Friday, June 1, 2012

Bigger Than Doom: A Source Port Rant

Only two things come to mind when I say Doom. Kick-ass, classic gaming near and dear to my heart, and that shitty movie starring The Rock.

What the fuck is this thing?
Now I love me some Doom... my first post had Doomguy in it. My avatar is Doom. I fucking love Doom. However, it hasn't aged well in my eyes. Back in the 90s I had a blast with it, installing shareware copies on my aunt's and uncle's Compaq's and Gateways, because hey, they had the money to afford a PC back then, and I was only like 7 or something. I can't remember that well. All I know is you ain't working a full time job to save up for a PC at age 7.

You're probably doing this instead.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, I played regular, old blood and guts Doom, and I couldn't do it. It hasn't aged well enough. I'm not playing on a Gateway from 1998, but a HP from 2009! It's time to update! Especially with Doom's source code available to the greedy public. What resulted was something that literally saved my love for Doom.

Not that it's new or anything, but Doom has been modified to do much more. A source port called ZDoom, which I used to use a lot, is pretty robust in terms of features and eye candy. It literally adds the ability to jump and duck in the game. Never mind the fact that it breaks the game entirely, as most of Doom's point of progressing is finding keys to raise bridge or unlock door or something, but with these two features you can seriously beat some levels without even finding a damn key.

The easy, sleazy way baby.

It's new, and it's fun, especially considering the ability for modders to create their own missions. Sure back in the old Doom days you had people making maps and total conversions, but it added nothing new. It was just a new layout. Like having a new girlfriend, except the new one has bigger boobs; same old bullshit. Jokes aside, there are tons of wads that exist solely to change everything. One that strikes me particular is Knee Deep in ZDoom. It's a wad file that recreates the first episode of Doom, but expands it. The maps are long and treacherous, and the attention to detail is amazing. It recreates the atmosphere of being on the Moon perfectly, something the original Doom did well, but doesn't anymore I'm afraid.

Another port I'd like to rub in your face is Skulltag. It's Doom online, but adds a slew of features. For one, custom maps. Two, many game modes ranging from CTF, DM, TDM, Invasion, Co-Op, Survival... it's all there. Three, well, it's fucking Doom online, with the ability to voice and text chat. Me and Jama and a few others played Skulltag a while back, and boy is it fun. It's classic lead-against-your-head action, but with friends!

Real friends die by your minigun.
It's amazing the technology we have now. We can rebuild Doom... REBUILD IT! WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY! And when I say rebuild I fucking mean it. Doom 3 can go to Hell. There also exists a fully 3D version of Doom, meaning every sprite in the game is replaced with a 3D object. It's not the best 3D, but what do you expect from open-source? It still looks great in my eyes. Dubbed Risen 3D, it uses the Doomsday engine (another source-port) to enhance the graphics to a whole new level. High resolution textures? Check. 3D models instead of 2D sprites? Check. Fully animated monsters and sky boxes? FUCKING CHECK. If Doom wowed gamers with its graphics back in the 90s, then this source does a pretty good job of doing it again in this era.

OK, so it's not Doom 3... whatever.
Notice that picture above has dynamic lighting. Sectored lighting was all Doom had, now it has proper dynamic lighting! It's beautiful. More beautiful than that however, is this mod. If you didn't watch the video, it's a mod called Legacy of Suffering. It takes the atmosphere from Doom 3, but keeps the Doom 2 action. What results is a fun game that doesn't feel like Doom at all, but it still is. It's bad ass, and it's gorgeous. It's still Doom, but in a new light, and god does it feel amazing.

And it's all possible thanks to the world. And for ID releasing Doom's source code online. I realize I'm not talking about GZDoom or EDGE, but GZDoom is just ZDoom with OpenGL rendering, and EDGE is discontinued. Both have some amazing mods though, so look it up if you're feeling lucky. Now excuse me, while I go blast some demons.

Never gets old <3


  1. Doomguy refuses to stand for the Rock's bullshit.

  2. Oh don't get him started on it. I'd hate to review that movie.

    Also, if we ever end up implementing a blog-wide online play-fest/whatever you call it, we should totally all play Skulltag.

  4. HELL YES. I'm always down to play Doom.