Doom 3: Phobos is a 1 episode project which continues the story in Doom 3. It is set in between Doom 3 and its expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil. Doom 3: Phobos will feature more variation than the original 2004 game, and will bring back more of the traits that made the original Dooms successful. Doom 3: Phobos has evolved into a very extensive and ambitious project. We are well on our way of creating an unofficial expansion pack of top quality.

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After having been locked in a basement for 10 months, we're finally back - and we've brought goodies! In this devblog we go through the inner workings of our internal demo as well as talk about some new developments in the mod. Last, but not least we have six new shots for everyone to see!

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After having been locked in a basement for 10 months, we're finally back - and we've brought goodies! We are fully aware of our nature as a silent team, but it's not a result of a lack of progess. It's quite the contrary. We love to release information and media, but we would much rather work on the mod than planning/writing these devblogs. 10 months is a long time though, even for us. So let's get down to business!

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The internal demo, as we call it, is going exceptionally well. As of this update, we have 6 out of 8 maps ready for the first phase of internal demo development. Details will follow later in the devblog on what this internal demo is and how we work. The observant reader might have noticed that we said "6 out of 8 maps" and anyone with basic knowledge about the mod knows that it's a 3 episode project with 8 maps a' piece, so what's going on? It is true that we initially aimed for 3 episodes, but when (January 2009) we started work on the internal demo - which basically meant restarting all level design for Episode 1 - we quickly realized that this could be it.

The task would be too big to handle for a team as small as ours and if we wanted to release something, we had to aim a little lower. So what we did was to focus on Episode 1 and its 8 maps, treating the other two episodes as if they didn't exist. We haven't shrunk the story and it still spans over 3 episodes, but we will only tell the first part of it. We haven't completely ruled out making the last two episodes, but it's not something we spend much time thinking about these days. The good part is that episode 1 will be completed. That's as much a 100% guarantee as a modding team can provide.

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And now on to the Internal Demo ramblings.
First of all, we would like to make it clear that it is exactly as it sounds; Internal. We will not release anything until the episode is finished, polished and ready to go. It's done when it's done. With that out of the way, we can proceed to the inner mechanisms of the internal demo. We have split up the map creation process into three phases.

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Phase 1
The first phase is basically about getting the maps in a stage where you can play them, complete with monsters, functionality and puzzles. They basically need to get into a stage where you, in an unfortunate event, _could_ release the maps before phase 2 and still have a solid product. The maps are, after phase1, a nice and balanced playthrough, but perhaps lacking the extra story details and polish you would expect from a top notch game (or mod). This phase is the longest of the three.

* Plan out the maps
We have the story and we know the locations. Now it's time to plan the maps in terms of areas and puzzles. We usually draw the areas before mapping them.

* Build them architecturally
The actual geometry is built, so the entirety of the level is architecturelly complete.

* Make it playable from start to finish

The map is sealed. Visportals are placed. Doors are inserted. Puzzles are scripted. Gui placeholders are made. After this stage, the entire map should be available for testers to play.

* Monster placement
The initial monster placement is done. The different set-pieces, encounters and spawn-ins are placed/scripted. Rough balance test takes place.

* Sound placement
Rough sound placement stage. The bread and butter sounds are placed; machines, wind, echoes and so forth.

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Phase 2
The second phase contains the last content for the mod. The content made in phase 1 is improved upon and new content is inserted. This is especially a phase for polish, narrative and graphical user interfaces. This phase, while extensive, is shorter than the first. This is the phase where we take it from MOD to GAME.

* Implement narrative
The maps have, of course, already been planned and created with the story in mind, but things like PDAs, e-mails, dialogue as well as scripted events that propel the story are implemented at this stage. Phase 1 has prepared the levels for this.

* Fine polish for the areas
The levels are inspected in an area-by-area fashion, writing plans for each. Some may need a lighting makeover. Others need more details. Outside areas will need to have simple brushwork replaced with models. A few areas might get removed or even added. After this stage, everything should be looking sharp and ready-to-go. This also applies for monster encounters, puzzles and so forth.

* GUI work
The placeholder guis will be replaced with better, more graphic versions that integrate seamlessly into the world and help contextualize the puzzles. Main menu, PDA and other larger GUIs will also be touched up/altered.

* Sounds, voices & Music
The final direction of the sound, dialogue and music is done(inserted).

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Phase 3
The mod is basically done, but we want it to be the best it can be, so we go through the content again - improving what we can within reason. This phase is the shortest of the three. It can't be allowed to eat up much time. It's a fine balance.

* Performance optimization
This is something that's done throughout both phase 1 & 2, but this is the final pass where everything needs to play smoothly. Minor adjustments are made.

* Final balancing
Any smaller problems with the play are dealt with here.

* Final polish...of everything
We go through the areas again, making sure everything is up to speed.

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We hope you enjoy the screenshots and feel a little better informed about what's going on with the mod and where it's at in the development process.


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Comments
--JoKeR--
--JoKeR--

really cool
but i want some more concreate information about the maps and news monsters etc.

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AJ_Quick

those screenshots sure are.....dark

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DarkStarLive
DarkStarLive

Will you post the mod on Desura when finished?

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geX Creator
geX

Maybe, maybe not. We will take a look at what possibilities we have when we get there.

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Woolybear777
Woolybear777

Really great update!

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RogerRamjet
RogerRamjet

Excellent mapping and models/texture work guys, great update... thanks...

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ice_trey
ice_trey

exciting news :) Umm is it a "patch 1.31 MUST-be-installed"?

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geX Creator
geX

Thanks :)

And yes you would need the latest patch to play phobos.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

WOW!!!
talking about eye candy,
thos screenshots are pure eye candy!!
can't wait to play this one!!!!

leon

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ice_trey
ice_trey

aah ok, then i guess ill have to only watch vids of others playing it, cuss the retarded 1.31 ghey patch will not be installed on my puter, 4 times i have installed it and 4 times i had to uninstall it cuss it s-u-c-k-s, almost as lousy and worthless as the Far cry 1.32 patch

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nbohr1more
nbohr1more

@ice_trey

The original 1.3.1 patch (1.3.1.1302) was broken and caused many problems. Not long after id Software issues a replacement patch 1.3.1.1304. If you install the later patch, you shouldn't have any problems.

We (The Dark Mod) host a copy and reference this in our Wiki:

Dramthethief.com

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0Buzz
0Buzz

Looks really good!, very polished levels but maybe a bit too dark in some shots(?). Keep up the good work!.

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grouchbag
grouchbag

I just think it's so beautiful! Hope It will play with D3 BFG.

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downlode
downlode

Afraid it will probably only work with original Doom 3, BFG uses a whole different file system, I don't think there are any user mods {yet, if ever} that work with BFG.

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downlode
downlode

This looks very promising, stunning screenshots. I'll be right over here, trying to wait patiently.

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grouchbag
grouchbag

Okay,thanks.I just bought Doom 3 bfg & gave away d3.I'll just buy a used copy of D3 & ROE to play it.Thanks very much for answering.Good luck on this & future projects! :D

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