OMDO turns DOOM into a Magic Eye puzzle


I’m not sure about you lot, but I’m always worried that my eyes aren’t getting enough of a work out when I’m playing games. OMDO, then, might be exactly what I need to help me shed excess eye weight. It’s DOOM, but every frame is a autostereogram, hiding the screen inside a wall of dots. To see anything, your eyes will need to get off their lazy behinds and break a sweat.

Not surprisingly, this is not a particularly effective or fun way to play DOOM. Depending on your favoured method, you’ll be spending the whole time with your face almost pressed against the screen, or you’ll be cross-eyed. I’ve tried both methods, along with their accompanying game modes, and I’ve yet to see more than the gun.

My eyes are strong though! So strong. Once I’d wiped away the tears and massaged my temples, I could tell they were as powerful as they’d ever been. I probably don’t need glasses now, though I’ll keep them just because I think they make me look handsome. In a few days, I might even be able to make out one of the enemies.

If your eyes aren’t too puny, you’ll be able to play through DOOM’s first three maps. It’ll help, obviously, if you’re already pretty familiar with them. You can grab OMDO for free from now.


  1. arioch says:

    If we dont see someone speedrunning this at the next AGDQ I am going to be very disappointed!

  2. EthZee says:

    I’m myopic and I can’t see the magic eye with my specs on; but with them off I can super easily “see” them. It’s like a rubbish superpower.
    I support these kinds of visually difficult games; like that other one from ages ago where everything was constantly shifting static. You could see fine in motion but if you didn’t move it was just scrambled noise.

  3. virtual.light says:

    Being colorblind I was always convinced these where an inside joke growing up, I mean they’re nothing but noise right? right? lol


    • Moogie says:

      I wouldn’t think colourblindness would have any effect on it. It’s not about different colours (it’s all green), it’s about the pattern it creates.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Coulour blindness might make some of them tricky, but they work in bland and white too. (Here’s one)
      It’s all about ‘unfocusing’ your eyes, or rather focusing them on something that’s further away than the picture.
      Either, focus your eyes on something about twice as far away as your screen, then move your eyes to be looking at the screen without changing their focus. Or, if you have a shiny screen, focus on your own reflection, then look at the image on the screen without changing focus.

      The only problem I have is that it takes my eyes a little while to go back to normal, and apparently that’s got worse with age, so currently I can only focus on my keyboard if I sit right back in my chair.

    • Evan_ says:

      I was mind-blown as a kid, when I realized I can just photocopy a colorful Magic Eye book, and it still works.

    • SaintAn says:

      I’m not colorblind and I can’t see them. Staring at it just irritates me.

      • zaphod42 says:

        You just need to learn how to control a muscle you’ve never had to before. There’s an eye muscle that allows you to flex it to control your eye’s focus. Most people only use it reflexively, but you can practice and learn to control it like a baby taking their first steps.

    • Matt_W says:

      If you look closely, you’ll notice that the image is a set of repeating not-quite-identical vertical stripes. Find a prominent feature in one stripe (a large dot or something) and the same feature in an adjacent stripe. What you have to do is de-focus your eyes so that the first stripe lies on top of the second. You’re–in effect–focusing behind the image. Once the stripes line up, the image will “lock” in place and the 3D picture will emerge. The trick is learning how to de-focus. Sometimes it helps to focus on something in the distance and then put the image in front of your eyes. It also can help to cross your eyes a little, which brings the focus closer to you instead of further, but can help sort of “jumpstart” the defocusing.

  4. Rhythm says:

    Oh wow, it’s a *long* time since I saw this mode in a game. It was an actual graphics option in the original Magic Carpet and was nigh-on impossible to play :-D

    • SBLux says:

      I played it just the other day! The problem is I always see them inverted, so the bits that are supposed to pop out are pushed back, making it impossible to tell what the heck is going on.

      • owent says:

        Hey, that’s weird. I always had trouble with these as a kid: if I do the one above the article by crossing my eyes, I see it inverted. But if I stick my nose right up to the screen and pull back, I get it the right way around.

      • The First Door says:

        Heya! Ignore me if you know this already, but that issue comes about because there are two types/ways of viewing these, cross and parallel fusion (I think they’re called). If you try and go cross-eyed with one designed to be looked at the other way (relaxing your eyes and focusing beyond the picture), it will look backwards. As far as I’m aware, the game offers the option for both styles, so you should be able to pick the one which looks the right way around!

    • syllopsium says:

      If I remember correctly, the reason Magic Eye mode in Magic Carpet is difficult to see, is because it doesn’t work!

      See link to

  5. fray_bentos says:

    Comment here if you too are happy that you recognised the scene in the green screenshot above. Yay, us.

    • Evan_ says:

      I’m a lot better in autostereograms than in Doom, but that stair is familiar. Is it the on the very first level?

      The ‘draw’ distance feels pretty low. I recon the more depth it has the harder it is to see.. but that one barely covers the effective range of a shotgun. Hope it can be adjusted.

      It’s definitely something I’ll try. Autostereograms were a magic of my childhood. Esepecially since not everyone were gifted enough to see ’em.

      • fray_bentos says:

        I think it is the same set of stairs. Indeed, the draw distance is rather shallow. Consistent with that, comments on the page suggest that enemies can attack without been seen in the present build.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        I’m just bothered by the pistol hanging out at the back of the stairs…

  6. quasiotter says:

    I’ve had a tab open on how to make still autostereograms for about a month now, and this is making me want to actually execute it. I never thought it would be possible to make it into a time-based medium, though… yowzers!

  7. Crane says:

    Is there an accessibility mode for stereoblind people? ‘Cause I’m feeling very excluded right now. :-(

    • grimdanfango says:

      Same boat here… I only realised I *was* stereoblind in my 30s. I always just figured I wasn’t doing magic-eye puzzles right, and was just clumsy and bad at ball-sports :-P

      You heard about “Fixing My Gaze” by Susan Barry? I’ve not read it, but I’m intrigued by the idea that it might be possible to train myself to see in stereo this late in life.
      I had an op as a kid to straighten a crossed-eye, so I’m pretty sure in my case it would involve either additional surgery to fine-tune my eyes’ alignment, or chosing to wear prism glasses for the rest of my life. Still, it’s an appealing idea…

    • zaphod42 says:

      If you only have one eye then you can’t see in 3D no matter what. Obviously this isn’t going to work for you. How could it possibly?

  8. Chromatose says:

    I hate to rat on the developer for such a cool free thing, but for me at least, the point of convergence necessary to ‘see’ the image meant I had to lean in so close to my monitor that I couldn’t make out a damn thing. Also, the fact that the pattern changes every frame instead of just shifting to accommodate the changes in geometry just makes it impossible to focus on anything.

  9. death_au says:

    I’m not stereoblind, but I’ve never been able to do those Magic Eye things properly my whole life.
    That being said, there was a Kotaku article on this mod that included moving gifs, and with enough concentration, I could actually see the gun moving at the bottom. Still can’t see it in a static image, or make out the environment, but I feel like I made progress.
    Fraser’s right: it really does make your eyes stronger.

  10. Dust and Cobwebs says:

    Neat! Reminds me of the Matrix tileset for Dwarf Fortress.

  11. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Thanks! I’ll have to try this out when I get home. My eyes are looking round these days…

    There’s one for Quake 2, too, with a differently-appropriate name: Quake II AbSIRD

Comment on this story

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