PC Gaming

History of the first-person shooter series (Part 2)

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id’s love of FPS development began with the 3D Hovertank game in 1991. The simulation game uses ‘ray casting’ technology and ‘2D sprites’ motion. The player’s mission is to rescue civilians and shoot UFOs. Then there’s Catacomb 3-D – id’s first attempt at infiltrating a first-person action game that clearly shows the character’s hands and avatar. Catacomb also includes detailed maps, flat images attached to the surface to create the impression of button walls as well as moss oozing. On this side, id was heavily influenced by the then ‘super nice’ game Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss by Blue Sky Productions, billed as the first ‘full 3D simulation’ game. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss features a 3D look and detailed environment with both bumpy terrain, basic real-time physics, and the ability to look up and down.

Wolfenstein 3D and Doom – both developed after John Carmack saw Ultima first-hand at an exhibition in 1990 – this can be seen as a response to Ultima to bring first-person 3D games to a new level. new heights – more complex shapes with lots of rhythmic elements as well as image quality. Although Wolfenstein’s levels have more decorations than Catacomb 3-D, the game’s environment is faster-paced – game designer John Romero intended for players to carry and hide bodies, but this idea was abandoned to avoid hindering them too much. While Ultima creates a deep world, has stable systems and lots of stories in it, Wolfenstein goes for a simpler, more gory direction – the character’s body feels tired and exhausted. while moving, the bloody image of killing a Nazi butcher. In addition to adding a lot of violence as well as bringing a lot of political images into the game – which made the game publisher Apogee extremely nervous – the game also borrowed elements of maze games from the internet. decades ago, with secret rooms waiting to be discovered behind objects that could slide open.

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The appearance of the character’s condition is a premise for later shooting games – most notably Call of Duty, where the screen turns red when you lose health – id believes players will pay more attention to this than elements in the dashboard. Coming to the game Doom, disagreement between Carmack, Romeo and creative director Tom Hall occurred: to what extent should the plot and history of the game be added to Doom. Hall intends to do something like Ultima: large, natural levels, built around a central area with a rich array of in-game items. “The plot in the game is like the plot in an adult movie,” was Carmack’s famous controversy. “It might be there, but they don’t matter much.” Hall later stepped down in 1993. During his years without him, the team stripped down a lot of the fancy weapons, converted the items needed to continue the story into basic keycards, and cleaned them up again. several scenes to speed up positioning.

Doom is a successful phenomenon thanks to its ‘taboo’ visuals, which are very easy to ‘mod’ in the game (id stores in-game data as in-game scenes completely separate from the file system as ‘WAD’ file), and a 4-player multiplayer mode. Its influence was so great that, before the term FPS was accepted, any first-person shooter that came out was immediately called a ‘Doom clone’. While no single game could define an entire genre for long, id’s Doom attracted numerous competitors and imitators for many years to come.


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The FPS series has long been used to simulate military training. In 1995, the US military created its own version of Doom and used it to improve skills such as how to save ammo to cut down on real-life training costs, when budgets were cut in the post-Cold War era. Released to the public after Doom II was released, the mod is a team mode consisting of a captain, two riflemen, and a heavy machine gunner. All face real-life situations, including hostage rescue. This version also replaces the original demons with real people.

Marine Doom never became an official training tool, but paved the way for games with propaganda implications like Unreal Engine’s America’s Army shooter.

Four months before Doom’s arrival, a Chicago studio founded by Alex Seropian and Jason Jones released Pathway Into Darkness, featuring Wolfenstein style with a twist of Ultima’s puzzles. The game puts the player in the role of a soldier fighting in a pyramid to atom-bomb the sleeping saint before he wreaks havoc on the world. One of the rare Mac-exclusive games at the time, Pathway was lauded for its colorful hand-drawn lines and murky atmosphere. It’s worth mentioning in this article because of its ability to converse with the ghosts of other adventurers with crystals and obscure keywords – a way of exploring the plot that is both intriguing and poignant. Developer Bungie later also based on the idea to create the two most famous FPS game series of the 21st century, Halo and Destiny.

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Before Halo and Destiny was the 1994 Marathon game, considered a competitor to Doom on the Mac. Set in a suspenseful space setting on a hijacked spaceship, Marathon is more complicated than id has been – adding a free-view mouse mode and lots of different terrains, such as low-gravity areas or airless rooms. The game has a lot of intricate fantasy details, forcing the player to explore this ‘open’ world to find items that hide the story inside. Unlike the game Pathway Into Darkness, instead of talking to lost souls, Marathon owns computer portals through which players can chat with AI about this open universe.

Marathon, despite its limited release platform, still attracts a large number of loyal communities thanks to its engaging storytelling and 8-player, 10-map game modes. Marathon 2: Durandal released in 1995 added a co-op game mode while the 1996 version Marathon Infinity introduced a self-generated ‘Forge’ mode, these two features later became the focus of other projects of the company. studio. Equally important is Bungie’s foray into the real-time strategy genre. Conceived by Jason Jones, as a move against id Software, the game Myth has a top-down perspective that gives Bungie a better look at how different armies and changes react to changes. together. This helped shape Halo’s famous sandbox combat mode.


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While not exactly entertaining, David A Smith’s 1987 adventure game Colony on the Macintosh was one of the earliest titles to feature a first-person perspective and support free movement in time. real. Developed on a computer with only 128KB of RAM, the game puts you in the role of a pilot who crashes in a land invaded by alien creatures, one of which can shrink itself into a strange object. malformed eye before exploding. The game has many other details such as crane trucks, teleportation, cigarettes that can kill you or a closed stone room that cannot be escaped. Although it was not well received at launch – Orson Scott Card was one of the game’s critics – The Colony served as an important predecessor to the creation of role-playing simulation games such as Deus Ex and System. Shock.

The aforementioned aura aside, Doom really rose to prominence in the ’90s thanks to id’s interest in the modding community, which allowed players to create levels using the developer’s editing tools. (and thereby generate hours of entertainment through the free share versions). Fans have created their own Batman themes, Alien, then weird stuff like ‘The Sky May Be’, which features moonwalk zombies and Doom’s BFG-9000 that has the ability to immortalize its target . Many designers have created many genuine mods from Doom, and many studios wish to own the commercial rights. One of them is Raven Software, founded by Steve and Brian Raffel, who created paranormal shooters Shadowcasters, Hexen and Heretic with their own versions of Carmack engine technology. At one point the two companies were located on the same street and thus forged a close relationship – id eventually gave the Doom and Quake brands to Raven.

However, Raven’s games were overshadowed by 3D Realmes’ popular Duke Nukem 3D game. The game satirizes B-rated movies set in postmodern times, and the characters are childish with silly statements and shooting wildly. Duke Nukem 3D is considered a heavily antisocial game, parodying levels of external locations, such as movie theaters, guarded by guinea pigs and zombies of box office stars. like Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker. Technically and creatively the game is done well – with jet packs, miniature rays, utopian physics, and the protagonist talking throughout the game – but in the end the game This game is remembered mainly for its provocative images. In the years that followed, it took a while for the shooter developers to erase the notoriety created by Duke Nukem.

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Duke Nukem

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The success of Doom also led to the rise of other game franchises. Bethesda – famous for the roleplaying games series The Elder Scrolls: Arena – launched a version of Terminator in 1995, using a model with many complex polygons. Years later, the vast game scene and the vast wilderness are the foundation for this studio to develop Fallout games in the direction of first-person perspective. That same year, the famous adventure game studio LucasArts released Dark Forces, the first FPS-oriented Star Wars game, inspired by the Death Star mod version of the Doom game. Lucas Arts designed a lot of historical simulation games in the late 80s and early 90s, but Dark Force clearly plagiarized id Software’s work. The developer’s impressive Jedi engine allows for peer-to-peer viewing, a vibrant in-game environment and ambient effects like a docked spaceship, and a variety of effects like atmospheric fog, and the ability to Place buildings on top of each other.

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