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DOOM 3 in the U.S.
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Old 5th August 2004, 02:48   #1
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MESQUITE, Texas - Four years after setting out to remake one of the most popular and violent video games ever, the crew at id Software, Inc. is finally done with its latest vision of hell.

"Doom 3" hits store shelves Tuesday, though there were reports of some retailers breaking a midnight sales embargo and of pirated copies already being distributed for free on the Internet.

"We're a bit nervous. It's like raising a child and you send them out into the world," said Tim Willits, one of the game's designers.

The $55 sequel typifies the first person shooter genre id pioneered in the early 1990s with the original "Doom," "Quake" and "Wolfenstein 3D": gamers run and gun through hordes of monsters or other enemies in three dimensions.

With each release, the visuals, sound and other effects have improved. "Doom 3" is by far the most realistic and looks nearly equal to animated films like "Shrek 2."

Marty Stratton, part of the id crew, has already blasted dozens of flame-tossing imps, flying skulls and other nightmarish demons from another dimension. But more keep spawning in flashes of yellow light.

"This is where it really starts getting scary," he says upon entering a new level of "Doom 3" where massive hell knights lob deadly balls of energy against a backdrop of shimmering lava pools and torches made of corpses. "I don't know how many times I've been through hell but it just freaks me out."

In "Doom 3" you are a marine on a martian outpost that becomes a gateway to hell after a series of top secret experiments involving ancient alien artifacts. With shotguns, rocket launchers, lasers and grenades, you alone must fend off a menagerie of beasts and possessed base workers.

It's a familiar formula that's served the tiny developer well. While some have decried id's games as overly violent, the company has sold millions of copies of one gory hit after another.

In turn, the games have spawned legions of loyal fans. By the thousands, gamers of all ages flock to "QuakeCon," an annual Texas gathering paid for by id where like-minded players meet and fight each other online.

Along with "Half-Life 2," "Doom 3" is one of the most anticipated games this year, said Greg Kasavin, executive editor of the review Web site GameSpot.com.

"It represents the next technological leap by id Software - a developer that's remained on the forefront of computer graphics and computer game technology for more than a decade," he said.

Analyst Michael Goodman with the Yankee Group said "Doom 3" could boost the sagging market for personal computer games. Sales of CD-ROM-based PC games dropped from $1.4 billion two years ago to an estimated $1 billion this year, largely due to the growing popularity of consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation 2, he said.

The success has turned co-owner and technical director John Carmack into one of the game industry's most revered gurus, renowned for his skill at creating game "engines," the underlying foundation of a game which makes everything from graphics to sound possible.

Carmack said there was some internal debate about what the next project would be after its last game, the online shooter "Quake 3" and the "Team Arena" expansion pack in 2000.

Eventually they decided to remake Doom using new software tools created by Carmack.

"We've always been a small company of prima donnas," Carmack, sporting baggy shorts and a white T-shirt, said as he swiveled his bespectacled gaze from a flat screen computer monitor glowing with lines of computer code. "But we've really matured as a development team. Lots of things took longer than we expected, but we're really pleased with how it all turned out."

Id's sleek offices in a nondescript professional building in suburban Dallas have been a home away from home for its two dozen employees.

Led by Carmack, they've been in "crunch mode" since January, clocking 80-hour work weeks in a rush to wrap things up.

Dress is casual: Employees stroll the dim hallways wearing shorts and T-shirts. There's a kitchen stacked with boxes of Krispy-Kreme doughnuts, bags of beef jerky and a row of arcade machines.

Many workers said an obsessive streak got them through the long hours. Lead artist Kenneth Scott said he was worn out after working 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for months on end, but admitted to suffering from a bit of postpartum depression when it was finished.

"We're pretty up to our chins in what we do," he said. "You get used to that groove. Your mind drifts and you feel guilty when you're sitting down relaxing."

It's only been a few weeks since "Doom 3" was declared done. Already, the office is abuzz with renewed activity.

With window blinds pulled, programmers and artists are again hunched over their keyboards, working on an Xbox version of "Doom 3," as well as a new game. All anyone will say for now is that it will be a completely new game, not a sequel.

"We're not like a rock band where you take four months off," Stratton said. "Although, that would be nice."

Another Carmack project, meanwhile, has nothing to do with computer games. Between his time finishing up the game and developing rockets with his Armadillo Aerospace company, he and his wife, Anna, are expecting their first child, Christopher Ryan Carmack, in mid-August.
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Old 8th August 2004, 08:03   #2
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the stunning visuals keep you playing, that's what I know.
Not the repetitive gameplay, not the weaponry, just the stunning visuals.
it's a good game.
a graphically extremely welllooking game with a mediocre gameplay.
it's actually normal they made it take place in small rooms. notice the framedrops within any 'big' room.

this year :
1. still farcry
2. doom3
I'm pretty curious how far halflife2 is going to be ahead...
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Old 8th August 2004, 08:21   #3
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You know it and I know it. IF only the newest vcards are priced at 75% of current market level = much more games and vcards sales; or a package deal - vcard with Doom 3.

One thing is certain. I don't have a Yale MBA degree. However, I do buy and sell ATI and Nvdia stocks. The way I look at it ..... they will come down more before they go back up; which means we all have the equal chance in changing the market.

The upgrade rules of >50% of the consumers = >50% new product releases. Right now; we have too many "new products" that do not measure up to upgrade. This means; consumers are too egotistics which comes from a very narrow market channel = low volume sales = low Return Of Investment (ROI) = Loss = Bad business.

Fever = temp rise in body temp = 2 aspirins tablets to get rid of the fever = back to normal.

Games = Fever ...... unless it creates a slight itch and the slight scratching makes one feels good.

You see how much I react to two cans of beer? And, it costs only $3 for a six-pack. If only Vcard and Good Games are as affordable.

So, the programmers can work OT; the few hungry and demanding gamers could not feed both ATI and Nvidia share holders demand in double digit growth annually.
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Old 8th August 2004, 23:24   #4
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your exactly right Lazyman. I still can't believe the prices of the topend cards. In the UK the 9800XT were still costing £300+ (around $550 or 450 euros!!!!) up until the new wave of cards. Theres no doubt there great cards but the 9800xt's, 5950's, etc have been on sale for 2 years. I'm a system builder and I can build a system for someone for £350 (amd 2500+, 512mb RAM, 80Gb harddrive, ati 9200 256mb - a good system) the same price as 1 top end graphics card. Someone needs to give them a royal kick up the ***

by the way I agree Farcry is stunning, Walking round the island makes me feel like I've got to put sunscreen on its that realistic and absorbing
 
Old 8th August 2004, 23:44   #5
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yeah my nr1 is also farcry.
fly , drive , take a boat and enjoy the looks of the islands .

its more realistic and i like outdoors and my sniper ^^
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Old 3rd September 2004, 16:01   #6
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doom 3 is amazing, and i never noticed the fps drop
 
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