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The Civ

Desktop Doom

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I'd heard about about some application known as Desktop Doom a while back, and I recently went hunting for it.
After coming across some broken links on an old Doomworld thread, and eventually tracking down a copy of it. After I screwed around a bit, I got some of it to work, and it appears to be some version of the BOOM engine, with what looks to be a screensaver application included.
Whenever I try to interact with the game, after loading the EXE, it simply closes down, with the press of any button.
I can't get the screensaver file, or the install to work.
Does anyone know what this is, or how I can get it to work? I can't find info on it anywhere, and it seems to be a bit of a mystery.

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SuperCupcakeTactics said:

Are you talking about this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6ePnsB41GI

Might just not be compatible with the OS or something :/

No, not that.
There's actually a defunct webpage for DesktopDoom right here on Doomworld.
http://www.doomworld.com/deskdoom/
I could gather that it ran on some form of BOOM, and was intended for some sort of screensaver use.
I'd love to know more about it, or just get it running for the hell of it.

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I'm the author of DesktopDoom. IIRC the first version was a VB6 program that wrapped around an early version of PrBoom that I'd slightly modified. It wouldn't loop demos as the screensaver. This was about 15 years ago and there may have been a patched version that works.

A few years later I made a version 2 that was based on ZDoom. This version had a crappy custom map that spawned deathmatch bots and would cycle through cameras in the level. It's more likely that I have this somewhere as I've had people request copies over the years.

I'll have a look through my archives tomorrow and get back to you.

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Thomas said:

I'm the author of DesktopDoom. IIRC the first version was a VB6 program that wrapped around an early version of PrBoom that I'd slightly modified. It wouldn't loop demos as the screensaver. This was about 15 years ago and I’m not sure if I have a copy anymore I'm afraid.

A few years later I made a version 2 that was based on ZDoom. This version had a crappy custom map that spawned deathmatch bots and would cycle through cameras in the level. It's more likely that I have this somewhere as I've had people request copies over the years.

I'll have a look through my archives tomorrow and get back to you.

Thanks for the info! I've been wondering for a while what this program was about.
Definitely sounds like a cool idea. I don't mean to be nuisance by making you sift through your archives though, I just enjoy screwing around with old programs and trying to make them run for no reason other than getting them to run.

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I know what you mean, sometimes I grab some old abandonware DOS game, set up a Dosbox environment for it, install it and run it. #justnerdthings

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Thomas said:

I'm the author of DesktopDoom. IIRC the first version was a VB6 program that wrapped around an early version of PrBoom that I'd slightly modified.

Very cool! I admit - I still use VB6. It really sucks they dropped it. I still waiting for VB7 - heh.

I'd love to see the source, if you can find it.

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All I've managed to find so far is latest binaries for DesktopDoom 2 and it doesn't work under Windows 8.1 for me. Trying to configure the wrapper screensaver doesn't do anything and "testing" it brings up Notepad which is odd. Even if it did work, the ZDoom derived executable brings quits with a DirectDraw error when I try running it. I think it should still work on Windows XP as I imagine that's the OS I was using at the time. Here's the download link: http://www.paroxysm.org/files/DesktopDoom2_18_08_2004-1.7z

I would have burned some versions on to CDs back in the day, but it's likely I've thrown them out. I'll have a look over the weekend and borrow a DVD drive if I find anything that looks promising.

kb1 said:

Very cool! I admit - I still use VB6. It really sucks they dropped it. I still waiting for VB7 - heh.

I'd love to see the source, if you can find it.

The code is going to be very ugly and I'm not sure if it has much value. It would be quite simple project to re-implement cleanly with Doom engine designed for modern versions of Windows. All the screensaver wrapper needs to do is display a configuration dialog that allows you to select where the modified Doom executable is located, configure command-line parameters in some way to allow custom WADs to loaded, sound toggling, etc.

The PrBoom based engine consisted of some very basic hacks. Likely all I did was force the game into fullscreen mode without the status bar and hacked in an exit call when input was detected. And I think it was keyboard input only too, so no mouse movement quitting.

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I've managed to get DesktopDoom 2 running under Windows 8.1.

DesktopDoom2.exe must be set to 256 colours in the compatibility options. That gets rid of the DirectDraw error.

Right clicking on DesktopDoom2.scr and selecting Configure doesn't work. Instead you must go into Personalisation, Screensaver and select Configure. The configuration dialog appears underneath other windows too.

I think Notepad.exe launching must have been some sort of test code I forgot to comment out.

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I obtained access to a machine with Windows XP, and I can confirm that it works. The Notepad thing is also present too, but it's harmless.

All you have to do is to put the screensaver file in the Windows folder, then point it out in the Display panel, then click Configure; close Notepad.exe and then specify the IWAD folder.

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Toyed around with it and got it set up. This is actually really cool!
I found myself just watching the Bots play for quite a while.

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