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Doom, Coffee, & Doughnuts

How do you explain what a Doom Wad is, to someone who knows absolutely nothing about Doom?

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I always wondered if there's a right or wrong way. Of course, you could use the "textbook" definition, and say that "WAD stands for Where's All the Data?". But what else? And more importantly, how would you go about explaining this to someone who doesn't know the inner-workings of the game?

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WAD stands for the format used by Doom to store the game files. It splits in 2 parts:

 

- IWAD, to describe the file used by the original Doom games, and Final Doom.

- PWAD, another file, loaded alongside one of the IWADs, which can contain entirely new content (new maps, enemies, etc), or replacements for things in the original games (ex: sounds and graphics).

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It's "Where's All the Data"

 

Wads is also an acronym of wasd.

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"Doom" is a collection of commands, pictures, and musical notation intended to be put into a machine called a "computer", which is a machine that can store, analyze and modify information. Together, these resources instruct the computer to:

1) display on its "monitor" (a glass plate upon which small points of colored light can be turned on in various spots, so as to write out text or show pictures) a specific sequence of pictures, which illustrate a fantasy scenario of a lone soldier finding himself against the armies of Hell, namely by picturing how such a scenario would play out if seen from the soldier's point of view;

2) enable the user of the machine to use two devices, "keyboard" and "mouse", to give the computer instructions about what this imagined soldier should do -- namely, where should he go, at which points should he use his weapons, and so on;

3) store in its memory, and constantly modify, the information about the situation going on in the aforesaid fantasy scenario, according both to what the user of the machine commands the imagined soldier to do, and what the pre-prepared commands say about the way the imagined world of "Doom" works -- so for example: the foot soldiers of Hell should hiss at, advance upon and launch attacks against the soldier, etc.

4) use the devices called "speakers" so as to play the musical notation embedded in the "Doom" game data, thus causing ominous music to play as the fantasy scenario is unfolded on the screen, adding to the user's experience (for humans are notoriously aural creatures as well as visual).

 

Activities such as these, referred to as "video games", are a fairly popular pastime where I come from.

 

A "Doom WAD" is a collection of pictures and/or musical notation and/or architectural plans of fanciful locations, and/or other kinds of information, by means of which one can command the computer to execute the instructions corresponding to "Doom", but with some changes compared to the original "Doom". In this way, one who makes a "Doom WAD" can cause other users of the game "Doom" to experience a fantasy scenario according to the author's own imagination.

Edited by JudgeDeadd

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I thought it would be smart to like the edit of your post when it was just single period.  (Here recreated in its entirety: " . " ) 

 

That's good too though.

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1 hour ago, BBQgiraffe said:

it's like a Zip file for Dooms textures, sounds, music, maps, etc

Remember Napster or Limewire? A WAD is to Doom like an .mp3 is to either of those...kind of. Sort of. A bit (we're talking very rudimentary explanation). 

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I always thought it was easiest to say a WAD is a patch that adds any or all of the following: New levels, sounds, music or graphics. Someone who’s just into playing mods, not necessarily making them, should be able to digest that.

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WAD is basically just a collection of stuff: sprites, levels, etc. It stands for "where is all the data", but it's more like "here is all the data". Of these, there are 2 basics distinctions, an IWAD and a PWAD. An IWAD is just a wad that can run Doom (or other doom engine game) all by itself; i.e. it contains everything you need. A PWAD is more like an override system, in that if the name matches something in the IWAD, it just uses that resource instead.

 

To give a slightly odd analogy, an IWAD is like a complete book; it contains everything you need to read it (+ the cover, binding, etc.). A PWAD is more like an add-on to the book (if that makes sense); if it contains page 321, then you take your complete book (the IWAD) and replace page 321 with the one from the add-on (the PWAD). And if multiple add-ons are used, then you just do the entire process with the first add-on, then use the second add-on on your "modified" complete book, etc.

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Some of you guys are over complicating it with too much explanation. Then again it depends on who we are talking to.

 

If someone knows nothing about Doom then a brief explanation on Doom may be required.

 

I like Gez explanation except I would add a little more information on Doom.

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The Doom community called their mods WADs after the file format extension, before the term mod was even a thing. So, WADs are mods. :)

 

This does gloss over the fact IWADs can't be mods, and also that the PK3 format is also common for Doom mods, but the 1000ft view is good enough for any newbie. They can get acquainted with the more gritty details afterward.

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If I were in a crappy mood, I would say what I say to people who say: "Wikipedia is fake." That being.............

Wikipedia and its cousins seek to make all knowledge available to all people. Being able to access knowledge and information is arguably one of the top 3 most democratizing things that have ever existed for humankind. If you don't get the zeitgeist and general spirit of what Wikipedia is.......then you don't deserve Wikipedia. So, don't ever use it........ever. 

But: for Doom....I just say: wads are different maps and stuff that users can make to change up the game a bit.

 

If they want to know more, they'll look it up. 

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A WAD is the file that has all the game assets.

 

Assuming someone is familiar with games and how they generally work, this is the simplest explanation. 

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Wad is a mod.

If they don't know what a mod is then I'll immediately walk away, at that point it would be like explaining table manners to a monkey.

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Hmmmm.....

It is a world filled with....very nice and bloodthirsty demons ready to tear you apart but you always will have the last laugh. (usually)

 

Now for the serious part you can say that a WAD is a file containing all of a game's files you can also call them mods I guss from the fact that a WAD can contain some minor or huge changes depending on the creator's liking.....

 

 

 

 

I have not answered your question and I know it.... -_-

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I just say "a collection of maps made by fans in the community." :P

On whether or not a WAD is a mod, I'd say it's technically correct for DOOM as it does modify the base game (i.e. loads the custom WAD over an IWAD), but at the same time I wouldn't call a fan-made map or even a collection of them in say Starcraft or Heroes III or other map-making friendly games a mod. So I think the terminology can be misconstrued, and when people say mod I usually think of source ports like ZDOOM or full conversions when it comes to DOOM.

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