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rnd’s doom section

Out of all PC games that have been around for decades, id Software’s DOOM is probably one with the largest longevity. People still make new levels for it, write new engines and modifications for it, and do speedruns for it under a variety of conditions, with new records still being broken every now and then. For almost every piece of hardware which can output graphics and run code, there have been attempts to port or clone DOOM, with “It runs Doom” becoming a popular internet meme.

I’d say there are many reasons for such longevity: the fact that the code of the game has been open-sourced and is since available for anyone to build upon; the well-designed separation of content and engine that makes it possible to add new levels, graphics and sounds just by applying an additional WAD; and last, but certainly not least – the fact that it’s a well-designed game that vastly improved on its predecessors and became a success that was very hard to properly replicate.

getting the game

Nowadays, getting yourself a copy of Doom is pretty easy. You can buy both DOOM and its sequel (and the addons) on GOG or Steam:

All of these will include the games' WAD files, that you can copy and use with any source port. The Steam versions of Doom and Doom II use a pretty okay source port based on the Unity engine with some improvements (like widescreen support and higher-resolution display), whereas all the other games and GOG versions package the original games with DOSBox.

The versions that have the Unity engine also include a separate WAD file that adds new widescreen graphics to all officially-released games. In addition, there are edited graphics and sounds for the secret levels in “Doom II” designed to be more appropriate for the game’s distribution in Germany.

Either way, they all include the WAD files, which can then be easily used in any other source port of your choosing.

If you don’t want to buy the original game, you can instead check out Freedoom: an open-source from-scratch recreation of Doom’s assets with all-new levels, graphics and sounds. “Freedoom: Phase 1” fills the role of (and is compatible with) Ultimate Doom, and “Freedoom: Phase 2” substitutes for “Doom II” and “Final Doom”.

source ports

However, the best play to way classic Doom is by using one of the many source ports that exist for the game. These can provide extra features, more customization, online multiplayer and support for different game mods.

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