It’s so dark, I’m Doomed

Thought I could give an update.

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The situation on the Doom 3 front is a bit cruel; I hit a little wall with that map simply because the vanilla Doom 3 theme and toolkit (textures, props etc) are becoming very limiting. It’s pretty hard to do anything interesting with it unless you create your own textures and assets, and I wasn’t really prepared to do that. It was originally meant as a speedmap or turtlemap – a quick side project to recharge my batteries before I go and continue development on SJ’s medieval portion.

Only you don’t simply walk into Mordor make Doom 3 speedmaps.

Doom 3 is a game with a very defined visual theme and all its assets are geared towards creating industrial techbase levels (the ones that aren’t, such as Doom 3’s Hell level, are largely created in a modeling suite instead of Radiant). The texture sets are assembled from relatively standard wall panels, floor plates, trims and so on, which more or less dictates the kind of stuff you can build with them. There are almost no generic tiling concrete/metal textures in Doom 3 (unlike what I use in Scout’s Journey). It’s very comparable to Quake’s idbase theme, only even more restrictive.

The game also simply doesn’t have a lot of assets; if you go through the original levels in Radiant, you’ll notice that most of the detail in there is actually brush based, which strikes me as remarkable… but slightly insane in this day and age. In other words, if you want some kind of environmental asset in a Doom 3 map, go build it yourself. From scratch. From BSP, even. Just like in Quake, only with more polies!

Now I could have introduced new textures (I was tempted to find a nice concrete texture and just use that) and I could have gone and created my own mapmodels, like I do in SJ, but… that would be outside of what I originally wanted to do there, which was make a cool map with stock Doom 3 looks and assets. Turns out that is HARD (a steady diet of brushwork on a small grid) and not really suited to be a side project.

Anyway, the current status on that is that I’ll grid my teeth and just build the rest of the layout, detail it and call it done. I’ll probably release a public beta in order to gather some feedback and perhaps strike up some extra motivation that way. I’ve already got one volunteer for playtesting it, any other takers? Hands up if you wanna test.

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2 responses to “It’s so dark, I’m Doomed

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