Why does Doom 3 have so little height variation?

1 hour ago, MK-ULTRA said:

As for the topic on hand here, is it possible that IdTech 4 did not have the capabilities of creating levels with multiple floors on top of each other?

It's a full 3D engine, capable of fully dynamic lighting and shadowing, per vertex collision, skeletal ragdolls and some level of reactive physics. Of course you can stick one room above another.

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4 hours ago, Edward850 said:

It's a full 3D engine, capable of fully dynamic lighting and shadowing, per vertex collision, skeletal ragdolls and some level of reactive physics. Of course you can stick one room above another.

How come they avoided stacking rooms on top of others? Would it significantly effect load times or cause performance issues? Anyone know if Quake 4 had more height variation? 

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2 hours ago, MK-ULTRA said:

How come they avoided stacking rooms on top of others?

Easy; They didn't.

 

First off, what defines a room in Quake 1 and beyond is very different from what we consider rooms in classic Doom. Everything is made out of brushes, and a brush can be anywhere with any texture and is collided with the same way any other brush is collided with. There's no longer a distinction between a wall and a floor as far as map editing is concerned, it's up to the map designer to create that distinction naturally. When you see a pipe or a catwalk, it's no different from just placing an entirely separate structure above another.

 

Secondly, Doom3 has loads of areas above other areas, the game is lousy with catwalks and elevators that take you to locations above and/or below. Sometimes both (the Communications level as a notable example).

Edited by Edward850

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Doom 1 AI is very simplistic, reminds me the combination of brownian motion plus a direction vector towards the player. But it works!

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On 12/1/2018 at 2:32 PM, MK-ULTRA said:

... Anyone here know if Quake 4 had any height variation?...

Yes it did, and also did Prey and Wolfenstein (2009). I don't think we're anymore at the point in game development history where an engine might not have the ability to make floor over floor. It's all actual 3d now

 

EDIT: Sorry, didn't see later replies

Edited by jupiter_ex
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On 7.1.2018 at 8:54 PM, hardcore_gamer said:

Virtually all of Doom 3's levels are almost entirely flat safe for a few stairs here and there. Why does the game have so little height variation? Is height variation a thing of the past and mostly just limited to old school shooters now?

 

Your observation is right, but it isn't something that specifically concerns Doom 3. Horizontal gameplay is typical for the FPS of that time period. Look at Unreal II (released 2003), it's much worse in that regard. Or all those WW2 shooters, MoH, Call  of Duty and so on, they mostly consist of ruined city streets. Doom 3 at least has a few pronounced vertical set pieces (that large cave shaft with the crane comes to mind) and a good ammount of minor height variation.

 

Like Da Werecat said, it is mostly a consequence of that slower, more realistic gameplay they were aiming at.

 

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Also, room over room and vertical building just add more mess to the editor view, it's already hard to work with only horizontal disposition once you have progressed enough with your map.

Edited by Arl
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On 1/7/2018 at 11:54 AM, hardcore_gamer said:

Virtually all of Doom 3's levels are almost entirely flat safe for a few stairs here and there. Why does the game have so little height variation? Is height variation a thing of the past and mostly just limited to old school shooters now?

 

Are you classifying Doom 3 as a 'new' shooter here? It's going on 14 years old. Aside from that, it has plenty of height variation. Have you played through it recently? Play it from start to finish. You're climbing up ladders, going through floor/ceiling crawlspaces, riding elevators and going up/down stairs through the entirety of the game. 

 

Also, height variation being limited to old shooters? What are you talking about? 

 

Quote

How could that seeing as the Doom 1 AI was able to handle complex levels just fine? And don't tell me it's because Doom 3's AI is advanced, it's dumb as bricks.

 

Because Doom 1 didn't *have* any 'complex levels' in comparison with Doom 3. The vast majority of what the AI in Doom 1 does is move from point A to B in a 2.5D-world comprised of simple sectors, bumping into walls, obstacles and other monsters along the way. And in the context of the original game, that's basically all it needs to do. Doom 3 is much more dynamic and complex with the amount of geometry the AI has to navigate through, especially with all the monster-specific functions and animations thrown in, among other things I don't feel like going into detail about.

 

And no, I'm not saying Doom 3's AI is HAL 9000 or some shit, but you're discarding a whole slew of factors in your simplistic comparison of the two.

Edited by Caffeine Freak
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2 hours ago, Caffeine Freak said:

You're climbing up ladders, going through floor/ceiling crawlspaces, riding elevators and going up/down stairs through the entirety of the game.

This stuff is mostly for flair.

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1 hour ago, Da Werecat said:

This stuff is mostly for flair.

I don't know what you're getting at. 

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34 minutes ago, Caffeine Freak said:

I don't know what you're getting at. 

 

What he means is that it's mostly for show and doesn't impact the gameplay in any way.

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You can climb 5 ladders and use 10 elevators, but it won't change the fact that the next fight will be mostly on one plane.

 

Maybe someone will snipe you from a balcony. But compared to something like Quake the player's involvement with complex terrain is relatively insignificant.

 

Of course, there are games that are even simpler in regards to map design. When BFG Edition came out, I remember one reviewer pointing out that the game has pretty complex levels compared to what they were used to.

 

Edited by Da Werecat

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That's a pretty perplexing definition of 'flair'. 

 

In any case, I'd suggest the reason there aren't a great number of fights taking place on varied elevations is for the simple fact that that type of design and combat is much easier incorporated into vast, wide open areas(which you see a ton of in Doom 2016)---and as we all know, that's one thing Doom 3 doesn't have a lot of, mostly because of technical limitations. 

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Doom 3 Resurrection of evil lift section in the first few levels, you had to fight some imps as the lift is taking you upwards. and near the end of that level, also Erebus Dig Site.

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The fact that Doom 3's engine is not optimized for big spaces, plus Doomguy being slow as shit, with a low jump and no vaulting at all probably has something to do with it.

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You don't need big spaces to create interesting vertical combat. You just need interconnected rooms with ledges, catwalks, balconies, bridges, platforms and the like.

 

Something like this:

q3dmp15shot06800x600.jpg

 

It's a Quake 3 map, but the same could be done in Doom 3 without any problems.

Edited by Tetzlaff
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^ I agree. The area around the elemental phase deconstructor in the alpha labs is a good example of an interesting combat area.

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9 hours ago, GuyMcBrofist said:

^ I agree. The area around the elemental phase deconstructor in the alpha labs is a good example of an interesting combat area.

With DOOM 3's terribly scripted AI, I highly doubt those combat areas would provide any sort of enjoyment. 

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Doom 3's AI isn't that bad. They can follow you pretty far if you run from them. If there's something blocking their view they try to get an angle before they shoot at you.

 

I think the levels in Doom 3 *could* have interesting fights, with interesting movement, despite there not being that much verticality. But because most players probably stayed in the same room anytime they got into a fight, it didn't really happen that way. Maybe id could have forced the player to run from the monsters a little more than just having him react to them jumping out of closets and getting into shootouts with them.

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On 16/1/2018 at 0:58 AM, Arl said:

Also, room over room and vertical building just add more mess to the editor view, it's already hard to work with only horizontal disposition once you have progressed enough with your map.

You mean something like this? XD

 

(yes it's a total bitch to work with, but makes for an interesting map)

 

Capture.JPG

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30 minutes ago, geX said:

You mean something like this? XD

 

(yes it's a total bitch to work with, but makes for an interesting map)

 

Capture.JPG

This is generally why 3D editors have 4 viewpoints to edit from, not one.

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Honestly I always thought Doom 3 was going for a more realistic level design, so by virtue of that alone there's less verticality.

 

Obviously the engine could support it, and there were occasionally areas that had it:

 

38.jpg

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1 hour ago, Edward850 said:

This is generally why 3D editors have 4 viewpoints to edit from, not one.

Ctrl + tab cycles you through the front, side and top viewpoints, but even so, you're dealing with a clusterfuck of visual overlap from any perspective in a map like this.

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4 hours ago, geX said:

You mean something like this? XD

 

(yes it's a total bitch to work with, but makes for an interesting map)

 

Capture.JPG

 

Oh my...   

 

Yes, that's a wild example there, it's takes temperament to deal with that level of overcrowding.

 

 

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I'm guessing it's one of the Doom 3 : Phobos levels.

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1 hour ago, dmg_64 said:

I'm guessing it's one of the Doom 3 : Phobos levels.

Correct. Quite possibly the most geometric overlap of any level we have.

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That map gives me fucking nightmares.

Editing is SUCH a pain!

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When you're dealing with that much geometry, are there layers you can turn on and off to make it easier, ala Photoshop or Illustrator?

 

EDIT: Also curious as to why @Doommarine_maxi can post a response meme (in the form of a YouTube clip) and get away with it, but I was given a warning for posting a response meme in the form of an image, and promptly told that this is not a place that takes kindly to meme responses.

Edited by GoatLord

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