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GuyMcBrofist

How many classic Doom players are there today?

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Classic Doom being any IWAD being played on any source port with any PWADS/mods, anywhere in the world.

 

How many people are playing? Hundreds? Thousands? How do we find out?

 

I'm guessing with the new Doom games and the popularity of Brutal Doom there are more players than there were 10 years ago, but it's hard to gauge if it's under or over 10,000. Brutal Doom remains #1 on moddb and it has had 174 downloads in the past day, and there are youtube videos of BD/PB with hundreds of thousands of views. Plus Romero's SIGIL is coming up which should bring in a few more players. The steam charts only show a handful of players but I doubt that represents much.

 

What do you guys think?

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Depends on what is understood by "classic Doom". If we're talking about wads with the classic kind of gameplay, I'd say the number is small (not going to give numbers because it's hard to tell), or at least definitely smaller than BD's playerbase, but those don't usually like that particular kind of gameplay and are not interested in much else.

 

That being said, if both are combined, there's likely a few thousands at the very least.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with at least a few thousand. I just don't think most of them go onto forums or are active in enjoying user maps.

 

Right now retro FPS is sort of making a comeback, with games like Ion Maiden. 

 

 

 

 

So I think there might even be an increase in retro FPS players in the future.

 

Who knows? Dusk has sold more than 80,000 copies, so we're out here somewhere. 
And Doom is better and cheaper than Dusk is. :)

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7 hours ago, GuyMcBrofist said:

How do we find out?

 

I don't think we do. It'd be practically impossible to chart.

 

Sure, we can look at some figures about the number of copies the classic Doom games have sold, but that obviously doesn't account for active players.

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4 hours ago, MFG38 said:

I don't think we do. It'd be practically impossible to chart.

 

Sure, we can look at some figures about the number of copies the classic Doom games have sold, but that obviously doesn't account for active players.

 

Yep, looking at the sale figures is one of the worst methods to determine the popularity of a game. In many cases the games are dropped after being finished a few times, then the people move on to something else. They might have sold like crazy back in the day but they might no longer have an active playerbase.

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All time sales obviously aren't useful, but recent ones could be. That's why I brought up the daily downloads for Brutal Doom, it looks like it's getting at least a few thousand downloads a month. It's impossible to say what percentage are sticking with the game for longer than a week, but it's a pretty significant constant stream of activity.

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The actual number of players, including Brutal Doom is probably a few 10000, judging from the GZDoom download numbers and last year's survey results.

How many of these are regulars and how many play PWADs is a very different question and to get some info, there would have to be some sort of real telemetry implemented in all current ports - nobody wants that, though, so we are left to guessing.

 

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12 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

The actual number of players, including Brutal Doom is probably a few 10000, judging from the GZDoom download numbers and last year's survey results.

Could there (hypothetically, I'm not expecting there to actually be one) be a survery that has people divided into two groups?

 

"Group A" would be people who play Classic Doom with modern source ports and play PWAD/PK3 files, but do not play Brutal Doom or any derivative of it.

 

"Group B" would be people who play Classic Doom with modern source ports, but they play Brutal Doom and/or derivatives of it.

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Sure, but the downside would be that this cannot be done by sending a single set of data per user, it'd have to do some actual monitoring across multiple sessions and only then send the survey data.

 

But that's not really helpful for making development decision, it's mainly an item to satisfy some people's curiosity.

 

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24 minutes ago, crazyflyingdonut said:

Could there (hypothetically, I'm not expecting there to actually be one) be a survery that has people divided into two groups?

 

"Group A" would be people who play Classic Doom with modern source ports and play PWAD/PK3 files, but do not play Brutal Doom or any derivative of it.

 

"Group B" would be people who play Classic Doom with modern source ports, but they play Brutal Doom and/or derivatives of it.

That would be nuts. We couldn't possibly use it to extrapolate upon the entire population. We'd need to break it down into strata of age and so many criteria I can't even think of them. And where would we distribute it? Obviously on Doom World you would get (hopefully) 100% of people who still play it. There would be a huge participation bias. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, a survey would not be very useful, and as Graf Zahl pointed out there's no demand for implementing telemetry. My main goal with this thread is hopefully to see some interesting data points that people may have to share or any creative ideas on how to measure the size of the player base. Just to satisfy curiosity... And also to get a sense of where the game stands today.

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Certainly not an accurate number, but a part of the puzzle: YouTube Doom video watch counts shows numbers for people who have, at least, a passing interest in Doom. You'd have to account for Doom 3+4  queries as a percentage. I've seen some impressive counts, for even the "X Doom facts" - type videos. There's a reason we keep coming back to Doom, after all.

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17 hours ago, jval said:

We can count doomworld members :)

Good idea. But limit it to people that have posted within, say, the last 2 years, and people who have posted across X number of days. This will prune out the people without a vested, lasting interest, fairly accurately. Then, multiply by some factor to account for people that never find Doomworld, or simply don't usually participate in forums. I'll bet there's more than most people would think.

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Posted (edited)

I'd suggest pooling an average based on DoomWorld members versus total number of downloads of ZDoom, GZDoom, & QZDoom, but keep in mind many downloads are the same people simply downloading a new version, so the average needs to be on the low side not the high.

Compare the number of 'active' users here to that number of popular source port downloads see?

You could also compare the number of BD downloads to the number of source port downloads (if this info is publicly available) and see how those numbers line up. Average that then come up with an approximation for how many times a user returns to download either and divide by that number. Always round down in this case.

IMO you're not going to get an exact number, only a range based on educated guesstimate. Of course, I'm shit with math, so perhaps someone else has a better suggestion.

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Each new version of Doom brings with it a lot of curiosity, and a lot of new interest in how it all began. I think that's a good thing. More players, and maybe more content creators.

 

Doom is to the PC what Rock & Roll is to the radio. Long live Doom!

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4 hours ago, Kills Alone said:

I'd suggest pooling an average based on DoomWorld members versus total number of downloads of ZDoom, GZDoom, & QZDoom, but keep in mind many downloads are the same people simply downloading a new version, so the average needs to be on the low side not the high.
 

 

With the last survey we had an engagement ratio of roughly less than 50%, i.e. half as many users as downloaded binaries sent some data. Surely some of the remaining downloads can be attributed to people collecting all official binaries, but there's certainly also users who did not want to send their info.

 

That 50% had remained relatively constant throughout the entire duration of the survey and logically does not factor in those users who stuck to an older version.

When that survey closed, it had 30000 reports from different IP addresses so we'd have to add those users who were not active during the survey, exclusively use other ports or older versions and those who did not report their configuration.

 

I think 40000 users of classic Doom is a reasonable low boundary for active users, it's probably higher because Doomsday also has a high download count but very little overlap with other groups of players.

 

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I'm not fan of gzdoom mapping in general so I consider myself as rather classic doomer.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2019 at 12:01 PM, jval said:

We can count doomworld members :)

If we exclude inactive users it's 100? 50?

Nah that's being too generous, most of them don't even play the games anymore.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2019 at 12:01 PM, jval said:

We can count doomworld members :)

I guess not all the players in doomworld are interested in the older dooms. Just saying IDK.

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Google Analytics claims Doomworld has had 25,000 users in the last week, but I don't know how accurate that is (double counting the same people across devices, bots, etc). The majority of "users" are people who arrive here from a search result and immediately leave though.

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6 hours ago, Linguica said:

Google Analytics claims Doomworld has had 25,000 users in the last week, but I don't know how accurate that is (double counting the same people across devices, bots, etc). The majority of "users" are people who arrive here from a search result and immediately leave though.

 

Would the forum software be able to tell us anything interesting? Not that it would matter much, as people already pointed out; people use this forum for all sorts of reasons, not just because they actively play Doom.

 

Those GZDoom numbers look the most informative so far. I'm a little blown away, 40,000+. The game is kicking a lot stronger than I would have guessed before I started thinking about it.

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13 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

I think 40000 users of classic Doom is a reasonable low boundary for active users, it's probably higher because Doomsday also has a high download count but very little overlap with other groups of players.

You know, that's actually a pretty incredible number, considering how many games have been made since 1993/4, the number of games that already existed, and the age itself.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2019 at 10:21 AM, Graf Zahl said:

Sure, but the downside would be that this cannot be done by sending a single set of data per user, it'd have to do some actual monitoring across multiple sessions and only then send the survey data.

 

But that's not really helpful for making development decision, it's mainly an item to satisfy some people's curiosity.

 

The more points of data we could compare the closer we get to an accurate number, what about factoring number of sales on STEAM & GOG as well?
And as you stated Doomsday is another data point to factor in.


Since you can control the survey, what if you simply make a new survey that coincides with a few factors: Either 4.2 or wait till 5.0 of GZDoom, BD v21 GOLD just released thus Extermination Day should be coming soon™, SI6IL is about to drop, and DooM: Eternal will release within the next year. All of these together will drive user numbers up.

Say the survey prompts the user once and informs them of its purpose, explaining that you want to figure out how many users there are with a link to where this info will be posted once its known. I think this would encourage more people to opt in as we're all curious. I admit, I was a little wary of opting in before but this would encourage an average user like myself because it feels more like I'm taking part in something big and there is a payoff that I can see with my own eyes.

Forgot to say, you could then compare the current estimate of 40000 to the new number. I think most people would be okay with waiting a few months to a year get a more accurate and complete answer (this is going to be a busy year for DOOM, even Bethesda is calling it the year of DOOM).

I have a YouTube channel mostly dedicated to DOOM content and I encourage my viewers to use GZDoom. So you get as many DOOM content related channels to encourage users to partake in this survey, I'd be more than willing to do so and I'm sure if you spread the word on here and Reddit many other channels (perhaps Twitch as well) would also encourage viewers to opt in so we can get closer to that number. Just a thought.

Edited by Kills Alone : SI6IL

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there's 10k classic doomers? Dang, I would not have thought it was that high. I'm a classic doomer and I haven't downloaded anything doom related in the past week....

 

How many people are playing the mobile port? (I think Carmack needs to update it). 

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Surely are a lot of them - even judging by the number of streams of classic Doom and pwads/mods on Twitch, as well as thousands video clips on Youtube.

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streaming's only the surface anyway hey
it's actually a really weird phenomena

 

there'll be a subculture of 35 to 55yr old folks with jobs getting flashbacks of doom then piecing together 486s to play it privately

then showing up on doomworld, learning that plutonia is "easy" and never playing the game again

i've seen youtube vids and read stories by people who are principally rpg and adventure game fans who play the original ultimate doom on hurt me plenty for the atmosphere

a lot of gaming space is novelty worship. people will fondly remember doom despite never getting to the baron of hell

so many computer faire people dip their toes in a game and then move on

almost the whole of atari-st and amiga youtube video culture is a shared celebration of the first twenty minutes of various iconic games

 

doom's been developed into a hardcore game by those among us, but elsewhere in teh scope of gaming people lean on it as a comfortable casual experience

 

there are ten million classic doomers

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