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Doomworld Needs More ACTION!

For the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Action Doom (due out on July 3rd), we sat down with the mastermind behind Action Doom, Scuba Steve, to learn all we could about Action Doom and the man behind it all. We'll ask the burning questions about Action Doom, the hype and what the heck that thing on his head is. We also have some exclusive screenshots of Action Doom in, uh, Action. So, if you love Action, and you love Doom, then you must love Action Doom, and you'll want to read this interview!

Doomworld: So, when did you first get involved with Doom?
Scuba Steve: Lord, that must have been... 1995? It was just after one Christmas when my Grandmother bought me "Ultimate Doom". I started off making some of the worst graphics conversions I've ever seen for Doom... even to this day. I drew them in the old MS Paint where you had to use dithering for other colours, rather than actually mixing real colours.

Doomworld: You don't still have those graphics, do you?
Scuba Steve: Here, here and here. If these aren't impressive, I don't know what is. A lot of my earlier work was lost... fortunately.

Doomworld: Well it looks like you've come a long way. Any tips for budding graphic artists?
Scuba Steve: Advice? Well... I did write a few small tutorials on drawing weapon graphics for Doom... but they're not very in depth. I've been working on making some very intricate tutorials for art in general, covering a lot of the steps involved in the "pixel art" style I draw in most of the time.

Doomworld: Any idea when we can expect those?
Scuba Steve: Before I die? After Action Doom?

Doomworld: So let's talk about Action Doom. Could you explain the concept of it?
Scuba Steve: Heh, the concept of Action Doom is really strange. Its origins are just a simple mod that was made to be a Metal Slug Doom. Somewhere along the lines two years ago I gave up because it was boring, and was nothing more than a deh patch that shot projectiles from all the guns instead of bullets. Last year, I realized that I had grown tired of Doom editing and my brother and I devised a wad that would be the most ridiculous stunt ever pulled for Doom and possibly any user made addon.

The plan was to make a 3D shooter play a lot like the old Sidescrolling Shootemups, like Contra or Metal Slug. But more importantly than the project itself, was the idea we devised that the project MUST follow the development of a REAL game from the early 90s. This meant advertisements, Promotional Giveaways, Contests.. the works. From day one I worked out boxes and how I was going to "sell" this project.

When actual development began the project was originally going to have a real story and build an atmosphere, but as time went on these things were curbed in favor of capturing the feel of old 80s and 90s games and Action films. The wad really took off when I got Cyb to begin helping out and do some scripting. As I learned how much he could do with the power of ACS, I became greedy, and we began incorporating more, excuse the phrase, action into the project. And now I was able to add things I could only dream of before.

The whole time I was making the project, I was busy trying to build hype surrounding a project that nobody had heard, seen (aside from a couple small screenshots), or knew anything about. To do this I began running ads on Doomworld under my blogs, and had to try and get the message of Action Doom out without revealing anything. With the help of Manc, and Mancunet, Action Doom had a website with a ridiculous trailer and three small screenshots that didn't show much. Whether people were actually anticipating the project or not, I was never sure, but I was able to turn the word Action into a "household" name that everyone knew and blindly followed. Continuing the trend of actually pretending to be "selling" this Doom addon, I kept up with the old video game method of "promotions" and "Giveaways" with the Tee shirt contest, and the upcoming contest for a copy of Action Doom. Physical boxes, manuals, CDs and tee shirts had to be crafted for all of this.

Now with Action Doom just days away, I'm excited that my Doom experiment worked so well and am proud of all the people who helped out to bring this entire concept to fruition. I doubt many creators have spent as much money to make a wad as I have in the past 8 months or so, nor do I know how many had as much fun doing so.

Doomworld: It almost sounds like you were more interested in the idea of Action Doom then the actual WAD itself.
Scuba Steve: At first I was probably more interested in the whole concept rather than the actual project. I had only planned to make some weapons and a small level... then hope that other people would make levels. But the project kept branching and growing bigger until it actually became a really good wad. When I added a third map, by that time, I think the project grabbed hold of me and it became a bigger priority at that point to make a fun addon.

Doomworld: You mentioned Metal Slug and Contra as sources of inspiration. Was there anything else that had a heavy influence on Action Doom?
Scuba Steve: Those are probably the most important outside of Doom inspirations, but some other Doom conversions were a bit of an influence too. Batman doom a little... originally Action Doom was going to run on any port, but that changed. It still sports a hefty dehacked lump, so I think some of the originality of Batman doom was an inspiration. Also some of the very original ZDoom projects like Doom Raider and Void.

Doomworld: Which part was your favorite to develop?
Scuba Steve: Over the course of the entire project I had a lot of "favorite parts". I won't go into detail about any one specific event, but every new event I created became more and more over the top, and I was more impressed each time with new "scripted" events.

Doomworld: So, how many levels does Action Doom have?
Scuba Steve: I really can't say how many levels it has. However, I will say that it is smaller than an episode.

Doomworld: Why did you decide to make Action Doom relatively limited in terms of levels, as opposed to 99-level TCs that newbies pretend they can complete?
Scuba Steve: I kept the project small because, frankly that's what I see Doom projects gravitating towards. New source ports are offering almost limitless capabilities both in terms of level design and graphical and monster changes, that it's becoming more and more work to make an involved project. I enjoy an "Episode 1 Themed Map" as much as anyone, but I've been playing them for years, and quite frankly, I'm a little tired of them now.

The amount of work it takes to build beautiful levels, new sprites, compose music and script is starting to take off and are basically becoming expected in modern maps. I really think the future of Doom projects is in making a few Highly detailed, very involved maps... new sprites and textures, and using it all to create an almost entirely new game style. I see this in the Raynor's Tale, Void, Doom Raider and RTC to name a few. No big megawads, just highly involved maps that each effectively convey a specific theme.

Doomworld: With that said, do you have any doom plans for life after Action Doom?
Scuba Steve: I started Action Doom as my "Swan's Song" or final breath in the Doom Community. I had grown tired of making maps a LONG time ago, and doing art was beginning to tire me as well. After all the work I put into Action Doom, I had a slightly renewed vigor for Doom. It's unlikely I'd ever work on anything ever again, but who really knows. It seems everyone "leaves" the Doom community at one point or another... yet they never really leave.

Doomworld: So without you around I guess we have to look to other projects. Any that look promising to you?
Scuba Steve: Heh, Massmouth 3.

Doomworld: Okay, but what about projects that are actually being worked on? :P
Scuba Steve: OMG yes, Doomkart and this NES Doom I heard of sound great... oh wait, WORKED on... RTC-3057 looks very promising, I am eagerly waiting to play it. Also, Raynor's Tale on WIP looks very promising.

Doomworld: Okay finally, the question everyone has been wondering. Does action doom live up to the hype?
Scuba Steve: What would Scuba Steve's: Action Doom be if it didn't live up to the Hype? ;)