John Romero Releases New Doom Map

How can John Romero convince prospective Kickstarter backers that he’s still got it, that he’s ready to make a new circle-strafing gibfest? The Doom and Quake level designer is currently trying to crowdfund a new ‘classic’ FPS with his fellow former id Software pal Adrian Carmack (no, John Carmack was id’s tech guy; no, no relation), but so far they’ve only shown artwork and ideas from Blackroom – not much when you’re trying to get $700,000. So, as a warm-up and to work the crowd, Romero has released a new Doom map, a replacement for E1M4 – Command Control. Download it here.

As the readme file (always read the readme, and respect readme formatting) explains:

Tom Hall originally created the framework for E1M4.
It makes sense that if I was creating an entire E1 of
just my work, this would be the level I would remake.

Romero made most of the Knee-Deep in the Dead episode’s levels, see, but some are based on levels made by Tom Hall before id Software fired him. This is his crack at making the level his own. This return to Doom mapping is a recent one. Earlier this year, he released his first level since 1995, an E1M8 of his own.

If you want to play, you’ll want a copy of Doom and an updated engine like GZDoom.

With one day down, Romero and Carmack’s Kickstarter for Blackroom has over $100,000 in pledges towards its $700,000 goal. That’s not a bad start! It would be nice to see even a rough prototype.


  1. Faults says:

    This is some fantastic serendipity, considering I’m currently trimming my Youtube subscription list because Bethesda just bunged a bunch of them to give vague favourable coverage for their shitty Doom remake.

    If you’re going to sell me on an old-school FPS, this is unsurprisingly a vastly better way to grab my attention.

    • demicanadian says:

      Is is strange that I feel insulted anytime storefronts include Doom and Quake in bethesda sales?

  2. Sakkura says:

    Will it make me his female dog?

  3. cafeoh says:

    I don’t think it’s a remake, is it? They just decided to change from Doom 4 to “Doom”. It does look pretty terrible though.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Maybe someone can tell me how it is that our programmers, across the globe, have forgotten how to count? There’s been a real epidemic lately of developers thinking that the number after 3, or 4, or 9, is 1.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Programmers don’t get to name products.

        Possibly excluding trendy node.js libraries that never leave version 0.1 but everyone depends on anyway.

    • Turkey says:

      It is Doom 4. The “4” is just silent.

  4. Vorig says:

    Glad he’s making a habit out of this!

  5. Vorig says:

    Glad he’s making a habit out of this! Bring on more doom maps.

  6. binkbenc says:

    I always wondered if Alice was an Alice Cooper fan. Now I know.

  7. bonuswavepilot says:

    I do believe you may have left a zero out there the first time you mention the Kickstarter goal he’s after, Alice!

  8. tonicer says:

    Please be good please be good and please be PC exclusive from release until the ends of time. Fuck consoles, they ruin every franchise they touch.

  9. Kaeoschassis says:

    Goddammit I haven’t even checked out the last one yet. I have too many big megawads I haven’t finished yet, though, maybe some single-level stuff is just what I’m looking for.

  10. Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

    As much as I might like to play this, Kickstarting a multi-platform Unreal 4 engine game without Linux support just won’t cut it. If they’d said something similar to the Overload guys, that Linux isn’t a primary target, but betas will be released, then they’d have my money.

    • GepardenK says:

      To be fair it’s only PC/MAC. Not “multiplatform” in the classic sense of the word

      • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

        No, I agree, but that just makes it worse. It’s specifically targeting the PC platform, but not all of it.
        It might be hitting a nerve for me though, as id’s games were some of the first to support Linux. I’ve played countless hours of Quake on Linux and I have a nice big box of Quake the Offering for Linux, so this seems like betraying the family in a way.

  11. ErraticGamer says:

    I dunno about his Kickstarter game, but I gotta admit, that new level is a damn good Doom level. Definitely worth the time to download and fire up.

  12. mvar says:

    Platform – WIN/Mac
    i can’t think of why they can’t include the steam platform, essentially linux, in this list. Just why.

    • Czrly says:

      Linux support will be trivially easy, technically, which can only mean one thing: they’re saving it for a stretch goal to milk a few more bucks out of the community after the game funds. Tonnes of Linux gamers will quite readily part with a few more bucks to push a project up to a stretch goal for Linux support, assuming they’ve already backed.

      • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

        That’s a sound assumption. Unfortunately, several Kickstarters have already pulled that trick and then never delivered on the Linux version. I’m at a point where I won’t support a crowd-funding campaign unless Linux is a primary platform, for precisely that reason.

        • Czrly says:

          This Kickstarter features so many warning bells, it could be repurposed to rebuild all the churches in middle-europe. One more doesn’t seem surprising.

    • Christian Dannie Storgaard says:

      I can find no technical reason; it must come down to them having no experience with Linux – which is not a good enough reason if you ask me.

  13. Czrly says:

    Doom levels are all fine and well but that Kickstarter pitch: what a crock of proverbial! It smacks of everything every kickstarter disappointment that preceeds it and even the concept art is down-right painful! Those weapon names? The animated section headers?

    Stay well away! It won’t matter – the game will fund for sure – and you’ll get to save your cash.

    Kickstarter is meant to be a place for people to *donate* cash to show support for an idea that couldn’t be made, otherwise. Whatever Romero says, THIS project is not that: this is a hedge. If Romero was confident that he was going to make a great game, there is absolutely no way he’d need Kickstarter backers to support him – he’d go and do it, sure in the knowledge that any semi-decent game from him would certainly make its money back. By launching this Kickstarter, he’s got 700-grand more when the game craters on launch and sells badly.

    • Czrly says:

      Oh… one other thing: they apparently said they don’t have the resources to show gameplay in their pitch. What the actual…? I can’t even…!

      I’m ranting now but this sort of pitch really makes me angry. It makes me furious because the the gullible are throwing money at them. Their success will mean one thing only: more of this to come. It brings in the cash, rinse and repeat.

      “More of this” is exactly the opposite of what gaming needs – like “another console generation” with “more graphics.” (Everyone knows, 6 graphics are quite enough and we’re already getting 7 or 8 in games like the Witcher 3)

      They show NO gameplay in their pitch and, reading the Kickstarter comments, it seems that their excuse for this is that they don’t have “the resources.” I’ve developed against UE 4 and, even alone, I could whack together a decent demo of a circle-strafing FPS in a week or two. Hell, they could branch the sample and throw in a couple of gimmicks to show how their game will be anything other than mediocre and that would be better than nothing.

      Please please please, don’t back them! They should be taken to task for such an abominable pitch, not encouraged. Let’s show others that a Kickstarter won’t succeed on nostalgia, flaccid promises and name-dropping alone.

  14. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Liz Ryerson, if you’re out there reading this, I’d totally watch a few DOOM Mixtape videos of Romero’s new stuff.

  15. vorador says:

    He still has got the touch for Doom levels. While I still like the original E1M8 a lot, the new one was good, and this new E1M4 is good too.

    Too bad the pitch is as empty as his wallet. If they had put together a gameplay demo they might get something, but with just a video they’ve got nothing from me.

    Btw, there’s a twitch ongoing for the single player of DOOM. It is as bad as i feared after the open beta. Hopefully my refund request for my preorder is honored.

  16. killmachine says:

    played the map and can confirm that romero still is a leveldesign genius. very creative use of the classic doom engine.

    however, this doesn’t convince me to support this kickstarter. i’m generally very skeptical about the whole kickstarter thing, let alone games that want to capture the good ole days. it would help immensely if they show some gameplay. i also have difficulties believing that romero will be able to design all the maps on his own which he actually talked about in the kickstarter video. only two guys creating a game with single- and multiplayer is highly unlikely as well. there’s also the rise of the triad remake that wasn’t really up to snuff. so, yea, i’m just skeptical this will result in something awesome.