Much Obliged

By Alec Meer on May 20th, 2008 at 11:02 pm.

If only you could talk to them

I’ll always love Doom. Don’t care about the universe or backstory, don’t care that Doom 3 was 1000% less fun, don’t care that it was the Star Wars of videogames, irrevocably sending so much of the medium down a single path. Twatting Imps with shotguns at high speed never gets old – it’s that simple. I’m that simple.

So Oblige, an application which randomly generates entire, fully-functional Doom and Doom II levels has proven quite the delight.

The part of me that spent a day painstakingly crafting a three-room, six-monster level for a PC Gamer tutorial last year rankles at this near-instant, robo-robbing of such minor glory, but boy is this way ever easier. Sure, the levels have that sense of chaotic surrealism that’s unmistakably made by algorithm, not human hand – all bizarre ceiling growths, unnatural columns of health potions and futile mazes-without-exit. But it works – it creates elaborate playgrounds in which beasts roam, and then allows me to murder said beasts. Lo, I am pleased.

Grab Oblige from here – you’ll need a copy of Doom 1 or Doom 2 to play its levels, and if you’re toting Steam versions of those you’ll need to run them in another loader to easily bring up the new maps, as Valve’s editions complicate matters unnecessarily by involving DOSbox. I recommend the Doomsday Engine (which also adds subtle but effective Pretty) – simply point it at your Doomian .WAD file and then at the folder Oblige is saving its new levels to.

__________________

« | »

, , .

30 Comments »

  1. Pidesco says:

    No one cares about Doom, apparently. I’m going to offer the conjecture that the lack of interest in Doom comes from it being for boys, as opposed to, say, System Shock which was for real men.

    Don’t cry, Alec.

  2. itsallcrap says:

    Funny, I was just thinking about reinstalling the collector’s edition last night.

    So now I will.

  3. Ben Abraham says:

    I call shenanigans!

    Shenanigans!

  4. Lu-Tze says:

    WITCHCRAFT

  5. Crazy Horse says:

    Doom 3 captured nothing that made the first 2 so good. Hordes of enemies, light, and room to move.

  6. Max says:

    A horde of enemies? in the Doom 3 engine? In 2004? Not unless you had someone send back a computer through time from the future. My old computer used to freak out when there were two or more monsters on screen…

    That game was such a piece of crap.

    This looks awesome though; thanks.

  7. MindBrain says:

    Make sure ya’ll get ZDaemon http://www.zdaemon.org/ if you don’t have it already. Multiplayer DOOM! COOP FFA CTF 1on1 All kinds of wacky stuff!

  8. zima says:

    Works also with http://freedoom.sourceforge.net/ without need for Doom 1 or 2.
    (and http://prboom.sourceforge.net/ is a nice engine for Freedoom & if you want that good old Doom look ;) )

    @Pidesco, actually I wanted to post above info for…some time. But…the RPS “Add your comment” field apparently doesn’t show up in Opera if there are no comments yet…hm

  9. Lucky says:

    Can’t imagine the generated levels being any worse than your average user-created level.

  10. phuzz says:

    I fired it up, but it’s been a while since I loaded custom WADs into Doom, so for a minute I couldn’t work out if it had worked or not. Short answer, I couldn’t tell the difference (in 30s, whilst trying to hide at work), that it wasn’t a ‘proper’ level.
    I think this will be the perfect game to show off my new 1600×1050 display ;)

  11. James T says:

    I think it would’ve been a little more interesting if Doom 3 had tried to emulate the bizarre aesthetics of its predecessors, particularly Doom 2 — rough-hewn stone tunnels, grassy little rec areas, slime in all the colours of the rainbow, and brass! Brass everywhere! UMC might be the grim, faceless end result of the military-industrial complex, but they were pretty imaginitive getting stonemasons, minigolfers and confectioners in to spruce up a copper space station!

  12. Valentin Galea says:

    I really dont understand this hate for Doom3! I really loved it ! And i had the shittiest PC ever – I played it at 320×240 for that extra speed!

  13. dhex says:

    doom 3 was a monster closet fest that took itself far too seriously.

  14. dmauro says:

    No, Doom 3 was an excellent FPS survival horror fest that took itself just seriously enough!

  15. Deuteronomy says:

    Having just finished Doom 3 I have to take issue with these haters. No it’s not the best game of all time, yes it takes a back seat to HL2 from the same time period, but it’s still an awesome, tense, beautiful, compelling experience. In 2008. If you don’t at least appreciate the atmosphere of Doom 3 you either lack a soul or are a cock sucking Valve fanboy.

  16. dhex says:

    hey i only suck cock for money and fame.

    ok maybe one of these nights i’ll reinstall doom 3 and see if my original impressions were unwarranted or completely awesome, in which case dmauro is getting head noogies.

  17. The Shed says:

    I enjoyed the first half of Doom 3, with the darkness, and the slowness, and the frights, and the (surprisingly) intriguing plot. But the second half became so painfully predictable, repetetive, and un-fun that I just stopped playing it. Proof that, in a survival horror game, throwing hundreds of enemies at you isn’t scary- or fun. Desperately waiting for Silent Hill 5 now…

    An infinitum of Doom carnage now awaits us with Oblige. Cheers Mister Meer. Meester Meer. Meister Meer. Maestro Meer.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Reply to dhex
    That line. That avatar. Something clicks.

  19. capital L says:

    I think it’s just great that Doom continues to have a community this far on. Doom (the old one) is still so god damn awesome.

  20. Razor says:

    Tried it out with jDOOM. I see from the screenshot you got some of the hall-of-mirror problems I did. Still, it was a fun little challenge. No monster closets, though =P

  21. Cargo Cult says:

    I remember being quite impressed by the quality of maps the older Slige auto-generator created – they were typically better than most of the dross made by real-live humans…

    Of course, nothing was better than my very own Fractured. Doom 2, single-player, five maps thereof. From the maker of MINERVA, blah blah blah, but quite a few years previously!

  22. Pace says:

    Is the character from Fractured perhaps guided by text messages from a certain unseen, mysterious, and condescending feminine entity? It’s been awhile, though I may have to dust off my Doom 2 skills..

  23. ggregg says:

    Heck, JDoom and couple of beers is my evening medicine of choice to calm down when work pisses me off.

    About Doom skillz: I used to do the gauntlet on ultra violent “quickstarted” back then. Been trying to achieve this now for couple of days with no luck.

  24. Scandalon says:

    Max – he was saying those are what made 2 good, not 3…

    But the first was still the best. :P

    (On a 386DX w/ a GUS soundcard!)

  25. terry says:

    this is probably fantastic but i am too hopeless to make it work

    so i will wait for the steam version :O

  26. sathanas says:

    I have to say I completely agree with Deuteronomy. Having just recently played though 3 and the expansion again for the first time in a while, I had a blast. Without the insane pent up expectations and hype it is a VERY enjoyable and well crafted game. And I can say that while there were more monster closets than any game should have, that particular complaint was INSANELY overblown. Ditto with the flashlight issue. On a properly lit screen, you really don’t have to rely on the flashlight that much.

    Play the game the way it was meant to: don’t conserve ammo, use all your biggest guns at any given opportunity and the blast through the game with reckless abandon and you’ll have a great time. Doom has never been a game to overanalyze or overthink. Sometimes you need to turn off your brain, revel in the atmosphere and blow shit up. Some of the mass melees in the later stages really reminded me of the original and makes me giddy for what they’ll be able to do in D4.

  27. Razor says:

    @Scandalon

    Good old memories of the GUS for me, too. Only I had a 386SX/20 at the time. Sh*t did that make for some horrible framerates. I had to shrink the damn view to nearly the smallest size to get through the game =(

  28. Dominic White says:

    This article is pretty weak. Here’s what it should really say:

    Get Doom 2 off Steam (it’s cheap!)
    Take the WAD file and drop it into GZDoom – http://grafzahl.drdteam.org/ – which does pretty much everything Doomsday does, but more efficiently and more authentically.

    Then get Ultimate Torment & Torture, the best Doom 2 mod ever made. – http://www.realm667.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=289 – Run it by dragging and dropping the UT&T WAD onto your GZDoom.exe (simple, huh?) – No hyperbole. This is what Doom 3 should have been. A freakishly awesome hybrid of classic Doom gameplay, and atmosphere and art from Quake and Quake 2. Oh, and there’s approximately ‘a great many lots’ of new enemy types, a few new weapons, great music, amazing level design, etc etc etc.

    And when you’re done with that, if you want to play Doom online, get Skulltag, which is basically an older build of GZDoom but with fantastic netcode and a proper server browser and everything. And bots. And Invasion mode, which is the best Doom co-op ever – the players Vs waves of hundreds upon hundreds of demons, the map growing each wave to accomodate the larger hordes.
    http://skulltag.com/

    Doom ain’t dead. Long live Doom.

  29. Messiah Complex says:

    Doom 3 was the first game I ever played that required a dedicated graphics card, so my perspective on it is probably a little skewed. I loved it for the first 1000 hours or so, but after a while, I just went all god-mode on it for the sole purpose of seeing Hell.

    That was worth it.

  30. ____ says:

    you guys are so old lol

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>