Doom is 30 years old, and some old fans of the game are going to help us party.
Some newer gamers will take this for granted, but when Doom was first released on December 10, 1993, it wasn’t for Windows, but DOS. At the time of its release, IBM PC compatibles were already dominating PC gaming, but PC gaming itself was drastically different, with adventure games like Myst and The 7th Guest dominating the platform.
Developer id invented the first person shooter with Wolfenstein 3-D; however, they perfected the blueprint for the genre with Doom. Massive sprawling mazes of levels with 2.5 D graphics that demonstrated the merits of creating explorable 3D worlds, Doom presented a vision of how video games could be like, that just wasn’t possible to imagine before it.
Part of Doom’s impact also came to its use of the shareware model. The game was designed as three episodes, and the first episode was distributed for free, with interested buyers mailing in to get the full game. Doom would eventually get a retail release, but their use of shareware spread word of mouth, and would put id on the path to being one of the biggest, most important game companies of all time.
Doom was so influential that the first generation of first-person shooters that came after it, including games made by id, were dubbed Doom clones. Subsequently, Doom was one of many games whose violent content prompted investigation from the US Senate, leading to the formation of the ESRB.
To celebrate Doom, Bethesda’s official Doom account simply tweeted about the anniversary. But outside of id/Bethesda/Microsoft, some outsiders have taken it upon themselves to celebrate Doom by making more Doom.
What makes this all possible, of course, is that id programmer John Carmack programmed Doom in such a way that it would contain all the necessary data to run the game on a single file format, called .wad (short for where’s all the data?). Today, fans can easily make their own wad files, and legally share them to each other.
The first such wad are noting today is Eviternity II, a game produced by a group of loyal fans. Six chapters that have five maps, and an additional hidden map each, adds up to a giant 36 map game. You can download Eviternity II here.
But we can’t end this without pointing out that John Romero has finished Sigil II. Yes, Sigil II was released on the occasion of Doom’s 30th anniversary, and two years after announcing it. You can download Sigil II here.