At Quakecon’s Doom panel on Saturday, the leaders of the development team at id Software took the stage to talk about their experience with creating the new Doom over the last several years. The focus for the entire team has been movement—the better the movement was working, they said, the better the game was shaping up. The action should be so smooth and so fast, art director Hugo Martin said, that players should “feel like Bruce Lee with a shotgun on a skateboard.”
“We wanted to focus on these traditional id roots,” multiplayer producer Brad Bramlett said. When the game is fast and fluid, “it’s exactly what we wanted it to be, so there’s no better feeling than that.”
Robert Duffy, chief technology officer at id, mentioned that Doom’s development began when they took the player movement framework from RAGE and doubled it. This dedication to speed also drove the adoption of the glory kills, the brutal hand-to-hand finishing moves that drew a lot of attention during Quakecon last year. The core loop of gameplay is known by id as “push-forward combat,” so anything that makes players slow down and pause is immediately removed. This ethos also led to abandoning regenerative health. “Not having regnerative health isn’t a random choice, it stems from movement,” executive producer Marty Stratton said. “Movement is king and you don’t want players stopping to regenerate health, you want them moving forward to see the resources of the game. That also leads to needing a lot of skill for players to get through the game.”
Glory kills also give the player health and ammo pickups in greater volumes than players would see for simply shooting an enemy. “Speed is also the key of the glory kill. It was part of that seamless movement, you never want to have the action interrupted. We figured out a while ago that 600-700 miliseconds is the right amount of time to start and finish it.” The game’s speed is so dialed up that major parts of it are taking place in fractions of a second. For fans of old-school shooters, this focus on speed and mayhem will be a defining aspect of the return of Doom.
Doom will be available for alpha and beta testing over the next nine months as it heads toward a final release in spring 2016. For more details, check out all of our news from Quakecon.