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I bet 2000 years from now Doom is belongs to canon like Iliad. It's of the timeless classical epics among the oldest extant works from the early silicon era. Doomguy is mentioned with Gilgamesh and Odysseus.



Why? DOOM was a technical achievement, sure, but it has little in the way of story; it didn't even attempt the whole "trying to tell a story without words" thing common in video games of today. It's certainly not an epic.

If they wouldn't have released source code for it in 1997, who would actually be thinking of DOOM today in terms of anything but "Wow, that had pretty cool tech!"?

I could kind of understand the story appreciation for DOOM 3, because it at least had a story, but DOOM?


Doom has had an immediate huge impact in its time ; even before the source code got released the game had a hacker-friendly wibe to it. For instance DEU (the first editor I used) was released in 1994 (https://doom.fandom.com/wiki/Doom_Editing_Utilities). The 'unofficial specs', still invaluable today if you want to hack Doom, were released in 1994: http://www.gamers.org/dhs/helpdocs/dmsp1666.html

Magazines would bundle floppies (and then CDs) full of levels, with new textures and recorded games. Total conversions were made. Tools appeared to directly manipulate the executable and achieve various effects. As far as I remember no other game before had clustered such a large and active community around it? (which is not to say that no other great and amazing games existed before, so many gems lie in the past!)

And then there was the networked play. I spent an afternoon with a friend soldering a cable to play 'null-modem', and we got it working around ~6pm. At 5am the next day we were still playing, me on a luxurious 486 DX2-66, my friend in a tiny window on a 386 DX-33Mhz, both with red eyes. This was an experience like quite no other at the time.

The gameplay was simplistic but huge fun. The immersion was intense. The tech was stellar. But I am obviously biased by nostalgia ;)


I was in college at UCSD when the 14-Mb shareware DOOM was released. I finally found it (after frantic searching) on a public FTP server somewhere in Australia. I started the download, then went to dinner. After eating, I came back to both the completed file and a salty email from the Aussie sysadmin admonishing me for saturating their connection. The next few days (and my GPA for that quarter) were a bit of a blur. Good times. :D


Basically, Minecraft is doom for today’s youth (minus the technological prowess)


“Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil... prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...”

― Terry Pratchett


Lol!

For the lazy, I just looked this up, and it does seem to be a real quote :)


Most games except adventures and text adventures have a worse script (lit wise) than any average episode of X-Files/The Outer Limits and so on.

Heck, Half Life looks like a -mediocre- episode of The Outer Limits.


The more I've aged the more I've realized this. Most video games are horribly written and unbelievably cheesy without trying to be. The beauty of a game like Doom is that it knows it- it doesn't try to be anything profound.


What games would you quote as counter-examples of this? I can think of a few, among which "Life is strange", and "Bioshock Infinite". Probably more, but it's hard to recall at 1am (I've heard good things about spec ops: the line).

That said, story is but one element of a video game. Most are praised for their gameplay, but some are for their aesthetics (Hollow knight, bastion), music (transistor), or others criteria. Thus, a game that excels at none can sometimes come on the top... But so can other games that all but stopped trying scoring on some aspects (dwarf fortress, or doom).


I think (the original) Deus Ex is an interesting example here, because it doesn't fit easily into any box.

Normally I agree with the GP, and prefer the joyously silly/unashamedly dumb approach over the 99.9% of more 'serious' games that are tediously mediocre at best. And on paper Deus Ex should have been pretty annoying: it is a slightly janky mix of lowbrow conspiracy fiction and quasi-highbrow philosophising. But somehow -- obviously partly because of the still-fresh-20-years later gameplay, but also because of something I can't quite pin down in the synergy between gameplay and story -- it works amazingly well.

It really nails the feeling of existing in and shaping an exciting world, and I think every component is crucial, from the (blocky) environments to the (ludicrous) characters to the (somewhat awkward) mechanics, and of course the 'every conspiracy theory is true' plot. Obviously it has a sense of humour too, but I don't think it would have worked if it were constantly taking the piss out of itself.


Naughty Dog's stuff (Last of Us and Uncharted) is above the rest. Quanti Dream's Detroit: Become Human borders on interactive branching novel and is also good (as, most likely, their other two previous games Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain, you van get all 3 on PC now btw). I also like the Nier: Automata a lot, I'd say the best thing about this game is story design.


I made an account just to post this:

SOMA, SOMA, SOMA. The best story I have ever seen in any videogame, ever.


Most graphical adventures are on par. Like The Dig, Broken Sword, The Longest Journey...


A perfect counter example is nier: automata


Like DN3D, but on the graphics side. Not 3D like Unreal, but the environment feels more realistic and interactive than the first.


In my opinion, the Lucas Arts adventure game "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis" had a great script but it's still a kind of genre that could be considered cheesy, however I enjoyed this game as much or more than the movies.


I’ll suggest not for story, just for overall surprise. Doom was a big leap over what came before it. Doom 3 wasn’t as surprising, even with more story.

I’d turn it around and instead of shooting the idea down, play the game and suggest what games you think will make the history books and get talked about in a thousand years. Even if it’s just some sort of computer or game history class in college, what games made before today will make it through the sieve of history and why?

I’d humbly suggest that story isn’t a very strong reason for the majority of the best games ever made; games are good for other reasons, including but not limited to visuals and graphics, immersion, interaction, engagement, sound, mood, viral play, pushing boundaries on limited hardware, etc., etc.


I’ll suggest not for story,

I’d turn it around and instead of shooting the idea down,

You just shot down the idea in five words.

play the game

I have. This is why I know it's not on the level of Charlotte's Web in terms of story, let alone the Epic of Gilgamesh.

I’d humbly suggest that story isn’t a very strong reason for the majority of the best games ever made

Exactly.

games are good for other reasons, including but not limited to visuals and graphics, immersion, interaction, engagement, sound, mood, viral play, pushing boundaries on limited hardware, etc., etc.

Literally none of this is relevant to what the poster proposed.

Architects don't try and claim that the Colosseum is part of canon. It's not part of canon. It's stone arranged in a particular way. It's impressive architecturally; it's part of architectural history. It's not part of canon.


I'm not sure if the original suggestion was 100% serious, but to the extent that it was, I really don't think it was about story. (If I'm right, maybe the word 'epic' was a confusing choice.) The idea is that Doom:gaming::Gilgamesh:literature.


> Literally none of this is relevant to what the poster proposed. Architects don't try and claim that the Colosseum is part of canon. It's not part of canon.

I don’t speak for the GP comment, but FWIW I think you are misunderstanding the original comment and mine. The Colosseum absolutely is part of the architectural canon.


Awesome works of art with little to no story:

- The Lovers, painting by Magritte

- Nighthawks, painting by Edward Hopper

- Girl with a Pearl Earring, painting by Johannes Vermeer

- Space Invaders, arcade game by Tomohiro Nishikado

- Pacman, arcade game by Toru Iwatani

- Tetris, PC game by Alexey Pajitnov

- Doom, PC game by John Carmack and John Romero


Doom's story is of id, not Doomguy.


> Doom's story is of id

Freudian doom.


> If they wouldn't have released source code for it in 1997, who would actually be thinking of DOOM today in terms of anything but "Wow, that had pretty cool tech!"?

I mean, no, but that event is the point. I don't think the parent is asserting that DOOM the game will be remembered in the classical canon. It's the codebase that belongs there!


Yes, also considering that it's a fairly complex game that is available on practically every end-user OS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doom_source_ports


I once heard a game critic say that he had never played DOOM. DOOM's impact on the medium is so significant that this statement is roughly equivalent to a film critic saying they never saw Citizen Cane or Star Wars. DOOM set the bar for what games could be in a way that's difficult to appreciate from the perspective of inhabiting the medium it helped define.

Historically story in games has been, as Carmack himself once put it, "like story in a porn movie". It can be good or bad, and that can affect the end product's quality, but it isn't what people show up for.


Exactly, which is why it's ridiculous to imply it'd be on the level of Illiad or similar.


I distinctly recall the "Beowolf" story in my English class consisting of "there was a monster so then our baddest dude went out and killed it to death with a sword". Turns out having a good story isn't all that relevant to historical prestige.


More likely it will be remembered like "L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat"

In other words, only by intellectual gaming buffs.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Arriv%C3%A9e_d%27un_trai...


Interestingly the AI remastered version of that video has quite a few views. https://youtu.be/3RYNThid23g

Might an AI capable of remastering DOS games have a similar affect?


I think you're onto something, but I think Doom is closer to a Mona Lisa than a Illiad. It's a work of art that has proven it's ability to attract people to it.

Not sure what the Illiad of games is. Maybe there isn't one. Maybe Doomguy and Mario are closer to mythos like Hercules and other demigods.


The Iliad was the crowning achievement of a literary society with hundreds of years of tradition. Doom was a simple and early innovator. At best, it will be remembered in the way that some fairy tales are: the beginning of a trope, or right of passage. Even that I'm doubtful of. I suspect it will be remembered like checkers and and the game of Ur: historical curiosities of early games. But not a cultural achievement. I'm not sure what it says about us that we think Doom has the same level of literary merit as the Iliad. It's a fun game, but it has neither the depth of chess or go, nor the narrative achievement of even a sitcom or cheap dimestore novel.


Nobody claimed Doom has the same literary merit as the Iliad; but it’s a fact that it has a lot of cultural merit.

The Wright brothers built an airplane that was a simple and early innovation, yet will always be remembered. Henry Ford build a simple and early car that will always be remembered. There’s evidence that simple and early innovations are lasting and culturally important.

Who knows if it’ll be remembered in a millennium? No one here, and maybe it will or maybe it won’t, but it already stands above most computer games ever made as an important milestone, it’s place in video game history is pretty solid. No reason to doubt a legacy is possible.


I vividly remember when Doom swamped the large Oracle facility where I worked. For literally 3 days productivity nose dived as it seemed the entire company was playing this game which had graphics that seemed absolutely impossible on the hardware of the day. To write Doom of as being akin to a "cheap dimestore novel" feels a little like some elitist attitude where creativity doesn't count unless it's in crusty old print.


Funny, I thought the same of Xena back in the 90's. What about Kratos or Spiderman?


Spiderman is another decent bet. He obviously has some long-term staying power.




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