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Prerelease:Doom (PC, 1993)

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Doom (PC, 1993).

"DOOM-where the sanest place is behind a trigger."

To do:
There's plenty of other cool stuff that can be added to this page!
  • Romero released more early and unused art

Press Release

This is the press release announcing the game and the capabilities of its engine:

Id Software
1515 N. Town East Blvd. #138-297, Mesquite, TX  75150

Contact:        Jay Wilbur
FAX:            1-214-686-9288
Email:          jay@idsoftware.com (NeXTMail O.K.)
Anonymous FTP:  ftp.uwp.edu (/pub/msdos/games/id)
CIS:            72600,1333

Id Software to Unleash DOOM on the PC

Revolutionary Programming and Advanced Design Make For Great

DALLAS, Texas, January 1, 1993-Heralding another technical
revolution in PC programming, Id Software's DOOM promises to
push back the boundaries of what was thought possible on a 386sx
or better computer.  The company plans to release DOOM for the
PC in the third quarter of 1993, with versions planned for 
Windows, Windows NT, and a version for the NeXTall to be
released later.

In DOOM, you play one of four off-duty soldiers suddenly thrown
into the middle of an interdimensional war!  Stationed at a
scientific research facility, your days are filled with tedium
and paperwork.  Today is a bit different.  Wave after wave of
demonic creatures are spreading through the base, killing or
possessing everyone in sight.  As you stand knee-deep in the
dead, your duty seems clear-you must eradicate the enemy and
find out where they're coming from.  When you find out the
truth, your sense of reality may be shattered!

The first episode of DOOM will be shareware.  When you register,
you'll receive the next two episodes, which feature a journey
into another dimension, filled to its hellish horizon with fire
and flesh.  Wage war against the infernal onslaught with machine
guns, missile launchers, and mysterious supernatural weapons. 
Decide the fate of two universes as you battle to survive! 
Succeed and you will be humanity's heroes; fail and you will
spell its doom.

The game takes up to four players through a futuristic world,
where they may cooperate or compete to beat the invading
creatures.  It boasts a much more active environment than Id's
previous effort, Wolfenstein 3-D, while retaining the
pulse-pounding action and excitement.  DOOM features a fantastic
fully texture-mapped environment, a host of technical tour de
forces to surprise the eyes, multiple player option, and smooth
gameplay on any 386 or better.

John Carmack, Id's Technical Director, is very excited about
DOOM: Wolfenstein is primitive compared to DOOM.  We're doing
DOOM the right way this time.   I've had some very good insights
and optimizations that will make the DOOM engine perform at a
great frame rate.  The game runs fine on a 386sx, and on a
486/33, we're talking 35 frames per second, fully texture-mapped
at normal detail, for a large area of the screen.  That's the
fastest texture-mapping around-period.

Texture mapping, for those not following the game magazines, is
a technique that allows the program to place fully-drawn art on
the walls of a 3-D maze.  Combined with other techniques,
texture mapping looked realistic enough in Wolfenstein 3-D that
people wrote Id complaining of motion sickness.  In DOOM, the
environment is going to look even more realistic.  Please make
the necessary preparations.

A Convenient DOOM Blurb

DOOM (Requires 386sx, VGA, 2 Meg) Id Software's DOOM is
real-time, three-dimensional, 256-color, fully texture-mapped,
multi-player battle from the safe shores of our universe into
the horrifying depths of the netherworld!    Choose one of four
characters and you're off to war with hideous hellish hulks bent
on chaos and death!  See your friends bite it!  Cause your
friends to bite it!  Bite it yourself!  And if you won't bite
it, there are plenty of demonic denizens to bite it for you!

DOOM-where the sanest place is behind a trigger.

An Overview of DOOM Features:

        Texture-Mapped Environment

DOOM offers the most realistic environment to date on the PC. 
Texture-mapping, the process of rendering fully-drawn art and
scanned textures on the walls, floors, and ceilings of an
environment, makes the world much more real, thus bringing the
player more into the game experience.  Others have attempted
this, but DOOM's texture mapping is fast, accurate, and
seamless.  Texture-mapping the floors and ceilings is a big
improvement over Wolfenstein.  With their new advanced graphic
development techniques, allowing game art to be generated five
times faster, Id brings new meaning to "state-of-the-art".

        Non-Orthogonal Walls

Wolfenstein's walls were always at ninety degrees to each other,
and were always eight feet thick.  DOOM's walls can be at any
angle, and be of any thickness.  Walls can have see-through
areas, change shape, and animate.  This allows more natural
construction of levels.  If you can draw it on paper, you can
see it in the game.

        Light Diminishing/Light Sourcing

Another touch adding realism is light diminishing.  With
distance, your surroundings become enshrouded in darkness.  This
makes areas seem huge and intensifies the experience.  Light
sourcing allows lamps and lights to illuminate hallways,
explosions to light up areas, and strobe lights to briefly
reveal things near them.  These two features will make the game
frighteningly real.

        Variable Height Floors and Ceilings

Floors and ceilings can be of any height, allowing for  stairs,
poles, altars, plus low hallways and high caves-allowing a great
variety for rooms and halls.

        Environment Animation and Morphing

Walls can move and transform in DOOM, which provides an
active-and sometimes actively hostile-environment.  Rooms can
close in on you, ceilings can plunge down to crush you, and so
on.  Nothing is for certain in DOOM.

To this Id has added the ability to have animated messages on
the walls, information terminals, access stations, and more. 
The environment can act on you, and you can act on the
environment.  If you shoot the walls, they get damaged, and stay
damaged.  Not only does this add realism, but provides a crude
method for marking your path, like violent bread crumbs.

        Palette Translation

Each creature and wall has its own palette which is translated
to the game's palette.  By changing palette colors, one can have
monsters of many colors, players with different weapons,
animating lights, infrared sensors that show monsters or hidden
exits, and many other effects, like indicating monster damage.

        Multiple Players

Up to four players can play over a local network, or two players
can play by modem or serial link.  You can see the other player
in the environment, and in certain situations you can switch to
their view.  This feature, added to the 3-D realism, makes DOOM
a very powerful cooperative game and its release a landmark
event in the software industry.

This is the first game to really exploit the power of LANs and
modems to their full potential.  In 1993, we fully expect to be
the number one cause of decreased productivity in businesses
around the world.

        Smooth, Seamless Gameplay

The environment in DOOM is frightening, but the player can be at
ease when playing.  Much effort has been spent on the
development end to provide the smoothest control on the user
end.  And the frame rate (the rate at which the screen is
updated) is high, so you move smoothly from room to room,
turning and acting as you wish, unhampered by the slow jerky
motion of most 3-D games.  On a 386sx, the game runs well, and
on a 486/33, the normal mode frame rate is faster than movies or
television.  This allows for the most important and enjoyable
aspect of gameplay-immersion.

        An Open Game

When our last hit, WOLFENSTEIN 3D was released the public
responded with an almost immediate  deluge of home-brewed
utilities; map editors, sound editors,  trainers, etc.  All
without any help on file formats or game layout from Id
Software.  DOOM will be release as an OPEN GAME.   We will
provide file formats and technical notes for anyone who wants
them.   People will be able to easily write and share anything
from their own map editors to  communications and network

DOOM will be available in the third quarter of 1993. 
(Source: Lee Killough's Doom Archive)

A few things that didn't make the cut or changed:

  • Four defined characters were dropped in favor of each player being a nameless marine.
  • The RAM requirement by the time of release was bumped up from 2MB to 4MB.
  • Walls cannot change shape or move in the final engine.
  • Messages are never displayed on walls, there are no access terminals or anything of the sort, and walls can't be visibly damaged.
  • Palette translation is never used to indicate different player weapons, hidden areas, or monster damage.

The Doom Bible

The Doom Bible was written by Tom Hall for the development of Doom, but it would soon be decided by the rest of id Software that The Doom Bible was to be mostly ignored. The only thing from The Doom Bible that survived was the name Knee-Deep in the Dead, which would be used as the name for the first episode of Doom in its retail release.

Unused Monster


Dubbed "The Blob", this monster concept would spawn off any wall, animate, and spawn a Lost Soul. Its spritesheet was retrieved from a backup image of one of id's NeXT development servers by an anonymous source. The spawning Lost Soul graphic would later be reused as the inside of the Pain Elemental's mouth in Doom II.

(Source: John Romero, http://doomwiki.imgur.com/)

Early and Unused Maps

These map images were provided by the same source as The Blob spritesheet. They were taken with Doom Builder.


A small unused map apparently consisting of staircases with a monster closet at each landing, leading to two larger rooms. There's a Cyberdemon in the last room.


This is E1M1 from the 0.5 alpha, but with added sections and things. Curiously, the additions are very similar to the ones made to the final E3M1 in E3M9: Warrens.


An early version of E1M8: Phobos Anomaly which is closer to E1M12 in the 0.5 alpha than the final version of the map. Since the alpha, a number of things have been added, some detail sectors and sound blocking lines, and the large room with the Barons of Hell has been brightened.


An interesting take on E2M2: Containment Area. Its texturing is closer to the final map than E1M2 in the 0.5 alpha, but its geometry is still rough compared to E3M2 in the pre-beta. Even stranger, some of the geometry is closer to the final map than the pre-beta, such as the door to the room with the chainsaw being around the corner from the start point.


An early version of E3M2: Slough of Despair. The level layout is mostly the same, only missing the "booger" at the top of the middle finger and a few dividing walls, but a number of detail sectors are missing from it.

"A visit to ID Software" VHS Tape

Article information from https://doomwiki.org/wiki/A_Visit_to_id_Software A Visit to id Software is a 32-minute-long video recorded in November 1993 by Dan Linton, operator of the Software Creations BBS. The first third is a tour of the id Software office (showing id employees and associates Adrian Carmack, Shawn Green, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, Dave Taylor, Jay Wilbur, and Bobby Prince), the remaining two thirds being game play footage. Joe Siegler from Apogee Software discovered a VHS tape with this footage in 2009 and sent it to John Romero, who digitized it and placed it on Vimeo.

The video quality is poor, since the game footage was obtained by filming the monitor. However, it reveals a few things about the development of the game, as it was recorded a bit less than a month after the release of the press release beta and about two months before the first public release. The id Software crew makes many comments about the game and the levels during the demonstration, drawing attention to various map details and engine features, as well as bugs not yet fixed.

The game still featured a number of major bugs, such as, when finishing a level, often crashing with a Z_Malloc error message and a helpful notice telling not to worry about the "file not found" error also displayed.

Some of the notable differences include:


HUD messages (such as item pickups) are displayed right above the status bar, instead of on the top of the screen. The game displays the last three messages. The ouch face is displayed while walking on damaging floors. The face is also shown when taking heavy damage, as seen at the end of E1M3 and E1M4's crushing ceiling. On the intermission screen, the statistics are aligned horizontally as KILL, ITEM and SCRT, rather than vertically. The level music continues on the intermission screen, instead of it having its own theme ("Intermission from DOOM", also used for E2M3).

Sound effects

As a placeholder, the SNES Wolfenstein 3D sound effects are used. All the monsters have the same death scream, and all the weapons have the same firing noise (a rather weak one, at that) - even the chainsaw, which as a result sounds like a chaingun. As in the press release version when sound is enabled, there is no volume attenuation with distance. Unmodified GENMIDI lump from DMX SDK was used, resulting in different OPL music sound. Imps' firing noise is different. One of the devs comments that former sergeants' death sound will be deeper than former humans to make them seem stronger.


Bonus items are still treasures instead of health and armor bonuses. However, the demonic dagger already functions as a health bonus, and the skull chest as armor bonus. Unholy bible and evil sceptres, present in the beta, were already removed from the game. Imp fireballs are still using the beta graphics (smaller and with four points, somewhat like a red plasma ball). Health and armor seem uncapped. Picking up skull chests after a blue armor improves the armor rating past 200%. The supercharge gives 100 points of both health and armor. Picking up one with 147% health and 203% armor resulting in 247% health and 303% armor. Keys are still around in deathmatch. They remain behind when picked up so that another player can also pick them up. Deathmatch uses regular player starts due to not being a distinct game mode yet - it is simply co-operative with belligerent players. Sprites can be seen through doors as they open, indicating there were still glitches in the drawsegs sorting algorithm. Sprites for gibbed enemies and door-crushed corpses differ significantly. The rendering engine still runs in VGA mode 13h, as evident from lack of shimmering in the hall of mirrors effect.

Level design

The exit rooms feature a nonfunctional door, making it seem like a switch-activated airlock.


No bonus items are present. The green armor tower is behind a secret door, and contains a shotgun instead. The green armor and its pedestal is found right in front of the secret door. The computer room is not present. Instead, there is a length of detailed corridor, with a large bay window to the right and an elevated area to the left. The nukage pool in the secret courtyard has a supercharge instead of a blue armor. The room before the exit does not feature barrels yet.


The red key aisle is still accessed by lifts rather than by stairways. The music track is "Dark Halls" (E1M3) instead of "The Imp's Song". The backpack secret in the computer maze area contains a rocket launcher instead of a backpack. (The game crashes after picking it up, so the rest of the level is not seen.)


Music track is "Waiting For Romero To Play" (Doom II MAP18) instead of "Dark Halls" The hidden window opening from the left part of the map to the center room before the secret exit is behind a computer screen showing the "PLANET1" texture. Once opened, visibility is reduced by BRNBIGR+BRNBIGL midtexture combination.


The start room has a UAC logo (SHAWN1) in it. The courtyard is not yet open to the sky. The skylight instead is textured with FLAT9. The northeastern room is still textured with GRAY7 instead of the final STARTAN3. Its "one-time-only" lift raises into the ceiling, triggering a massive HOM from which Romero escapes by no-clipping back into a playable part of the level. Interestingly, the HOM does not show the classic flashing effect that gives HOM its name, suggesting that at this point Doom was not yet using a triple-buffered "Mode Y" graphical mode, but was possibly still running in mode 13h.


The stairways/corridors circling around the western nukage pit do not have their monster closet traps yet.


21st Birthday Art Release

To do:
Erred on the side of caution with stuff that was actually used in the alphas. Should go over those assets at some point and see if the ones Romero released are earlier/newer.

On December 10, 2014 (Doom's 21st birthday), John Romero released a large number of in-development and unused art assets for both Doom games on Twitter.

(Source: John Romero's Twitter)

Graphics in Development

Doom-poss1 1.png

Captures of the player sprites, with one frame near final. Based on the filename, this is actually the Zombieman, though, and the first frame is actually present in the 0.4 alpha.

Doom-dem1b 1.png Doom-dem2b 1.png

The (Pinky) Demon's legs were actually drawn over a capture of a toy dinosaur!

Doom-boss9 1.png

Grayscale captures of the Baron of Hell, with some early work isolating the different rotations for its head.


A capture of a skull, which would be the basis for the Lost Soul.

Doom-cyberdemon-scan.png Doom-tech1 1.png Doom-cyberdemon-scan-2.png

Captures of different Cyberdemon poses, the first in grayscale and color.

Doom-test1 1.png Doom-test2 1.png

Test captures of the Spider Mastermind — these are larger than the ones used for the final sprites.

Doom-pistol2c 1.png

A toy beretta, painted black, which would be used for the pistol. It includes some angled captures not used by the final animations.


A capture of a toy, which would become the chaingun.

Doom-map2 1.png

A sketch of the episode 1 intermission map background.

Doom-end1 1.png Doom-3end3 1.png

Sketches that would become the episode 2 and 3 end graphics.

Doom-dface3 1.png Doom-dface6 1.png Doom-floor16 1.png

Demon face sketches in the process of being cleaned up, to be used as wall and floor textures. The last sketch would also become the final boss in Doom II.

Doom-circuit-walls-scan.png Doom-circuit-wall2-scan.png

Circuit board photos that would be used as the basis for some of the TEKWALL textures.

Unused Graphics

Doom-title27a 1.png

An early title screen, apparently pasted over an id Software logo.

Doom-tit31 1.png

A more finalized copy of the logo used on the screen above.

Doom-title2 1.png

A possible backdrop for the title.

Doom-kcbig2 1.png

This is the original font drawn for Doom.

Doom-bfg2 1.png Doom-bfg3 1.png

An earlier style for the BFG9000.

In the final game, a number of monsters' right-facing frames are just mirrored copies of the left-facing frames, likely to save space on the disk or in memory. The right-facing frames for the player and enemy marines were drawn, however. Here are the player sprites...

...the Zombieman, with WIP copies of the edits made to the marine in the scratch space on the right of the first frame...

...and the Shotgun Guy.

Doom-death4 1.png

An unused player decapitation death animation.

Doom-magic2 1.png

At one point in development, the Spider Mastermind was going to have a magic attack that likely would've held the player in place, leaving them vulnerable to the demon's normal chaingun attack. This is a frame for it.

Doom-puff 1.png

Various projectile and impact sprites, some of which were unused but still present in early releases of the game. The notable thing here is the impact in cell 26, 17, which looks to be a larger blood spat and has never been seen before.


Frames for two different styles of bush, with two burned variants of each. These may have been intended for Doom II, given its setting on Earth.

Doom-mwall4 1.png

Marble wall carving textures featured in the final game, but with alternate eye styles/colors for one of the demons included.

Doom-sky8 1.png

An updated copy of SKY1 from the pre-beta, recolored, with a lot more detail added to it.

Doom-tomp2 1.png

(Terribad) Sign and monitor patches to go on walls. Some of these were used in the alphas, but most weren't.

Doom-wall1 1.png

Early wall and door patches, and an id logo.

Doom-wall3 1.png

The source image for the big door and lift patches. Unlike the final doors, this one was intended to have a transparent bottom, and looks like it might've been designed to open both up and down. Doors with transparency aren't really (intentionally) possible in the Doom engine, so they ended up giving the final doors a flat bottom instead.

Doom-wall7 1.png Doom-wall9 1.png

Some pipe patches intended to be used on wall textures.

Doom-wall29 1.png

A wall labeled "Don't use", so they didn't.

Doom-wincrap 1.png

Window midtextures, some unused.