Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Discuss anything ZDoom-related that doesn't fall into one of the other categories.
Aldus
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Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Aldus »

Hi, I'm new to this forum and I don't have a background in gaming. I've played the original Doom back in the days, but only recently discovered this universe of source ports and mods and whatnot. I played trough some wads and looked at some YouTube videos (like Cacowards 2022 winners) and I have a few questions.

1. Why wads created in 2022 for modern engines like GZDoom that uses hardware acceleration and require semi-decent machines to run still look, graphically speaking, (sometimes much) worse than FPS games decade old? To not go outside of Doom territory, the graphics from Doom 3 look nice, sharp, hi-res, crisp, detailed and clear. By comparison, the graphics from this many wads look mostly like they were made for low resolution monitors and then just upscaled and smoothed. They are soft and they lack detail. Not as pixelated as in the DOS times, but certainly not on par with current standards.

2. Wiki says id Software released to the public the following versions of their engine: id Tech 1 (Doom), id Tech 2 (Quake), id Tech 3 (Quake 3 Arena), id Tech 4 (Doom 3) and id Tech 4.5. What engine GZDoom is primarily based on and how does it compare to the later iterations?

Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled by all these possibilities to replay Doom in more scenarios, with new maps, alternate weapon packs etc. But I wish it wouldn't look like a DOS-era program anymore.
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Hellser
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Re: Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Hellser »

I can say with confidence that GZDoom is based on id Tech 1 with additions from Heretic, Hexen and some reverse engineering of Strife. It is also one of the most modified id Tech 1 source ports out there, allowing users to create their own game using its own scripting language called ZScript, or through the use of DECORATE and ACS (from Hexen) with earlier versions of GZDoom. GZDoom does not have to look like a 'DOS-era' program, but chooses to remain so for familiarity. You could, if so wish, create your own menu with ZScript.

Now, without confidence and off of information from God knows when and my own understanding of GZDoom, GZDoom is a bit more resource intensive. Especially on the processor front. Actors; monsters, pickups, special effects, fireballs, decorations all need to go through a series of checks. Especially if these actors move or try to make their way to you. Heavily detailed maps will drag this processing time down to a literal crawl as will having too many actors.

There are a few GZDoom-based games out there that uses higher resolutions textures and sprites and they look amazing and not Doom like at all. Also, modders who create content for Doom/Heretic/Hexen/Strife often choose to remain within the game's native texture resolutions: 64x64, 128x128 and so on. As for them looking 'upscaled and smoothed', YouTubers probably have a texture filtering mode on (which is on by default) with an upscaler enabled. That's Graf's decision, as he prefers it. By no way is that a bad thing either, it's just a preference.
Aldus
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Re: Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Aldus »

Are there any ports based on id Tech 2, 3 or 4 that also have communities of players, mods, wads and the like? If not, why? Can't you re-create Doom, with better-looking graphics and faster engine, using... say the Quake engine (id tech 2)? Or am I missing something?
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Hellser
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Re: Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Hellser »

Darkplaces - a Quake 1 source port comes to mind that has a pretty active community. But yeah, you could recreate Doom in these later engines. But at that point.. is it really Doom?
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Re: Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Professor Hastig »

Aldus wrote: Sat Sep 30, 2023 2:33 pm 1. Why wads created in 2022 for modern engines like GZDoom that uses hardware acceleration and require semi-decent machines to run still look, graphically speaking, (sometimes much) worse than FPS games decade old? To not go outside of Doom territory, the graphics from Doom 3 look nice, sharp, hi-res, crisp, detailed and clear. By comparison, the graphics from this many wads look mostly like they were made for low resolution monitors and then just upscaled and smoothed. They are soft and they lack detail. Not as pixelated as in the DOS times, but certainly not on par with current standards.
It is called artistic choice. Those who map for these old games mostly want to retain that pixelated vintage look. There are mods for GZDoom using higher res textures but it's rare.
Aldus wrote: Sat Sep 30, 2023 2:33 pm 2. Wiki says id Software released to the public the following versions of their engine: id Tech 1 (Doom), id Tech 2 (Quake), id Tech 3 (Quake 3 Arena), id Tech 4 (Doom 3) and id Tech 4.5. What engine GZDoom is primarily based on and how does it compare to the later iterations?
Despite their similar names these are all very different engines and not compatible with each other. So any Doom port will inevitably be based on idtech1.
Aldus
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Re: Rediscovering Doom in 2023 puzzles me

Post by Aldus »

Hellser wrote:
> Darkplaces - a Quake 1 source port comes to mind that has a pretty active
> community. But yeah, you could recreate Doom in these later engines. But at
> that point.. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus]is it
> really Doom[/url]?

Thank you. As for the question... I think it will still be. Because the "soul" of the game (the community around it and its goals) will remain the same. Just like the ship's crew, and later, after the crew is in turn replaced, the ship's mission or endowment remains the same. The human body replaces almost all of its cells within a few years. Do we lose our identity in the process? I think not. But it's a good topic for reflection.

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