29 years later, the Mod completely "voxelizes" Doom

29 years later, the Mod completely “voxelizes” Doom

Gif: id Software / Cheello / Kotaku

File this one under “mods you probably thought already existed”. WITH Voxel Doomnow you can play the legendary 1993 first-person shooter Fate with all monsters and items rendered in beautifully robust 3D voxels. While there have been smaller-scale voxel mods in the past, this one replaces almost every one of the game’s old enemies and 2D sprite-based items, giving the lo-fi gore of the classic shooter a fun new dimension.

Released on Mod DB today by modder Daniel “Cheello” Peterson, Voxel Doom 1.0 he runs on GZDooma popular source port that gets a major upgrade Fatealmost 30 years old game engine. Veteran Fate folder and WAD modders are no strangers to GZDoom, but if you’re in the world Fate mods, it’s an essential tool for adding extra features to the original game (like mouse skin, jumping or crouching) and also for playing really cool mods like e.g. Fate “go to church” Sigil from the game’s co-creator John Romero himself.

So voxels are like a three-dimensional view of typical 2D pixels. As “volume pixels”, voxels are simply points in 3D space that have an assigned size and color. Throw thousands and thousands of them on the screen at once and you get a unique type of 3D graphics that, if you make them nice and robust, can resemble classic 2D sprites, but with an added dimension.

Recent games like No Man’s Sky, Valheim, and Tear they use voxel techniques to achieve their unique look and are often popular for creating destructible ones, ductile environments. This technology has been around for a while and is featured prominently in games such as Novalogic’s 1992 Helicopter Sim. ComanchesLooking Glass underrated 1996 New landand a great action-adventure from 1999 Outcast. In action, voxels can give off a somewhat “retro” vibe, which is why adding them to classic sprite-based first-person shooters is such a great concept.

Of course, the sky is the limit for classics Fate mods. Some expand on the original game, while others try to add more modern gameplay elements. What makes Voxel Doom so great is that the change in graphics manages to keep the original feel of the game while making it a little more ‘exploded’. This is a far cry from the more typical attempts to put 3D models into these decades-old games, which usually end up looking garish rather than faithful to the original aesthetic.

The mod’s creator talked about this phenomenon in a stream showing off the new mod with fellow GZDoom developer Nash Muhandes, saying that “if you look at [the voxel models] it looks like the original sprite at a certain angle.” This cool voxel illusion effect is what initially attracted Cheell to them. On Muhandes’ stream, they talked about how turning 2D sprites into 3D voxels leads to a kind of mindblowing effect that doesn’t immediately look out of place, but rather fits in, especially in Fate‘s case, quite naturally on the scene.

id Software / Nash Muhandes

Stomping through the corridors of Martian hell with this mod is sure to be a fun time. Everything from demons to sensor effects and equipment now comes to life, yet it still looks very similar to the classic sprites. While your actual weapons remain regular 2D sprites, the weapon sensors in the environment look especially cool because they now rotate in place. The mod currently only works on the original 1993 version Fatebut according to Cheell “Doom 2 the monsters will be completed in the very near future.”

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