Arcadia Demade | vector poem

Typically when you ship a big game you get some time off to relax, take a step back and enjoy life.

Of course, I had to do something very silly with some of this time. So I did a remake of a BioShock level for… wait for it… Doom 2.

Arcadia, Demade (original level screenshot by Jay Kyburz)

Inspired partly by TIGSource’s amazing Bootleg Demakes Competition, I used a modern Doom level editor called SLADE to recreate Arcadia and the Farmer’s Market, the sections of BioShock on which I was the primary designer. It’s a monster of a level, crammed full of weird little BioShock-to-Doom transmutations and symbolism. If you’re a fan of either game, I hope you enjoy it.

Download the map from here. Inside the ZIP are a standard format Doom WAD readme, instructions on how to get it running on modern systems, and some designer commentary on both the construction of the original map and the Doom demake.

To complement this release, I’ve also posted a design analysis of classic Doom, just as I threatened to a while back. Read it here:

Coelacanth: Lessons from Doom

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 10:22 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

39 Responses to “Arcadia Demade”

  1. Jason Sanders Says:

    Wow, excellent level! Thank you for writing up the notes. It’s always great to learn the intentions and thoughts and history behind the level design. (Speaking as one of the people who cursed the game as they got lost for the hundredth time ha ha).

    As a player exploring the end result on an Xbox, the months of hard work you and everyone else on your team can, unfortunately, never be fully appreciated. That’s the problem when a piece of art, whether it be a book, film, painting, or game, is well written and designed; the audience usually fails to notice the brilliance and takes the ease of immersion for granted. Your post at least gives a bit of insight into the nature of the game’s evolution.

  2. BioShock involved designer ramakes Arcadia level for Doom II — omglog Says:

    […] March 2010BioShock involved designer ramakes Arcadia level for Doom II…while also explaining differences between the game mechanics/player experience of Doom versus […]

  3. BioShock’s Arcadia Demade For Doom II | Kotaku Australia Says:

    […] Arcade Demade [vector poem] Tagged:bioshockdemakesdoom iipc […]

  4. Hcomplyr Says:

    someone should post this on

  5. BioShock Arcadia level demade for Doom II from lead level designer of game | Default Prime Says:

    […] the arcadia level in the game to play with Doom II. The level is up to download for free on his personal website. But wait, that’s not all!He also posted up in the notes section of the arcadia level all […]

  6. Navitron Says:

    Wow that is pretty epic great work.
    Time to fire up ZDoom 😀

  7. d+pad Says:

    I’d like to check it out but I’m on a Mac. Can you fraps a play through?

  8. links for 2010-03-01 - Nerdcore Says:

    […] Bioshock's lead level designer remakes Arcadia in Doom 2 (tags: Doom Games Bioshock) […]

  9. Navitron Says:

    There are a number of source ports of Doom that are mac compatible.

  10. BioShock’s Arcadia Demade For Doom II [PC] - Gaming Flavor Says:

    […] Arcade Demade [vector poem] […]

  11. Bioshock Arcadia and Farmer’s Market remade – on Doom II! | Gamezia : Games News and Previews Says:

    […] This is inherently pointless in so many brilliant ways, but we like to think it shows that good level design is good level design, no matter the tech level. Having said that, we’ve not been able to play yet, but we’re presuming Mr LeBreton’s done a corking job of recreating Rapture in 2.5D with hilarious sprite trees. Party like it’s 1994! Or 1960, via 1994. You can get it yourself here. […]

  12. Game Retail Store » BioShock 2 Designer De-Makes Arcadia For Doom 2 Says:

    […] can download the Arcadia WAD file (Doom 2 required), as well as read LeBreton’s commentary on constructing Arcadia and the Doom […]

  13. The Pron Stash « GamePron Says:

    […] Released: Often better than AAA Zafehouse 2 gets a new combat window and some shiny mechanics. Doom II gets BioShock’s Arcadia demake, courtesy of 2K Games […]

  14. Arcadia Demake | Superlevel Says:

    […] Gamedesigner Jean-Paul LeBreton hat ein Demake seiner eigenen Arbeit erschaffen. Im März 2006 begann er mit den Entwürfen für das […]

  15. Ted Mielczarek Says:

    Damn! I played for about 25 minutes, and finally got the blue key, only to be killed by an Archvile. Very well-made map, I just wish I’d remembered to quicksave. (Did original Doom even have quicksave?) I had installed gzdoom and dug out my original IWADs after reading your “Lessons from Doom” post yesterday, and it turns out my Doom skills are still pretty intact. 🙂

    P.S. I never played BioShock. I tried the demo, and just couldn’t get into it. I have failed to get into any modern FPS though, so I don’t think it’s your fault. I never finished Half-Life, HL2 or Doom 3 despite giving all of those a good effort.

  16. William Huber Says:

    Never played BioShock, so I can’t judge on the faithfulness to the original map. But as a Doom player I must say I loved this level. The new palette is deliciously gloomy, the map is non-linear but not frustrating, secrets are interesting and rewarding, and finally the level is quite challenging without being over the top.

    A few texture misalignments were spotted, but nothing too serious.
    Maybe a handful of new textures could have helped getting an even better atmosphere.

    Overall a solid effort. Playing your map also had me interested in BioShock : gloomy settings and a non-linear level design, this sounds promising.
    Congrats from a French Doom fan !

  17. Spectacle Rock Says:

    […] 2’s lead level designer JP LeBreton, in conjunction with his release of Arcadia Demake, takes a fascinating look at how the design of Doom contrasts with more modern design of FPSes. […]

  18. What if Bioshock used the Doom 2 engine? | The Software Nook Says:

    […] is supposed to be a rose bush. In case you have Doom 2 installed somewhere, you can get the level here. Also, why do you still have Doom 2 […]

  19. Hyper_Eye Says:

    I have a dedicated Odamex coop server running this map. Odamex is cross-platform and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, as well as most anything else that SDL supports (BSD, Solaris, etc.) So for those concerned they can’t try this on Mac give Odamex a shot and the same goes for anyone interested in running this map in coop.

  20. name_is_required Says:

    I recognize that you did not want to spend days on this map, though some adept mappers could have added all the “atmosphere” that’s also present in BS2 to it (fog seems to be one thing).

  21. TelMarine Says:

    I’ve only played the bioshock1 demo, but I gave this doom2 level a whirl and I thought it was pretty good. Took me about 45 minutes to complete on Ultra Violence (latest Skulltag WITH mouse look ON and autoaim off). I thought the difficulty and item/ammo balance was pretty good for the most part. There were lots of times where I was low on health and ammo, but was able to squeak by. I had to jack up the brightness a bit and it turned out I missed some secrets that I later found and a few items here and there. The cyberdemon, I ended up skipping entirely because I had pretty much zero ammo. I thought you needed to fight him with several pathways blocked, but I found a way out and never had to kill it. Overall, good stuff and much longer then I was expecting, the level was huge. Thanks for making it. See ya.

  22. xBUSTINxOUTx Says:

    This map is awesome. One of the best I have seen in a long time. It would be even better if you could convince Microsoft to add it as DLC on XBLA for Doom.

  23. BioShock’s Arcadia faithfully recreated in Doom II Says:

    […] Arcadia Demade [vector poem via Game Informer] […]

  24. BioShock’s Arcadia faithfully recreated in Doom II| Latest breaking News on Video Games Hardware and Software.| Blog Says:

    […] Arcadia Demade [vector poem via Game Informer] […]

  25. BioShock’s Arcadia faithfully recreated in Doom II| where you find Everything Xbox| BLOG Says:

    […] Arcadia Demade [vector poem via Game Informer] […]

  26. Geek 3000 » BioShock’s Arcadia faithfully recreated in Doom II Says:

    […] Arcadia Demade [vector poem via Game Informer] […]

  27. BioShock’s Arcadia faithfully recreated in Doom II Says:

    […] Arcadia Demade [vector poem via Game Informer] Post a Comment  […]

  28. David Says:

    This was really great! It crashed Doomsday on my mac but I was able to get it to run with PrBoom. It was remarkable how much I recognized the layout without any of the textures/enemies. I kept thinking, “there’s a heath thing around this corner” or “Wait, where’s the Circus of Value??”. I loved the Houdini splicer style teleporting mini-barons of hell. It’s a great testament to (a) how good doom gameplay holds up and (b) how well designed the bioshock levels are.

    Thanks for this.

  29. Project Dark Fox Says:

    All in all, that was a very good map. Just when I thought I saw everything Doom could do, you bring us some nice surprises that made this level feel VERY fresh. I loved this map. 🙂

  30. Hey, you got your BioShock in my Doom 2! | Tech Industry News Says:

    […] for the last three years. So, he recently exercised his craft in a fairly peculiar way — by designing a Doom 2 map modeled after the two areas on which he served as lead designer for 2K’s underseas adventure: […]

  31. Hey, you got your BioShock in my Doom 2! Says:

    […] in for the last three years. So, he recently exercised his craft in a fairly peculiar way — by designing a Doom 2 map modeled after the two areas on which he served as lead designer for 2K's underseas adventure: […]

  32. Hey, you got your BioShock in my Doom 2!| Latest breaking News on Video Games Hardware and Software.| Blog Says:

    […] for the last three years. So, he recently exercised his craft in a fairly peculiar way — by designing a Doom 2 map modeled after the two areas on which he served as lead designer for 2K’s underseas adventure: […]

  33. Boon Lived Says:

    WOW! You even put the cheese wheel!

    the amout of work done to this…possibly one of the best maps everr.
    You should try messing around with ZDoom (and XWE).
    if you do, ZDL (ZDoom Launcher) is a good tool to get.

    as with most people,having a big map normaly means a secret of some kind…then.

  34. Kane Says:

    Amazing, simply stunning work. Im glad i stumbled across this and thank you Sir for sharing your creativity with us all.

  35. BioShock’s Arcadia Demade For Doom II [PC] – 606th Edition | Level Ups Game News Says:

    […] Arcade Demade [vector poem] […]

  36. Welshie Says:

    I loved the conversion, it really managed to keep the same feel of the original in several ways.

    You should release this onto the idgames archive when you finalize it; I wasted twenty minutes looking for it there before I searched the Doomworld forums / Google.

  37. JP Says:


  38. Eonfge Says:


    Since I’m the first reader to notice, I congratulate you with your Cacoward!

    Quick Recap: The Doom community has always been very strong and innovation driven (that is, all but graphics) and The cacowards are the largest rewards one can get in the community. Hosted by DoomWorld, it’s a place for critical acclaim in the community.

    When I signed on to do this years Cacowards (again), I was looking at the list of Cacoward nominees and was having trouble picking a wad that I was really fond of, and Scuba suggested to me that someone should review Arcadia. I read a quick overview of the wad, and while I took it, I didn’t have a whole lot of faith that I Arcadia Demade would like it, with its emphasis on atmosphere over gameplay. And I was very, very wrong.

    Arcadia Demade is a remake of a Bioshock map of the same name. It features an organic, open environment with plenty of atmosphere and a new palette. It’s plenty dark, very gloomy, and has new music to match the visuals, creating a completely engrossing environment. The map has somewhat slow and easy gameplay, and while I understand thing placement was also heavily inspired by the original, it could have used some Doom flair. Still, that isn’t what this map is about. It’s about the exploration and discovery of a very intriguing environment, and in that effort the map is definitely top notch. It’s the sort of map you’ll check out more than once. Recommended for everyone, even if you’ve never touched Bioshock. –JP LeBreton

    So congratulations, and hopefully we can see more kick-ass levels from you.


    For the CacoWards:

  39. El arte del demake | pixfall – blog de videojuegos de ecuador Says:

    […] Pueden descargar los archivos WAD del juego en este enlace. […]