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Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Making Of id's Doom
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamasutra has published a classic article first printed in Game Developer magazine in 1994. The feature offers a behind the scenes examination of the development of Doom, the classic id Software first person shooter which helped to launch a gaming genre.

With the knowledge that Carmack had gained from working on the Raven engine, he started work on Doom. The Raven engine was much more advanced than Wolfenstein. It could render sloping floors, map texture on any side of a cube (in Wolfenstein, a cube had to be the same on all sides), allow different textures for the ceiling, and create walls at angles other than 90 degrees. Unfortunately, the technology used by the Raven engine was as advanced as it would get, so to work on Doom, Carmack had to start from scratch.

Three revisions later, Carmack had a game engine with performance that met his expectations. By breaking the map down into small sectors and reordering them so that the engine was able to make use of the 486ís internal cache, the engine was optimized for fast machines.

The final Doom engine has a medium detail mode option that doubles the pixel width horizontally and triples the speed of the game on slower machines. Another important addition to the Doom engine was allowing all objects to have physical characteristics, such as weight, momentum, and even sound.

One feature that was built in from the beginning was a multiplayer option. Id added this feature with an eye toward the future. The Doom designers felt that multiplayer games would become increasingly important as the Internet and other forms of commercial networks become part of more homes.

Although Id expects less than 10 percent of players of Doom to make use of the ability, up to four players can join the same game over a Novell IPX network. Id designers felt it was important to start working on multiplayer games now, so they would have the experience when it was more crucial to their development.
Follow the link below to read the rest of the vintage article.

Gamasutra: Monsters From The id, The Making Of Doom
id Software

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