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Doom (2016)'s creative director reveals the secret to balancing the iconic BFG during a major charity speedrun: 'Uh, we don't'

 An image of a wallpaper for Doom (2016), featuring Doom Guy fighting off a swarm of hellish spawn. Presumably to heavy metal music.
An image of a wallpaper for Doom (2016), featuring Doom Guy fighting off a swarm of hellish spawn. Presumably to heavy metal music.

Awesome Games Done Quick 2024 is already a delight—and not just because it's already raised over $1 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. In a recent speedrun of Doom (2016), Hugo Martin, the game's creative director, decided to make an appearance as a guest commentator.

During the speedrun, the BFG 9000 came up—BFG stands for 'Big Fucking Gun', if that's an indication of what this thing does. In the game, this plasma weapon obliterates pretty much everything you point it at, with a direct hit connecting at 6,000 damage according to the game's wiki.

Being an important part of the speedrun, runner Raitro_ (Going by J0ker on the Stream) asks Martin how the team at id Software balances weapons like the BFG, to which Martin flatly replies: "Uh, we don't." He clarifies that it's "very tricky … it's a great gun, iconic to the franchise, but it is the 'kill everything button'."

It's honestly an admirable design philosophy for something like the BFG. The entire draw of the iconic weapon is that… well, that it's a gun big enough to require an expletive. Any attempts to make it remotely even-tempered would ruin the weapon entirely. Instead, Martin insists its use is "at the player's discretion, and when they wanna murder everything they can do it."

I encourage anyone to watch the full run, because Martin's commentary is both delightful and genuinely funny—because the man, bless him, appears to be discovering what Awesome Games Done Quick actually is in real-time.

A whole 1 hour, 16 minutes into the run, Martin asks: "Is there a gaming convention going on [this] week or something?" To which Raitro_ replies: "Uh, yeah, this is Games Done Quick." Martin also casually dips out at certain points to get both coffee and a bowl of Cheerios.

Martin does genuinely seem to be here for the festivities, though, despite somehow stumbling into them unknowingly: "It's incredible, I turned [the stream] on and it's like the middle of the week, and there's tons of people there. So this is like your QuakeCon?" To which Raitro_ replies "this is the QuakeCon of speedrunning, if that makes sense."

In a later AMA thread on the speedrunning subreddit, Raitro_ writes: "I reached out to Bethesda's community manager who ran it past Hugo and he agreed! This was about 3 months in the making from when I contacted Tokyo to the run … I gave all the event info to Tokyo, so I assume either the manager thought that Hugo knew, or some miscommunication happened."

Still, Martin's gentle bemusement at the whole thing doesn't really kill the vibe. If anything, it elevates it—this is, after all, an event where an entire Ratatouille speedrun was punctuated by dozens of "Yes Chefs". If things don't get a bit Twilight Zone, you're doing AGDQ wrong.