From the perspective of a legendary game designer, John Romero said that many shooters today are “deliberately” making mistakes due to the pressure of profitability.
It has been nearly three decades since John Romero, John Carmack, Adrian Carmack (not brothers to John Carmack), and Tom Hall founded software; and more than two decades have passed since Wolfestein 3D was born, paving the way for the modern shooter genre. Today, gamers are more familiar with authentic military experiences like Battlefield or Call of Duty, with cartoon-style games like Overwatch or Fortnite, while exotic scenes like Xen of Half-Life or the hell of Doom are gradually leaving gamers. Of course, this does not mean that gamers have forgotten Doom – the game is still very well received by both fans and newcomers when software launched a Doom reboot in 2016.
In this context, one of the software’s founders, Doom’s father, John Romero, stood out saying that modern shooters had gone in the wrong direction. He didn’t talk about having different titles than Doom in terms of graphic style, but rather about the types of guns in the game. While gamers always want new guns and developers are still pleased with them (and the culmination is probably the Borderlands series with tens of millions of randomly generated guns), John Romero thinks that is not necessary, needs. For him, “it is better to have fewer (guns) than a million guns that you are not interested in.” I’d rather spend time with a gun to make sure you always have more to learn when using it.”
According to him, shooters today are somewhat similar to RPG games when they throw you a lot of different weapons, making you have to compare and choose from one map to another from the game. Game after game and weaker guns are always thrown away like an outdated phone. And Doom’s father didn’t like it.
To illustrate his ideas, John Romero brought Doom (original 1993) as an example. “With Doom, it’s essential that every time you pick up a new weapon, it never makes any previous weapon useless. It is an important design feature, ”he said. “How can you get a revolver without making a pistol obsolete? By the amount of ammunition it consumes, the pistol costs less and is extremely accurate at a long-range by the lack of precision at a distance. ”
The way developers make games today is also something that Doom’s father criticized. In any Doom version, you can encounter many different secrets in each game screen, from the secret room, the auxiliary items, or some BFG bullets, and that’s what Mr. John Romero wants to see more of modern games. According to him, shooters today are less secretive because they are too expensive. If a few dozen people created Wolfenstein 3D in a few months, Modern Warfare was created by hundreds of people and cost tens of millions of USD. So developers are hesitant to include unimportant things like secret rooms into the game only because it adds staff working hours and thus, increases labor and equipment costs.
He said he had noticed the trend of getting rid of things that weren’t as important as the secret room since Quake. Indeed: making a secret room in Doom is very easy becauseSoftware employees only need to draw a few lines and put a door, not taking more than a minute. In Quake, this takes a lot more work. Because each room is made up of 6 planes – floors, walls, ceilings; not to mention having to add a light source and make sure the brightness is right, reaching every corner of the room “Because the secret room making takes much longer, no one wants to do it anymore because it’s so popular. see them? ”
The absence of secret rooms may have another cause: the rise of shooting games set in real-life settings such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, or Medal of Honor. When you fight in the typical urban villages, the secret rooms will be downright lost because not everyone is free to dug into the underground room in a poor village or slum.
John Romero also took the time to talk about the harmful effects of the “real” factor in modern shooters: they pave the way for criticism of “games that cause violence” on people who have little knowledge about games want to find the culprit instead. Suppose Doom is too gore but in an animated style and thus seems “harmless” more. In that case, today’s shooting games are set somewhere in the world, such as Wildlands in Bolivia, Call of Duty and Battlefield in South America or the Middle East, Homefront in the US, and so on. When you make a game set in the context involving any place in the real world or deliberately make it look like a specific place, you will make people there.
John Romero talks about what he wants to see in today’s shooting games and makes it possible with action. Earlier this year, he launched Sigil – an unofficial expansion for Doom in the form of a mod, and it adheres to the principles set in the 1990s. It is filled with secret areas. Its guns are weapons and puzzles, and of course, the army of demons for you to enjoy cartoon-style gore effects. This mod has received a warm welcome from Doom fans, especially those who still “plow” the original version released nearly 30 years ago. For John Romero, Sigil is where he does what he should have in Doom but has not been thought of and will be the foundation for Blackroom, the FPS title that he and his studio are doing and will launch in the future.