Blood Remake For The Blood God

By Alec Meer on August 7th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Let's start a petition to replace that weapon with a spork

It’s been all too long since Monolith did anything that made me want to camp outside their premises waving a banner reading ‘I LOVE YOU! YOU MAKE GAMING A BETTER PLACE! NO-ONE LIVES FOREVER FOREVER!’ Who knows which staff left, what parts of the company were sold to which other companies, who got cold feet about risk-taking – all I know is that the all-too-ordinary FEAR games make me mourn for what was and what might have been.

At least one Monolither wants to revisit past glories, specifically the reasonably batshit and enthusiastically gruesome Doomlike and horror pastiche Blood. Founder Jace Hall isn’t looking to Kickstarter or a reboot, however – he just wants to get the game back into fans’ hands with a few modernised bells and whistles attached.

Fan-made Doom graphical/modern OS-friendly update ZDaemon is his point of reference, and he’s talking about making this tinkered Blood free despite expecting to spend some funbucks making it. “It will be all for the fun of it”, quoth he on Blood fansite The Postmortem.

Apparently the former Monolith man has both the source code and the ‘resources’ to make this happen, and claims “I certainly will be able to and will get all the support I need from all/any parties that may have legal interest in the game.” So the major barrier is interest, apparently. That’s a happy situation to be in, I’d have thought.

I’ve never played Blood myself – what’s the word on it in these parts? I did play a not-entirely-legal version of Blood 2 that had half the levels missing, however.

Here’s a video of the old thing:

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109 Comments »

  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    Recently got the GOG version, played through it again, and then played through the Death Wish fan mod, which is better than the official expansions.

    Still rock hard, still superb fun, still better than most console-centric, rails-set piece-rails beige manshooters I’ve played in the years since.

    • PearlChoco says:

      Completely agree. I played some Wolf 3D, Doom, Heretic and Hexen this weekend (QuakeCon FTW!) and I was *shocked* to see how much better they are then the contemporary modern war shooters. Even Heretic and Hexen, and I never played those games as a kid.

      Whay can’t they give us a real oldskool PC shooter with DX11 gfx?

  2. Dominic White says:

    Blood fans have been wanting to do an EDuke32 style engine update of the game for YEARS, but can’t, as this guy is keeping the source-code in lockdown. It’s why there’s still a regular trickle of Duke Nukem 3D mods coming out, but a much smaller number for Blood, which is still held back by the old DOS-era limitations.

    Screw the remake. This guy just needs to give the source to the right people and watch as the GOG version of the game becomes very wanted.

    • Eophasmus says:

      Yes! I’ve source ported Heretic, Hexen, Doom, Duke 3D, Quake and loved every bit of the widescreen, openGL lighting. I’ve always wanted Blood (actually the first of these ancient FPSs I played, back in 1998) to be source-ported. Hopefully Jace will make a great version, but like you say, the fans would do a superb job if the resources were available to them.

      I suppose Jace wants to ensure a good port by keeping it closed.

      “When you get to hell, tell ‘em I sent you. You’ll get a group discount.”

    • MondSemmel says:

      Ooh, a chance to use that awful word, “entitlement”.
      But seriously: Why should someone release the source code if he/she doesn’t want to?
      (Plus releasing source code is not always possible for legal reasons…)

    • CyberBrent says:

      Releasing the Source Code to the public isn’t his call I think. He explains that in the Postmortem forum better than I could probably.

      Edit: ‘He’ being Jace Hall to clarify

    • WhiteZero says:

      Jace Hall’s response on the Postmortem forum:

      “I think it would good for the community to beging to create a “dream list” of all the things that they would hope for with Blood. In regard to the source code, I have reservations about releasing it due to it making it that much easier for people to cheat/hack whatever new system I put in place – and part of what I’m hoping to achieve with this potential project is a game that really allows people to build measurable value in their cummulative game accomplishments.”
      http://www.the-postmortem.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1889#p47602

      Also:
      “I’m glad to see some excitement about the idea, and as I said previously, I am thinking about this seriously – but I need everyone to understand that releasing the source is not my call and I do not think it is likely due to the fact that the entities that would have to agree to do it have no concept of why they would ever allow such a thing.
      With that being said, I know that I can personally ge/already havet all the necessary rights/support to follow through on my ideas for bringing BLOOD back, and making everything I do available for the community to play – so that is not a problem.”
      http://www.the-postmortem.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1889&start=30#p47663

      • Phantoon says:

        Why on earth would he say “build measurable value in their cummulative game accomplishments” when that just means achievements, when he also said the reason is he’s not allowed to release the source code?

        “I can’t, the investors won’t let me” makes sense. “Because achievements” does not.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Have you folks seen the XL Engine? It might be the sort of thing you’re looking for (and will hopefully support Blood, Daggerfall, Dark Forces and more!).

      http://xlengine.com/

      edit: and this is why I should read the comments, as PoulWrist got there before me.

      • hungrym says:

        XL Engine looks like it might be great if it ever gets finished, specifically finished to a point where it runs Blood with a minimum of bugs. I’m doubtful that that will actually happen. The creator of the XL Engine is only coding it in the first place in order to develop his dream game, and I can definitely see bugfixes and support for the classic games taking a back seat to that once he’s got the engine in a sufficiently-complete release version. This is not to mention that he apparently has many real-life responsibilities that preclude focusing on his coding side-project.

        Either way, it’s been in progress for years, and likely has years left to go before release. It’s a safe bet Jace Hall is going to beat the XL Engine to the punch.

    • CommentSystem says:

      It was really sad to see the Blood fanbase struggle for years to get that source code released and have nothing to show for it.

      While an update would be great, releasing the source code would be much better. I think of open sourcing older games as the ultimate way of preserving them for future generations and I really wish more companies would go down this path. Unfortunately the video game industry is still too young to concern itself with preserving it’s own history and is instead hyperfocused on the next shiny thing.

      Once Martin Scorsese releases a film about video game preservation things are really going to change around here.

  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    So we’ve got Rise of the Triad, and now Blood. What FPS games of yesteryear shall we remake next? Strife? Hexen?

  4. GallonOfAlan says:

    Hexen has been done, in terms of an OpenGL engine, already. Strife isn’t worth the effort IMO.

    • Dominic White says:

      Strife is the true predecessor to Deus Ex. And it also works in GZDoom. There’s even a steady string of new levels released for it.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        No, it’s not. The true predecessor to Deus Ex is System Shock 2 with a bit of Thief thrown in, that’s a well know fact. Strife is a fine game but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  5. august says:

    I live again.

  6. subedii says:

    Yeah I played it. Even got it off of GOG.com when they released it.

    It’s weird, it’s camp and OTT, and it’s funny, but the gameplay is often pretty freaking hard in the unfair way that a lot of early FPS’s were. Crazy accurate enemies with hit-scan weapons at nutty ranges, and frequently unfair encounters that you’re hurled into that you typically wouldn’t be able to survive without knowing about them first.

    It has its good points and its bad points. I suppose its strongest point is that it usually knows what it is. The gore is more camp than horror, and the levels designed to follow suit (I’m sure everyone remembers the Carnival level).

    Personally, I just wish they’d put No-One-Lives-Forever up on GOG.com, and get back to creating, well, genuinely interesting games like that. FEAR was a great FPS, but FEAR 2 left me cold, and FEAR 3 was by someone else. Monolith used to have a trademark in odd-ball settings (Spy fiction humour? Mecha-anime parody?), and I could certainly use more of that in modern FPS’s than GRUFF MANSHOOT 27.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Once you figure out it’s very much right weapon for right enemy, it gets easier. Trying to shoot enemies underwater is still a nightmare though, since the Build engine treated underwater as a different sector.

      • subedii says:

        I don’t deny it gets easier as you learn its mechanics. What I’m basically saying is that its from that weird period of game design where devs thought that being unfair to the player was the same thing as making the gameplay difficult. I kind of think of it as the ‘quicksave-quickload’ school of game design.

        There’s a joy to be had in overcoming some of those obstacle, but like I said, if you don’t know about them beforehand, you often don’t stand a chance of overcoming them.

        • GallonOfAlan says:

          For sure, it’s not afraid of lobbing you into situations that you have no chance whatsoever of dealing with on the first try.

    • Eclipse says:

      Blood is not unfair, at all. You’re just bad at it.

    • Dervish says:

      “Unfair” isn’t the right word here. Blood doesn’t have random pits you fall into, traps that teleport monsters around you, or much in the way of tricking you at all. I’m hard pressed to think of any true “gotcha” moments. It does have annoying hitscan enemies with very fast reaction times, and it’s stingy with health, but you are rarely “hurled” into anything. In fact, exploring somewhat-open levels at your own pace is a hallmark of that older FPS design. Sure, you can be surprised by enemies you didn’t know were there, but it’s perfectly possible to play cautiously and quickly poke your head into the majority of rooms before committing fully. Also, the game isn’t very hard at all on the easiest difficulty, so you can always use that.

      If I was going to point to anything as the main aggravation in Blood, it’s the janky nature of the Build engine in general–lots of issues with enemies high above you, bullets being blocked by edges and props when enemies can still shoot you, and sucky underwater combat as others have already mentioned. None of it ruins the game for me, but it’s definitely not a rock-solid bit of design. Doom was about carefully placed monsters/items and creative level layouts, Blood (and Duke) was about atmosphere, explosions, variety, and a big feature list.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Right now they are working on a DOTA clone with LOTR characters. How low they’ve sunk…

  7. zeroskill says:

    The first Blood was great, second, not so much. At least in my opinion, or how I remember them anyway. Armok shall be pleased by this offering.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Blood II was cack, so you are remembering it right!

      • Xardas Kane says:

        WHy btw? I’ve only played the first, what’s so bad about the second one?

        • RegisteredUser says:

          It dared to use a 3D engine(Lithtech, later used in NOLF and developed further for 2)?

          I have no idea, I loved it. It looked different, but it was just as messy, gibby and focussed on killing shit dead.
          I actually had more fun with it than with the first one(which I took forever to force myself through while playing through Blood 2 on a Friday-Sunday many hours invested run), even though the first one had a ton of fun ideas(flares, head kicking, spraycan etc).

  8. nasenbluten says:

    Crudox cruo! Geroxe bibox malax! Geroxe cruo! Marana infirimux!

  9. WhatKateDoes says:

    “Hmmm. fresh victims for my ever growing army of the undead…”

    A class game, full of nerdisms, and great humour. Add to that some batshit crazy weapons (flare gun + cultist = “IM ON FIRE! IT BURNSSSS IT BURNNNNSS” – the voodoo doll… the pitchfork!) and some highly entertaining multiplayer. Yes, hell yes, please :)

    However.. Blood also comes from the tail end of that “golden age” of graphics when so much was filled in by the player’s imagination and latterly nostalgia… I fear for a re-do in the modern age.

  10. MistyMike says:

    Blood was better than DN3D IMO. The level of detail was astounding: shell casings, plenty of destructible objects, different types of gibs for different enemies, weapons with secondary fire… only thing I didn’t like was that the enemies had a tendency to freeze when the player was out of their line of sight for several seconds, making it easy to sneak up and blow them up with dynamite. They were also completely deaf. Some AI improvements would be great for the remake.

    • Eclipse says:

      yes it was way better than duke nukem 3d, both in atmosphere, music\sound and level design.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      It’s also newer and in those times a single year was a gap the size of the Grand Canyon. I disagree though, Duke still had levels that were far more interactive and vertical thanks to the jetpack.

  11. Tei says:

    Its weird, but I remember a open source recreation of Blood using a Quake* engine. ????.

    wait… it was called.. transfusion?

    Here is:
    http://www.transfusion-game.com

    Oh, seems to use the same engine as Nexuiz, the DarkPlaces engine.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      I had high hopes for Transfusion, however they started off by working on multiplayer for some reason, and the project seems to have died about 5 years ago.

      :/

  12. Eclipse says:

    Blood is on the best fps ever made, second only to Quake 1

  13. Obc says:

    i played the game when i was 12. i played in on my uncle’s laptop and it was glorious fun. i enabaled all the cheats coz this was my game on pc and in it was more fun that way at that age. i retried the game when i was 17 and it was still loads of fun.

  14. scorpion_wins says:

    Well there’s the BLOOD remake I predicted in the Rise of the Triads thread. Now, where’s Hexen?

  15. GallonOfAlan says:

    Should we be distinguishing here between the ROTT thing, which is a completely new game, or things like JonoF’s Duke3D and the various Doom source ports that essentially put nipples on the existing games?

  16. JD Ogre says:

    Want. Need. Now.

  17. XenonMD says:

    Powerslave! that’s what we need next.

    • Dominic White says:

      Powerslaved/Exhumed was so very bad on the PC. Weirdly enough, the Sega Saturn version of it was an almost completely different game which played not entirely unlike Metroid Prime. Big explorable hub-world, new weapons and powers open up new routes, etc etc.

  18. brulleks says:

    What a reassuring day for gaming – Sir, You Are Being Hunted alpha trailer, Day Z as a standalone game and now this.

    Great stuff. And yes, more NOLF please sir.

  19. Tea says:

    Delete this post, re-read what Jace said and then remake this post with an apology. You’ll be shocked at how much you can learn by reading and listening.

  20. Muzman says:

    Despite being cut from similar cloth to Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior (gonzo ‘theme doom clone’ with a lot of movie references) Blood had a surprising amount of personality. What with all the setting people on fire, the gore etc. Plus it also managed to be quite atmospheric and scary at times. Just going to the bother of creating a special language for the cultists…. The game was pleasingly bonkers.

  21. jackflash says:

    Blood is the most hilarious and enjoyable deathmatch game I have EVER played. And the single player game was actually very atmospheric and enjoyable, too. Any game where you can light people on fire with a can of hairspray and a lighter is good in my book.

    The best thing about multiplayer was the moderator declarations:

    SCROTUM SEPARATION!

  22. SooSiaal says:

    I’d love to see Witchaven to be re-made

  23. kalirion says:

    Regarding Hexen and Heretic, the ZDoom and Doomsday engines do them quite well.

  24. MuscleHorse says:

    Tek-War.

  25. WJonathan says:

    Sometimes I wonder…is it actually more fun to watch other people playing old games than to play them myself? Hmmmm.

    • LionsPhil says:

      For some of them, sure. This is what Let’s Plays are for.

      I’m not sure the 2.5D shooter era is necessarily the best fit for that, though, unless we’re talking watching nightmare speedruns of DOOM to gape in awe at the skill on display.

  26. GallonOfAlan says:

    No Redneck Rampage remake love? No?

  27. RegisteredUser says:

    I guess the fact that we have to go back 20 years for really awesomely over the top, superbly fun and varied(how many recent FPS have tried stuff with their weapons outside of Postal and 1-2 others?), gory shooters for the PC says a lot about the state of current gaming.
    Not that I am saying Metro, Crysis, Hard Reset etc don’t exist.

    But that kind of mixture of insanity meets joy meets a smidge of malevolence and evil, broken down into something so simple, yet so somplex and enjoyable(“shotguns and demons”) just doesn’t seem to come around much anymore.

    Is it because the new programmer breed(and I think a bit of youth is needed for some of the nuttyness, creativity and inspiration) grew up with all the wrong games? (Call of Doodie and Halo I guess?)

    I don’t think its just that “the industry” has changed.
    It’s obvious from various indie endeavours that we still very much have talent and individuals out there. We’ve still got people that can make stuff like Hard Reset.
    But why so serious?
    (And, ironically enough, Serious Sam no longer manages to be un-serious, either. SS3 was atrocious in that regard, even though there was still a small struggling, resisting core of lala underneath, trying to be fast and fun as oppose to wave, wave, wave..yawn..wave..wave..wave)

    I obviously welcome the remakes, but would even more hope to see more experimentation in the area of PC FPS again.

  28. dirt says:

    I’m currently working on a blood remake with UDK if you feel you can contribute feel free to e-mail me @ dirthenning@hotmail.com.

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