DOOM

DOOM is a first-person shooter computer game released by id Software on December 10 1993. It featured huge advances in gameplay and graphics compared to its predecessors, one of which was Wolfenstein 3D. At the time, it was a quantum leap for video-game technology. DOOM was a controversial video-game in its time, due to its high levels of violence, gore and spattering of satanic imagery. Its popularity involved the development of a broad community of competition and modification with editor tools.

Table of contents
1 Overview
2 Sequels
3 Competitors
4 DOOM as a movie
5 External links

Overview

DOOM consisted of three episodes with nine levels each; eight of these levels needed to be completed to finish an episode, while the ninth one was a secret level that could be accessed from within the first seven. The first episode, "Knee-Deep in the Dead", was released as shareware, while the second and third ("Shores of Hell" and "Inferno") were only available in the registered (commercial) version.

The game was released (with varying degrees of modification) for many systems and consoles, which included the following: MS-DOS, MS Windows, QNX, Irix, NEXTSTEP, Linux, Apple Macintosh, Super NES, Sega 32X, Sony PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Inform and 3DO. An arcade version using a "virtual reality headset" (an LCD screen an inch from the player's face) also existed.

Sequels

A sequel to DOOM, titled DOOM II: Hell on Earth, was released on October 10 1994. DOOM II consisted of thirty regular levels, plus two "secret" levels, which nearly duplicated episode 1 level 1 and episode 1 level 9 of Wolfenstein 3D; the engine and gameplay were the same as DOOM, with some additional weapons and monsters added. The two secret levels were missing from the version marketed in Germany because they depicted Nazi symbols, illegal under German law (see the article on Wolfenstein 3D for more information).

Due to its heavy graphic violence, DOOM II, like the original DOOM, received an ESRB rating of "M", with the exception of the Game Boy Advance port, which was rated "T". The game also marked id's departure from the shareware marketing strategy, releasing this game through Activision.

In 1995, a new version of DOOM was published; titled The Ultimate DOOM, this release included the three original episodes as well as a new, fourth one, named "Thy Flesh Consumed". Another year later, in 1996, two new 32-level episodes for DOOM II were released: "The Plutonia Experiment" and "TNT: Evilution", collectively known as Final DOOM, both developed for id Software by TeamTNT. None of these were available as shareware; like DOOM II, they were only sold as commercial versions.

DOOM3 is scheduled to be released in 2004 ("when it's done"); set in 2145 in a Union Aerospace Corporation research center on Mars, is a complete retelling of the original DOOM, with a completely new graphics and game engine. DOOM³ currently is available for pre-ordering; an official website with a trailer has been launched at http://www.doom3.com.

However, despite being technologically obsoleted by later games, classic DOOM retains a loyal following up to the present day, and along with Wolfenstein 3D is credited with making the first-person shooter a computer game genre in its own right.

Engine changes

The DOOM engine continued to be developed even after the initial release of the game; there were a total of 11 versions, from the original 1.0 that was released on December 10 1993 to the final 1.9 release. Version 1.1 of the engine, released only 6 days later, on December 16, mostly included fixes for bugs and compatibility problems (although it also introduced new ones); it also featured the ability to run DOOM on three computers at once in single player mode, adding left and right screens for the player, but this feature was removed again in later versions.

Version 1.2 followed two months later on February 17 1994, adding support for modem play, better network play and the Nightmare! difficulty to the game. Versions 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6 were beta releases made available only on the Internet, leading to the release of 1.666 in September 1994, which, among other things, further improved modem and serial play and also introduced a refined Deathmatch version, dubbed "Deathmatch 2.0".

Early history

DOOM changed quite a bit during its development process; originally intended very similar to Wolfenstein in many regards (with the notable exception of the 3D engine) as witnessed by creative director Tom Hall's "DOOM bible" [1] (written in late 1992), the game changed quite a bit over the course of three alpha versions and one press-release version.

The first alpha version, 0.2, was released on February 4 1993; it consisted of a single level, but was not yet playable in the sense that later versions were. Two months later, on April 2, alpha 0.4 featured a new logo, a few more, new levels (including a very early version of E2M2 from the final game), and finally, on May 22, version 0.5 was done. The press-release version, containing three levels that looked much like the final ones was released on October 4 for journalists only; it was programmed to stop working after October 31. All of these versions have been made available by id Software, and can be downloaded from Doomworld.

The game engine was licensed to several other companies as well, who released their own games based on it, including Heretic, Hexen, Strife and HacX.

Source Ports

The source code of DOOM was published by id Software in 1997 under a proprietary license. The game was then ported to various other operating systems; in late 1999, the source code was re-released under the terms of the GPL. Several ports have been developed, the most notable being TeamTNT's Boom, Lee Killough's Marine's Best Friend (MBF), and later on, PrBoom, Eternity, jDoom, ZDoom, Doom Legacy, ZDoomGL, ZDaemon, and Skulltag. Most ports contain considerable changes to the game, including bug fixes, the removal of engine limitations, and various new features.

Ports have also been created to allow DOOM to run on a different type of machine. One of those is a port to the Game Park 32, a Korean hand-held similar to the Game Boy Advance. A British company called WildPalm has also produced a port to the Nokia 7650 and 9210 cell phones. There is a port to the Sega Dreamcast as well.

Competitors

DOOM spawned many imitators and competitors, some based on the game engine licensed from id (see below). Duke Nukem 3D, a more tongue-in-cheek game based on Ken Silverman's "Build" engine, and Apogee's Rise of the Triad were its principal rivals. id Software created a completely new 3D engine, then released the successor to DOOM: Quake, in 1996. Quake's success mirrored that of DOOM for the remainder of the 1990s, though the success of competitor Unreal Tournament seduced a large segment of Quake's audience.

DOOM as a movie

It was reported in 2002 that Warner Brothers acquired live action movie rights to DOOM from id Software. If Warner Brothers were to start filming a DOOM movie, it would be the first time in years that an attempt to put a DOOM movie in production would be made. In 1994 or 1995, id Software sold DOOM movie rights to a movie studio, but the rights expired because the movie studio apparently was untimely in getting the movie into production. It has been speculated that the DOOM movie will be based on the events depicted in the upcoming DOOM³ game.

On November 27th, 2003, Computer Gaming World printed an article on their website regarding the DOOM movie [1]. It states that Warner Brothers is indeed working on the DOOM movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Brothers) have signed on to work on the DOOM movie.

Unlike with past production attempts by Columbia Tristar and Universal Pictures, a progress-to-completion deal was signed between Warner Brothers and id Software according to the article; i.e., Warner Brothers must get the final script for the DOOM movie written by a certain date, have the DOOM movie greenlighted by a certain date, and start filming by a certain date. If those deadlines are not met, the movie rights to DOOM will revert back to id Software.

External links

DOOM

DOOM II

Final DOOM

DOOM³

Fun stuff

Levels / Add-ons

Ports




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