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Thread: John Romero releases unofficial episode 5 for Ultimate Doom

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: May 2004

    John Romero releases unofficial episode 5 for Ultimate Doom

    Seems that tomorrow John Romero will announce a new game: https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/08/d...es-a-new-game/

    Basic gist of the e-mail:

    Prepare for 5.

    [doom logo]

    25 years ago DOOM was released on December 10th.
    To celebrate this momentous occasion, Romero Games will announce pre-orders for a project John Romero just completed.
    If you have been following John Romero’s Instagram @theromero you would have seen the hints. What looked like a countdown to Doom’s birthday became suddenly mysterious.
    You’ll receive another email on Monday announcing this new project, and have the opportunity to pre-order it.
    ...

    And it turned out to be an unofficial "spiritual successor" to Ultimate Doom: nine single-player and nine multiplayer, deathmatch-style levels released as a free WAD. There's apparently a signed physical box available for pre-order as well: https://www.romerogames.ie/sigil/

    Release: mid-February 2019.
    Last edited by Starker; 10th Dec 2018 at 14:38.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I wanted to snark about instead releasing on the 20th anniversary of Daikatana, but I had to look up the release date, and it was just like a month before Deus Ex. ...Sheeeesh.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    On the other hand, I think that's the furthest a thread about John Romero has gotten without anyone bringing up Daikatana.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    That's not Blackroom, then?

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    "But if you fuck ONE goat..."

    I think it's fair game in this case since he's hyping his connection to the earlier Doom.
    Last edited by Pyrian; 9th Dec 2018 at 14:19.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    In his case, it's a bit more than just a connection, though.

    And yeah, I fully expect that when he's on his deathbed, there will be someone going, "Remember Daikatana, lol".
    Last edited by Starker; 9th Dec 2018 at 14:59.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    What? No, that's "just" a connection - he was a team member on the project. Did a lot of the level design in particular. Daikatana was his project. As will be the new one.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Exactly -- he was not just connected to the project, he was directly involved. He was one of the original developers in a team of only a handful of people.

    So he made one bad game. Does this mean he has to be torn down for it any time he brings up Doom? Decades after it happened, even?

  9. #9
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    So he made one bad game. Does this mean he has to be torn down for it any time he brings up Doom? Decades after it happened, even?
    He's a grown ass man, he should be able to take some gentle ribbing.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Most of the people around at the time should be well into their 30s and 40s by now and grown ass adults as well. Shouldn't they be able to get over it by now? Whatever crime he has committed by being arrogant or delivering a sub-par game or by flaunting his rock-star status, he has paid for it many times over by now.

    Also, if you really think some gentle ribbing is all he's gotten, boy are you new to internet.
    Last edited by Starker; 9th Dec 2018 at 23:26.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    My bet is that this is that FPS game he originally pitched to KS before ditching it a year or so ago. I recall him saying that it wouldn't have been up to scratch.

    He'd have got the funding too. If you don't remember the KS, he released 3 new Doom levels at the time, to show that his level design skills were still good. Good levels I must say.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    More likely it's the FPS the studio has been developing for the past 4 years. Or is that the same as Blackroom?

    Some people are saying that it could be Quake 5, but would Bethesda really allow something like this? And wouldn't it be launched with more fanfare, if that was the case?

    My bet is more on something like Ultimate Doom episode 5, though getting that license seems even more difficult.
    Last edited by Starker; 10th Dec 2018 at 04:00.

  13. #13
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    It's Ultimate Doom Episode 5. Unofficial free megawad of course.
    https://www.romerogames.ie/sigil/

    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Most of the people around at the time should be well into their 30s and 40s by now and grown ass adults as well. Shouldn't they be able to get over it by now? Whatever crime he has committed by being arrogant or delivering a sub-par game or by flaunting his rock-star status, he has paid for it many times over by now.

    Also, if you really think some gentle ribbing is all he's gotten, boy are you new to internet.
    Will somebody please have sympathy for the multi-millionaire who made some hilariously bad '90s cheese game? He was SO "bullied" by the likes of those Something Awful articles taking the piss out of green acid spitting frogs, AI companion Super Fly Johnson running into walls and Nali healing fruit.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm not asking for anyone to have sympathy for him, I'm saying that a 18-year-long grudge is not cute anymore, it's ridiculous and petulant and frankly embarrassing.

    And it goes well beyond a few Something Awful articles, as you should well know, unless you're being wilfully obtuse. Any time he says or does something, it's the same broken record being played over and over again.

    Also, he's more than a just a multi-millionaire who made some hilariously bad '90s cheese game. This is a guy who left his mark on two of the best FPS games of all time and whose studio and the design philosophy fostered there brought people two more seminal games. And if that fact alone shouldn't cut him some slack, you might consider that he's one of the few well-known developers around who's championing old school FPS design and working to make a game in that vein.

    Even now he's bringing people more Doom content. Does he really deserve to be mocked for that?
    Last edited by Starker; 10th Dec 2018 at 13:19.

  15. #15
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    He's also an absolutely lovely bloke too.

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    We have Romero to thank for Deus Ex. Without him there to tell Spector to make the game of his dreams with massive funding, well.. who knows?

    That said, when I read 'John Romero is making a new game', I figured it would be more than just another DOOM episode, but... you know... actually a new game. I mean, hasn't he been releasing new doom levels on twitter for a while? That said, I'm probably more likely to play this than a new game, even though I never finished DOOM II....

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    An hour and a half of John Romero playing Sigil on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/347256967##

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I have nothing but the utmost respect for John Romero. He and John Carmack made id software the success that it was. And they were too essential halves that were key to that success. Carmack brought the tech/programming skills, and Romero brought the excellent game design side. Just look at what became of id software after he left.

    Quake 2 was ok, but a pale comparison to Quake 1, then after Quake 3 they just fell off the radar, and now their part of Bethesda. Romero got COMPLETELY screwed over on the development of Quake 1, and it's no wonder he left. Yes he made Daikitana, but who cares. On a ratio of good games vs bad ones, he made one bad one vs a mountain of great games that are classics to this day (Dangerous Dave, Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake 1 etc etc). To me, he's right up there with Miyamoto and many other great game designers.

    Great programmers are a dime a dozen. Great game designers are rare.

    I'd love to see him do a unofficial campaign for one of his other games. Wolf 3D or Quake 1 would be interesting. And I still say, that with a little source code work Daikitana could be made into something FAR improved.

    As for the Megawad - NICE. He got Buckethead to do the music for it. I listen to his stuff on Spotify a fair bit. Shame he's not adding in any new enemies to mix up the gameplay a bit.
    Last edited by icemann; 11th Dec 2018 at 13:42.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Buckethead isnt doing the music for the megawad itself, that"s just a bonus.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Ah fair enough. Misread then. Was just skimming through the site linked above.

  22. #22
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I finally got around to playing Brutal Doom.

    Blood!

    BLOOD!

    BLOOD!

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Yawn, more Doom levels. Wake me up when he's done coasting on the success of a game from 25 years ago.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    A game that still has a thriving mod scene even after 25 years you mean.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    If one of the LGS devs made some new levels for Thief for the anniversary, would you complain that they are coasting on the success of a game from 20 years ago?

    In any case, here's an interview / Q&A from the website:

    Q: Why did you decide to create a megawad?

    A: People have been asking me to make an entire episode for many years now, and that picked up a lot after I released E1M8B and E1M4B in 2016. Many messaged me to ask if I’d consider making a 5th episode for the 25th anniversary. So, back in 2016, that’s what I decided to do. Like all other mods, it will be free. However, I also wanted to do something special, so we decided to also create an incredible package that fans would love and include an amazing soundtrack by Buckethead. Everything that’s included in the fan boxes is really cool to show off, and Christopher Lovell’s art is fitting for such a hellish game. The Beast Box has to be the most evil game box I’ve seen.

    Q: What’s the storyline for Sigil since it takes place after episode 4 and before DOOM II®?

    A: After killing the Spiderdemon at the end of E4M8 (Unto the Cruel), your next stop is Earth — you must save it from hellspawn that is causing unimaginable carnage. But Baphomet glitched the final teleporter with his hidden sigil whose eldritch power brings you to even darker shores of Hell. You fight through this stygian pocket of evil to confront the ultimate harbingers of Satan, then finally return to become Earth’s savior. In summary, rip and tear!

    Q: What is a megawad?

    A: A megawad is a wad made up of other wads, and a wad is a default file format for DOOM® and DOOM II®. It stands for “where’s all the data?” The free version of the SIGIL wad contains several wads that deliver the levels. In the SIGIL fan boxes, we also include Buckethead’s amazing music. To make it work, you basically drag the SIGIL.WAD file onto gzdoom.exe (or gzdoom.app on a Mac). Sigil’s numbering scheme is E5Mx where “x” is the level number 1-9. Episode Five, just after Episode Four: Thy Flesh Consumed. To play SIGIL, you must have the registered DOOM.WAD as well.

    Q: You mentioned that there’s nine levels in this megawad, as well as nine deathmatch-only levels. Are there eighteen levels in the megawad?

    A: Actually, there are only nine distinct level wad files. It turns out that you can put both the single- player and the deathmatch levels in the same wad. If you run the wad in deathmatch mode, you spawn in the deathmatch area of the level. If you play Sigil in cooperative mode, you start in the single-player part of the level. This support has been in DOOM® since the beginning.

    Q: How did you create Sigil’s levels?

    A: I used the incredible Doom Builder 2 by Pascal vd Heiden (with support from several other authors). You can get it at http://doombuilder.com and try making levels yourself – it’s not hard to do. Doom Builder runs on Windows 10. I’m a Mac person, so I use VMFusion 11 to run Windows 10 and Doom Builder. It works really well in a virtual machine. Even testing levels while making them was lightning-fast. I press a hotkey and gzdoom launches the level and it runs over 60fps.

    Q: How long did it take you to create Sigil?

    A: I worked on it part time during 2017 and 2018, mostly while I was on vacation or in the evenings. I wanted to have a surprise for DOOM’s 25th anniversary. I learned a lot from E1M8B and E1M4B, so I think I did a better job this time. The boss level is terrifying. For me, making this whole episode was a labor of love and a reminder of all the amazing times that we had at id working on the original. I was fortunate to be a part of such a great team and a foundational game.

    Q: Is there anything new in Sigil’s levels compared to other mods?

    A: Well, I wanted the levels to feel like they belong to the original game as if they were a true fifth episode. There’s more detail in the levels than episodes 1-4, but not overly so. I believe that people playing Sigil will recognize my design style, but see new things I’m doing because this episode does not take place on a military base – it takes place in Hell, which is new to me within DOOM®’s design space. There’s a massive room in E5M6 that is the coolest room I’ve created in any map.

    Q: Why did you work with Buckethead for the music on SIGIL?

    A: Buckethead has been a favorite metal guitarist of mine for a while, and I am so impressed with his output of great music. I feel like I really connect with his playing, and he liked my games as well, so it was a good match. The great MIDI-metal of the original game fit well, and Buckethead’s music really works perfectly with these new maps. Buckethead has a ton of fans, and thought it would be great to show his fanbase that his music fits in with the most metal game of all time.

    Q: Can you talk about working with him on this?

    A: As some of you may know, Buckethead is enigmatic and elusive. Luckily, I was able to get in touch with him. He was excited about making a new song for this megawad, and having some of his amazing Pikes songs included as well. He was very easy to get along with and loves the idea of having his music playing in the background. The custom CD with his music is included in both the boxes.

    Q: How did you choose the music for the levels?

    A: It was a gruelling decision process to choose which Pikes to use in SIGIL. There are literally hundreds of choices to consider. The decision process came down to song length and mood. One of the levels is very dark, so I chose a super creepy song that is really different from the rest. I also like the longer songs to have fast and slow parts that might sync with the action onscreen.

    Q: Are you happy with where id Software has taken the series?

    A: Absolutely. I think DOOM 2016 was an amazing game and deserving of every one of the accolades it got. The team at id is really doing a fantastic job with it, and like everyone else, I am looking forward to DOOM Eternal. To be clear, I don’t have anything to do with either of these games. I’m just a fan like everyone else!

    Q: Are you in touch with the original DOOM® team?

    A: Yes, we talk from time to time. I see Adrian a fair bit since he has a place here in Ireland (The Heritage in Killenard). I also talk with Tom (Hall) and American (McGee) every once in a while. I’m in contact with John where there’s something specific that we both have interest in.

    Q: Looking back on 25 years of history, what do you think is DOOM®’s legacy?

    A: I don’t think any of us knew that DOOM® would have the impact that it has had. That people were asking me to make a full episode more than 23 years later? Genuinely, it’s an incredible honor. Aside from the impact it had on what would become the FPS genre, I believe the most important legacy of DOOM® is its community, the people who have kept it alive for 25 years through the creation of mods and tools. It’s not at all lost on me that I have gone from a creator to a part of the community in that space of time, and I love that. My whole life has been about games, and if I hadn’t been a part of DOOM®’s creation, I would have absolutely been a hardcore member of its community. Another thing that’s been wonderful for me is a story I’ve been hearing a lot lately when I meet fans at tech conferences — they talk about having grown up playing DOOM® with their moms or dads and saying what wonderful memories they have. It’s a sign of DOOM®’s age, for certain, but it’s also a sign of its longevity. There are also so many people who got into tech because of DOOM®.

    Q: Are you working on anything else?

    A: Of course, and it will be done when it’s done.
    Last edited by Starker; 13th Dec 2018 at 01:19.

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