News | Forum | People | FAQ | Links | Search | Register | Log in
Blackroom Is About To Make You Its Bitch.

I'm making a thread for this because it's probably quite an important release for us, considering who it's made by and what we know so far about the game design.

In brief: oldschool FPS mechanics, fast (like Doom-fast), abstract (apparently) level design across lots of varied environment themes, headed by id founders Romero and (Adrian) Carmack. Unreal 4 Engine. Release date: 2018

More info on Kickstarter.

Post your rumblings here. Trousers optional.
I'd add, the abstract level design is being done entirely by Romero himself. e1m8b was a dry run on mapping like that again. 
They are going to be "abstract and surrealistic" because the levels are supposedly holograms, so they can morph and be corrupted in unexpected ways.

Sounds like a pretty good excuse to justify weirdness using any environment style. 
Good Split. 
#9159 posted by Shambler [] on 2016/04/25 18:01:34 spam
That video did sound promising. Decent premise to allow for some good experimentation and diversity within the SP game.

<Shambler> daz how much custom gaymer hype is there for the new romero FPS?
<Daz_> none
<Daz_> no gameplay = fuck off. Basically
<Shambler> i presume they intend to implement gameplay at some point before release??
<Daz_> hopefully
<Daz_> :)
<Shambler> also i've just found i can get a refurbished alienware with a 980m for �1300 :S
<Daz_> well I hope the game is good but Im not backing hopes and dreams
<Shambler> i didn't mean u actually kickstarting it you fud
<Shambler> personally i think the idea sounds cool, having someone a bit saner along i.e. adrian c might well help, and surely he must have learnt from dkt
<Shambler> then again not too many fucks will be given until there is more stuff to actually see
<Daz_> indeed
<Daz_> I really have no strong opinions about it either way
<Daz_> so im happy to wait
<Daz_> but that is perhaps a bit of a worry for their kickstarter... considering they are marketing to people with my tastes :P
<Shambler> his own fault, and the industries fault as a whole
<Shambler> people are right to be skeptical about his capabilities, and right to be skeptical about many new action games given how often big companies fuck it up
<Daz_> maybe they have a gameplay video or something like that coming soon. who knows :P 
Yup. Read the Hoxar corporate site, it's like the holodeck meets conjectural psychics, psychotherapy, and military training. And of course it screws up and starts not just reading to generate, but also writing. Across users. So you can have someone's nightmare replicating across the themes of another person's military training, and another's memory of a novel, and so on.

Plot as a foundation for Go Map.

I'd be more skeptical, but, I've read a ton on Daikatana, seen him talk about it a lot, experienced first hand how open he is on the subject, and... e1m8b. It was a pretty good map. I'd like to play more like that. 
Kid Chameleon FPS FTW 
The idea sounds cool, and I hope he makes it. 
Incidentally, "Blackroom" would also have worked as a title for Doom 3. 
I can't believe Daz isn't excited - Romero explicitly mentioned during the livestream that under-lift secrets were a distinct possibility. 
He'll get excited the moment he finds out that under those lift secrets, there is lava to fall in to. 
In the underlift secret itself. 
yeah I saw that coming a mile off, what with their rather skeevy shilling of the Carmack name in the marketing. 
I still think Adrian Carmack is the bigger name to get on a game project at this point. Him doing art design means more to me than a new engine, which I doubt would be particularly different or more advanced from UE4 or idtech6.

Carmack left game engines behind because of the lack of interesting problems to tackle. Even at id, he spent a lot of his final time there on VR, and ultimately quit when Zenimax put their foot down on VR work. If this were 2000, maybe even 2005, it would be a different story. 
I still think Adrian Carmack is the bigger name to get on a game project at this point.

Totes. We are way past the point where you need new engine tech for a game like this, there's nothing you'd need JC to bring to the table here.

However, the general public don't really know who the other Carmack is. When you hear "Romero & Carmack" you only think they are referring to one dynamic duo.

Anyway, that sort of advertising just rubs me up the wrong way, I think it's because I got so sick of whenever Christopher Tolkien farted out a new hardback - that was basically just a collection of his father's shopping lists and an invite from the local vicar for tea and crumpets - you'd get an epic Alan Lee painting on the cover and just the name TOLKIEN slapped on it in 1000pt text. 
I still like to think of Blackroom as "A John Romero & Carmack game". 
It's A Little Sad 
that this has to be spelled out to people.

It's widely known that JC is heavily into VR at this point and I doubt he's leaving oculus any time soon.

Meanwhile I haven't seen AC don't a whole lot recently so it would be obvious to most that it was the *other* Carmack. Also, I feel bad for AC that whenever someone says Carmack it's automatically attributed to JC. The guy was one quarter of the team at one point, he needs a little more credit. 
I just found out the last game Adrian Carmack worked on was Doom 3.

I'd be interested to know how involved he actually is in this. 
Fandoms are messy, it's natural I guess. Some people also gets the two Johns mixed a lot, even in Quake-dedicated websites. 
It's Been A Day 
How has this not been funded yet?? 
Fuck yeah!! I was so excited for Daikatana when that was originally announced, and we all know how awesome that was.. Forget HL3, this is now at the front of the hype train. Count me in! 
Is the reason it's not funded yet. 
You Are Probably Right. 
People who don't know who Romero is won't fund a promise to make some weird "old-school" shooter and those who do know the guy, probably was burnt by Daikatana. 
One Day In, Seems To Be Doing All Right? 
what do kickstarter fund curves normally look like? 
CZG's Anus Obviously 
A key indicator is hitting 20% of your goal in the first 48 hours. You can still fail, but apparently this is a feature of most KS successes. They're $40k short right now of hitting that.

But measures like that aren't law, if I remember correctly STRAFE had a good initial burst, languished, and then a good last week push (because they released the Time Trial demo - people like something tangible).

I think a few real screenshots would go a long way. That and more coverage of course. 
Ok, so I guess now that the kickstarter money is dribbling in at a not-very-impressive rate, Romero is now frantically thumbing through his notebook of contacts from the 90s, trying to find developers that he hasn't burned his bridges with yet, who'll shill his game for a crate of beer and a hooker. 
I bet they would get funded in no time if they added Sock to their list of developers 
Crowdfunding, unless the developer has something his audience already had a huge crave for (e.g. Shenmue 3), is a desperate race. Running a Kickstarter campaign is a full time job, where the developers must keep engaging with their audience in all kinds of different ways to keep the hopes of their backers up and to generate more mouth-to-mouth marketing.

Romero already released a new Doom map today (E1M4B). I wonder if we'll have gotten a whole Doom episode replacement by the end of this campaign. 
onetruepurple: meanwhile at func
onetruepurple: almost 30 posts in and no BLACKED joke at blackroom

if they added Sock to their list of developers
I cannot even raise $5 dollars on a patreon page, I don't think my name connected to a retro game project would be any benefit. I will be shocked if this KS project actually works! I got the impression retro doom/quake stuff is such a niche market that even an indie project like Strafe struggled to get all of its 80K funding, let alone 700K!

To be brutally honest I am more excited by the new doom snapmap system than another retro game. I think the community around the new doom game is going to be more exciting and the possibilities to create / share new content looks awesome!

One thing that I cannot understand is how this project is going to translate from a freely released doom remix map to the sales/promise of another retro game. Once you start charging for content it becomes a whole different situation to something done as a free map for a 20+ old game. People are going to expect a greater quality level for a start and that means more expensive development costs. 
I don't think my name connected to a retro game project would be any benefit

I think you're cool. =/

The big thing for me is that there is no gameplay footage shown, even alpha/pre-alpha stuff. I know a lot of old school guys get the gist but people who grew up with cod/halo probably wouldn't get it as easily. 
probably should have gone for a retro design as its target design. Something Quake 1 or even Duke 3d level of quality. I would buy that straight away but I'm not likely to be pitching in on this game without something very tantalising.

Hell, making something for Unreal Engine is completely different to making a Doom map. Plus a project like this only having 2 confirmed people, Romero making all the maps and it's coming out in 2018?

I'd be cautious. 
They needed to show a gameplay video. 
What Fifth Said 
Also, I've googled Randy Pitchford's name now. Sigh. 
I am lolling at the upvote/downvote ratio on that Randy Pitchford video 
I think strafe got 180K. I'm pretty sure that was retroblazer's target as well. I think they got up to like 8k or something.

Also, sock, everything you've done with quake is fantastic. I would pay good money to play the things you've made. 
The Pitchford video, judging by what he says, was filmed before the Kickstarter went live. This isn't frantically digging through the rolodex, it's part of a planned rollout of content.

STRAFE struggled largely because people questioned their ability, being new devs.

They do need to show gameplay, definitely.

They don't have only two confirmed people, they've just been public with only three names. Romero has said one of the programmers on the project is a very accomplished AAA dev with a recent large project on the shelves. He has said they have a team - I'd wager some might be reticent about putting their names out there yet if they're established in the industry, in case the KS doesn't go well. Go back to the normal day job and all that. 
They do need sock on the team. I'd kickstart them then. 
So Would I 
Moreso if they promise to let him run the show. 
Welp, Donations Are Stagnating 
Hoxar Or Hoaxarrrrrrrrrrrr? 
"Fully modable on PC!" ( must be hard when using UE4 )

Their rewards... you get to pay to design stuff.


They get paid and you do the work. And people think design by committee is bad, what do expect from design by wallet?

Maybe they are serious about this game but they kind of make the impression of converting their names and history into coins. 
Donations typically drop in the middle of a kickstarter, and pick up again near the end as the campaign takes shape.

There may be spikes of donations depending on if they reveal gameplay (even alpha/pre-alpha stuff, though that seems unlikely) or on any exciting announcements, concept art, etc. 
True. And "pay to design some doodad" is a pretty standard KS tier. I don't think it removes any work from the developers... if anything it would add more work for them. 
Give Him The $$$

his friends are saying so. 
pay to design is definitely nothing new, seen it on a lot of kickstarters for games.

As much as I love Romero's Doom maps I really would love to see a little snippet of something made in UE4. 
when did cliffyB turn in a porker? 
*turn into a porker 
Lol 2 
comments disabled AND unlisted 
It's sad, and kinda heartbreaking. I don't see this campaign being successful anymore.

Randy's video was also removed from the campaign's front page.

Romero released some really good Doom maps recently, but I don't remember him releasing anything made in UE4, ever. He knows a lot about level design theory, but he must show that he also knows how to handle the tools he's going to use for creating Blackroom maps.

Adrian Carmack doesn't seem excited about being a part of this project.

The gameplay mechanics were described too vaguely. Several other key elements are also too vague, like enemies and items. It isn't clear who's going to code it either.

Despite lots of neutral-to-positive press almost everywhere (the most negative one I've seen was from Ars Technica), the funding has nearly stopped already, with less than 19% achieved. This isn't a sign of bad or insufficient exposure, but of a lack of confidence from the audience -- I wouldn't say that a lack of interest is also a factor, because Romero's latest Doom maps got universally praised everywhere.

Romero is betting on his talent and on the quality of his work, but not on confidence. Public confidence doesn't come from quality or talent, but from deliverability; he shouldn't promise to deliver something that, at a technical level, is completely different from those Doom levels.

It's a sad situation, and it makes me a bit sad to see it happening. 
Its Not Sad 
it's like a McCartney Album always being shit, nothing more.

The magic has gone, the team is dead, even with Ringo coming back for some drum parts. John Lennon is gone.
It will never reoccur again. Twas another time and space back then, his promises are old and burned.

Helter Skelter! 
Nailed It Mankrip 
I am pretty sure that the last kickstarter that had Romeros involvement also failed massively, only it was his wifes RPG thing (if I remember). He had a very small appearance but it definitely left me a bit shaky, it's a shame too because Brenda has been involved in some pretty huge projects previously.

I would be more interested and filled with confidence if the project was aiming for Doom/Quake fidelity of graphics.

Romero has to remember that he's part of the indie scene at this point and his best bet is to hit on those nostalgia tones 100%. While the idea of a hologram is great it really looks super generic on the artwork front.

I don't think they're trying hard enough, playing it smart or showing creative flair or innovation. 
Problem is you can't go to Kickstarter with few concepts and promises, it doesn't work anymore.
2nd thing is this whole holographic world... It's like:
"Hey! We have this holographic thing which can generate any world you like!"
which in fact sounds like:
"We have no idea what world we want to design, so we'll just do holographic thing so we can put any shit we gonna come up with later."

I have to agree they are not trying hard enough somehow.

The concept needs to be more mature.

The whole UE4 thing is a terrible idea I think, too much overhead to get anything done, loads of shit AAA studios excell at churning out, whats the point of competing there ?

You need limits to focus with a small team / high concept game and UE4 is virtually limitless 
I tend to think people don't like it when famous well-known developers use begging crowdfunding services like Kickstarter.

It might just be as simple as that.

I kinda see their point. Kickstarter should be for penniless dudes who can't get funding any other way. 
I would be excited if the game was Doom-tech. And if the existing graphics were not such cheesy amateur work. And if they had anything to show. A moddb with weapon renders and a design document has as much potential to be good. 
I need to see a gameplay video or a rendered screenshot...something other than promise and concept. I also am not too keen on the holographic goofy tech theme. 
I also am not too keen on the holographic goofy tech theme.

This is a problem for me too. It's like they feel they need to have a "real-world" justification for the unrealistic oldschool elements, so came up with "it's a hologram, that's means we can design whatever we want and it all makes sense within the story! Aren't we clever!"

No. You should be able to design whatever you want because IT'S A BLOODY GAME.

They think they are being clever, but they are actually handwringing over the abstract vs realism stuff just as much as every other modern developer. 
I Have Always Enjoyed Quake 
Because of the medieval/dark fantasy atmosphere and the arsenal/baddies that come with it. What is commonplace as a SMG is a nailgun!

Tech shooters in general rarely hold my interest mostly for the "real-world" justification Kinn described above. I think "RWJ" kills it for me and that applies to most games. 
That did that shit pretty well. 
Patrick Galloway 
Loved Undying, fantastic game that did not really justify the real-world now did it? Heck, they even managed to mix some RPG elements in there and still make it kick ass!

DOOM 3's HELL level always reminded me of Oneiros. 
It's like they feel they need to have a "real-world" justification for the unrealistic oldschool elements, so came up with "it's a hologram, that's means we can design whatever we want and it all makes sense within the story! Aren't we clever!"

I see the hologram theme more as a justification for how locations and entities from different time periods merge together. There are other ways to go about such a premise, but I really don't care what the mindset is behind the decision they've made. What difference does it make if they try to make it make sense or if they don't, they already decided to make abstract levels.

The holographic stuff is a problem for me because of the weapons they've come up with. I doubt that anyone in the world wants to play with holographic toys. Most importantly, those "Boxel" abilities sound more like impediments to Doom/Quake style gameplay rather than gameplay mechanics that add to it.

I hope the backers use their position of power and negotiate with Romero and company to steer the weapons and ability stuff to a different direction. 
those "Boxel" abilities sound more like impediments to Doom/Quake style gameplay

This all the way. What seems like it should be enticing to people is a deterrent for old school...erm old schoolness!

I do not want the ability to stop time...that makes a combat situation completely one sided for the player. How about the stop time power would be a one-time use mod for the boxel that is found in secret areas!

That's all speculation but the point is I need to see something with more substance than what is currently being offered by the Kickstarter. 
The holographic theme isn't to justify any theme, but to justify transitioning themes multiple times within a level, and on simple events. We still typically stick to one theme within a level, and if there is a transition, it is through a teleporter of some sort - not the world changing around you. 
Probably a smart decision. A playable demo is certainly the substance I am talking about. 
Backers only post. Care to copy paste? 
Dear Backers,

After listening to the gaming community since we've launched the campaign, we've decided to give you what you've asked for: a gameplay demo of BLACKROOM. The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look and innovative, cool features that make BLACKROOM truly unique � the things we�ve waited years to put into an FPS and which make us incredibly excited about this game.

There�s a hitch here, a hitch that�s making us do something that�s right for the game, the team, and the community: we�re pressing �PAUSE� on the fundraising campaign for BLACKROOM to complete this gameplay demo. Simply put, this will take more time than the Kickstarter has left, so we�ve decided to suspend the campaign and launch a new one when the gameplay demo is ready. We believe, however, it is the right choice. Thanks to the community feedback, we know we should have included it at launch.

Your support for our game and our vision has been incredible and valuable. You've already proved you want this campaign to succeed, and we believe a gameplay demo will get the rest of the gaming community just as excited for this game as you already are. We will, of course, honor backer achievements in the next campaign. We�ll add an extra something for those of you who continue to support us and we will be in touch to collect your information to reward your support in the next campaign.

While we're working on the first gameplay demo, we welcome you to stay in touch with us at and @nightworkgames. Sign up for our newsletter for regular updates. You�re also welcome to email us at

John, Adrian, & The Night Work Games Team 
Thanks for the paste.

Yeah... You need to have a LOT of content to show people honestly. Just look at the Kickstarters for Pillars of Eternity and Darkest Dungeon, then look at the Kickstarter for Strafe which exploded with an entertaining video, massively slumped, then exploded again with a playable demo. 
Le Mayo 
It's A Bit Of A Relief 
I was afraid the game was 100% cancelled, but I'm glad they're just pausing funds so they can release a playable demo everybody could play.
It's the best scenario IMO. 
Good I Guess 
Now we just need to convince them to make it all solid and tactile and quakey, and ditch all that glowy tranluscent hololight shit.

I want my shotgun to look like it's been shoved up a demon's arse a few times, not some pretty neon clown fart. 
"Gameplay Demo" 
As far as I can tell, there's no confirmation that the demo is something that's going to be distributed and playable. "Gameplay demo" to me sounds like a video demonstration. If it were going to be a demo, they'd call it a plain demo or playable demo. They would want to make it absolutely clear that it's something playable if it were because that would drum up more excitement. 

�We want to show off the Boxel UI and how that works in a fast-paced game, because that�s something a lot of people have been asking. We want to show things that are new about the game, the speed of it, and what we�re trying to get across. It should only take us a few months to bring all of that together. It won�t be a full level, but it will be enough gameplay to show off the speed and all the other things we�re talking about.�

I'm glad that there are people who expressed concern about that Boxel stuff and good on Romero for acknowledging the issue. 
You must be logged in to post in this thread.
Website copyright © 2002-2020 John Fitzgibbons. All posts are copyright their respective authors.