Proto:Doom (PC, 1993)/Press Release Pre-Beta
This is a sub-page of Proto:Doom (PC, 1993).
|Download Doom Press Release Pre-Beta
File: Doomprbt.zip (2.5 MB) (info)
Compiled on October 4th, 1993, the Press Release Pre-Beta was a teaser for the final product. It still has its differences, however. It should be noted that this refuses to run after October 31st, 1993. Fortunately, there is a utility that overcomes this time-bomb. Also, in order to run the demo, you need to include -pressrelease.
Get up all the remaining unique graphics, all the differences we're missing, and generally polishing up the article.
- 1 General Differences
- 2 Enemy Differences
- 3 Weapon and Item Differences
- 4 Technical Differences
- 5 Cheat Differences
- 6 Scoring Mechanic
- 7 Message System?
- 8 Map Differences
- 9 Intermission Screen
- 10 Graphic Differences
- 11 Text Differences
- 12 Unused Graphics
- 12.1 Textures
- 12.2 Patches
- 12.2.1 COMP****
- 12.2.2 DOOR3_7, DOOR3_8, DOOR3_10, DOOR3_11, DOOR5_1, DOOR5_2, DOOR13_1
- 12.2.3 DOOR10_1
- 12.2.4 MWALL2_2, MWALL3_2
- 12.2.5 PS17A0, PS19A0
- 12.2.6 STEP01, STEP02, STEP15
- 12.2.7 SUPPORT3
- 12.2.8 TP4_2
- 12.2.9 W15_1, W15_2, W15_3
- 12.2.10 W67_4, W67_5, WALL71_7, WALL72_6
- 12.2.11 W95_1, W95_2
- 12.2.12 WALL03_2
- 12.2.13 WALL06_1, WALL06_2, WALL06_3
- 12.2.14 WALL53_2, WALL55_2
- 12.2.15 WALL70_8
- 12.2.16 WALL75_1
- 12.2.17 WALL77_1, WALL77_2
- 12.2.18 WALL78_2
- 12.3 Flats
- 12.4 Misc.
- The only menu options available are for switching between the three demo maps and quitting. The graphics for the other menu options are present in the IWAD.
- The game keeps score; it can be viewed in the automap and is displayed on the intermission screen.
- There's a barely-visible extra life counter on the HUD, next to the player's portrait. However, it doesn't function correctly, as dying doesn't reduce the number of lives.
- Messages are displayed on the right side of the status bar, replacing everything but the ammo for the current weapon and the health percentage for a couple of seconds or so. The messages use a small yellow font and three lines can be displayed at once.
- Lifts are much slower than in the finished game.
- The ouch face appears whenever the player walks on a damaging floor.
- Enemies that drop some ammo in the final game don't do that when they die here.
- You can take screenshots with F10.
- Pause shoots instead of pausing the game.
Monsters cannot be crushed in this version, causing issues with lowering sectors. For example, closing doors will normally bounce off living players and monsters, but will crush corpses into a small puddle of blood and close normally. This doesn't happen in the pre-beta, so any door with a corpse under it will not be able to close and will continuously bounce off the crushed corpse instead. Crushers have a similar issue: They normally slow down when colliding with a living thing and deal damage until they die, then crush them into a blood puddle. Since this cannot happen, crushers instead slow down every time they collide with the corpse until they reach the floor.
Lost Souls still use their sprites from the alphas and have an entirely different attack: instead of charging you, they attack with an instant damage attack when you're in their line of sight, similar to that of the Arch-Vile in Doom II. This means they can attack from a distance. The attack is not a hitscan, so they cannot damage other monsters and trigger infighting. When killed, they shatter in a green explosion and leave behind a pile of floating bone shards, which explains the existence of the Lost Soul corpse thing in the final game.
Weapon and Item Differences
The rocket launcher always recoils after each shot in the pre-beta, even when holding down the fire key. This gives it a significantly lower rate of fire. Rocket explosions will thrust the player if they're too close, but monsters are unaffected, they only take damage.
The BFG9000 has the most unique weapon behavior in the final game, but it's much simpler in the pre-beta: It quickly fires 120 of the same red and green projectiles fired by the plasma gun, while spending 40 cells. These are emitted in a semi-random pattern and will bounce off of floors and ceilings. While this is visually spectacular, in practice the weapon is far less effective for clearing rooms than the final version.
The final BFG fires a single large green plasma ball, which can deal damage on its own, but also causes the player to emit a cone of 40 hitscans in whatever direction they initially fired the weapon after the ball impacts something. According to John Romero, the weapon's behavior was changed because it "looked like Christmas" and the number of sprites slowed down lower-end PCs of the day.
The soul sphere gives "full health and an extra life" instead of the +100% health supercharge it gives in the final version. It is not possible to get more than 100% health in this version.
Armor and Megaarmor is implemented and works mostly as the final, but a mistake means you need to have less than 50 armor before you can pick up a fresh armor, and you need to have less than 100 before you can pick up a fresh megaarmor.
Radiation Shielding Suit
The radiation shielding suit is functional, but lasts forever and doesn't alter the palette when active.
Berserk has no function yet, and does not alter the palette when collected.
Invulnerability does not use its final inverted COLORMAP; it only uses the God status bar face. It only lasts for 20 seconds, instead of 30 like the final game.
Light Amplification Visor
The light amplification visor in the pre-beta remaps all colors to appropriate shades of green, rather than displaying everything at full brightness. Because this is done using a COLORMAP entry, it suffers from the same code oversight that invulnerability (and partial invisibility in this version) does in the final version: skies use their normal colors, since they're always drawn with COLORMAP 0. When picked up, it will last for the entire duration of the level.
At first, this seems like an odd change: the final effect looks lazy in comparison. A possible explanation is that the green remap only helps to see in dark areas and actually makes it harder to pick monsters out from the background. This makes the pre-beta visor sort of a "powerdown" in areas that were already bright enough to see normally. The final full brightness remap does not suffer from this problem – monsters are never harder to see when everything is drawn in the normal colors.
Partial invisibility does not draw your weapon using the "fuzz" effect, instead it is indicated by the inverted black and white COLORMAP used by invulnerability in the final version. Partial invisibility has no effect on gameplay in this version.
Demonic dagger, skullchest, evil sceptre, and unholy bible bonus items can be found throughout the levels. There is even a counter that tracks the number of these items collected in on the status bar. Collecting 50 of these items will grant the player an extra life. These were replaced by the health and armor bonuses in the final version. A video of a later version of the game shows that the demonic dagger and skullchest directly became the health and armor bonus - they use the same graphics and names as the pre-beta, but have the final +1% health and armor effects.
- The game runs in VGA mode 13h, so there is no page flipping or lower detail levels. The final game and the previous alpha builds all use mode x with page flipping.
- The palette files for 12 and 15-bit color modes are still present, although they are just leftovers from the previous builds.
- There is still no sound, even though the support for it has been programmed. The sound support is very crude in this version, with a limit of a single sound playing, and all sounds playing without distance fading and panning.
- Support for masked (transparent) textures is only partially finished.
|TST||IDDQD||Toggles God Mode; called Degreeless Mode in the final version.|
|EEK||IDDT||Toggles between three modes in the automap - lines seen, all lines, all lines and things.|
|AMO||IDKFA||Gives all weapons, full ammo, and keys. Also gives 200 armor points, but this won't protect you unless you collected armor before.|
|NC||IDSPISPOPD||Toggles No Clipping.|
There are only four cheats in the pre-beta. Unlike the final version, they do not need to be entered as a continuous sequence. For example, typing "TCRFST" will also toggle God Mode.
This version contains a scoring system which was later removed. It gives you points for every kill you make. If an enemy kills another enemy, you won't score points for that.
- Zombieman gives you 200 points.
- Shotgun guy gives you 600 points. (Can only be fought by modifying the maps with a level editor.)
- Imp gives you 600 points.
- Demon gives you 1500 points.
- Cacodemon gives you 4000 points.
- Lost soul gives you 1000 points.
- Baron of Hell gives you 10000 points.
- Collectables that raise the ITEM stat won't give you any points in this version.
Scoring 20000 points will grant the player an extra life. Each time this occurs, the amount needed for an extra life doubles.
By pressing Enter, the message window appears on the screen and allows you to type messages. First you choose which player(s) you want to send a message with keys 1, 2, 3 and 4, or Spacebar to send to all players, and press Spacebar. At this point you can type your message and press Enter to send it. Once the message is sent, however, the message window won't go away automatically. To get rid of it, press Enter twice.
As most of the maps are absent, completing any of the demo maps will crash the pre-beta.
Demo Map 1 (E1M2)
Nuclear Plant probably has the most significant geometry changes out of the three maps.
The secret door leading to the switch to open the courtyard uses the same texture as the surrounding walls in the pre-beta, but it is still misaligned. The final version changes the texture to make the secret even more obvious.
The green armor near the start of the map sits in front of the computer console in the pre-beta, instead of on the console.
There are large elevators instead of the bottom half of the staircases leading to the red key. The corridors with these elevators are straighter than final, and the stairs at the top are shorter as a result. The elevator with the secret entrance to the courtyard can be broken, made to raise only part way up, which may explain why they were scrapped.
The secret courtyard outside of the red key area was made larger in the final version and the walls surrounding it were made higher. The chaingun is not available outside in the pre-beta. The wall textures under the base's windows are not properly unpegged.
The secret area with the backpack in the computer maze is not present in the pre-beta.
The secret compartment with armor bonuses are also missing.
There is another elevator instead of stairs before the room with the nukage.
The alcove with the elevator that lowers into the room with the window looking into the chainsaw secret has a more triangular shape in the pre-beta. The light texture was changed for the final version, possibly to hint at the floor being an elevator since the panels at the bottom of the new texture are cut off when it's raised.
The room that has a walkway over some nukage in the final is a winding, nukage filled path in the pre-beta, with a slight maze element to it. This does a good job of explaining why there are three medikits after this section in the final version, despite having no real threat that justifies providing that much health.
Some lights were added to the doors opened by the switch near the exit for the final version, likely to make them easier to see in the dark room.
The ceiling above the exit switch was raised for the final version; in the pre-beta, it is flush with the elevator platform. The walls surrounding the courtyard outside the exit room were also simplified.
Demo Map 2 (E3M5)
Unholy Cathedral is in the E2M5 slot internally, because the game likely still followed the "techbase - hell - corrupted base" laid out in the Doom Bible. While its general layout is nearly complete, several important areas cannot be accessed due to line type errors, making it impossible to complete the map by normal means.
Most of the decorative things, such as the torches at the start of the map, are missing. The shots here are both taken from the start point, showing it was moved back a bit for the final version.
There's a box of shells in this little corner behind the secret door leading to the light amplification visor in the pre-beta. It was removed in the final version.
The sectors making up the side room with the plasma gun and soul sphere are unclosed in the pre-beta, so their flats bleed into each other.
The central courtyard isn't a courtyard at all, since it has yet to be opened to the sky in the pre-beta.
Both walkover triggers are set to raise ceilings in this version, rather than lowering the floors. This makes both the secret area with the blood floor and the room with the blue key inaccessible without using the no clipping cheat.
The area with the blue key is only partially finished in the pre-beta. The entrance door is doubled and there are no crushers near the switches, the six switch-opened alcoves are not present, there is no rocket launcher, the teleporter is missing, and there are switches to reopen the entrance doors. The trap alcove outside of this area with the demon or Baron of Hell is not present in this version.
The blue key is a card in this version, not a skull.
Despite having blue trim, the door leading to the exit area opens with the yellow key. The textures for the door and trim were updated for the final version, and a step was added.
The teleporter in the secret area is much less pronounced in the pre-beta. A flaming blue structure was added around it and it was moved close to the wall in the final version.
The hidden alcove the yellow skull opens only contains a chainsaw in the pre-beta. A soul sphere was added to it in the final version. Also note that the yellow skull's icon does not appear on the status bar.
The floor and ceiling in front of the door leading to the area with teleporting monsters uses a different, brighter green marble tile flat not present in the final version. It is used throughout the area. A step was also added before the door.
The area within got several changes for the final version: It was retextured, the floor was raised and the steps descending to it removed and the demon "teleporter" was changed to a skull-filled hole. Additionally, sometimes entering this area will crash the game outright. The door out of this area cannot be opened once it closes, meaning you're trapped without using the no clipping cheat again.
The texture on the door leading to the BFG9000 in the final version was corrected - it uses AASTINKY in the pre-beta. Instead of the BFG, a rocket launcher is found in this area, meaning the only way to get a BFG in the pre-beta is to cheat.
Instead of the teleporter you'd expect, there's a large metal box in the exit room. It works just like an exit switch.
Demo Map 3 (E2M2)
Like Unholy Cathedral above, Containment Area is actually in the E3M2 slot internally. The level is functionally complete, with only some minor changes made, but interestingly a large portion of it was retextured.
Right from the get-go, there are changes. The door leading to the circular area with the chaingun is on the left wall at the start in the pre-beta. It was moved around the corner, onto what was a bare wall, in the final version.
The berserk pack is not present in the pre-beta.
Several floors were raised to create better transitions between flats.
There are no barrels in the pre-beta. Also note that the lighting in some areas of the warehouse was made darker in the final version.
The armor sitting on top of some crates before the yellow door leading to the rocket launcher was a second MegaArmor in the pre-beta.
Most interestingly, almost the entire section after the rising stairs uses hellish wood and skin textures in the pre-beta. The final version uses cement and brown textures like the starting area, although there are still some remnants of this earlier scheme if you look for them.
The rising floor tiles do not inherit the properties of the highest neighboring sector in this version, so they stay bloody and painful in the pre-beta. The lights in the ceiling are not inset, either.
The frame of the yellow door in the western half of the map is an unclosed sector and as a result one part of its door trim will show a hall-of-mirrors effect.
Entering any of the alcoves in the area where the rocket launcher is obtained will raise the floor of the room leading to the three switch consoles in the pre-beta. In the final version, it just lowers the consoles back into the ground, which actually doesn't prevent you from using them.
The weird damaging blue lights do not do damage in this version and aren't inset into the floors and ceilings.
The tunnel past the blue lights drops earlier in the pre-beta, and exits level with the floor in the marble column room.
There is no switch to lower the plasma gun in the pre-beta, instead there's a walkover trigger just to the right of where the switch is in the final version.
The middle crushers aren't as wide in the pre-beta, but they also don't raise as high, which makes them much more dangerous. Their sides are textured with AASTINKY. The medkit that can be seen seems to be positioned slightly differently between the two versions as well. The pre-beta has the medkit positioned underneath one of the crushers, making it much more dangerous to get whereas the final version has it positioned after the crusher. Also more hellish wood and skin textures can be seen here in this hallway.
Instead of the chainsaw found in the final version, the item that's supposed to entice you into opening the lost soul trap in the pre-beta is a common box of shotgun shells.
While the lighting effect is present on the floor, the secret elevator with the soul sphere cannot be lowered.
The exit room was redesigned for the final version. The pre-beta features a second exit door on the other side as detail, and places the switch on the right wall, making the room look like an airlock.
The intermission screen can only be seen when DEMO MAP 1 is exited. It doesn't tell you the name of the map, has different arrangement of stats, time is always 00:00, par time in E1M2 is 00:05 and there's a bonus point and a total point display.
The fireball thrown by imps is very different in the pre-beta. The ball itself is smaller, but orange rays are drawn from its center, making the sprite about the same size as the final version. Its impact animation is much smaller and smokey, instead of fiery. The first puff frame would eventually be recycled for the Revenant's projectile.
The original ball appears to have been used as the basis for both the final blue plasma gun projectile and the Arachnotron's plasma attack in Doom II. Both variants have been touched up slightly and recolored, and neither uses the old impact animation.
Instead of the blue projectiles it fires in the final version, the plasma gun fires alternating green and red balls. The first shot fired is always green, so the red projectiles, which are identical to those thrown by the imp, are only seen if the key is held down.
Though the baron in this version throws a yellow energy ball, sprites for the slime ball used in the final game are present, but the rotations are too small. This was corrected for the final game.
The invulnerability powerup is a large blue potion which appears to show a ghostly face within in this version. The final version is a green sphere using the Lost Soul graphics present in this version of the game.
Rather than lying out in the open, the four shotgun shells pickup are tucked into a small box. The developers probably thought that newcomers would get this confused with the bigger box, and they were right, since it can be hard to tell the two apart at a distance in-game.
The shading on the (large) box of shells was touched up, the box itself was made wider to accommodate the word 'SHELLS', the internal box was made shorter, and the red ammo inside was updated with a touch of gold to clearly be a shotgun shell.
The cell in the pre-beta is the same shape as the cell pack, but without the terminals on top and with the bars lower. The final game uses the part of the alpha 0.4 shield generator sprite.
A red sphere was added around the blur artifact and the 'eye' was redrawn to look like it is shrinking instead of disintegrating. This, unfortunately, makes it hard to tell it was ever intended to be an eye in the first place.
The weapon sprites are larger, and were cropped out in the final version. During gameplay, they look the same as they do in the final version.
The chainsaw's idle animation has more frames than the final game, but only the first frame is used in-game.
Same difference as the Fist.
Again same difference as the fist.
The chaingun has barely visible barrels in the final version, but these are absent in the pre-beta, which is more perspective-correct but looks dumb.
The flash sprite was also considerably revised. The last 2 frames in this animation go unused in the pre-beta.
The rocket launcher's rocket explosion is modified in the final game to have more detail and variety.
The plasma rifle has a really poor looking sprite in this build.
Though not used in the game, a static flash graphic is present in the data files. This is changed to be more detailed in the final game.
Barrels aren't present in any of the levels, but are functional and can be added in with a level editor. The included screenshots also show barrels detonating on E1M8. Like the rocket explosion, the barrel explosion graphics were touched up for the final game.
Zombiemen have a shooting frame now, but the flash would be made more detailed and self-illumination would be added in the final game.
Shotgun guys would undergo the same change. Shotgun guys don't appear in any of the levels, but are functional and can be added with a level editor.
In the final version, this is overwritten with another "you are here" graphic with a rightward facing arrow.
These are the treasure items that were cut out very late in development, since all they did was add points.
Interestingly enough, while there is no gibbing in this build, there's a gruesome death animation that is exclusive to this version of the game that involves the player character being ripped in half from the waist. This seems to be a remnant of what was planned for Buddy Dacote in the Doom Bible (being killed at the end of the first episode by the twin Barons of Hell), however it was most likely removed because this probably would have never have had a proper use anywhere in the finished game.
The patches composing the AASTINKY workaround texture were changed for the final version. Interestingly, AASTINKY is not treated as "no texture" in this build, and actually displays as a proper texture when used.
BIGDOOR2 is riddled with bullet holes in the pre-beta. The patch used for the final texture is also in the IWAD.
BIGDOOR6 was centered better for the final version by adding a third DOOR11_1 patch on the left and moving the other two right by four pixels.
COMPUTE2 is 512 pixels wide in the pre-beta, instead of 256 in the final version.
STEP4 was made 16 pixels tall in the final version by adding a second copy of the STEP06 patch under the first one.
SW1DIRT and SW2DIRT are only 72 pixels tall in the pre-beta. They were made 128 tall in the final version, but the texture varies between the two, wrecking the illusion of just the switch being flipped when it animates.
The MWALL4_1 patch used by MARBWALL, featuring Doom II's final boss, was updated to make the size and position of the eye on the left more symmetrical.
SKY1 is so different that it barely qualifies as a change – it's an entirely different graphic. The old version features a range of brown mountains over a black sky, instead of the foggy gray mountains and white sky of the final texture. The old texture is likely familiar to level designers, however, as a part of it is used for the F_SKY1 flat used to open sectors to the sky.
The blue circle on FLAT22 is much less detailed in the pre-beta.
The Press Release time Password has, alas, worn out.
The message that appears if you run the demo after October 31st, 1993, or don't run program akin to FAKEDATE.
You pick up a demonic dagger. You pick up a skullchest. You pick up an evil sceptre. You pick up an unholy bible.
Messages for picking up treasures. Most pickup items starting with "You pick up" were changed to start with "Picked up" in the final game.
Since the pre-beta only has three levels and a stripped down menu interface, a large number of its graphics are unused. It would be pointless to list all of these, so this section only covers graphics which are not present in the final game.
The first eight columns of the TEKWALL4 texture. The name would lead you to believe it was 32 pixels in at least one dimension, but it's not.
A 128×128 flesh texture that's essentially a combination of SKINBORD and half of SKINEDGE. The strange name implies it was some sort of placeholder.
A gray variant of DOOR1, similar to ICKDOOR1, but without the, well, ick.
A green stone brick wall with an "E" made out of the red light panel used by LITERED and six WARNA0 switch patches. Yeah...
A 64×72 gray texture, similar to parts of GRAY7.
A 128 pixel tall variant of the light panels used on several textures.
A wooden wall with metal supports and a barred window at the top. While the texture is 64×96, the full patch is actually 96×96 – it's shown to the right.
A wall covered in pipes with nukage at its base, similar to PIPE6 but with a hole in one section of the wall.
A gray wall with a monitor showing the Earth.
Large sheets of skin.
More large sheets of skin – these ones have metal at the top and bottom.
A range of blue mountains with the Earth in the background. If this texture were used it would look pretty silly, since the Earth would get repeated four times, unless it's paired with the next unused texture, where that would repeat 3 times.
Note that it's actually defined as 256×128, so the top eight rows of pixels get cut off. This applies to all of the sky textures in this section.
This features a range of blue mountains like the SKY2 texture, but without the Earth and with a minor variation to the center mountains.
SKY4, SKY4B, SKY4C
An expanse of sand with brown thunderheads in the sky. Episode 3 in the final game uses similar sand on its intermission screen, so maybe this is an early vision of hell? While these look pretty cool as graphics, in-game the perspective is off, making it look like you're surrounded by giant sand dunes.
B and C feature lightning bolts and the clouds on the right are a bit more symmetric looking. These skies were almost certainly intended to be a single animated texture, but are not defined as one, and the game doesn't support using animated textures for skies anyway.
The same sand and clouds as in SKY4, but this time they're incredibly dark blue.
Identical to the STEP2 texture.
Identical to TEKWALL4.
While not all of these are unused, each of the COMP patches actually has at least two frames of animation. None of the textures that use them are animated, however, and simply mix and match patches from each set. The unused frames were removed from the final version, but are still present in the pre-beta, and have been animated here to show how the game's computers may have originally been intended to look.
DOOR3_7, DOOR3_8, DOOR3_10, DOOR3_11, DOOR5_1, DOOR5_2, DOOR13_1
Various techy mechanical graphics intended to be used around a door, judging by their names.
A variant on the tan door patch used by the BIGDOOR4 texture, which is riddled with bullet holes, similar to the BIGDOOR2 texture in this version.
Two skull-adorned marble walls with blood at their base.
Voltage and explosive hazard signs. They're not shaded, unlike the radiation and poison signs that are actually used.
STEP01, STEP02, STEP15
Unused step patches.
A strange looking gray support patch.
Similar to one of the patches used by the PIPE3 texture, but darker and with a slightly smaller hole.
W15_1, W15_2, W15_3
Components of a red techy wall.
W67_4, W67_5, WALL71_7, WALL72_6
Patches similar to those used by the ICKWALL texture series.
Brown metal walls.
An interesting brown patch with transparent windows and lights at its top.
WALL06_1, WALL06_2, WALL06_3
Alternate pipe wall patches which are only 96 pixels tall, as opposed to the 128 pixel tall patches that are used.
Alternate wall panels that aren't used by any of the CEMENT textures.
Another ICKWALL-style patch, but the base wall is a darker gray.
A brown wall with red...pixels overlaid. Pretty damn ugly, huh?
Two walls like the ones used by the REDWALL texture, with the obvious difference of being gray.
Speaking of REDWALL, this is a slightly lighter variation of the patch it uses.
A dark blue flat with the same pattern as the COMPBLUE texture.
A beige checkered flat.
A console facing the east, which is the only direction missing in the final version.
F_SKY2 - F_SKY5
In the final game, F_SKY1 is the flat used to open a sector to the sky, and which sky is used is determined by the episode. These additional flats hint that the sky used was originally intended to be set by the level designer. Notably, the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions would reintroduce this ability.
WILVBX, WILV00 - WILV08
Graphics for the episode 1 level names are in the WAD, but they're in a completely different style than that used for the final version. There is also another graphic which is a brown and black box that these names would have been drawn over. The box was likely intended to appear on the bottom right of the intermission screen, as shown in the mockup to the right, based on the fact that there is a drop shadow and outline that perfectly matches the height of the box on the background graphic. There is no graphic in the WAD for the right side of the box.
Also, note that Hangar is misspelled as "Hanger" and Phobos Lab and Phobos Anomaly are simply "Laboratory" and "Anomaly" in these graphics.
The demo has the alpha start-up screen, but the screen is not visible without hacking the game.