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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Gamer Plays Doom For the First Time 362

sfraggle writes "Kotaku has an interesting review of Doom (the original!) by Stephen Totilo, a gamer and FPS player who, until a few days ago, had gone through the game's 17-year history without playing it. He describes some of his first impressions, the surprises that he encountered, and how the game compares to modern FPSes. Quoting: 'Virtual shotgun armed, I was finally going to play Doom for real. A second later, I understood the allure the video game weapon has had. In Doom the shotgun feels mighty, at least partially I believe because they make first-timers like me wait for it. The creators make us sweat until we have it in hand. But once we have the shotgun, its big shots and its slow, fetishized reload are the floored-accelerator-pedal stuff of macho fantasy. The shotgun is, in all senses, instant puberty, which is to say, delicately, that to obtain it is to have the assumed added potency that a boy believes a man possesses vis a vis a world on which he'd like to have some impact. The shotgun is the punch in the face the once-scrawny boy on the beach gives the bully when he returns a muscled linebacker.'"
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Gamer Plays Doom For the First Time

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  • by gringer ( 252588 ) on Monday August 09, 2010 @11:21PM (#33199744)

    I still prefer the looks of Doom to the looks of polygon-based games. I certainly preferred Doom to Quake, and maybe that has coloured my impressions of other games. "True" 3D graphics (made up of triangles) just look far too sharp for my liking. Edges on objects don't have chamfers, and the transition between objects and background is quite harsh. I figure those problems will be eventually resolved, but it needs better anti-aliasing and (possibly) "infinite" resolution.

  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Danzigism ( 881294 ) on Monday August 09, 2010 @11:27PM (#33199802)
    Although I appreciate this review being a old school gamer, it is impossible to give a great review on Doom 17 years later. Experiencing a game like this for the first time when there wasn't anything else like it was truly amazing. There are alot of nay-sayers commenting and they are most likely after doom's time. I just remember those late nights when everyone was asleep and all the lights were off. It was just you, a pair of headphones hooked up to your 8 bit sound blaster card, and the frightening glow of your 13 inch CRT screen. When you reached the later levels of the game where the monsters scream the most deathly noises you've ever heard, it almost made you shit your pants. Nonetheless I kept playing it over and over again. It really shaped future FPS games. Wolf 3D was awesome of course, but doom was simply a horror game. Great stuff.
  • Doom dreams (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrDoh! ( 71235 ) on Monday August 09, 2010 @11:44PM (#33199928) Homepage Journal

    It's been a fair few years now since I've had a Doom dream. Probably because I've not run through the game for about the same time. Used to load it up, clear through the entire game in 30 mins as warmup to playing/doing anything else on the computer, and/or as a last thing before powering off for the night.
    Backpage of PC..Pro?Gamer? (one with David McCandless writing for it), there was a comment about Doom Dreams and I suddenly realised what I'd been having the last few weeks.
    They'd be normal dreams perhaps, perfectly normal settings, no hideous demons throwing fireballs, but the movement...
    Soon as I started to strafe in a game, or run up and keep nudging a door to open it, I'd be aware that I was dreaming, and it was a Doom Dream. Never had that since for any other game.
    Also, some dreams would have be carrying something and it'd be that gentle swaying motion. And I'd be lucid again that I was dreaming.

    Perhaps I should load it up and play for a few nights before hitting the sack, see if I can duplicate the effect.

  • Re:Nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Push Latency ( 930039 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:05AM (#33200084)
    You got it! I've heard myself painting that exact scenario for younger gamers. Those late-night sessions were some of the most impressionably freaky moments of my life!
  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:10AM (#33200120) Homepage

    There is a weird thing where the mind tends to put experiences in tiers. If everything is a cardboard cutout, it will all flow together and work OK. You did "cardboard cutout" well. The moment you start mingling real 3D objects in there, the brain starts seeing 3D objects and poorly rendered 3D objects (those aforementioned cutouts).

    The same can be said of poorly done bump or normal maps, poorly digitized textures, etc. If something is either really good, or intentionally missing, the mind tends to give it a pass. If something is just mediocre or bad, the mind deducts points. Limbo, lacking most of the visual trappings of a modern game, looks really good.

    Similar to how the highly detailed pixels added to the visual charm of 16-bit Role Playing Games, Doom did the graphics level that it was shooting for surprisingly well.

    I wonder about real-time raytracing. Really accurate lighting models would be very helpful in proper looks, but they would also expose shortcomings in the current crop of essentially flat models. Detail would need to be built into the model, instead of baked into a small and fast effects layer. Effects like furs and broken glass would need to be done in massively more computationally expensive ways. And quite frankly, to get to true realism we need fast and accurate mocap, animation systems that take into account balance and musculature systems, accurate 3D scanners that can replace artists for modeling, skinning, and rigging, and a whole host of further advancements. Looking at a game like Red Dead Redemption, there are dozen things that you could fix for more realism before needing to get to raytracing. I've wanted a changeover to raytracing for years, but now I'm not sure that's the best use of computing power.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by indiechild ( 541156 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:28AM (#33200242)

    I always found Wolf3D to be repetitive and tedious, but Doom was genuinely creepy and fun to play. Just enough variety and surprises to keep you on your toes.

  • 17 years? OMG!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by naoursla ( 99850 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @01:59AM (#33200720) Homepage Journal

    I can't believe it has been 17 years.

    I remember reading newsnet before DOOM came out. There was incredible buzz about the game. So much so that nearly every single post started with "DOOM:". People began to get tired of the prefix. Some suggested that the next game they get excited about have some super long name that couldn't be simply prefixed to a message title. Another person suggested the name "Smashing pumpkins into small piles of putrid debris." Yet another person countered that they would simply acronym it and all of the messages titles would be "SPISPOPD".

    When DOOM was finally released, SPISPOPD was one of the cheat codes.

    It was awesome.

  • Re:Summary Follows: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by morari ( 1080535 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @03:10AM (#33201040) Journal

    I chose Doom in my browser, programed in Flash with no music, but supporting the original WASD key commands for character movement.

    I'm not entirely sure how you can truly enjoy Doom without the music. Hell, I know for a fact that I at least have the infamous E1M1 background track on my MP3 player.

  • Re:mmmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Floritard ( 1058660 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @04:05AM (#33201216)
    I remember buying Wolfenstein's shareware edition on a 5.25" disk from a grocery store (Albertsons?) and playing it on my 486 (or was it a 386?) with a Logitech Flightstick. I remember being utterly blown away by this PC game, as opposed to the now tame console games on which I had grown up.

    I remember some weeks later seeing tiny screenshots in early previews of id Software's next big thing "Doom" in a PC magazine in Walden Bookstores in the mall. I specifically remember seeing the shotgun and Imp enemy. Hell I remember the specific map, just not by name, pictured in that screenshot. I remember holding the shift key upon rebooting to play this incredible new game.

    Gaming, PC and console, has come a long way since then but few titles have captured that same kind of energy. As pretty as their games have been, I miss the id Software of my youth.
  • by bertok ( 226922 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @04:57AM (#33201410)

    I still prefer the looks of Doom to the looks of polygon-based games. I certainly preferred Doom to Quake, and maybe that has coloured my impressions of other games. "True" 3D graphics (made up of triangles) just look far too sharp for my liking. Edges on objects don't have chamfers, and the transition between objects and background is quite harsh. I figure those problems will be eventually resolved, but it needs better anti-aliasing and (possibly) "infinite" resolution.

    This is slowly getting resolved using some new techniques that effectively hide the "flatness" of the polygons. There are 3D accelerators now that can do proper tessellation and height maps at reasonable frame rates. Effectively, the triangles become similar in size to the pixels, so the detail becomes as good as what the monitor can display.

    The previous incarnation of this was variations on bump maps, which didn't really work all that well. The most advanced version is called parallax mapping, which is used by some games, but isn't as good as real detail geometry.

    Take a look at: Parallax mapping [] and this demo video [] of DX11 tessellation in action. In my opinion, they overdid it a bit in that video, but it gives you a good idea of the technology.

    After 'detail' becomes a non-issue for games, the next challenge will be more accurate lighting models, which are still hideously expensive to compute accurately. Similarly, animating a real looking (not just realistic) 3D human face is an extremely hard problem to solve, but I've seen some amazing strides made there as well.

  • Art and the observer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thasmudyan ( 460603 ) <> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @07:06AM (#33202064)

    I'd not played a shooter that looks like Doom. I'd not one that presented each of its figures as a stack of pixels rendered at the fever-dream intersection of real and colorful, relevant abstract. Be it dirt, blood, hair or the barrel of a gun, everything I saw was a block. Each block was a tile of a nightmare mosaic.

    I love how the limitations of the time are now being re-interpreted as not only intentional but also as artistically meaningful.
    One has to wonder how often that happened in other historical contexts before.

  • Re:Memories (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @07:11AM (#33202114)
    Ah, the old BBS days.... One of the guys on the BBS I was a member of back then (via "Mom can I have a subscription to this BBS for my birthday?" X-D) used to make maps with custom sound tracks taken from NIN CD's he had laying around. And the first time I finally got Doom up and running via Telix (I think?), thinking it was especially neat that I was running more than one program at a time, everything loaded and I had a hell of a time trying to move. The lag was unbearable. So we get out of the game and back into the chat and I tell them that I've got a 9600 baud modem...

    A couple months later, a friend of the family who worked for US Robotics at the time and was actually involved with the development of X2 and later V.90 heard about my 9600 baud plight and sent us one of the very first 56k modems on the market. I piped 5 gigs through that modem one summer... ah the memories :D
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:30AM (#33203354)

    First, playing the flash version with a modern operating system means latency.
    If you play DOOM in DOS on a fast machine like a pentium 200, the sound and graphics latency is very low. The only thing the machine is running is DOOM and the program writes directly to the sound and graphics drivers. This gives that immersion and connection with the game that is lost with even a few extra tens of milliseconds of latency.

    It runs full screen all the time, and you cannot alt-tab out like a chicken. Under no circumstances should you have an online map open in your browser like the reviewer, and be breaking the immersion by flipping in and out of the game.

    Second, the keyboard keys are the cursor arrows, ctrl, space and the keyboard side number keys. Not WASD. This means your right hand does the movement, and your left controls firing the gun, strafing, opening doors and selecting weapons.

    Third, from the article :-
    "Eventually I found the cheats, of course, and unlocked all the weapons."
    How pathetic. Before even completing the first areas too. DOOM is fun when you build up your skills so you are running, spinning and blowing things up like a natural. It was meant to last a game player a good few months. If it's too hard, you are just not good enough yet.

  • Re:mmmmm (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:16AM (#33203930)

    I remember drooling over the prerelease screenshots for Doom and thinking "no way can a game look this realistic". A week before it came out, one of my couriers uploaded it to my BBS and I burned through the single player game that day. For months following that, we would hold Doom "tournaments" every Friday on the LAN at work. It wouldn't be until the release of Duke Nukem 3D that we forgot about Doom.

    Yeah, it was and is a great game. The graphics might not be jaw dropping any more, but they are perfectly adequate and allow the game to be everywhere. Whether it's your PC, handheld game system, MP3 player, phone, wristwatch, etc., Doom will probably run on it.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.