Hallowed Mod for Doom 3
Hallowed Mod is a project I created for Doom 3. It includes environments that I designed over many years. Some levels were originally envisioned as multiplayer maps while others were hubs or demos originally intended for other mods.
I wanted to create a linear experience that showcased different approaches to level design in the Doom 3 engine and draw on influences from the Raven Software's Hexen series to the amazing brushwork of the Quake modding community.
Reworking these levels into a cohesive project allowed these environments to find new life and it helped me learn to work within technical limitations while showing just what the engine is capable of.
Abandoned Village (FMJ Stucko)
Level 2 of the mod was originally a multiplayer map I created initially for Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) Mod was repurposed into the Abandoned Village level. Unfortunately, because Doom 3's net-code was prohibitive to clients on slower connections, the game's multiplayer mods did not find a lot of success. Even so, in a later release of Hallowed Mod, I did include a playable vanilla deathmatch version of the map.
This map was really a means to show that the level design techniques used in Call of Duty were applicable to the Doom 3 engine and game mechanics. To do this, I tried to apply the principles of uniform scale, consideration for engagement distance, and prefab creation Call of Duty and Source Engine level design.
Temple was a map that was inspired in part by Hexen and that was originally created during my work on the Hexen EOC mod. This map and the Witch Valley map were not used in the mod because they did not achieve acceptable performance on the target hardware (i.e. 1.5 GHz CPU and 384 MB RAM). The main hurdle to the performance optimization was the modeled terrain that utilizes vertex color blended shaders.
While this method was used to great effect in some of the more cinematic sequences and organic environments in Doom 3, the framerate would drop considerably on the low end hardware when being lit by multiple light sources.
Witch Valley was initially envisioned as an outdoor exploration environment featuring many interconnected paths and pitting the player against hordes of enemies. A problem that became obvious in testing was that the engagement distances made the Doom 3 monsters much less threatening during encounters. To overcome this, the level was transformed into a dark ride style journey that better showcases the terrain while creating close-quarters encounters where the enemies are still threatening.
The performance was still an issue with this level on some hardware because Doom 3's engine does not do well with large environments. By separating the mesh into pieces, using animated, self-illuminated shaders and minimizing the number of lights, it was possible to reduce the performance cost while also making the level appear a lot more dramatic. This wouldn't have been possible if it had succeeded initially.
Often, the best part of making games is watching other people play them. Here are a few clips from my favorite youtubers playing through the mod. I want to thank and apologize to these players as their work really did help me make the mod better.