At QuakeCon earlier this month, id Software has revealed that DOOM Eternal will not have SnapMap, the map editor that appeared in DOOM, but will instead have single-player DLC.
In a Q+A roundtable, director Marty Stratton explained the studio's rationale for cutting SnapMap, "Right now we don’t plan on bringing SnapMap back into Doom Eternal," he said. "We’re really focusing those resources on doing some of the things that players wanted more from us post-launch."
DOOM's single-player campaign was easily the strongest part of that game, and many fans were disappointed when it got no post-release support. “One of the big criticisms – and even if I could go back and do it again – I think we’d do campaign DLC after launch. People really wanted that. They wanted stuff created by us. SnapMap was really cool. I loved it. But it didn’t really scratch that itch for people. But we know we can.”
DOOM's SnapMap mode was essentially a successor to the series long history of user-created mods. SnapMap was a map editor that allowed players to customize maps in some fairly rudimentary ways. It was more capable than your average map editor but far from full-blown mod tools. After having taken steps away from mods with Doom 3, and RAGE, and under new leadership post-John Carmack, id is working on improving their technology to again allow mod support.
Stratton made it clear that mods for DOOM Eternal aren't guaranteed as he explained it to PCGamesN. "I would never make guarantees on even Doom Eternal [having mods]." he said. "We had made some technical decisions way back that just pushed us in a different direction than mods. We have spent the last several years making technical decisions that get us back towards being able to do mods.
"It is a real, long-term initiative of ours to get back to where we can do that. Again, we’ve been making a lot of technical decisions that allow the tech – everything, the rendering, the way we do the gameplay, the way our levels are set up – really trying to make the game and the game code more flexible."
Stratton went on to explain how they're shifting their focus following the reception of the last game. “You’ve always got a little pile of chips, as we call them. You’ve gotta place your bets. This time around we’re gonna bet on ourselves, and making content that we know people want – because they’ve asked for it a lot since 2016. And that’s what a lot of those resources are going to go towards.”
Furthermore, Stratton pointed towards the multiplayer of DOOM Eternal as another example of their plans for post-release support and also revealed that the multiplayer component will be developed internally this time. DOOM's multiplayer was outsourced to another studio and received criticism for being underwhelming compared to the excellent single-player campaign.
They also revealed the game's Invasion mode, which allows players to invade other player's single-player campaigns as a demon.
“But we’re not really going deep into that. We are working on a PvP component. It is new. It’s not an extension of what we did last time. So it’s new. It is something we’re developing internally, which we didn’t do last time. I think players are gonna really enjoy it.”
Stay tuned for a release date for DOOM Eternal, and more details as they come!