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roadworx

Where did you get your WADs from back in the day?

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Where did you get your WADs from? Which BBSes, FTP sites, etc.? I'm fairly new to the Doom community, so I've always gotten them from here.

Oh, and also, what deathmatch WADs did you frequent back then?

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In the 90s, especially the first half, BBS, let alone Internet access for the masses, was still at its infancy. I remember getting my first WADs from a magazine's CD-ROM (also one of the first of its kind to be published), and my next biggest source were also dedicated Doom addon CDs or even shareware collections of the day, which invariably included Doom maps and utilities, sometimes an entire directory dedicated to them.

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Similar to Maes, I started in the 90s and had no internet access. I found a shovelware CD called Doom Explosion by "Red Hot" around the time Doom II was released. This was Doom 1 content only and featured all of the great editors of the time as well as hundreds of pwads and other miscellaneous stuff (Doom Faq etc). I spent most of 1995 with this cd learning about Doom's internal workings, wad file system and how to map with Deu. Sometime that year I picked up a gaming mag with a blood spattered cd on the cover that contained Doom 2 pwads and editing tools, and that was how I played and learned Doom until I rediscovered it a few years ago and haven't looked back since.

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Before I discovered the internet, I found several popular wads distributed via 3.5" floppies in a local games store. Many of these looked distinctly home-copied (e.g. a cheap reused memorex floppy with "Norton Commander ALIEN DOOM" scrawled on it in black marker), while others (e.g. Slaughter Until Death) had nice custom printed labels, etc. I still have all of these in storage somewhere.

Other stuff came from the "doom/" directories that a lot of those old shareware game collection CDs had. I think I discovered The Sky May Be and Cyberdreams this way. My first editor (DEU 5.1 if I recall correctly) came to me this way as well. It was a fun novelty, but I found the interface too cumbersome to do anything serious.

As for those old Doom shovelware CDs, I had this one:

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does anyone remember the issue of PC Format magazine with the results of the doom mapping competition? I was hooked on that free CD...

(at least I think it was Format, maybe it was PC Gamer or something?)

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For a long time I didn't have an Internet connection or even a modem. Onslaunch and my levels for Decamatch for example were released in 1998 and were just me working on my own in my bedroom. The only WADs I had came from friends with Internet connections, ferried on floppy disks; I think I had copies of Icarus: Alien Vanguard and GothicDM but not much else. Similarly I got editing tools (DEU, EdMap, NewWadTool) from friends too; I might have got some stuff from magazine cover discs.

If I remember correctly, my lack-of-Internet even extended beyond Doom's source release, which I heard about from friends. A few years ago I found this amusingly-labeled old floppy disk where I got my first copy of Doom Legacy, which at the time was amazing:



By then I already had a copy of DJGPP and had been using it to code some primitive Doom tools in C (Onslaunch, and wadptr). I got a copy of the Chi Hoang DOS port of the Doom source (which was released a couple of days after the Doom source release in late 1998 and started hacking on sfdoom January 1999. I think I still didn't have Internet then either, but I certainly got a modem some point later that year - the earliest emails I have date to October that year.

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yakfak said:

does anyone remember the issue of PC Format magazine with the results of the doom mapping competition? I was hooked on that free CD...

(at least I think it was Format, maybe it was PC Gamer or something?)


PC Zone. The finals entries from that competition are on /idgames in ace_dwf.zip and the winning entry is TMP.WAD.

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I got mine from dodgy guys in overalls...I they had their junk hanging out and they smelt kinda funny...

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I was online from the end of '94, so mostly from idgames, which was on ftp.cdrom.com at the time.

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Maes said:

I remember getting my first WADs from a magazine's CD-ROM

Same here. Mostly Amiga magazine CDs from 1998 when there was a flood of source ports, discovered the /idgames archive four years later then spent the next two years waiting for half-decent ADSL plans to become affordable and available down here.

Never_Again said:

PC Zone. The finals entries from that competition are on /idgames in ace_dwf.zip and the winning entry is TMP.WAD.

I'm still looking for a copy of that issue, in the hope of finding a list of entrants to match up with the wads.

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The imaginitively titled "Doom I/II Collection" shovelware disc. To date, the only PWADs I played on it that I can remember are YAKWORLD and ZEUS, but if I parsed out the stuff that claimed to have new graphics, I bet I could find more, since the prospect of new graphics was the biggest draw to me back then.

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Mostly from shovelware cds until I came online and then it was from ftp.cdrom with occasional levels from Gestalt's site and Geocities pages.

forgot--the Doom Alchemy book cd had most of it setup to use with DoomShell that came with the disk. I used that program until ports were used

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Assuming "back in the day" isn't tied to the 90s (since I only started playing Doom in 2008), Doomarchive.com was the go-to place for me.

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My first contact with custom levels was with Quake's mission packs, which were awesome. Learning that Doom has third-party map editors and that I will find "WAD" files (i.e. mission packs for Doom) had me very excited.

My first contact with Doom PWADs was from the Internet after 2000. Before that, I only knew of the FTP sites from the Doom FAQ, all outdated and dead. None of them worked :( (but they were mostly for downloading tools, not WADs). So I was simply searching for "doom wads" on the search engine of that time (MSN), and easily enough got to various websites hosted by individuals, containing their maps (as well as some collectors, such as Ricrob's place). I was a bit disappointed to discover that most WADs were single levels, often of low quality. I'd often go to dad's workplace (unlimited Internet) and download enough WADs to fit on a floppy. When I got home to play them, I was often disappointed because they were mediocre/have the same names/have the same music/sky/etc. I felt that you can't do much with vanilla game structure (and indeed, you're limited).

Lots of individual sites were pointing to ftp.cdrom.com, which never worked for me. Only mirrors. Other sites pointed to shitty repositories like 3ddownloads (this site) or fileplanet (mostly Quake stuff though).

None of the "doom wad" searches would lead me to the real /idgames repository, gamers.org/pub/idgames, so I only learned about it much later when my Doom excitement settled. Bad SEO.

I stood away from Doomworld.com for a long timeā€¦ The site had too many popup ads, often virus-infected, when combined with Internet Explorer. Or it mostly used download places like 3ddownloads so it was annoying.

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I didn't properly start getting WADs until around 2004 when I realised you could get custom WADs. I think I got mine from plenty of places, idgames is most likely where I got a few from.

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Shovelware CDs, all of which I've since uploaded to archive.org:

http://archive.org/details/TheUltimateAddOnCollectionForDoomDoomIi
http://archive.org/details/D1000
http://archive.org/details/DzoneGold


I did go to an internet cafe, once, to access the then-mythical, now-forgotten website "Doom GATE", which curated WADs so the quality was much higher than you would get randomly trying stuff out on D!Zone. I distinctly remember "The Trooper's Paradise", for example

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=5302

Good review of TTP here

http://onemandoom.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/troopers-playground-ttpwad.html

This involved downloading them very slowly and writing them out to floppies. I suspect the internet cafe was running on a 56k modem.

Finally the last shovelware disc was covermounted on "3D game alchemy", but I got that quite a lot later on

http://archive.org/details/3dGameAlchemy

Notably, this had NEMISIS.WAD on it, which was re-discovered and mention on DW a few years ago. I was surprised it wasn't more well known when that happened

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?file=levels/doom2/m-o/nemisis.zip

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My dad got a win95 comp back in 96, with a modem of course. I got my first pwads via numerous "the best DOOM wads" html pages, before I eventually discovered cdrom.com in.... 97? I remember the home pages for Star Wars doom TC, Ninja Doom TC + a few other TCs I waited eagerly for like, 5 years before giving up hope :D The first ever PWAD I played was actually HOOVER.WAD, a great introduction to addon gaming. Still a great map.

EDIT: Didn't try multiplayer/deathmatch until 2000 or something, with me and a friend going at it via two dusty 486's through serial cable, no soundcard.

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Compuserve Action Games Forum (the source of most of the stuff I got by a long way)
Magazine Cover Disks
Various random BBSs - either by me getting them or friends getting them and sharing them around.
Occasionally Commercial Shovelware

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Jon said:

Shovelware CDs, all of which I've since uploaded to archive.org:

http://archive.org/details/TheUltimateAddOnCollectionForDoomDoomIi
http://archive.org/details/D1000
http://archive.org/details/DzoneGold


I did go to an internet cafe, once, to access the then-mythical, now-forgotten website "Doom GATE", which curated WADs so the quality was much higher than you would get randomly trying stuff out on D!Zone. I distinctly remember "The Trooper's Paradise", for example

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=5302

Good review of TTP here

http://onemandoom.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/troopers-playground-ttpwad.html

This involved downloading them very slowly and writing them out to floppies. I suspect the internet cafe was running on a 56k modem.

Finally the last shovelware disc was covermounted on "3D game alchemy", but I got that quite a lot later on

http://archive.org/details/3dGameAlchemy

Notably, this had NEMISIS.WAD on it, which was re-discovered and mention on DW a few years ago. I was surprised it wasn't more well known when that happened

http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?file=levels/doom2/m-o/nemisis.zip


good info! and much respect for using the Kickstarter avatar

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I was really late getting an internet connection so I played my first WADS from some of those shovelware CD's. I still have The Ultimate Add On Collection for Doom / Doom II. I also used to grab PC Gamer magazine every month because they always had levels for Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D and stuff on CD. Some of the first wads I played were Dr Sleep's Crossing Acheron and Dante's Gate and Steve W. Long's Longwad. That's what got me interested in mapping and I scored a copy of The Doom Hacker's Guide and on the CD that came with that was a few wads including UAC Dead. Ahhhh mapping with DoomCad...good times.

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The only sources I had in 1994 were various BBSs (all of them long defunct) and some shovelware CDs. I got my first internet access with AOL in 1996 and had to use it carefully because it was horrendously expensive to download larger files.

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Well unfortunately for me there was no "back in the day", I got into Doom around 2007 when my friend gave me copies of the main wads and Doom 95 during a LAN party, I just got my wads from idgames and wherever the fuck else around 2008 when I discovered DoomWorld, and that was just one year before I decided to join the forums and was only lurking during that whole year.

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I remember going halves with a friend on D!Zone and being disappointed by the custom levels but enjoyed playing around with WADED. It wasn't long after this that Quake and Duke3D came out and I never bothered with PWADs again until around 2003. By then there was a lot more info in DW and I quickly became acquainted with quality sets like Classic Episode, Fava Beans, 10 Sectors and Scythe, all of which I got from /idgames.

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Enjay said:

Compuserve Action Games Forum (the source of most of the stuff I got by a long way)


Oh YES, I remember that wel(l) :
Firing up good old DOS-CIM (CIM = Compuserve Information Manager)
and typing in the magic keyword "GO ACTION"!

...those were the days!

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