Game Developer creates his Autobiography as a Doom II Mod

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Published by FileTrekker 2 years ago , last updated 6 months ago

It's certainly a novel way to create your autobiography, but game developer JP LeBreton has decided to write out his memoirs as a modification for Doom II, taking the player through a journey of his life. And yes, that pun was very much intended.

The mod takes events from LeBreton's life and mixes them in with Doom-style level environments. Each doorway leads there is the possibility of finding a childhood story or anecdote from LeBreton's life. Be careful though, because you might just find the occasional Cacodeamon instead.

LeBreton is no stranger to Doom, having spent years creating mods and being involved in the game's community. He has also worked on many other games, including 2007's BioShock, creating levels such as "Arcadia" (which the then awesomely back-ported to Doom II). He also wrote a detail analysis of the original Doom game, which has proved very useful to the modding community.

The mod includes various scenes from LeBreton's life; riding a BMX down the street he grew up on, attending his homecoming dance, a visit to a psychotherapy ward, and more. While he's yet to reveal exactly how the storytelling will unfold, the trailer suggests that this will be a somewhat interactive experience, and perhaps be a more surreal take on an auto-biography than we're used to before.

The concept is definitely a very interesting one, and makes me wonder why non-fiction games such as autobiographical adventures aren't a more popular genre then they are. Perhaps, given this mod is a success, we may see more of this type of interactive autobiography game in the future.

Speaking to Motherboard, LeBreton explained his reasoning for choosing Doom to create the mod;

Doom made a huge impression on me back in the day, It kept popping back up at various points in my life, spanning different cities I lived in and people I've shared my life with.

LeBreton, who has previously worked for developers Double Fine and Irrational, explained that he realised the importance Doom has had on his life, and that this connection was the medium he felt comfortable with for telling his life story, as opposed to the traditional pen and paper.

He also commented on how older games like Doom II give modders restrictions and constraints which can actually be a source of great creativity and innovation.

The Doom engine's simplicity and low fidelity are a valuable source of constraints for a solo creator like me... With its level building paradigm I can build and detail a space in a fraction of the time it'd take me to build something in a more modern engine. The pixel art renaissance of the past 5-10 years shows that people can still make really nice visuals at low fidelity… Modding has made Doom way more of an open canvas than almost any other game from the mid 1990s, and that openness means the game has changed along with me, to an extent
You can find out more information the project, named Autobiographical Architecture from the VectorPoem website here.

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