DoomRL Is Now 90% Handsomer

I'm psychically imprinting the Doom soundtrack into your head via this Alt-Text

Tiles are the most exciting thing you can say to a rogue-like likerer: it means that their most-liked of genres has been updated with graphics. DoomRL’s graphical update has been hanging around since 2007, when Spelunky maker Derek Yu promised he’d add them. Now, in 2012, the year of the Mayan apocalypse, he’s finally done it. I’m not saying that this update, which also brings with it some music and mouse options, is the harbinger, the beginning of the end of the age of man, the time we’ve all known was coming yet did nothing to prevent, the year everything changes and the world fights back. No, really, I’m not saying that at all: you’re twisting my words horribly. Stop it! What I am saying is DoomRL has had its biggest update. It’s free, it’s cute in a ‘aw look at him shotgun those flying eye-balls’ kinda way, and there’s a nice video of it below. I’ve no idea where you got that apocalypse stuff from, weirdo.



  1. MichaelH says:

    Out of curiosity, how does has this project survived, legally speaking? Regardless of whether id software are really nice guys or not, aren’t they legally obligated to project their IP?

    • TheMerricat says:

      You are not legally required to ‘protect’ your IP, the only time you MUST go after someone is when you have a trademark, then you must go after people infringing on the trademark in ways that would cause a normal consumer to possibly mistake their work for yours.

      Copyrights don’t require protection, patents don’t require protection.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Why shouldn’t it? It’s not a commercial product.

    • Dominic White says:

      You’d be amazed at the number of corporate entities who have shut down entirely non-profit fan-works and claimed that they’d lose the rights to the property FOREVER if they didn’t set the lawyers on every fan that looked at them happily.

      The sad thing is that this has happened enough times that people generally believe it now.

    • mckertis says:

      “Why shouldn’t it? It’s not a commercial product. ”

      Do you really want a list of non-commercial fan projects that were C&D’ed ? Its about a mile long. And since iD belong to Bethesda now…

    • povu says:

      RIP Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes

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      Phasma Felis says:

      No. “Legally obligated to protect your IP” is a lie trotted out by corporate scumbags to justify their behavior. George Lucas, probably the savviest marketer/licensor there is, has been happily allowing Star Wars fan films for years, and somehow Chewbacca has remained outside the public domain.

      Merricat does a good job outlining the exceptions.

    • Milky1985 says:

      ““Legally obligated to protect your IP” is a lie trotted out by corporate scumbags to justify their behavior.”

      Actually in terms of trademarks it IS a legal obligation in the sense that if you do not take legal action to protect it, you lose the trademark.

      In terms of copyright and patents its not an obligation, companies can just do it whenever the hell they want.

    • Dominic White says:

      It really is a good example of a lie being repeated often enough to become the accepted truth. People just accept now that it’s a legal imperative for companies to crush fan-made works. A lot of people parrot it as truth, too.

      The fact is that a lot of fan stuff that gets shut down is simply because there’s a legal department with nothing better to do. Casual spite, if you will.

      Edit: And it’s not infringing on anyone’s trademark if you include a tiny disclaimer at the start saying X and Y are trademarks of Z – this is a fan-made, non-profit project.

    • salejemaster says:

      RIP Streets of Rage Remake

    • fuggles says:

      There’s no RIP-ing for the streets of rage remake, it’s just a google away – Ditto for Marvel Brothel.

    • Baines says:

      An ASCII Roguelike is also pretty far under the radar of most.

      As for Streets of Rage: Remake, did anyone ever decide what really happened there? At the time, there were various theories as to why the game was C&D’d right after “final” release, particularly when the guys working on it had already been talking to Sega about the legality of the project (and weren’t speaking publicly on the issue after the C&D).

      And while you might still be able to find it for download, as I recall the “Final” release did have bugs as well as some questionable design decisions that might have been patched out eventually if the project had survived. (Design decisions like only getting points for unlocking if you completed the entire game, so dying right at the end meant you were out a few hours work.)

    • oldfart says:

      Although id is indeed full of nice guys, they at least once put a Quake 2 mod out of misery with a C&D letter (Generations, back in 1999-2000), because it reunited several id characters such the Doom Guy, the Quake Ranger and the Wolf3D guy, while they were developing the then unannounced Quake 3: Arena with pretty much the same theme.

    • fuggles says:

      Sega still sell streets of rage so they closed it down, although one theory is that they waited long enough for it to get released onto the internet, thus protecting their copyright and allowing a masterpiece to be born.

    • moaspfh says:

      Ha, I recently played quite far through this – now I’ll have to do it again! With graphics! link to

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Don’t get me started. Just the fact that they can shut down non-commercial fan projects is enough to make me angry. Now to think that many companies feel threatened by them and actually shut them down is just sick. If you can’t do massively better than want the fans are doing, so that their fan project serves more as advertising than competition, you should just get out of the business.

      A question to the big copyright holders: why would the people protect your copyright which is supposed to encourage you to make more and better works, when the people is already doing those works at least as good as what you’d produce… or at least that’s what you imply when you shut them down?

  2. Kyrius says:

    Doom! Sooooo many memories \o/
    I think there should be only one thing to say to those monsters, besides “DIIEEEEE”: “DIEEEEE EXPLODING!!!”. Sorry, I got carried away…

    Anyway, looks great! Gonna give it a try

  3. Casimir's Blake says:

    Crikey it’s nice to see a game with some abstract level design for a change. DoomRL is an excellent “simplified” roguelike, but the one issue many have with these games is the visuals. Well, this update soundly fixes that issue, and it’s now an utter joy to play.

    Sometimes I wonder if “mainstream” PC gaming is going to be worth bothering with at all any more, since outside of Sims, sports and linear shooters, it’s looking increasingly like indie developers are the only ones producing interesting, abstract, non-linear single player experiences. DoomRL is a fantastic example of this. I hope id approve and don’t give the devs any legal trouble.

  4. diebroken says:

    Title screen art looks great… “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”

  5. Havok9120 says:

    I continue to enjoy your humor Craig. I rate this effort highly.

  6. Dominic White says:

    Interestingly, the UI is elegant enough now to be completely playable just using the mouse, aside from altfires and alternate reloading styles, which require you to hold Alt when right-clicking your target or yourself, respectively.

    They’ll be on mouse4 and mouse5 in the next update.

  7. mckertis says:

    It looks neat, but in practice…the game really slowed down, in every sense. I cant play it, it puts much more strain on the eyes compared to the console version. All the icons are so tiny, its hard to differentiate ammo, barrel types, weapons sometimes blend with the ground tiles…
    Also they “fixed” things in a way, that now even in console version any flash video such as youtube in the background freezes when i open inventory menu. Meh. Nice, but playing in console is better.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      A zoom feature would be welcome, certainly. Why not request it?

    • neutralstate says:

      took me a few seconds to realize what you meant by “console”…

    • Crabtipus says:

      You can scale the tile and font size in Config.lua, though you still won’t be able to see the whole screen at once. I haven’t seen any youtube/netflix freezing when I’ve played so I dunno what’s up with that

  8. Robert says:

    Woohooo, I have been waiting for this!

    (Yes, I’m shallow and prefer my roguelikes pretsy)

  9. Wilson says:

    Awesome, I’ve had good fun with this already, and next time I play it will be super pretty too :)

  10. JackDandy says:

    I’m playing this.
    The new version is fantastic. It doesn’t just provide great-looking, functional sprites, but smooth scrolling and mouse support as well.

    This is addicting as hell. Pun intended.

  11. Swabbleflange says:

    Next update adds a bitmapped 3-D mode.

  12. Tei says:

    I like that too. I even made a few “games” where creatures would evelve and fight for resources. And one of the unfinished things I have now, its a RTS game with zero players and text interface.. is just the basics of a rts, really.

  13. Kefren says:

    Ha, I recently played quite far through this – now I’ll have to do it again! With graphics!

  14. mr_zen256 says:

    The narrator sounds like Norm Macdonald

  15. MythArcana says:

    This is a sparkling grand prime example of how a developer can self-promote himself! More of this type of thing please.

    P.S. Be sure to check out Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and Vulture NetHack for their tiled versions, as well. Stone Soup just hit v.0.1.0 and it is amazing as ever.

    • mechabuddha says:

      I’d like to take this moment to shamelessly proclaim that I made up to level SEVEN today in Crawl. Granted, I didn’t meet Sigmund, but I consider it a resounding victory as I’m terrible at that game.

  16. DeepSleeper says:

    So can you turn the graphics back off again? I’m interested in the bugfixes and streamlining, but I really don’t like tiles in my roguelikes.

    • JackDandy says:

      Yeah, there’s an option of DLing the classic looking, no-tiles version.

  17. phanatic62 says:

    It always surprises me how I get sucked into roguelikes. Never really played them before Desktop Dungeons and then Dungeons of Dredmore, so I’ve slowly been sliding towards the more complex games in the genre. Maybe in 5 years I’ll actually be playing the legit ones.

    But this is really fun! Thanks for posting about it.

  18. Andy_Panthro says:

    Using the Doom/Doom 2 music would be one option, but since this is a fan-made project, surely fan-made Doom music would be the order of the day?

    From our good friends over at OCRemix:

    Doom: The Dark Side of Phobos – link to

    Doom 2: Delta-Q-Delta – link to

  19. pixelprime says:

    As the owner of a trademark, I felt compelled to respond to the earlier comments made regarding the legality of this project.

    The TL;DR version of this is that iD or Bethesda have no legal obligation to protect their trade mark on this. There appears to be confusion over the reality of what a trade mark actually is, and what entitlements and ‘obligations’ it infers. The truth is, no obligations are made of the trade mark owner; but think of it as a legal means of protecting your brand should the need arise.

    Here’s the longer version for those inclined:

    Under section 10, subsection 2 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, it clearly states that infringement can be a result when:

    ‘the sign is identical with the trade mark and is used in relation to goods or services similar to those for which the trade mark is registered, or…’.

    Stripping away the legal mumbo, this means that the ‘Doom’ trademark can be applied to not just the name of the game itself, but also the properties (services / goods) of which it can be associated – i.e. visuals, music and so forth.

    In that respect, yes, this project does constitute and infringement on a registered Trademark. Do iD / Bethesda have a legal obligation to litigate or challenge this? No. The key word here is ‘obligation’.

    As a trademark holder, it is in my interests to protect my company’s brand – and any associated products and services that the brand may infer. To this end, if someone creates a similar service that could be misconstrued as that brand, then I have a legal right to challenge that usage. That doesn’t mean, however, someone is going to go out and do it for me – nor does it mean that I have to actively spend my time hunting around for other potential infringements in case I ‘lose the right’ to use the brand.

    As someone correctly pointed out, the LucasFilm example is probably the best. Owning the trademark (do not confuse this with copyright, which is another legal minefield) to ‘Star Wars’ does mean that you could be legally entitled to protect further uses of that identity – but only within the remit of where the ‘Star Wars’ wording and mark has been used in a place that could be considered confusing, or too similar to the original brand as to possibly be considered one and the same.

    You wouldn’t be able to throw your trademark around if the phrase ‘star wars’ was uttered in a different context, far removed from the source material and in a manner that others couldn’t link the two.

    So, in conclusion, this project does indicate an infringement of a Trade Mark – as far as the Doom property goes (artwork and a lot of the thematic elements), but since it only serves to raise the profile of the original property (as a fan work, bringing more attention to and perhaps popularity), it wouldn’t be as imposing an infringement to them as, say, someone releasing this game as a pay-for title. They’d likely have the book thrown at them, and would have little or no legal ground to stand on.

    I’m all for fan-works and indie projects, and this is a wonderful looking game. It’s just worth pointing out that you’ll always run the risk of being shut down if you tie your ideas so closely to an existing property like this, which will forever be a risk.

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