The last month has been kinda quiet at the Team Future 'office'. It's been Christmas, and like any other mod team, working people are having time off to see family and enjoy the holiday. But it has also been busy in the way that we recently were contacted by a German magazine called PCAction. They wanted to include us in their next issue, and we were more than happy about that. This, however, doesn't mean that all you non German people can't see the pictures. No, we are in fact going to release these on our site together with an update or a devblog, like this.
So. At the end of this devblog, you'll see two high resolution screenshots from Episode 1. We know we haven't been too kind with the high-res shots. We have actually only released one, but bear with us. They are coming. As for the rest of the devblog, we would like to talk a little about three individual maps from Episode 1 that we have been working on the last month's time.
We have also got a few new members. Isilme and Steevah. Steevah has been with us for a little while now. And since he is a concept artist he already did some concepts for us. Isilme is a new prop modeler that we hope will help us flesh out our maps with great looking props. On to the maps.
E1M1 - Mars City (geX)
Even though I'm the only one writing about this map it doesn't mean I'm the only one working on it. When this map is done all the level designers will have worked on it. This fits nicely together with our idea about us getting the best out of each other as mappers. And this will really help you have a great start with Doom 3: Phobos. Since this is the first map of the game, we want you to get to know the world and feel very quickly when you first enter it.
With this map we are also explaining a lot from the original doom 3 games. Like where did all the magazines and half-eaten burgers come from? Where did people live and relax? This map is going to show you more of mars city that you would think would be there. This will help you feel that this is a city, and not just some random facility where people only work at. People actually live on mars, but they can't do that in labs only.
We are aiming at having E1M1 be kind of like a sandbox. You actually don't have to go visit all these areas, since you will only have one real goal that you can achieve fairly fast, but that doesn't mean that you can't look around and maybe even find new goals to complete. And this will also help you immerse yourself into the world of doom 3 even more than before.
E1M2 - Electrical Sub-Systems (DoomUK)
Once again, this level has been a collaborative effort between several team members, passing the baton between each other and taking turns to add geometry and layers of detail.
E1M2 can essentially be divided into two areas: Administration and Electrical Sub-Systems (ESS). While most of my contribution to the level has been focused around the industrial ESS sector, shaviro and bkt produced a large amount of work towards the Admin section. This gives the level a fitting amount of contrast in atmosphere.
As far as the aesthetics of ESS go, we wanted to capture the industrial themes presented in Doom 3 and Resurrection of Evil, but giving it a flavour of our own. Towering heavy machinery, gloomy corridors and a myriad of pipelines are all present, but with with a new take in regards to lighting.
Concerning gameplay, E1M2 has a good mix of horizontal and vertical level design philosophies. We came to a conclusion that D3: Phobos is not just a corridor shooter, and this level captures this attitude.
E1M3 - The Landing Terminal (shaviro)
Episode 1 Level 3 is a level that has been a long time in the making. It has briefly changed hands between geX, DoomUK and me. The level itself takes place in and around a landing terminal. This terminal is connected to a hangar on one side, and Mars City (including E1M1 areas) on the other. The hangar in E1M3 is a more official route to and from Mars City than the one seen in retail Doom 3. It's because of this that we chose to make an actual landing terminal where "travelers" would wait for scheduled lifts off Mars.
Not at all unlike E1M2, these considerations have resulted in two predominant styles: Mars City and Maintenance. Mars City style is a polished, friendly look that has already been seen in Doom3. Maintenance is the more gritty look where you get all your pipes, shadows and other Doom cravings. Another area of this level is an outdoor area in the center of the map, where you can see the top of the hangar doors as well as the buildings you roam. We have already shown this area in the Arachnotron shot. The monster and its combatants are actually standing on the hangar doors.
E1M3 is going to have a large focus on environmental puzzles. The level is like a jigsaw puzzle that will slowly be put together in order to progress.
That's it for the maps. As promised, here are two high-resolution shots: