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.

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
A tour of Mars City Living Quarters Reception
Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: Devblog #14 - Reflections

10 comments by geX on Sep 17th, 2013

We know it has been quite a while since the last devblog. More than a whole year. So why has it been so long? To start off, it has been a very eventful year for the members of the team. People have been moving, buying a new house, there have been tragedies. Close family members lost. Operations. Busy times at work - so something had to give. And instead of sacrificing our productivity for the actual mod work, we have cut back a little on the public relations side of things. So all in all, this doesn’t mean we have been idle, we have simply prioritized not being idle higher than not looking idle.

So what have we been doing for all that time?
Well, quite a lot. First off, we finished up E1M8 - the last level of the episode. This involved a wide array of our abilities and pressed us to evolve new ones as well as refine the existing. We had to ensure that the episode ends with a bang. One of our main challenges when building this level was the ever changing progression style from linear to nonlinear.

Next up we decided it was time to remake E1M2.
This was, after all, the first level we created since practically rebooting the project in 2009. While there were good ideas and segments in the level, we opted for scrapping it entirely and replace it with something new and much better. Certain parts of the old version was saved and reused for the new. We finished the map in a reasonable amount of time and the subsequent result was much better. One of the problems we had with the old level was that it was too fragmented and didn’t portray that part of the martian base in a manner where the player would know exactly where he was and what he was supposed to do. While we like to have a certain level of nonlinearity, we need to have a greater sense of direction in this part of the story.

Lastly, we had to create E1M1
, the start level of the game and the last level of the first phase of development. We already had a few pieces of the level ready, so all we had to do was to settle on the style and build the rest of the areas of which were already planned. The first level of Phobos has been planned to have no action. While it’s not set in stone yet, we are attempting to create a level that’s large and completely open to explore, but you don’t have to spend too much time there if you’re simply craving to progress to the levels with action. It’s a delicate balance to get right, but if we succeed it should be very interesting. For the story seeking player, spending more time in E1M1 will pay off dramatically. We are putting great care into the opening of the game.

And that was it for Phase 1.

Before we head off to Phase 2 in this here devblog, it’s worth mentioning that somewhere in between all of this work, the writers finalized the first draft of the entire detailed story with flow, characters and direction. Now, this doesn’t mean we waited until now to write the story - far from it - the rough story as it is was completed back in 2005 or 2006 and we have been following this plan ever since. Not much has changed in this regard. What’s new is the amount of detail the document goes into with the characters, what scenes the player witnesses and the interconnections between the characters. The document details what each character is doing at any time, what their motivations are, what they let others know and so forth. We would have loved to have had this earlier, but time didn’t permit it. So far it has been a tremendously useful tool. We are really excited about it.
And now on to Phase 2. Please note that all illustrative images are work in progress and do not represent the final quality of the areas, but are merely here to show what kind of processes we go through with Phase 2.

We started by planning out how the workflow would be. This didn’t take long as we had been discussing the phase for 4 years at that point. What basically goes in is we have all the levels ready, playable from start to finish - complete with puzzles, monsters, items and weapons. They all look decent and all the shots we have released show that there is a certain level of quality throughout. Now, with these levels in the bank, we go through them one by one, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and then proceed to write a solution document which goes into detail on how we can fix any problems the levels may have. That is not to say we look too much at texture misalignments, less than perfect lighting or anything like that. Phase 2 is a rough pass over the levels, fixing uneven quality, things that are broken, implementing details to reinforce what we’re trying to convey with the story and so forth. An example of this is how we in E1M4 completely scrapped an old cargo system in order to replace it with a new, carefully crafted cargo conveyance system. This involved a few new areas and overall the level has been doubled in size.

So does the mention of E1M4 mean we have finished 4 maps for the second phase? Sadly no. When determining the order of the levels in this second phase, it was an important point for us that we did not work on levels that had fatigue. This basically means levels we have almost just completed within a year and haven’t had time to show its weaknesses. We need some time away from the levels for us to brew up great ideas and clear vision on their qualities. This meant we decided to start on E1M4, then take E1M3 and continue with E1M5. Long story short, we’re doing them in the same order as with Phase 1.

As of this devblog, we are in the finishing stages of E1M3, that soon makes it 2 levels in the 2nd Phase bank. It has taken a little longer than we wanted, but these two levels are the oldest and in most need of work, after all. We hope and intend that the process will speed up over the next levels, but it’s important to say that at this point, 9 years after the release of Doom3, we don’t really have any deadlines anymore. Our most important goal is to deliver an expansion pack that exceeds that of Resurrection of Evil and the Lost Missions. To elaborate on this, it has been a year since we played the fan-made mod/game Black Mesa. Anyone who has played this will recognize and appreciate the amazing work that went into creating it and the breathtaking quality that - in many places - are apparent. We were as inspired by this as any, but a year back while we were hammering away at rough roads, garages and caves for E1M2, this kind of quality seemed unreachable for a team our size. Now we can safely say that it’s not entirely unrealistic that we will have the same level of quality in our work, if not greater yet. It certainly is our intention to try. In many ways we are attempting to have Doom 3 Phobos be to Doom what Black Mesa is to Half-Life. A solid, high quality product that further nuances an existing base game. The biggest difference is that the story and events in Phobos are all new.
A part of the vision and the improvement of quality is also to differ from our base, Doom 3. While it was a good game, we feel there are lots of ways to improve. We are putting back a wider array of colors, we’re brightening up the place, we are improving the sounds and the general action & interaction with enemies. We are deepening the story. Our levels are larger, less linear and more varied in style and theme. We’re aiming for a less depressing audio side. We have more action. All monsters won’t be grey. Betruger is taking a vacation in our mod (He won’t be laughing at you, locking and unlocking doors). Progression and game events are based on your actions, not the current area’s monster count or developers unlocking doors after a monologue. Great care and detail is put into the world around the player to make it feel like a real place you can interact with rather than a pretty backdrop with 6 ft. tall clip brushes.

We don’t have a lot of manpower for this vision though, as times are rough for Doom 3 modding in general and our team specifically. We are down to 3 active members as our long time level designer, DoomUK, decided to call it quits for personal reasons. We wish him the very best on his future endeavors and thank him for his wonderful contributions to the mod.

While we make progress every day and all-in-all our work rate is really good, we would benefit greatly from new talent. We are looking for practically anyone with a decent skill set and - almost more important - the will to work his or her ass off and the enthusiasm for getting better, improving the skill set and be willing to take on different assignments. It’s a free mod, so we can’t offer any monetary benefits, but you’ll get the chance to work on something that will actually be completed and released. It’s no longer a pipe dream with this project, it is reality. You’ll be working on something with high, aiming for higher, quality. If you think you fit this description, don’t hesitate to send us an email at with your background, area of expertise and examples hereof.

Furthermore, we would appreciate any help we get with the public aspect of this. Tell your friends about us, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. There is something special in the works and we’d like to reach as many people as possible with it.

visit our homepage

Please join us here too:

ModDB iconTwitter iconTwitter icon

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Post comment Comments  (70 - 80 of 212)
DarkStarAngelo Apr 28 2012 says:

By the way will this expansion be longer or shorter than the Doom 3 campaign?

+1 vote     reply to comment
DarkStarAngelo Apr 28 2012 says:

Wow cannot wait for this :D And good to see it isnt dead ^-^

+1 vote     reply to comment
BFG9001 Jan 28 2012 says:

I practically check this every day!I was thinking,since you guys are such huge fans of the doom series and have been modding on the doom 3 engine for quite a while, it would be interesting to hear your opinion on doom 3 itself since the doom community (especially doomworld) is rather biased and don't see some of the really awesome qualities of doom 3.So the question is: would you be interested to express your feelings about doom 3 in a future devblog or when you release the mod?Also, can we expect the mod to be released this year?

P.S When is the next devblog coming?

+1 vote     reply to comment
AzzKickr Feb 25 2012 replied:

Same here (the daily checking part). Can't wait for the release !!

+2 votes     reply to comment
shaviro Creator
shaviro Jan 31 2012 replied:

First of all, thanks for your support! It's always nice to hear when people follow our project :)

As for Doom3, I'm sure most in the team have talked about it, but I'll give you my 2 cents on it. There's no doubt that Doom3 had a lot of flaws and that it lacked a certain ambition that fuels the really great and groundbreaking games. The most discussed flaws are obviously how dark the game is and how some of the sound design is pretty lacking. My main gripes with the game was that it stayed the same throughout the game. Tech bases that, while they have distinct qualities, are very similar in style. There was the hell level, but that was like 1/20th of the game.

Other than that I didn't like how they decided to dumb down the story (as documented in the making of book) and I disagree with some of the choices they made throughout development.

That said, I don't think it's a bad game. Doom3 does so much more right than most shooters - especiall most shooters today. It also deserves to mention just how amazing the level design is from a visual standpoint. Yes, it's not varied or bountiful with colors, but the small details all go together very well and create a larger whole that is just awesome to study.

The game could have had more variation, a more involved and diverse story, better shooting and sounds, but all in all it was a good game. Not DOOM good, but good.

What do you think?

Edit: As for devblogs, I'm not sure when the next will be out. We have a guy on it though and will probably be able to say more soon. We could very well cover what we liked and disliked about Doom3. And how we're working to better it in Phobos.

This year? It has been a goal for a long time, but it could just as well be early 2013. It's hard to say at this point.

+1 vote   reply to comment
BFG9001 Jan 31 2012 replied:

It's really refreshing to see someone from the doom community having an unbiased view on Doom 3 :D.I've always thought that they made the game darker because of perfomance issues and I also think that the darkness was not BAD in itself.Doom 1 had a lot of dark areas(the maze from E1M2 comes to mind) and also a few monster closets(the red keycard room from E1m3).The MAIN difference between the darkness in Doom 3 and Doom 1 is that while doom 1 certainly has dark areas, it does not hinder the player and does not slow the gameplay, it is used only to set the mood.Regarding the overused techbase theme, I think Id did that because they know E1 practically represented doom 1.

It is also intersting to note the subtle influence Doom 3 had on RAGE.From the style of the textures, to sounds, the behavior of the scorcher mutant and the final techbase level which feels a lot like doom 3.While RAGE certainly had a lot of flaws, I think it was a great game ,especially from a gamplay POV - the guns fell like they SHOULD in an id game.In my opinion RAGE is an indication of what we could expect from Doom 4.

P.S Have you guys ever considered showing your stuff to Id?They said they are still hiring people for doom 4 and it would be incredibly awesome to have someone from the doom community working on doom 4.Remember, Tim Willits got hired by Id after he posted some levels on the net :D.

Thanks for your time.

+1 vote     reply to comment
shaviro Creator
shaviro Feb 3 2012 replied:

As for Rage, I'm sure you're right. It's an indicator for how Doom4 turns out. I just hope it won't be a reskinned Rage, like they proclaimed it wouldn't. I wasn't too thrilled about Rage actually. I mean, the action was great - it (in my opinion) easily surpasses that of Doom3 by leaps and bounds. The animation was fantastic and the general (visual) attention to detail is amazing. That said, I don't think the game had much else going for it.

I'd love to work on Doom4, but that would also mean I would have to relocate to the states. Not so sure I'd want to do that :) They would also have to be interested.

+1 vote   reply to comment
shaviro Creator
shaviro Feb 3 2012 replied:

Yeah well Doom3 and I have a lot of history :P
Ever since my brother and myself finished up Doom2, I've wanted a third game. The Ultimate Doom and Final Doom seemed off to me and they weren't really all-in efforts anyway. Then one day back in 2000 I saw the announcement of another Doom game. That was really a turn point for me. The following year when the macworld video was shown, I was blown away alongside everybody else. Amazing graphics. Never before seen leaps in fidelity and, well, cinematography.

The game leaked and I ermm....saw that. It was awesome. The 2002 E3 trailer was amazing. For me, this was the peak of Doom3. From there on they replaced the shotgun, dumbed down a few things, replaced all the sounds and the game turned out to be a whole lot more bleak than this trailer. I spent every day looking at Doom3 stuff, analyzing every frame of the videos, cracking the codes on the ua-corp site. I even got my name in the game on a laptop near the hangar in the beginning. It was a great time!

I agree about the lighting and shadowing. It didn't get that much to me either. I also think it's a performance and limitation thing as well as a way to hide less detailed areas. You'll see a lot of completely empty ceilings and pits if you look closely. They handled that pretty well. And yeah, Doom1 had a much richer spectrum of brightness and I think Doom3 could have benefitted from this. Bright areas where you feel safe with dark hallways that serve as contrast and fear-inspiring arms out to get you.

+1 vote   reply to comment
SamVision Jan 22 2012 says:

Iz ded naow?

+1 vote     reply to comment
geX Creator
geX Jan 22 2012 replied:

Nope. Still working

+1 vote   reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Doom III Icon
Doom III
Team Future
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Mod Watch
Track this mod
First Person Shooter
Single Player
Embed Buttons

Promote Doom 3: Phobos on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the embed code provided (more).

Doom 3: Phobos
Doom 3: Phobos
Last Update
1 month ago
417 members