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Linguica

Game Maker's Toolkit - What We Can Learn From Doom

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20 years on, and id Software's demonic first person shooter Doom remains massively influential. But can modern designers still learn lessons from this ancient, archetypal game?




This is a pretty solid mini-analysis of Doom 1 and how the different monster types work together to make combat fun and variable. It overreaches in some parts (comparing the 7 basic Doom 1 monster types to the 7-or-so things a person can hold in their working memory at once, come the hell on) and I really wish it had covered Doom 2, since nearly all the new monsters add new depth and complexity to fight scenarios, but it's still good.

Spoiler

also it credits the wikia BOOO

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Apart from shaming himself with linking the wrong wiki, I like this vid quite a lot more than the 50min epos by Ahoy. This one touches certain indepth truths of Doom design in a concise way. Good stuff.

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Linguica said:

It overreaches in some parts (comparing the 7 basic Doom 1 monster types to the 7-or-so things a person can hold in their working memory at once, come the hell on)


It's this kind of nonsense that puts me off of a lot of these "talks".

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"Orthogonal Unit Differentiation".

I should try remember that. Sounds like the sort of crap you would see in a Uni lecture but for FPS.

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rdwpa said:

It's this kind of nonsense that puts me off of a lot of these "talks".

Yeah, that was stupid. And agreed that it should cover the Doom 2 monsters. They have even more thought put into them than the originals.

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"Traps that troll players...'

Yea I can't take it seriously anymore. Trolling? Really? Terrywads are trolling.

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Hold on, how is a baron not a "more or less powerful version" of the imp? Never mind the zombieman to shotgunner which he happened to cover in the same sentence, you know, like they were basically the same thing.

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Fonze said:

Hold on, how is a baron not a "more or less powerful version" of the imp? Never mind the zombieman to shotgunner which he happened to cover in the same sentence, you know, like they were basically the same thing.


Approximately the same size, speed, same attack methods, just more hit points, more damage on hits.

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Jon said:

Approximately the same size, speed, same attack methods, just more hit points, more damage on hits.

No, he's right, the shotgunner is way more dangerous than the pistol zombie. An army of pistol men can be decimated without taking any cover, but an army of shotgunners may kill you in a second.

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Fonze said:

Hold on, how is a baron not a "more or less powerful version" of the imp?


I'd say that while its technically imp with high hp and damage, its quite different in the way that players interact with it when mappers use it effectively in conjunction with other enemies and limited space/ammo.

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You also shouldn't dismiss the sheer health and damage ratios between Imp/Baron in comparison to Zombieman/ShotgunGuy. ShotgunGuy deals 3 times more damage per hit than Zombieman, is faster and more aggressive than him, and has only 1.5 times more health than him. Baron deals 2.6 times more damage per hit than Imp, is equally fast and aggressive as him, and has freaking 16.6 times more health than him. Both Zombieman and ShotgunGuy are wimps that go down in one shotgun blow, but ShotgunGuy is notably more dangerous than Zombieman. On the other hand, the difference between Imp and Baron usually comes down to the fact that Baron can't be killed in a single shotgun blow (or in 10), not so much being more dangerous than Imp, unless the player can't avoid/escape the Baron and has little space to move.

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I should prolly mention that my previous post was sarcasm and y'all basically stated my train of thought. My point was that the YouTuber was full of shit. Wonder why he didn't include Doom 2 monsters? (or bosses, for that matter) Because it didn't fit with his *mind-blowing* revalation that there were only 7 different types of monsters and that they were all different and it correlated to how our brain funtions according to a study that likely came out after the 90's. No, but that wasn't coincidence; Id just had a crystal ball. /sarcasm

Basically he wrote a very flimsy argument and any hint of reality destroys the tentative balance that his argument rests on, which is all coincidental rationalization and literalism in interpreting a few, highly selective quotes.

Fact: the shoutgunguy is just like a zombieman, but with a shotgun.
Fact: the baron is a powered-up imp
Fact: this is why I hate watching YouTube videos with some moron who thinks he's special talking about something that he hasn't even fully researched.

As for the difference in the ratios between those two pairs of enemies, well, the difference in the first place between each pair is what makes the other a "more or less powerful version" of the first and the slightly more extreme ratio between the imp/baron is only to make the baron a boss monster (or maybe closer to a miniboss), but who cares about what the ratio is; they're just arbitrary numbers anyway. Baron -> imp; baron is like a beefier imp. Zombieman -> shotgunguy; shotgunguy is like a spokesman, but with a shotgun.

Not trying to downplay the importance of any of the roster of monsters, just pointing out what I found to be ignorant.

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I didn't find the video to be particularly engaging. I dont blame him for not being right on the money about meticulous details. I guess I dont really get what the video was trying to accomplish. There didn't seem to be a lot that could take away into development in other games. If i were a developer of a new game but never played Doom, this video barely tapped into the major fundamentals of the game and rather cited theories and terminology that probably had better application elsewhere. Most games potential are hardly limited to how you interact directly with the enemies and their stats that differentiate them.

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think people here are really grasping for things to get their knickers in a twist about to be honest.

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Eh, I wasn't really trying to be negative with my first post, merely making a sarcastic joke that I found to be a funny inconsistency within his own argument.

As for the second post, well, maybe that got a little negative and could have been worded better, but it is what it is now *shrug*

To put this constructively, I would have been happier to have seen this video fleshed out with more thought put into it rather than the typical "touch on everything really quick because otherwise the ADD generation will lose interest" approach that most videos seem to have. But I think that 40 hit it right on the head in a bit of a better worded, and less specific, paragraph.

I will say that I agree with the YouTuber's general thesis that part of what made (and still makes) Doom great was/is it's cast of characters and their specific roles. I just wish, once again, that more effort was put into the video to cover the entire cast (including Doom 2) rather than picking out flimsy arguments that seemed to fit serendipitously together (like the 7 monsters/capabilities of the average human memory).



In all fairness, look at the tone of this entire thread starting from the OP. We all are pedantic and negative ;p (and that son of a bitch credited the wrong wiki; we must burn him at the stake to appease our Doom Gods [/sarcasm])

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This is where I comment cynically in a condescending manner on negligible inaccuracies in order to assert what a cool more-hardcore-than-thou Doom fan I am.

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Fonze said:

I will say that I agree with the YouTuber's general thesis that part of what made (and still makes) Doom great was/is it's cast of characters and their specific roles. I just wish, once again, that more effort was put into the video to cover the entire cast (including Doom 2) rather than picking out flimsy arguments that seemed to fit serendipitously together (like the 7 monsters/capabilities of the average human memory).

That strawman about modern game enemies is pretty lame, too. I mean, at the basis, yeah, if you're playing a modern military themed shooter or whatever, all of your enemies will be dudes with varying amounts of armor. But there's still a huge difference in fighting "dude with AK47", "dude with knife", and "dude with rocket launcher". Are these enemies really less interesting, gameplay-wise, than "dude with chaingun", "demon with teeth", and "robot demon with rocket launcher"?

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Are these enemies really less interesting, gameplay-wise, than "dude with chaingun", "demon with teeth", and "robot demon with rocket launcher"?

1. Demon-possessed dude with chaingun, heyooooo

Not saying the video made a great argument, but...yes. Absolutely. In most modern military shooters you are tasked with picking apart one of several gray/brown mandudes which have SUPER COMPLEX AI BEHAVIOR which boils down to them hiding until they decide to shoot. They don't teach you behaviors or skills, you just potshot similar-acting things which plink at you in slightly different fashions. Doom's advantage in it's visually and behaviorally distinct slew of enemies is that the game is rendered not as a meaningless morass of SO COOL GRITTY REALISM (hiding behind boxes), but instead a series of patterned behaviors obeying concrete rules whose overlap creates increasingly complex combat puzzles that shift in real time and that require pattern memorization, honed reflexes, time management, and priority management to overcome. That's why you can still pump out fun Vanilla maps two decades later, whereas going and somehow making a really pretty singleplayer map for Call of Duty would be completely pointless because you can't hire Gary Oldman to talk at you about it the whole time.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

That strawman about modern game enemies is pretty lame, too. I mean, at the basis, yeah, if you're playing a modern military themed shooter or whatever, all of your enemies will be dudes with varying amounts of armor. But there's still a huge difference in fighting "dude with AK47", "dude with knife", and "dude with rocket launcher". Are these enemies really less interesting, gameplay-wise, than "dude with chaingun", "demon with teeth", and "robot demon with rocket launcher"?

The problem is that, in these modern games with human enemies, you can't realistically justify and therefore you can't have (or you just feel compelled not to have) inventive and gimmicky enemies like Archviles or Pain Elementals or even Cacodemons and Lost Souls, that would make the game even more interesting and fun than the generic enemies would.

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Hey now, Call of Doody has dogs, which feel worse for me to shoot than the cherubs of Doom 3, so... they got that going for them.

See, what CoD really needs is giant killer bees to function like the lost souls of Doom and they can rationalize them with those little mind-control-cap-looking things they use in real life to track the movement of bees having been outfitted for military purposes because humans are evil and then include bee hives (aka pain elementals) in the sequel so you could understand where they come from.

I'm sorry, I just had to have a little fun here ;p

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Then go play the first world of Daikatana and then tell us how awesome it was to snipe fucking frogs and dragonflies on all axes.

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