Vacating Mars: Jupiter Hell Is The DoomRL sequel

By Alec Meer on October 16th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

I'm still holding out for Doom IRL

DoomRL (which we’ve written on often) was one of many clever attempts to adapt The Grandaddy Of Murder Sims to other genres, and also one of the most successful, especially in terms of restoring a certain element of creeping menace to a game that’s like a cartoon played at lightspeed nowadays. The RL stands for roguelike, which stands for lots and lots of caution, tension and death.

Devs ChaosForge have now announced Jupiter Hell, a spiritual successor that’s going out of its way not to mention Mars or words that rhyme with ‘broom’.

They’ve put almost nothing on their website about it, which seems a bit of a waste of a website, but fortunately IndieStatik have only gone and rounded up all the words about it. A Kickstarter is inbound, and the move to active pursuit of filthy lucre means they have to be very careful about Doom references, lest the beast of Bethesda come calling. Let’s hope there aren’t any scrolls it in either.

Lest you were wondering how a game might be staged on the primarily gaseous planet of Jupiter, the answer is that it’ll be primarily set on its moons. The plan is also to go 3D, having been purely ASCII then later (thanks to the help of Dereky ‘Spelunky’ Yu’) 2D on DoomRL.

No footage or screenshots, but pre-rendered trailer is go:

Kickstarter for an as-yet undecided cash sum will arrive soon, hopefully accompanied by actual footage.

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14 Comments »

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  1. Hypnotron says:

    good for them I say.

  2. Cytrom says:

    I’m sure this is gonna be great and all, and not specifically aiming at this particular game, but am I alone who feels totally burnt out on theese piles of super creative and original, but low budget and relatively cheaply done indie games? Aren’t there any GOOD AAA games on PC anymore?

    I guess they’re bad business now that 2 guys can hack together some artsy-fartsy artwork in MSpaint and make a game engine thats ‘good enough’ to run the thing barely in a few months. Build it purely on free kickstarter money and make more profit than a team of professional artists, designers, programmers achieve in years… that only works if you got a franchise like GTA or CoD at this point.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Only if I’m literally forced to buy their games. Otherwise I am happy if they achieve the success you incorrectly assume they all enjoy.

      Anyway, what does it tell you if these people come from the AAA studios where appealing to the maximum audience is king and the likes of COD make enormous profits year after year. They then set up a small studio and make a game on a very low budget which is “super creative and original”.

      Perhaps that the AAA industry with its need to cover it’s ridiculous costs involved in making games of that fidelity need to compromise their creativity and vision?

      • Cytrom says:

        It just feels like that we are now stuck in a “comfort zone”.

        Like for example, take a really good and successful indie game. You can think of any example really.
        Their devs rake in millions and make a profit that’d be decent even by AAA standards, and what do they make with it? Use it to achieve a greater ambition and make a truly amazing high budget game?
        No. They make another cheap low budget game with it.. or worse do nothing at all. No progress is made.

        I’m not sure what would be the solution to encourage progressing past this comfort zone, but I don’t think this is sending a constructive message to the whole of the gaming industry.

        And I’m not saying it is the fault of (just) the indie game devs, since they are kind of an anti-culture to begin with. Something that was born in opposition to the very restrictive and unimaginative path, that AAA game industry has taken in the past decade. I just wish I could see some more good, complex high budget games really.

        • Namo says:

          I want to address a few things.
          -An indie game raking in millions in sales is very rare. There are games like Braid and Meat Boy that do, but these are few and far between; this just seems like the norm because these games get a lot of press.
          -“Cheap”, “Low budget”… Am I to assume that just because a game requires a lot of money to make, it’s automatically good? I can point you to plenty of high budget AAA games that disprove this. Actually you don’t really need to leave this website to find some.
          -Am I also to assume that once someone gains a large sum of money, they’re suddenly better artists, better programmers? Many of these people work to the best of their ability to bring you what they can. They could hypothetically hire artists and programmers, I suppose, but much of the draw of being indie is having control and doing things on your own.
          -It’s also a little misguided to compare the graphical- and technical-fidelity of an indie game to a big-budget AAA game to start with. The latter games have teams of dozens to hundreds of people working on them, whereas indie games tend to have fewer than ten. I’m not saying it’s impossible for an indie game to look as good as a AAA game, but it would be a lot of work for little gain.

          I also find it odd that you bring this up in the case of Jupiter Hell. DoomRL was free. The developer did have a donation box but if I recall, the donations went towards the website’s server.

          • Cytrom says:

            Your, assumptions are wrong. And that is precisely the problem with 90% of todays AAA games. They got the budget, got the talent and waste it on regurgitated trash sequels.

            I’m convinced though that a high budget AAA game has the POTENTIAL, to be MUCH more than any indie title could ever achieve. The problem is the incentive to achieve that potential. When it is entirely possible to make big money on little investment (not just monetary investment), it discourages publishers to aim high.

            Again, I don’t have a solution in mind unfortunately, thats just how I see today’s gaming.

            And no this has nothing to do with this game, it just happened to be the billionth indie game making news here, that made me wonder…

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            cpt_freakout says:

            Cytrom, unfortunately the solution for that is a change in the whole directive that functions in the industry’s background, which, to put it in very simple, flawed words, is all about the management. It would seem that the big studios fail at advancing the non-technical possibilities of gaming due to a managerial perspective that equates efficiency with earnings pretty much all the time, reticent to actually look at the way games provide creative platforms not only in the end product but also as they are being produced. So they have all the money and labor power to do all kinds of cool stuff, but since it’s all about managing things the creative horizon is cramped into one more element within the efficiency = money equation. So unless you have a superstar figure like Ken Levine or whatever, who might be able to direct that machinery towards creativity, the big studios just see people working in a factory, producing something akin (from that perspective) to toys.

          • Thiebs says:

            Cytrom, another thing you might not have considered is that though Indie developers could go on to use there new-found wealth to produce another, even more creative game with high quality everything, many (if not all) of those kinds of truly creative indie games are works of inspired passion. Think an artist hurriedly slapping paint on a canvas as his mind forms his creative vision. I would imagine that for many of them, it was there creative masterpiece, and anything else would pall in comparison. Who, I wonder, would bother trying to churn out another game when they’ve already achieved there vision, and done so successfully enough to be wealthy as well? I bemoan not the nature of the game development community, as in recent years we’ve had greater strives in ‘low-budget’ creativity than in the decade before that. I do regret human nature, though, as real creativity is so rare that it’s often a once-in-a-life-time thing.

  3. Mstrymt says:

    “Filthy Lucre” – Recettear reference?

  4. BTAxis says:

    Despite my aversion to roguelikes, I did have some fun with DoomRL. I suspect, though, that this was mostly due to the nostalgia involved in killing those specific enemies using those specific weapons while hearing those specific sounds to go with it. A “spiritual” successor might not do the same thing.

    • squareking says:

      I kinda commented the same thing over on RDBK, but yeah, I think the Doom name did wonders for DoomRL and the team. It’s a fantastic example of an accessible RL, but it sort of has a built-in following thanks to the name. Concerning the name, did Bethesda give these guys their blessing, or turn a blind eye, or what?

      • DatonKallandor says:

        If you’re doing a free Roguelike using the Doom name it’s easy to slip under the radar. When you want to start selling that game or doing a kickstarter for it you better not use an IP belonging to someone else.

        • Thiebs says:

          If you guys enjoyed this, even mildly, I’d ask you to spread the word with a few Facebook posts or some such. I personally loved DoomRL and am very excited about Jupiter Hell. Indie games only take off if people spread the word. And as for the nostalgia, I found Quake to be familiar and nostalgic compared to Doom as well, and it was also set in a different world, with different guns and enemies. But it had the same *feel*. And Jupiter Hell promises that, as well.