Sep 17, 2014
Nothing warms my cold cynical heart like the creativity of the Doom modding community. We saw Donkey Kong Country recreated in the engine earlier this week, but now cast your eyes across this work-in-progress attempt to adapt DayZ's core gameplay into a 20-year old engine. DoomZ is the work of a modder disenchanted with the limitations of DayZ in its current, Enfusion-powered iteration. While Zdoom obviously has limitations of its own, it looks like the mod is making steady progress.
The mod currently boasts a day and night cycle, a rather charming UI (see the image above), wildlife, fires and cooking, water, weapons, food, limb damage and much, much more. The goal is to make the game as close to the DayZ gameplay model as possible, though given the engine's limitations there won't be vehicles. Creator Robert Prest writes that the mod could move over to GZdoom, allowing for more flexibility in map design.
As for the video below, Prest provides pretty good commentary on what the project is now and where it's headed. Alpha 11 can be downloaded right now. Cheers to Kotaku for the heads up.
Sometimes, the only way to attract attention to dire warnings about weaknesses in a particular system is to exploit them in a way that can't be ignored. That's what drove Michael Jordon of Context Information Security to make Doom run on a Canon Pixma printer; not because it's cool (although it clearly is) but to demonstrate the inherent insecurities in Canon's wireless printers.
The colors in the brief gameplay video posted by YouTube user SteveHOCP are wonky (and the music has obviously been added after the fact), but there's no question about it: This is Doom, id Software's greatest creation, running on a printer. It's a remarkable demonstration of how far technology has come over the past two decades, but the actual point was to demonstrate something else entirely: The web interface on Pixma wireless printers doesn't require user authentication in order to connect, which doesn't seem all that particularly terrible until you start looking at the firmware update process.
"While you can trigger a firmware update you can also change the web proxy settings and the DNS server. If you can change these then you can redirect where the printer goes to check for a new firmware," Jordon wrote. "So what protection does Canon use to prevent a malicious person from providing a malicious firmware? In a nutshell - nothing, there is no signing (the correct way to do it) but it does have very weak encryption."
Things get awfully technical at that point but the condensed version is that a determined individual could create a custom firmware and update a printer to make it do pretty much anything within the capabilities of the hardware. "For demonstration purposes I decided to get Doom running on the printer," he wrote. "It was not straightforward due to it needing all the operating system dependences to be implemented in Arm without access to a debugger, or even multiplication or division." But it was doable.
"If you can run Doom on a printer, you can do a lot more nasty things," Jordon told the Guardian. "In a corporate environment, it would be a good place to be. Who suspects printers?"
Canon said in a statement that it intends to issue a fix "as quickly as is feasible."
People are still doing insane stuff with the Doom engine, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than with this Donkey Kong mod. The GZDoom mod turns Doom into a whimsical side scrolling platformer, which is obviously quite a change from its origins as a brutal first-person shooter. To give it a go you ll need GZDoom, a download of the mod as well as one of original Doom engine .WADs.
Unless you're intimate with the Doom engine and its modding community, the video below will probably be a bit confusing: how (and I suppose more importantly, why) does one turn a first-person shooter into a sidescrolling platformer? Um, I have no idea, but there's an eerie pleasure in watching a version of Donkey Kong played out with the occasional appearance of old Doom assets. The instructions for installing the mod are over here in the video description.
In other Doom mod news, this is quite impressive.
After nearly five years spent developing social and mobile games with his studio Loot Drop, John Romero has let slip that he's working on a fully-fledged shooter. Speaking on the Super Joystiq Podcast, Romero said that he's working on "several" games at the moment, with one of them to release under the Romero Games handle, rather than Loot Drop.
"I'm working on several games at once right now," Romero said. "But had mentioned earlier that I'm working with a concept artist, and so I've got some cool imagery for the main character.
"I haven't made a shooter since 2000. So I'm basically starting to work on another one," he said.
Founded in 2010 with partner Brenda Romero, Loot Drop has developed mobile and social titles for publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Zynga. Given the new Romero Games name though, it's likely the duo will want to keep the shooter project separate from their current business.
John Romero co-founded id Software and was a co-creator of Doom. He left id Software shortly after the studio shipped Quake, going on to develop the critically condemned Daikatana. Many of the games he helped develop have endured: Wolfenstein: The New Order released to acclaim earlier this year, while a Doom reboot is expected to release in 2015.
The v20 update for Brutal Doom has been in development for a while but there's still no solid release date. While you wait for the gory mod to be finetuned, why not watch 15 minutes of it in action? The update includes a number of improvements, such as general performance tweaks, more realistic/brutal blood fountains and most importantly: ragdoll physics. Overall, expect more brutality, and expect to love the shotgun more than you ever thought possible.
A few interesting tidbits: every single gib has been remade with better resolution, while the imp's midrange attack animation has been completely reworked. According to the Brutal Doom Facebook page there should be a solid release date for v20 very soon. In the meantime, this should sate any urges that Bethesda's recent Doom tease may have triggered. According to our interview with Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines, we may not see any more of that until 2015.
Download Brutal Doom now.
Jul 18, 2014
Speaking to PC Gamer about yesterday s Doom reveal at QuakeCon, Bethesda Softworks VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines explained that the livestream cut out because Doom isn t ready for a formal announcement." Only QuakeCon attendees in the room were allowed to see the gameplay demonstration, and unless video of it leaks, we probably won t see anything else about Doom until next year.
"I try really, really hard for this to be a dev first, dev-lead thing," said Hines, and id Software isn't ready for a worldwide reveal of Doom. "We re working with them to say, How does this work? What do we want to show? And they re like, Look, we don t want a stream to go up for a game that isn t at the point where we would formally show it to the world, and now that thing is getting picked apart, and digested, and gone through frame-by-frame and getting nitpicked to death, when normally we wouldn t be showing this to anybody at all.
If it normally wouldn t be shown to anybody, why show it at all? Aside from not wanting yet another QuakeCon without Doom, Hines says he wanted to quell doubts about Doom and the id Software team, which bothered the hell out of him. At the same time, he didn't want to "deal with the repercussions" of a formal announcement, which would come with too many expectations.
"I really wanted to put something out there that, in a strong way, said, id is working on something that we think is really cool, " said Hines. "And we wanted ... to show something to that gives them the confidence that it is still a viable studio that s doing really cool stuff, that is making a game you want to play, and is treating Doom with the care and respect that you want.
"And now we re going to go away and go back to making the game, but to be able to counter other people talking about us and we re sort of just sitting here staying silent, or operating from this negative space of like, Oh, it got rebooted, oh it s in trouble. All of that stuff just bothered the hell out of me."
As for the fans who couldn t make it to QuakeCon, Hines says there was no perfect version for the reveal. Trying to get Doom ready to bring a bunch of press guys in would have meant missing QuakeCon again. The private showing was a compromise: id Software earns renewed confidence, QuakeCon attendees aren't disappointed, and Bethesda can go back to being quiet about Doom until it's ready.
Next year is normally when I think we would ve started, said Hines, so Doom will likely be revealed publicly then. He went on to express that plans can change, and it s even possible he ll be asked to post the stream, but then clarified, I don t think there s any way that happens. 2015 it is.
Ian Birnbaum contributed to this story.
Tiago Sousa, a longtime Crytek employee who served as the R&D Principal Graphics Engineer in the company's Frankfurt studio, has announced that he's left the company to become the Lead Rendering Programmer at Doom developer id Software.
The stories of trouble at Crytek have been persistent but unverified, and it's impossible to know to what extent Sousa's move to id Software is connected to it, if at all. But at least his departure is confirmed.
Happy to announce i'll be helping the amazingly talented id Software team with Doom and idTech 6. Very excited :)— Tiago Sousa (@idSoftwareTiago) July 18, 2014
Sousa has been with Crytek since the original Far Cry and has been the Principal Graphics Engineer on the Frankfurt R&D team since Crysis 2. That may not be the most glamorous development job ever, but given Crytek's well-deserved reputation for developing cutting-edge game engines, it's hardly insignificant. Sousa's move is good news for id and anyone looking forward to big things from Doom (and, maybe someday, Quake), but for Crytek, it has to hurt.
In the ten years since Doom 3 was released, Doom 4 has been fabled, rumored, delayed, and scrapped and started over at least once. Id finally pulled back the curtain on Thursday during an exclusive reveal at QuakeCon 2014. In front of a packed auditorium at the 19th annual LAN party/PC game convention, id played a pair of live gameplay demos (running on PC) showing very different parts of the game. As a thanks to fans here in Dallas, the reveal wasn t streamed online and was for attendees only.
The game, for one thing, will not be called Doom 4, but simply Doom, and it will take place on Mars. According to Executive Producer Marty Stratton, the game will be going back to what made the original great: fast action, run-and-gun, inventive and creative combat. He also dropped the news that Doom will be running on id Tech 6, a much-needed update to the years-old technology that has run previous games from id (and struggled with texture pop-in and other technical problems).
There was a lot of combat on display, and all of it was vicious and full of strafing. The game shows off the verticality we ve seen in a lot of titles, like Crysis 3, with double-jumps and jetpacks allowing the player to cross gaps and find high ground. Large crates and gaps can be climbed to reach new areas or just to escape from attacking enemies.
The mechanic that everyone s going to be talking about for the rest of QuakeCon, though, is the hand-to-hand finishing moves. After significantly damaging an enemy, they ll flash and highlight. By stepping close, the player is able to start a variety of combat moves that would be more at home in Mortal Kombat than most shooters. We saw lower jaws pulled off, skulls stomped on, and hearts torn out with the level of detail usually reserved for those slow-mo bullet cams in the Sniper Elite series. Unfortunately, in the ten minutes of gameplay I saw a few repetitions. Given the fullness of time, will we get tired of repetitive killing moves? Maybe, but the first few times will probably be a lot of fun.
Also making a triumphant return are massive weapons. We never saw the fabled BFG, but id is taking a lesson from Wolfenstein: The New Order s jumbo-sized arsenal. All of the guns are huge and clanking. The plasma rifle, in particular, took a few seconds to boot up and engage its various fans and heatsinks. It was a bit showy, but the weapon had a visible knock-back that made it valuable when rooms got crowded with enemies.
Speaking of the enemies, there were a ton of them on display. Small demons made themselves annoying while the larger beasts and Hell Knights stomped in to finish the job. All in all it was a fast, chaotic experience that played out with the same stomping, crashing gore that I remember from the glory days of Doom 2.
Id showed off two gameplay demos, and it made me think that the game is much further along than we d previously guessed. This is just speculation, but I wouldn t be surprised if we see the game released in the same late-spring window that Wolfenstein just enjoyed.
Tonight s reveal was tantalizing, but we don t know everything about the game yet. Like all fans we do have a wishlist a few of which we saw tonight. For the others, though, here s everything we want out of Doom 4.
Jul 2, 2014
Out of context, the teaser video for Total Chaos looks like an interesting, moody horror game. The abandoned cityscape, ominous ambiance, and foggy alleyways remind me of the upcoming Nether in particular, which runs on Unreal Engine 3. The two games look pretty similar. Here's the crazy thing: Total Chaos is a total conversion Doom II mod.
Total Chaos looks so much better than Doom II, you d have no way to tell it s a mod just by looking at it. But if you listen closely (at 0:47) when the player steps off a ledge, you ll hear the familiar grunt from Doom s space marine.
The mod s creator WadaHolic explains that Total Chaos doesn t run on the Doom 2 engine from 1993 proper, but a modified version of the original source code that brings in OpenGL, mouse looks and other features like 16x motion blur, high resolution textures, 3D models, and bloom effects.
WadaHolic says Total Chaos is inspired by games like Stalker. It drops you on an island with a video camera, no guns, and asks that you ll navigate the dangerous, monster-infested environment with whatever tools you can find.
He doesn t have a release date at the moment, but says that he hopes to have a Beta out near the end of the year. You ll need either GZDoom and Zandornum in order to run it.
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