Dusting off DooM ’93 for a refreshing break, I managed to leisurely make it through most of episode 2 before my watch reminded me that I should in fact, get off my fat butt and walk around a bit.

I’m well reminded of how the map designers were often out to get the player. E2M6: Halls of the damned has a rather obtuse layout by modern norms but really good flow for a DooM map. Magic closets unleashing enemies are kind of overused, but it’s a pretty nice map.

On DoomMaps: we can see a fair look at the various curves and bends that funnel you towards monsters.

Having survived the dance of shotguns between mobs, painted the halls in plasma and exploding lost souls, and said screw it and chainsawed through hordes of Pinkies, I eventually came across a second exit door guarded by the yellow skull key. It’s been long enough since I’ve played episode 2 that I had no real recollection of this, but of course by that point in the map I was really not surprised when this turns out to be a fake exit door leading to Cacodemons, shotgun guys, lost souls, and other things making the back of my mind shout, “PLASMA, PLASMA!!!”

Confession: when the closet full of demons opened up on the way back to the real exit door, I opted to whip out the chainsaw in order to conserve my plasma cells and chaingun bullets for E2M7.

 Passing thought: spending thanksgiving morning knee deep in the dead, playing doom. Unsure if I’m getting old, or just have really good taste in how to pass time waiting for downloads to finish 😆

 Greedy Fool; noun.

What happens when you reach the end of Central Processing, and instead of rushing through the exit: decide to wipe the last Blinky off your tail before it can chomp your neck off.

And then you realize you just swapped Chaingun -> Rocket Launcher instead of Chaingun -> Shotgun, and blow yourself back to the starting point.

Yeah. Not quite my brightest moment ever. Well, I’m sure the look on my face maybe. On the upside the Spectre didn’t survive the blast either.

 Here’s Doom Eternal running at 1,000fps with an Intel Core i7 9700K

Being a kid when the original DooM came out, and first experiencing it on console, since our Tandy was more at home with 8088 based than 386 based software, I find that kind of amazing and insane. My old i5-3570K and GTX 780 need the settings tuned just to ensure that the frame rate doesn’t dip in more demanding segments of the game, but does manage to be perfectly playable.

It’s hard to imagine Doom Eternal reaching 1000 FPS on current hardware. Not hard to imagine the first three games doing so, but that’s the virtue of time. I guess if you totally and insanely clock the shit out of a computer until you need liquid nitrogen just to avoid a halt and catch fire condition, some amazing shit is possible, lol.

Also not my fault if I’m suddenly tempted to reach for the 1993 version of DooM…..

Watching Doom: Annihilation on Netflix, I think it doesn’t suck. You won’t rush to theaters for such a film but it beats the last attempt at a DooM movie, hands down. Or should we say, the people at least cared and that tends to make a video game movie that doesn’t suck.

In my experience, video game movies tend to be either pretty good, or pretty awful, and make no one happy. The only exception that really come to mind is the first Mortal Kombat film.

Doom: Annihilation at least does a decent job of presenting a band of doomed space marines, stuck on Phobos, and being attacked by zombies. Also other things. Like the ’16 video game, it tries to put enough narrative around the concept to make it function. Not a deep, far reaching story; because that doesn’t work for Doom. This film on the other hand, ain’t a bad try. I especially loved the many nods to the game, and related Id titles; not to mention bits like the possession warning on the doors.

I’d actually like to see another shot, that takes on Doom II’s notion of the Earth being overrun. It may also be sad that the only reasons why I remember the name of Mars’ moons all related to video games, lol.

How Much of a Genius-Level Move Was Using Binary Space Partitioning in Doom?

I still remember the first time that I played Wolfenstein 3D. It was on a contemporary hardware, as a minigame in a far more recent Wolfenstein game. My first thought was how rudimentary simple it was; my second was “Holy crap, you could do this on a 286?”.

By modern definitions, I don’t think anyone would be thrilled by the limitations Id’s early engines had for map geometry. But I think for their times, it was a small price to pay given the hardware. And to be fair, as a kid, when I first played DooM ’93 on a Sega 32X^, I certainly didn’t notice. Years later when I would play it on a PC, I didn’t care—because it was still fun. All these years later, I still find DooM ’93 to be a lot of fun. That’s the real success of a video game, I’d say :P.

For the time, even the console ports were pretty impressive games. I mean, most of the games we had looked like this:

Meanwhile if you popped in DooM, this was what you got:

That just didn’t happen, lol.

Many times that I’ve read about porting PC games to the Super Nintendo, and other consoles, they’ve usually been stories that I would describe as “Lossy” or “Brutal” depending on the complexity gap. Such as when an arcade machine was far more powerful than a console, or a PC simply had more oompth than a console.

Id’s games were kind of revolutionary: both in their visual technology, and in their portability. Wolf 3D, DooM, and Quake were pretty widely ported during their era of commercial viability. Post open sourcing of their code, they have come to run on virtually everything, and anything. As technology has advanced, we’ve probably reached the point where it is no longer a surprise if your wrist watch is more powerful than many of the things DooM ’93 was ported to in the ’90s.

Today, I think that DooM’s use of BSP is somewhat novel. You should think of that today, or your hardware is probably so powerful compared to your goal: that you just don’t care. Given a decent computer science education, the concept isn’t the leap into rocket science. Today though, I imagine most people aren’t tasked with solving such a problem, because they live in the world John Carmack helped create: one where we have this thing called a Game Engine.

When Carmack programmed these games, I don’t think it was so obvious a technique. People were still struggling to make PCs do this kind of thing at all. Resources for learning these things have also changed a lot over time. Many of us have the advantage of knowledge built on the minds of geniuses, if we have any education at all—and the code.

Two of my favourite engines to read: are modern source ports of the Quake III: Arena and DooM engines. By releasing the code into the wild, I think it helped all of us learn better how to solve these problems. Both the things you can go off and learn, and the code you can get ahold of have evolved since these games were written. But thanks to games like DooM: it’s easier for us to do that today. Because technology is built upon what came before, by extending the ideas of others in new directions and taking advantage of improved hardware.

Genius isn’t in using a rock to smash something, it is in realizing you can smash things with a rock far better than your thick head.

^ Being around 25 years later, my brain cells are foggy. But DooM was one of my brother’s games, so the first thing we had that played that would probably have been the Sega Genesis, which AFAIK means 32X release. We also had the PlayStation versions of DooM, Final DooM, and Quake II but those were later in our childhood.