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DOOMBA (richwhitehouse.com)
687 points by abbeyj on Dec 25, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 36 comments

These projects are my favorite type of content on HN, where the question of "Why?" is met with "Because I can".

In Dari (Afghan dialect of Farsi), doomba is the fat part that hangs off the rear end of a fat tailed sheep.




This is absolutely amazing. Is there anyone out there collecting these projects in a list somewhere? I know they pop up on HN, but they get lost in the noise unless you remember to bookmark them all. There's something special about hacking existing consumer hardware to do geeky things.

Well, now there’s one:


feel free to add your own favorite projects.

If there’s enough interest I'll turn into an actual website.

Is there a project which does analytics on public HN bookmarks/favorites?

His custom captcha for comments is as funny as the roomba project.

Given how well text-recognition works now, I'm sure it's absolutely wonderful at keeping out blind people.

It's a very difficult problem to solve for small independent blogs like this... without handing over your data to Disqus or some 3rd party captcha system. Not everyone is comfortable with using those.

Not that it isn't still a problem and trade-off.

I have a small and independent blog, and zero blog comments spam — I think it's related to requiring manual approval of each new persons first few posts. (The comments software is open source, link in my profile)

Is it more difficult in the English-speaking part of the Internet? My captcha for small sites entirely consists of a decoy <input type=submit style="display:none"> for, like, last ten years.

I have a simple "what is two times three" randomly-generated text question and it's very successful in warding off spam. Someone could trivially automate answering it but it doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble to spammers.

Would the "click all fire hydrants" type be easier to program and add accessibility support?

I hate those picture ones. They all seem to take longer than figuring out the skewed text. But I might be in the minority opinion on this one, idk.

sure but it’s unlikely his site is going to be the target of anyone willing to spend the time to even tell the bot where the text to recognise is. it stops bulk; not target... but he’s unlikely to be a target so it serves its purpose

He even dared including some pictures in the article, ridiculous.

This is really cool! I see a lot of these sorts of projects, where DOOM is either ported to another platform, or some additional integration is done...

Having not played it, is there something specific about DOOM which makes it so easily accessible to these sorts of hacks?

1. The Doom engine is arguably a work of art. Not for the faint of heart, surely, but well done, very well optimized and carries a simplicity that only a few of us (ie John Carmack) can achieve.

2. It was also open sourced a very long time ago by id software, which enabled a lot of tweaking by the community, and, therefore, a lot of knowledge.

3. Doom is a very famous game, having made a lot of success during it days. Everyone with even the smallest interest in games or computers that was alive back then probably played it.

4. Both Wolfenstein and Quake are also open source but the former is too simple when compared to Doom and Quake is too complex. As others have stated, Doom has 2.5D maps whereas Quake have full fledged, 3D maps.

All of this together surely makes it a good candidate for this type of experiment

When you say 2.5D do you mean that the map appears 3D but the player moves on a 2D plane?

Generating the layout of a map for DOOM is easy since the maps are essentially just 2-D structures composed of convex polygons with variable heights thrown in at the polygon level (aka sector). I'd imagine everything but the 2D geometry of the scanned area is randomly generated (textures, item and monster placement, heights of sectors, light levels, etc).

It has been open source for a long time and many great write ups and explorations of said source have been available.

It is known to be high quality and hackable, by orignal design and later hard work of fans.

By far the best write up is Fabien Sanglard’s Doom Game Engine Black Book [1]. The amount of detail and depth is just incredible.

[1] http://fabiensanglard.net/gebbdoom/

Try it. It's so much fun even today.

Seconded! I recently went back to the vanilla game and am playing through it trying to get 100% completion. It's very well designed and well balanced as well. Whenever I find myself low on health or ammo, there's usually a fresh box right around the corner, with plenty of secret areas to discover that are creatively hidden. Above all, it's just plain fun!

It's 2.5D and much smaller than average 3D games. The original game requires 4MB of RAM and a 386 processor, which these days is outclassed by microcontrollers.

Huh, robots integrate with Doom. I suppose it could be used to help train them for combat FPS games, not just doom. It would be nice if they added cloud support, only "cloud" is so mundane and cliched now... maybe instead of cloud we could call it "Sky", and because it's all just part of a network, maybe something like "SkyNet".

This reminds me of why I love the internet. Cool projects like this. Thanks for posting this.

For some reason I thought roomba was playing doomba at real time.

Coming to think of it, it might be a good idea

I thought the exact same. Could be pretty awesome.

Thank you for winning the internet today. This is the best of all the reasons hackers hack.


An interesting Xmas gift for the hacker community. So now, DOOM doesn't just run on a toaster; it also runs on vacuum cleaners. Or more, vacuum cleaners can input data to DOOM!

We need a mashup with psDoom. Where your suckbot battles the inner demons in its own head. And inevitably kills its own kernel before it's even made it out of the kitchen

psDoom is one of those things I only ever looked at for about 5 minutes, but that is still one of those seminal projects in software visualisation. Alongside things like FSN(1) as referenced in Jurassic Park.

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fsn_(file_manager)

This brings back the memories of staying up late at night to play doom with a friend over dial up. Great hack.

Someone should run this in a hotel room or something, so they can have

puts on sunglasses

a .noeroomba in the inn.

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