Why I'm Not Looking Forward To Doom 3

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Larry Hastings, Aug 1, 2004.

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  1. Larry Hastings

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    Yup, that's right: I'm not looking forward to Doom 3. I'm not gonna buy it this week; I may never buy it. And it's not just 'cause I don't like FPS games, 'cause I do... you should see me in Onslaught. It's because I just don't think it's going to be a good game. What's more, I'm not even looking forward to games based on the Doom 3 engine.

    How did I arrive at this heretical conclusion? I'll show you.


    First, let's consider the history of iD. How many single-player games have they made that were worth playing? Wolf3D and Doom were so jaw-droppingly new and different that, yes, surely, they were worth playing. But this was far more a technological advancement than a gameplay advancement. iD created the FPS genre, which brought with it a new form of immersive gameplay. And you, and I, and most everyone we know who plays games played the hell out of it for that reason.

    But the world has moved on since Wolf3D and Doom. FPS games are a dime a dozen now, which means you must work harder to rise above the masses. And from what I've seen of Doom 3, it doesn't bother to try. I haven't heard anything different, so I'm assuming it has the same go-into-a-new-area fight-bad-guys get-the-blue-code-key find-the-exit gameplay. Which we've all played to death. Doom 3 can do it prettier and more atmospherically, yes, but it's still the same old gameplay.

    Consider iD's last "primary focus is single-player" game: Quake 2. Remember the incredible storyline? The immersive, breathtakingly new gameplay? No? That's because it didn't have those things. It was just the same old go-into-a-new-area fight-bad-guys get-the-blue-code-key find-the-exit gameplay. I got bored and stopped playing it after maybe ten levels.

    The only way I'd be really interested in Doom 3's content / gameplay was if I heard they'd brought on board a ton of respectable new talent to clean house and really shake up single-player. I haven't heard about any such announcements, so I assume the single-player content was done by the same old folks in the same old way. (The only "new guy" I remember hearing about was some Hollywood-type auteur guy who did the cutscenes and other such camera work.) So I'm not interested.

    And really, if you think about iD's history, content has never been their strong suit. iD's strong suit has always been technology. Most companies who create their own game engine crank out a couple of games with it. The last time iD reused a game engine was Doom, for Doom 2. Since then, their M.O. has been: spend years making an engine, release one game with it, sell engine licenses to everybody, and meanwhile Carmack moves on to The Next Engine. It's almost like the game is little more than an elaborate technology demo for prospective engine buyers, and to keep Carmack honest in making sure the engine is debugged and usable. The licensees are the ones who'll make the actually interesting games.


    Which brings us to the Doom 3 engine. To be sure, Doom 3 has jaw-dropping graphics. Nobody has done 100% real-time shadowing before, and the environments and models are amazingly detailed. Hooray!

    Well, here's the thing. The shadowing technology is no doubt fantastic. But how do you make a game that showcases shadowing? You make it really dark with the occasional Spielburgian pool of light. So now your game has one kind of environment: really dark. I have yet to see a screenshot of Doom 3 that wasn't dark. Hope you like twiddling your gamma settings! And stumbling around in darkness!

    And remember those amazing details on the environments and models? That is not without cost, too. There was an interview with one of the iD guys where they said "because of the high polycounts on the monsters you're not going to see more than about two or three on screen at the same time". Remember the adrenaline rush you'd get from mowing down two dozen imps in one room in Doom 2? Well, you won't find it here! (I bet this is also the reason for the four-player cap on multiplayer, too.)


    So what does this mean for Doom 3 engine licensees? As I've pointed out, the Doom 3 engine is good at two things: 100% real-time lighting in cramped corridors, and super-high-polygon monsters. What kinds of games can you make with that? Dark, cramped games with small numbers of monsters onscreen at a single time. In other words: you can make Doom 3 with it, and not a whole lot else. (Or at least not until another one or two generations of video cards have come and gone.)

    Contrast this with, say, the Unreal engine. I remember reading a mildly snarky comment from Mark Rein, but I can't find it online anymore... paraphrasing him, he said "For dark indoor corridors with 100% dynamic lighting, and small numbers of incredibly-high polygon-count creatures, we can't touch Doom 3. For anything else, you want Unreal." Compared with Unreal, Doom 3 is a one-trick pony. Oh, it's a marvelous trick, but I suspect I'll get tired of it quickly.


    And so here we are. The 800lb gorilla of Doom 3 is finally ambling over to sit on the industry and suffocate it for a couple of months. I expect to soon being as tired of "Doom 3"-related news stories as I am of seeing the word "carb" bandied about everywhere. The game will get glowing reviews from knee-jerk fanboys the world over; the same ones who posted their reviews on Amazon over two months ago. And I will sigh, and shake my head a little, and continue impatiently waiting for Half-Life 2.
     
  2. Gmicek

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    Because of what I saw of it at E3 I'm not looking forward to Doom 3 either. However, I'm wondering if people should wait to be overly critical of the game until after it's release.

    And concerning it's inability to do outdoor environments, the same was said about the Quake 3 when it was released. Sure, you couldn't make Project IGI or Farcry with that engine, but there have still been some great games with substantial outdoor environments made with it.
     
  3. Wayward

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    I'll Wait Before Deciding

    I've not made my mind up about Doom 3 yet. I'll wait until there's a significant number of reviews and a demo to play. Same goes for Half-Life 2 and Halo 2. I'm more excited about things like Winning Eleven 8, Ico, Jax 3, Ratchet 3, Burnout 3, Prince of Persia 2, Silent Hill 4, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, Star Fox 2, Mario Tennis (every one a sequel!), Four Swords, Killzone, STALKER, Riddick, and Pirates. I really fancy an RPG but there aren't many to choose from; Bards Tale and Fable are possibles.

    I'm sort of hoping I don't like Doom 3 (and all these other games) because I've lots of development work I'd rather be doing.
     
  4. Gilzu

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    I never expected it too much either, Even Duke Nukem had more storyline...

    Half Life 2 might be worth expecting as the first had a nice storyline (not talking about the annoying sequels). If only the new FPS's had the great AI I experienced in FarCry... you can play it over and over again, even in the same method (even though you have 10 to get past an area), each time its totaly different. Snipers change position each time they shoot, when you face a team, one shoots at you to keep you busy while the other sorround you from 3 different spots... and while the story wasn't that original, it was just enough for a great FPS.
     
  5. Jack Norton

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    I am NOT a fan of FPS, but I agree on one thing: the engine without a good story, level design, etc is NOTHING.
    Recently I've been playing Max Payne 2: the plot and the atmosphere of the game is so immersive and good that I doubt I would have noticed if it has real-time shadows or not... ;)
     
  6. grimreaper

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    Oh shut up the lot of you!!!

    I AM looking forward to Doom3. And HL2. And LOTR:Battle for Middle Earth. And Warhammer: Dawn of War.

    I'm looking forward to Doom3 because ID has never made f**ked up. Coz as a guy who revels in the bleeding edge I want to experience it's cool physics and lighting, like I will enjoy Unreal's latest truly amazing stuff when it comes out. When not even big companies have the record of ID, who the hell am I to criticize?

    Larry: youre critisims of the Doom engine are superficial. ID has always made games (tech demos would be more accurate...) which require the latest hardware. So initially the number of monsters on screen may be limited. But hardware continually advances, especially GPUs. One year from now, the hardware will be able to have a dozen imps on screen.

    Why dont you just sit back and enjoy the trip to Hell? ;) Some very talented people put in alot of effort to make it an awesome experience :D

    grimreaper

    PS
    Max Payne 2 is an incredible game. I remember posting on Dex's forums about it, expressing both admiration and frustration that as an Indie, I dont have a hope in hell of reaching that level.
     
    #6 grimreaper, Aug 1, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2004
  7. BongPig

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    Bloody silly.
    ... and lots of jealousy me thinks.

    The game absolutely STINKS of atmosphere and tension. Stuff thats got nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with talent.
    Look at System Shock 2. Sure, many of you will say the game was great due to storyline, depth, gameplay and so on.
    But for me, theres a certain layer of style and class that sets these games apart. You could strip away the fancy story, and complex RPG elements from SS2, and it would still rock. Because that game was awsome, even when you were doing nothing. Even when you were sitting still in a dark corner, scared to hell.
    From what ive seen on Doom3 so far, it has that same level of style, setting and direction that sets it apart. Nothing to do with polygons, shadows, pixels, or any of that shite.

    Havent you seen the scenes with creatures scuttling at you through the floor? Or smashing through the walls!? The creatures animate better that ANY other FPS ive ever seen. They look terrifying even as sillouettes the animation is so fine.
    Ild rather have two of these evil feckers chasing me, then the 500 dumb ass idiots in doom.

    Bah! Why am i even bothering.
    This industry is full of egos.
     
  8. Reactor

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    Larry, I don't know whether it's the higher-than-mighty attitude you have about the whole thing, or the complete lameness of your arguements that annoy me, but right now I'm finding it hard not to call you a complete dumbass.

    First of all Larry, I don't play games because of features. I play them because I derive some kind of enjoyment from playing them. I don't sit there and say, "No groundbreaking story? Crap!" or "No fps innovation? Crap!" If I play it and I like it, I buy it and keep playing it. Apart from the fact you assume way too much, you seem to have missed the point that regardless of whether a game contains 'the same old go-into-a-new-area fight-bad-guys get-the-blue-code-key find-the-exit gameplay' there is still fun to be derived from it. Somedays, that's all I want, so please don't try and convince me that every game needs to reek of amazing new innovations in gameplay to allow me to enjoy it. They don't. A fun game is still a fun game, and sooner or later (unlike yourself who unwisely assumes almost everything) I'll find out if Doom 3 is fun to me.

    "The licensees are the ones who'll make the actually interesting games."

    Yeah, and the whole world revolves around you, doesn't it? I'm sure all of the other guys using Id's technology have a notice on their whiteboards that say "Guys, don't forget to please Larry with our project!" Meanwhile, Id have one on their board saying, "We may loose millions of customers, and Larry, but we're going with the same old game idea with our new kickass technology!" Larry, did you ever think that Doom 3 might have been made just like Doom 1 and 2 because... well, I don't know... because that's what the previous customers of the Doom series might want? NOTICE TO LARRY: Do not ever run own company.

    "Nobody has done 100% real-time shadowing before..."

    You're right, Chronicles of Riddick didn't have that at all.


    "You make it really dark with the occasional Spielburgian pool of light. So now your game has one kind of environment: really dark. I have yet to see a screenshot of Doom 3 that wasn't dark."

    Um, it's designed to be a dark game, because amazingly they wanted people fighting monsters in the dark. You only make yourself sound like a royal dumbass by saying, "It's a dumb game because when you're in a place with no lights, it's really dark." Also for the record, the outside Mars shots don't look that dark at all. Unless you think Total Recall was the darkest movie you've ever seen, not all of Doom 3 is going to be dark.


    "And remember those amazing details on the environments and models? That is not without cost, too. There was an interview with one of the iD guys where they said "because of the high polycounts on the monsters you're not going to see more than about two or three on screen at the same time"."

    Um, that's normal mapping you're talking about there. That's what makes them look so good- not the polycounts, which are actually fairly average for a new game. As a UT player, you might note that UT's characters have about the same polycount.

    Anyway, you just contradicted yourself. You said you wanted something different in Doom 3, but then you argued how dumb it was you couldn't have lots of badguys like in the other Doom games. Which one do you want? Do you want things different or the same?

    "For anything else, you want Unreal."

    And you want two 6800 cards, because less than that and a whopping great cpu, the new Unreal engine is even less than a one trick pony. Doom 3's engine will run on my medium spec machine quite well. Unreal 3's engine is two+ years away. If by some chance you're talking about the current Unreal engine... heh, well, that just has a huge cpu bottleneck, because it isn't even pushing the average card.


    "And I will sigh, and shake my head a little, and continue impatiently waiting for Half-Life 2."

    Speaking of fanboys... you know, I bet you're the type who thought Half-Life 1 had good AI, right? And what about that story... oh yeah! Get ready for the innovation of number 2-- annoying jumping puzzles of Xen, heavily scripted AI sequences and object stacking puzzles, here we come! Now that's real fps innovation!
     
    #8 Reactor, Aug 1, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2004
  9. papillon

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    Hate 3d. Hate FPSes. Hate first person, period. :)

    Can be convinced to overlook these things for either "good story" or "really fun, simple, non-stressful gameplay".

    AFAIK, Doom is not going to tempt me. :)
     
  10. Air

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    I can understand your frustrations Reactor-- there are a lot of people who like to hate because it's cool to hate-- but I think your post was directed at the wrong people and the wrong forum. Larry's post was not particuarly biting, attacking, or highly inaccurate (the only stand-out one being the point that D3's shadow system won't be anything to write home about compared to modern Unreal 2003 & Riddick engines). Your arguments come across as very petty because you attack him on what he clearly expressed as opinon based on undisputable fact. For example:
    • His personal dislike of the Doom 3 models... and I agree, I think they look like poop. The method is not in dispute, only the quality of visuals, and that's always a matter of gamer preference. So just say "Hey! I think those models look wicked personally!" instead of making it personal.
    • His opinion that lisencees make the good games (albeit I admit that sales stats, polls, and iD's own admittance can cooberate that assertion).
    You accuse him on several counts of not waiting to play the game to pass judgement, however you made judgements based on what the system specs of a currently unreleased game will be (Doom 3 respectively). If you think he can't safely assume he won't like the game from screenshots, previews, and e# demos, then I'm not sure you can safely assume anything about those aspects without playing said game either.

    These are things I wanted to bring to your attention because on one here condones this sort of counter-productive response. It seems to me that you're more angry with the plephora of hatefulness you've seen on the subject of Doom 3 for months now, and this just seemed like an opportune time to... "explode."

    In fact, I'll just sum up your post for you in a neat and tidy non-flame response:

    Larry, I can tell you don't like Doom 3 or iD. Well I do and I'm going to buy Doom 3 and support iD in their effort to innovate. I hope the game will be good but I admit it might be boring and lame. At least I'm going to play and find out!

    Personally I don't mind games without much story, background, or depth. Sometimes looking cool and having style is just as good. Plus like, I don't feel like playing in-depth games some days.

    It bothers me that you choose to judge the whole of the game on just a few screenshots and an old E3 demo. I've seen stuff that indicates to me that the game will not be "entirely dark" and it'll actually have a good mix of environments. I mean, if you think something like Total Recall is too dark then yeah, so is Doom 3 probably.

    [Air snips part about licensees because it's just too painfully stupid and unfounded to even convert into something of any value what-so-ever. I apologize]

    By the way, it's not high poly counts. It's normal mapping and I think it looks incredibly smooth and realistic and creepy. It's like really complex stuff and it uses your video card to the max, instead of reying on the CPU for polycount manipulations like Unreal does. It's a shame they'll have such a limit on the # of creatures on-screen, but I'm hoping iD has found a way to use that as an advantage. Sometimes the best gameplay&innovation comes from necessity&comprimise moreso than pure ability. [Air's note: ok those are my own words entirely but I think you'd agree! Plus, those shadows aren't anything new anymore. They were new when iD originally did the E3 demo but since then it's gotten to be pretty standard... UT2003/Riddick/etc.

    [Air snips part about Unreal 2003 requiring some sort of juiced $5k machine because Air has seen it run quite fine on a $2.0k machine from 2002 .. although that bot AI is awefully slow]

    Finally! if you're holding out for Half-Life 2 then I think you're going to be sorely disappointed. Did you actually like Half-Life? The stale AI? The incomprehensible story? The endless series of jump puzzles? If so then the two of us clearly play games for very, very different reasons.

    As for me, I think Doom 3's going to be alright, and it might even rock 'da house! It's certainly a gamble I think is worth paying for!


    See, that isn't so bad is it? Larry might actually read what you have to say when you word it more like that. As it is, he's probably just finding ways right now to attack your semantic use of specific words and phrases without any care or concern for your actual opinion. That's how these things start. When you choose to make things into petty personal attacks, respect of and for opinions is instantly blown out the window and constructive conversation deteriorates... rapidly. But I'd like to think we're above that here. :)

    - Air
     
  11. dreeze

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    I just wanted to fix some inaccuracies:

    "The last time iD reused a game engine was Doom, for Doom 2."

    Quake 1 to 3 were based on the same code base. They upgraded parts of the engine between the games but all companies do that.

    "It's almost like the game is little more than an elaborate technology demo for prospective engine buyers"

    20% of Id Software's income comes from engine licensing so they are probably interested in creating something more than a techdemo.

    'There was an interview with one of the iD guys where they said "because of the high polycounts on the monsters you're not going to see more than about two or three on screen at the same time".'
    The polycount is not that high since they are using normal mapping. I believe increasing the number of lights would create problems though.

    "I bet this is also the reason for the four-player cap on multiplayer, too."
    The multiplayer cap is because of the increased bandwidth requirement. The world is apparently more dynamic than in the earlier games which means you'll have more object states to transfer to each client.

    Personally I still play Doom 1 & 2 from time to time. Those two are the only older games I play now and then. I think they managed to create good levels and interesting enemies. Something I think a lot of FPS's lack nowdays, partly becaue they're striving too much for realism and realistic environments.

    Also, Doom 3 uses normal maps for practically every surface, which makes it look a bit better than Chronicles of Riddick (which someone mentioned earlier in the thread). And yes, I love looking at good graphics :)

    Btw, the Doom 3 vs Riddick analysis are based on screenshots. I might be wrong.
     
  12. Reactor

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    If Larry is entitled to his opinion, so am I.

    "...however you made judgements based on what the system specs of a currently unreleased game will be."

    No I didn't. The final game has been tested on a system with my specs. I know that it will run well.

    "...then I'm not sure you can safely assume anything about those aspects without playing said game either."

    I believe that's why I said (and I'll quote myself), "...I'll find out if Doom 3 is fun to me." meaning, I don't currently know if it will be.

    "Air snips part about Unreal 2003 requiring some sort of juiced $5k machine because Air has seen it run quite fine on a $2.0k machine from 2002 .. although that bot AI is awefully slow"

    I was talking about Unreal Engine 3, not UT2003. Did you even read what I wrote?

    "It seems to me that you're more angry with the plephora of hatefulness you've seen on the subject of Doom 3 for months now, and this just seemed like an opportune time to... "explode.""

    You assume wrongly. Look, Air, I've been on forums for years. I know how to write diplomatically, and to be completely honest, I don't frequently run around calling people dumbasses. But this time, I felt the need to. As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, something about Larry's attitude bothered me, and I didn't feel at all out of line because I met passion with passion. After all, if Larry wants to be passionately opinionted about a subject on this forum, don't I have the right to as well? Or, do I have to submit to what you think is the right way to do things?

    I appreciate your attempt to teach me something here. This time though, I just felt like having a good go. And, if you'd read Larry's post, as well as mine carefully, you'd notice the main things I had a problem with weren't his opinions of how the game looked, or played, but Larry's incinuation that everyone should think the same way about what it is that makes a game fun. I don't know about you, but that gets my goat (so to speak), and the way Larry wrote his post, I'd think he'd be expecting a little opposition like mine.

    I'm sorry if I disturbed the utopia of decency on this board. Next time I'll be sure to leave everyone else room to get all ticked off, so you can ask them to keep their voices down instead. Have a nice day! :)
     
  13. simonh

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    Oh dear, didn't take long for the new forum to descend into flame wars did it? :mad: :mad:
     
  14. ggambett

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    I'm beginning to think you experience your real life in 3rd person!
     
  15. princec

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    Silly thread :p

    Can't wait for it meself. I will of course play through the entire demo several times before buying it too, I'm sure.

    Cas :)
     
  16. papillon

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    Not quite, but I do have poor depth perception, so I'm not good on the 3d thing in the real world either. :)
     
  17. Wayward

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    Wayward wishes he could do that.
     
  18. Gmicek

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    Worst thread, evar.
     
  19. Wayward

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    Rllmuk

    The Rllmuk forum might be a more appropriate place to post this flavor of thread, like this and this.
     
  20. Larry Hastings

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    Boy, we're having some fun now, huh kids?

    Grimreaper: "So initially the number of monsters on screen may be limited. But hardware continually advances [...]" Yes, I believe I pointed that out. Sadly, this advance will happen too late to benefit Doom 3's content.

    Bongpig: Shouldn't I be jealous of Epic, too, and therefore conspire to develop a low opinion of UT2004? (Or, for that matter, Mutant Storm, which looks gorgeous?)

    As for Chronicles Of Riddick; I too have seen plenty of places that say it has "real-time lighting". For that matter, Project Gotham Racing for the XBox also has "real-time lighting", and that came out in 2002. But, and this is the big one, do they have 100% real-time lighting? Or do they generally rely on computationally cheaper lighting systems with the occasional real-time light thrown in? Perhaps I'm parading my ignorance, but it was my understanding that the 100% part constitutes Doom 3's big huge technological leap.

    As for "they made Doom 3 because their customers wanted another sequel", let me suggest that gameplay-wise Doom 3 has about as much to do with Doom 1 and 2 as Quake 3 did with Quake 1 and 2... in other words, right about nil. Doom 3 is an attempt at FPS horror, like a Resident Evil with a first-person camera. Doom 1 and 2 were as scary as a carnival spookhouse (the occasional "Boo!" as something jumps out at you); the gameplay was mainly about plowing through massive numbers of enemies. I think Serious Sam's gameplay is much closer in spirit to Doom 1 and 2. Personally I'd rather iD had called it something else. But that's purely aesthetic, and I understand the compelling branding-related reasons iD would have to name it Doom 3.

    Dreeze: regarding code reuse, my recollection from working at Mpath, where we supported Doom 95 up through Quake 3, was that the Quake source bases were almost entirely different. Certainly the rendering layer and engine state layers were different, and I believe the network layers were written from scratch each time too. (I could go download the Q1 and Q2 source bases and compare, but I'm lazy. I sent an email to one guy who worked on all three, but who knows if/when he'll get back to me.)

    Again Dreeze, regarding "the poly count is not that high": I sit corrected. I attempted to do some research while writing the posting last night, finding the quotes I paraphrased, and I just didn't have any luck. (The "Doom 3 FAQs" online are all from 2002.) So, out of curiosity, what is the reason Doom 3 places severe limits on the number of monsters onscreen?

    Also Dreeze, regarding "multiplayer cap because of increased bandwidth requirement": I'd like to know more about that. I could almost maybe see that back when Doom 3 was gonna be a peer-to-peer game. But that suggestion cuts no ice with me with a client/server game. Think about the data rate being generated by eight guys with mice and keyboards--it's not a lot. Other than that, it's a closed system, and if properly designed it should be easy to replicate the server on the state on each client with minimal bandwidth.

    The only way I could really buy this explaination is if you said "Doom 3's network architecture wastes bandwidth", which I could believe. As proved time and again, network layers are difficult to get really right. (Remember the early days of Unreal?) I worked on Mplayer for four years, and we certainly saw plenty of suck-ass network layers. I remember a board game (which shall remain nameless) that would swamp a 33.6k modem--they were flooding the network with physics state updates for the dice.

    Reactor, regarding my being a Half-Life fanboy: naah. I played through the first one about once, and had a good time. I'm looking forward to HL2 because the screen shots and movies I've downloaded look really fun. Generally I'm pretty exciteable when it comes to new games. But Doom 3 just hasn't done it for me.

    In Reactor's reply regarding "licensees will make the good games", in between sarcasm and insults lurked a good point (and one which he might do well to bear in mind): my opinion really is going to have little or no effect on Doom 3's inherent quality, amount folks will enjoy it, or sales. I'm happy to hear that there are plenty of folks here looking forward to Doom 3, and I wish you all the best. I genuinely hope you enjoy it. And Doom 3 will, as I alluded to, surely sell in fantastic numbers and smash all the sales records and generate tons of money. Fear not, Doom 3 boosters, I and my worthless opinions will soon be relegated to the sidelines of history, once the Doom 3 steamroller comes to town.

    And finally, Reactor, whatever you may think of my opinions, please don't call me a "dumbass". If you really think that's the case, and you've really got it in for me, then I suggest you follow the advice given to aspiring movie directors everywhere: Show, don't tell.
     
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    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
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    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer