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id programmer on Doom III quality levels

Ultra, high, medium, and low - find out which one is a match for you and your hardware, thanks to Robert Duffy's latest .plan update.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

id Software programmer Robert Duffy has updated his .plan this week expounding on the differences between the graphics and sound quality levels in Doom III, and which you can expect to work on particular hardware set-ups. And given that "most production levels in Doom III contain more media assets than all of Quake 3: Arena," that's bound to be a concern for most.

In a post laden with interesting Doom III information, Duffy runs through the key differences between the game's four quality levels (Ultra, high, medium and low) and identifies how and why they require so much grunt, and how they compensate when it's not there. For example, we're told that there are seven different "bullet striking the wall" sound effects for a given bullet, but "in low quality, we only use one sound for this vs. randomly choosing one of the seven available".

It's an interesting and doubtless rather useful read for fans, and we recommend you check it out. Duffy also reveals that the highly complimentary PC Gamer US review, the first of all, was played on high quality mode (which "looks very, very close to Ultra quality but the compression does cause some loss").

To round off, he also answers a couple of questions about frame rate ("yes the game is capped at 60fps for normal gameplay"), and the sorts of tools and set-ups the team used to develop the game, revealing at one point that a trashed RAID system meant "all of Doom III development was housed in an old dev system with a $79 RAID card driving two 100GB drives for about a week". Well, hell, why not?

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