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Altazimuth

Official BSP v1.1 found, now on /idgames

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Earlier this week the official version of the first stable build of Binary Space Partition builder (BSP), version 1.1, was found and uploaded to /idgames. Thought missing for a long period of time, the only version available was an unofficial "TC" released by Eugen Woiwod, which can be found here. Doomworld user Csonicgo (AKA ConSiGno) is credited with finding the file on textfiles.com. Shortly afterwards, fellow Doomworld user Altazimuth uploaded the archive to /idgames on historic grounds, where it can can now be found.

The archive includes an executable, source files, and a small text document outlining who made the tool and how to use it. The discovery proves important in the preservation of the history of Doom, being the first utility that allowed any user the ability to actually build their maps without issues that plagued other early builders, such as the "hall of mirrors" bug.

Dated to 11 April 1994, this utility shows the ingenuity of the Doom community, which by that point had released enough utilities to allow users to fully create their own maps less than half a year after the original release of the game. Created by Colin Reed and converted to GO32 by Dylan Cuthbert, both working at Argonaut Games (the same company that convinced Nintendo to give the go-ahead on the Super FX chip used in games such as Star Fox, which Argonaut co-developed) at the time. Cuthbert also confirmed that he and Reed were working on a GUI editor at the time as well, but their work at Nintendo "got in the way".

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I would love to see how a GUI would work out for node building. IIRC, there was a REJECT builder that could run in graphics mode to show the map analysis.

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It's an interesting question to ask, what are the limits on which the archive maintainers will put on uploading historic things?

IMHO, the likelihood of anyone running this BSP version (the binary) is pretty slim, perhaps close to none. The source, however, *is* interesting.

For historic source code, it is very useful to have copies on github, because it's very easy to browse, comment, link, fork, compare, etc. It would be cool to have a git source tree which had a synthetic history of BSP, each release as a commit. Chungy has created a group that could be used for collecting such things: https://github.com/Doom-Utils

However github is not an archive site as such and we should take care to make sure that we have backups of anything stored there.

With regards historic binary artifacts, there are loads and loads of early zdoom or legacy releases etc. that could be uploaded to /idgames. But should they be?

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Jon said:

With regards historic binary artifacts, there are loads and loads of early zdoom or legacy releases etc. that could be uploaded to /idgames. But should they be?

Their historical value will only increase with time. If the Doom community survives for next XX years, there will be historical enthusiasts who will feel a need to have archived every single Doom-related file from the amazingly interesting 2000s and 2010s.

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History should be run by compulsive hoarders. :P

(if it can be preserved, do it, no matter how minor its significance may seem)

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Sodaholic said:

History should be run by compulsive hoarders. :P

(if it can be preserved, do it, no matter how minor its significance may seem)


I have a lot of sympathy with that POV, but I'm not maintaining /idgames. Perhaps I should ask the archive hosters?

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Jon said:

I have a lot of sympathy with that POV, but I'm not maintaining /idgames. Perhaps I should ask the archive hosters?


The fact that versions were overwritten in the first place sounds troublesome, especially with utilities. The more that can be salvaged and saved to a secure archive, the better. This wasn't done with certain source ports like Cajunbot, and now the original codebase is gone.

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In the early Doom source code era, there wasn't any sort of historical / archival mentality. When a new version of DOSDoom came out people just overwrote the old version, because why would anyone want an older one? Same reason early source ports didn't care at all about maintaining demo compatability with doom.exe - it's old and busted, we have the source now! Onward ho! Let's change shit! Default weapon recoil, sure why not!

I'm not sure when exactly this attitude started to change - certainly by 2005ish when Chocolate Doom started.

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Demo compatibility is hardly equivalent to historic archiving. Demo compatibility requires some obtuse hacks (check out the switch/case blocks in prboom-plus) that most ports rightfully ignore in favor of making the game "better" -- after all, you could have always just ran doom2.exe (which became increasingly more difficult and is part of the reason Chocolate Doom exists).

Back on topic: do we have a complete source history for BSP? It's not too difficult for me to reconstruct a Git repository in the manner Jon was speaking of (he even linked to a small set of Doom utilities I've done the same for...).

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Linguica said:

In the early Doom source code era, there wasn't any sort of historical / archival mentality. When a new version of DOSDoom came out people just overwrote the old version, because why would anyone want an older one? Same reason early source ports didn't care at all about maintaining demo compatability with doom.exe - it's old and busted, we have the source now! Onward ho! Let's change shit! Default weapon recoil, sure why not!

Yeah, there definitely wasn't. :-( I'm still actively tracking down old DOSDoom versions that I'm missing for the 3DGEWiki.

Though, I still remember being one of those that in fact played DOSDoom and thought how cool the weapon kick was. Jumping? AWESOME - Duke3D and Quake did it only a few years prior. It was still very fresh, but as we know, DOSDoom did indeed directly evolve into EDGE, which became an excellent platform for modders. Around 2005-ish was about the time I stopped enabling "gameplay enhancements" in that port by default. Modders reclaimed that into acceptable territory. And it seemed people started rushing to get everything backwards compatible - and as such, is now the norm again.

http://i.imgur.com/9VEpdYGl.jpg

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Chu said:

Yeah, there definitely wasn't. :-( I'm still actively tracking down old DOSDoom versions that I'm missing for the 3DGEWiki.

Though, I still remember being one of those that in fact played DOSDoom and thought how cool the weapon kick was. Jumping? AWESOME - Duke3D and Quake did it only a few years prior. It was still very fresh, but as we know, DOSDoom did indeed directly evolve into EDGE, which became an excellent platform for modders. Around 2005-ish was about the time I stopped enabling "gameplay enhancements" in that port by default. Modders reclaimed that into acceptable territory. And it seemed people started rushing to get everything backwards compatible - and as such, is now the norm again.

http://i.imgur.com/9VEpdYGl.jpg


All your atomic gamer links are now broken since AG went down. I have the following from the AG dump

19042431     1368 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    697287  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dd0653b.zip
19042443     1904 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    974505  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dd653src.zip
19042551       32 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff     12772  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dosdoom.txt
19042423      848 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    430529  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dosdoom061-bin.zip
19042499      488 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    246439  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dosdoom061-linux-x86.zip
19042623     1416 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    721964  3 Aug  2001 ./ports/dosdoom061-src.zip
19043492      712 -rwxr-xr-x    1 jon    staff    363618  3 Aug  2001 ./sda/tools/dosdoom047-bin.zip
I can upload them to /idgames.

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Sodaholic said:

History should be run by compulsive hoarders. :P

(if it can be preserved, do it, no matter how minor its significance may seem)


Hear hear!!

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