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Doom (3DO)

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Doom
3do doom cover.jpg
Rushed development at its finest.
Protagonist(s): Doomguy
Genre(s): First-person shooter
Platform(s): 3DO Interactive Multiplayer
Release: NA: December 29, 1995
JP: April 26, 1996
Engine: id Tech 1
Developer(s): LogicWare
Publisher(s): Art Data Interactive
Country: United States
Series: Doom
Successor: Doom II
"Doom on the 3DO is not Doom. It's a sad excuse for Doom. Doom on a Ti-83 graphic calculator would play better than this."
The Angry Video Game Nerd

Doom is a first-person shooter game developed and published by id Software in 1993, and became one of the most influential games of all time.

This page will focus on the 3DO version.

Development

Pre-production on the 3DO version began when Art Data Interactive purchased console rights to Doom for a large sum of money, but without a staff to actually develop the port, Art Data's CEO shopped around for a team. The project eventually wound up with Rebecca "Burger Becky" Heineman at LogicWare, who had already impressed Art Data with her 3DO port of Wolfenstein 3D, and who Art Data assured the project was already well underway and just needed some fine tuning. Heineman would then find that virtually no work had actually been done on the project, and that the CEO of Art Data had grossly underestimated how much work it would actually take to develop the game, boasting about brand new levels, enemies and weapons in the press when all he had was mock-up art assets. With no support from Art Data, Heineman acquired the PC and Jaguar source code for Doom straight from id Software and created a quick-and-dirty conversion in just ten weeks.

Full-motion video cutscenes were also planned to take advantage of the 3DO's media streaming capabilities and increased CD-ROM storage medium, but these never came to pass. Instead the 3DO port features a newly remixed soundtrack, created to replace the Jaguar-specific audio drivers that Heineman was unable to port, and recorded by a band that Art Data's CEO was a part of.

Why It's Doomed

  1. The most infamous part of this port is that you have to play it in a really small screen, at a smaller resolution than any other port of DOOM. Even the SNES port allowed you to play in fullscreen.
    • The game has 6 screen sizes, but none of them come close to the other ports of the game.
    • There are 2 larger resolutions that are hidden behind a cheat code, this is because originally the 3DO company wanted to make an updated system called M2, which had the ability to play 3DO games at better resolutions and framerates, but the project was cancelled and the M2 never happened.
  2. The second most infamous part is definitely the absolutely atrocious framerate. Most of the time the game barely reaches 20 FPS, and is sometimes reduced to single digits.
    • While lowering the screen size improves the framerate, it never reaches a decent number, no matter the size.
    • Of course since the higher difficulty levels increase the number of enemies, the already bad framerate becomes worse, making the game almost unplayable at times.
  3. Since this is a port of the Atari Jaguar, there is neither Spider Mastermind nor Cyberdemon.
  4. While the sound, for most of the time, is decent, there are times when louder sound will silence others completely or at least partially.
  5. False Advertising: the back of the box still lists the supposed features that this port originally was going to have, including the FMV cutscenes, and new levels, which of course don't exist in the finished game.
  6. The controls are awful:
    • To switch weapons you must press the Select button and C, which is an awkward combination and not very precise.
    • Toggling automap requires an even less precise combination, in this case, C+Start.
    • Turning is way too slow, it is really hard to go in the direction you want, and worse, it makes it hard to aim correctly.
    • It doesn't help that going backwards and forwards feels really slippery, which makes moving around the map a massive chore.
    • The shooting has a delay, and it varies from weapon to weapon, the worst being the pistol and the rocket launcher, which have a half-second of a delay from pressing the button to the character actually shooting.
  7. Speaking of the resolution, the game looks as bad, if not worst than the SNES port, the enemies some of the time are barely visible, and the entire game looks like a blurry mess of pixels.
  8. The chainsaw is absent from the game.
  9. The A.I. of the enemies were completely butchered, many times they don't attack at all, or take a long time to attack, this makes hard enemies like Cacodemons, killable with punches.
  10. The auto-aim is much less precise than in the original game, many times it misses things it could have hit.
  11. The cheat codes are ridiculously hard to pull off, as you must enter a really long sequence of button presses on the navigation map.
  12. When referring to the small screen size, Randy Scott said that the 6 screen sizes were a feature rather than a drawback, and in the interview, said that the game had 6 levels of speed.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The game has a fantastic soundtrack.
  2. It has all the levels just like the Atari Jaguar port, unlike the 32X version.

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "High Level of Shit Contamination" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

The 3DO version was panned by critics and gamers, being a massive commercial failure, both thanks to the small 3DO user base and overall quality of the port. Worse for Art Data Interactive is that they owed the 3DO company 3 dollars per copy shipped, and since they produced 50000 copies, that meant they owed a total of $150000 to 3DO, even worst is the licence fee they owed which Heineman believes it was around $250000 to $500000, and that's before considering the manufacturing and development costs, and Rebecca herself hold the final disc of the game until she and LogicWare were given their money, which they got.

Randy Scott blamed on LogicWare, however, id Software themselves backed LogicWare. Art Data when out of business shortly after this release, making Doom on 3DO the only game they ever released.[1]

Rebecca Heineman stated that Randy Scott borrowed money from no other place than his church to fund the game. She believed that if they had been given 10 more weeks of time, the game could have been a massive improvement. In 2015, Heineman uploaded the source code for the 3DO version on GitHub. To this day, Rebecca Heineman still works in the industry as the CEO of her own company Olde Sküül. Randy Scott, on the other hand, was later accused of child sex offenses at the music school he ran in 2017.[2]

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