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Play Wolfenstein 3D in a browser (bethsoft.com)
169 points by aw3c2 on May 9, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

I feel like a second class citizen. I can't play the game, nor watch the video (without proxies and stuff), because - oh my god - there's swastikas in them.

Anyway, mirror of the game: http://www.phoboslab.org/crap/wolf3d/

Uploading the video now... [edit]: http://www.phoboslab.org/crap/wolf3d/commentary.flv

Which key should I press to shoot? Original DOS version used [Ctrl] as far as I remember. It doesn't work in browser.

It's funny how muscle memory is. I just instinctively went for Ctrl 20 years on!

I was frustrated that CTRL didn't work as well, because Space worked for open doors.

Press 'x' to shoot.

As far as i can see, this is all done without the canvas tag or webGL, just lots of divs and CSS. Impressive :)

For those who just want to play directly:


Yeah, pretty slow because of that (at least on my computer). Definitely not an html5 showcase, but impressive that they were able to pull it off without canvas.

Looks like a lot of Javascript too! http://wolfenstein.bethsoft.com/game/js/load.js

Interesting, it looks like they rewrote all the code in JS. I wonder why they didn't compile it.

Just speculation, but compiling might have led to a faster result (the compiled Doom was faster than this).

edit: Nevermind, looks like it renders using divs and not canvas. I guess they focused on compatibility with as many browsers as possible and not on performance.

The other interesting thing is that it renders those divs as single pixel wide strips, apparently just as the original Wolfenstein did rendering for walls and such. Pretty cool!

and watch John Carmack's commentary on Wolf3D at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amDtAPHH-zE

Worth watching, many words of Wisdom in there for aspiring game developers, or developers in general.

He talks about how he specifically designed wolf3d so that you could just "bang enter a couple of times" and be into the game while modern AAA titles can have complex interfaces.

Also how you should be able to hack together the core concepts of a good game with a small team in a few months (as they did with wolf3d).

Great link, thanks.

"Sorry, your IP address shows you are coming from a country that requires us to block access to this particular site."

Is .at now on the axis of evil?

It's illegal to have swastikas in a video game in some European countries; Austria might be one of these.

I always wonder what they try to achieve by hiding swastikas. I mean, come on, you can find swastikas everywhere if you look at greek vases, at Japan maps (temples are symbolized with swastikas in Japan), and in a number of ancestral cultures. It's completely ridiculous, and it does not prevent anyway right-wing extremism in the countries mentioned.

This is a scam, I distinctly remember from my time playing this in the early nineties, that holding down the I + L + M keys all at the same time would give you full health, full ammo, and both keys.

This doesn't have that!!!!

Worked flawlessly and fast for me. More than I can say about most WebGL/Flash games I've tried.

Blocked at least in Austria

And in Germany. Whats a good proxy to see it anyhow?

Nope. Doesn't work.

Anyone else disappointed to find "MIL" didn't work? Also I'm very surprised in myself that I remember where so many of the secret doors are. Ahhh nostalgia.

the JS code is in there for god mode and "give all" :)

function debugGiveAll()

function debugGodMode(enable)

The the full ios version of wolf3d is free[1] today too :)


holy crap - pure html/css/js - no webgl. thats insane.

Ah, Wolfenstein... takes me back to some good gaming days in my youth. :)

I was so psyched when I first played this because Castle Wolfenstein* was the first computer game I was addicted to. Something about sneaking up on Nazis and filling them up with lead. It never gets old!

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Wolfenstein

In addition to Wolfenstein:

My first addiction: Space Invaders (1982-84) Next major addiction: Test Drive (1989-90) Thereafter: Hacking in some form or other... little time for games. :)

If you like the old Wolf3d you should check out catacomb abyss which was the predecessor to wolf and had many of the same devs (including Carmack). A very underrated game.

This has already been done long ago, here: http://www.nihilogic.dk/labs/wolf/

That canvas renderer is really buggy.

It was done for a contest with a given limit LOC. The idea of the guy was not to create a perfect port, was to create something like wolf3d with little lines of code.

It is buggy on "purpuse" in some kind of way ...

Worked great! There goes my time down the drain! Can we have nonprocrast for all submitted sites as well? ;-)

No z key / y key distinction built-in. This game sucks on German keyboards.

Well, it is banned in Germany anyways. ;)

You can rebind the keys in the options.

No, its not banned. Since April 2012. Bethesda is working hard to get all of IDs IP approved again. Doom, Doom 2 and Quake are also not banned anymore.


(link in german, obviously :) )

Wolfenstein 3D is banned. It is just not "indiziert" anymore. It is never going to be unbanned because of the unconstitutional stuff (swastikas, HorstWessel Song etc).

Your link is about a different game by the way.

I also got the "Sorry, your IP address shows you are coming from a country that requires us to block access to this particular site." My question is, then, why am I able to play Enemy Territory and go through forums of it?

Bethesda is "proactively overly protective". All their sites have age-confirmation pages before any content. ALL their youtube videos are flagged as potentially inappropiate. I guess for some reason they think they are obliged to follow every country's laws even if they are an USAmerican company (I guess). It really annoys me and makes me think less of them.

As a german it is not forbidden to access such material from all I know. It is also not forbidden to own it or play it. You are "just" not allowed to promote/buy/talk/provide it to others.

IIRC, in the later Wolfenstein games, id doesn't use the swastika or any other explicit Nazi-related material.

The site IS banning german users. I see a fat warning info screen instead of the game.

Hm, not for me :/. Well, there is still the rule about mature content before 22:00 sigh and all that stuff.

Take that productivity!

how far we have come, and yet...how far we have yet to come.

I speak, of course, of DOOM - in pure CSS. The gold standard of...I'm not sure, but it's gotta be something.

If only I wasn't at work...

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