Mapcore have started holding monthly challenges on their Discord server. The first month’s challenge was to reinterpret 1 of 4 textures from the original DOOM games.
At first I was tempted to recreate the iconic door texture as a 3-dimensional model, but thought it was a little too “obvious” and I’ve seen this done a bunch in the past. Instead, I challenged myself with something I felt would be a little more taxing and open to artistic license. After all, the intent of taking part in these challenges is to push myself. With that in mind, I chose to adapt this strange pipe/cable wall texture to a new style.
Not being completely familiar with the development side of DOOM, I wasn’t sure what to call this texture, but after ripping the texture from Slade, I was able to find the name “TP7_1” within the DOOM2.WAD, so I’m going to assume that was the texture’s unique identifier.
Arguably, the most iconic use of this texture is within “Entryway”, the first level of DOOM II, where it adorns the walls of the first room.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure of the original purpose of this texture. As with a lot of DOOM, the texture work exists to offer flexibility within the abstract, gameplay-first layouts. The texture looks somewhat high tech, but also wouldn’t be too out of place in a sewer level. Flexible indeed!
The repetition of the texture within Entryway is a little overkill when held up to modern standards, but I decided to embrace this and re-imagine the texture as a tiling wall panel, presenting it within a short looping micro level.
Taking inspiration from Blendo Games and the latter Citizen Abel games, I built a low poly asset using block colours complimented by simple pixelated details.
After initial tests of the model, I felt like I was able to build a cool and unique take on DOOM. However, the texture looked a little flat in Unreal’s default lighting setup, and baked lighting wasn’t doing the asset any favours (tiled planar surfaces do not play nice with lightmass). Instead I opted for a cel-shaded solution achieved by using a basic full screen post processes. Instantly I was reminded of the Area 4 boss from Rez, which inspired me to create a minimalist HUD.
It was around this time that I was on a train travelling up to Scotland, so I whipped out my MacBook and decided to use the time to flesh out the game a little. I wanted to try my hand at building a weapon model – something I’ve never attempted before.
The weapon of choice? The Super Shotgun from DOOM II. It’s a very basic model, but tightly matches the aesthetic of the level. It was a fun thing to build, and honestly boosted my confidence for the future.
I built a small environment in Unreal Engine 4 and added a couple of assets I quickly knocked up in Blender. Then to tie it all together I mimicked some of the more basic elements of DOOM, such as movement and health.
I decided to name the game, “Cruithne”, after (what some refer to as) Earth’s rogue second moon. Honestly calling this a “game” is a little disingenuous, but I think it delivers a nice way to listen to this awesome cover of “At Doom’s Gate” by Powerwalker.
You can download and play Cruithne over at itch.io.
I hope you enjoy this micro game, and be on the lookout for secrets!