DOOM is a popular first-person shooter done by id Software in 1993. In this game, you take the role of a space marine, who has been brought to Mars where secret experiments were done by the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC). It ends up in having to fight against monsters on the two moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos) and the hell.
Due to pioneering immersive 3D graphics, networked multiplayer gaming and wide support for custom game modding, it became a milestone in the PC game industry. The resulted boom of first-person shooters in the mid-1990s were often known as “DOOM clones”. Originally developed on NeXT workstations and released for MS-DOS, DOOM has been ported to a lot of platforms like QNX, BeOS, Solaris, Linux, Amiga, Mac OS, Sega 32X, PlayStation, SNES, Nintendo 64, Xbox and others, too. Since more people had DOOM on their PC than Win95, Microsoft developed a Windows port to promote Windows 95 as a gaming platform on the PC.
The source code of the original DOOM engine was released in 1997 (re-released under the GPL in 1999), and since then it was bugfixed and enhanced by the community and ported to several platforms; even to those where the original game wasn’t available before.
Originally, DOOM was planned to feature a detailed storyline, multiple player characters, and a number of interactive features. Creative director Tom Hall wrote a detailed design document called the “Doom Bible” in 1992. During development, however, most of his ideas were discarded in favor of a simpler game design. In the end, he was forced to resign due to not contributing effectively in the direction the rest of the team was going.
DOOM v0.2 (February 4, 1993)
This is the earliest version of DOOM available in the public. As you might notice, the full title originally was “DOOM: Evil Unleashed”. It is a technology demo with a small map to test some features of the rendering engine. There already are some monsters, but they don’t do anything and you can’t shot them.
DOOM v0.3 (February 28, 1993)
Unlike the other prototypes, this one was not sent to testers, but to game developers of the time. It was shipped with several nearly identical stub maps with a single room, while the other levels are very early drafts of the final maps. The game engine in this version has been enhanced to render areas with different floor and ceiling heights, and different light levels. In the game, you can switch between the helmet HUD and a fullscreen HUD, that contains a small bar at the bottom. It is also notable that the helmet HUD has a working automap on the top right.
DOOM v0.4 (April 2, 1993)
This version already contains some early versions of the final maps. There are 11 maps, you can access 9 of them from the menu. It now has animated floors, light effects, a lot of new artwork, and – most importantly – doors!
DOOM v0.5 (May 22, 1993)
In this version, the monsters now block your way, but they still don’t do anything. If you shot them, they simply disappear. The engine was enhanced with moving sectors. The game now contains a lot of maps that made the way to the final version. Additionally, it now has a real game menu, not just pressing keys at the title screen. You might notice that it offers an option to activate a high screen resolution.
DOOM Pre-Beta Press Release (October 4, 1993)
This is the first version that has been given to the public press. The artwork is already pretty close to the final version and it contains three demo maps to play. However, you shouldn’t finish them, otherwise the game will crash. The monsters now act as supposed and you have all the weapons of the final version. You might notice that they still look a bit differently. For example, if you try the BFG 9000, it looks more like an enhanced version of the plasma gun. John Romero stated that they changed that later because it used too many sprites, causing the PC to slow down rapidly. He said, “it looked like Christmas”.
DOOM v1.0 (December 10, 1993)
This is the initial public release, that has been distributed as shareware containing the first episode. There is no registered version 1.0, although the IWAD for 1.1 could be played with this.
DOOM v1.1 (December 16, 1993)
The first release that also has a registered version. It introduces Sound Blaster 1.0 support and serial mode multiplayer.
DOOM v1.2 (February 17, 1994)
In this version, the sound code has been rewritten and the network code was split into modular “drivers”. This also includes Modem/null-modem support now. A new skill level “Nightmare!” was added, with faster monsters that respawn.
DOOM v1.4 (June 28, 1994)
This is the first version where PWAD files can’t be used with the shareware version anymore. Also, the swastika easter egg in E1M4 has been removed in order to prevent being banned in Germany. Since this version, DOOM includes the DOOM FAQ.
DOOM v1.5 (July 8, 1994)
Null-modem/modem support has been rewritten and MIDI support has been added.
DOOM v1.666 (September 1, 1994)
Lost souls no longer count as monsters in this version. The DOOM FAQ has been updated.
DOOM v1.7 (October 11, 1994)
This version only contains minor IWAD changes. The DeathManager! multiplayer game launcher is missing.
DOOM v1.7a (November 8, 1994)
In this version, various level design bugs have been fixed. The DeathManager! re-appeared again.
DOOM v1.8 (January 23, 1995)
This version contains an updated DOOM FAQ.
DOOM v1.9 (February 1, 1995)
Actually, there are three variations of this version:
- The original 1.9 executable, which was used for DOOM shareware, the registered version, and for DOOM II.
- The Ultimate DOOM, that fixes a bug in the behavior of lost souls.
- Final DOOM, which has the same fix as The Ultimate DOOM, but the altitude of teleported objects is no longer set to the floor.
The Ultimate DOOM (April 30, 1995)
The Ultimate DOOM is shipped with a fourth episode called “Thy Flesh Consumed” in addition to the original three episodes.