Doom 4 1.0


The only known incarnation of the game's logo, found on id Software's job opportunities page in early 2010.[1]

Doom 4 1.0, not to be confused with id Software's eventual successful release of Doom (2016), is a cancelled first-person shooter that was originally intended as a reboot of the Doom franchise. After being initially announced in August 2007, it suffered repeated delays and development setbacks until, in 2011, intervention by publisher Bethesda Softworks and parent company ZeniMax Media led to internal reorganization at the company. The game then entered a period of "rolling reboot" which would last until the new concept which became the final "DOOM" solidified in 2013.[2]

"You can probably close your eyes and imagine a 'Call of Doom' or a 'BattleDoom' game, where it starts to feel way too much like: 'Wait, this doesn't feel like Doom, it feels like we're playing some other franchise with a Doom skin on it... It wasn't fast enough... The way that the demons worked. The visceralness (sic) of the combat... The combat was more disconnected, you almost found yourself taking cover at times and using things from other FPSes, which might be fine for them, but for Doom it just doesn't feel right."
―Pete Hines [3]


It wasn’t like the art was bad, or the programming was bad. Every game has a soul. Every game has a spirit. When you played Rage, you got the spirit. And [Doom] did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn’t have a personality. It had a bit of schizophrenia, a little bit of an identity crisis. It didn’t have the passion and soul of what an id game is. Everyone knows the feeling of Doom, but it’s very hard to articulate.

Tim Willits, [4]

Early development began in August 2007, according to comments made at that time by John Carmack.[5] This was followed with an official announcement by id Software on May 7, 2008.[6] It was begun shortly after the abandoning of an early concept project called Darkness, which was to be a survival horror game based on the horror aspects of Doom 3, and while id Software's then-upcoming title Rage was still in development. This would see id Software internally split into two development teams for the first time.[2]

Several years would go by without any subsequent information being offered by id Software, leading to growing frustration by gamers and the gaming press when inquiries at the yearly QuakeCon convention were met with event cancellations; statements such as, "we can't talk about that;" or apologies by Todd Hollenshead for the continuing lack of information.[7]

Finally, in April 2013, citing anonymous sources who had left the company in the wake of internal reorganization, Kotaku published an article describing Doom 4 as trapped in "development hell." The article claimed that the game had suffered under mismanagement, and that development was completely restarted in 2011, a detail which was later officially confirmed. According to one source, ZeniMax at one point issued an ultimatum for progress which led to the cancellation of Rage 2, and the recombining of the separate id development teams.[8]

Producer Marty Stratton, former project creative director Kevin Cloud, and new project creative director Hugo Martin later described the period between 2011 and 2013 as a "rolling reboot," beginning with an invitation from Marty extended to the staff at publisher Bethesda to discuss restarting work on the game. An anonymous third party remembered a quote from a frustrated John Carmack during one of the meetings leading up to this intervention: "Doom means two things: demons and shotguns."[9]

According to Kevin, the id Software staff were concerned that the existing project had become something that "wasn't really capturing what we felt like was DOOM, and what the fans would want from it." Marty reiterated the common Call of Doom sentiment, and described the project as cinematic and story-heavy, with characters around and interacting with the player throughout. He mentioned that it took a long time for the game to get into the phase where the player could fight demons, starting out with exposition and then progressing into battles against zombified humans. Hugo referenced the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film Contact with regard to how he felt about the project, saying that, unlike the original Doom, which had "one guy involved in big things," it was more about the "big things," and that in this respect, it sacrificed the character of the Doom Slayer. He called it a realistic depiction of the impact of a global hellish invasion.[2]

Many staff members would not survive the project transition, including Todd Hollenshead, John Carmack, the entirety of id Mobile, and most of the id Tech programming team. Carmack's growing aggravation with ZeniMax with regard to his ambitions in virtual reality technology had seen him reduce his role from lead developer to technology advisor, and would eventually lead him to depart id Software in 2013 to work as Chief Technical Officer for Oculus VR. Fallout from this departure would lead to a lawsuit between the two companies which was concluded in 2016.

According to Marty, though it would be tempting for people to think that id Software "looked at this game and then scrapped it," there were actually many aspects of the project which continued to inform the later game's design. These include various basic elements such as locations and weapons, and in particular, the "sync melee" system which later became glory kills.[2] During this rolling reboot process, numerous prototypes were produced, many still using the older game's assets until they had been replaced with new material.[10]


You can't have 30 guys crawling all over you at 60 frames per second at this graphics technology level because it's painful. It's a lot of effort to do that. But, we did make the call that for Doom 4, the single-player is going to go 30 frames per second on the consoles. So we can have 30 demons crawling all over you on there. But the multiplayer is still going to be 60 frames per second, so it has the quality feel that Rage has.

John Carmack, [11]

The majority of the id Tech team had been focused on the development and completion of Rage, and according to John Carmack, would move over to the Doom 4 development team after that game had shipped.[11]

Doom 4 was to be built on a minor iteration of the id Tech 5 engine, and according to John Carmack as of July 9, 2008, would be targeted at 30 frames per second on consoles, in order to achieve better graphics performance than Rage.[12] The engine, which Carmack intended to be "cross-generational," would attempt to target 60 FPS for PC single-player, and during multiplayer games on all platforms.[11]

Though no release platforms had been set in stone at that point, Rage had already been targeted at the then-current generation of consoles (the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), as well as the PC, so it was widely assumed at that time, and later confirmed by Todd Hollenshead, that Doom 4 would follow suit. Carmack mentioned the PlayStation 4, which had been confirmed as being in development by Sony, as a potential additional target.[11]


A storyboard showing a skirmish between the forces of Hell and the Resistance.

The game was to feature the player joining a rag-tag band of militants who formed an impromptu resistance against an apocalyptic invasion of Earth by the forces of Hell, making the game a modern remake of Doom II.[2] This was first hinted at publicly by Todd Hollenshead, who made a statement apparently corroborating what was up until then fan speculation, stating that, "Doom is part of the id Software DNA and demands the greatest talent and brightest minds in the industry to bring the next installment of our flagship franchise to Earth".[13] (emphasis added)

Later, portfolio concept art by an ex-employee, which was released unofficially onto the web in February 2012, seemed to confirm this, displaying dramatic, post-apocalyptic cityscapes.[14] These images were discredited at the time by id Software's creative director Matthew Hooper via Twitter, with him saying, "Those images have nothing to do with what you're gonna see in Doom 4. When we officially show things, you'll see awesome." These were later confirmed, however, by officially approved releases in late 2016 and early 2017.

A collection of in-game scenes from the portfolio of Mark Bristol was additionally leaked in May 2015, displaying some of the same locations featured in the concept art, use of tactical combat mechanics, and extensive scenes of cinematics and player interaction with non-player characters.[15] Parent company ZeniMax met most instances of the video with take-down notices, but would later approve its partial inclusion into the noclip DOOM Resurrected documentary.[2]

Gameplay elements[edit]


The player finishes off a zombie with a knife stab to the throat.

Rather than re-imagining the fast-paced gameplay of the original games, Doom 4 was to take a cinematic and linear approach driven by a war-drama-like plot featuring two-way dialogue between the player and characters, many elements of which can be seen in the 2015 leaked footage.[2] Movement was meant to be realistically slow and tactical, with cover mechanics, hurdling and mantling over obstacles, and use of iron-sight aiming.[2] This was a large part of what led to the game being referred to as Call of Doom by id Software staff.[16]

One element which survived, in a transformed state, was a unique system for "synced melee" combat, wherein the player would be attached to an enemy to carry out animated close-up attacks culminating in a fatal final blow. This was retained and transformed into the final game's glory kill system, albeit with a much faster pace to avoid disruption of the flow of game play.[2]

Another element that survived, albeit not into Doom itself, was the player cover/leaning system which ended up implemented in MachineGames' Wolfenstein: The New Order.[17]


A few of the game's monsters appear in screenshots released as part of the DOOM Resurrected documentary.[2] Other enemies are known to have existed from the game's screenshots, in particular one or more variety of flying demons. These can be seen traveling in massive swarms in shots of the city where it is being subsumed into Hell, but the entities are too far away and small for any details to be discerned.

Imp / Wraith[edit]

An enemy with both imp- and wraith-like qualities is seen in the sewer tunnels. It is acrobatic like the Doom 3 imp, can climb on walls and ceilings much like the vulgar, and can instantaneously teleport behind the player in a manner similar to the wraith. Its attacks include a fast fireball, which it may throw ahead of the player in an attempt to anticipate his movement, and violently leaping toward the player to attack with a brutal scratch. Its skin has a muted red color with apparent necrosis in the extremities, and its head appears to be mutilated, with the upper portion entirely missing, revealing a bright red fleshy stump. It appears to have wires or tubes coming out of and returning into its back and neck.

Possessed human[edit]

A single former human zombie enemy can be seen during footage of the game's sync melee mechanic. A gray-cloaked, hooded man with yellow-glowing eyes, he carries a gun, but fights barehanded with dodging motions. This enemy has different variants, such as a shirtless version that appeared in an animation test.[18]

Conjoined zombies[edit]

A zombie-like or demonic enemy consisting of two or more humans twisted and fused together, having multiple heads, each with vacant eyes, and multiple arms attached at unnatural angles which it flails about wildly. It also appears to be a melee-only enemy, and attacks by rushing quickly toward the player. As an unfinished asset lacking proper textures, it appears in a bright white color. The model of this creature can be found in the release version of Doom (2016), but with two arms and one head; it is not in the alpha version.[19]

Possessed soldier[edit]

An armed form of former human appears in the glory kill test sequence. This enemy appears and animates similar to the final game's possessed soldier, and it may be possible that its model was based on this enemy's assets. It includes a gun which appears to be fused to its right arm, has gray blank eyes similar to the conjoined zombies, and has dark gray skin.

There is a variant of this enemy with a plate covering its head and part of its back and with a second head in the form of a skull. It was shown in the 2012 concept trailer and in early tech demo footage of Doom (2016) which was still utilizing these early assets.[20] In the relevant videos it is also possible to observe the monster's attacks: shooting a gun and running towards the player to engage in melee combat.

Another version of the possessed soldier can be found in footage that was leaked in 2020: the skin and eyes are white on his head, there are spikes on his back and on his left arm (the spike on his elbow being longer than the other), he is dressed in ragged clothes, and he can also hold weapons in both hands - a machine gun and a shotgun. In one screenshot published by one former id Software employee on ArtStation, the enemy can be seen inside the library stage, jumping toward a player with a shotgun as melee weapon and has a fiery hole in its chest, possibly reflecting dynamic damage.[21]. A similar idea of damage to the enemy can be seen in the book, The Art of DOOM, in one of the Hell razer concept arts.


Another type of former human that can be seen for a couple of seconds in the leaked concept trailer from 2012, running towards the camera with a massive two-barreled chaingun in hand. This enemy only has its ripped pants for clothes, with a naked upper body showing a slashed-open torso of decomposing flesh and a rotting, black skull as its head. Some sort of humanoid creature also appears to be attached to its back, whose four arms are swinging wildly from side to side as the chaingunner runs forward.[22]

Beta prowler[edit]

Another imp-like enemy which later became the prowler appears in the glory kill test sequence. This variety can crouch down, presumably to leap at the player, though it is killed in the sequence before it has a chance to complete the animation. As with the final version of the monster's model, its head appears to be made of bone, with two insect-like unattached mandibles for a lower jaw, and a large dark hole where most of its face should be. Without finished textures, the creature was plainly colored in this iteration. Its completed version in the released game has purple skin. In a leaked 2012 teaser trailer and in early reboot footage of game play using Doom 4 assets from 2018, you can see that that hole is glowing.[23]

Hell knight[edit]

It is not known what the Hell knight initially looked like, but it was most likely reminiscent of the final version of the Hell knight from Doom (2016), as its design characteristics stem from the version of the monster that was in Doom 3. It is known from the first Doom Eternal game director play-through stream by Hugo Martin, during which he played the Hell on Earth level. Martin talked about the Hell knight when Joshua Boyle asked him about his favorite demon in the game, describing how both it and the imp were originally created for the canceled Doom 4 1.0 project.[24]

Summoner / Arch-vile[edit]

A monster concept similar to Doom (2016)'s summoner appears in footage later released onto the Internet in late 2020. Like the summoner, it could levitate, but unlike it, it summoned additional monsters by opening portals in the floor, in walls, or in the middle of the air by firing projectiles of blue energy from its hands.[25] The distinctive shape of the final monster's head seems to have originated with this old design.


The flying red meatball had its own incarnation for this game. It was seen in the multiplayer footage that surfaced in recent years. The creature is bigger in size and its design resembles to a Lovecraft-arthropod creature in shape with lava flowing through its skin. Its only attack method seen in-game is spitting a beam of lava to the player.[26]

Lost soul[edit]

The small flying monster was shown in an animation test alongside the summoner/arch-vile creature coming out of a portal. Unlike its predecessors, its design has a tail and has metal parts implanted above the torso. An untextured model was stored inside the files of the dlc1 update from Doom (2016).[citation needed]

Spider mastermind[edit]

The spider mastermind was noticed in a 14-second animation test video. It has a small minigun relative to its body size, eight legs or more, and a mandible instead of hands and face.[27]

Lure demon[edit]

Appeared for a couple of seconds just like the chaingunner in a leaked 2012 concept trailer. A tentacle with the upper part of a human body at the end appears first, which then opens, revealing its teeth. After this action the main part of the demon immediately appears, falling near the player and screaming at him: a huge creature with six arms, a damaged skull, and a mouth lined with teeth of varying sizes. The concept art of this demon appears in Doom (2016)'s storyboard of its original opening.[28]


Several weapons are visible among the various screenshots and video sequences of the game in progress:

  • Knife: The player carries a knife which can be used during sync melee attacks for finishing blows.
  • Handgun: A standard handgun that was seen in the 2013 glory kill animation pitch.[29]
  • Shotgun: An ordinary pump-action shotgun can be seen carried by NPCs and possessed humans. It is also seen fired in first person perspective during footage of the 2013 glory kill test animation,[29] but with a different model that was later adapted to Doom (2016).
  • Super shotgun: The series-standard double-barreled shotgun. It appears to be the last remaining artifact from Doom 4 1.0 to make it directly into Doom (2016), as it appears to be the exact same model but with different texture work than the final super shotgun. In recent footage and screenshots, the weapon can be seen with engravings that look closer to the final release. Additionally, the reload animation seen in the leaked footage is still present in the game files and can be triggered by interrupting the normal reload animation with another one, such as climbing a wall or punching.[30]
  • Assault rifle: Assault rifles seem to be standard equipment for most members of the resistance, and the player is seen carrying the same or a highly similar model to that seen on NPCs. It is made of jet black metal, and it has a large iron sight which was likely usable for aiming and possibly for sniping. The base model and its reflex sight attachment for this weapon can still be found in the assets for Doom (2016). One of the LOD models for the assault rifle was re-used as the basis for the HMG of Quake Live, though it was recolored and uses a different sound.[31]
  • SMG: A sub-machine gun seen by the player in first person and NPCs. The weapon appears to have a display built in, which its function of being a radar or a bullet counter remains unknown. A different texture variant with an unfolded display can be seen in the leaked 2015 footage and 2012 screenshots.[citation needed]
  • Machine gun: A machine gun can be seen in footage released in late 2020.[25]
  • Chaingun: A chaingun can likewise be seen in the same late-2020 footage.[25]
  • Chainsaw: An NPC can be seen to rev up a large, savage-looking version of the chainsaw during the celebratory cinematic scene shown in DOOM Resurrected. While this alone was not confirmation that it was intended to be a weapon in the game, additional footage later released on the Internet also shows the same weapon being used by the player against a possessed human.[25]
  • Grenade launcher: Though not present in any in-game footage, it was used by resistance members in one of the leaked cinematic clips and later adapted to multiplayer from the final release. An image silhouette from its original Doom 4 form resides inside DOOM 2016's launch files.[citation needed] The weapon became the basis of the grenade launcher later added to the final game's multiplayer component.
  • Bullpup rifle: A tactical rifle seen in the 2013 glory kill animation pitch.[29]


  • Com watch: A watch that serves as a compass allowing the player to track level objectives pointed by a green arrow and for yellow that points to incoming threats.[32]
  • Grenade: A fragmentation grenade.[33] Its untextured model remains stored in the final release.[34]


Numerous characters appear in the leaked footage, but almost nothing is known about them aside from the identity of the protagonist.


A significant number of near-future locations were created for the single-player and multiplayer component, including many destroyed city locations around New York[citation needed] such as an old library, a sewer tunnels level, and a warehouse. These and other levels were in various stages of completion, from work-in-progress concepts to playable demos. From the recent 2020 Multiplayer footage and the 2013 "glory kills" animation pitch, a quarantined school extraction zone was also shown.[citation needed] Of all locations known to be a part of the rolling reboot, only one is currently known to have survived into the final game in some form: according to Marty Stratton, the Foundry began as a much simpler level intended for Doom 4.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. id Software. "id Software." (archived 🏛). Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 noclip (12 December 2016). "DOOM Resurrected (Part 1) - To Hell & Back (DOOM Documentary)." YouTube. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  3. Kuchera, Ben and Nick Robinson (24 June 2015). "Bethesda scrapped Doom 4 because it felt like Call of Duty 'with a Doom skin on it'." Polygon. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  4. Karmali, Luke (19 May 2015). "This is What Doom 4 Could Have Looked Like." IGN. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  5. Berghammer, Billy (3 August 2007). "QuakeCon 2007: John Carmack Talks Rage, id Tech 5 And More." GameInformer (archived 🏛). Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  6. Breckon, Nick (7 May 2008). "Doom 4 Announced." ShackNews. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  7. Faylor, Chris (13 August 2009). "id Promises Doom 4 News at QuakeCon 2010." ShackNews. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  8. Schreier, Jason (3 April 2013). "Five Years And Nothing To Show: How Doom 4 Got Off Track." Kotaku. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  9. Mick, Jason (19 May 2015). "Can id Software's Doom Find Its Way Out of a 7+ Year Development Hell?" DailyTech. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bethesda (2 September 2016). "QuakeCon - Bringers of DOOM." YouTube. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Thorsen, Tor (9 June 2011). "E3 2011: John Carmack talks Wii U, PlayStation Vita, and next-gen Rage." GameSpot (archived 🏛). Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  12. Faylor, Chris (16 July 2008). "Carmack: Doom 4 Sports Better Graphics Than Rage; Uses id Tech 5, Lower Frame Rate." ShackNews. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  13. Miller, Ross (7 May 2008). "Doom 4 announced, id Software hiring." Joystiq (archived 🏛). Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  14. Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (28 February 2012). "Rumour: Doom 4 cancelled, first screenshots leak." XBOX : The Official Magazine (archived 🏛). Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  15. Schneider, Steven (19 May 2015). "Brand-New Footage Of Cancelled 'Doom 4' Game Leaked Online." Tech Times. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. Chalk, Andy (24 June 2015). "Bethesda's original Doom 4 was canned for being 'Call of Doom'." PC Gamer. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  17. IronThumb (Crispies) (12 April 2022). "Game Design Director of Doom 4 wrote more about his experience at id." Twitter. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  18. Love, Rodriguez (5 May 2015). "2014 Demo Reel." Vimeo. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  19. No_Consequence1111 (7 September 2023). "Doom 4 1.0 zombie model and other findings within doom 2016 files." Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  20. GDC (18 May 2018). "Embracing Push Forward Combat In Doom." YouTube. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  21. Ball, Joshua (5 December 2017). "Professional Work." ArtStation. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  22. Dominik, Bošnjak (3 March 2023). "Horror-Focused Doom 4 Trailer Leaks Online." Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  23. GDC (18 May 2018). "Embracing Push Forward Combat In Doom." YouTube. Retrieved 25 March 2024.
  24. Bethesda Softworks (3 December 2020). "DOOM Eternal: Hugo Martin's Game Director Playthrough - Ch. 1 Hell on Earth." YouTube. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Sullivan, Kean (21 December 2020). "Canceled Doom 4 Footage Emerges Online." Game Rant. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  26. IronThumb (Crispies) (24 July 2023). "Here is an early high poly render of the Cacodemon." Twitter. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  27. IronThumb (Crispies) (8 March 2023). "DOOM 4 "Spider Mastermind" Animation Test." YouTube. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  28. IronThumb (Crispies) (16 March 2023). "DOOM (2016) Early Intro Concept." YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2024.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Brian Kowalczyk (6 June 2018). "DOOM-Combat System Previsualization." Vimeo. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  30. ONETAPPYBOI (22 March 2024). "Doom 2016 Beta reload animation." YouTube. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  31. Rubits, Mike (3 January 2024). DOOM 4 (Hell on Earth) Concept Art Findings. Doomworld Forums. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  32. Lewis, Bradley W.. " - DOOM4." Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  33. Lewis, Bradley W.. " - DOOM4." Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  34. IronThumb (Crispies) (30 January 2021). "The frag grenade model is still inside the DOOM 2016's promo/launch date version and it's available for extraction." Twitter. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  35. Ku, James. "Doom 4." James Ku - CG Character Artist. Retrieved 18 January 2024.

Games in the Doom series
Classic Doom
Doom 3 Doom 3Doom 3: BFG EditionDoom 3: VR Edition

Expansions: Doom 3: Resurrection of EvilThe Lost Mission

Official ports: Doom 3 (2019 version)

Related: id Tech 4

Doom (2016) Doom (2016)Doom VFRDoom Eternal

Related: Development of Doom (2016)id Tech 6id Tech 7

Mobile games Doom RPGDoom II RPGDoom ResurrectionMighty Doom
Canceled games Doom AbsolutionDoom 4 1.0
Tabletop Doom: The BoardgameDoom: The Board GameAssault on Armaros Station
Related: Commercial gamesExpanded universeList of booksList of commercial compilations