So, in-between game development and other things taking up my time I've been spending the occasional lunch (when I can) to play Brutal DOOM. Brutal DOOM is a mod for the original DOOM and DOOM II that takes the original game and adds a host of graphical and gameplay improvements. Check this out:
It's a fantastic mod that adds meaningful additions like the ability to aim vertically and reload. (There are other actions, including a "duck" and "jump" which I have chosen to ignore because they weren't considered when designing the levels) These changes, along with much nicer lighting and some of the most violent and over-the-top gory game permanence (that even puts Hotline Miami to shame) makes this version easily the definitive version of Doom.
The most interest part of this mod is that it actually makes Doom's core gameplay even better. Most pc mods either add graphical enhancements, streamline UI elements, or add new gameplay features, but very few (with the exception of minecraft) revise the core gameplay to such a degree as this. The Brutal mod improves moving, aiming and shooting, adding kickback to the shotgun and reloading to the plasma rifle. Also although reloading and head-shots are a staple of modern fps design, I still find it fascinating that these gameplay elements enhance an older game which was never designed to include them.
DOOM is one of the best first person shooters of all time, I mean, it goes without saying. But one of the key strengths of the game that seems either downplayed or downright ignored by modern game design trends is that its completely abstract with the enemy design. Each monster type serves a gameplay purpose first and foremost. What I find most interesting is that nearly all modern first person shooter studios do not design the game working from these simple principles. Why not? Haven't we already seem enough humanoids carrying semi-automatic weapons?