“It’s meant to be crazy and fun, not com­pletely dis­turb­ing”

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

From the feel­ing of tak­ing on a big chal­lenge, to the game’s in­flu­ences, Doom’s cre­ative direc­tor Hugo Martin ex­plains how he and his art team mas­ter­minded its come­back

What chal­lenges did bring­ing back such an iconic game pose?

The pres­sure is al­ways there. I think it’s what any cre­ative per­son looks for. You want to tackle the big­gest prob­lems, take on the most chal­leng­ing as­sign­ments. It gets the cre­ative juices flow­ing. The big­gest chal­lenge was mak­ing sure that, while still feel­ing fresh and new, it looked and played like a proper Doom game. Doom puts its ac­tion and game­play first. Story ex­ists in sup­port of those fea­tures, but it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily drive them. The core is speed, move­ment, com­bat and level de­sign.

What were your aims for the game’s look?

To feel like an 80s metal al­bum cover come to life. Char­ac­ters have comic book-like pro­por­tions, but with hy­per-re­al­is­tic tex­tures and de­tails. Not campy, but not su­per-re­al­is­tic ei­ther. It’s meant to be crazy and fun, not com­pletely dis­turb­ing.

Can you talk us through the pro­duc­tion?

We wanted a var­ied ex­pe­ri­ence, some­thing that wouldn’t grow stale vis­ually. We spent a lot of time jam­ming on ideas. We felt like the key to Doom’s suc­cess in the art depart­ment would be our abil­ity to ideate quickly and gen­er­ate lots of ideas. Thumb­nail­ing and quick sketches helped us avoid get­ting bogged down for too long try­ing to find the right de­sign.

What were the game’s big­gest in­flu­ences?

The orig­i­nal Doom games and pop cul­ture at the time. We used some of the same ref­er­ences as touch­stones for our work. Evil Dead 2 was a big in­spi­ra­tion. Comics like Hard Boiled and Sin City helped shape the nar­ra­tive style and the tone of the vi­o­lence in Doom. It’s got a B-movie vibe with sum­mer block­buster vi­su­als and ac­tion.

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