Trying to understand the logic of Doom 3's level design

Doom 3's level design tries to look complex and high tech, but is there actual logic/realism to the design of the levels or is it all just made up sci-fi nonsense? Is there logic to where all the pipes go or is it just largely random? And what about all the complex looking walls like these:

 

https://imgur.com/a/tjCWk

 

https://imgur.com/a/GJ5f4

 

https://imgur.com/a/0Wx3E

 

Is there actual realism reasons/logic for why a facility would have sloped/shaped walls like this or is it just made up for the sole reason of looking cool visually?

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There's lotsa pipes and electricity cables behind those ... Perhaps ;)

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2 hours ago, MFG38 said:

Stop trying to rationalize video game logic.

 

Why? What is wrong with wanting to understand the proccess of making Doom 3 or video game levels? The information could be useful in making your own level.   

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Well if that's the case, I think a simple straight wall with a basic texture applied to it wouldn't help the futuristic theme the game was aiming at.

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2 hours ago, dmg_64 said:

Well if that's the case, I think a simple straight wall with a basic texture applied to it wouldn't help the futuristic theme the game was aiming at.

 

But isn't it possible to rationalize a lot of the sci-fi stuff you see in the levels by the fact that the mars base is suppose to be locted on an alien planet and requires advanced technology in order to work? Sure, a real world office building might not require anything more than a simple bland hallway with nothing in it, but a futuristic space base might require a more advanced setup to work. I just think it's both fun and interesting to look at all of the little details/items/props in the levels and then ask yourself, what are those things suppose to do/be? Why are they here? Some more examples:

 

https://imgur.com/a/2OWAg

 

https://imgur.com/a/xoOZX

 

https://imgur.com/a/2yKhM

 

The first photo has something that I assume are air conditioners? The second photo has something that could be cooling devices? Or perhaps something that generate energy? And the third photo has certain parts of the wall extruded inwards with there being some tech stuff there which I wonder what could be.

 

You have any better theories? If you have the patience post your own screenshots of something cool or interesting from the game and give your own theory of what it is suppose to be!

 

 

 

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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I don’t know much about offworld architecture from the 22nd century. But pipes are usually meant for transport of fluids and gases and conduits are for wires etc.

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1 hour ago, Piper Maru said:

I don’t know much about offworld architecture from the 22nd century.

 

The idea is that you are suppose to use your imagination and come up with your own explanations.

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50 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

The idea is that you are suppose to use your imagination and come up with your own explanations.

That's too hard.

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I think trying to come up with a logical explanation for stuff that obviously isn't supposed to make sense is a fun creative exercise.

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I suppose you're asking this because you're in the situation of reproducing the architecture of Doom 3 techbases in your own maps. So far during my Doom 3 mapping experience, I've stayed away from techbase mapping, as it felt daunting for me to faithfully reproduce what id did (i.e. Doom 3 the way id did). Funny how many 3rd party maps are there which still manage to recapture the atmosphere... how can they do it?

 

The reason the walls are shaped like that must have something to do with material resistance. A construction engineer would know better why they're built like that.

 

On the other hand, if you ever enjoyed adding lots of TECHWALL sections in Doom 1 levels, you'd find out that's similar to the overdetailing done in Doom 3 maps -- it looks high-tech and cool. Nevermind that TECHWALL is mostly just a mish-mash of PCB zoom-ins (which means it's a totally wrong way to represent electronics at that scale), and much of Doom 3's technology is inspired by today's knowledge, not 22th century's (PDAs and video discs, really?)

Edited by printz
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1 hour ago, printz said:

I suppose you're asking this because you're in the situation of reproducing the architecture of Doom 3 techbases in your own maps.

Yes and no. I don't want to just simply copy Doom 3's levels wholesale. But I feel that understanding them would help me a lot in making my own levels not just for Doom 3 but even just in general.

 

1 hour ago, printz said:

Funny how many 3rd party maps are there which still manage to recapture the atmosphere... how can they do it?

There are actually extremely few Doom 3 maps that are able to live up to the design of the original ones. A few such as the ones made by Kaiser come sort of close, but very few maps actually do this. That said I have still played some maps that look cool and have good atmosphere despite not having the same level of design quality.

 

1 hour ago, printz said:

On the other hand, if you ever enjoyed adding lots of TECHWALL sections in Doom 1 levels, you'd find out that's similar to the overdetailing done in Doom 3

 

I don't think Doom 3 is overdetailed. A huge part of what makes the levels awesome is that almost everything looks like it serves some kind of purpose.

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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So in my opinion there is not really any benefit to slanting a wall for a building like that unless like Printz had mentioned above iit has some structural benefit that I'm not aware of.

 

Many of the pictures displayed above were likely designed by an architect to create an aesthetically pleasing work environment.

 

Some of the pictures show process pipes and tubes(ie. movement of fluids and gases) which likely has something to do with the buildings heating and cooling systems. Or perhaps the glass tubes shown are used for the removal of hazardous substances which might corrode ordinary pipework. 

 

I did notice one picture showing several air vents lined up alongside each other and am not sure why they would do that, generally the coolant vents are set to code X distance between each other to provide full room coverage. Most electrical conduit runs in industrial settings would either be run on unistrut pipe racks up high or hidden behind walls where it would not be ordinarily visible. 

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On 10.11.2017 at 7:29 PM, hardcore_gamer said:

Doom 3's level design tries to look complex and high tech, but is there actual logic/realism to the design of the levels or is it all just made up sci-fi nonsense?

The idea is to convey a sense of location that is unlike what people are used to. That's the logic, nothing more.

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35 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

The idea is to convey a sense of location that is unlike what people are used to. That's the logic, nothing more.

 

Don't really agree with that. Doom 3's level design doesn't really look like it's just made up on the fly. It's not like Doom's abstract level design.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Of course people put some thought into it, I never said they just made the level geometry randomly. Of course it's deliberate. Doesn't change the fact that the idea is to make players feel like they are in a futuristic environment. And of course you need an overarching theme to make the environment believeable, but that also doesn't change the fact that the aesthetic choices follow a very simple logic that isn't worth overthinking. It's a delibeate visual theme meant to convey a sense of location. And that's all there is to it.

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Also remember each of the level loading screens give little descriptions of the level you'll be exploring for example;

 

Alpha Labs Sector 1 houses the Elemental Phase Deconstructor and Hydrocon systems, a revolutionary new technology that transforms raw materials native to Mars into usable resources. The primary EPD reactor feeds into the Hydorocon processing system for transport to Sector 2 MFS refinement and storage.

 

And located in your HUD you'll notice room/area has a identification right next to your health and armor. Alpha Labs Reception, Atomic Stabilization Hub, EPD Observation, Alpha Labs Main Junction, etc. So when the designers were creating the worlds, I'm sure there was some logic and rationale that went into it. But at the same time they wanted to make things look interesting, like those slanted walls you pointed out. But maybe they're like that for aerodynamic reasons of better air re-recirculation or something.

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Unless i'm mistaken, wasn't id actually very focused on environmental polish, to the point that they made sure every single pipe connected off at some point?

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Who gives a rats *** if the pipes connect!! Are you playing as Doomguy or a fucking plumber and/or electrician? I'm too busy chainsawing demons to even care if the south western pipe in alpha labs sector 3 connects to the hose relay in recycling sector 2. Get a grip. 

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I thought I was on a DOOM forum here not the Plumber's Association of America. All this plumbing malarkey is making my head spin!!

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On 12/20/2017 at 4:29 AM, Spectre01 said:

@royaldj Some people here appreciate accurate depictions of plumbing in their sci-fi setting.

 

The thing is, a lot of people don't understand how little things like this can improve the game. Sure its' easy to mock the game for having realistic piping, but by that logic why even care about realism at all? Why not just make every game an abstract doom maze with no realism. Fact is that realistic looking design can improve the presentation value of the game and thus the immersion.

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True. Details matter. Sometimes you don't even realize why some worlds work and others don't. You don't have to realize. Unless you're the one making them.

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This is precisely why I like designs like Doom 1 E4M5 where nearly all lakes of red acid are linked by small falls throughout the level.

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In regards to realism, I'm kinda somewhere in the middle ground; I don't give a shit if the pipes are connected correctly, but I do like to get the sense that "this room serves X purpose and that hallway serves Y purpose".

 

As for Doom 3, I always figured that there was a basic foundation in realism in its design, but stylized to look futuristic (i.e. "overdesigned") so it'd be interesting.

I noticed several security checkpoints around entrances into "secure areas" (like specific labs), lobbies with desks for clerks (now dead or zombiefied) where I'd imagine you'd go for general information and several observation type rooms with bulletproof windows into "testing areas" and several maintenance specific areas.

These all seem to make some basic sense to me, but then, I've never worked at anything like a science facility and my knowledge of machinery, engineering and science is extremely limited as in: I don't know a damned thing. You could show me a room where the entire floor is made out of pipes and some supposed Chief Engineer could joke that "the kinetic energy of people walking on this pipe floor will keep the pipes at optimal temperatures, which will reduce maintenance requirements and keep the costs down" and I would probably believe he was serious and he'd just told me the absolute truth.

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I wonder if most of the locked doors you encounter (and which beep when you get close) are connected to other parts of the level (which you'll visit later, by other routes), or are simple dead ends.

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18 minutes ago, printz said:

I wonder if most of the locked doors you encounter (and which beep when you get close) are connected to other parts of the level (which you'll visit later, by other routes), or are simple dead ends.

They are dead ends. I have used noclip to check this out.

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IIRC that picture with the water in the cylinders is implied to be part of the Hydrocon's process.

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On 11/10/2017 at 7:29 PM, hardcore_gamer said:

Is there actual realism reasons/logic for why a facility would have sloped/shaped walls like this or is it just made up for the sole reason of looking cool visually?

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those walls with the diagonal slants and the lights are a trick of the lighting engine, it makes the hallway look dimmer lit since the light is splayed everywhere instead of focused on anything.

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