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Doom Is Twenty Years Old 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the burning-flesh-of-hate dept.
alancronin writes with a quick bite from the Dallas News about everyone's favorite FPS: "Few video games have had the impact that Doom has on the medium as a whole. While it wasn't the first first-person shooter out there, it was certainly one of the earliest hits of the genre, due in no small part to its revolutionary multiplayer. Today, that game is 20 years old. Made in Mesquite by a bunch of young developers including legends John Carmack and John Romero, Doom went on to 'transform pop culture,' as noted by the sub-title of the book Masters of Doom." Yesterday, but who's counting. Fire up your favorite source port and slay some hellspawn to celebrate (or processes). I'm partial to Doomsday (helps that it's in Debian).
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Doom Is Twenty Years Old

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  • We called them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spywhere (824072) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:28AM (#45660351)
    My roommate came home back in '93 with a bootleg copy of the original game. After we installed it, we were concerned about "going to HELL," so we called id Software.

    "Hi, we're calling because someone gave us a bootleg copy of Doom...
    "We need the address, so we can send a check... how much do we owe you?"

    The person on the phone, after recovering from their shock, gave us the address, and told us to make sure to include OUR mailing address with the check.

    A few weeks later, we received a boxed copy of Doom, and a bunch of other cool swag.
  • by Lester67 (218549) <ratels72082@myp[ ] ['ack' in gap]> on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:34AM (#45660389)

    I'd starting tinkering with computers about the time the MicroAce came out. I moved through the Vic, C64 and C128... and then to the Amiga. While I wouldn't consider myself a fan-boy, I supported the brand almost to a fault.

    It wasn't until one day, in a Sears, I saw an Asus 486/DX2-66 for sale, and they were running DOOM on it. I bought a PC for no other reason than to play Doom.

    I'm now an IT manager over our hardware repair and oncall function, and I owe it to the day I went "PC Compatible"... over a freakin' video game.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:46AM (#45660517) Homepage

    I remember a friend and I bought the full version of Doom at a shareware vending machine at a local mall. We brought our own floppies and a two rolls of loonies to pay for it.

    Wow. I don't remember vending machines like that at all.

    I do, however, remember loading programs off cassette tape. :-P

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:47AM (#45660525) Homepage
    Most people don't realize how far we've come until you go back and play those games. If I recall correctly, in Doom, there was no jumping, and you couldn't aim up and down. The only way to move vertically was going up small steps, which your character automatically walked up. The levels were all 2 dimensional. It didn't support rooms above other rooms.

    Other games like Descent, were more 3D, but as someone who designed levels in his spare time for the game, there's some weird stuff you can do in that game because the 3D engine was flawed, most likely to make it run fast enough. You could build a room with a floating cube in the middle. Put a door on one side of that cube. When you go through the door, you could enter a room bigger than the encompassing cube.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:55AM (#45660615) Homepage
    sit down kids, the old mans about to tell a story.
    Doom, the game, meant so much more than any bejewel clicking farmville grinding facebook gaming ass-scratching fruit-ninja with a bird in a slingshot can ever hope to understand; but you can learn to.
    it was 20 years ago that I sat in a dark bedroom beset with mountain dew and doritos, the boomy din of Nine Inch Nails churning away as I poured through the WAD file editor on a sunny saturday afternoon and a smirk on my face knowing the level I uploaded to the BBS that evening would be a work of art. It was designs for floors and trap doors and creative new weapons that filled my 3 ring binder during gym class and on the bus ride home I'd power through 30 minutes of the most unforgiving motion sickness in the tri-county area thinking about new places to stick a cacodaemon or a pain elemental. Doom was my respite, but it was also my temple. the days torment and teasing in school meant nothing once i heard the first few notes of the devils tri-tone main-screen theme and laid eyes on 'doom guy.' Network modem multiplayer and the joy of a friends new map, or the hillarity of a deathmatch laiden with machine gun rocket launchers of our own devise were the the epitomy of my childhood. Dooms wad editing frenzy pushed me into computer programming despite all odds. Six years later the mere act of playing doom was enough to send parents scrambling for body armor and in my case, suspended me for a week thanks to my inability to stop talking about Doom 2's shotguns and their modifications in school after the Columbine Massacre revealed its duo played the dreaded game.

    Doom was analogous to who i was as a child. one lone guy trying to get past an ocean of seemingly endless torment and assault if only to make it to the next level where despite the horror of it all I still tried as best i could to beat the records and discover everything i could.

    now go. buy a copy of doom and start knee deep in the dead as so many of us have, and *sniff* .....get off my lawn.
  • Re:We called them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @12:20PM (#45660855)
    I was listening to a talk by a ROM hacker recently. He was looking at old cartridge games from the 80s and 90s and looking through them for Easter Egg comments. The first one he came across was "Jeff Spangenberg is a weenie". It was put in by the programmer who was not happy on the treatment he got from Jeff. The hidden comments ranged from dedications to humor. Some of the Easter Eggs contained threats of all sorts, but, surprisingly, a few of them were job offers. Those companies figured that someone with enough talent back then to crack the game to see the source code was talented enough to work for them.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @01:07PM (#45661255) Homepage Journal

    Other than Tetris, I can't think of a single game that's been ported to more platforms, and played more than DOOM has -- there are people right now, somewhere in the world still playing doom -- and I'm one of them.

    What I enjoy about doom is that it's simply everywhere. I remember being at an E3, and among other new releases for the Super Nintendo (yes the 16 bit), was a DOOM cartridge. The fact that DOOM is available for practically every platform there is (although I have no bothered to confirm, I'm sure I can even play on an iPhone), one of my favorites was finding the engine for SGI machines and SUN platforms very early on -- so, yeah... you could play it on a cheap 486, or on your high-end $20,000 workstation, it was (and still is) literally everywhere.

    My prediction is that regardless of what new platforms materialize in the future, some enterprising hacker will port DOOM to it, making the franchise one of the most durable in the history of videogames.

  • by mewsenews (251487) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @01:07PM (#45661259) Homepage

    that litigious asshole John Carmack

    Holy crap there is a lot of bile in your post.

    Doom was designed to be modded - you had the IWAD that stored the main game data, and you could load a PWAD with command line parameters. Those features were either put in by Carmack or blessed by him.

    I'm intimately familiar with what the Doom community became after 1998 when Carmack released the source code (how many other companies do that?)

    He was tremendously supportive of the community and personally replied to some emails I sent him over the years asking him about GPL licensing of old id stuff.

    He's even got an account here on Slashdot.

    The portrait you paint of him does not match anything I've seen or read about him, ever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @01:29PM (#45661491)

    The Doom Engine was built out of a BSP tree, each leaf node had the floor and ceiling height. Then each frame was rendered by scanning across the screen horizontally and rendering each vertical strip in turn. This was done by building up a set of texture lines going from a point at the top of the screen to a point at the bottom, so it would alternate between ceiling, wall and floor spans. Thus players could go up steps, and steps could be made to rise and fall automatically or be triggered.

    The Quake engine was originally written as software renderer. Then SGI wanted to demonstrate that a software OpenGL renderer could be as a fast as a custom rendering engine. 3Dfx brought out 3D piggyback rendering boards with their Glide API. Then Microsoft realized that this was edging into hardware programming API and brought DirectX.

    The other technique was to use portals, where each room had special polygons/planes which defined where "portals" are, that led to other rooms. Whenever a portal was detected, that other room would be rendered first.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)