What will be Doom 4's appeal?

The fact that we're Doomers is irrelevant. Let's look at this a bit more objectively. The original Doom relied heavily on:

• Art direction
• Sound design
• Technology
• Extremely fast pace
• Balance between level design and placement of items/entities

Can Doom 4 rely on the same elements? Technologically speaking, I'd say no, since every AAA game that comes out now is extremely detailed and physically complex. But the others, I think, can possibly give Doom 4 an edge. Not many games feature a demonic aesthetic. Not many games are as fast as Doom. Not many have highly memorable level designs. And it seems that high quality sound design is sometimes ignored in an era where the average speakers kick a lot of ass. If Doom 4 wants to get any sort of attention--instead of just being a quickly forgotten reboot like ROTT, Duke or Shadow Warrior--it will need to impress people from an atmospheric standpoint, since its gameplay will undoubtedly be very standard.

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I am not sure how the 90s gameplay could be translated in a modern game. All I'm sure is that the game should be ANYTHING but COD, Rise of the Triad and Painkiller.

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Doom 4 probably could do all of that, and still be forgotten after a while by most circles, just like every other game. It's just the times really. If Doom 4 wants to be remembered a bit better, it'll have to be groundbreaking, which I'll doubt.

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Even if the game is groundbreaking it would still likely offend some of the unreasonable people around here simply because it's not a better JDoom or not like Doom 2 or not like Brutal Doom (in case of the newer fans). It looks like Id have a hell of a lot on their plate.

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Well according to Matt Hooper, id software likes Brutal Doom. That worries me.

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It doesn't worry me UNLESS they make it exactly as over the top as BDoom. They could take a lot of stuff from the mod as long as they don't make it too ridiculous. BDoom works and is liked BECAUSE it is a mod and therefore not the official version of the game. For instance, player fatalities would be blasphemous in an official Doom game BUT monster fatalities would really fit. Remember that first person Hell Knight fatality from the alpha? Imagine every monster having something like that and imagine that with the Oculus Rift.

Other things they could take are being able to blow up individual limbs, monsters crawling on the floor and more carnage than D3 overall. This will work as long as it's tasteful and not too over the top.

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Why don't they turn Doom into a scripted COD game! :D
All joking aside, honestly now that ID is nothing more than just members of Bethesda (unless i'm mistaking) and John Carmack left, I think Doom 4 will be crap, and something that doesn't make any sense.
Honestly, I think it will turn into Oblivion/Skyrim, Fallout3/New Vegas
type game, Sandbox, kill demons for quests, level up, all that shit.
My hope for Doom 4 is quite ruined now that Bethesda has it. :/
But... graphically I think it will be amazing, and that is all. Nothing more than a game with a big market name.

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I hope they don't jump on the limited colour palette bandwagon like so many other games, or at least it wouldn't work well in a fixed sort of way and only via shaders and restricted to the hell levels perhaps.

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Doom's shtick is mainly the hell's presence in a science fiction world. The rest are variables.

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Clusterone said:

Why don't they turn Doom into a scripted COD game! :D
All joking aside, honestly now that ID is nothing more than just members of Bethesda (unless i'm mistaking) and John Carmack left, I think Doom 4 will be crap, and something that doesn't make any sense.
Honestly, I think it will turn into Oblivion/Skyrim, Fallout3/New Vegas
type game, Sandbox, kill demons for quests, level up, all that shit.
My hope for Doom 4 is quite ruined now that Bethesda has it. :/
But... graphically I think it will be amazing, and that is all. Nothing more than a game with a big market name.


Bethesda is one of the more reasonable publishers who like to take risks so I don't see what the problem is. John Carmack was the engine guy, he never had anything to do with the actual game.

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Clusterone said:

honestly now that ID is nothing more than just members of Bethesda (unless i'm mistaking)

You definitely are mistaking.

Id and Bethesda both belong to Zenimax, but they are separate companies with separate offices and separate staff. Beth's involvement in Id Software titles is limited to that of being the publisher.

You may remember that Id Software is based in Texas (originally Mesquite, now Richardson). Bethesda, on the other hand, is surprisingly located in Bethesda. Oh, it's nothing much, just a 2150 km-drive; only a 22h commute between both! Anybody could handle it!

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I think first off, the biggest appeal for Doom4 is in its name. While it's no longer too relevant, the name Doom will draw attention. Other than that, I don't think there's too much they can draw from the classics.

As for how Doom4 should appeal to people, I will pretend to be in charge of the production of the game. To begin with I will describe how the game should appeal to Doom fans, big or small.

I would try to create a style that would cater to realistic locations while still being "open" enough to be able to contain the classic monsters. The closer they could resemble their old counterparts, the better. This is of course no triviel matter, but it's important that you as a player can make this connection. Basically Doom4 should be to Doom2 what Starcraft2 is to Starcraft - in the style department.

The second thing I would focus on is sound design. Visuals are one thing, just as important is the audio side of things. As players we have a wide array of sounds (and music) which are attributed to Doom. I would try to base the new Doom4 sounds on the old. Not that they should necessarily be 1-1 cutouts from the archive, but again the closer they resemble the better. Look to what Half-Life2 is to Half-Life1 in the sound department for a good example on this. As for whatever music present in the game, I would look for a style in the two original soundtracks that would be most fitting. The pseudo-heavy metal is probably too much of a reach, but both Doom1 and Doom2 have tracks that could be analyzed and act as a base for the new musical style. Message for the Arch-Vile could "easily" be turned into something very appropriate for a new game.

And that is more or less it for what I'd bring back from Doom aside from various references conscious or not. Trying to emulate the 70mph running game style etc. would be foolish. Ignoring the need for an in-depth story presentation would be just as foolish. For something like Doom4 to work in 2016(?), you can't lift the play style and make it work in a realistic looking environment. If you want to have the old playstyle, you would probably have to go a completely different route. One that is much more akin to casual gaming (Less immersion, less story, less experience), abandoning some of the core qualities that made Doom a revolution and also a route that isn't fit for a AAA developer like Id Software.

So what would the basic appeal (and qualities to focus on) be? I would go all in on the experience side of things. What I basically mean by this is that I would try to create as gripping a depiction of Hell invading Earth as I possibly could. This means I would base the progression of the game on a story presentation that provides the player with an outlook, a viewpoint from a personal side. While a completely different game, The Last of Us does this very well. One of the most important things in a story driven game like this is that there is an emotional connection to what is taking place on the screen. Having to battle for survival against an overwhelming hellish invasion would have tenfold of an impact if you actually care about the world and its characters. For this we need to see how things are pre-invasion. Let us experience how the world is, how characters interact with eachother, what their dreams and passions are before they are taken away from us.

Examples of what I would avoid completely are:
1) Being late to the party. We do this in Rage. We never get to see how the world is, we have no relations or emotional connections to anything and thus the story presentation suffers. The most important event in the game happens in a cutscene and has no direct consequences for the playing of the game. You could have made an entire game pre-catastrophe ending with the player and a select few others finding an ark and strapping themselves in. This would have set up an amazing second game. (The same thing could have been done as a first act as well).

2) Being affiliated with the military
Sure, this makes the most sense as to why the player can fend off monsters counted in the hundreds, but usualy this also means the player is a mindless drone taking orders like an errand boy and more often than not there are no personal relations to other characters aside from "army buddy" or "sarge". I would have the main character be (more or less) random joe. Someone you could relate to. He would be going about his every day life, maybe a little down on his luck, when hell breaks loose.

3) Having "The Resistance"
It's not so much that this can't be a good thing or that it makes sense. It's just so overplayed. Anyone who got a good look at the leaked Doom4 screenshots will know (or highly expect) that there was a resistance complete with safe house and christmas lights. And it all looked like a copy what we saw in Rage. Whenever you get affiliated with "the resitance" in a game you basically know what's going to happen. You'll somehow be (or become) super important and do all the work while these assholes talk with stupid accents and do nothing. It will end with that huge mission that only you can do, saving the day and the world. The end. I think the basic mechanic of having a group of people you fight for is fine, but I would probably scale back the amibition level to a much more personal level. Things having to do directly with the player or the people close to him. An ultimate goal could be escaping the Earth. Getting to that space port. I would want to make things look hopeless. Whenever you have a small resistance of 10 guys kicking the ass of hell (or the authority) by only sending the player, you lose that sense of overwhelming opposition and the urgency of survival. It becomes a cartoon or action movie from the 80s.

So to sum up the way too long post, the appeal of Doom4 (to non doomers) could be something as abstract and ill defined as "the experience" of being one man trying to survive in a world that is ending. This is basically what the core Doom has been all along.

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For people who like id games the appeal will be "it's DOOM 4".
For people who don't know what DOOM is the appeal would be an obnoxious and insolent PR campaign.
For an orthodox DOOM community there won't be any appeal because [insert an ignorant statement about modern games HERE].

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Shaviro said:

I would try to create a style that would cater to realistic locations while still being "open" enough to be able to contain the classic monsters. The closer they could resemble their old counterparts, the better. This is of course no triviel matter, but it's important that you as a player can make this connection. Basically Doom4 should be to Doom2 what Starcraft2 is to Starcraft - in the style department.


100% agree. SC2 was slavishly true to the original.

In terms of sound, visuals and weapons I have no worries at all. RAGE was fantastic in this regard

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With none of the original ID members over seeing this it's likely that this may follow a different direction from the other Doom games while still maintaining some of the things of the Doom universe I guess.

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Gez said:

You definitely are mistaking.

Id and Bethesda both belong to Zenimax, but they are separate companies with separate offices and separate staff. Beth's involvement in Id Software titles is limited to that of being the publisher.

You may remember that Id Software is based in Texas (originally Mesquite, now Richardson). Bethesda, on the other hand, is surprisingly located in Bethesda. Oh, it's nothing much, just a 2150 km-drive; only a 22h commute between both! Anybody could handle it!

Ah ok my apologies than.
One thing I do remember though, is Zenimax in a nutshell telling ID that if they don't get DOOM done and ready by a certain time (Date unknown) ID would be shut down for good, so i'm also worried on a rushed project.

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Shaviro said:

It becomes a cartoon or action movie from the 80s.


I think a Commando video game would be totally awesome. Killing Central Americans by the truck loads along with some boss encounters and hundreds of one liners, all wrapped around some loose plot about a little brat being kidnapped and needing to kill president of Country 34.

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In my opinion, I think Doom 4 should be a combination of the original series and Doom 3, a fast paced action horror fps.

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I'm not having my hopes high on Doom 4, considering how idBethesda trashed Doom 3 with that BFG shit. How would you expect Doom 4 to be any good with that attitude?

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Bethesda have nothing to do with the shit Id does. Everything is Id's fault.

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Yet they keep appearing together, almost as if one controls another.

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I think that's sort of inevitable. Bethesda/Zenimax definitely don't walk on water but when you look at how badly id is managed internally, I think the blame lays squarely on them.

I'm betting the reason we have BFG in the first place was because Zenimax gave them an ultimatum to whip out something new within a few months in order to save their asses after Rage's low sales.

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Doom's appeal always has been and always will be it's intense combat. Doom 4 should not be any different.

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I have a bad feeling Doom 4 won't ever have modifiability and a source code release due to Carmack being gone from the scene.

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Avoozl said:

I have a bad feeling Doom 4 won't ever have modifiability and a source code release due to Carmack being gone from the scene.


Everytime I see someone mention this all I can think is: so what?! People were bitching and moaning about no source code release for D3. id released it and you know what? Nothing! TDM became standalone, big deal. People were bitching and moaning about no SDK for RAGE. id released it and you know what? Nothing! I don't see ANY reason for D4 to have modding support or source code release. No one will do anything interesting with it anyway.

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doom_is_great said:

Doom's appeal always has been and always will be it's intense combat. Doom 4 should not be any different.


Why do people always forget about the atmosphere?

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Touchdown said:

Everytime I see someone mention this all I can think is: so what?! People were bitching and moaning about no source code release for D3. id released it and you know what? Nothing! TDM became standalone, big deal. People were bitching and moaning about no SDK for RAGE. id released it and you know what? Nothing! I don't see ANY reason for D4 to have modding support or source code release. No one will do anything interesting with it anyway.


That's basically what I feel. Phobos is basically the only worthwhile Doom 3 related mod. Dark Mod doesn't count.

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