After twenty years, the original Doom still has a vibrant, gory, and jolly cheeky modding community. id Software’s mod support has flagged in recent years (heck, so has enthusiasm for their games) but the new Doom [official site] will launch with easy-to-use in-engine tools.
Doom Snapmap is a built-in editor with snap-together preset level pieces which also lets people write their own game logic to create new modes and whatnot. It’s grand that it’s so accessible, but I wonder quite how deep it’ll be.
Skip to 40:15 in last night’s E3 presentation for a look at Snapmap:
So! Snapmap lets people make levels by joining-together prebuilt sections – rooms, hallalways, corridors, etc. – in a top-down view then hop into the 3D level to place objects, items, hazards, and all that. It works a bit like Bethesda’s editors, if you’ve used those, except it doesn’t look a colossal pain in the bum. Folks can also create their own logic, which looks to be done quite easily by placing behaviour types and chaining them together. That’ll let people make new modes and so on, they say. It’ll have built-in sharing too.
I’m awfully excited to see Doom modding opening up to a wider audience.
Using preset roombits does have drawbacks, though. I am concerned it might make levels too same-y and ‘conventional’; Doom was always good at enabling weird. Liz Ryerson’s ongoing Doom Mixtape video series is a fascinating celebration of interesting and unconventional levels with great commentary – try this video for starters. Likewise, the game logic editing looks simple to use but I wonder how much it’ll limit the scope of modding.
I’m sure silly people will still find a way to make trolly Terrywads though. (Warning: loud noises, flashing lights, and general unpleasantness.)
Oh! And! Dear id Software, please make readme files mandatory.
If you’re more interested in Doom’s gibs and shotguns, loads of gameplay footage is over here.