.: DooMster Unveiled: Inside the BossBrain

Spotlight on Sergeant_Mark_IV: August 28, 2012

Brütal Doom is a mod for Skulltag and GZDoom that attempts to make Doom faster-paced, harder, much gorier, and more violent. If you're a DooM aficionado, and you haven't heard of this mod, then I strongly suggest you crawl out from the rock under which you've been hiding and check it out. The author of this gem, which I'd venture to say has single-handedly generated a resurgence of interest in the original levels by id Games, is Sergeant_Mark_IV. Based out of Săo Paulo, Brazil, English is not SMIV's native language, and it shows in the interview. However, I believe it lends to the charm of this very modest and unassuming DooMster, and this is why I haven't edited his responses. Read on, gentle reader ....

DN: You appear to have been active in the DooM community since late 2009, even though you discovered DooM (on the Sega!) around 1996/1997. What finally brought you into the forums?
SMIV: I had just found Skulltag. The idea of playing Doom online just blowed me away, then I wanted to interact more with the other players, then I decided to join the foruns.

DN: Your early posts on Doomworld indicate a considerable experience with source ports (Doomsday, Risen 3D, etc.), suggesting that you were not a DooM newbie when you joined the forums. Were you simply a lurker on the forums?
SMIV: No. Before joining the forums, I just visited it few times to know more about sourceport.

DN: In early 2010 you released a city-themed wad named ArmageDoom, which received a somewhat poor reception. Were you discouraged by the lack of interest and support?
SMIV: Actually, ArmageDoom got a bit of support by the public at the Skulltag forum. This support was enough for me to want to improve it, and start Brutal Doom. Actually, I just opened Doom Builder by the first time, drawed a T-shaped sector, gave it an asphalt-like texture, drawed a square-shaped sector next to it, raised and gave it a building texture to it, and said "wow, I think it's gonna be a kick ass city map". I couldn't expect any great reception on it. Also, other day I decided to play it after a long time, and noticed how the weapons were extremely slow and unconfortable to use, and gameplay was excessively hard. No wonder why this got a poor reception. Anyway, I think you must be prepared to receive bad reviews from your first works in a game, because when you started making it, at your eyes, your mod is the best thing of the world, but it isn't.

DN: You had posted pictures of a project named Extermination Day, which looks eerily like Brütal Doom. Was ED merely a precursor to BD, or did you release it separately?
SMIV: Yes, it was some kind of "pre-Brutal Doom". The idea was of making a set of levels to present the new gore that would be inserted in ArmageDoom, but I never finished the first level of it, I just decided to keep the weapons and gore development.

DN: You made a splash in the DooM community with Brütal Doom in early 2011. What prompted you to develop such a modification?
SMIV: At first it was the criticism over ArmageDoom. I really wanted to improve the gore and effects, and used Brutal Doom to demonstrate it. But after some time, I have noticed that Brutal Doom was way better than ArmageDoom, and I should focus on it. As I learned more about the DECORATE functions, I noticed that I could make Doom look exactly how it looked to my eyes one decade ago when I was a kid.

DN: Other computer games you play include Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Warcraft, and Halo. How have they influenced your choices in Brütal Doom?
SMIV: The dismemberment deaths in Brutal Doom are inspired in Postal 2. The idea to grab and throw barrels like grenades were taken from Duke Nukem Forever, and I think that's all the influence that these other games have in Brütal Doom. Some people say that I "disgracing Doom for adding Call of Duty's iron sights into it", but that's not true. Iron Sights have been present in many games at least 4 years before the release of the first Call of Duty.

DN: You used to be a big advocate of JDooM (Doomsday). What made you create Brütal Doom for GZDooM & Skulltag?
SMIV: After some months playing JDoom, in mid 2009 I discovered the Zdoom-based engines when I played Zbloodpack. That was one ugly designed (but with good gameplay) map pack filled with over 40 Realm667 monsters and 20 weapons. When I saw all that new stuff I went like "Wow! Look at all this stuff! New weapons and monsters in Doom? That's some incredible shit!". Then I noticed one thing: "JDoom is better than any other sourceport in terms of graphics, but it's almost insignificant in terms of gameplay editing possibilities since it doesn't supports DECORATE or ACS. And, to be honest, I don't play Doom for the graphics, and if Zdoom-based ports can provide better gameplay functions, I think it's time to say goodbye to Jdoom forever".

DN: Brütal Doom received a Cacoward for Best Gameplay Mod in 2011. How do you feel about awards, and do they motivate you to do better?
SMIV: It made me fell happy, and surprised. At the begin, Brutal Doom was just a small gore and sfx demonstration wad for a bigger project. I never imaginated it would be good enough to receive such recognization from the Doom community someday.

DN: You've participated in speed-mapping contests and have produced the likes of "Dis - Hell's Capital", "Hell's Stronghold", and "Deadwood". Do you have a taste for mapping as well as gameplay modification?
SMIV: Yes, I do! I want to get back into mapping right after I finish Brutal Doom.

DN: You had expressed an interest in contributing to DooM The Way id Did. What happened?
SMIV: Brutal Doom was in early development status at that point, and it was consuming all my free time. Couldn't work in anything else. I had finished half of a E3M5-like map, but I didn't had time to complete it.

DN: Where does your "Return to Earth" project stand?
SMIV: Wow! Where you found info about this project? Well, it's dead. The project was too ambicious and I couldn't find enough people to make it happen. Also, another problem was the clash of styles. I was focusing on a semi-realistic and considerably simple architeture style with some eye-candy here and there. Other guy was developing realm667-like maps with tight spaces and unnecessary "copypasta detailz" everywhere. Other guy made a Map05 with 450 monsters with an estimated gameplay time of one and a half hour (you usually don't expect map01 to map10 levels in a megawad to take more than 20 minutes to get finished), and by doing this gargantuan map, he ran out of ideas for other maps and couldn't contribute anymore. And there were also some people wanting to contribute to the project that never actually opened Doom Builder and didn't even knew how to draw a sector.

DN: At this point feel free to go hog-wild and add anything you'd like your two adoring fans to know about.
SMIV: I want to say thanks to everyone who supported me all this time and helped me to make BD possible. I want to say sorry for some fans which got disapointed with the most recent changes. There is an old proverb that says "It's impossible to please Greeks and Trojans at the same time". Brutal Doom is a huge project with a huge fanbase, and everybody must understand that sometimes I'm going to add something that some will love, and others will hate, and I can't please everyone. Also, for the people that liked ArmageDoom, be patient, because I have plans to restart it, and it's going to kick some serious ass, but I must finish Brutal Doom and Sinful Dimension first, of course. There's a lot of things coming out in 2013 (Unless I end up in a psychiatric clinic first, of course).

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