Doom Was First Triple-A Game Brought Up on Stadia, id Software Says

Doom Was First Triple-A Game Brought Up on Stadia, id Software Says

During GDC 2019, id Software also showed two live demos of Doom (2016) and the upcoming Doom Eternal.

Following this morning's big Stadia reveal, today during Google's Developer Day Sessions, id Software unveiled its own plans with the hardware. In fact, id Software revealed that 2016's Doom was the first triple-A game to be brought up on the new streaming platform.

Early during the talk from senior programmer Dustin Land, Land said that id Software has actually been working with Google for the past two and a half years, starting shortly after the release of Doom in 2016. Google approached id Software with a concept that "hasn't changed that much" from the pitch we heard for Stadia today. While excited, id Software was hesitant because of the looming problem of latency.

Id Software's first attempt at bringing Doom to the platform fumbled, with issues like toolchain integration, early stage debugging, and more throwing a wrench into the positives of the rough state of Stadia: that Vulkan "just worked" and the lack of GFX driver issues. On its second go-around just months later in November 2016, Google walked id Software through a hands-on demo that was merely a cloud instance over Wi-Fi with nothing but an Android phone, wall-mounted TV, Chromebook, and wireless route. When this worked, it convinced them; and they went to work in bringing Doom to Stadia.

We got a glimpse of it in action with a live demo. In typical demo fashion, it took awhile to get started and working. Mostly, the action was smooth; the picture looked clear from my seat at the back of the room. On occasion, there were brief hitches—perhaps a worrying symptom of any streaming game. To explain this, Land explained that the demo was played within a 64 kilometer radius of Doom's data center. Land admits there's a lot more to consider within this radius, with congestion, endpoint processing, and more potentially complicating the latency.

"We haven't seen anything this big come around since the advent of the smartphone generation," Land said of the technology fueling Stadia.

At E3 2018, id Software revealed two games, technically. Rage 2, which it's in co-development with Avalanche Studios with, and the long-awaited follow up to the 2016 hit Doom, Doom Eternal. Doom Eternal got a lengthy gameplay demo at QuakeCon 2018 later that summer, where it was revealed that hell has reached Earth, no longer confined to Mars. Doomslayer also has a sword now, which is cool, I guess.

Doom Eternal is confirmed to be coming to Google Stadia, with Doom Eternal on Stadia inheriting the work from Doom (2016), which focused on the fundamentals of the platform. 2016's Doom was brought up on the Gen 0 devkit, while Doom Eternal is being built on the Gen 1 devkit, a much more advanced kit that can host four instances at once. Id Software closed its talk with a live new demo of Doom Eternal, never before seen public. While short, the demo was substantially smoother than the Doom (2016) one shown, with no hitching and a quick start. Likely, this is because of work being done on the Gen 1 devkit.

Stadia is launching sometime in 2019, and Google will be offering further information this summer. There are a number of developers already working on games for the new platform. For more on Google's Stadia, stay tuned to our everything we know guide.

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Caty McCarthy

Features Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's official altgame enthusiast.

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