Doom High Res Sprites - Kickstarter?

Doom High-res Sprites   38 members have voted

  1. 1. Tea Monster, the guy who makes the game-ready, next-gen Doom models, is interested in how much response there would be to creating a kickstarter to make some new Doom sprites from 3D models. They would be accurate to the sprite and of high quality. I would ask for kickstarter backing to help with software costs and I would be taking time away from commercial projects to make these.

    • Yes, I'd contribute to a kickstarter to make some high-quality, accurate Doom sprites
      4
    • No, Doom should be free. I'll wait for someone else to do it.
      13
    • While it sounds nice, this commercial venture would be shut down by Bethesda instantly.
      22

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Hi all. I'm Tea Monster, the guy who makes the next-gen, game ready models for Doom. I've been talking to a few people and it seems that a lot of you guys prefer sprites. Now, it's not normally my thing to do, but I've worked out a few ways that I can do it relatively easily using 3D models. The models would have to be created to be accurate to the sprite and would be initially done for the monsters, but we could then move onto props and maybe some wall textures. 

 

The reason I'm suggesting a kickstarter is that it's not something I'm really normally going to do on my own. My usual thing is to make next-gen game models, not sprites. So it would be taking time away from both commercial projects and my own personal projects that i want to do. Plus, some of the software that I use, like ZBrush and Substance Painter, isn't free and I need to be able to offset these costs to get a professional result. 

 

The other reason I'm suggesting this is that myself and Kuri-Kai have a record of 'getting things done'. We have already issued a fairly sizeable prop collection, and have several of the monsters to a high level of completeness. These aren't just pretty renders, but real packs that you can download and play right now. For the sprite program, we would probably be-recreating these to be completely accurate to the existing sprites. 

 

One example model that we have made...

LV8K3wM.jpg

 

If people would be interested in contributing to either a Patreon or a Kickstarter, then chime in below. 

 

Do you have any ideas for perks for subscribers?

 

Or would you be more interested in a Patreon page to help support the effort to create more accurate models?

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This is a matter of taste but, I think that sprites made from models are of a poor quality, even the id resources that are drawn by hand look much nicer to me than the photographed + edited ones.

 

A resized photograph with the fine details smudged/guessed by algorithms looks very hacky, as opposed to the hand of an artist using minimalist techniques to convey the sense of "hey that's a face" with very few pixels to work with.

 

e.g. even with like under 15 pixels to work with, the artist has conveyed the sense of a king's beard and crown in King's Quest:

king%2527s+quest+i+screenshot.png

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We are talking about high-res sprites here. Look at the example above.

Edited by Tea Monster

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That high res sprite reminds me of the terrible 3D models used by Risen 3D.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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What I am getting at is, you don't get a (beautiful) sprite for Super Mario by making a high resolution Mario model and taking screen grabs of its various rotations. Plus you point out how much you dont want to do sprite work in your OP so yeah, I think this is a bad idea.

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I'm not sure this is legal.

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4 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

I'm not sure this is legal.

 

Well Brutal Doom 64 probably wasn't "legal" either seeing as it's basically the entire Doom 64 game ported to the PC for free. Ditto for Doom 64 EX. Yet nobody cared. I really doubt anybody is going to care about somebody making high res sprites for Doom. It's not like he intends to give away the game for free.

 

A much bigger problem is that the model/sprite he posted in the OP just doesn't look good. It looks too much like the 3D models in Risen 3D, whom look really really bad.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Just now, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Well Brutal Doom 64 probably wasn't "legal" either seeing as it's basically the entire Doom 64 game ported to the PC for free. Ditto for Doom 64 EX. Yet nobody cared.

 

I really doubt anybody is going to care about somebody making high res sprites for Doom. It's not like he intends to give away the game for free.

 

Doesn't matter. Just because Bethesda hasn't noticed what Mark is doing yet doesn't mean what he is doing is legal. As far as I know, the ones who hold the right to an IP are obligated to defend it. It would be illegal because it could be considered that they are profiting off someone else's work. 

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14 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

 

Doesn't matter. Just because Bethesda hasn't noticed what Mark is doing yet doesn't mean what he is doing is legal. As far as I know, the ones who hold the right to an IP are obligated to defend it. It would be illegal because it could be considered that they are profiting off someone else's work. 

Technically sure, but in practice it's just extremely unlikely that anybody is going to care about somebody making high res sprites for a 20 year old game.

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There's a reason hi-res 2D sprites never quite caught on: just to double the resolution in each direction, you would need to increase the memory consumption 4x. A sprite of the quality proposed in the OP is more like 4x in each dimension...so 16x memory. And that's without even taking color depth into consideration. And in the end, compared to a true model, you'll only have a very limited number of poses/frames, by using probably MORE memory than the 3D model itself (the texture + mesh data surely wouldn't exceed the memory occupied by 2x-3x still frames), and losing any scalability/filtering a model would have (the hi-res sprite would still pixelate visibly, especially across diagonal lines like the SM's legs_. The increase in memory bandwidth would also be a sight to behold...let's say you wouldn't be playing any Chillax if you used such sprites.

 

Secondarily...which source ports support hi-res sprites, especially truecolor ones with "holes" in them? Almost certainly, only a hardware-accelerated port could make reasonable use of such sprites, and at that point, why not use real 3D models instead?

 

A tertiary consideration is the artistic one. No matter how good your models are, they will always be a subjective interpretation that not everybody is gonna like. Let alone that I've yet to see a project providing a COMPLETE set of models of reasonable quality for all monsters. Did that Ascension mod ever get completed BTW?

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You can start a patreon as a modder, not as specifically a doom modder. A Kickstarter would be bitch slapped by Bethesda's Lawyers almost immediately. It would be interesting to see how fast it would take them to take it down though. Any bets anyone?

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Like I said, you can do what mark did, start a patreon as a general vdeogame modder, just not for anything specific. it's all wording, it needs to be worded that your are being paid for "making video game mods", but if it's worded that you're getting paid for "making mods for a specific game " it will get heat.

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1 hour ago, Maes said:

There's a reason hi-res 2D sprites never quite caught on: just to double the resolution in each direction, you would need to increase the memory consumption 4x. A sprite of the quality proposed in the OP is more like 4x in each dimension...so 16x memory.

 

So it's not possible to use high res sprites without killing performance if there are large numbers of enemies on screen?

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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38 minutes ago, Tea Monster said:

So I take it that's a no? OK.

To be clear, people here are likely not very motivated to help you because this kind of project has been pitched at least eight or nine times and so far they've all been abandoned. Its very difficult to capture the exact poses and interpret the details in a way that both looks good and represents the object the sprite is supposed to represent without too much subjective influence. Otherwise you'll dissappoint a lot of backers with an end product that just looks off.

 

Also, there aren't any real expenses associated with a project like this so I don't know what you need money for this for.

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The thing is that we have actually released a lot of models for the Doom High Res Models project. We've been working on this for years, so we aren't going to disappear overnight. 

 

I'm glad that you have your rent, software and electricity paid for, but I don't have that luxury. To do this, I will be taking time away from commercial projects that I would be doing, so it would be taking money away from me to do this. Blender is free, but as I said in the original post, ZBrush and Substance painter are not. 

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7 minutes ago, Tea Monster said:

 Blender is free, but as I said in the original post, ZBrush and Substance painter are not. 

Zbrush doesn't require any subscription. You just buy it once (thought it does cost 800 dollars) and then you own it. Or at least that was the case when I bought it a few months ago. It also just so happens that I bought the substance pack on steam and I am not aware of there being any subscription fee unless you want all future updates.

 

EDIT: What commercial projects are you working on?

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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22 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

So it's not possible to use high res sprites without killing performance if there are large numbers of enemies on screen?

The couple of sentences you quoted have nothing to do with the number of enemies on screen. They're about the size of computer memory that stores the full sprite's pixels. The sprite might not be currently displayed at all, or it might be displayed multiple times at multiple places on the screen, and yet it would take the exact same amount of memory.

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40 minutes ago, scifista42 said:

The couple of sentences you quoted have nothing to do with the number of enemies on screen. They're about the size of computer memory that stores the full sprite's pixels. The sprite might not be currently displayed at all, or it might be displayed multiple times at multiple places on the screen, and yet it would take the exact same amount of memory.

 

Ok, but regardless of the specifics is there anything preventing Doom from running properly at smooth speeds with very high resolution sprite work?

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I'll just take it from here that this was a bad idea. Thanks for your input guys. 

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Ok, but regardless of the specifics is there anything preventing Doom from running properly at smooth speeds with very high resolution sprite work?

High memory bandwidth -imagine drawing the first screen of NUTS.WAD, with hundreds of hi-res monster sprites being drawn over and over at an uncapped frame rate. Definitely a very bad idea for software renderers, a real cache-performance killer etc. And at that point, since this would require HW acceleration anyway due to true colour, why not go full 3D models or a higher quality scaling filter for the original sprites?

 

That being said...It would be interesting if someone tried a NUTS.WAD type scenario with even just one kind of upscaled monster (e.g. 2x larger pinkies). Theory predicts a 4x slowdown just for the renderer.

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46 minutes ago, Maes said:

Definitely a very bad idea for software renderers

But is there even a reason to care if one intends to make any kind of HD graphics mod for Doom? I don't even use software mode when playing Doom. I literally only use Gzdoom, and it's always in hardware mode.

 

Assuming you were using hardware mode and had a reasonable gaming pc would any of this even matter? I am having a hard time picturing modern pc's getting chocked by a Doom game just because the sprites are high res.

 

EDIT: As for why not just use 3D models? It's because Doom doesn't allow for any that are of good quality.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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Walks into Doomworld. Sees a riot brewing. Walks out of Doomworld.

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Yes, I would like high-resolution versions of the original sprites. But if you intend to commercialize that, Bethesda's lawyers would very likely step on this promptly. You might want to contact them beforehand to find out their stance with people trying to make money using their IP.

 

In case you missed it: a few weeks ago the creator of Brutal Doom was also contacted by Bethesda about his Patreon. In his case, it was sufficient to rephrase his Patreon objective as seeking funding for modding, and not for actually selling a Doom mod.

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2 minutes ago, Mordeth said:

Bethesda's lawyers would very likely step on this promptly. You might want to contact them beforehand to find out their stance with people trying to make money using their IP.

 

And before anyone comes with their pitchforks, Bethesda not only have all the rights to do this but are also obligated to do so to protect their IP.

 

 

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If you ask me, it's just not worth monetizing it. If you still intend to release them freely I would be interested but keep in mind that the new sprites would look out of place amid the low res textures. The textures would have to be updated too, which only adds to the monumental task.

 

There have been many Doom graphics remakes over the years and all of them are either subpar or have not come out and/or are abandoned so people are a bit skeptical when they see another Doom graphics remake. You would have to show a lot more I think.

 

The only one that has actually succeded is Smooth Doom and that is because it enhances rather than replaces what is already there.

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4 hours ago, 40oz said:

Also, there aren't any real expenses associated with a project like this so I don't know what you need money for this for.

 

Really?  @Tea Monsteris a professional, who needs to devote his time and skills to do this project right. Compensation is not a perk, but outright mandatory. Otherwise he's better off spending this time with his actual job. Have some respect for the guy.

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9 hours ago, Vorpal said:

What I am getting at is, you don't get a (beautiful) sprite for Super Mario by making a high resolution Mario model and taking screen grabs of its various rotations. Plus you point out how much you dont want to do sprite work in your OP so yeah, I think this is a bad idea.

While I agree that it might not look optimal, I have been interested in seeing a proper "HD sprites in Doom" project for some time. From what I'm seeing here, that Spider model looks fantastic. If you have no desire to work with sprites though Tea Monster, this is definitely not the project for you, as you'll have to do exactly that for hundreds and hundreds of frames of animation - between all that labor and the generally not awesome reaction to the idea, maybe this endeavor is unfortunately just not worth it. Sadly the reaction is in large part due to the sheer number of failed attempts at this idea.

 

Personally I'm not in favor of the kickstarter aspect of this either as many mods of extremely high quality have been developed for free, taking hours and hours of time out of modder's days where sure, they could have been working and making money instead, but they were using computers, internet etc that they paid for to develop something for free. Obviously not everyone is willing (or able) to do that and I totally understand that perspective, but for me personally it's why I'm against the whole "paid Doom mods idea" on the whole. That's just my opinion though, I would never act snobbishly about it - if someone wants to do the whole paid Doom mods thing, they should give it a crack because why not. If people are willing to pay, by all means take their money and work on something cool like this. Bethesda may or may not get a bit shitty, depending on how your patreon/kickstarter/whatever it may be is presented, but after how easily Sgt Mark avoided much drama, I'd say they've actually proven rather cool about the whole thing.

 

(It sucks that the reaction to the very concept of HD sprites is basically negative by default at this point.. I've been curious to see what it would look like if done well for years and that model is top notch stuff!)

Edited by Doomkid
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I say it's a great idea, but it should be free 100%. Never had to pay to see a Doom mod completed before, I don't intend to start now. I would like to see a serious high res sprite project though. All of them so far have failed.

 

Also, don't worry about Bethesda or whatever. Fuck 'em. Make it anyway.

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To be honest, you should just make some custom new doom monster sprites, That's what people would like to see. Realm667 level sprites and you'll be hailed as an hero for  good, refreshing, new spritework

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