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OK Doomer (aelkus.github.io)
326 points by DyslexicAtheist 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 233 comments

The early versions of counter-strike had a famous bunny-hopping bug where you could cover 40% more ground than simply walking (jumping had a bug where the X and Y coordinates were individually calculated, so if you moved in both directions at the same time you would cover sqrt(2) ground)

It was a skill honed and part of the fun of the game. Then in version 1.3 they removed it because it was a 'bug' -- they basically removed the mini-game of bunny-hopping and the first 30 seconds that were all about perfectly executing bunny hops to get into position were replaced by a monotonous boring walk.

Such a shame that the monotony of real-life is added to games.

Anyways, I think the author should try Overwatch -- it's one of the few contemporary widely played FPSs that doesn't take realism too seriously.

On the opposite spectrum of simple exploits by jumping, we have Tribes. In the original game, people quickly realized you can exploit the physics engine by jumping, allowing you to quickly traverse the terrain. It became known as "skiing".

The devs, rather than patching it, incorporated skiing into Tribes 2 and has been a staple ever since. And also, while Counter Strike has become a massive success and has thousands of players today. Tribes (while it was successful at the time) has become a niche game that quickly weeds out newcomers and hardly anyone plays it anymore.

Not saying that there's a correlation, I just find it amusing.

It's just a bummer that Tribes: Ascend (the last installment of Tribes) went downhill quickly and became dead. No other FPS game can match the sheer joy of shooting other players with projectile weapons while skiing midair at 200km/h...

Tribes: Ascend was really good. It was a labor of love for the developers who worked on it.

Sadly, it was abandoned and taken over by cheaters. Also, it was never as moddable as the original Tribes was, and since there were no private servers, there was no way for the community to pick up the slack after Hi Rez abandoned it.

exploding CD's, or going heavy and randomly shooting mortars at an enemy base. fun times.

Learning to ski well in Tribes was one of the most satisfying things to learn in an FPS back in the day.

If you knew how to really ski well, and had the map mastery to apply it well, it almost felt like cheating sometimes because new players had almost no hope of keeping up.

I'm sure in today's world it would get patched out.

Just to make this technically correct, people still bunny hop in CS all the time, it just doesn't get you anywhere any faster.

If done right, it gives you a modest speed-up but it's only possible for a short time and also requires some luck without hacks.

It doesn't make you slower either. And shooting at a jumping target is still a bit more difficult than shoot at the linearly moving target.

Warframe has a similar story. It's covered in the NoClip documentary on YouTube. Never played that game but it was a good watch.

I clocked in over a thousand hours in warframe. I can only imagine that the video talks about coptering. Honestly coptering removal is one of the reasons I left. It just took joy out of the game.

This is a soapbox that I really enjoy standing on. I think there is a large number of game developers who have forgotten that the point of a game is to be fun.

There is room in the world for hyper-realistic real-time raytracing games. But not a lot of room.

To any game developers reading this, my request to you is to please optimize for fun, especially at the expense of polish.

Fun is different things to different people. It’s common for many gamers to believe that fun for them is fun for everyone, but balancing fun for multiple parties in a multiplayer game, where losing has to be fun, too, involves a lot of tradeoffs. Inevitably, there will be some mechanic or feature that works against the long-term health of the game, despite being fun for some, and it’s either the game or the mechanic. One of them has to go.

A good designer, though, should also be examining why that mechanic was fun, and how the same dynamics that led to it can be recreated in a way that’s fun for both the player and their opponent. Or even a different game built on different assumptions where those dynamics are accepted.

There’s often a lot more that goes into removing something like bunny hopping than just a desire for polish. To any player out there angry at the removal of their favorite mechanic, my request is to consider the whole game and the enjoyment of all the people who play it, even at the expense of the thing that’s fun for you.

It should be noted that there are multiple mechanics at play here, and neither was removed completely.

The first mechanic is that while jumping, when you either hold down the A-button and move your mouse left at the right pace, or hold down the D-button and move your mouse right at the right pace, you will accelerate slightly, plus change your trajectory.

The second mechanic is that you don't just stop when you hit the ground, instead friction is applied to you in a very simplistic way. Also, when you jump at exactly the same tick at which you hit the ground, this friction won't even be applied.

Both mechanics together mean that you can reach theoretically unlimited velocity.

I'm not entirely sure what the changes in 1.3 were, but certainly both mechanics still exist in 1.6.

The first mechanic you can easily test on a local server, by typing "sv_gravity 0" into the console, then jumping into the air and performing the motions mentioned above - you can still reach unlimited speed.

The second mechanic is harder to test, but I'm pretty sure it still works. However, it might only work for a single time or something like that.

There is also "sv_airaccelerate" which somehow controls how much you accelerate with mechanic 1, but I'm not exactly sure how it works.

One thing though that I always mention when this comes up: Mechanic 1 doesn't just make gameplay better, it actually makes it more realistic too, and it should be implement in every shooter. "But I can't jump around corners in real life!" you might say, however I would argue that you actually can. We can do this because we can use both of our feet to manipulate our trajectory much more finely that we can in most games.

All mechanic one does is give us this lost freedom of motion back.

"We can do this because we can use both of our feet to manipulate our trajectory much more finely that we can in most games."

This is another thing that I think game designers often forget. When trying for a "realistic" game, you have to account for the fact that in the real world we have a lot more "bandwidth" than our computer monitors, sound, and input devices can offer. It is perfectly fine for a "realistic" game to offer some counterbalancing capabilities to address the unrealistic constraints of the game space. A HUD being a classic example that is generally included; it's a cute idea to try to build a game that doesn't need one, but they've mostly been disasters (couple of exceptions), because a HUD is one of those compensations.

Another example: I may not have a minimap in real life, but I do have proprioception, balance input as provided by my inner ears, a nearly 180 degree FOV (albeit with a lot of details and caveats, but I've got decades of experience dealing with those; my eyes saccade much more quickly and accurately than my mouselook even after quite of time working on the latter), tactile connections to the space even down to something as simple as feeling my feet hit the ground and the physical effort of walking. Staying oriented in real space is massively harder if we take those away (see also "people getting disoriented in zero gravity"). It's perfectly fine to have a minimap help me out.

Being able to fudge a trajectory a bit fits right in to that idea. In real life I've got all sorts of extra inputs to help me jump accurately, and years of experience in my body to help me know the likely consequences. Even a realistic game can afford to help me out a bit as I remote-control around the feelingless, proprioceptionless, tunnel-visioned, aurally-challenged, and so on robot that constitutes my player.

I don’t know if you played CS at the time, but there wasn’t a single soul who didn’t enjoy bunny hopping or had mastering it as a goal

Besides the standard bomb maps, and the fun game dynamics created by this “bug”, there were hundreds of servers running surf_ maps and others that relied on hopping mechanics. The update threw a massive community in a tar pit.

> I don’t know if you played CS at the time, but there wasn’t a single soul who didn’t enjoy bunny hopping

Loads game

Sees people hopping like preschoolers

"No thanks. I'm good. "

A bit of a self fulfilling statement there. I understand and appreciate that others found it fun, but such mechanics have always reduced my enjoyment, and I tend to avoid such games. Nothing wrong with either side of that, but one cant then claim the unanimity of enjoyment as meaningful.

Since that was the only way CS ever worked until then, what else would you expect? It was never marketed as a Rainbow Six.

I don't expect ANY game where "run" and "jump" are options to make "jump" the primary form of movement.

I get that "realism" is a silly thing to discuss, not because it's good/bad, but because it is meaningless to try and distinguish the "changes from real life we like/want" from "changes from real life that hurt our enjoyment", particularly when we all have different tastes.

But all games that make gummy bear-style hopping over flat, unbroken land a common form of movement are personally visually jarring, and even as I welcome others to enjoy whatever games they want, I don't think my reaction is a terribly crazy reaction to have.

...Fortunately I'll likely die long before common human inhabitation of the moon, so I won't have to a reality I find jarring in this way :)

(real life is jarring enough already. Too much realism)

By that measure, Doom is a terrible game. No hopping, but people don’t move at 50km/h. It’s all about pleasurable game dynamics and realism plays an incredibly small role there.

> It’s common for many gamers to believe that fun for them is fun for everyone

I never liked bunny-hopping.

> there wasn’t a single soul who didn’t enjoy bunny hopping or had mastering it as a goal

Even someone who never heard of Counter-Strike could figure out that this is a false statement.

Well said. Good example of this illustrated through a classic CS:S montage video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNvDUO42Hys

I feel like we're in a renaissance (or maybe modernism) of fun in video games.

In the early days of the medium, there were a lot of hard constraints with regard to computing power, so game designers had to work with what they had to produce fun in efficient and creative ways. In other words, space invaders or super mario had no chance of achieving anything approaching realism given the hardware available at the time, so they had to focus on maximizing fun instead.

Later, beginning with Doom and expanding with the rise of 3D acceleration, we were wowed by the prospect of exploring 3D worlds in a way that felt familiar to navigating the real world, which gave rise to this implicit idea that achieving realism should be the goal of video games.

I remember discussing video games like this as a teenager: when FPS games introduced reloading as a mechanic, or when Half-Life got rid of floating weapons and health kits in favor of objects which lay there on the ground diagetically like they would in real life, or when Halo only let us hold two weapons at the same time, we talked about these developments in the terms that they were obviously steps forward, because they were more realistic. Often the "best graphics" are also conflated with those which are the most photo-realistic.

But more recently, we've started to round a corner where people have started to look back, and realize that realism isn't necessarily the goal of games, and is often orthogonal to fun or other redeeming qualities. After all there are a lot of parts of real life which are not actually fun, and if we simulate the violent setting of many video games with perfect realism, it probably would not be very fun to experience bleeding out from a bullet wound in an accurate way. More recently, games have gotten a bit more fantasy back in, and are more unapologetic about revealing their medium.

I think it's similar in some ways to what we saw in European art movements. For hundreds of years, people tried to paint reality with ever increasing fidelity. But sometime in the classical period, the problem of how to represent light, shadow and geometry in accurate perspective in paint became a solved problem, and thus it was no longer interesting. Later movements, like impressionism and later modernism and post-modernism threw realism aside and focused on pushing the medium itself forward in whatever way ended up being the most compelling.

Someways games have become so streamlined as to remove all fun from it, Witcher 3 for example has a detailed world, but the game is essentially that of going from one marker to another in the mini-map, in other words while playing one is essentially ignoring the beautiful world and instead fulfilling tedious chores. Many recent Ubisoft titles have been similarly critized for being essentially descending into a rote task of clearing markers on the map.

Raytracing is pretty beautiful in minecraft.

> Anyways, I think the author should try Overwatch -- it's one of the few contemporary widely played FPSs that doesn't take realism too seriously.

Cries in Team Fortress 2

The amazing community of TF2 is unmatched by Overwatch. From nope.avi to DWL1993's various remixes, they were an integral part of internet meme culture of the late 2000's and early 2010's.

Overwatch already seems to have faded from collective consciousness. TF2 still flares up every now and then.

Apex legends, Rust (the game), PUBG and other "battle royale" games fight for it's marketshare.

TF2 has been around long enough to have the weight of history.

TF2 has also accumulated a decent amount of design cruft -- I'm not a fan of the cosmetics added post-release that alter the silhouettes of the classes, plus the alternate weapons dramatically change how some classes play/must be played against.

OWL and OW itself is still going strong albeit “faded” as you’ve stated. But I’d put Rust in that bucket as well PUBG Is circling around the drain as well. Apex is still doing very well ofc.

Escape from Tarkov is the new trending game and the market leaders are still Fortnite CSGO and League.

It was a quake engine bug, which followed into GoldSrc, the engine developed for Half-Life, and thus Counter-Strike.

Quake-like games embraced bunny-hopping because I guess they were already pretty "unrealistic" whilst Counter-Strikes entire schtick was about the "realism" that it brought to the scene.

And bunny-hopping wasn't removed until 1.4, where they added a movement penalty every time you jump. It was softened in 1.5 after a lot of discord from the player base.

This “realism” argument is not convincing. Quake is an arena shooter. It’s core mechanics are around moving quickly. If there’s a bug that aids that then leave it. CS is about strategic positioning, managing economy, and teamwork. Having a bug that gives an advantage to movement, which isn’t something people play CS for, is not fun.

I think you misread my post.

I think I meant to reply to this post.


Ah cool to see another old school game which likes Overwatch. My FPS shooter experience has really been dominated by Doom 2 and Unreal Tournament. Then there was a major break and some Halo playing which I also kind of enjoyed.

But when it comes to keeping things simple and enjoyable Overwatch really brought things back for me. For somebody who does not have time to invest tons of time into gaming and don't really care anymore, I love that in Overwatch there is no messing around with picking up weapons. Just learn the weapons your character comes with.

The cartoony look of overwatch makes the worlds a lot easier to navigate. Too much realism makes it hard to pick out enemies, objectives etc.

Also too realistic weapons, limits the variety of strategies one can employ.

I care more about internal consistency than absolute realism. Fortnite does not do it for me. You got these sort of realistic weapons but then then people can build walls hand houses in record time, in the middle of a fight. It just seems really dumb.

Although this seems acceptable to me in Minecraft, but against I guess it is the internal consistency. The graphics and everything in Minecraft suggests there is nothing odd about building a wall in the middle of a fight.

I was very much a part of this community at the time and engaged in a lot of discussions around this "feature". Part of the issue is that there were degrees of bunny hopping (as in being able to do it extremely well and consistently) and script assisted bunny hops were also becoming a thing. This was also around the advent of aimbotting finally reaching the half-life engine and there was a real discussion about turning new players away from the game because of these "pro features".

Ultimately it wasn't part of the intended game design, despite being a bit of a fun imaginary minigame within the greater 5v5, and I agree it was the best choice for all the mods around that time (CS wasn't the only one you could bhop in).

To add to this anecdote though, knife scraping on a wall when the round is down to 1v1 was almost always universally "come knife fight me" and for the many times I've seen players arrange this duel I rarely see either try to "cheat" and shoot the other.

The bunny hopping thing was an interesting time.

Later, Battlefield 2142 had you spawn in via drop pods which you had extremely limited control over so you could try to land behind cover, it was discovered if you rapidly moved the mouse you could move farther. If you had a mouse that you could change the DPI on the fly you could crank it and actually travel across an entire map. Enter the pod surfing advantage.

With some skill you could basically land wherever you wanted to within feet, dropping behind enemy lines gave you an insane advantage. You could actually drop at the very back of an enemy controlled area, behind their most distant respawn and just waste the other team.

You could also use pod surfing to reach elevated positions that you could not get to otherwise. You could just sit in your sniper perch laying waste to unsuspecting people below. Better you could get up there, then have a teammate land as resupply or as a medic and effectively stay there the rest of the map dealing death. The clan I played with was very good at pod surfing, any time a guy would get in one of those positions I'd steer over to them and drop health or resupply depending on what they needed and then I'd just suicide and respawn elsewhere until they needed resupply again and I'd kamikaze and head surf back to them. Sometimes we'd organize sessions with another clan that was similarly adept at pod surfing and we'd either go play on their server or they'd come to ours and stuff would get ridiculous. Poor unsuspecting randoms would join the server and be like 'what the hell is even going on?!'. I think of all the FPS I've played, BF 2142 was probably the bulk of my most memorable FPS experiences, thanks entirely to that bug. I joined that clan because they saw me pod surfing on their server and extended an invite. I played with them for 3 BF games total before we all sorta went our own ways.

Fairly quickly servers with active mods would ban you for it and eventually they implemented something to seriously nerf pod surfing but man, it was fun while it lasted.

This was a mechanic that was in the original Half Life games, it comes from GoldSrc (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoldSrc), the original Half Life engine, being a heavily modified Quake World engine. It's funny you mention Overwatch, because many of the old Quake players are now playing Overwatch competitively. In Quake this kind of movement is a part of the gameplay, but for Counter Strike, many of the maps were not designed with the intention of this kind of movement being used. The result was people were able to do things like get into the skybox. Even though you can't bunny hop in Counter Strike like you could back then, there are still movement tricks, and maps specifically made for practicing movement. At the time there was also TFC, which was more willing to sacrifice 'realism' for game play, but Team Fortress had also existed previously for Quake World as well. All of that said, right now the most played game is Fortnite, and it definitely does not put realism first.

Oh, how we worked on our quake jumping skills, trying to get from the long passage over to a hill on the other side of some water. Q2DM1: The Edge.

We also played a lot of actionquake later. We made maps especially for jumping with this technique but I can't remember ever calling it bunnyjumping.

Funny, yesterday my daughter found how to move faster in some game by pressing strafe and forward at the same time. Had some fun to explain how that works with math in programming :-)

You might of heard the term 'strafe jumping' used in place of 'bunny jumping', they are actually different things, but depending on the game you played the term might of been used interchangeably.

"The main difference between the two is that Bunny Hopping requires the player to release the forward movement key immediately upon strafing."


In other words, if you were playing Q1/Quake World, to gain speed, you would jump and only press left and right. To keep going straight you would flick your mouse in the opposite direction that you were pressing on the keyboard. Although there are a bunch of other small tricks. In Quake 3 you would be required to press forward and left/right, unless you were playing something like CPMA. You also had more air control in something like Q1/Quake World.

It is pretty interesting from a gaming and programming perspective :). Also, not about mechanics, but Q2 CTF was really fun at the time :D

As a die hard Quakeworld fan, the relatively boring movement physics of CS was one of the things that put me off.

I'm not mentioning this to be a jerk, just that I totally understand how the movement can make someone addicted to a game.

Side note, when id software handed off maintenance of Quake 2 to Threewave, Zoid added full air control ala QW to Q2. Suddenly I loved the game. Alas, Q2ers almost rioted and it was changed back.

What modern FPS lack are modability and LAN mode without an internet connection. I would extend this to most multiplayer games.

Edit: and recording actions so you can do some hi-def video recording later.

I organize LAN for my friend group (from 10 to 16 people). We play mostly CS:GO and UT2004. We tried Xonotic but it didn't catch on. Sometimes we play OverWatch, but the 6 players limit hurt. Also Aoe2 and War3 when we are in a RTS mood. I would love to find a fun car game (something in the vein of Burnout 3). I tried to introduce SuperTuxCard, but my picky friends didn't like it. We are not into moba, nor battle royal game. Any recommendations worth looking?

Perhaps Reflex Area is for you. There's also this Reddit thread with some ideas:


You could try Natural Selection (the HL1 mod) if you like movement-based FPSs (with RTS elements in it).

Play UrbanTerror - that monotony is replaced by wall jumps & power sliding around corners (while still keeping very rigorous/"hardcore" play!!).

Urban terror is an extremely fun shooter. Imo, an action game's goal is to make you feel cool, and almost never have I felt as cool as when I'm double-tapping helmeted players from across the map with the 92g. Of course that was a decade ago now, they've sort of shot themselves in the foot by promising a new experience (Urban Terror HD) and delivering very little since.

Bunny hopping is still there in CS:GO, just harder to hit multiple jumps. And, in reference to the thread, CS:GO is the best shooter you can play in 2020. :)

And if you really like bunny hopping, there's also the dedicated maps/servers to it. Although they seem to be more popular on CS:S than on CS:GO last time I played. (Few years back)

You would enjoy Urban Terror.

This is something I love about Dota. So many of its "features" started out as bugs.

Apart from proper game-breaking bugs (fountain hooks, bottle crow), everything else stays mostly untouched.

A vast majority of hero balance often came down to limitations of the WC3 engine, that were carried on into Source2 because they had now become hero defining traits.

Where did you get the idea that it was removed since 1.3? bhopping was the main thing I found enjoyable to do and I’ve only played 1.5+. Definitely I was there until 1.6 which is the latest version.

Pre-CS1.3 bunnyhopping worked the same as Quake. People soon figured out CS-style bunnyhopping, and it’s hard enough that Valve didn’t bother nerfing it again

> The early versions of counter-strike had a famous bunny-hopping bug where you could cover 40% more ground than simply walking (jumping had a bug where the X and Y coordinates were individually calculated, so if you moved in both directions at the same time you would cover sqrt(2) ground)

"Admin he's doing it sideways"

Great example of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRCeSpQUgbc

Another such bug (though probably from a different FPS) is rocket jumps - which made it into a live-action TV show, The Librarians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_wvUP6R20A

I hate to say it but bunny-hopping exploits still exists in CS - although in a less extreme form. Super hard to do manually now so many people that do it are using scripts to accomplish the same feats.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

I was heavily into CS starting in 1999. The mad dash at the beginning was fun to some players but being forced to bunny hop to be competitive got old really fast.

Contrary to my expectations, this article is about the venerable game Doom and not about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomer.

I'm pretty sure the pun is intentional.

The main pun is with 'OK Boomer', though https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/OK_Boomer

There are zoomer, doomer, and even bloomer variants of the “OK Boomer” meme. The author is likely riffing off of those riffs.

I believe the author of this article went from OK Boomer to OK <videogame> Doomer, going from <subculture> Doomer to <videogame> Doomer seems way out of left field. Hence the original commenter’s confusion.

When the shooters moved from 2.5D sprite-based (Doom 1&2, Duke Nukem 3D) to 3D ones, something important was lost: restriction on performance many that no longer you could fight hordes of enemies, because computers of the day couldn't display them all fast enough. So, enemies got fewer, but tougher, and no longer you could experience the same sheer carnage as fighting hundreds of imps at once.

It was quite a while since I last played a 3D shooter (likely, HL2 Episode 2), so I don't really know if there is something out there that has a similar feel to good old Doom games.

The newest Doom released in 2016 brings back that onslaught in a modern 3D engine. I forget the exact name but I think Mount and Blade had a lot of enemies on screen. It’s a medieval combat game. I’m not sure if Devil Daggers counts because it looks so primitive it might be an engine running 2.5D.

It doesn't count if you can't mow down enemies with a chaingun. I presume there is no chaingun in Mount and Blade.

There is lance charge though!

I have the original Mount and Blade, never got a chance to delve deeply. Does it handle well on Win10?

Checkout Expanded Gameplay 3 for the original Mount and Blade. It's probably the most fun gaming experience I've had (second to Brutal Doom though).

Might be too late to get a response but do you have a TLDR of the differences?

It's so much faster paced. You feel powerful. Weapons feel real. Horses have real inertia. It's more arcadey, but that's the premise. It's just plain brutal fun.

Give it a whirl, and make sure you choose The Olde Knight or the Steppe Prince. And please reply if you do try - it's a lost masterpiece that the original mount and blade should've been

I played it a few weeks ago on Win10 without issues.

It's been a while but I remember having a lot of fun fighting hordes of cannon fodder enemies in Serious Sam series.

Yup, that is exactly what I wrote in ~99 about Doom, that compared to modern games of the day (Q3, HL2) a lot had been lost. Besides the hordes of enemies, openness of the levels, and many other things: http://strlen.com/maps/pnf_columns.html

Play Serious Sam. It has all of what you described in 3D. Multiplayer coop is a lot of fun.

I disagree with the point that as a pure carnage simulator, "Doom is the closest thing you will be to a pure instrument of destruction whose sole function is to search and destroy", and that it stands the test of time as the greatest in the genre.

The Serious Sams, Bulletstorm, Painkiller (and others) have taken the Doom experience of finding a horde of somethings and killing them into the modern era, each with their own take.

Serious Sam expanded the levels and monster counts to a grotesque scale, allowing for perverse satisfaction in watching and killing off a distant and vast sea of fodder running towards you.

Bulletstorm lightened the mood, and as a precursor to the Gears of War series, was the first in my mind to make the action movie tropes of kicking and punching things, coupled with cheesy banter, genuinely pleasing.

Painkiller took the heavy metal influences, and merged them with some of the great settings from the previous century of horror novels and coupled it with immersive and creative level and weapon design.

I definitely believe that Doom was the original seminal piece in the genre, a Tolkien-esque work. But mankind has improved on the experience in the years since. Try those out too.

I've played the Serious Sam games and I don't see them as improvements on Doom. They take a rather narrow aspect of Doom and make an entire game out of that. Sure, there are times in Doom where you need to clear out big rooms filled with monsters, but Serious Sam is only that. One of the strongest points of Doom IMO is the level design, and that's entirely lost in the Serious Sam games, because at best they're just a sequence of arenas, and at worst there is some obvious collect-four-things "puzzle" in the way of an entirely linear progression.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy them, but they're definitely different beasts rather than improvements on Doom. In my view that's kind of like saying that Gauntlet is an improvement of the experience in Ultima.

Serious Sam shifted into a whole new dimension with co-op multiplayer, huge outdoor spaces and huge end of level bosses.

Playing with a few friends, the atmosphere of watching your team mates far away in the distance, launching salvos of rockets up at some giant monster, which is even further away in the distance, while running non-stop from hordes of screaming enemies, to the tune of mad techno beats and endless explosions has yet to be beaten in my mind.

It obviously doesn’t matter now but at the time Serious Sam ran GREAT on toaster PCs

I remember playing for years with a few friends at Serious Sam the 2nd encounter (to not be confused with Serious Sam 2), we could play in 4 with just one computer and 2 monitors (you configure it in window mode, and you put the very wide window in the middle of 2 displays).

it was a lot of fun, especially the last levels where the horde was immense (and the computer didn't freeze)

Doom had a great dark mood.

The textures, the level design, the enemies, the sound, the music — they all band together to say: "you are the last human to stand against Satan's forces". This makes single-player interesting.

This is then felt in Quake I and II, in Raven Software's Hexen, in Painkiller.

OTOH Serious Sam makes fun of it, turning the whole thing into a jolly and grotesque arcade. I think it's a different lineage, just using the same technology of a 3D shooter by a coincidence.

I can't explain this other than just personal preference, but I find Doom extremely frustrating in a way that Serious Sam wasn't.

I loved play Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and after a long lull, the new Doom games (Doom after Doom 3 and likely Doom Eternal).

But for me the hell theme just doesn't work. Chalk it up to my evangelical upbringing, my dislike of horror in general, or whatever, the thematic aspects just don't work for me.

It's immensely frustrating because I truly adore the gameplay, but I find it incredibly difficult to play a game where the enemies are demons of various sorts, and the environment is some kind of 'hell'.

I have the same issue with the premium Souls-like games. I find it really difficult to play any of the Dark Souls or Bloodborne.

I really love the gameplay, and I'd really love to see a Doom game that isn't horror-style Doom, a Souls game that isn't Souls-type-terrifying-enemies.

Any recommendations? I wish I could get past the 'esthetics' of said games, but if I can't: what are my options?

Hmm, I thought that being against the onslaught of hellish forces, and finally victorious, should feel good. (My upbringing is different, can't compare.)

Maybe the Return to Castle Wolfenstein? Quake II? Or, well, Unreal?

it wasn't so much the theme as it was, and is, the graphics. I can play horror-style games, but with a game like Doom the horror-style + gameplay is just too intense. I'd love a similar game with a less intense theme.

For example, I can handle Nintendo-style cutesy graphics even if the gameplay is really difficult (Celeste, for one).

Hmmm how about:


It's actually made with the original doom engine.

haha, that's hilarious. Positive reviews too?!

I've heard it's pretty bad, or at least the snes version is, but it's one of those games with kind of a cult following. I have no idea about the steam version, though it says it has some improvements. As far as I know this is one of the only non-horrific/grotesque games made on the doom engine.

That's a shame. I mean, it's not so much that I'm all hung up on avoiding 'non-christian' themes. It's more that I don't react well to horror stuff and a lot of the best games have a lot of that (Dark Souls, The Last of Us, Doom). I wish I could just not care about the surface-level skinning, but it affects me nonetheless. At least with horror movies I can cover my eyes or part of the screen!

Interesting. Maybe it's your upbringing. The hell aspect is a huge part of the enjoyment for me, including Dark Souls. You could try Sekiro, which is by the makers of Dark Souls/Bloodborne, but takes plays in feudal Japan. It is supposed to be amazing.

Ha, Sekiro was the first game that came to mind as a possible way to play a 'Soulslike' without the demons.

Although recently I found Nier: Automata, which scratches a similar itch with a more sci-fi theme (and a dash of horriffic creatures, still).

May be lush jungles of Vietnam is more to your taste, then I would recommend Rising Storm 2, but it is multiplayer only.

> Bulletstorm lightened the mood, and as a precursor to the Gears of War series,

Bulletstorm did not predate Gears of Wars. It came out way later.

I read a Romero comment somewhere pointing out how cover mechanics are a way for designers to slow the game down and also deal with the different constraints of consoles. In that sense, Gears of War is more or less the anti-Doom.

I'm surprised this article doesn't touch on the topic of enemy spawns. Doom 1/2 and 2016 all frequently spawn enemies into an arena only after the player has entered the arena; denying the player the opportunity to cheese the arena from the door.

Beyond that, I think it's worth examining the motives of the player. Why do players want to cheese arenas in the first place, when more aggressive play-styles are more fun? Why are players drawn to conservative styles of gameplay, and what can be done to change that? I think if a shooter game is well designed, the player will be eager to jump into the fray as soon as they can, and the game will reward them for that sort of aggression. Doom 2016 does a great job of this; aggressive gameplay is rewarded with more abundant health and ammo drops. Conservative gameplay isn't rewarded; moving slow gets you killed, and staying far away from the enemies gets you killed.

I think one issue is modern AI design. Their chance of hitting you goes down with distance and cover. Speed and surprise might be given some consideration, but you are almost always safest peaking around cover and clicking on enemy heads.

I'm not sure if the original Ghost Recon was actually this advanced, but it felt like enemies got more accurate as they got more evidence of your position. You could find a good sniping spot and take out a couple enemies as they fired in your general direction, but the next enemy that came over the ridge (after hearing your shots) would immediately kill you with their first shot. The solution was to use the rest of your squad. Once you got a couple kills on your sniper, you'd hide completely and switch to an assault in another position. The enemy would run over the ridge, but they'd only have improved accuracy against the sniper. That made them an easy fight for the assault.

Translated into the position graphs in the gamesutra link, there was a penalty for fighting from the same node for too long. This results in an inherent incentive to capture new territory and turns the "safe" hallway into a deathtrap.

I've seen a few blog posts discussing the fact that if you give players a degenerate way to win, it is very difficult in our human psychology to deliberately choose a different, more difficult way to win. I'm not sure I've seen the perfect explanation of why, which is probably not something that would be easy to produce and prove anyhow, but I would observe in general that it's hard to believe natural selection would ever select for critters who deliberately do things the harder way when they know there's an easier one, since it's going to be hard to outcompete the ones doing it the easier way. To the extent that we still sometimes succeed at that, I think it needs to be seen as swimming psychologically upstream, not something game designers should be counting their player base to do.

I'm not convinced this behavior is universal. For instance, I don't see many people cheating when playing solitaire or shooting hoops. Certainly some do, but it seems like video games might encourage this behavior more than other forms of 'single-player' games. I don't know why that might be the case though.

I think 'single player' obscures a bit in this case. Hoops and solitaire are single player and the perceived opponent is you. You can fiddle with the rules to make it harder or easier for yourself but generally there's not much point 'cheating' yourself. In something like an FPS the perceived opponent is the horde of zombies on screen. Doing whatever it takes within the game mechanics to beat the opponent is still ok; taking advantage of the rules is still 'fair'. Most people don't cheat such single player games by installing trainers or enabling god mode, even though these options are readily available - that would be cheating against yourself.

Delayed spawn is a kind of 'hidden information' the article mentions. You could also think of it as a kind of leashing. Doom and a lot of older shooters with discrete levels also tend to offer one way paths - doors get shut behind you, etc. It's a bit odd to say shooters are 'plagued' by this problem given that one of the very first FPS'es puts a great deal of careful design effort into avoiding it.

Hmm, one can do the same thing in many rouguelikes too, in fact such hallway murders may be the easiest way to clear some busy rooms in NetHack.

I think Doom isn't a pure carnage simulator as there's also a measure of navigating obstacles and surviving that makes it fun. Serious Sam really is just carnage, and it's to its detriment; you get wave after wave of enemies and I lost interest after a few levels.

Right, Serious Sam is missing the "search" in "search and destroy".

Serious Sam was a lot of fun. The sheer scale of the monsters kinda blew my mind. I had a lot of fun playing on PC and sometimes with friends on Xbox.

It's very different than Doom though and feels grander in some ways.

> the first in my mind to make the action movie tropes of kicking and punching things, coupled with cheesy banter, genuinely pleasing.

thanks to 3d realms we reached the stage were duke nukem 3d was dethroned from the cheesy shooter ladder :(

Calling something Tolkienesque, and then saying that mankind has improved on the experience, is a contradiction in terms :)

All of those are more than a decade old, with SS and Painkiller nearing 20 ... humanity has to step up its game.

Looks to me like the author should try Splatoon 2

- moving fast in non realistic patterns? check

- not being dragged down by realistic limitations? check

Its network stack is garbage, but from any other point of view (speed, strategy, system, weapons, visuals and music) it’s I think the best FPS we have in this generation. And personally I’d say ever.

Splatoon also has some of the cutest style and fashion aesthetic in any media ever.

We could really use more bright and colorful future-fi, as opposed to the usual bleak and dark dystopian “cyberpunk” aesthetic.

Cyberpunk aesthetics tend to include splashes of bright neon color counterbalancing inky blacks -- a game like the 2009 Syndicate still looks pretty flashy.

On the other hand, games that seem to take visual design cues from metal albums (looking specifically at games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne) tend to have an all-grey look that quickly bores me.

Hey, coming from a Doom perspective, Splatoon “has a network stack.”

How's the mod scene?

Good point.

Less of a mod scene and more of people coming up with new approaches to the existing weapons.

In a way it’s sad we don’t get mods, the silver lining is the game continued growing and getting tweaked for 2 years, with new stages, a whole new mode, new weapons added every few months even 2 years after launch. As of now there’s just hope about a Splatoon 3 for perhaps the next Switch.

Splatoon isn’t an FPS.

Periodic plea to Splash Damage (or whoever holds the rights) to re-release Enemy Territory, gameplay and maps unchanged, with a modern renderer and high-resolution models and textures. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

Oh man, that brings back memories. ET was a great game, one of the first multiplayer games that I've "really" played so there's a heavy dose of nostalgia attached to it.

I was particularly fond of the 'trick jumping' maps. Spend hundreds of hours just on those.

Same here :) It was my first online game, and I sunk a massive amount of time on it. It ruined FPSs for me. Haven't enjoyed another FPS, online or not, nearly as much since, with the possible exception of Heroes & Generals which I've been playing a bit recently, and has a similar vibe to it.

I used to play the standard maps, mostly. So elegantly designed, so beautifully balanced. Just loved playing an engineer.

Yeah - modern FPS games don't do it for me either, mostly the "realism" bothers me. Especially in the map design or the physics. Plus the million choices you need to make. If you play any of the new CoDs you have to choose between a million perks, weapons, add-ons to those weapons. Same for BattleField.

I've enjoyed the 2016 rendition of DOOM though, also the multiplayer with silly game-modes like "football" / freeze tag. I'd have liked an "instagib"-style game mode though, that was my favourite in JK2

I used to play Wolf ET with my dad back in the day. Loved the akimbo pistols. I've come to accept that I'm never going to re-live those moments.

Back then I used to wish I could keep my progression. Now everything is global progression and I really don't have time to burn leveling up.

Side note: Loved the mods on RTCW as well. Being the cow on gold rush[1] and being fed gold and super slow.

[1] http://bani.anime.net/banimod/gametypes/goldrush.html

ET: Legacy still get updated, it may not have super high resolution, but it just recently got a new renderer. Still campatible with the last official release, though the ingame server browser have not worked the best for me compared to finding server through verious online sites.


I have massive respect for what these selfless volunteers are doing, but progress has been slow. I wonder whether it would make sense to do a crowdfunding campaign to hire an actual gamedev studio to port the gameplay to a modern engine, and/or an art house to recreate all assets from scratch to modern standards?

Enemy Territory Quake Wars was a blast. Few games have had truly balanced artillery strike ability.

Isn't 'Day of Defeat' a much more modern Enemy Territory?.

I prefer the original Quake to Doom as the best arcade style FPS. Doom is too limiting to me in it's movement and level design. Quake still has the abstract level design and that makes it the only 3d FPS that I've ever played to make true use of 3d space. It's almost like parkour as you're flinging yourself from surface to surface, doing rocket jumps, all while spinning in the air and destroying hordes of creatures. It's Doom but more agile.

100% this. My favourite FPS of all time is Quake rail warz. So fast and agile!

Rocket Arena! Yeah, Quake is insanely fast paced. I remember trying to explain this to friends playing FPS on consoles of the era (PS1 or PS2?) and just not being convincing. Even Halo felt glacially paced.

Doom is usually called 2.5d because it's basically simulated 3d.

I've seen two mildly differing explanations for this particular version of rendering visuals being called 2.5D, one that it's 2.5D because the geometry looks 3D, but the actors are all sprites, the other is that the geometry looks 3D but it's actually a 2D floorplan with tricks to simulate different heights.

There's also at least one another unrelated "2.5D" use, when the world is 3D, but the player moves on a strictly 2D plane.

Also the fact that the player would just look straight forward the whole time, so when shooting at an enemy at a higher/lower elevation you just needed to overlap him on the X coordinate on screen.

> the geometry looks 3D but it's actually a 2D floorplan with tricks to simulate different heights.

This is the more accurate one. Doom maps are 2D polygons, each polygon has a ceiling height and floor height property.

Eg, a staircase is just rectangles, beside each other, with raised floors.

Aren't all 3D computer games "simulated"?

There must be a better adjective.

Probably. To be clear, what's being stated here is that Doom, Wolfenstein, etc. don't actually render from 3D internal data structures like Quake and later first-person shooters did. The level layout is inherently 2D and some tricks are used to render the environment in a way which looks like a 3D perspective. But it is fundamentally a sort of flat-lander's pseudo-3D.

Loved Doom, but preferred Quake. The latest iteration, Quake Live (now on Steam, cheap) is my favourite multiplayer online game.

Man, Doom blew everyone's mind when it showed up at work. Total productivity killer. FPS on PCs, Apples and Macs were pretty crappy prior to that. Hexen was creepier and improved the game play. Descent (non ID) was a great multiplayer and had better 3D. Finally everyone was itchin' for Quake because NIN was blowing up huge in 1995. Too bad the last level at it hard. Quake 2 had a great objective with cool bosses and much better level editing than Doom. ... And then, too many goddamn games to keep up! 1996 + Diablo I is about when I just got overwhelmed...

Most people I knew burned a copy of the cd, and proceeded to wear it out in their cd player. Back then they just coded half the cd as audio and the CD was basically the new NIN ep. Those were the magic and fusturating days of bonus content on CDs. I wonder how such content will be saved in the future? Playing "hidden track.mp3" really isnt the same as finding track 99 and hearing a song after the 10min of silence buffer to fool you.

Is quake live still alive? I used to play actively when it launched in 2008 but then the entire player base basically disappeared over night when StarCraft 2 launched for some reason.

I tried playing year or two ago but they 1) removed the original q3 audio assets (wtf?) And introduced auto-strafing...

Maybe people moved to Quake Champions? Quake live was a great game. Also is used to be browser based when it started!!

Quake Live is basically Quake 3.

After Quake 3 came Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake wars, and Quake champions.

If you’re looking for the purest multiplayer shooter, it’s Quake. I spent so much time plying Quake in crappy online lobbies when I was younger, it was the best shooter around, and had a player base that held onto it for a very long time. Descent and Warcraft 2 were also pretty popular back then.

The latest iteration is Quake Champions.

Maybe it's best if we all forget that.

I don't think Quake Live is that bad.

I still play Doom using GZDoom and use the Brutal Doom mod. Fun as hell and there are dozens of great megawads to play. The Brutal Doom starter pack comes with the hell on earth collection which a really good remake of the original Doom 2. I must have played through a dozen times. One amazing WAD is the Japanese Community Project which has some mind blowing maps. It has a level which when viewed in the 2D map is a multi pane comic of the level you're playing.

And the gameplay is fast. You move fast, shoot fast and die fast if not careful. The latest Doom felt like your character was walking through deep mud.

I thought the speed of the new Doom was too low, too, but I think the bigger problem is the number of screen- and movement-locking events. Every time you pick up a key or do a finisher move, you have to wait 1-5 seconds for an animation to play out.

I think Doom 2016 is a pretty good and especially gory Serious Sam game. But it’s certainly not Doom.

I'm really enjoying Eviternity (on gzdoom with Neural Upscale) right now:


> Realism is moving at human speed, experiencing fatigue, reloading and hiding behind cover, and guns that recoil when you fire them. Well, pseudo-realism anyway – you really don’t want the “real” in gaming.

Sounds a bit biased. My favorite FPS (pubg) has all of that, and it is what makes the game enjoyable. There is even bullet velocity and drop, so you need to account for moving targets and parabolic paths.

Compared to games like Escape from Tarkov, PUBG doesn't even get close in the realism department.

But that is perhaps the authors point, because games like EFT are certainly not games for everyone, while PUBG can be fun to most people.

Most people:

- Don't want to keep track of magazines which they can swap and which you have to reload slowly bullet by bullet, they'd rather press reload and end up with a full magazine in their weapon again.

- Don't want to think about ammo types of which some will be utterly impractical in certain situations or about bullet penetration. They'd rather have 1 ammo type that fits in their gun that does 20 damage per hit.

- Don't want to deal with their character having a broken leg or arm, being dehydrated, hungry, bleeding, in pain, or suffering from some other medical condition after a firefight that requires attention and will impair their ability to see, aim, walk, etc. They'd rather "use medkit" and be done with it.

- Don't want to think about weapon/gear durability or taking their weapon apart/changing parts in a weapon they will likely lose on their next raid anyways.

All that stuff is something for people who enjoy more of a survival type gameplay. For everyone else systems like gear, health, reloading, ammo etc. are usually simplified to be fun.

On the other hand, systems you don't usually have to take away from without sacrificing fun are noise (step sounds, reloading sounds, moving in vegetation, moving slow, moving fast etc. etc.) and ballistics (bullet drop, ricochet, bullet penetration).

One of the great things about that game is exactly how vulnerable you are when you don't have a lot of gear. And it really makes you play different strategies depending on how much gear you get.

It clearly also tickles that part of the psychology that makes you want to keep playing if you're lucky and get a jackpot of good gear when you first land.

Do you also personally die a violent death when your character gets shot on-screen?

That's where he's getting at at the end of what you quoted. Non-realism is necessarily a part of any game environment, in this genre at least.

The best FPS game you can play right now is Escape From Tarkov. There is no other game that captures the fear of screen death and the adrenalin rush that you get, when you escape with your precious loot so well. The overall game loop is very addictive though...

Been playing it on and off for a few years now. It's fun but far from done.

One part of the DOOM portverse I have enjoyed recently is DOOM in VR with GZDoom - hhttps://github.com/Fishbiter/gz3doom

Have you got the improved voxel weapon models working? I've tried this a couple of times but can't get past the crudely assembled billboard weapons. I downloaded WeaponsForVR.pk3 and another one (I think BR_VR_something?) but it doesn't seem to load them.

I never played the Doom games when I was a kid and I've been working my way through the whole series. Finished Doom VFR and Doom 3 BFG Edition in VR, done most of the original Doom, and almost finished DOOM (2016). They're great fun and the DOOM (2016) soundtrack is amazing.

(Too late to edit, but apparently I needed to set "Sprite Weapon Mode" to "Fat Item" in the VR options.)

Unrelated but I really love the CSS and design of the site!

I went back and noticed that the first character of menu names is highlighted. It's useless TBH since you can't alt select the menu items. Overall the site is pretty clean though. Should probably set max-size on article, it's hard to read on widescreen because of long lines.

I don't understand how to 'alt select' anything, what is it for?

I don't mind the the numbers of word/line in my full HD 15.6" laptop screen, in fact, and I actually hated the 80 words/line pattern like articles at medium.com. Are you on 4k wide somehow?

Reminds me of this site: http://fabiensanglard.net/

Lol. :) I was just about to complain about the font. Monospace: great for code and legal documents, terrible to read!

I also thought it was nice!

I don't know, I've never played doom when I was a kid, and every time I try to get into it I just get bored after few levels. On the other hand, I'm happy to play Doom 2016 a lot and have completed it multiple times. I suspect certain games just don't age very well, even though I can totally see why it was as revolutionary as it was when it came out(if you haven't read "Master's of Doom" yet, you absolutely have to).

If you only played the vanilla version, try playing it in gzdoom. It's an updated engine that improves the graphics and adds some QoL updates, like preventing your mouse from moving your character forwards and backwards. It's still no Doom 2016, but it makes it feel less like an outdated game and more like an indie game that could have been released in the past few years.


Alternatively, Doom plays really well on the Nintendo Switch. It just feels right to play on the little device in handheld mode.

Hah, I love the ingenuity but I'm not sure if they quite match the ergonomics of the Nintendo Switch. Though I do like the idea of buying a Porsche to play Doom.

Playing Doom today needs to be approached like any other nostalgia trip — you need to go into it with a mindset of what things were like at the time (like watching the original Star Wars movies). You really won’t get much out of it if you compare it to some game you’re playing today on your Xbox, and it’s somewhat disingenuous to try to do so.

Everything has a context, and learning to understand where something came from is a skill that is not just useful in appreciating old video games, but is broadly applicable in pretty much any human interaction.

>Playing Doom today needs to be approached like any other nostalgia trip

I see this a lot in regards to older games especially things like doom or goldeneye. I understand when it comes to graphics or some tedious gameplay features and controls but I find from an actual core gameplay standpoint, a lot of older games hold up a lot better than more modern games. I'd rather manage ammo, while searching obscure tunnels for secrets and keys shooting at blurry pixels than press 'space' for the next qte between beautiful 30 minute cutscenes after the umpteenth tutorial guided linear coridoor I receive the next shiny trophy for walking down where the only risk is having to restart 3 seconds earlier from the last auto save point with a possible bonus for failing too many times accompanied with a link to the ingame store where I can purchase ammo or armour for the price of a cup of coffee.

Sometimes I get conned into buying a game that’s a large series of cutscenes with poor gameplay elements, but there are actually a large number of really good games released every year, even today.

In the 90s there were a lot of crappy games too. I think there’s good games in every time period, and trying to pretend that the past has a monopoly on core gameplay is only remembering the best games of the past.

Don't get me wrong, I understand there were lots of crap games from back in the day and there's good games being made now, I was just saying that I don't think nostalgia glasses are necessary to enjoy quality games from the past because despite a rough appearance and obtuseness the core mechanics behind those good games are just as solid as they were then and a vast majority of high budget titles being made now tend fall on the side of shallow money vaccuums....not that those never used to exist, but the lack of effort in providing an engaging, challenging experience is pretty noticeable as a trend.

As someone who regularly plays games from the 80s, I have to disagree. Unless you're playing a game from an iterative franchise where all are trying to achieve the same vision (sports, cod, simulator), older games absolutely can be compared to modern ones. Obviously the graphics can't, but if the gameplay sucks or the level design is monotonous then it doesn't matter how modern or old a game is. Look at today's Blizzard, who keep pumping things out that annoy their own fan base. Annoyed to the point that people petitioned them for wow classic, and are now petitioning for them to re-release the original warcraft 3.

The best example off the top of my head is the speed running community. The most popular game is super mario 64, which came out in 96. It has a smoothness to the controls that is almost never achieved even in modern games.

I'm a big fan of interactive fiction (think Zork) where there are no graphics, just talking to a parser.

This is one neat area, where the old Infocom games are well respected (see "Get Lamp" documentary on YouTube) today, but it is well recognized that the technology and text game complexity has reached entirety new heights that have pushed the boundaries forward immensely.

I’m currently playing through the original Doom games on Switch. They’re a lot of fun still! Even Doom 3, the weakest of the series, is very enjoyable in handheld mode.

They also don’t constantly nag you or hold your hand.

That's all well and good, but if I need to make a particular effort to appreciate something, particularly if that effort includes suspending my ordinary standards of fun and quality, that something is not going to match up to the assertion "X is the best shooter you can play today." At least not by any standard definition of best.

Fwiw I don't think the og star wars movies require nearly the same suspension of standards that something like Doom does. Maybe for sfx buffs but I think most people go to movies for the human elements. That's not the same with videogames because of how the medium is interactive.

That's fine, and very common, as you say. But it is not what is meant by "it stands the test of time as the greatest in the genre." That epithet, explicitly, means an exception to that rule.

A lot of music from the 80s is good in the way you described. Thriller however, is an album that stood the test of time.

I want to say Tetris has stood the test of time. It has actually followed through to modern times, but I’m pretty confident I could play it on a gameboy today and not feel stuck in the past - just playing a game that’s been around a long time.

Can you cite a 1993 game that you think aged better than Doom? When Quake came out, the full 3D enemies and environments blew everyone away, but the kinetic gameplay was lost. You don't really get this in the first few levels of Doom, but as you progress on the harder skill levels you start to face an obscene quantity of enemies, which combined with the raw player speed and mostly-2D aim create an intensity that was lost in 3D FPS genre.

The Super Nintendo came out in 1990, with Super Mario World out in 1990 and Donkey Kong Country coming out in 1994.

Those are both games that have a really strong core and are still close to perfection in their genres.

I think that the FPS genre has had big variations in the past 25 years though, so there’s a lot of small ways for Doom to age.

Not on PC - the point-and-clicks aside - PC gaming back then was horrible, Doom was an absolute revolution when it game out.

Sam and Max was released in 1993 though I'd argue that it's hurt much more by the graphics than Doom is.

On console? A fair few, with Secrets of Mana being the pick of the bunch. It's still a fantastic game in 2020. After that you have Super Mario Kart and Super Mario All-Stars.

If we include consoles, then I'd put "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" in there, from the same year as "Super Mario Kart". That was a good year for SNES.

This comment kinda reads like "Can you name a 1913 car that's aged better than the Model T? There's a reason they sold so many." And yet, for many people, it's not their preferred choice today.

secret of monkey island. well, it's 3 years older.

LeChuck's revenge, from 1991, holds up even better.

Day Of The Tentacle is 1993.

ah, that should do fine then.

80s Strategy games and others that are more obscure aged well.

“Command HQ” and “Pirates” from MicroProse, Zaxxon on Colecovision, Starflight on PC are fabulous games.

I used to love adventure games, but most of them aged terribly.

Link’s Awakening was from 1993. It aged so well that the highly successful 2019 remake for Switch is basically just new stylized artwork.

So I just don't see that. To me the original doom is always more clunky than fast and fun, and the game has the annoying habit of releasing enemies from behind you.

But yes, I think Mega Man X has aged fantastically, as in - the developers spent a really large amount of time on good level design and on teaching the player how the game works, so you could pick it up for the very first time in 2020 and get into it immediately. And no, I haven't played this when it came out first either.

I think this highlights exactly what I'm talking about, look at the little things they are doing design wise, it's truly brilliant:


(Sorry, I know the video is meant to be a "funny" one, but it does make some very very good points about video game design)

Good lord, that is the best content to terrible everything else ratio I've encountered in the past weeks, at the very least. Why do people do this?

Because it gets them views I suppose. But yes, I know what you mean - everything else about it would stop me from showing the video to some people, even though I 1000% agree with his points.

I think some of the classic graphic adventures have aged pretty well (e.g. Monkey Island 1 and 2). They're still graphically beautiful and the writing hasn't aged badly.

I'd guess a bunch of platformers and arcade-y games probably qualify for many.

Myst was released in 1993.

You should try project brutality. It pretty much brings it on the same level as newer DOOMs. The graphics are still oldschool, but you won't notice that while ripping intestines at 17 m/s.

You might have to enable performace mode if it lags.

Games don’t age. Doom 2016 is great, but the idea that original Doom isn’t a classic is ludicrous.

Games absolutely age. I recently went back to try and play the original Deus Ex game that came out in 2000, and it feels super clunky compared to modern games. The original Doom is definitely a classic, but that doesn't mean it can't feel dated. For example, it's pretty common in Doom for walls to open up behind you, surrounding you with demons, even though there was no indication that the wall would open. Designers have learned that killing the player with no warning is usually more frustrating than fun, so they try not to do it any more.

I never got into the original XCOM games of the super clunky UI. I know they were good games but I personally can't play them.

There is always an audio cue when the wall opens up behind you in Doom.

Yeah, but you are still getting killed out of nowhere. The audio cue was also usually accompanied by the sound of all the fireballs and shotgun blasts flying your way. That's why devs do stuff now like put blood on the floor if there's some sort of trap, so an observant player can dodge it, or at least learn how to avoid pointless deaths. Unless you know it's there ahead of time, there's no way in Doom to know that picking up a certain item or pressing a certain button will cause demons to start pouring out of the walls around you.

Games aren't necessarily improved by smoothing out the frustrations. Part of the point is to be challenged, and to have sections which are difficult, and produce anxiety. The joy comes from finding out how to overcome those sections.

Additionally, because everyone will have different trouble spots, a game which has smoothed out the frustrations for the greatest number of people is really a game which doesn't provide much challenge. The worst culprits here would be the games of the mid-2000s, with their heavy cinematics, and extremely low difficulty. Conversely, these games fare worse over time than something like classic Doom: the gameplay was never there in the first place, and the graphics only wowed people 1.5 decades ago.


That's not what I'm saying. It is a classic. But the author of the article says that the "perfect" FPS is the original doom. I'm arguing that no, for someone playing it without nostalgia glasses distorting reality, the game is rather uninteresting for anyone who hasn't played it as a kid.

I'll grant you that "perfect" is not a very useful term in this case. Perfect means many different things to different people.

But, I'd absolutely disagree that nostalgia is the only thing that makes classic Doom fun. And, it's the crux of what I meant when I said "games don't age." There is a style of gameplay there which I believe is fun at any period in time. There's a lot I could say here, but I'd argue that if a game is only interesting when it's novel and it's cutting edge, then the core gameplay was never good to begin with. (for example, Chess is pretty archaic, but the idea that Chess was only fun back when it was really first popularized is similarly false.)

Does anyone else see a rendering artifact (looks like a really fast cursor) moving through the page? Happens in my Firefox and Chrome.

It's not a rendering artifact; it's an actual div moving with JS.

    <div id="cursor386" style="right: 643px; bottom: 346px;">(box glyph stripped out by HN)</div>
Search for "cursor386" in bootstrap.min.js, there's a setInterval loop that moves it around.

Appears to be from https://github.com/kristopolous/BOOTSTRA.386


Yes, with Firefox 72 on Linux. It is really subtle and it seems to happen once on page load.

Well I do have played Doom as a kid when it was released and while I totally get that half of the experience with it was being a kid/teenager, I can still remember as if I'm still there the fear, the dread felt and my heart beating in my chest when playing it at night with the headphones on. And it was just a bunch of pixels (and sounds).

Odamex is also a pretty good multiplayer port.

Here's a 160 person CTF game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr5pA9t1Z0A

Here's some highlights from the CTF league: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o41hDzqaXpU

Highly encourage getting involved (www.doomworld.com), it's a blast and the barrier to entry is basically zero.

If you are into Doom, check out the WAD that John Romero published for Doom's 25th anniversary


Some coverage about it here:


At the surface level, Doom was about killing monsters. But it was also about navigation, finding keys, and budgeting your ammo, health.

And chainsaws. Let's not forget chainsaws. I don't recall gore like that in a game ...maybe Postal and Syndicate... but it was pre-Duke Nukem.

As a player, I spent most of my time finding the key to unlock some door, rather than killing monsters.

I think Doom changes with subsequent replays. After a while you start to learn the layout of the maps. They stop being mazes and start being puzzles, where you know where all the pieces are but the difficulty is in finding the optimal route to accomplish your objective.

There are many WADs out there for Doom with extra content and levels to play.

There's also trying to find all secrets.

And shocking our parents... it was definitely a selling point. Luckily the game was amazing too.

Similarly, I used to play a game called San Francisco Rush, which was all about driving off of hills in sports cars and getting absurd amounts of air. It was essentially a high-speed gliding game where you try not to smash into buildings on your descent. It was absurdly fun and not at all realistic.

I believe 2.5D graphics is a term and it means not the type of graphics in Doom. Rather the one in Ultima, or SimCity.

It means something which looks 3d but is actually 2d under the hood. Doom looked 3d through a combination of techniques but the maps were 2d, Ultima and simcity look 3d because of the isometric perspective but are still just 2d tiles.

Maybe the later ones, but the first SimCity doesn't even look 3D.

It is a highly overloaded term, and it has definitely been applied to doom historically.

It has meant both at different times. Once true 3D games became mainstream, fake 3D games were retroactively re-labeled 2.5D

There even is quite a spectrum between 2D and real 3D. Duke Nukem 3D made heavy use of 2D sprites (so it was less 3D than Quake, and that was good) yet was much more 3D than original Doom.

Those would be classified as "isometric pixel art" -- "2.5D" specifically refers to games like Doom or the Build Engine games that "fake" a vertical dimension from game data that only defines horizontal dimensions.

Doom was called 2.5D because it was not 3D in the sense that you couldn’t stack rooms on top of each other. A given room could have a tall ceiling but there was never a room above or below you.

I play a lot of OpenArena and I must say it's still a lot of fun, especially with friends.

Doom was fantastic. The only way I was able to complete my CompSci degree was through lots of Doom and Metallica while I coded....

You played Doom, while coding?

Of course! My brain works better when highly stimulated inbound, bc coding is rather monotonous to me. I'd use bits of quiet to plan what I was doing - then lots of external stimuli to help me get through the many boring parts of implementation

Isn't there a new ray traced version of Doom that just came out? Graphics look amazing!

Oh I was thinking of Quake. There is also a Doom 64 re-release coming, but don't think that'll have the RTX treatment.

As someone who has finished Doom multiple times on the hardest level of difficulty, I really see no point to first person shooters. BOOORRRIIINNNGGG!!! Give me "Eye of the Beholder" or "Hired Guns" or "Dungeon Master" any day over senseless, repetitive violence; the atmosphere is orders of magnitude better.

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