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Doom released 20 years ago today (wikipedia.org)
256 points by timmillwood on Dec 10, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments

I still play Doom and Doom 2, I even list it as an interest in my HN profile. It's the perfect FPS, to me. There's still a reasonably active community making custom WADs. It's amazing what some people have come up with for this 20 year old series [1]. There's a ladder of difficulty in custom WADs that I've been working my way up over the years before finally throwing in the towel because of Scythe 2 Map 23 [2].

On a side note, John Romero and Tom Hall did an hour long post mortem on the design and development of the original Doom a couple years ago [3]. I found it interesting.




Now and then I wonder why Doom was such a perfect game, mostly I think it is nostalgia besides revolutionary technique at that time. I've also read the book "Masters of Doom" and would recommend anyone who wants to get inspired on creating something from almost nothing by some sort of following your heart and using your (smart) brains. It makes me happy to read the book.

The main ingredients which imho make Doom classic:

- creepy/spacey/metal Adlib music, thanks to Bobby Prince (Adlib was good for that)

- simple, but effective spooky samples playing at random locations

- for the time good textures (need some good graphics artists) to give it a dark feeling

- kiss play experience (see how it probably would be done nowadays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4yIxUOWrtw )

- VGA-graphics, I keep saying this to people: VGA is pixely, but somehow I don't see that when playing Doom, I compare it with cartoon drawings, you don't focus on the details, but how it looks globally and use a bit of fantasy to bring it to life - nowadays graphics are so detailed that I somehow get distracted by too much detail, it's becoming too realistic almost and doesn't look like a 'game' anymore

- deathmatch or coop via modem, calling your friend to play a match via the telephone line, warning your parents that they are not allowed to pick up the phone, playing not too long because you had to pay per minute (in The Netherlands at least)

- everything packed in a few diskettes (3 or 4?) was at that time almost magic that you could have such a 3d world fitting on it

There are many more reasons why for me Doom will always have a good reputation for me, mostly because of a combination of properties which came together at that time.

It's not just that. Most of what makes Doom a good game has to do with the levels design, the secrets, the good balance of weapons vs enemies, and so on. Doom is still a very good game to play nowadays, much more than the boring and horrible Doom 3 for example (or even Rage for that matter).

You can convince yourself of the importance of level design by comparing the Doom mods vs the original game. Same mechanics, but the level design isn't as good and it changes everything.

Even some Doom clones are fun to play through today. I deeply enjoy Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, the latter of which imho, doesn't get nearly as much recognition as it deserves.

When I mentioned Doom mods, I was not talking about Doom clones, I was talking about fan-made levels for Doom.

Yeah, Sunder maps are just insane -- both in beautiful architecture and mind-boggling complexity (map 11 for example has more than 5000 monsters and takes more than 50 minutes to complete for a speed runner). Some on Doom forums claimed that Okuplok (runner in your first link) is a cheater, because they just didn't believe that it was possible to make such demos almost without preparations.

And of course there are plenty of other beautiful recent maps. Thanks to Cacoward [1] (annual award for best Doom mods and maps), it's relatively easy to track them.

[1] http://www.doomworld.com/cacowards/

I would like to play it on a mobile platform - anyone knows the best way?

Doom Touch is very well done port of prBoom+ to Android:


It's capable of playing the original trilogy as well as many classic levels and level-sets that are marked as doom2.exe, limit-removing, and BOOM compatible.

You can get DOOM for iOS. Plays particularly well on an iPad.

I forgot to mention that I hate touch controls. Something more like PSP/Nintendo DS/gcw-zero/bluetooth controller is more likely...

Same here. One thing I can recommend is to avoid 'Doom RPG' from iD. It's turn based, and has none of Doom's character.

I respect the mastery of the Doom creators, but for me personally, it marked the point where computer games went downhill. Shooting at blobs through the eyes of an anonymous virtual character just never worked for me.

I remember playing Wolfenstein 3D for about an hour, then getting bored with the repetitiveness and lack of identification with the protagonist, and never touching the game again.

When Doom came out, I tried it for 10 minutes, concluded it's W3D with better graphics and aliens instead of Nazis, and never touched it again.

Of course I don't mind that others enjoyed the game. Unfortunately these games became so popular that everything turned to first-person 3D and killed most of the genres I had enjoyed, and so I eventually stopped playing completely.

>Unfortunately these games became so popular that everything turned to first-person 3D and killed most of the genres I had enjoyed

Its not like they stopped making turn based games or RPG's or other genres. The Sierra-style hunt-and-peck adventure game died, but Sierra did that themselves by milking franchises and delivering a sub-standard product with, lets face it, boring and cliched gameplay. Not sure what other genre was killed at around that time. If anything, PC gaming flourished. Warcraft, X-wing/TIE fighter, Elder Scrolls, Sim City 2000, Command and Conquer, Mech Warrior, 7th Guest, Civ II, Diablo, etc came out around that time.

Lucas Arts consistently delivered (Full Throttle, The Curse of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango) and died too.

Obligatory link to Old Man Murray's "Who Killed Adventure Games?":


> The Sierra-style hunt-and-peck adventure game died, but Sierra did that themselves by milking franchises and delivering a sub-standard product with, lets face it, boring and cliched gameplay.

Even that seems to be undergoing a bit of a revival, e.g. Deponia.

Are you kidding? There are more high-quality games in all sorts of genres getting made now than there ever have been, especially in 1993.

Your post sounds an awful lot like "they stopped making good music back in [year I graduated high school]."

You're probably right. And that illustrates why it's hard for me to get back into gaming again: it would be like trying to get back into the music I liked when I was 16. That scene is certainly still active and some of the music is probably good, but they have moved on and I have moved on, and the gulf that separates us keeps expanding.

Around or after 2000, it seemed that there was nothing left but first-person shooters. That probably wasn't true, but I wasn't interested enough to discover the other stuff, and so I stopped playing games. So I've never had enough desire to try Half-Life, GTA, or any of the other 3D titles that appear to be basically Doom with a handful of storyline elements interspersing the shooting.

If you ever get the time, I feel like Half-Life would be an awesome play-through for you. It really is the #1 FPS in terms of story for me, and I've been playing through the new Black Mesa port (it's HL on a newer engine) and it's been great.

HL2 is practically unbeatable in my mind, I sound like a fanboy but it and its Episodes are really an amazing series of games.

They are extremely good at putting you in the mindset of Gordon Freeman and at creating a sense of being chased and action while presenting very relatable characters.

Also, if FPS really has you that turned-off, there has been a great revival of strategy and Rogue-like indie games recently. But it all depends on what you're interested in.

If you hate action and want to be impressed by an immersive FP experience, look at Gone Home.


I think pavlov likes games with a defined, fleshed out protagonist, and Gordon Freeman is pretty close to a blank slate as you can get.

As for recommendations, pavlov hasn't mentioned any genres or games that he particularly liked. Adventure games were pretty common back then and "died" around 2000, so I suggest looking into anything by Telltale Games or Double Fine.



GTA is not anything like Doom. It's not a shooter, it's not first person, etc.

I feel like you're out on a limb in this whole comment thread.

From the sounds of it, he apparently simply hates the 3rd Dimension..

I was in much the same situation. I dropped out of gaming around the time of quake for much of the same reasons, repetitive shooting, focused on how fast you can respond instead of on storyline and puzzles.

But, i've gotten back into things. I've really enjoyed both portal games, and following that asked around for something that is story-driven and got recommended the mass effect trilogy. I've since played through mass effect 1 and 2, and while there's a lot of shooting involved, the shooting makes sense as part of the story, and you are never forced in situations where you have to rely on reflexes. The mass effect storyline itself is fantastic. It's a grand adventure that unfolds over the three parts, and i'm really looking forward to playing part 3.

Edit: another game that i really liked focused heavily on puzzle solving with a decent storyline is mirror's edge.

If you don't hate jump puzzles, you'll probably like FEZ (by Polytron Corp.). It doesn't have much of an explicit story, but there are things scattered here and there that do a bit of world-building.

Psychonauts (by Double Fine) might be too shooter-y for you, but I'm really fond of the strong characters that you meet throughout the game (each with a backstory of some depth).

Both of these games are pretty cheap on Steam, if you're not opposed to using Steam. They both run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

That's unfair.

Doom was a beast of an engine on its time and achieved some technical feats which were key for our current gaming/graphics scene. Maybe the game isn't really interesting story-wise, but is it really when games went downhill?

We wouldn't have Quake without Doom, and we wouldn't have Half Life without Quake... Half Life is quite a great game, which perfectly blended the FPS genre with an interesting story development. You just can't say Half Life is repetitive or monotonous and you can certainly relate to the main character.

Gaming went downhill when the industry took over.

I would agree except for the Antlions. Infuriating gameplay.

It is really interesting to me that you say there was a lack of identification with the protagonist because for me the best FPS games are ones where I am the protagonist. BJ Blakoqitz (however it was spelled. too lazy to look it up) wasn't a charater. He was a set of eyes for me to look through and I wasn't playing as BJ, BJ was me. I was the one in that situation.

With traditional narrative films I might say, "Wouldn't it be cool to be ____" or "What would I do if I were the main character?" but in a good FPS it is more like "What would I do if I were there?" Which really makes identification a really different thing. I'm not even sure if I would call it identification at that point.

So it is interesting to see that someone doesn't feel like that.

This reminds me of a cool narrative trick used in Half Life. Gordon Freeman, the protagonist, does not speak a word in the whole series! Whatever emotions or thoughts you experience is supposed to mimic how Gordon would feel. Gordon speaking would break the illusion.

It eventually turned into a joke in HL2 where Alyx, your sidekick, jokes about your silence.

Also, you never get any cutscenes that cuts to third person or locks your movement (except when your character is physically trapped). Everything is done to give the feeling that you truly are Gordon Freeman.

Because nobody ever made another game that wasn't a FPS after Doom, right?

Come on. Be realistic. Yes, the FPS genre is not for everyone. But neither is whatever genre is your favorite.

Just because FPSes exist and are popular doesn't mean that games you like don't get made. And if the games you like really don't get made, then you should go out and make them.

I don't think Doom was to blame for somehow dumbing games down, before Doom and FPS it was all about side scrolling shooters.

You are wrong, the flight-sim, RPG, adventure and space flight games genre together with many other types of first person games were flourishing way before Doom.




It was Elite back in 1984 that broke the mold of simple side-scrolling games.



Also back in 1993 there were major technical achievements like:

Strike Commander http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL-ElsuJY8A

F-15 Strike Eagle 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koNyQ7J88xY

Papyrus Indycar Racing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfnNo7AG7FA

Frontier: Elite 2




Which are sadly ignored by mainstream media.

Games with varying levels of sophistication were produced both before and after Doom.

I felt the same way about Wolfenstein 3D. The graphics were neat, but the game was a big step back from its 2D namesake on 8-bit hardware. It was just run and shoot and rub along walls hoping for a secret panel. I never understood why so many people wanted to clone it. Mostly the engine, I guess, because the game was just an ok design.

Doom, though, was amazing. It was a much more realized world, both visually and in terms of mood and design. Eventually the levels got a bit too puzzley, but it certainly deserves all the accolades heaped upon it.

This is a topic that essentially comes down to taste, but I'll attempt to outline the core appeal. You're right in saying that Wolf3D was mechanically simplistic when compared to the original - however, these choices were intentional. Carmack's engine provided a low-latency high-framerate simulation, albeit a relatively simple one. This was a fidelity in experience that was completely novel, so every decision was made to maximize the tactile feel of the moment-to-moment action. More complex gameplay elements were determined to be less of a priority if they a) technically slowed down the engine or b) kinetically slowed down the gameplay. This game was an appeal to the immediacy of the onscreen action, even moreso than the first-person perspective. Thankfully, this continued to be a core value for id, which is more than could be said for other shooters that offhandedly throw away input fidelity.

If you like dystopian near-future scifi, try the Deus Ex series. Though FPS in basic concept, they do not need to be played in pure twitching mode, and you should have no trouble identifying with the protagonist.

The FPS genre is stale that's for sure, why is only shooting or killing worthy of first person camera? I think Minecraft is the only game to remotely shake that foundation.

Portal, Penumbra, Antichamber, Quantum Conundrum, Mirror's Edge, off the top of my head. (Mirror's Edge does have some shooting, but it's mostly platforming, and IIRC the expansion pack removes combat entirely.) Portal alone touched off a revolution in first-person puzzlers, and Amnesia/Penumbra did something similar with atmospheric horror.

Ever heard of Gone Home? Definitely worth a shot if you're into nuanced stories.

Proteus is a FPsomething; certainly not a shooter game. Almost barely a game, more of an experience.

John Carmack is only 43. He was 23 when this was released. It still blows my mind how young he is. Notch is only 9 years younger than him. Some people just get good at a very young age. Carmack is still in his prime and his move to the Oculus, hopefully, will bring sci-fi like VR to the masses.

Yeah, have a look at this picture: http://www.idwaregames.freehosting.bg/images/legends.jpg

They're all so young.

I Remember reading "Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution" and they had a pretty section on Doom.

I remember them quoting Romero when he said Carmack was a beast at programming. He just kept him fed with pizza and diet coke and he would just hammer out code for hours on end.

Still crazy to think these guys were in a kind of heyday for video games. Sure, it's bigger now, but that was when it was in its infancy and they changed an entire industry with one game.

Makes you wonder what 3D Realms could have done had they had the focus these guys had.

The chainsaw in DOOM is based on a real model: McCulloch Eager Beaver


Since I've used a professional saw (such as a Stihl 260, a 650 and a Husqvarna 395 among others), the Eager Beaver just looks lame now.

Chainsaws should have a sticker on them that says how loud they are. The three mentioned above are around 115 decibels, three minutes of use without ear defenders will give you permanent hearing damage.

If you want to see a really mean saw...


Do they kill demons faster?

You have to take into account practicality, which basically comes down to the length of the bar. The Stihl 260 is often used with a 15" bar, so it is well suited for skirmishes with imps or zombies in confined quarters. The Stihl 650 and 880 are usually fitted with 36" bars (or even 48" with regards the 880), so less suited to confined spaces, but they would be better suited to larger prey. I bet it could handle a Baron or two.

You could be imaginative and use the 880 to slay five demons standing in a row simultaneously.

Only when the demons don't fight back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvZQKoC3vc

They won't fight back mate, they will be too scared.

1/3 of the game released as shareware compared to today's pay for the game before it is done, sell it at release and keep selling you DLC.

At least with Steam the more obnoxious DRM has died a death for many games (Ubisoft I'm looking at you).

It was a pretty good system because I wasn't good enough at games to easily complete the first episode of DOOM so my parents never needed to buy it for me. Indeed, perhaps 80% of my gaming experiences as a kid were off of cover disks and shareware with very few games bought.

> "pay for the game before it is done"

There is an upside to this, where some games will be released as partially complete, sell for a reasonably low price (none of that $60-80 USD nonsense), and get user feedback on gameplay and content as development continues for a few more years. Games like Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program both do this; they would probably be stuck in development hell of several years then become vaporware if they didn't sell before completion. (Incidentally, these are the only two games I currently own.)

Except it's more like 2/3rds. Or 3/3rds with a 4th and 5th part added as content expansions. Doom 2 was pretty much that; same engine, more levels.

See also "Doom as a SysAdmin Tool" : http://www.cs.unm.edu/~dlchao/flake/doom/

Submitted here, but no discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6881099

Certain processes are vital to the computer's operation and should not be killed. For example, after I took the screenshot of myself being attacked by csh, csh was shot by friendly fire from behind, possibly by tcsh or xv, and my session was abruptly terminated.

I wish there was something like that in windows.

Wolfenstein 3D played a large part of driving my interest in computers and learning how they really work under the hood when I was young. Plus the release of MapEdit really made you feel powerful and a young kid getting involved in computers.

Doom is the point where I became interested in programming and it got me looking to how you actually made these games. id Software eventually open sourcing Wolf3D really helped spur that on. On top of that, Carmacks talk and his always interesting .plan file (a blog before blogs) made him seem very accessible and really opened up the world of game programming. I still enjoy going back and reading parts of the Wolf 3D or Doom code to see how they handled certain problems/limitations.

I'd agree with the other poster that 'Masters of Doom' is a great read and worth it to grab if you haven't read it already.

It's also worth reading his some of his .plan archives as well which have been stored in various places. Lots of interesting bits of wisdom, insight into his thought processes, and even odd practices like going away to a hotel for a week to just spend time alone to learn new tech or code :-) (something I'd love to try someday..)

Ditto! Making Doom mods was the main reason that I taught myself programming. And I probably learned more about development (in a general sense) from making Doom maps, than I ever did in school...

Almost same exact story although I never got into Doom modding but did make my own games in high school because of doom. Actually reading "Masters of Doom" truly planted the seed for my entrepreneurial spirit, the first time I realized "I can get good at something and create something just for me. I can value just from sheer will"

John Carmack to me is the closes thing to a real Rock Star programmer in the world. He's one of the best software engineers and I follow him on Twitter to see what he's up to. Almost always it's something crazy and new.

Here's a video of John choking someone out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X68Mm_kYRjc

He's a great role model to aspire to as a software engineer. :)

Ha, and I though I've seen everything about Carmack ... great footage, thanks!

I just finished "Masters of Doom" a couple of days ago, and I've been on a sort of Doom/Quake/id/Carmack/Romero information frenzy ever since. It is beginning to consume almost too much of my time but very fulfilling since I was a huge Doom fan back when it came out (I created many levels and mods) and I also really liked the early Quake games.

So in the past weeks I read up on all the early id guys, and what became of them after they were fired or left, I did quite some (probably too much) reading on the mess that was Daikatana and how it came to be. I actually find this really interesting, to learn how a project backed with so many employees and so much money can fail so badly, there're probably lessons to learn here (I've even watched somebody play through Daikatana on Youtube).

While being on my search, I've found a lot of interesting or not so interesting things. So if you want to spend some time, here's an unordered list of trivia that I stumbled upon:

- Somebody playing through Daikatana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm3b0NJzhnQ

- Romero Himself on Daikatana, including a GB port of the game that actually got good reviews (never made it to the US though) http://rome.ro/games_daikatana.htm

- Awful public clash between John Romero and Mike Wilson (former Ion Storm Marketing guy): http://www.kotaku.com.au/2008/01/gamecock_head_tears_into_jo...

- Ravenwood Fair is a Facebook game that Romero did a couple of years ago (so that's what he's been up to recently): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravenwood_Fair

- If you read Masters of Doom, you'll remember that it all started at Softdisk, when Carmack and Hall created "Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement", a Super Mario Bros copy. Romero uploaded the original game including their level editor, you can find it here: http://planetromero.com/games/dangerous-dave-in-copyright-in...

- Unreleased Doom Midi Music Files: http://planetromero.com/2007/06/doom-archaeology

Sadly, the original Doom editor, DoomEd was never released. I read that it wasn't particularly good (compared to what is available nowadays) but since it was written in NeXTSTEP, I'd love to port it current OSX (or at least give it a go).

Just finished Masters of Doom on the plane Sunday. Fantastic read. I highly recommend it to all software folks, even if you're not a gamer. Tons of a highly relevant stories and accounts in there.


I agree. I devoured it in two afternoons and found it quite motivational in terms of a business book.

Here, there were a handful of programmers, experimenting with different pricing models (shareware vs. retail), dictating their terms to publishers, starting ethical and legal discussions (Columbine Highschool shooting related to violent computer games? Export laws of software, especially violent computer games to Germany), helping Microsoft to establish Windows as a gaming platform (by making Doom a Direct X game) and so on.

They not only made games, they established a genre and nobody had a clue what the future would look like.

Slight nitpick, but Doom was a DOS game and it's DirectX port (Doom95) was written by Microsoft, not ID Software.

In fact the developer a MS who wrote of Doom95 is another famous name in the world of gaming; Gabe Newell (who has obviously since left Microsoft).

The reason I nitpick is because ID Software have always been pro-OpenGL rather than favouring Dx3D. What's more, most of their earlier games (I've not played anything since QIII) have been ported to other platforms by ID Software themselves and often not even developed on Windows PCs to begin with. So I think Gabe really deserves the credit (or criticism hehe) for kick starting the Windows/DirectX culture we see now.

Which is ironic as Gabe is now -in my opinion at least- the biggest threat Microsoft faces for the future of Windows games. But that's another topic entirely :)

Incredible read. I also recommend the audio version, read by Will Wheaton

> Ravenwood Fair is a Facebook game that Romero did a couple of years ago (so that's what he's been up to recently)

More recently, he's working for the University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching in & co-directing a 1-year professional masters degree program: http://news.ucsc.edu/2013/09/gpm-directors.html / http://gpm.soe.ucsc.edu/faculty/

He also started a social gaming company called lootdrop (http://lootdrop.com/) that completely failed.

When I read the book I found myself looking up various locations mentioned in the book and ended up making this list: http://romej.com/2012/06/places-of-doom-where-id-built-games

Awesome! I can sit and imagine what it'd be like to work on Quake in a place like that all day long.

Very nice, thank you.

Very cool links, thanks. I have been on a similar journey as I also finished reading "Masters of Doom" last week.

Also interestingly, John Romero made a brief appearance at the Homebrew Computer Club Reunion last month (which I attended).

I would be very interested in hearing about your ideas for porting DoomEd to OS X. My contact is in my profile. I played Doom and Quake casually back in the day and followed the Daitkatana saga in the game magazines, but never got a chance to play seriously or mess around with the mods (I had a really crappy computer).

It is strange that Ravenwood Fair used Domovoi as one of monsters. The should use Leshy instead. Domovoi belongs to home, whereas Leshy belongs to forrest.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domovoi

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leshy

Talking about other ID software employees who've gone on to do other things, I was always rather fond of American McGee's Alice. I haven't played the sequel though.

Alice was a fantastic, highly underrated game.

Sadly nothing else with his name attached (Grimm, the Alice sequel, Scrapland, Bad Day LA, etc) has been nearly as good. Not that they are bad (with the exception of Bad Day LA which is terrible), but they are just sorta okayish, whereas the original Alice was fantastic.

My memory of Alice was that it was more of an excuse for them to show off interesting visuals and didn't actually have much in the way of game play mechanics to it, but I never got very far. Maybe I should look it up again and see.

It wasn't the most cerebral of games, I'll grant you that. But it did set a good atmosphere with the visuals (which you'd described) and audio. It had a weird creepy charm to it.

I tend to get bored of games quite quickly but Alice was one of the few which kept me engaged to the end.

I really enjoyed Anachronox which was also released by Ion Storm around the same time as Daikatana.

There's a wonderful post on Metafilter about this very subject: http://www.metafilter.com/134597/Twenty-Years-of-Ultra-Viole...

I still remember playing Doom on my 486 DX2. It was a big step up from Wolfenstein 3D and really paved the way for the FPS gaming genre.

Funny how very very creepy this game was and yet there was no problem with that. More than gore and 'biological' lets say, it had ingredients more haunting than Indiana Jones Temple of Doom (NPI) : corpses hanging, skulls, metal chains, spikes ... It didn't require effects to scare you, no hidden monster suddenly revealed through thromboscopic lights as in Doom 3. You just sink in this filthy space.

This is very fitting since I started reading "Masters of DOOM" book just a couple days ago. Haven't been able to put it down. Great read about the two Johns and the story of id Software.


An anecdote: One of my professors, Dan Gordon, authored a paper [1991 Gordon and Chen] which was used in Doom's engine implementation of BSP [1]. He was quite happy to learn about it from me, some 15 years later :)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_space_partitioning

I was a Mac kid, so my world was Marathon, but I think a lot of the lessons are the same. I remember building my own custom worlds, really screwing up the physics, and then deleting en masse.

Whenever I play shooters now, I still think, "Man, I should just get a copy of Doom and play that instead." Too much noise in some of these games –– I just want to blow stuff up.

I preferred Marathon a lot over Doom. Some reviewers have called it "the thinking man's" shoot-em-up and I think this holds some truth. Of couse Marathon was released almost a year after Doom's release, so Bungie had plenty of time to improve the genre in many areas. Not just in looking up and down, the game also featured:

- weapons with multiple modes and reload mechanics

- advanced lightning effects

- "5D" space (one of the multiplayer levels used this)

- physics (e.g. grenade hopping and missile ballistics)

- neutral and allied npc's

- more varied elevator / switches system (e.g. in the "Colony Ship For Sale Cheap" level)

- motion tracker in UI

- nifty level mechanics, like the levels without air (e.g. "G4 Sunbathing")

I still wonder if Jason Jones could have become an equal to Carmack if he kept his focus on coding games ...

Another Marathon guy here. Spent some summers ago just playing the first two games through, they're still great. I especially like the music. The Marathon community is still alive with AlephOne (http://marathon.sourceforge.net/), an open source port of the Marathon engine, with multiplayer support.

I also played Marathon. I still occasionally hear the alien chatter. The way you could aim up and down was something that made Marathon way better for me - especially in multiplayer.

I would argue that Wolfenstein 3D is more responsible for ushering in the first person shooter genre than Doom.

Wolfenstein was original in it's technology, Doom was based on that tech. Both were extremely popular in their time. The main difference is that iD sold their Doom 3d tech (which produced games like hexen and heretic) and did not with their Wolfenstein tech.

Actually Wolfenstein's tech was sold to Wisdom Tree to make Super Noah's Ark 3D (or "Super 3D Noah's Ark").


I have the SNES version on a cartridge and it resells for as high as $300 CAD.

"The game plays similarly to Wolfenstein 3D, but the graphics were changed to reflect a non-violent theme. Instead of killing Nazi soldiers in a castle, the player takes the part of Noah, wandering the Ark, using a slingshot to shoot sleep-inducing food at angry attacking animals, mostly goats, in order to render them unconscious."


.. But Doom sure felt like next gen tech to the end user. What was impressive and inspiring about id was how they raised the bar on every major release. I remember how many of my friends had to pony up for 4MB of RAM and a new sound card just play DOOM, and how they reacted the first time they played just the trial demo. It was mind blowing. That's what I like about Carmack as an example of an amazing hacker, he pushes the envelope and delivers the goods, and then shares how he did it with everyone else, even competitors. That's what really made the entire gaming industry leap forward.

I dunno, when I fired up wolf3d for the first time my jaw dropped. I never saw anything like it before.

I think a lot of people got exposed to wolf3d after it had been out a while, but with Doom they got to experience the hype leading up to the release.

I played wolf3d the week it was released to shareware and it was groundbreaking in every way imaginable back then. Doom took it to a whole new level graphically, but the gameplay was no different.

I do agree that Carmack's attitude in general was awesome, he never seems to get intimidated by competition.

If you want to get nit-picky, Wolfenstein 3D's tech wasn't original either. It was based on their previous title, Catacombs 3D, which was itself based on the tech of another previous title called Hovercraft 3D.

I wonder how many people's GPA plummeted due to the fact that this was released straight into finals season at a lot of universities.

Lots of mentions of W3D in the comments here. Wonder how many folks played the original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple ][.

Me, and that game was awesome. Also Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. I can still hear the German commands shouting at me...

I wasted countless hours playing Castle Wolfenstein 3D... It's hard to believe that over 20 years has elapsed since then.

Carmack is one name I can vividly remember, but the one that stuck with me the most is Todd Replogle, of Duke Nukem fame.

It was before Wolf 3D and Duke Nukem was one of my first PC time-sinks.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. (again)

Maybe it was a revolution in video games. But to me, it coincided with my forced transition from Amiga to PC. From then, I almost completely stopped playing video games (and programming as a hobby).

On a side note, I recommend the book "masters of doom" that that tells the story behind the game.

I was working at E.A., on the 3DO console no less, when one day in early January of '94 one of the guys brought in a copy of Doom. That was the end of any productivity at E.A. for at least a week while that game erupted like a brush fire through E.A. advanced technology group.

I always wanted to have a 3DO back then. Sadly I didn't have the money and they were initially kinda hard to come by in Germany. I loved the concept and idea. Too bad it never amounted to much.

Some more nostalgia and retrospective over on Verge http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/10/5195508/doom-20th-anniver...

Last week I decided to listen to all the keynotes from Carmack (2002-2013).. So much respect for this man and what he has done for the gaming community.

Wolfenstein definitely started it but Doom was so much better. Modem to modem connections was great. OT: Comcast is having some real issues today.

I remember the first time I played Doom it was one of the best games I ever played, what beautiful memories, nostalgia.

Wow I am currently listening to the master of Doom is an amazingly good audiobook

this could be interesting...


This makes me feel very old.

Damn, I feel old now..

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