Can you remember your 15th birthday?
Perhaps you're not even 15 yet. If that's the case you are younger than a computer game
that changed perceptions about 3D first person shooters, and with it laid down the
benchmark that has defined excellence in the genre ever since.
Many of us more... mature gamers would rank Doom as one of the greatest games of all time,
and even if you don't agree with that, there's no doubting it is one of the most important.
It defined the FPS genre for the whole of the 1990s, successive shooters forever trying to
match its hype, immersive 3D environment and that so-crucial balance of realism and rewarding
gameplay. Doom popularised texture-mapping; it was rendered quickly on the relatively slow
equipment of the time thanks to John Carmack's methodology, and through its WAD file data
storage it made itself the game on which budding level designers have been able to cut their
teeth ever since. It may not have been "true" 3D, but I'm sure you'll agree that when you're
getting busy with that super shotgun, it couldn't matter less. Doom is still convincing, and
in 1993 - for those of us who are old enough to remember it - it was simply staggering.
It is fitting, then, that this memorable anniversary is more than matched by the quality and
quantity of projects that are the recipients of this year's Cacowards. In this post-vanilla,
source-port era, Doom has been brought into the 21st century. The limitations Carmack had to
observe are gone, and the game can achieve its ultimate experience.
But the technology would mean nothing without the creativity and dedication of authors willing
to set aside the long hours to bring us fresh, exciting concepts to play. Without this community
we would have little to celebrate. So it's not just about 15 years of Doom today, but also 15 years
and different generations of mappers and developers who have kept this game alive.
Enjoy the 2008 Cacowards.
- Alex "pritch" Pritchard