Doom's SnapMap Tool Is Cool, But It's No Substitute For Real Mods

Doom's single-player campaign might be getting all the praise, but that's only half its appeal. The other side of the coin isn't multiplayer (which is kinda boring), but rather SnapMap, a tool that lets players make their own maps and modes quickly and easily. Naturally, somebody's already made a farming game. In Doom. In the above video, I recount my experiences with a map called Harvest Doom while lamenting that the new Doom doesn't have proper mod support. Don't get me wrong: SnapMap is basically Mario Maker for Doom, and that's awesome, especially for the technically challenged among us (we'll call them "Nathan Graysons" for short). But for all its intuitiveness, SnapMap is exceedingly limited. Its tile sets are bland, you can't upload custom textures, you can't script particularly complex events and you can't go too crazy with enemy numbers, among other things.

Still, you've gotta love seeing what people come up with when crammed in a tiny glass cube of constraints. Farming games, raccoon simulators (as enacted by marines and demons), "Pokemon" arenas, a whack-a-mole clone called "whack-a-soul" — and that's to say nothing of faithful remakes of classic Doom levels and creative custom campaigns. A lot of it is stuff I'd never have expected people to even try to make given SnapMap's limitations. But they went for it, and while the maps in question don't have a ton of depth, they're somehow more amusing and impressive to me than if somebody had released Generic Farm Game or Raccoon Simulator 2016 on Steam using powerful mod tools or an engine like Unity or Unreal.

It's a lot like when people make mechs in Mario Maker; it's not supposed to be possible, so it is, by nature, incredible. Still, I can't help but yearn for real mod tools in the new Doom, a game profoundly influenced by a mod that I doubt SnapMap could even come close to replicating. In an ideal world, we'd have both SnapMap and mod tools. Maybe in the future? We can only hope (assuming, of course, that we don't trigger our own Hell-based apocalypse first).


    I hope they do expand SnapMap and release an SDK, but realistically we won't see the same level of modding for Doom 2016 that we saw for Doom. It isn't so much the game logic, it's the content that's hard to make. There's a world of difference between making content for a 1993 game (even with modern source ports) and 2016. That's the main reason modding has dropped or has largely been limited to plugins (like with TES/FO) that are fairly small or make extensive use of existing assets. Not to mention idTech's megatexture system is a complete bitch to work with.

    Doom 3 had its map editor built right into the engine (and since it used real-time lighting you could see exactly what the map looked like right in the editor!), adding content was remarkably easy, and most of the logic were in plain text files, but there weren't many mods released. Even Half Life 2 saw a big reduction in mods compared with Half Life.

    Again I hope they allow for more options with modding, but we're not going to see Brutal Doom, Aliens TC, School Doom, or SKYMAYBE for Doom 2016 even if they do.

      Again I hope they allow for more options with modding, but we're not going to see Brutal Doom
      Unless we play Doom 4, and then all we see is Brutal Doom.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now