When Doom arrived in stores at the end of 2016, the genre of first-person shooter videogames recovered one of the greatest exponents of the eighties and nineties in the face of the purest action: frenetism, addiction, speed and blood-borne demons . A title qualified as outstanding for what he did and how he did it; by how it was played and how it was heard, until it was considered Game of the Year in dozens of specialized magazines on an international level. Now, with its sequel warning from the horizon, its creators face the final stretch of a complex and extensive development. Eternal Doom warns: he is one of the candidates for Olympus in the video game in 2020.
Reasons are not lacking. Because 2020 is the end of the current generation of consoles and, how could it be otherwise, the immediate beginning of the next. The course that we have just started is also the interval where many of the great developers will launch their most powerful bet of this cycle, which will culminate after seven years of great names with works such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us: Part II, Halo: Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077, Ghost of Tsushima, Resident Evil 3 Remake and of course, Eternal Doom, a huge wall with which all the previous faces will have to be seen. It would be wrong to talk about a cover, a sleeper, given the relevance of this intellectual property.
Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin, project directors, have talked with EL PAÍS in the final stage of the development of Eternal Doom; surely the most complex, the one that sacrifices more hours of sleep because it is at this stage, where it is practically all done, when the whole team focuses on polishing details and eliminating small errors. With recognized fatigue and desire for vacations, both assume between sighs that the road has been long, but they have the best Doom They could imagine.
Assimilate the success of a rejuvenated classic: what it means Eternal Doom
“It feels amazing. We are very happy, very happy for the whole team and all the people who made it possible. When you succeed, that success moves to the entire team. This title has made us all proud of our work, ”says Stratton. After revitalizing the saga with Doom (2016), the pressure increased more than estimated and, therefore, the expectations with this title are even higher. Managing all this has also been a learning exercise.
“This game, Eternal Doom, is not just a sequel. This is something that goes much further … I think that when you mention the word ‘sequel’, people often think of things different from what it is Eternal Doom about Doom (2016). This is more a sequel where we do not just collect what went well from the first part and expand or improve it, but a real breakthrough in which we have all taken our aces up the sleeve. Therefore, we have been able to focus on developing an epic, addictive adventure from start to finish, ”he adds.
“One of the aspects of the previous title in which we received more criticism was in the variety of scenarios, the repetition of locations; now we will have a much higher number of situations, with more types of places and landscapes, ”adds Martin, who assumes the role of director in everything related to the creative section of the work. “What players will experience in Eternal Doom It is an answer to all these requests: we have taken note of all the feedback. It has been one of our priorities, without the development team having lost perspective on what is truly important in Doom: the gameplay. Believe me, it’s really addictive. It’s very satisfying, ”he says in a more serious tone.
But there is no use a greater variety of scenarios if finally everything is summed up in aesthetic or cosmetic elements. The impact of these changes on the gameplay, the aspects that can only be empirically proven, were a priority at the headquarters of the US team based in Mesquite, Texas.
“The main thing is that we can take advantage of all the different locations, which they can offer us from a visual perspective and, from there, see how we can explore it in the playable framework […] I think the verticality so accentuated that we have designed in this new installment is one of the key aspects of Eternal Doom”Continues Martin. “It’s very videogame, it’s pure videogame design. We have strived to offer, above all, the most addictive experience that any fan of Doom I can imagine, ”insists Martin.
There are few difficulties experienced during development; hence it has been dilated for more than three years. There have been good and bad times along the way, starting with the conceptual approach of the title so that it was not simply “more” but “more and better.” That self-demand, wanting to achieve excellence in each and every aspect, have made Eternal Doom A puzzle held by an hourglass.
“If I am sincere, as we have focused on individually bringing each of the parts of development to its highest category, to be excellent in each section, that pressure has always made us keep in mind the culmination of expectations on three main fronts: design, world size and amount of content, ”Stratton explains. “All this taking advantage of the technology we have available to make it look its best, at 60 FPS and with great fluidity. If you compare it with Doom (2016), considering that they are titles released on the same platforms, I think when you play the previous one and Eternal Doom Then you will quickly notice the differences. As developers, achieving that has been the most difficult, ”he says as he looks with conviction at his colleague.
Without fear of delay: why Eternal Doom It was not finally launched in 2019
Delays are becoming more frequent in the video game industry, at least delays that are publicly known. It is usually in large fairs where there is an estimated release date, a day that fans mark the calendar on fire and that, due to different circumstances, is not met. This situation is not to anyone’s liking: it is not for developers, who are accountable to large companies where large sums of money are involved (more development time implies more economic spending); and neither is it for the players, who sometimes are disappointed and trust is compromised towards the studio.
However, the culture of delay tolerance is also palpable. During these last five years, make visible the crunch —Periods where workers are mired in endless working hours for weeks or months, many times without the corresponding remuneration, in order to finish the development on time— has made it easier for the community to empathize and for managers not to shake so much the pulse when deciding that it is worth a delay of several months in order to launch the best possible product.
In id Software trust was not a problem: they were convinced both of the potential of the product they have in hand and of what is necessary to achieve the best version of themselves. It was not a problem of lack of resources, it was a matter of time. They had to give up November 2019, an ideal month to launch a video game of these characteristics due to the exposure that is supposed to be a novelty on the eve of Christmas; But not everything goes. His decision was blunt: go to March 2020.
“The support we receive from Bethesda, the reaction of the fans … We are pleasantly excited,” Stratton adds. “We had many conversations before making the decision, about all the risks we could take in doing this. But honestly, if we had launched Eternal Doom in November [de 2019], I think we would not have exploited the full potential of the game; maybe he would have had many bugs … In short, he would not have been as polished and optimized as he is now. The difference is very big and I am very proud, I think it is the best decision we have been able to make. The fact of having delayed it is what makes me be able to say emphatically that Eternal Doom is better than Doom (2016), ”he insists.
BattleMode: another way to understand multiplayer mode in Doom
BattleMode is the name that accompanies the new online multiplayer mode, one of the outstanding debts of the study towards its players for the constructively criticized criticism three years ago. We are facing a competitive, but asymmetrical multiplayer modality. In this way, a player will put himself in the shoes of the Doom Slayer, while the other users will control the demons as a team. Understanding how it works is very easy: whoever manages to end the opposite side wins. There will be weapons, auctions, skills and scenarios; It only changes that AI becomes a character controlled by another person.
“It’s really deep. Our goal is to normalize the experience of playing Doom with your friends. It will be an expansion of the campaign alone; We believe it will be an easy and fast transition to multiplayer mode. We must recognize that we have taken note of everything the community has told us about the multiplayer mode of Doom (2016), where there was not enough dramatic load; The rhythm was somewhat flat. For this installment we wanted to introduce more depth and strategy: more variety of ways to overcome an area and overcome the other player, ”argues Martin. “We think it feels really new, different, improved,” he ends.
Regarding that individual campaign, he promises that it will culminate all the expectations of the fans: “It is a totally new campaign. I mean, even if it’s a sequel, you don’t need to have played the previous installment to enjoy this one; I think it is a perfect gateway for any player. Regardless of whether or not you have played Doom before, I think it’s a fantastic way to start with the saga, ”says Stratton. “But, in reality, it is very different in size, in scale, in depth,” he says with a laugh. “The mechanics with which you can be familiar with other shooting games are there, but all the things we have added, such as the dash —Fast and powerful movements by way of ramming or starting— and other quality of life details […] All the things we have added add up to be a better, deeper game, with which you will be able to learn more about the background of its history, ”he insists.
And that’s how they got here, recovering that spirit and that way of doing things. It will not be until next March 20 when all doubts are cleared and we know if Eternal Doom it’s one of those games that will sound loud in the best video game lists of the year… or maybe even a whole generation.
Tim Willits, former director of id Software, convinced of the success of Eternal Doom
In a recent encounter with Meristation, the one that was for more than two decades director of id Software, Tim Willits, reflected about the importance of sagas as Quake Y Doom in the growth and implantation of this genre in the universe of the domestic video game; not so much for the excellence of titles as Quake 3: Arena Y Doom 3, but also because of the influence that its design has had on the titles that, years later, would leave an indelible memory in the memory of the new generations of players. He now faces new professional purposes, but before leaving id Software he left almost the entire development of Eternal Doom, in which you have all your trust.
“There are two things that make the IP of so special DOOM. The first thing is to raise your plot premise: good versus evil, you are directing demons back to hell. Then, the game focuses on the central aspects, which are the action and intensity of the gameplay. He takes them, polishes them and… he does really well, without having to add many other accessory things. And so, what I can tell you is that the game that is about to come out, Eternal DoomIt is very, very good. I am sure that people will love him from day one. Trust me. It’s going to be awesome. ”