Game Design

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  dr_st 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • rnlf
    rnlf
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #140

    Unsurprisingly, DOOM set the standard for many FPS features today. The weapon and powerup mechanics, running, strafing and shooting.

    Something that I always found an interesting design decision is the possibility to go beyond 100% health or armour. These little 1% armour or health bonuses seem almost useless, because it doesn’t make a big difference in the big picture, but they allow you to go beyond 100%, which makes them interesting. I often found myself avoiding them unless I was at 100% health (or very low ;-)) to not waste the bonus beyond 100% that the normal health or armor packs do not deliver.

    I didn’t know that this feature was as old as DOOM. I thought it was a later invention. It’s interesting to see how much of modern FPS gameplay was already present in DOOM.

    Of course you also notice things that were not quite there yet. Like having to switch movement mode between turn and strafe are unthinkable today (and let’s not talk about mouse controls, OMG!). Interestingly though, it was easier to adapt to this than I had feared and after a while it became almost natural.

    I was always a big fan of automaps. I like to explore as much of the game as possible, and the automap helps me keep track of where I have been or where I can continue without searching an empty level mindlessly for that one door I missed.

    The secrets on the other hand are well hidden (at least if you’re playing the game for the first time). I usually didn’t get beyond 16% of all secrets or so. This has one interesting consequence: When you play the game for the first few times, you don’t know any secret areas. Secret areas make the game easier though. So in a later playthrough, when you know the secrets, you can collect more weapons, ammo, health and armour so that later level become easier.

    It seems counterintuitive to make the game easier in later playthroughs, but it also allows to pass the earlier parts of a game quicker so that you can reach the missions you haven’t played yet with less wasted time on areas you already know very well. I wonder if this is intended as a method to compensate for the lack of saving one’s game.

    sorceress
    sorceress
    Participant
    #142

    With doom/quake etc, I’ve always set up my controls so that delete + page down (the keys above left/right arrows) would strafe left/right.

    I got quite good at using key combos to run forwards, whilst both turning and strafing.

    Friends at school (where I first played Doom) didn’t understand why I used separate strafe keys, when I could just press Alt instead like they all did. I guess they hadn’t imagined needing to turn and strafe together, like when circling an opponent. ๐Ÿ˜€

    But by that time, the mouse was taking over as the choice controller for fps games, so my control scheme never seemed to catch on.

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #143

    > It seems counterintuitive to make the game easier in later playthroughs, but it also allows to pass the earlier parts of a game quicker so that you can reach the missions you havenโ€™t played yet with less wasted time on areas you already know very well. I wonder if this is intended as a method to compensate for the lack of saving oneโ€™s game.

    Well, as you’ve probably figured out by now, you can actually save your game in Doom. Haha.

    But it’s an interesting point nonetheless! I do wonder as well if it was intentionally designed like this, but nevertheless it does have the effect you describe. New players aren’t held back by the lack of secrets found, so it’s pretty cool all in all!

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #144

    Ha, pretty novel having separate strafe keys, sorceress ๐Ÿ˜€

    I had my own control scheme for a while as well, but not for the likes of Doom, where I thought the default controls were fine.

    When I first started to play mouse-based FPSes however, I didn’t feel comfortable with WASD and instead desired the ability to control my character full with my right hand. So I mapped the right mouse button to walking forward, so I could walk, shoot & turn all with the mouse. I then used various keys on the keyboard for strafing left/right, jumping, walking backwards and other things.

    I played at least 2 or 3 games like this before I caved and finally accepted WASD, haha.

    rnlf
    rnlf
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #145

    Yeah, I figured out you could save. I have honestly no idea what happened there. I think I just expected DOOM not to have save games and therefore didn’t notice them.

    Brains are weird. Especially mine ๐Ÿ˜€


    dr_st
    Participant
    #278

    You can totally play DOOM with the mouse and WASD, just like you would any modern FPS (minus the fact that there is no vertical freelook). However, this requires manually setting the mouse sensitivity to a very high number (40+?) in the configuration file. The maximum setting available in the in-game Options menu would make the mouse too slow to be usable.

    This is a great example of how the community figured out better ways to play than was envisioned by the original designers. DOOM was intended to be perfectly playable with keyboard only (and to be fair, it is perfectly playable with keyboard only). But once folks realized they can be much faster and more efficient playing with the mouse, the game changed. This opened the door to higher level deathmatching, and much harder, moster-packed levels, which are very difficult (some probably impossible) to beat for keyboard-only players.

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