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View Full Version : What's wrong with games nowadays: Max Payne 3



ZIGS
02-06-2012, 06:42 PM
I just want to play it, yet I keep getting interrupted every 10 fucking seconds by completely unnecessary cutscenes. I want want to play.a.video.game. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, is it?

coldvvvave
02-06-2012, 06:47 PM
Play in Arcade mode then?

jnx
02-06-2012, 06:50 PM
While I do agree that Max Payne 3 is on the offensive side with it's mini-cutscenes, it's awesome as what it is. A marvelous piece of story telling. I wouldn't start a hate train on the subject though, since it was well known before release that this was how things were going to be.

ntw
02-06-2012, 07:39 PM
Wasn't there a "Law of Walker" about this exact issue?

Spider Jerusalem
02-06-2012, 07:55 PM
I just want to play it, yet I keep getting interrupted every 10 fucking seconds by completely unnecessary cutscenes. I want want to play.a.video.game. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, is it?
i assume it's to mask the loading screens/checkpoint system, no?

Cooper
02-06-2012, 08:05 PM
i assume it's to mask the loading screens/checkpoint system, no?This.

I prefer it to fucking annoyingly long elevators and smug elevator lady announcements...


Unskippable cutscenes have been a constant gripe of journalists, but it has been explicitly stated that they are often used to hide the "streaming" of the rest of the level.

The thing is, that technique only makes sense on consoles streaming from a DVD. Those of us with HDD or, lordy, an SSD, have marginal loading times. But it's very, very rare for a "skip" option to appear for loading-hiding cutscenes for those of us with PCs...

Sketch
02-06-2012, 08:09 PM
I found on the 360 version that most cutscenes were skippable, except the final cutscene/first cutscene of each level, because then it just said loading.

Tei
02-06-2012, 08:10 PM
So is the game fun or what?

Sketch
02-06-2012, 08:12 PM
Yes. If you like shootybangs it's well worth it.

ZIGS
02-06-2012, 08:13 PM
So is the game fun or what?

When it actually lets you play, yes. Too bad half of your time with it will be watching movies

Spider Jerusalem
02-06-2012, 08:18 PM
So is the game fun or what?
when they let you play, yes. my issue isn't with the amount of cutscenes, really, but that they happen so often when entering a room full of people who want to shoot you. so the game dictates your starting position, etc.

i really miss quicksaves.

edit: also, another thing i can't stand, is that after said cutscenes, the game also decides what weapons you have equipped. so i always have to spent the first second of people shooting at me switching weapons. a minor annoyance, but it happens so often that it really adds up.

AlexClockwork
02-06-2012, 08:41 PM
Play in Arcade mode then?

Half-life didn't have any cutscene and it wasn't arcade either. There are other options...

Alex Bakke
02-06-2012, 09:14 PM
When it actually lets you play, yes. Too bad half of your time with it will be watching movies

I'd argue that 'watching movies' is half the point of the MP franchise.

Spider Jerusalem
02-06-2012, 09:16 PM
I'd argue that 'watching movies' is half the point of the MP franchise.
the difference is, in the original games, they weren't a constant gameplay intrusion.

Alex Bakke
02-06-2012, 09:18 PM
the difference is, in the original games, they weren't a constant gameplay intrusion.

Perhaps. I've been playing both MP2 and MP3 a bit recently (Haven't gotten that far into MP3) and I've not really noticed any significant intrusion. It might change later on though.

jnx
02-06-2012, 09:22 PM
Perhaps. I've been playing both MP2 and MP3 a bit recently (Haven't gotten that far into MP3) and I've not really noticed any significant intrusion. It might change later on though.

Not really. It's worst in the beginning, and only slightly better later on.

Spider Jerusalem
03-06-2012, 12:49 AM
YOu can archade, it's an option to choose
you can only choose arcade for chapters you've completed normally.

Bleekill
03-06-2012, 02:56 AM
I went into playing the game knowing that Rockstar was going for a cinematic experience so it's not bothering me at all. Once I finish it I will probably play arcade a lot though.

Spider Jerusalem
03-06-2012, 03:03 AM
as far as i can tell, arcade doesn't stop the cutscenes. i only played part of a chapter, but the same cinematics played.

ZIGS
03-06-2012, 03:51 AM
as far as i can tell, arcade doesn't stop the cutscenes. i only played part of a chapter, but the same cinematics played.

lol are you serious? So what's the point then? Also, anyone not wanting this game for the multiplayer just save yourself $60/50€ and watch a full walkthrough on youtube, it's pretty much the same thing

Spider Jerusalem
03-06-2012, 03:55 AM
lol are you serious? So what's the point then? Also, anyone not wanting this game for the multiplayer just save yourself $60/50€ and watch a full walkthrough on youtube, it's pretty much the same thing
not sure if it plays all of them, or just the ones that disguise loading screens (and i'm not sure how many of them are there to disguise loading screens), but considering it's how the game masks loading an area, there's no getting around them.

Sketch
03-06-2012, 04:26 AM
When I played New York Minute, it loaded me in further in than usual and skipped the initial big cutscene, and you can skip all the rest, except the one which loads the next area.

Yes, there are a lot of cutscenes in this game, but there is a lot of gameplay too. It's not like MGS4.

b0rsuk
03-06-2012, 04:50 AM
It's almost as if developers are afraid to release a game without a story these days. It only happens where a story is not applicable (for example a Civilization game). Whether it benefits the game or not, it's going to have a story.

It's a shame. I play a lot of board games and few of them have a storyline. They have themes, but they play very well without a story. Insisting that a computer game must have a story is forgetting what a game is for.

We need games with more game and less story.

soldant
03-06-2012, 05:57 AM
We need games with more game and less story.
So wait, because one game uses a significant number of cutscenes, all games should have stories that take a back seat to the main game?

Remember the FPS games of the 90s? How the entire story often amounted to "Suddenly: Aliens"? Yeah, let's not go back to that. It worked back when FPS games were relatively new and people were excited just by playing games, but gaming has moved on since then.

If anything it's the indie sector that push stories harder than the AAA sector.

Mihkel
03-06-2012, 08:04 AM
You can skip cutscenes with Enter, provided the level has loaded. I personally did not mind the cutscenes because I liked the story, if anything I would say that the game is too easy. Otherwise I really enjoyed this.

coldvvvave
03-06-2012, 09:19 AM
I would say that the game is too easy.
On Hard difficulty?

b0rsuk
03-06-2012, 09:26 AM
So wait, because one game uses a significant number of cutscenes, all games should have stories that take a back seat to the main game?

Check the thread title.



Remember the FPS games of the 90s? How the entire story often amounted to "Suddenly: Aliens"? Yeah, let's not go back to that.
Actually, I would like to go to back to that, but I left it out from that post for the sake of brevity and to make my point clearer.



It worked back when FPS games were relatively new and people were excited just by playing games, but gaming has moved on since then.

No, you don't give enough credit to games like DooM. I'll grant you that Quake 1 was a pretty poor single player game, but DooM was a success in part because it was great. As in: no one was really able to replicate it or approach it. In many ways DooM is such a flexible game - individual levels are often non-linear, multiple difficulty levels, you can start any of the 32 levels and play it from scratch by using the idclev cheat.

Half Life was the first succesful story-based FPS. But it wasn't so much "better" as "different" than DooM. HL hasn't replaced DooM. Only time could defeat DooM, and that's what happened. It's a great game, but you can't play one great game forever.
HL succeeded because it did something different and it executed it well. To this day people admire it for pacing, lack of cutscenes, interruptions, and remaining very engaging. It has just enough story to keep it interesting but doesn't throw it into your face all the time.

Games like DooM and Half Life 1 weren't succesful just because they were first. They were succesful because they were perfection in their own class. It takes more than just being the first to cause a paradigm shift. I played FPS games on 8 bit computers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-IrtXGcRGA But they were novelty, a gimmick.

There's a parallel with the music world. Very often fans of a particular like the first one or two releases the most. It's easy to accuse them of elitism, being grumpy, growing old etc. But guess what ? The 2nd CD is released because the 1st one was a success. It's a cause and effect. The albums released laters are a proof that the first one was at least decent.

Game design doesn't automatically get better in a linear fashion. If this was true, we wouldn't have Elemental: War of Magic. Heroes V, VI would be great games and the fanbase would keep growing (hint: it does the opposite). Painkiller and Serious Sam feel quite shallow and very linear next to DooM. This stupid notion runs through gamer circles for no reason better than "Game +1 has better visuals because of technological progress, so it's easy to claim it's better than Game +0".

Try playing board games some time. You will find that incremental additions with vastly improved artwork aren't the rage and don't dominate. People who play boardgames often don't give a damn how a game looks, otherwise they wouldn't play Munchkin. Among board gamers, it's quite common to say you don't like an expansion, and people don't jump on you for saying it spoils the game. The same goes for movie fans - when Matrix Reloaded is released, nobody feels obligated to make it their favorite Matrix movie. Movie fans and boardgame players are more critical... You'd think this means board game players are extremely conservative. Totally the opposite. Board games are extremely moddable by default because all the tools are right there. People will often make up some house rules or variations without a second thought.

Nalano
03-06-2012, 09:29 AM
In many ways DooM is such a flexible game - individual levels are often non-linear, multiple difficulty levels, you can start any of the 32 levels and play it from scratch by using the idclev cheat.

Take off those rose-tinted glasses before you trip.

b0rsuk
03-06-2012, 09:35 AM
Take off those rose-tinted glasses before you trip.

I still play DooM from time to time, my memory is fresh. There are new developments like random level generator. Don't assume too much or you'll make yourself look stupid and arrogant.

Some old games are fun to revisit (DooM, Master of Magic, Horde, Heroes of Might and Magic), others frustrating (Archon Ultra). But a game done right remains done right. A good game doesn't spoil.

Nalano
03-06-2012, 09:40 AM
I still play DooM from time to time, my memory is fresh. There are new developments like random level generator. Don't assume too much or you'll make yourself look stupid and arrogant.

DooM "non-linearity:" Exit is behind yellow door, yellow key is behind blue door, blue key is behind red door, red key is behind the pack of enemies in front of you.

Maybe it's not the rose-tinted glasses. Maybe you're just blind.

b0rsuk
03-06-2012, 09:51 AM
DooM "non-linearity:" Yellow key is behind blue door, blue key is behind red door, red key is behind the pack of enemies in front of you.

You can visit many rooms in any order, starting with level 1. That's much more than most modern FPS games offer you. Later levels are larger and larger, you can not just visit in any order but walk around buildings etc. Exploration is made even more fun by large number of secret areas. Many parts are completely optional. Even if you are forced into a fight, you can often approach enemies from different sides.

Come back when you have a point to make. It just looks like you're trying to be annoying. It takes a bit of intelligence to be spiteful, not everyone should try it.

FunnyB
03-06-2012, 10:28 AM
I still play DooM from time to time, my memory is fresh. There are new developments like random level generator. Don't assume too much or you'll make yourself look stupid and arrogant.

So. Doom had better game design than modern games, since someone else besides the game developers made a random level generator long after the game was released? What kind of an argument is this?

NathanH
03-06-2012, 11:04 AM
It's almost as if developers are afraid to release a game without a story these days. It only happens where a story is not applicable (for example a Civilization game). Whether it benefits the game or not, it's going to have a story.

It's because "story" is now one of those things that you get judged on pretty much no matter what. I mean, you even get people commenting on the stories of Diablolikes. You shouldn't be commenting on those stories, because they're just there to give you some purpose and background, it's not supposed to be anything important.

It doesn't annoy me quite as much as criticizing games for having non-voiced dialogue, though.

bonkers
03-06-2012, 11:35 AM
It's because "story" is now one of those things that you get judged on pretty much no matter what. I mean, you even get people commenting on the stories of Diablolikes. You shouldn't be commenting on those stories, because they're just there to give you some purpose and background, it's not supposed to be anything important.

And yet (imho) Diablo 1 did the best job in getting you interested in the story because it did not shove it into the players face.

soldant
03-06-2012, 01:53 PM
DooM "non-linearity:" Exit is behind yellow door, yellow key is behind blue door, blue key is behind red door, red key is behind the pack of enemies in front of you.
Exactly this. Doom is my all-time favourite, it's the 'game that made me' sort of game in my books. It's a definitive classic and the series sits at the top of my list for awesome games.

But Nalano's assessment is exactly correct. You can't visit the rooms in any order; it still has a very linear progression from A to B, with your progress limited by keys or switches. There's a great joke PWAD which has a level consisting of an extremely long corridor divided by two by a fence. You run all the way to the end to get around the fence, then back down to hit a switch... which reveals a switch on the other side of the fence. So you run all the way back and around and down to hit that switch... to reveal another one on the opposite site. Repeat. It'd be funny if it wasn't a pretty good descriptor for the "non-linearity". Since when did backtracking equal non-linearity?

Really, the non-linear attributes primarily come from the fact that the levels were fairly small due to system requirements of the day, and the limited capabilities of the engine meant they were all abstract and surrealist. The Suburbs map in Doom 2 could be anything for example. Backtracking and hiding things was a way to artificially inflate gameplay time. Strip that away though and it's still as linear as a straight line.

Doom's lack of story only works because that's the way it was introduced back in a time period when Carmack famously thought that having stories in games was about as important as a story in a porn movie; sort of gives the player a reason yet ultimately doesn't matter. Fun fact: Doom originally had a much stronger story with a focus on story development.

Again, pointing to something from the 90s and going "See? It worked then!" makes about as much sense as pointing to the first Mario game and going "Well, it worked back then! Let's go back to that!" People expect a bit more engagement with the game, and even id Software have accepted that. Not every game has to have a strong story acted out by six years worth of cutscenes, but people generally like some sort of context for games that they're going to play for an extended period of time. I don't even know why you bothered to mention Half Life because it had a strong story which drove the game. Hell it practically invented those cutscenes where the player retains control and just sort of wanders around a room while people talk for ages... and really it also pushed us towards totally linear level design like we see today.

The fact that stories are creeping into FPS games isn't a problem. If you don't like a game that has a strong focus on a story, then don't play it. Nobody is saying Doom is crap or that everything that devs do today is gold, but you're basically rewriting history by claiming Doom was some major non-linear level design achievement that everyone should be copying. It's a fantastic game, but it's a relic of the 90s. Funnily enough the better PWADs tend to make fairly extensive use of ACS to make strong stories possible, and zDoom clearly did a lot to help the community achieve that goal. It seems even the Doom community disagrees!

Rossignol
03-06-2012, 02:14 PM
By "nowadays" I assume you mean "since cutscenes were invented"?

FunnyB
03-06-2012, 02:19 PM
It's also a bit weird to complain that a particular game is "too story-heavy" or something like that, when the game belongs to a series which have ALWAYS contained a lot of story. Maybe not cutscenes, but remember those comics that filled the previous two Max Payne games with..... story?

soldant
03-06-2012, 03:08 PM
By "nowadays" I assume you mean "since cutscenes were invented"?
Or perhaps since devs started using a story to give games real context beyond "Kill these dudes because of bears", and since players went "Wait, I can have a story in my game? That's pretty cool."

Sparkasaurusmex
03-06-2012, 04:03 PM
I think Doom was fun but it actually shows a lot of age now. You can't look up. It's basically a 2D game. It plays in 2 dimensions and everything is slidey.

jnx
03-06-2012, 04:24 PM
And yet (imho) Diablo 1 did the best job in getting you interested in the story because it did not shove it into the players face.

So the best way to get you interested in a story is not to include one.

Batolemaeus
03-06-2012, 04:56 PM
Or perhaps since devs started using a story to give games real context beyond "Kill these dudes because of bears", and since players went "Wait, I can have a story in my game? That's pretty cool."

Stop right there.

Are you implying that story can not exist without cutscenes? Or that the two are any more than loosely connected?

I'm all for story and narrative in games, but I'd rather have the "subtle" half life approach of locking me into a train than devs beating me over the head with their story by grabbing the controls and completely throwing me out of the game. Other devs seem to manage even better without even locking the player into an area to wave things at them. For reference, look at Fallout 3, New Vegas..

Nalano
03-06-2012, 04:57 PM
For reference, look at Fallout 3

On second thought, let's not.

Batolemaeus
03-06-2012, 05:12 PM
Fallout 3 told stories without beating your over the head with them by taking away controls, no matter whether it killed your family or wronged you in any other way.

Nalano
03-06-2012, 05:27 PM
Fallout 3 told stories without beating your over the head with them by taking away controls, no matter whether it killed your family or wronged you in any other way.

Yeah, it did everything but take controls away from you: It put you in a tiny environment and told you exactly where to go and what to do. I wouldn't call it a superior experience for that, tho. Likewise, I don't see why granting you the ability to nervously fidget inside a box while exposition is spewed in your direction is in any way preferable to just directing the action as the story is clearly wont to do.

bonkers
03-06-2012, 06:59 PM
So the best way to get you interested in a story is not to include one.
No. (message to short)

b0rsuk
03-06-2012, 08:12 PM
Again, pointing to something from the 90s and going "See? It worked then!" makes about as much sense as pointing to the first Mario game and going "Well, it worked back then! Let's go back to that!"

Lots of modern games use exactly the same formula as Mario. It worked then, and it works now.
Good games don't get old. You become fed up with them eventually, but that is true for almost everything. Visuals do age, but some are more resistant to aging than others. For example Heroes III looks like crap today(pre-rendered early 3D), but Heroes II with handmade artwork is timeless.



People expect a bit more engagement with the game, and even id Software have accepted that.


In my opinion newer id Software games offer less engagement. Quake was a shift to smaller, more linear, more scripted levels and less numerous but more powerful opponents. Doom3 was even more like that, but it added a forgettable story. id wants to make DooM 4 more like the old DooM games (yes they are going back to roots!) and my prediction is that they will fail. That's because judging by stuff they were saying about their direction, they can't properly identify what was so good about first DooM games. I remember individual levels from DooM 2, but barely anything from Doom 3. Doom3 was a disposable game. So is Rage. And to counter "you were young back then", I also played Duke Nukem 3D a lot but it hasn't earned a place in my memory.

If id made a well-executed modern DooM game, where you fight hordes of monsters and levels are abstract, optimized for gameplay and not trying to look like something very real, it could sell very well. That's because that kind of game has been already forgotten. It would trigger "so old it's new". Painkiller, Serious Sam had limited production qualities and combat could be better, enemies more varied. DooM 2 was a great expansion (it wouldn't be called a sequel today), it added 8 monsters of which each offers a unique challenge and should be handled differently.



Not every game has to have a strong story acted out by six years worth of cutscenes, but people generally like some sort of context for games that they're going to play for an extended period of time.

A theme is enough. It keeps you from shooting red triangles with green squares, and it doesn't assault you with cutscenes.

A shift in storytelling has occured. Nowadays, games are expected to show the story, as in a movie. Before, games would often have written story, for you to read, like a book. For example Heroes of Might and Magic III had some animations, but story was mostly written, you could click through it if you wanted. Heroes V and Heroes VI avoid written story like a plague.



The fact that stories are creeping into FPS games isn't a problem. If you don't like a game that has a strong focus on a story, then don't play it. Nobody is saying Doom is crap or that everything that devs do today is gold, but you're basically rewriting history by claiming Doom was some major non-linear level design achievement that everyone should be copying. It's a fantastic game, but it's a relic of the 90s. Funnily enough the better PWADs tend to make fairly extensive use of ACS to make strong stories possible, and zDoom clearly did a lot to help the community achieve that goal. It seems even the Doom community disagrees!

I'm not claiming that. I'm not even claiming DooM was a perfect game - it wasn't, it was just the best in its category. DooM had a sprite engine that was in some ways extremely efficient, for example it scaled very well with the number of monsters and draw distance wasn't an issue(pixelization and resolution was). Also, in many cases technical limitations spawn something interesting. DooM was a 2.5D game, it was famously impossible to create a room over a room. It has good sides - levels are easier to navigate because you can't create very complex paths (it would take a lot of discipline otherwise, and especially modders wouldn't give a damn about some guidelines). 2.5D levels are also trivial to make automap for. DooM made non-linear levels easy, and they occured naturally.

Making levels for DooM was also very straightforward. In modern FPS games, too often innovation goes into the direction of allowing an artist to spend unlimited time polishing a level. This screws modders and independent game makers. I know exactly one FPS game being made that aims to make level editing a joy: Natural Selection 2. This is because they are a team of several people and simply must make a game that is doable with a small team.

I don't like PWADs with extensive scripting. This is why Hexen was a very popular game at the time but ended up being forgotten. It's barely replayable, it has lots of great things and probably best atmosphere out of DooM engine games, but the first heavily scripted FPS. I have a love-hate relationship with that game.
Anyway, with great power comes great responsibility. Scripting offers great power, but often it makes the rules more opaque. For example you walk into a room, and X seconds later something happens for no good reason. You're at a loss why is that happening. That's not possible in vanilla DooM, because a door could only open when you cross a linedef (a line between 2 sectors).

Mock 2 is of course a PWAD made around the idea of mocking bad design, but there's a grain of truth in this :-). Watch the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeSU_dwszi8

I dislike levels with too modern features. When you throw away sector lightning in favor of vector lightning, yes it's more modern but it loses part of its charm. Every shadow had to be handcrafted, so levels were a bit like cartoons in a sense :-). Room over room used for its own sake often produces levels that are confusing to navigate. Huge levels, like the one with storm (I forgot the name) 1) bore you with the same music over and over 2) can cause slowdowns on modern machines, if your favorite source port is not very optimized. I view the feature creep in "modern" source ports as a form of penis envy. If you want to play levels like that, go play Quake or a newer game, which is designed around that feature. I especially dislike directly lifting features (like weapons) from modern games. Yes, you can script a weapon that needs reloading. But why ?

My favorite PWAD is probably Alien Vendetta. It's a 1996 style PWAD, you will find little mechanic abuse in there, some textures ripped from Hexen and Heretic. But it shines when it comes to level design, challenge(without being frustrating - there are difficulty levels), variety, and looks. It was a joint project by several people. The name may discourage you, but there's nothing alien about it.

Ernesto
03-06-2012, 08:32 PM
I'd like to bring up Bastion. Because that was a great way to tell a story without taking controls away.
Maybe, somehow other developers assumed parts of the terminology in the movie business. It's hard to imagine another way to tell a story when you talk about scenes and cameras instead of levels/maps and player's points of view. But I don't have any idea how developers really talk at work ;)

Mihkel
03-06-2012, 11:04 PM
On Hard difficulty?

Yes. ..........

DarkFenix
04-06-2012, 12:25 AM
I personally don't have a problem with cut scenes, but they have to be skippable. We've all seen just how long the cut scenes are in MP3, they clearly aren't just masking loading screens, loading simply doesn't take that long. MP2's devs understood how to do cut scenes; you could skip anything, but if the next section needed loading it put you onto a loading screen. This is what I want, I would much rather be put on a 20 second loading screen than be forced to sit through a 5 minute cut scene for the fourth time.

The fashion in which cut scenes are done in MP3 is simply bad design.

soldant
04-06-2012, 01:47 AM
Are you implying that story can not exist without cutscenes? Or that the two are any more than loosely connected?
No. In fact I was stating the opposite by replying to that assertion. Thanks for jumping the gun though!


Lots of modern games use exactly the same formula as Mario.
Do they? And do they sell as well as games like Max Payne 3, or Fallout 3, or any similar titles? Because I can't think of anything except indie games which use exactly the same formula as Mario, and they're not ultra popular. Even the slew of platformers are story heavy, to the point of being pretentious (like Braid).


In my opinion newer id Software games offer less engagement.
That's fine, that's your opinion. I doubt you'll find a shortage of Doom 3 criticisms (mostly centring around "Why can't my gun have a flashlight too?") but Quake still adhered to the abstract level design and absence of story. The levels were shorter due to technological constraints, again in the Doom/Quake eras 3D was still in its infancy, it's sort of like how Crysis has a ridiculous story which is somewhat forgiveable due to the fact that you're playing it primarily because it's a beautiful extended techdemo.

As for your "counter" to "you were young back then", I don't see what it has to do with not liking DN3D. About all the two have in common is that they're both FPS games with sector-based engines. I liked Dune 2 but I didn't like Warcraft. So what?


If id made a well-executed modern DooM game, where you fight hordes of monsters and levels are abstract, optimized for gameplay and not trying to look like something very real, it could sell very well.
It probably wouldn't, because it'd be boring. Abstract levels for that time were tolerated because it was an engine limitation, and back then it was still technologically impressive. Today though if you had a Doom 2 map (D2's map design is superior to the first IMO) it'd be sparse and boring. Players would suffer from 'battle fatigue' fighting endless waves of monsters. The pacing would be totally off.


A theme is enough. It keeps you from shooting red triangles with green squares, and it doesn't assault you with cutscenes.
A theme doesn't keep a player engaged for the average 8 hours of gameplay expected from most titles, unless it's a sandbox world.


DooM made non-linear levels easy, and they occured naturally.
They're not non-linear. The very design of including keys make them linear. You still go from the start, over to the red key or the switch, then to the red door, and so on. Any non-linearity comes from backtracking. This entire argument is ridiculous. By that token Wolfenstein 3D was the better of the two for non-linear mapping because it was a tile-based engine which is even easier to automap for and encourages dead ends like a rat in a maze. Really I don't see how "backtracking" has turned into "non-linearity." This really is a case of rose-tinted glasses looking through a nostalgiascope here.


Making levels for DooM was also very straightforward.
It was... because it's limited, particularly in the original release. Many of the large-room, large-monster settings you describe were only really possible with later engines. Contemporary maps (at the time of release and shortly after) were not as complex, detailed, or large as the current maps. You owe that to the source ports. So while it enforced abstract design in some ways, it wasn't really a desired effort. A true 3D engine is capable of even more abstract level design possibilities than Doom.

The problem with the decline of modding in many games comes in part from the increasing art demands prompted from a technological race, that's entirely accurate. But Doom was a part of this escalation in technology, and id Software are still pushing for it. This isn't anything new. It's important to remember though that player expectations have also increased so that people match or surpass the included assets. You might blame the talented Half Life modders for that one for going way beyond the original game.


I don't like PWADs with extensive scripting.
That's great, but mods like Action Doom and their popularity disagree with you. Scripting expands the possibilities which simply puts more tools in the hands of bad mappers but it allows good mappers to be much better. In vanilla you've got, um... if I remember correctly, changing ceiling heights, doors, basic sector lighting controls, um... hmm... can't remember what was part of vanilla now. In any event, vanilla Doom practically invented the monster closet. That's nothing to be proud of!


Mock 2
Yeah I've already referred to this.


(List of complaints about how things are too hard)
Wait... let me get this straight. You're saying that 3D geometry and room-over-room in sector engines makes things too hard to navigate... but games like Quake are too linear. Seriously? 3D geometry offers far more potential for the kind of backtracking you're so quick to praise as non-linearity. Your argument has swapped from "stories in games suck when they're more than a token gesture" to "let's go back to linedefs because it deprived mappers of x, y and z."