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First Person Shooters (Games) Portables (Apple) Entertainment Games Hardware

id Releases Open Source Wolfenstein 3D for the iPhone 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-leben dept.
An anonymous reader writes "id Software has released a port of the classic Wolfenstein FPS to the iPhone. Some of the coding was done by John Carmack himself, who also used original code combined with new code from Wolf3D Redux. The original code was open sourced years ago, and enthusiasts have been updating it, which made the port considerably easier for id. It's available in the iTunes App Store, but the source is available for free at id's website." Carmack also posted a detailed writeup about the decision to bring Wolf3D to the iPhone, including design notes and a few snippets of code. At the end, he says, "I'm going back to Rage for a while, but I do expect Classic Doom to come fairly soon for the iPhone." Kotaku got a chance to try the game at GDC: "It's not just a good reproduction of the original, it seems better."
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id Releases Open Source Wolfenstein 3D for the iPhone

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  • So when you shoot that BFG...does your whole iPhone reset....or just melt?
  • That's pretty sweet.

  • a new index (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @06:05PM (#27335789) Journal
    Plus 5 to the 'nostalgic games' index of computing power that is cheaply available.
  • note that the game costs $4.99 at the app store
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @06:05PM (#27335801)

    You guys always get shafted waiting for the ports.

    • by sokoban (142301)

      As an Apple Fanboy/Apologist/Groupie, I still LOL'ed.

      • by anss123 (985305)

        As an Apple Fanboy/Apologist/Groupie, I still LOL'ed.

        Wasn't the old mac port the best one? Better textures, flamethrower and stuff. Odd that ID didn't port that.

        • by Phroggy (441)

          The Mac port was done by MacPlay [wikipedia.org], and also included what I believe was original music (since I don't recall the PC version having music - most PC hardware at the time wasn't really capable of it).

  • by mark-t (151149)
    .... original FPS that started the whole trend?
    • by Medgur (172679) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @06:32PM (#27336071) Homepage
      Not quite, the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] is quite thorough on the history

      The earliest two documented first person shooters were Maze War and Spasim. Maze War was the most similar to modern first person shooters, as it featured characters fighting on foot. Development of the game began some time in 1973 and was likely completed before Spasim, however its exact date of completion is unknown. Spasim had a documented debut at the University of Illinois in 1974. The game was a rudimentary space flight simulator, which featured a first-person perspective.[5] Spasim led to more detailed combat flight simulators and eventually to a tank simulator, developed for the U.S. army, in the later 1970s. These games were not available to consumers and it was not until 1980 that a tank game, Battlezone, was released in arcades. A version was released in 1983 for home computers, the first successful mass-market game featuring a first person viewpoint and 3D graphics.[27]

      Id Software released Hovertank 3D in 1991, which pioneered ray casting technology to enable faster gameplay than 1980s vehicle simulators. Later developers added texture mapping with Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (by Looking Glass Technologies), a role-playing game featuring a first person viewpoint and an advanced graphics engine, released in 1992. During development, this led to Catacomb 3-D which was actually released first, in late 1991, and introduced the display of the protagonist's hand and weapon (magical spells) on the screen.[27]

      • No FaceBall? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        Not quite, the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] is quite thorough on the history

        But apparently not thorough enough to link to MIDI-Maze or FaceBall [wikipedia.org], one of the first multiplayer deathmatch FPS games. (I have to reply here because Slashdot has less of a "non-notability patrol" than Wikipedia.)

      • by Enderandrew (866215) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {werdnaredne}> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:19PM (#27336483) Homepage Journal

        What really gets me is how Ultima Underworld never gets the credit it deserves. It shipped before Wolfenstein 3D, and was a better game to boot.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Underworld [wikipedia.org]

        You could look up and down, you could jump, swim, examine objects, interact with objects, there were RPG stats, etc. Gameplay was non-linear, and there was even an honest-to-goodness story. Lighting was dynamic, and there was even auto-map.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Spector [wikipedia.org]

        Spector never gets the respect he is due either.

        • by anss123 (985305)

          What really gets me is how Ultima Underworld never gets the credit it deserves.

          Because it isn't a first person shooter. Or was it? I never played it, didn't care for Wolf3D back then either. Doom was the first good one. The Super Mario Bross of FPSes, sure there's Pitfall, Smurfs, Faceball 2000, etc, out before but Doom/SMB was the first to 'get it right'.

          • It was a first person RPG, but many call Wolf3D the first "first person" game, or the first, truly 3D game.

            And Ultima did have first-person combat, including ranged weapons, spells, and melee. Again, better than Wolf3D. Overall it is a MUCH better game that shipped first with a larger set of game features, but everyone said Wolf3D was the big innovator.

            • by anss123 (985305)

              And Ultima did have first-person combat, including ranged weapons, spells, and melee. Again, better than Wolf3D. Overall it is a MUCH better game that shipped first with a larger set of game features, but everyone said Wolf3D was the big innovator.

              I see it needs a 386 with 2 megabytes RAM. Wolf 3D makes do with 286 and 512KB RAM. That can have made the difference.

            • And Ultima did have first-person combat, including ranged weapons, spells, and melee. Again, better than Wolf3D. Overall it is a MUCH better game that shipped first with a larger set of game features, but everyone said Wolf3D was the big innovator.

              I played both when I was much younger.

              Wolf3D was much faster on the same hardware, not to mention more colourful, smoother. It was just a more fun game.

              I remember Ultima Underworld like I remember Doom3: slow and dark.

        • There were a few other FPS that didn't get the credit they deserve:

          1. Rise of the Triad [wikipedia.org]
          2. Battlezone [wikipedia.org]
    • by nametaken (610866)

      Says the guy with the 151149 uid. You should know better!

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @06:12PM (#27335865) Journal

    Doom already runs on Rockbox. If the iPhone were an open platform, this would have happened a long time ago.

  • Graphics quality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mprx (82435) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @06:40PM (#27336155)

    The graphics are crisp, intense duplicates of the original.

    But from the screenshot we can see that both the sprites and the textures have been filtered. Filtering the textures is no problem, but the sprites are "pixel art" - they are designed around the pixel boundaries to pack more detail into a limited resolution. It's the same principle as manually hinting fonts. The only acceptable scaling method for pixel art is unfiltered "nearest neighbor" scaling, as used in the original game. This new version is not "crisp", it is an ugly blurred mess.

    • Enlarging pixel art (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:19PM (#27336481) Homepage Journal

      The only acceptable scaling method for pixel art is unfiltered "nearest neighbor" scaling, as used in the original game.

      There exist algorithms for enlarging pixel art that overcome both the blocky appearance of nearest-neighbor resampling and the blurry appearance of linear resampling. The Scale2x [sourceforge.net] algorithm, for instance, can be applied multiple times. The hq2x, hq3x, and hq4x can be applied only as the final step, but with amazing results [hiend3d.com].

      • by Mprx (82435) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:27PM (#27336553)
        They sometimes work, but when they fail the results are more distracting than nearest neighbor resampling. The "Yoshi" sign in Test Case 2 is a good example, where the algorithm has failed to identify the gradually sloping line and exaggerated the stepped appearance.
    • by Sark666 (756464)

      I haven't fired up an emulator in a bit, but it's the same thing with old mame games (and consoles) on nvidia cards, it does auto filtering and afaik no way to prevent it.

      I read some people would be put in weird custom resolutions to get old arcade games to work correctly. I can only imagine now how it looks on lcds that only have 1 true res, or maybe that doesn't make a difference.

      Is there a way to get old emulators to look pixel perfect on modern hardware?

      • by Mprx (82435)
        For perfect graphics, you need no filtering and integer ratio nearest neighbor resizing. In sdlmame's mame.ini:
        filter 0
        unevenstretch 0
        This won't necessarily fill the whole screen. If the game's pixel aspect isn't 1:1, which is very common, then you may have a problem. With a CRT you can adjust your display pixel aspect to match, but on an LCD you might have to suffer uneven pixel size from non-integer ratio scaling. This isn't so noticeable if the display resolution is much higher than the game res
  • by Meshugga (581651) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:14PM (#27336445)

    - which would be the natural thing to do.

    i'm seriously losing faith in /. readers history education.

  • Carmack Rocks! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:23PM (#27336513) Journal

    John Carmack has a very well-deserved reputation for generosity. A couple of years ago he gave one of his NeXT slabs to a friend of mine on a "free to good home" basis. He not only gave it to her, he paid for the shipping.

    -jcr

    • He's not giving away wolfenstein 3d away for free, its 4.99 in the app store. Only the source code is free, which, while good for developers, is not immediately free for end users.
      • by Firehed (942385)

        No, but it doesn't have to be either. By providing free source code to developers, it lowers their costs since they don't have to license anything and can produce a cheaper end result. I'd love for the final binaries to be free, but developers have to eat too (even if they thrive off of cheap microwaveable junk).

        Plus, it also hugely lowers the barriers to entry for other programmers. A lot of kids with some programming talent (high school age) have access to the engine, and could plausibly make entirely

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ildon (413912)

      From the linked article [idsoftware.com]:

      I told EA that we were NOT going to ship that as the first Id Software product on the iPhone. Using the iPhone's hardware 3D acceleration was a requirement, and it should be easy -- when I did the second generation mobile renderer (written originally in java) it was layered on top of a class I named TinyGL that did the transform / clip / rasterize operations fairly close to OpenGL semantics, but in fixed point and with both horizontal and vertical rasterization options for perspecti

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sessamoid (165542)

        From the linked article [idsoftware.com]:

        I told EA that we were NOT going to ship that as the first Id Software product on the iPhone. Using the iPhone's hardware 3D acceleration was a requirement, and it should be easy -- when I did the second generation mobile renderer (written originally in java) it was layered on top of a class I named TinyGL that did the transform / clip / rasterize operations fairly close to OpenGL semantics, but in fixed point and with both horizontal and vertical rasterization options for perspective correction. The developers came back and said it would take two months and exceed their budget.

        Rather than having a big confrontation over the issue, I told them to just send the project to me and I would do it myself.

        Carmack is such a bad ass. "You guys are morons. I'll code this myself."

        Rather than having a big confrontation over the issue, I told them to just send the project to me and I would do it myself. Cass Everitt had been doing some personal work on the iPhone, so he helped me get everything set up for local iPhone development here, which is a lot more tortuous than you would expect from an Apple product. As usual, my off the cuff estimate of "Two days!" was optimistic, but I did get it done in four, and the game is definitely more pleasant at 8x the frame rate.

        Not only that,

  • Finally... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @07:23PM (#27336517)
    The iPhone gets a killer app!
  • by 7 digits (986730) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @08:01PM (#27336873)

    ...by not forwarding his email to his current address.

    "I sent an email to the Wolf 3D Redux project maintainer to see if he might be interested in working on an iPhone project with us, but it had been over a year since the last update, and he must have moved on to other things."

    He'll probably learn about the missed opportunity by reading slashdot...

  • aarrrggghhhhh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eil (82413) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @09:13PM (#27337459) Homepage Journal

    From Carmack's TFA:

    I sent an email to the Wolf 3D Redux project maintainer to see if he might be interested in working on an iPhone project with us, but it had been over a year since the last update, and he must have moved on to other things. I thought about it a bit, and decided that I would go ahead and do the project myself.

    Can you imagine doing a simple port of a trivial (but classic) game that nearly everyone has forgotten about and then missing that one email from John Effing Carmack himself saying, "hey, want to work with me on this?"

    Somewhere there is a developer kicking himself HARD for not checking his sourceforge email account.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cerberusss (660701)

      Somewhere there is a developer kicking himself HARD for not checking his sourceforge email account.

      This doesn't just happen to Carmack. I've found and logged bugs on SourceForge, then wrote e-mails to developers asking whether they'd consider fixing it for a fee. Never got a reply.

  • by Trogre (513942)

    FWIW, Quake has run fine on the iPhone for some time now.

    (the jailbreak'd ones, at least - the only ones really worth having)

  • As always, Thank you Mr Carmack! It's always nice when developers let you look at their code; there's always a bunch of stuff to learn. hacking around on the q3a source taught me so much more about c programming than I got from a software engineering degree
  • by modemboy (233342) on Wednesday March 25, 2009 @11:30PM (#27338195)

    The shareware version is also available via Cydia for people with jailbroken phones.
    Exact same code, it just only has the first mission instead of all six, but no cost...
    Details: http://www.modmyi.com/forums/iphone-news/542821-wolfenstein-3d-5-app-store-0-cydia-exact-same-game-legal.html [modmyi.com]

  • How hard would it have been to rotate the screen shots 90 degrees? Why in the heck have they posted photos that are sidways from the direction it's played? Was the author really just that lazy?

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