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GoatLord

What CAN'T run Doom?

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Over the last 18 years, Doom has surely been ported or at least loosely translated to nearly every type of hardware capable of running it even semi-decently, from calculators and the SNES to cell phones and and Xbox 360. So here's the question: Is there any type of hardware that CAN'T run some incarnation of Doom?

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Depends where you draw the line for what you define as "Doom".

I personally place it at being able to use the original IWAD data AND load PWADs, while feeling reasonably close to vanilla, which pretty much means having to use id's source code or face a very complex engine rewrite.

There are plenty of platforms that cannot run a direct derivative of the Doom source code: the infamous TI-99, C64, ZX Spectrum etc. ports are actually recreations with simpler, Wolf 3D-like engines and do not use any actual resources from Doom (nor are they capable of), so strictly speaking, no, IMO they are not running Doom.




The general consensus is that the minimum platform to run the ACTUAL Doom source code with the same quality as the DOS version is a 32/16-bit CPU and 4 MB of RAM. On practical hardware, this boils down to a 68000 Amiga with accelerators and RAM expansion, or certain ARM-based systems.



However, console ports can run with less hardware but only because they use a combination of cut-down resources and hardware acceleration for some tasks (e.g. Jaguar, SNES, PSX or 32X Doom) and they almost all use the id source code, with the exception of the oddball SNES one and the GBA Doom II port.

AFAIK there has been no effort to make an extremely "lite" version of the Doom engine which would fit into the RAM of a C64 and still be able to load an play a PWAD generated from a normal map editor, even if it was really small. Consoles like the 32X do exactly that, and have map limits which are below those of even vanilla Doom v1.1.

I often thought of adding a "quarter texture resolution" option to Mocha Doom to simulate how Doom would run on a computer with 1 or 2 MB of RAM.

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Even a frickin' TI-83 can run it, and that's a calculator...Next step, toasters.

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Well, NetBSD has already been ported to a toaster, and from there I'm sure it's just a compile away from running Doom as well ;)

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I'm currently working on porting DOOM to rocks and boulders. The API really sucks.

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I have a Papermate ball point pen sitting on my desk that doesn't run Doom

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Ubik said:

I'm currently working on porting DOOM to rocks and boulders. The API really sucks.

I'd call it CaveDoom.

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BloodyAcid said:

Even a frickin' TI-83 can run it, and that's a calculator...Next step, toasters.


It can only run a Wold3D-like engine with the name "Doom" slapped on it. It's not a real source port, nor can it use IWAD or PWAD data. Makes sense, since the TI-83 it's effectively a 4-bit system with the processing power of an Atari 2600. BTW, it had been made BEFORE the official Doom source code release, just like M.O.O.D. and "Doom for Spectrum".



Do not confuse it with the more recent Doom source port for the TI-NSpire calculator: that one has a 90 MHz 32-bit ARM CPU inside it and 16 MB of RAM, so it's actually more powerful than what most of us old timers used back in the day to run the real deal.

Csonicgo:
Anything that can handle 32-bit can probably handle doom. Maybe.


Provided it can be targeted by a C compiler that can handle Doom's source code, has at least the processing power of a 386DX/25 (or 40, or even of a 486, depending on who you ask), and at least 4 MB of flatly addressable RAM, yeah, it will work. There's also the -implicit- requirement of being able to use the raw 8-bit video output: the Amiga is infamous in that it must waste quite a chunk of processing power to convert each frame to planar (so it can never rival a PC, on CPU power parity), while the TI-Nspire actually uses 256-to-16 color maps, in order to display 16 shades of grey, but internally it "draws" on 8-bit screens.

Again, I'd like to see how "light" a PROPER Doom-compatible engine can be made, by using e.g. low-res or monochrome textures and imposing lower static limits. Console versions already give an idea (smaller levels, fewer animation frames etc.) but I'd like to see that taken to the extreme, without however sacrificing lighting, non-orthogonal walls and height differences. Imagine being able to load a map you made with Doombuilder directly into a C64...TBQH I'd be surprised if just the automap code could be made to run for moderately sized levels. The problem is that 8-bit and 16-bit systems would choke on the 32-bit arithmetic and, in general, in the liberal use of 32-bit integers throughout the code...

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To add to the list of stuff that DOESN'T run Doom, Java MIDP phones cannot or at least none ever attempted it seriously: the closest there is is this miserable pile of fuck (you guessed it, it's yet another Wolf3D/MazeWar-like engine with the name "Doom" slapped on it).

If someone is brave -or foolish enough- they can try backporting Mocha Doom into Java MIDP ;-)

Now, there ARE proper 3D FPS for Java MIDP (e.g. Alpha Sector) which use much more complicated engines than Doom, but those rely on Java3D acceleration.

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I think one of the smallest devices that can run actual doom would be a Nintendo DS:



I happen to own one and it does load resources from IWADs, so it definitely counts.
There are also Quake 1 and 2 ports for DS. Quake 2 framerate makes it barely playable tho'

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I might be able to convert the Doom sprites to 16 colors, if anyone wants to take a stab at it. I don't know if that's technically legal...

ellmo said:

I think one of the smallest devices that can run actual doom would be a Nintendo DS:

A GameBoy Micro is quite a bit smaller than the DS.

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Bucket said:

I might be able to convert the Doom sprites to 16 colors, if anyone wants to take a stab at it. I don't know if that's technically legal..


It would help with memory footprint, but not necessarily with processing: a chunky column-first 4-bit memory layout (or, worse, 4-bit color using a full byte for every pixel) would be cumbersome to use, require extensive modifications throughout the code, and not compatible with how the hardware works on low-end platforms anyway (most are bit-planar, not chunky)

In general, any platform not using an 8-bit chunky display mode is pretty much fucked right from the start, unless you modify textures and sprites to be stored as separate bit-planes (not just as 4-bit chunky) and use modified column rendering functions. Changing the rendering to be done horizontally would help a lot, too, since you could use repeated memory block moves and/or hardware sprites.

Perversely, 8-bit platforms may be more efficient, cycle-per-cycle, when processing the traditional Doom renderer as they won't waste 24 out of 32 bits each time a pixel is plotted, so IMO the best approach would be not to change how textures and sprites are stored, unless you have a platform that works as efficiently with nibbles (4-bit) as it does with bytes, with no access penalties.

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Bucket said:

A GameBoy Micro is quite a bit smaller than the DS.

yeah, but it plays the GBA Doom which is a butchered port, imho... however it's still better (and closer to doom) than the ZX, M.O.O.D or TI crap

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A friend of a friend showed me he could run FreeDoom on his iPod Nano (which he had already hacked to run Linux).

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Creaphis said:

A friend of a friend showed me he could run FreeDoom on his iPod Nano (which he had already hacked to run Linux).


ARM CPU(s) and RAM to spare ;-)

In theory you could hack certain DTV set-top boxes that also have an ARM CPU, some MB to spare and a dumbed-down embedded linux to work with Doom (not to mention video/audio already built-in). Bonus: operated by remote control from your couch :-p

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My microbee can't run Doom, my alarm clock can't run Doom...what kind of question is that? there's tons of hardware that can't run anything that remotely resembles Doom.

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There's even stuff that wouldn't be able to run anything resembling Space Invaders or Pacman, but to the overenthusiastic generalizer, that's as relevant as an Iraqi's life to G.W. Bush.

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boris said:

I've got an Dingoo A320 that runs Prboom.

With 360 MHz and 32MB Ram it could probably even run Quake 3 in software mode, so yeah - it better fucking run Doom :P

As for the device itself - Holy shit, it's an emulator-lover's wet dream. I'd have to get my greasy fingers on one of those.

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ellmo said:

As for the device itself - Holy shit, it's an emulator-lover's wet dream. I'd have to get my greasy fingers on one of those.


As long as you don't use recent builds of MAME -they fucking suck for speed.

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ellmo said:

yeah, but it plays the GBA Doom which is a butchered port, imho... however it's still better (and closer to doom) than the ZX, M.O.O.D or TI crap


I think that the GBA could handle a more "proper" port of doom, just not terribly quickly. The 16mhz arm is somewhat comparable to some of the 486's that acutally ran doom. The lack of ram is not a problem if you pre-bake the textures, since on a GBA you can have 32MB of ROM.

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Weren't there two entirely different ports of Doom for the GBA? If I recall correctly, UDoom used a "proper" port, but butchered and scaled down to fit into CPU and RAM constraints, while Doom II for the same platform used an entirely different engine.

I wouldn't be so confident about ROM access speed though: it may be OK for stuff like level data or static images, but textures and sprites require a lot of bandwidth.

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Stygian said:

Oscilloscope doom? They might just be using it as a monitor.


Nah, that's one of those newfangled computers-disguised-as-oscilloscope things, probably Wintel based too. You could run Windows or MS-DOS on it, if you wanted to. Pretty expensive shit, too.

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