In the case of Doom 3, this has resulted in very little interaction with objects. John Carmack felt that the realism of the graphics and the game in general would be negatively affected by the inadequate physical models currently available. In other words, each item to be interacted with has to be individually assigned attributes, including interior structure, interior textures et al in case someone decides to break it.
In other games with a deformable/destructible environment the graphic technology was not in place so the modeling was much easier. In older games a plain-jane texture could be applied to the box, it could split into several chunks and dissipate into the air, and that was acceptable to the gamer as previously shot bodies disappeared, blood did not spray and the list goes on. Because of the realistic nature of Doom 3 (and I saw a preview video. Hold onto your hats.) id decided to leave anything out that would detract from the overall game. First to go? Multiplayer.
Because of the nature of multiplayer games, where individuals have to be able to traverse a map in any direction, often times level designers make several changes to enhance the multiplayer experience. With Doom 3, because of the workflow, an artist would create a room and it would take a week and a half to program. Any changes to the room would require reworking so id chose the economical route.
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