Prerelease:Doom (PC, 1993)
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Doom (PC, 1993).
There's Doom Bible-era concept art for the intermission map/layout for Episode 2.
"DOOM-where the sanest place is behind a trigger."
The press release announcing the game and the capabilities of its engine:
Id Software 1515 N. Town East Blvd. #138-297, Mesquite, TX 75150 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jay Wilbur FAX: 1-214-686-9288 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (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 Gameplay 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 drivers. DOOM will be available in the third quarter of 1993.
A few things that didn't make the cut or were changed:
- The four defined characters were dropped in favor of each player being a nameless Marine.
- The RAM requirement by the time of release was doubled 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 of Episode 1.
A Visit to ID Software
A 32-minute 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), with the rest being gameplay footage. Joe Siegler from Apogee Software discovered a VHS tape with this footage in 2009 and sent it to Romero, who digitized it and uploaded it on Vimeo.
The video quality is poor for the gameplay portions since the game footage was obtained by filming the monitor, but 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 crew makes many comments about the game and levels during the demonstration, drawing attention to various map details and engine features, as well as bugs not yet fixed.
The game still has a number of major bugs such as, when finishing a level, often crashing with a Z_Malloc error message and a helpful notice telling the player not to worry about the "file not found" error.
- HUD messages (such as item pickups) are displayed right above the status bar instead of at 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).
- 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 is 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. The 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, so picking up one with 147% health and 203% armor results 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.
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 are instead 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 have any barrels.
- 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 up the above rocket launcher, so the rest of the level is not seen.
- The 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.
- The northeastern room's "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.