The history behind 2016’s first-person shooter title DOOM has been quite a long and winding one, as it originally began as the id Software-helmed Doom 4, the intended latest follow-up in the popular action game series. After releasing to the masses and being well-received by critics and consumers alike, the minds behind DOOM might be looking to take advantage of its yet-untapped potential and create a sequel.
In an interview with IGN during the 2017 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, id Software’s creative director Hugo Martin and DOOM‘s executive producer/game director Marty Stratton talked all things game development, most notably their interest in creating potential sequels for the 2016 title. When asked whether id Software would continue down the newly-refreshed DOOM path or perhaps take on brand-new titles, Stratton commented on the freedom the company imbued into the refresh of the franchise. “We left ourselves a really, really amazing canvas and a lot of colors to paint with going forward,” Stratton stated.
Though the DOOM co-directors did not give any word or confirmation on any new projects, they did comment on the success of the title’s multiplayer DLC, and mentioned it’s likely something they’ll look into implementing in upcoming games. In particular, Sratton discussed the DLC’s revealing nature:
“I think the DLC we did for multiplayer is, it’s definitely the best of the multiplayer stuff that’s out there. We are sticking with the multiplayer, we’ve got some things that we want to still do and give players… We try to keep a close eye on what people are talking about, it’s going to be hugely informative as we go forward with just about everything.”
Martin and Stratton continued to reflect on DOOM‘s popularity and what worked well for the title, weaving those elements into talks for possible future installments. During DOOM‘s production, id Software was mindful of the audience and worked to create a narrative that was respective of their intelligence but wasn’t too cut-and-dry that everyone could see exactly what was coming next. “How do you make a game where it says Doom on the box and everybody already knows what the story is,” Martin said. “There’s no mystery to [it], so how do you make it compelling?”
Martin then went on to explain that the key to DOOM‘s middle-of-the-ground story and gameplay structure was a self-aware attitude; the game “knew it was dumb” and “celebrated the fact that it was really kind of stupid,” he said. Stratton added that it was extremely important to id Software to do something clever with DOOM, and that was to be “completely obvious” and “super silly” with its narrative.
Stratton and Martin also talked about their inspirations — most of which were “efficient” or had the same type of aura they wanted DOOM to have — that helped shape the game. These include films like Robocop, Evil Dead, Michael Clayton, and The Last Boy Scout that all implemented a self-aware mindset.
Moving forward, it appears that id Software will capitalize and hone in on the aspects of development and delivery that made DOOM a unique addition to the Doom franchise. Which will likely bode well for any potential sequels. After Doom 4 was cancelled, id Software designer Kevin Cloud and Marty Stratton himself discussed why it bit the bullet. It came down to a lack of personality and focus, which left the game feeling more like a Call of Duty installment than one of its own series. For the 2016 reboot, a lot of refocusing was done, and a cohesive title was released.
Based on the comments given to IGN, it seems Stratton and Martin know exactly what to bring to the table for potential DOOM sequels, ones that may even snag up a few GDC Choice Awards nominations in the future.
DOOM released May 13, 2016 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.