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8/3/98 Mailbag

It's produced more strife and speculation in community than anything for quite a long time: the decision of DOSDoom, Boom, WinDoom, and PRBoom (a Win32 port of Boom) to pool their resources. Here are some comments from both onlookers and those actively involved with the merge.


I think the merger is a great idea. The best of both ummmm... ports, mods... whatever you call em! I wonder what they will name it though... SuperBoomDOSDoom! or something like that.

Patrick Davy

I am reminded of that made-up port on Dumbworld called XDosZGLWinLegacyWorld... hey, maybe Nick Baker was actually foretelling the future :)

If you ask me, the merger is a good thing. We will have the flexibility of Dosdoom mixed with the amazing editing and convienience features of boom, and everything else like that. It'll be easier to work with this source and diagnose problems with it, since everyone will be using it. To all those who don't like the idea, I'd suggest you download one of the current source zips and stick with that.

Rethcir

People who don't like the idea should download one of the current source zips anyways, since remember that this merger is in name only and the project probably won't see the light of day for a long while to come.

BOOM and hi-res is a perfect combination. This should turn out to be an excellent port when everything is merged and sorted out.

Matt Williams

Yeah, I really don't think that anyone has a problem with a high-resolution Boom. It's some of the other features which concern people (as well as the problems with joining together two teams who until now have previously been unrelated).

Theres not much any one can do, but hope...hope that since the obvious "best Port" is BOOM, this "merger" will just mean the other ports will take notes from Team TNT.

On the other hand, with BOOM's team bickering with each other, and people quitting, it all looks grim now.

My final opinion is this:

If BOOM is to change to be compatable with the other PORTS, it will be RUINED. The stupid "gimmics" the other Ports are useing just ruin the game as we once knew it. I'd rather see BOOM just left AS-IS, than what they have planned now. I'm sad to see this.

Kurt Kesler

Kurt Kesler is the man who has released around 10 or so Boom-only WADs up to this point, so he certainly has a lot at stake when it comes to the future of Boom.

You don't know me. That's because i'm not really "in" the Doom community. I don't go on IRC. I don't make levels. I don't design webpages. I just play the game.

All this hubbub about the merger is really very silly. As long as the designers think it's best, that's just fine by me. If i don't like it, i'll go play another port, or an older version of these ones.

Then again, i have a lot to gain from this merger (relatively speaking). I did play Doom way back when it was released, but from Quake's release to the release of the source, i was almost exclusively a Quaker. I got very used to the +mlook/keyboard control setup, and that's all i use in any FPS nowadays. I didn't even bother downloading BOOM when i heard about it...without mlook, it wasn't worth my time. I simply can't enjoy myself using the keyboard.

So, i looked at the other big ports. I tried out Legacy (absolutely LOVE that console, that's what really puts that port ahead of others IMO), and though it had some pretty amazing stuff in it, something was missing...it didn't quite seem cohesive somehow. So i downloaded DOSDoom, and i really loved it. The new sound code is awesome, the menus offer lots of customizability, and the promise of command-line DEH and DDF support kept me with it. Radius scripting is cool too.

So until now, i've used DOSDoom. But reading Doomworld daily, i heard about all these great wads for BOOM only that i thought i'd never get to play. With the new merger, maybe i will.

So it doesn't really matter to me who left such-and-such project, that such-and-such person is a complete asshole, that such-and-such company is doing it out of desperation...as long as i end up with a good Doom port, i'll be happy.

.tragedy.

What this guy brings up is something that some people have forgot: there is a small hardcore group of Doomers which pretty much exclusively play Doom, but there are a lot more people who play Doom on a limited basis, preferring to spend most of their time with the new games like Quake 2 and Unreal. These people play Doom because they like it, but they aren't so hardcore that they feel that some certain feature has to be left out or it ruins Doom's "purity." Hopefully, at least some of the stuff made will any DOSDoom/Boom merger engine will be fun to play, and that's the truly important thing.

dosDoom ai update blows, and would make the port unplayable

NyX KamikaZE

DOSDoom's artificial intelligence is, to the best of my knowledge, exactly like that of normal Doom.

First, a few assumptions. TeamTNT seem to be lacking some very devoted and talanted people to be able to make the planned Phase 2 of the BOOM engine a reality. This might not be totally true, it's just a guess. In this situation, looking for help outside TeamTNT is perfectly logical. So, they contact the DOSDoom team and the Windoom fellow, or the other way around. Since all these people seem rather confident that they will keep the style of their own ports, I don't see a risk that some features will be removed or anything. From what I can understand, they just want to help each other out here. Nothing bad about that.

This entire project is still in its cradle, there is no point what so ever in saying that it'll be unsuccessful at this stage. It's not like the groups will un-merge, but even if they did, THAT would be bad news. Just imagine such a statement: "We have decided NOT to cooperate since people seem to want us to go on by ourselves instead." You see how silly that seems?

Sure, the point that the source is still free and that you can borrow solutions and fixes from each other anyway is still there, but I doubt that any of these groups will sacrifice any of their efforts just to make someone from another team happy.

Personally, I'd LOVE to see BOOM in high resolution, 16-bit colour and scripting. That would make it REALLY interesting, and such an engine might become a reality thanks to this merge.

Ola Björling

All very good points. All that's going to happen is that Doom will become more user-configurable. If you want high resolution or jumping or scripting, it'll be available; otherwise, it won't be.

I say, this merger is quite nice...why, I'd trade a glass hammer for a cheese cart or my name isn't Julie!!!! SPIDERS! SPIDERS! GET 'EM OFF!!! AND FLIES WALKING ON STICKY PAPER!!!! You mark my, my, my, you just mark 'em...

Brian De Wolf

Since punctuation, capitalization and spelling are pretty much correct in this letter, I have to assume that the author is not crazy but is instead only attempting to sound that way for some reason.

Well... let's see... I'm for it (nominally) as it means that there are less projects to get confused (probably). Anyway, it also means that I have a better chance of getting *my* port recognized (since there'll be less projects out there, the ones that are will be more visible).

Remember:

The Old Port Trilogy: DosDoom, Boom, GLDoom
The New Port Trilogy: DooMerger, Doom Legacy, Sandstone

There ya go. And remind everyone about this when it comes to the merger: "You guys can't do anything about it, so love it or lump it."

Matt Denham

"I like the idea, and by the way, have you heard about the new AbDominator? In only four minutes a day, you can have the hardened, defined tummy you've always dreamt of!"

I'm definitely for it.

To me, it seems crazy for these people *not* to pool their resources and work together. Why reinvent the wheel? Besides, I'm tired of trade-offs; there should be *one* port that has *all* the cool features, with customizability so I can turn the ones I personally don't like off. A combined project will also create one *standard* DOOM version that *everyone* uses; this is vital to DOOM's continued survival. Plus, maybe all the effort saved can be funneled into adding Quake-like Internet play--a feature that could bring about a spectacular DOOM renaissance.

Blake Linton Wilfong

I think that all this new stuff is cool, but once good TCP/IP Doom play hits, we're gonna see a lot of people deciding that Doom ain't quite so ancient after all.

We all here at the Parallel Team are very interested in the whole idea of merging those engines together. It's a good idea that there will be one engine with all the good features of both worlds, not 10 source ports with one or two little differences. So, good thought, TeamTNT and DOSDoom!

Parallel Team

The Parallel Team likes to make Boom-only stuff as well so I'm sure they're really excited about this new development as well.

I'm all for it. Mergers between the major players in the Doom source game can only result in a better, unified version of the game. This will allow Doomers to download a standardized version of the game, and WAD editors wont have to deal with the triple standard split.

However, this deal will undoubtably result in disagreements between the big groups, if each of the groups are each heading in their own direction. This argument was brought up in the Mozilla (Netscape) open source debate [http://www.mozilla.org/].

Furthermore, it has been my experience that these mergers usually end up in one team being 'eaten up' by the larger team, so that the smaller team end up being drone programmers writing drudge code, having no real input or say on how the project is going.

Let's just hope that the disagreements are kept to a minimum and I hope to see a quality Doom engine released by these guys.

Justin Chan

Well, which team is bigger, the DOSDoom programming team or the Boom programming team? Which one would be turned into the drone slaves hacking out the unimportant crap? I say we put a vote to it :)

Hello, You said send comments? Well, here are my comments.

I think that Lee's page is a great place to start. If you haven't read it, I suggest going there. He brings up some good points.

Personally, I am getting tired of trying to please everyone by using a superport. I had played with the idea in the past, and it was tempting, but Twice Risen needs to proceed, and I just can't wait for each port to release new features. Twice Risen needs to have it's own port for various features, and these need to begin to be implemented so that level designers can take advantage of them as they proceed to design the levels. Personally, I would like to see this port proceed, considering that it is on a trial basis. Twice Risen could benefit from all the the included features (unless it goes win-only, then I might drop it altogether - you can't shut out part of the DOOM community like that ... I'm part of it right now) but needs to proceed now. I do not believe this port will be released anytime soon (as would be an unreasonable request) so I would not look for these extensions in TR.

My personal favorite port would be one that was close to BOOM (Limits-removed, etc.) that allowed plug-in extension files. This would allow all features using a single port, and designers would only need to distribute their own plug-ins. However, some new team would need fromed, and no one seems to have the time these days...
If anyone wants more information on how a plug-in system could help everyone (or would simply like me to post a rant somewhere,) mail me.

Michael Niggel

"Did I mention it's only three easy payments of $19.95?"

Well, it's good for us the users, 'cuase we're combining the skills of many talented ones, but since TNT is the big dude, they might end up as a bully amoung the big merged group and boss things around...hmmmm, that could get ugly, like worst than the Ling vs Prower thing...

piXel Mage Rex

Of course, the Ling vs. Prower thing was due to a split-up of sorts, not a merger.

I'm agianst it! I think that it'll be longer for releases now, so what if booms in hi res or dosdoom has Boom effects, it's as the Tick says "It's not evil it's just plain WRONG!"

Heheheh, DosBOOM? I think I'll have to use legacy now.

Redrover75

It'll be longer for releases? IMHO it's been a pretty long time between releases as it is. I know that Boom phase II wasn't due out for quite a while as it was -- could this possibly slow it down much more than that?

You asked for comments about the source 'merger' and I wanted to weigh in with a comment from an insider...

BOOM and DOSDoom and glDoom still exist and their source trees will likely continue to branch into eternity. uber-Boom? What a concept. Vee vill make you play!

I love DOOM, I love code. It's great to have a hobby that combines them both. It's also great to have a community of similar folks to share that hobby with. I learned a lot from the Boom Team and I'm really looking forward to communicating with the DOSDoom team members and Bruce and Florian. I don't know where that will lead (nobody does!), but I know it's going to be educational and a lot of fun.

So, to summarize, I think the 'merger' is a good idea.

Stan Gula

I can just see people playing an Uber-Boom, sweating from stress and trying to keep a smile on their faces... it would sort of be like that Twilight Zone episode where that little boy makes you vanish into nothingness if you aren't happy around him.

I think it's a good idea. Boom is awfully short on gizmos like a 640x480 screen and a console. The others could use a kick in the pans with the OPT support and more linedef iypes. Maybe the product will be the best of both worlds.

Sam Ketner

I'm sure "OPT support" is a good idea, but unfortunately I have no idea what that is.


All in all, 22 people gave their opinions about the merger, breaking down to:

Good idea: 86%
Bad idea: 14%

Seems to me like people are overwhelmingly in favor of this merger. Now we just have to wait and see what comes from it...

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