Doom Absolution (AKA Doom 64 2) is the cancelled sequel to Doom 64, that was planned by Midway San Diego & ID Software to be a multiplayer-focused game developed for 2 players deathmatch mode (as the first game’s multiplayer mode was removed) , somehow like what happened with Turok Rage Wars, the multiplayer-only Turok that Acclaim released on Nintendo 64 to follow the GoldenEye deathmatch craze. As we can read from an interview with Aaron Seeler (lead programmer for Doom 64):
At that time, as dm purists, most everybody involved thought it silly to play dm split screen, where you could see everybody else. So, we chose not to do it. 007 beat the crap out of Doom 64. Quite a regret.
Doom Absolution was officially canned in July 1997, when the project was still in early development (Doom 64 was released in March/April 1997) and sadly there are no images to be preserved. It seems that the game was cancelled because the Doom engine looked dated at the time and they decided to work on Quake 64 port instead, a “newer” fully 3D FPS that could have had sell more copies within the market.
Is interesting to notice that originally Doom 64 was started as a project called “The Absolution” but the title was later changed for brand recognition. Still “The Absolution” was reused as the name of the last level of the game.
We tried to get in contact with some people from Midway San Diego that worked on the original Doom 64 and its sequel but with no luck, if you know someone that could have more info about this cancelled Doom game, please let us know!
In February 2012, 170 Doom 4 beta images leaked onto the internet. The images are from various points in development, showing some unfinished environments, concepts, and character models. The environments appear to be mainly open urban areas, with a large scale “hell on earth” scenario.
iD design director Matthew Hooper responded to the leak on Twitter:
“Those images have nothing to do with what you’re gonna see in Doom 4. When we officially show things you’ll see awesome.”
Doom 3 is a science fiction horror videogame developed by id Software and published by Activision. The game was first shown in Febuary 2001, as a tech demo showing of id’s newest graphics engine. The game has had many cuts and changes during its long development cycle. One of the most noticeable differences is the changes the demons went through, throughout the games development. In this screenshot you can see the original model for the Hell Knight, because of it bird shaped head it is often reffered to in the doom community as the Birdman.
Here you can see the 2001 Doom 3 macworld video showing off the Birdman in 2001: skip to 4:50 for Doom 3.
The development of Doom began in 1992 as a tie-in of Aliens, but the first concept of the game, “Evil Unleashed“, was finished only in febraury 1993. As we can see from the ToastyTech website, this demo had only a room and three enemies: an imp, a demon, and a baron of hell. The hud was very different and with more status informations, even if still not functional. They were still testing the engine , so it was possible to change the textures and the lighting system using the keyboard.
The next build of Doom that we have, the alpha 4-22 (dated april 1993), included, instead, early versions of many levels (Spawning Vats, Containment Area,Refinery, Computer Station, Central Processing, Command Control, Nuclear Plant, Pandemonium) and a test map that was discarded. Some areas (like a room where marines are playing cards, that was supposed to be the beginning of the game, or the showers and the lockers) and objects (like the office chairs) of the stages were completely removed, in part probably because the story of the game was at the beginning much more complex and there were five playable characters (Lorelei Chen, John Pietrovich, Dimitri Paramo, Thi Barrett,Buddy Dacote). Items couldn’t be collected, and their design was still unfinished. The chainsaw was already there, though. Also, there were some removed pickups, like a strange circle of skulls, and you could use a bayonet for melee attacks. Enemies didn’t have any AI and they still couldn’t be killed, but the developers had already created the graphics for a first version of the Lost Souls, even if they weren’t accessible in the game yet.
A subsequent alpha, the 5-22 (dated may 1993), showed a game much more similar to the Doom we know. Familiar elements like toxic pools, keycards, explosive barrels, medikits, the overworld map, were added, enemies could now be killed (but they just disappeared), items could be picked up, switches and elevators worked, the Cacodemon and the Zombieman were created but still not inserted in the game. A press release beta demo made shortly before the final version had still a few strange items and some differences in the layouts of the three levels included. Interestingly, the game still keep the score like in the alpha 5-22, even if it wasn’t in the hud anymore.
the design document sketches an outline of a game that’s closer to Left 4 Dead than the actual Doom – a co-op romp through a realistic military base filled with undead and devoid of lava traps or acid pits. There was even a proper story too; one set to span six episodes
A cut area called The Officer’s Club, for example, is described in the design document as a private bar where players could find “a neat collector’s pistol (if we can have weapon quality)”. There was no other purpose for the area – the Club was an optional stopping off point for those who wanted to explore and who’d collected a dismembered hand that could fool the biometric locks.
Doom had been intended to start in the hangar where the heroes played cards, a short cut-scene ending with players standing around the card table and even holding in their inventory the sandwiches they had been eating.
Some of the pre-release alpha and beta versions are available in the idgames archive. You can find them on Doomworld, or do a search for “/idgames/historic/”.
Thanks a lot to Nathan for the contribution, to Deepcut and Joe Martin for the links and to SquarePulse for some of the videos!