Selasa, 12 Mei 2020

InDOOMnesia: Two new excellent non-Doom source ports by the DOOM fandom

Ever since the release of DOOM source code in 1997, the fandom has been thriving in extensive programming excellence. Not only has this spawned the well-known "can it run DOOM?" meme with the portability of Classic Doom games (if something has a processor, it can, and will, run DOOM), this also continues to give birth to various other gaming projects.

Recently, the Raze source port for several Build engine games (Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Redneck Rampage, etc.), based on GZDoom and other Build engine source ports, has attracted many Build engine game fans for its quality-of-life features. In this post, I will discuss two another non-Doom source ports developed by the fellow people of DOOM fandom.

1. CatacombGL (Catacomb 3D games)
ArnoAnsems, a long-time DOOM fan and mapper, has always been interested in making a source port by themself. However, Arno figured that creating a DOOM source port would take a long time to develop, so they decided to develop a source port for the good ol' Catacomb 3D games (initially only The Catacomb Abyss) since late 2015. Instead of opting for ultimate "vanilla" experience, Arno decided to add some graphical improvements. First released in 2018, the port has since been receiving many updates, and starting from version 0.4.0 released earlier this year, it supports all Catacomb 3D games.

CatacombGL features an OpenGL renderer adding new features such as depth shading, a customizable FOV, an uncapped frame rate, widescreen resolutions, and a new rendering technique for several things such as the electric barriers in Apocalypse (since they are sprite-based, they look rather awkward in the original game. In CatacombGL, these are handled like animated walls and look much better). Those with low-end devices can rest assured with the fact that the port supports older OpenGL versions (heck, I can run it with my OGL 1.4 with a stunning 205 FPS). Besides those, CatacombGL also has internal game data browser, a more intuitive menu for the Softdisk trilogy and a WASD + mouse control set for those prefering a better control.
Currently, the port does not support game controllers and has no backwards compatibility for the savegame files of the original DOS version.
Current version: 0.4.3 (beta)

2. RAD (Radix: Beyond the Void)
Jim Valavanis, the author of the DelphiDoom source port family, reported on March 28 this year that they were working on a new engine for another 90's game using DelphiDoom code as a base. On May 9, it was later revealed to be RAD, a source port for Radix: Beyond the Void. Radix is a 1995 DOS game developed by Neural Storm Entertainment and published by Epic MegaGames (now Epic Games). Its gameplay is similar to Descent, released in the same year, although with several 2.5D limitations of its own engine.

According to Valavanis, the DelphiDoom code was used because Radix's original engine looks very similar to that of Classic Doom's, albeit with several fundamental differences, such as sloped surfaces, destructible sectors, lack of mid textures, and many others. Currently in the early beta state, RAD features high screen resolutions, true color software rendering, a textured automap, a high score table, true 3D emulation, and many more.
For some reason, its OpenGL renderer is currently broken, and many assets have yet to be thoroughly tested. It also currently only supports v2.0 of the original game (aka. the Remix Edition).
Current version: (early beta)
The programmers of the DOOM fandom once again deliver some new treats for yet another classic games. While these source ports are still at early stages of development, you can also help them by heading over to one of these links and doing what you can to help.

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