I did a quick search and it looks like there’s not a QuakeCon 2019 thread anywhere, so… here’s one.
To be honest, QuakeCons have become really “BethesdaCon” in the last years, so the whole corporate messaging is a bit odd, to me (and it’s obvious that the crowd is turning up for different things than sometimes the Company would like them to care about).
But I also want to talk about the whole messaging over “Doom 25 years” stuff:
- in the Quakecon keynote, it’s basically admitted that porting Doom + Doom 2 + Doom 3 to consoles is a way of cheaply extending their reach in terms of mind-share.
- but also, it feels very much an un-id way to do things: all those games are already open-source engines (and Doom and Doom 2 have significant chunks of their content which is also “free”), so re-releasing on closed platforms with presumably newly rewritten closed-source content feels like a very corporate and retrograde step.
- and I see from twitter that Bethesda were also initially requiring you to get a Bethesda account etc etc to actually play any of these ports (and are now doing the classic corporate “responsibility-evasion” of calling this a “bug” which they are “working on patching” now everyone is upset about it).
Meanwhile, the Doom Eternal preview stuff has some interesting messaging: they go all in on admitting that they want to build a power-fantasy because “that’s what Doom games are about” (which, honestly, I’m not sure is totally true - Doom 3 tried to be as much a horror game, and horror is about the opposite of power-fantasy, and even Doom 2 delighted in trying to kill you despite you having all the cool guns), but the more telling thing for me is when one of the speakers corrects himself: “we’re jumping ahead in the story… er… jumping ahead in the experience”.
Not that we all thought that Doom needed a complex story, but it does say something when their messaging apparently is about it being an “experience” rather than a “narrative”.
(That said, there’s some interesting discussion about interface and game design in the Doom Eternal panel, especially regarding ways in which they’re trying to incentivise particular behaviours, and make important information really easy to read with consistent colour coding everywhere.)