id Software may have released Doom‘s source code years ago (the old one, not that new one obvs), but it’s not quite as free as you might expect. With some of the most popular modern versions of Doom using bits of licensed code and reliant on Doom data files, folks have been uncertain whether they’d be able to release proper standalone games – which still has a big and creative modding community.
Enter Gloome, a community project to remove and replace bits that are potentially legally troublesome and enable standalone GZDoom-engine games.
The community-updated engine GZDoom (and its parent ZDoom) is the foundation for a lot of modern Doom development, but includes bits of licensed code from all over the place. Even if folks making a new game on the engine replaced every art asset and sound and whatnot, they still wouldn’t be legally clear to release it. Gloome clears up all the questions about releasing standalone games by removing, rewriting, and replaced all troublesome code. It should also make things far simpler to play. The project’s creators explain:
“Someone completely unfamiliar with Doom, the Doom modding scene, or anything at all can just download a game, fire up the .exe, and play it without needing any know-how or “drag this .pk3 onto this .exe” or “load up multiple files” or “DON’T PUT IT IN YOUR SKINS FOLDER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD”. If somebody wanted to make a full-fledged indie first-person-shooter, they can use this engine to create a slew of new maps, new enemies, new levels, new items, new weapons, and more, and then throw it up on Steam without worrying about Doom copyrights.”
Good stuff, that.
“But what does this mean for me?” you may ask. Well, if you’re lucky, we’ll have standalone games coming based on that dear engine. Gloome project lead ‘marrub’ is already working on one, named Nocturne in Yellow, as you can see in the project’s ZDoom forum thread.