We are at the beginning of 90’s and a group of friends are playing a campaign Dungeons and Dragons which lasts at least two months.
In this D&D campaign there was an alternate world inhabited by demons that players could adventure into.
No, this is not the new season of Strange thingsbut rather the spark that led to the birth of one of the pillars of the world of video games: Condemn.
The field master was John Carmackco-founder of ID Software and after months of playing, the other co-founder jon romero He decides to turn this around by making a pact with the devil (during the game, huh) in hopes of gaining immense power.
As D&D players know, dice can be evil and that’s why Romero’s pact didn’t have the desired result; The game world was invaded by demons and one by one, all the players were killed.
The tragic end of that D&D campaign, however, was just the beginning of something much bigger.
let’s take a step back
In 1992, Software Identification was riding the wave of success achieved with 3D Wolfwhich had also pushed the developers to not work on the series again. Commander Keento stay in the FPS genre.
So while we were racking our brains about how to structure a new title, ID Software got to work expanding Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny.
While work was underway on Spear Of Destiny, the D&D campaign mentioned a few lines above came to an end, giving Carmack the idea for the sequel to Wolfenstein: a game in which the player faced hordes of demons armed with technologies. advanced. The team liked the idea, but one very important thing was missing: the name.
Carmack solves the mystery by choosing the name “Condemn”, inspired by the name of the pool cue used by Tom Cruise in the film. 1986 “The color of money”.
The team at work
Identification software it had a name, an idea and the technologies and experience that Wolfenstein left behind; Everything was ready to create the game created by Carmack.
However, there were a number of obstacles that the team would have to face.
Tom Halllead designer and creative director at ID, he didn’t want Doom to be as poor in terms of plot as Wolfenstein, so he presented the team with a real fatal bible designed to describe, in detail, the characters, places and plot of the game.
However, the idea of such a detailed plot was rejected by Carmack, who in 2003 book “Masters of Doom” He claims to have responded to Hall that “the story of a game is like the story of a porn movie; “It has to be there, but it’s not that important.”
Carmack’s vision was also supported by Romero, who wanted a fast and brutal gameplay experience, so spending time developing the plot was not as necessary.
Carmack and Romero’s verdict struck down Hall, who made the first drafts of Doom’s levels, which however were considered too flat and too reminiscent of Wolfenstein.
The failure of both his “bible” and the levels demoralizes Hall, who spends less and less time in the office and with the team, to the point that ID Software fires him.
The last of the co-founders, Adrian Carmack (no relation to John Carmack) then takes charge of the artistic side and gives free rein to his creativity.
Some enemies, like spider mastermindthey come sculpted in clay or latexcaptured in stop motion and digitized.
While for game weapons, Adrian Carmack is inspired by toy weapons, due to the many colors they presented, giving life to pieces of video game history such as the plasma rifle or the BFG-9000.
For the soundtrack, Romero takes charge Bobby Price, who had already worked on Wolfenstein 3D, asking for songs that looked at the metal and techno genres, Price, however, also added many ambient songs, capable of creating a more disturbing atmosphere. In the end, all the songs presented were added to the title soundtrack.
the game is coming published in December 1993 and it is a real success from day one; However, ID Software’s surprises did not end there. Carmack wanted to travel not one but a hundred extra kilometers.
So at the same time the game was released, Carmack begins work on the game’s multiplayer mode. and in two weeks he managed to connect two computers to a single game through an internal network and after a few days, the number of players had increased to a maximum of 4.
Romero decides to call this type of combat “death combat.”
The rise, fall and rebirth of the franchise
The success of Condemn totally rewrites the rules of the game when it comes to gender SPF. Although it was not the first title of the genre, as mentioned, ID had just published Wolfenstien, Doom brought very new ideas for the time: significantly raising the quality bar compared to other titles in the genre.
While other 3D games of the time took place in planes, in Doom there was the possibility of climbing stairs or ramps to overcome enemies or even shooting vertically instead of just horizontally.
Doom’s success brings ID Software to immediately work on a sequel. As Doom II: Hell on Earth It is published in October 1994 for MS-DOS and Macintosh.
The second title in the series follows the success of the first chapter and thanks to technological advances, the developers have managed to implement a series of important improvements to the game engine that have made it present more complex levels and a much more complex plot.
In Doom II, in fact, it is no longer necessary for the game to be poor in details in terms of story.
Between the release of Doom and Doom 2, ID published the story. Knee-deep in the deadwhich begins to expand the world of the first title.
He fatal boy, for example, had very little characterization in the first title, but with Knee Deep in the dead we began to know his name Flynn Taggart; a sign that Hall’s idea of giving the game a complex plot and world wasn’t so strange after all.
In it nineteen ninety sixDoom returns with final doom; a title developed by the team of modder “TeamTNT” with the supervision of the developers of the saga.
final doom is a compilation of the two Doom 2 expansions and is titled TNT:Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment.
It must be said that Final Doom is not included in the list of canonical titles in the saga, since it was not developed by the parent company, however it manages to keep the name of the franchise high by acting as a complementary game to the first. Two titles in the saga.
With rampant technical innovation and the birth of new consoles, Bethesda he doesn’t sit still and takes charge Halfway games Work in a portability of the first title of ’93 for the new console Nintendo 64.
In it November 1997 Doom 64 is released.which shows how the first title in the series was still, after 4 years, very fun and avant-garde, all now adorned with a new graphic design and new game elements offered by the Nintendo console.
If the first titles of the saga were published almost annually, it is necessary Wait 7 years to see the Doom 64 sequel.
ID Software returns to the fray and packs its bags doom 3which instead of following the plot of the first two chapters or adding more story to them, tends to relaunch the franchise with a real reboot.
With the aim of giving new life to the saga, making it more modern and similar to the titles of the time (Halo 2, GTA San Andreas, Half Life 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater were released the same year), ID Software decides to abandon the classic formula made of blood, guts and non-stop action take a more horror-oriented approach to the game.
Although the title didn’t look bad at all, this choice to abandon the main path does not have the favor of fans who judge that the third title in the saga is clearly insufficient.
Let’s be clear, the plot is good, the gameplay and shooting are very fun, the atmosphere created by the developers is dark and immersive, but It’s just not Doom.
The failure of Doom 3 leads the series to fall into oblivion until 2016, when Bethesda and ID Software decide to relaunch a New reboot of the saga with a new title called “Doom”.
Aware of the errors of Doom 3, ID Software gets rid of the seriousness, the dark and horror scenarios and the desire to align itself with the path taken by the titles of the moment, to re-embrace the old and beloved formula made of blood. bullets and adrenaline.
The new Doom is a success. The title manages to provide new elements of gampleay while still anchoring itself to the approaches of the past.
Published for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the new Doom manages to give a breath of fresh air to the franchise and pose New bases to rebuild what Doom 3 had demolished.
Thus, on the solid foundations laid by Doom in 2016, eternal damnationwhich manages to take the good things done by Doom and elevate it to tenth place.
Doom Eternal takes everything that worked in the 2016 title and gives it a brilliant look. Everything is more fluid, faster, dynamic and fun. The Doom Guy is fun and almost seems to enjoy shooting everything in front of him in the face.
With eternal doom, ID Software seems to have taken the reins of the FPS genre which he abandoned decades ago with Doom II, to guide him towards new goals.
Like the first Doom from 1993, Doom Eternal is a true must-have for any fan of FPS or video games in general.
The legacy of doom
Now close to using up his 30 candles, Doom remains the franchise that not only popularized the FPS genre, but pioneered it. laying the foundations for all the evolutions it has experienced over the decades.
Nowadays it is obvious to think of FPS games as video games that develop both horizontally and vertically, however, if it had not been for ID Software and their desire to make Doom as attractive as possible, who knows how long we would have had to wait. Wait until another development team started working on a title that used verticality as a gameplay element.
We owe Doom for the idea of deathmatch and the explosion of modern multiplayer, or the popularity of mods.
In the 90s, in fact, modding was not so simple, however Doom was one of the first titles to have its own graphics engine and assets, which meant that modders could easily use the game editor and recreate weapons, levels. or real additional games. as Final Destination.
Doom represents a true milestone in the history of video games and the franchise has a responsibility that few titles can boast of. Responsibility that sank the title in the case of Doom 3, but that also made fortunes in the case of Doom in 2016 and Doom Eternal.
Own Therefore, Doom Eternal remains the arrival and departure point of the franchise. The highest moment ever reached by the saga at any level and capable of rewriting the rules of the game once again.
At his parents’ door 30 yearsDoom shows itself younger and more current than ever and nothing satiated with emotions and desire to amaze.
And we can only wait with fear for the news that the saga has to offer us, having fun, meanwhile, shooting any demon that comes our way in the face.