Doom classic - Sourceports, WADs, and MODs

Q: Does the technological limitations of the Doom engine one of the things that makes Doom so great? Does the ‘flatness’ (or rather: no bridgey-ness) of the maps and the lack of up/down look make Doom so great?

There are many other Doom engine re-implementations that basically give you a full 3d mouse look environment, complete with crouching and jumping, all whilst still keeping the level format restrictions. I haven’t played any in a long time, but I think I might like the inclusion of proper mouse look, though it usually looks silly when you’re looking vertically down onto an infinitely-thin imp.

Quake I is one of my favourite games, but I still prefer Doom. So what is it that makes me prefer Doom? The look/feel/sounds of the game, its monsters and its weapons? Or is it the map-layouts as a result of technology limitations that were essentially lifted in Quake? (Though Quake still had many of its own). I have no idea. I’d really like to see Doom done in an actual 3d engine. But then maybe it’d loose some of it’s charm? Too many questions for a monday morning.

Maybe I’ll try and find a Doom inspired remake for the quake engine? :)

(Also, I much, much prefer Quake 1 to Quake 2. I still enjoy playing Quake 1 and really like how it looks, especially if you play the non-GL version of it. Quake 2 is a blurry light-fest and I consider it the first item on the downward trend into pseudo-realistic military shooters, even if you do still move at a million miles and hour and shoot n-rockets per second).

I playing Doom 2: Master Levels right now, and I do it with the full mouse implementation. Though I’m doing because the now standard wasd + free mouse is how I’m the most comfortable and it’s the most intuitive for me, I suppose I could play with the vertical axis deactivated by still with wasd+mouse. Why not enjoy the good parts of the old games with the good parts of the new ones (controls)?

About technological limitations of Doom, I don’t think the lack of up/down was a ulterior virtue, though in practical terms it doesn’t bothers me a lot, so I also don’t consider it a real flaw. Usually even in full 3d games the vertical axis is rarely fully used, you know.
But it has been said a lot that the “abstract” style of the Doom maps, which now look primitive or just silly / senseless (lots of them don’t have a real life equivalent), in the end was a strong point of the design, as it allowed for more free level design and variety without being restricted to what’s “real” and what isn’t, and allow to focus on what really matters (from a pure game perspective): “action flow”, monster and resource placement, exploration, etc without being distracted by realism, setting, immersiveness, etc.
Which is pretty funny imo, considering that to my old young self Doom looked “photo realistic” and not-cartoony.

Later, the greater graphical fidelity seems to have killed that style of abstract maps, as with even greater graphics that style looks even sillier and incongruent.

I’m amazed anyone still plays Quake more than a few minutes as a novelty.

Doom still plays just as well as (or better than) it did 20 years ago, thanks to the source ports and a mod community that keeps cranking out quality experiences. Remarkable.

Now where the hell are my 2013 Cacowards?

As with Doom, there are source ports of Quake.

For me the roles are reversed. As much Doom as I played back then I don’t really enjoy it now except for nostalgic purposes, but I can play any of Quake 1-3A, even the old ugly pixelated non-source-port non-gl original Quake in either sp or mp and have fun with it.

I remember that part well. I think I did finish it eventually but it took quite a while of beating my head against a wall.

Quake is great!

The game is fast and fluid, it has the best grenade “tinkle sound” in any game, the best jump/hump sound in existence, and the guns, like Doom, are in ‘the middle’, so the avatar feels like some kind of supernatural tank. Unlike a lot of contemporary ‘Early 3D’ games that look like complete ass due to the low level of polygons, I think Quake still manages to pull it off it’s look. (Though only if you play it in non-GL mode. Bilinear filtering on tiny textures looks terrible, and is one of the main reasons early 3D games (e.g. Sin) look so bad). I really like the light/shadow of the levels and the particle effects. (The levels are a bit on the brown side, admittedly).

All of the levels are weird and abstract, and don’t just look like the crate storage rooms used in Quake 2 and every game since then. The low poly, highly angular level geometry helps this as well. Some of them (e.g. episode 2?) are even weird checker-board castles and such. There’s also a lot of up/down movement in those levels, with the famous concept of speed running being possible by a few well placed explosions giving the player the ability to bypass huge amounts of level if they’re skilled or completely lucky. There’s definitely still an ‘explorable’ mental-map-forming aspect to a lot of the maps, much like Doom, (though it lacks an automap) and this allows the maps to contain secrets and easter eggs, something I really miss in later games. Most of all there’s no attempt at cutscenes or ‘story’ or anything. It’s like Doom in that it’s pretty much pure-play. (Actually, there might be a few camera changes in the game that kind of look a bit like cutscenes?). Quake is a very non-modal game, as everything is done in that first person view. Even the choice of difficulty and a episode is performed in-game by running through portals.

I’d like to think that the reason I like Quake 1 isn’t rose-tinted nostalgia, as I actually never played Quake at the time of release, but only long after I’d played Quake 2 and Half-Life. (I’d played Doom/2 before them, though). I’ve not played it as much as Doom1/2, so the initial Quake levels don’t fill me with as much dread/boredom as the early Doom levels. If someone liked Doom and has grown tired of modern military FPS games, and hasn’t played Quake before, then I think they they really should give Quake a shot. It’s a great game. (You can skip Quake 2 and not really miss much).

Master Levels finished, starting Deus Vult 2, a very recommended mod/mission pack.

The new Cacowards are out, though none of the descriptions inspired me to play them this year. I’d rather work on the backlog.

DVII is worth seeing. There are some overly long frustrating levels though. Like most modern WADs, don’t pick difficulty 4 unless you know what you’re doing.

And all this stuff about Quake is fine. It’s cool to wander around the 90s 3D levels and shoot all our old favorite guns, though some get old pretty fast. But the singleplayer combat doesn’t seem like it would hold up. I shoot enough groups of 2-3 enemies in modern games. I can’t say I’ve played much Quake lately, but for holding my interest every year for the last 20 years, I’ll take the endless variety of Doom.

Damn I’m liking Deus Vult II, I will try to do some screenshots later.

I got stuck in the Egypt level, I had the three keys but I couldn’t get a wall to lower and allow me to advance to the exit. I had to idclip throught it. :(

Quake 1 has great multiplayer but the single player isn’t comparable to Doom at all. It has good level design, sound, etc but it lacks what makes Doom so great. Doom has faster player speed relative to monsters, better weapons overall for single player (SSG/BFG mostly), monsters fight each other a lot, better monster design/more variety, horde fights, way better performance in large levels or horde fights (though that doesn’t matter on a modern system) and much better level design which is likely inspired by all the other listed differences. Deus Vult 1 is actually my favorite wad of all time. Me and a bunch of friends took like a month to beat it in coop. Once you learn the levels inside out they lose a lot of their difficulty. Here’s a amazing video of it beaten in about an hour on UV MAX (100% complete, not strict time speed run) -

It’s actually 4 huge maps but there’s a 5th map which links all the levels together (and they fit together seamlessly). It has something like 6000 monsters. There’s no other FPS which quite compares.

I’m going to assume for the sake of my sanity that “tinkle” means something different in English (UK).

From time to time, I have OBLIGE put together a randomly generated WAD which I then attempt to ironman in Brutal Doom. You never quite know what to expect, and dying at any point is an excuse to generate even more levels. It keeps things somewhat fresh while being good enough for a quick fix of Doom every now and then.

For those who like more… refined experiences like what the Cacowards offers, then this definitely isn’t for them. It remains something of an interesting novelty, nonetheless.

Deus Vult II Gallery (in progress)

I find the maps themselves strangely beautiful…

I see there is or was a mod to add Marathon’s dual shotguns to Doom. Oh man. :(

It’s astounding that anyone can know such a large level so well. At one point he’s firing the BFG at a mastermind before it’s even teleported in. (And for the record, I prefer Doom over Quake. Doom has one thing that Quake definitely doesn’t: A really satisfying rhythm. But I’ll have none of this “Quake can’t be played today” nonsense!)

Well, one the one hand it’s how you say “take a piss” to a child (infact, I’d guess that’s UK usage and not US?!), but it’s also the sound of metal lightly hitting metal. ;)

What’s the recommended engine to play doom in these days? Chocolate? ZDoom? Doomsday/jDoom?

I finished Deus Vult II and the last level redirected me… to that level!. Or at least part of it, I haven’t finished still.

And, to end this retro journey to Doom, I will leave this nice article about design of the game, written from one of the Bioshock designers.

It touches all the basics: Doom really plays like an overhead arcade game, maneuverability as defense and dodgeable attacks instead of health regen, better variety in the bestiary (I like his summary of modern games: “soldier with machine gun, soldier with shotgun, zombie with melee attack.”, abstractness is empowering, revolution of user made content