I remember setting up LAN parties with my friends to play DOOM. We had to daisy chain 10BaseT coax cables, using a BNC T-connector on each PC. I believe DOOM used the IPX protocol for multiplayer, which we had to set up in the autoexec.bat and config.sys files on our DOS boot disks. The PC on each end of the chain would need to be “terminated”. If someone’s IPX settings were slightly different or we had a bad cable, the network wouldn’t work at all. It would usually take us a couple of hours to get things running, but boy was it satisfying when it worked. Then we’d play DOOM to the early hours of the morning.
Doom was my first multiplayer experience too. I was in 6th grade and it was Doom deathmatch…against a girl in my class. She also gave me a mod on a floppy that turned enemies into Barney and she was the first person to tell me about Duke Nukem 3D while I was still dicking around in Myst.
I first really played Doom on the much-maligned Atari Jaguar, with a length of phone cord snaking down the dorm hallway to another room with another Jag. Ahh, deathmatch, the distant screaming and yelling…
Two example from the third level: I’m running in a corridor, in the exit there is chasm with a very thin thread of ground to stand on. So there, the entrance behind me close leaving me in the open with almost no terrain to evade and no cover, and with a Reveneant in front of me, a chaingun soldier and two cacodemoms one in each side.
Or, I take the red key, and that trigger a Hell Baron spawninig in front of me, an Archvile behind me blocking the only exit and two chaingun guys at each side. This in a very small room without room to move, they spawn basically boxing me. And in that level you still don’t have the plasma cannon or BFG. Impossible to survive, I had to load and try again four of five more times to do it.
Because I’m a wimp AND a rage quitter as Major says :P, in the end I went to play Thy Flesh Consumed, the 4th episode of Ultimate Doom, which I never played a lot (just once, from what I remember) because that episode came later after the first release of the game, when they did a retail version. In fact I think played Doom ][ before it.
God damn the image when you finish it it’s horrible. The real monster is not the demons, but that neck!
I always thought that, there is more smarts in Doom than what people seem to concede it (as it’s considered the prototypical run & gun game, just about “shotgun & demons” as the very same Carmack said). In fact that’s why the game has a long standing appeal, and why I always felt bored with what people consider Doom-like games like RoTT, Serious Sam and Painkiller.
The use of stunning enemies with certain weapons to interrupt them, knowing what priority have each monster in a combined encounter, knowing when it’s better to use open areas to circle some enemies and when it’s better a closed area to use the corners to your advantage, using the enemy infighting to your advantage, and in definitive knowing well your weapons and the good bestiary of enemies (who can hitscan you, who have shots that can be avoided, who are dangerous in specific situations, etc), all are small touches but together they produce a better game than you may think.
And of course add a good scenario design. As the article mentions, you fight an intelligence in Doom: not the basic monster AI, but the intelligence of the mission designer, who knows to put Lost Souls and lots of Imps in open spaces to evoke a specific gameplay, Cacodemons in areas with chasms to throw you, pinkies to distract you while the weak shotgun commandos and chaingunners rip you apart, etc.
There is more in Doom that just running at high speed.
Great article TurinTur, I thoroughly agree. The original Doom series haven’t been surpassed yet in single player or cooperative play for a twitch FPS. It remains my favorite coop shooter to play. If you can ever get a bunch of friends to take on some of the harder wads in coop using survival mod (usually 3 lives per player per map) it’s a blast. For me, Doom remain at least an order of magnitude ahead of other twitch games in single/coop. More recent mapping efforts like the mentioned Deus Vult 2 push the design even farther than the original id maps ever did. I’m just hoping someday there’s a more modern game which can live up to or exceed it.
Remember you couldn’t look up or down in the original DOOM engine-- there was no Z axis; it was essentially a 2D game displayed in pseudo-3D. With no Z axis you couldn’t do things like multi-level maps, since a player could only stand in one spot. It was far too limited, IMO. Not to pooh-pooh DOOM, it was a world-changing amazing game and I played the hell out of it, but saying that nothing created since has approached it is a bit much.