup. Maybe even choose which of the two to install.
Lighting could potentially be everything for this game. It adds an untouchably beautiful atmosphere when done right. Take UT for instance. Although most may not notice in a fur-flying free-for-all, the lighting is actually very smooth and transitional rather than harshly changing where only one light source at a a time affects certain models, in UT sometimes up to three distinctly different light-source colors can be seen on other players, and most evidently, your character's hands. And this is without T&L, what if it's done in hardware?

S3TC- S3 Texture Compression, making a little memory go a lot farther. I'm not sure how this works, but it does. The few supporting games I've seen can crank out some impressive visuals with this enabled. Compressed textures tend to be of better quality than their untouched counterparts, as evident in SoF. Whatever gives a computer a slight break should not be ignored simply because it takes too long to code.

Skeletal animation- Why the hell was this dropped from Q3Test and eventually Q3A? Skeletal animation saves RAM! The only reason I ever knew about was because "Quake 3 was already running fine on a 64 meg machine." WTF? Okay, so a feature that saves even more RAM and is just a tad quicker to animate with is dropped because the older, less efficient way worked on a target system? id tells the world they'd rather have "this vertex move here and this vertex move here and this vertex move here and this vertex move here and that's a frame" rather than "this joint moves from this XYZ to this XYZ in x amount of time and all vertices for that body segment stay the same distance apart" what if you wanted to make models that were optimized for a beyond 100fps framerate? I know little about animation but wouldn't you have to draw out over a hundred vertex-from-A-to-B, for every vertex, per frame to do that? Did I read those .plan's right? I hope not. Please tell me I'm dead wrong about id dropping bone-animation. Please?

MRM- Intel's Multi Resolution Mesh. Ya know what? This is even better than my Hi-poly/low-poly idea. Then you'd only make one insane quality model and the end user's computer would do the rest for the sake of framerate and distance. Besides the human eye can only see so clearly after a certain distance anyway right? Here's a question for the coding community: Could MRM be used in another way for a sort of dynamic collapsible models thingy? Kinda like House of Dead 2? That would work really well for zombies. :-)

EAX- Creative Labs Environmental Audio Xtensions. EAX has quickly become more than just Surround Sound in hardware. The reflections, the hardware reverb. Magic. My experience with the SoF demo on a friend's rig was heavenly. I seriously was on the virge of tears when I fired up Half-Life with EAX. Let me tell you this: EAX coming from an SB Live! is a lot different from EAX on an SB PCI 128, and SB PCI 64 has no EAX, which is in a surprising majority of Dell and Gateway machines and even a few Hewlett Packard's. 'Course if you don't know what sound card you have, then how can yourself a PC gamer?


Hit Detection- "Area specific body damage" or "head shots work like they should" as my 11-year old brother calls it. This would be especially satisfying to all those snipers in the crowd, who were probably disappointed by the fact that a head shot with the railgun in Q3A wouldn't always kill. Zombies of course would require a head shot

(or a couple for the particularly ripe)

to put down, even after a shotgun blast eliminates the lower digestive system. I can see them twitching on the floor after a leg is blown off trying to squeeze off a shot in some random direction blinded because he only has part of a skull (refer to last part of MRM).
I find it stupid that someone could take a plink at your pinkie toe and a plink and your forehead and injure you in exactly the same magnitude. Maybe in a DM it is a crap shoot with hit detection but HL, UT, SiN, Chasm: The Rift, GoldenEye and a bunch of other oldies-but-goldies pull it off rather well. If your aim is true, and your lag is low then you're shooting crap with weighted dice then aren't you Mr. Carmack? But let's not insult the big guy, it was a judgment call to remove hit detection from Q3, and I shall respect that.

Vertical Limit- Hey, there's only so far you can fall. And for heaven's sake, falling too far does not cause one to gib. It may dislocate many a bone, cause your puny little skull to blast nearby areas with an onslaught of grey matter, blood, bone and helmet fragments, make bones protrude form places they really shouldn't be, but a fall so great would make you bounce before it would make you burst.

Last bits:

* Glass does not stop a rocket, not even the chicken wire re-enforced stuff; I can get an empty Dr. Pepper (can or bottle) to go through at least two high school door panes. (I was much younger, I was in a junk yard in Californy, what the hell)

* Chances are, if you can see an explosion, you're gonna feel it at least a little.

* Any chance of bullet penetration factors? Pup tents, thin walls?

* Keep the super powerful rockets, in fact, make 'em stronger. On multi-maps, have 5 or less per map. Make 'em load two at max, and real slow, but go real fast once fired. Two minutes per respawn. Less than 100 rockets in SP campaign.

* Every marine is a rifleman first, any chance of a sniping tool?

* Many weak rather than few strong.

* WAV based music? An intro, repeating loop part, tension part, and suspense part- SoF pulled this off very well.

* pre-rendered cutscenes? Um, maybe. Only if done in engine

(Jedi Knight: MotS, nice example, bad result due to Smacker compression)

and in a 32-bit color format such as Bink. There are occasions when you may miss something critical in a cut-scene due to disk swapping if it's real-time in-engine. But either is just fine. Just not the Silicon Graphics Infinite Reality stuff please.

* Plot should be modifiable to at least some degree.

("Do I help the bum? If at all possible. Help CO? Always and without regard of consequence to self.")

Details, details, it's overkill sure, but wouldn't it be great? :-)


I have a SoundBlaster PCI 128 w/ 8Meg GM/GS ver.4 waveset loaded. MIDI for most instruments is excellent but some instruments are lacking. Are there any new versions? Any other ENSONIQ wavesets that work for my card?

Thanks for the update of 3dfx's T&L, I knew 3dfx had to be denouncing competing technology for a reason: they're working on their own version themselves ("T&L sucks!" It blows! It's useless! It will probably just go back to the CPU in a few years!" they say, then bam "VooDoo X has T&L! T&L is the greatest thing since the computer! Buy this thing! Only 599.95 plus shipping and handling, tax, and a small 20% fee for looking at the pretty box-art to egin with! And hey! There's a $30 rebate that you'll never see in it for ya!"). GeForce and GeForce 2 T&L is far from worthless, but coders have yet to implement support in their newer games, and modellers have yet to make high enough ploy-count models to make NVIDIA's T&L shine. Imagine playing Starship Troopers on your PC, where nearly every entity is pulled from the animated Starship Trooper series "Roughnecks".

Making Doom a truly terrifying experience should be the focussing point of developement. In fact, multiplay should be LEFT OUT. There are enough multiplayer games running around. Mod developement should also focus on gripping singleplay.

My post deserves your attention!? I'm honored, I truly am. Any way I could use my own icon, rather than someone elses? I'm sure this pisses off Fanatic to some tiny degree.

-ZombiZ; GameZombiZ@aol.com (Damnit, no porn mail, it's a waste of bandwidth and time)

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You've got some good ideas. Like you said, however, most of them are details. I think what id needs to focus on first and foremost is how to make the game scary. All the features and technology should really just be a means to this end. Half-Life and System Shock 2 did have scary moments in them, but I found they weren't that way all the time. The new Doom should make you feel stressed out from beginning to end. I think if id is successful at making Doom3(or whatever it will be called) affect players at an emotional level, then it will be a success. This however is going to be a lot tougher than implementing any feature or new technological breakthrough.

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Guest prometheus

I agree with most of your statements except when you get to the technological portion first of all 3dfx has been working on their T&L card for 2+ years, and it is going to be much better than Nvidia's near worthless implementation of the technology. Secondly, S3TC though useful will be outclassed by by newer technologies by the time Doom3 is released.

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bullets penetrating "thin walls" would be great!
and what do you have against the falling thing
or gibbing when you fall? now if it is atleast as gory as
the pit II fatality in mortal kombat 2, that would be
great. now, the idea that the enemy would respond or be
affected in different ways depending on where he is shot is
great. as for cut scenes, i would like them.
i think a good intro to each horrifying level of doom 3 should
be that the screen hovers over the entire level, showing you
it's hellish structures and shit. and then it is up to you
to figure out what dark mysteries and demons lurk in them.

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