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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.

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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.

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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).

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

While I agree that the provided toolsets here are rather limited and its only a matter of time before the modding community overtakes it.

I am very happy that more and more development studios are recognizing the power that an active community has and how that can benefit them - rather than slamming it down using the legal hammer in an outdated attempt to ‘protect their IP’.

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Some of the best content in gaming history is fan-made and at the end of the day no profit oriented business is going to support a title for as long as active communities do through modding and other content.