Id has found great success this year in their modern reimagining of a classic, but you might be surprised to hear that one of the game’s best mechanics was inspired by a system from the canceled DOOM 4 project.
In the first part of Noclip‘s documentary series on DOOM 2016, Id developers spoke on the reasons why the project was canned in favor of what was eventually released.
“I was taking it off-path and went too far in that path,” said Kevin Cloud, an artist at Id who served as creative director on the defunct DOOM 4. Years into development, Cloud and his team realized the game “wasn’t really capturing what we felt like was DOOM…and what fans would want from it.”
Hugo Martin, creative director on DOOM 2016, thought the project was looking great but didn’t see it as a great fit for the series. “As a concept, I can see why they went there because I would probably want to explore that too…if it wasn’t a DOOM game,” said Martin.
Virtually none of the Call of Duty-like tone and sensibilities of the project described and seen in the leaked reveal trailer made their way into this year’s iteration, but one of the game’s most highly-praised mechanics came directly from the bones of the canceled project–glory kills.
Game director Marty Stratton describes the mechanics (referenced as “sync melee”) from the canceled project that in practice appear similar to the dynamic melee skirmishes found in the Uncharted games (check it out for yourself around the 20:50 mark). “You would look at that and think of glory kills, ya know? But it was slow, deliberate, very cinematic way of approaching that,” said Stratton. Eventually, the team evolved the sync melee system into the glory kills of modern DOOM.