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wolf739

Is there a "BEST" source port?

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I was just wondering, which source port is the best to get, its more a matter of opinion but I'd like you're feedback...

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There is no "best" because different sourceports excel in different areas that matter more or less to different people. A lot of people will tell you ZDoom or GZDoom, many demo recorders will tell you PrBoom or PrBoom-Plus, some vanilla purists might tell you Chocolate Doom, some people who prefer to enhance the visuals of the original maps might recommend Doomsday Engine, Risen3D, or Vavoom, and some people will tell you something totally different. Personally I use Eternity for nearly all of my playing, and prefer mapping/modding for it.

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What I am looking for is a source port that's easy to use, mod and play online with so my post should have probably included that information

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For a newbie to the wonderful world of Doom ports, I'd recommend GZDoom. It's a powerful port, that can play all Doom engine games, with good controls, it is easy to use and configure, and it has a nice wiki which is about as clear, concise and complete as Doom wikis go. You can use either the software or the hardware renderer. It can play nearly all the mods available on /idgames. And if you want to play online with a client-server system, you can use Skulltag and be right at home since it's based on ZDoom/GZDoom.

About the only thing you cannot do with GZDoom is playing demos. For that you'll need PrBoom+ which is devoted to it. You can actually play and record demo with GZDoom, but they can usually only be played with the same version they were recorded with, there's no backward compatibility for playing old demos. Whereas PrBoom+ can play and record demos for about all versions of Doom and Boom there ever was.

Then once you're a bit more familiar with how Doom ports are used and have a clearer idea of what you want in a port, you can look into other ports mentioned earlier. Chocolate Doom for absolute accuracy (including the 320x200 resolution and all the original bugs and crashes!), PrBoom+/GLBoom+ for playing and recording demos, Doomsday or Risen3D for the fanciest effects, etc.

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Well, using source ports is not just about the ports themselves. People play to play and have fun, not to examine engines. Thus, for people new to the game or returning to it, I'd point first of all to IDE with (at least) ZDaemon and Skulltag. Perhaps getting into coop games first, to avoid getting kicked around too harshly in deathmatch or other head to head action while one warms up to the game, unless one already has experience playing FPS games online.

Multiplayer is probably the biggest attraction for DOOM and the most lively and direct aspect of the game because it lets you share play with others or compete, and online oriented engines are particularly good for this because finding playing buddies around one is not as easy with DOOM as it is with newer games that people are currently buying by the bucket load.

Other ports come after that, especially if one wants to specialize in modding or speed running, and to check more PWADs at home.

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well I tried skulltag, and I like it so... I got my answer


and by the way, I used to play doom in zDoom but I would likt to try multiplayer more often

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Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

None. I still play in DOS.

Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

No DECORATE support? Then, it fails IMO.

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I'd disagree there. ZDoom's modding features are the most widely supported certainly (wheter they are the "best" is of course open to debate). But I don't think ZDoom it'self is as commonly used.

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Here's the breakdown:

Chocolate Doom is best if you're looking for a classic experience.
PrBoom is Best if you're one of those speedrun/demo/TAS wierdos.
GZDoom/ZDoom is best if you're looking for lots of easy to use features.
Skulltag is the best if you want the feature rich and easy editing features of ZDoom plus easy to use multiplayer.
Eternity is best if you're planning on releasing a project 20 years from now. I'm putting money on Eternity being better than ZDoom someday.
JDoom/Doomsday/Risen3D is best if you hate the phrase 'easy and intutive.' Also if you like fancy visual effects.

I personally recommend GZDoom/ZDoom because that's what I use.

EDIT: Gez said it too, GZDoom will run all Doom games. Harmony FTW!

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So really, it all boils down to what you want to do.

Modding - ZDoom/GZDoom/Skulltag.

Multiplayer - ZDaemon/Skulltag/Odamex

Graphics - Doomsday/Risen3D/Vavoom

Demos - Boom/PrBoom/Eternity (?)

"Purity" - Chocolate Doom/Just play vanilla Doom in DOSBox (or on four old DOS machines linked to each other for old-school LAN co-op).

Other - Doom Legacy to play split-screen (also on XBox)

Masochism - Doom95 :P

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Patrick said:

GZDoom/ZDoom[/b] is best if you're looking for lots of easy to use features.

Or if you want to play other games than Doom. Such as Heretic, Hexen, or Strife. (You can play Chex Quest with any decent Doom port through the DeHackEd patch Fraggle made.) Or some of the ZDoom exclusive games (CQ3, AD2, Harmony).

Eternity will eventually support Heretic, Hexen and Strife, but isn't there yet. Doomsday supports Heretic and Hexen as well, but they're separate ports, rather than unified like ZDoom.

G/ZDoom is pretty simple to install and use. Just extract the zip, place some IWADs in the same folder, and double-click the exe. There you go.

Sure, there are plenty of modding features, and a lot of mods which use them, but the ability to play any Doom engine game with a single executable is the strongest point in favor of ZDoom or GZDoom for a newbie. Mods, demos, multiplayer, all these things come later once you've played a bit through the games to familiarize yourself with them. Once you've decided you like the game enough to dip in its community, then you can hunt for mods, demos, or online servers.

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Gez said:
Mods, demos, multiplayer, all these things come later once you've played a bit through the games to familiarize yourself with them.

Demos, yes, because they aren't such a common thing in gaming, and mod making is somewhat esoteric, but multiplayer is different. A good deal of people only play games online and it's something many similar or somewhat similar games already familiarize them with. It's certainly a more usual incentive than playing DOOM-derivative games, which, comparatively, few people pay attention to.

The idea that PrBoom/+ "is just good for demos" might come from its popularity for demos here, but it's also good as something in between Chocolate Doom and ZDoom, more or less. It roughly guarantees a classic playing experience with a broader range of add-ons.

Easy to use features, you guys say? One drawback with practically any DOOM engine is that they tend to be made for advanced users and have many options, mixing more critical ones with more optional or obscure ones. Less savvy players can mess up settings and then not know how to fix them or simply feel a bit afraid to touch things at all. It would be interesting to have something like a "beginners mode" in an engine, by default, for example, with no more menu options than the original game except a few more to ease some necessary functions, like disabling and enabling OpenGL or changing screen resolution, an option to choose between vanilla and "source port" behavior to make sure PWADs work properly (too bad source port WADs aren't marked internally by a different marker or something, or this could have been automatic) and an informative way to enable the "advanced mode" with all the settings.

After all is said and done, the more reasonable way to recommend an engine is to ask the potential user what they know about the game, expect from it or want to try, and to inform them of suitable options clearly enough. This should narrow down the options and not put us in a position to suggest some supposedly statistical best, some preference of ours, or a mix of these.

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myk said:

multiplayer is different. A good deal of people only play games online and it's something many similar or somewhat similar games already familiarize them with. It's certainly a more usual incentive than playing DOOM-derivative games, which, comparatively, few people pay attention to.

Sure, but jumping directly in the fray against experienced players who have all the maturity of the typical ZDaemon/Skulltag player is not necessarily a way to create a good first impression. :p

myk said:

an option to choose between vanilla and "source port" behavior to make sure PWADs work properly

ZDoom automatically applies appropriate compat settings to mods that are known to require them.

Other features, such as jumping or crouching, might potentially make mods too easy or allow to get into an area of no return; but they are not bound to any key by default. So it's not really a problem for the newbie afraid of "complicated" menus.

myk said:

(too bad source port WADs aren't marked internally by a different marker or something, or this could have been automatic)

MAPINFO, EMAPINFO or its equivalent?

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Gez said:

Sure, but jumping directly in the fray against experienced players who have all the maturity of the typical ZDaemon/Skulltag player is not necessarily a way to create a good first impression. :p


That's why Skulltag and ZDaemon have built-in bots. :P

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Gez said:
MAPINFO, EMAPINFO or its equivalent?

Imagine the TeamTNT guys in 1998 giving Boom the ability to read WADs with the marker BWAD instead of PWAD. Always enabling full Boom behavior (as Boom has a "Doom compatibility" option) when a BWAD is detected. More or less the same idea applied to demo lumps but used for add-on WADs. Granted, the first difficulty would have been incorporating it to existing WAD editing tools, but I think it would have simplified some things.

Perhaps the marker could also have included a version or extra identifier method. The engine could then compare and suggest downloading the latest version of the engine if the PWAD did not seem to be supported.

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