Doom 4: id Software’s Travail for Perfection

Taking a look at the perilous journey id Software took for Doom 4.

Posted By | On 23rd, Mar. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


1993 was an important year for a number of reasons. E-mail had had taken off finally, we had the Adobe PDF which was probably the only true document sharing tool of the time which was any good. But that’s not what I am here to talk about. 1993 was a rather enjoyable year too. id Software’s release of Wolfenstein 3D in 1992, which is often considered the game that truly brought first-person-shooter games to the gaming industry, was followed the next year by Doom. Now Doom was a science fiction-horror themed game that had ushered into the newly accepted era of fps games. This game which was distributed via shareware and mail order gained so much popularity that within a handful of years, millions of players had played the game and commended it. Games that had followed up to Doom and made it to the fps genre were called Doom clones.

Basking in the brilliance of such a glorious series, id Software has made it through a lot of years and quite commendably so, and after more than a decade of the first Doom game’s release, the next instalment in the Doom series is going to be released. Of course there were a number of other titles in the series and a few spin-offs, but the next title in the series has attracted special attention not just from us, but from people all around the globe.

doom 1

" We never got to know what kind of development hell id had gone through but in 2011 we did get to know that the game was completely pulled back and restarted on a fresh note. It was later revealed that the pre-2011 Doom game was heavily scripted and cinematic in nature which made it look rather like a movie."

After defining and bringing a whole new genre of gaming and coming up with titles like Wolfenstein and Doom in quick succession, id Software had made its mark in the industry. Over the years we have seen great titles coming from the developers and a lot are from the two aforementioned series. The last Doom title in the series was Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, disregarding the spin-offs in the series. After its release in 2005, id had taken a back seat and given themselves a little time to relax after working so hard for such stupendous a game.

Our anticipation for the announcement of the next title in the Doom series was finally put to rest on the 7th of May 2008. The announcement had received perfervid response and the fourth game had really drawn some serious attention after Doom 3’s success. Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, had said that the game would take place on Earth like in Doom 2, and added that they will deviate from the critically acclaimed horror style gameplay of Doom 3.

While the internet community was trying to wrap its head around the meagre information provided by the developers of whether it will be a sequel, a prequel or a reboot and how the game was said to be ‘deep in development’ alongside talks of the fourth game having dedicated servers, the developers apparently had hit an insurmountable obstacle.

We never got to know what kind of development hell id had gone through but in 2011 we did get to know that the game was completely pulled back and restarted on a fresh note. It was later revealed that the pre-2011 Doom game was heavily scripted and cinematic in nature which made it look rather like a movie. Tim Willits of id Software had claimed in 2013 that the Doom game lacked the spirit and personality that its predecessors had held and thus the project had been re-started.

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"There have been no solid revelations about what the new Doom game would entail, if it will continue the story where any of the previous Doom games left off, or whether it will be set in a world completely different from the previous games. "

Even so, it was argued that the game hasn’t shown much promise as of yet. Mostly because nigh on naught has been revealed about the upcoming Doom game. There have been no solid revelations about what the new Doom game would entail, if it will continue the story where any of the previous Doom games left off, or whether it will be set in a world completely different from the previous games. id had revealed that the game would not be called Doom 4, but Doom. It’s like having the Xbox One again. And a Doom II maybe.

This alludes to the fact that they are attempting to re-establish the Doom series in a completely new light. Although the ‘why’ of this step eludes me completely. But having no concrete evidence about what direction they’re heading to, saying so only finds a way into the contentious category of discussions.

The fact that id hasn’t provided its fans with anything solid about the development of the game even after so long is another reason why everyone is so apprehensive and doubtful about what id is doing with Doom.

id Software had to struggle a fair bit throughout the years of development of the new Doom game. According to id Software co-founder Tim Willits, the announcement of Doom 4 was made so as to attract new talent to the company.

That may sound a little lame strategy, to attract people to a game’s development by banking on an established franchise with no plan in mind, and we can completely understand that over 20 years, a company changes radically, but even after restarting the project, not much has been accomplished. Another Blow to the id team was when lead programmer John Carmack left id for the Oculus Rift VR.

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"After leaving id in November 2013, Carmack had stated that there were some major issues with the development of Doom. He had said that although id has always strived for perfection, it was not right on their part to delay the production of a game for so long. "

He had tried to work on both the projects simultaneously to aid the development of the Doom game as well as introduce the Oculus VR in a better manner by associating it with Doom. But he was left with no support and ultimately had to pick one over the other. Losing the lead programmer of a game series can deal a major blow to the development of the company.

After leaving id in November 2013, Carmack had stated that there were some major issues with the development of Doom. He had said that although id has always strived for perfection, it was not right on their part to delay the production of a game for so long. Quite rightly so.

Having left to developing a single game for so long leads to stagnation as was revealed in 2011 when the Doom project had to be brought to the drawing board anew. Another thing that he had added was that the ‘essence’ of the Doom game was in question.

A multitude of people have an equally diverse set of thoughts and that seemed to have been a problem for id. If it were the case, it makes me wonder how in Lucifer’s name have we been able to get games like Doom 2 and 3. It’s definitely not that the people at id are incapable.

Maybe they have gone too far with their ambitions in making too perfect a Doom in lieu of making the Doom franchise as their flagship one. That may have been the reason as to why the game was scrapped in the first place in 2011, for being too ambitious which had resulted in a thoroughly scripted and poorly made ‘movie’ game.

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"So, even after all the obscurity about the development of the game and the laziness of the developers and the team (if you may), there’s still a lot of hope. The fact that even after going through development hell and botching up their project, they didn't give it up and re-started shows their commitment to roll out a good game."

Carmack had also pointed out that the time of development of Doom was perfect for utilising the PS3 and the Xbox 360. He had stated that only recently had the developers understood to tap the full potential of the consoles of the previous generations. He was right in saying so and we had GTA V as proof, which was launched before the coming of the current generation of consoles when the developers and publishers could have easily waited for the launch of new consoles.

Disregarding all of that, what it boils down to, is that id Software has provided us with an amazing of games like Wolfenstein, Commander Keen, Quake and Rage. Doom was another fine piece of art off their palette. So, even after all the obscurity about the development of the game and the laziness of the developers and the team (if you may), there’s still a lot of hope.

The fact that even after going through development hell and botching up their project, they didn’t give it up and re-started shows their commitment to roll out a good game.

Agreed, it has been really long but that doesn’t necessarily lend credence to let us criticise them to no end. Look at Kid Icarus: Uprising and Street Fighter IV.

Both these games took around as much time to come out as it did for the Australopithecus to become Homo Sapien. But in the end, the result was amazing for both the scenarios. Regardless of it, id Software has a lot riding on its shoulders and an equally lot to prove.

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"Doom’s beta keys are exclusively available to players who buy Wolfenstein: The New Order but no date has been set for Doom, or even its beta. We’re still a long way from knowing what the would manifest into. "

After showing us their potential with great games, after defining a new genre of gaming and ushering into a new era of gaming altogether, id Software has come a long way in gaming history and they still have a long walk to take if they wish to remain one of the most revered developers of all time. And by no means do they lack the capacity.

Doom’s beta keys are exclusively available to players who buy Wolfenstein: The New Order but no date has been set for Doom, or even its beta. We’re still a long way from knowing what the would manifest into. There’s nothing official out yet; you may have noted that with the kind of pictures used in this article. So all we can do for now is keep our fingers crossed, hopes high and bombard id’s discussions forums.


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  • Psionicinversion

    Wont doom suffer since carmak has left to got oculus?

  • Salamihawk

    The number of grammatical errors in this article is too damn high!

    • inyourbase

      I’m glad someone else picked up on that. There were sections of this article that I couldn’t make heads or tails of.


 

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