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Necros20

Shareware distribution

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How was the shareware version of doom distributed when it was first released since this was before the internet became as commonplace as it is now. Was it commonly distributed in stores?

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Yes, it was seen in stores, bulletin board systems, and ISP services(i.e. AOL, GEnie, Prodigy and Compuserve). There was also some CD bundles with the shareware episode (notably Gold Medallion collections)

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You don't need the shareware version. It's not that kind of software which can be turned into a full version with an unlock key, but simply a demo version of the full game.
The reason they labeled it shareware is probably because one entire episode is more than a usual demo version offers.

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Strictly speaking, the whole game is shareware. It's just that you got one episode for free or a vendor's small distribution free ("the shareware"), and then the rest by mail if you register the shareware product by paying id ("registered shareware"). And yeah, I guess they didn't call it "demo" because that usually sounds rather incomplete. According to John Carmack, that had a drawback. See the question about DOOM II not having a shareware version here.

I got to know DOOM through diskettes bought at the supermarket or some large shop like that (not sure which, as my brother bought the floppies for 3 pesos... back then equal to $3).

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Well from what I've heard prior to ultimate Doom, the full version of the game wasn't distributed in stores so how did you obtain it then?

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I just explained that :p

(Though it seems like we cross posted.)

You called them or sent them a letter with an order and they mailed the full-game diskettes (or later a CD) to you.

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From what I know doom was released on shareware in shops, bbs' and magazines. The game could be purchased by phoning apogee.

Id realised that the phones were going unanswered in many cases and were talked into releasing doom 2 by Ron Chaimowitz (gt interactive) as a retail version of doom to make more money.

Ultimate doom is the retail version of the original doom.

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If I remember in the Masters of Doom book, they uploaded the shareware version via BBS first... and within the first hour the server that was hosting it dragged down to a halt/crashed.

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Yes it was released on a bbs first. I do recall seeing boxes of Wolfenstein and Doom shrinkwrapped together, I know the doom was shareware but I'm not sure if the wolfenstein was the full game or not. It seems like they were usually packaged together, the first time I played doom was when a friend bought a cd with the shareware versions of wolfenstein, doom and blakestone on it. I got my shareware copy of doom when I finally convinced my mom to buy doom 2, it had a mail in thing where they would send you the five disks free + shipping and handling. I got ultimate doom for my birthday in 95, but I had never seen any copies of the original doom on sale anywhere before ultimate doom, which makes sense considering Myks post. Now that I know a retail release never existed for the original game I realize how sad it was that whenever I went to kmart or walmart I would always run to the computer section hoping to find a copy.

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Wolf3D and shareware Doom occasionally show up on eBay - still shrinkwrapped. In Australia registered Doom was distributed in retail boxes by Manaccom - I have one which is complete with a "Request for 5.25 inch disks" form.

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amberleaf said:
The game could be purchased by phoning apogee.

Not Apogee, but id itself. Their last association with Apogee was Wolfenstein 3-D.

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funduke said:

You can still order it from Apogee, that changed it's name to 3DRealms. Check this link

That's not Doom

fyi, Apogee is still a business. It did not change its name to 3D Realms.

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amberleaf said:
Id realised that the phones were going unanswered in many cases and were talked into releasing doom 2 by Ron Chaimowitz (gt interactive) as a retail version of doom to make more money.

GT Interactive may have encouraged it, but the Doom Bible had already proposed one free episode, an additional five for registered users, and a final "commercial game".

They had already done this with Wolfenstein 3-D: one free episode, two more, another three extra episodes (The Nocturnal Missions), and the commercial game (Spear of Destiny).

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leileilol said:

That's not Doom

fyi, Apogee is still a business. It did not change its name to 3D Realms.

Outsch! I did misread the two postings before mine. Sorry

I should sleep much more.

Greetings
Funduke

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This should answer many questions (that have already been answered):

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I got my first Shareware copy from a magazine cover disk and immediately sent a letter (with some sort of money order in it - I forget exactly what) to order a full version. I don't know where I got the address - maybe in the text file? Anyway, my full version winged its way to me pretty quickly and I'm sure I had it in my sweaty little hands before '93 was out.

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myk said:

Strictly speaking, the whole game is shareware...

These excerpts of the startup messages petty much prove the opposite.
V1.1 - V1.2:

W_Init: Init WADfiles.
        commercial version.
=========================================================================== 
             This version is NOT SHAREWARE, do not distribute!
         Please report software piracy to the SPA: 1-800-388-PIR8
===========================================================================
V1.4 - V1.9 including Ultimate Doom:
W_Init: Init WADfiles.
        adding doom.wad
        registered version.
===========================================================================  
             This version is NOT SHAREWARE, do not distribute!
         Please report software piracy to the SPA: 1-800-388-PIR8
===========================================================================

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LogicDeLuxe said:
These excerpts of the startup messages petty much prove the opposite.

I obviously pointed to what you quoted in my post when I said "the shareware". In fact, the free part of DOOM, "the shareware", is equivalent to freeware, as you can play it and ignore the registered part of the shareware product without consequences. It is not freeware because it is part of a shareware product. Shareware is a method of distribution, and products using the method are shareware. In some shareware the whole product is free and the maker just expects you to pay him or her (perhaps after a period), in some it is crippled and in some it is incomplete until you make an order to enable or complete it. The way id wrote that on the notices is not "strictly speaking"; it's just the way they felt would make people tend to not distribute the registered version of the shareware.

That the complete thing is the "registered version" makes my point clear. They simply used "shareware" metonymically on the free portion to dissuade people from sticking only to the free part (which Carmack said failed to a point) and to keep the word "share" as far as possible from the registered product that they didn't want pirated.

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Gez said:

This should answer many questions (that have already been answered):

Kinda off-topic, the third screenshot (lowest one) has always looked weird to me, even waaay back when.

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Or coop, maybe. But I always thought the cyberdemon's rocket launcher flash looked odd, a bit flower-like.

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I think it's more the fact that the player sprite looks really odd.

Either that or I'm sleep deprived. But I'm pretty sure that sprite looks weird.

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I don't think it's odd but it doesn't seem to be one of the rotations in the game. It looks like an aiming frame (graphic frame E). Maybe some of their development versions had 8 angles for the player.

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The shots may well come from earlier versions of the game than the final one and hence may use ultimately scrapped graphics.

For instance, the shot of E3M2 shows some hanging leg's floating in the sky that aren't present in the final version of the map.

Certinally, that player sprite doesn't look like any of the graphics that made it into the final game, but it looks heavilly based of the PLAYE2E8 and PLAYE3E7 graphics. Litereally like they took the pose of PLAYE3E7 and made it face forward instead of backward.

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Vermil said:

For instance, the shot of E3M2 shows some hanging leg's floating in the sky that aren't present in the final version of the map.

That looks like Thing 186 in the little finger.

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leileilol said:
Yes

Right, they're in v0.4 and v0.5. What's interesting to note from the screen shot cropping on the graphic is that they seem to have developed these further, adding at least attacking frames. The sprite also has the darker weapon (in the alphas it is colored like the one held by the zombieman). In other words, apparently they didn't drop the eight angles for the player character while the game was still in semi-playable alpha state, but later.

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Maybe Romero still has a later Doom beta or so that's before the pre-release. He could probably release just a wad with an 8 direction player

Doomguy also apparently splitted into legs and a torso in development too instead of the mess of gibs

oh and "Hanger". heh

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