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Toph Bei Fong

What's the general consensus on Freedoom?

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I played a little bit of it for the first time today with smooth doom and it was pretty fun. I'm looking forward to adding mods to it.

Is the level design pretty good? I've only played the first 3 maps of phase 1 and they were pretty fun. How is the enemy and ammunition balance?

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For one thing, Freedoom has it's own subforums here.

As for my personal opinion, it's great for what it does...it's main issues being inconsistent art and the fact that it's still not 1.0 yet...but it will get there eventually.

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It took too long to deliver something relevant to the majority of the Doom userbase due to a lack of clear direction

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Toph Bei Fong said:

crap. can this topic be moved then :-/

I think it's fine to keep this thread here and get some wider opinions on Freedoom.

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While I do not hate it.... I could never substitute it for the real thing. I'd say it's okay at best. If there were weapon mods and actual maps being made for it on the reg. it would be better.

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I think that the idea behind it alone makes it one of my favorite things the Doom community has ever produced(Completely free Doom game, and GPL licensed resource base for modders).
But although the project has been seeing a lot more activity and improvement in recent times, I feel like there's still a lack of focus that is holding the it back.

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I haven't tried it. I think some of the sprites look too silly for me to really enjoy it the way it was intended to be enjoyed.

In case anyone is wondering, the most ridiculous monster in my opinion is that toothed worm looking thing that I assume is supposed to replace the pinky.

I also fail to see the point of Freedoom seeing as getting doom for free is not hard at all.

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Toothed worm? Raymoohawk made something like in a sketch once *shudders* looked like a beaver that had sex with a worm *shudder*
Also, the Doom sprites are a bit silly too, don't you think?

And you're right, getting Doom for free is easy, but its illegal.

OP, everything is subject to change. The maps are a mess in terms of progression throughout the game. The enemies used to look shit, now its improving thx to raymoohawk and Cwolf. All midi tracks are now original tracks rather than remixes, placeholders, etc. (I could be wrong about this). Weapon quality is increasing. Sfx are getting better (they need more attention though).

Overall, you can expect a massive improvement in each release. Looking forward to it.

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TraceOfSpades said:

I also fail to see the point of Freedoom seeing as getting doom for free is not hard at all.

Because Freedoom is fully legal to get/distribute for free, and can officially be used as a part of other games/software?

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I think it's pretty lame. The PWAD compatibility goal remains the biggest obstacle to it being anything worthwhile, and it doesn't even do that well as soon as you start getting custom resources that were meant to work with the originals. I'd rather have seen an actual new game instead of just a reskin of an existing one. For how much its proponents talk about fostering creativity and innovation, the FLOSS world seems largely stuck on making clone-offs on commercial stuff that's already successful, and this is a prime example.

It's nice to have a dump of open resources I guess, but I don't see the value of it as a game. You can get it for free? Whatever, do you really want a crappy knockoff for free when you can get the real thing pretty cheap anyway (okay, hardcore Stallmanites might, but anyone else)?

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I had my share of fun with it few years ago, but megawad fatigue prevented me from finishing it. I read from the freedoom forums it has some weird difficulty spikes in the later levels but nothing that should be unsurmontable.

The geneal consensus is that there is none: everyone involved has his personal vision of what freedoom should be, and in this pot of new and old contributors the progress is slow and somewhat chaotic, progressing and regressing depending on who is active at the moment.


Warning, personal rant below:
i'm still sour abot the vanillification thing. I mean, i understand why it was proposed so and it make some degree of sense; but there aren't many good strinct vanilla mappers interested in that project to begin with and porting to vanilla the existing levels is insane imo, and beside protox nobody really cared to do so to what it seem. And of course there is always someone who say "we should not accept your contribution because you already released it somwhere else", wich just mean is going to take forever to improve the current mapset.
/end of the rant

Right now i think Voros is going in the right direction in marketing freedoom and finding potential contributors, so we may see a new stream of maps for freedoom soon.

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ETTiNGRiNDER said:

I think it's pretty lame. The PWAD compatibility goal remains the biggest obstacle to it being anything worthwhile, and it doesn't even do that well as soon as you start getting custom resources that were meant to work with the originals. I'd rather have seen an actual new game instead of just a reskin of an existing one. For how much its proponents talk about fostering creativity and innovation, the FLOSS world seems largely stuck on making clone-offs on commercial stuff that's already successful, and this is a prime example.

It's nice to have a dump of open resources I guess, but I don't see the value of it as a game. You can get it for free? Whatever, do you really want a crappy knockoff for free when you can get the real thing pretty cheap anyway (okay, hardcore Stallmanites might, but anyone else)?

There are many crappy knockoffs out there.

Freedoom ain't one of them.

Recent activity on Freedoom's development has shown that Freedoom can finally be its own thing. New sprites that can go head to head with any other professional sprites. Music that's new, fresh and atmospheric. Maps being simpler means less hassle and more fun playing through. The whole universe of Freedoom: AGM, the monsters, Fdoomguy, the AGM sites, Earth, everything. There's a very good chance of finally getting a story. 15 years, and no one put their finger on a good story. Now there's a good chance.

What I'm saying is that Freedoom is its own game. Doom PWAD compatibility is an added bonus of the project these days IMO. So let's just keep it.

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There was this phrase on the official site, I can't find it right now, but it was something along the lines of "Freedoom represents talent and creativity of the Doom community". I used to think it was a pretty arrogant thing to say, and it embarrassed the very demographic it was supposed to promote.

It's interesting how the projects that are supposed to build upon something (rather than being their own things) attract mostly beginners. People think that producing a high-resolution pack (for example) is a low-effort endeavor, but it's not. Experienced artists, on the other hand, most likely prefer to invest their time and skills into something original.

The quality situation was slowly improving in the last few years, but I'm still not sold. The very idea behind the project seems to become even less clear with time. Not exactly an original game, not exactly an IWAD substitute - like sitting on two chairs. Even the story is still being debated on. Is this how "design by committee" works?

On the other hand, most of us don't know how lucky we are. We could've gotten something like OpenQuartz, which is a Freedoom analog for Quake that looks like it was started by a Counter-Strike fan and finished by a drug addict.

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I like Freedoom, it's decent, it also has some funny sounds, in particular the zombies and the worm is hilarious.
The music is good too, i kinda like the D_Romero from the version 0.7, i saved the midi and put it in my music wad.
I also made some freedoom skins as well, the zombieman and the shotgun guy.

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I think that is preatty good, but still has some flaws, like most of the enemies(and the player) sprites are not very well done and doesn't look like what is supposed to be and some weapons look...weird. But is bad!? No.

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Voros said:

Toothed worm? Raymoohawk made something like in a sketch once *shudders* looked like a beaver that had sex with a worm *shudder*
Also, the Doom sprites are a bit silly too, don't you think?

And you're right, getting Doom for free is easy, but its illegal.


I always thought the Doom sprites had a mpre serious tone to them. I don't see any of them as silly.

As far as legality of distribution goes...okay, I'll concede to that.

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I first downloaded Freedoom 10 years ago because I really wanted to play some Doom wads, but I didn't have access to Doom or Doom 2. So to me this was what Freedoom was about, giving people who are unable to get Doom a way to play wads. There were some major issues with using Freedom as an IWAD back in 2006 due to the fact that not all of the monsters had sprite replacements yet, but this has pretty much been addressed by now & raymoohawk has done quite the job with improving the existing sprites.

The current biggest problem with Freedom, which was still very much prevalent in 2006 as well is a complete lack of focus from the project leadership, actually I'm not even sure who really is in charge of the project right now, if anyone. Every time I go to the Freedoom threads there's always a disagreement on what the project should be & it seems like there's no one is there to say yes we will do that or no we will not do that.

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Considering the name, I see no logical reason why FreeDoom isn't 100% solely made for the purpose Jaws described: a free-to-distribute iWad replacement for people too cheap to buy a 5 dollar game with infinite replay value found in pWads. That said, removing vanilla compat is a puzzling shot in the foot, at least in my opinion.

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ETTiNGRiNDER said:

I think it's pretty lame. The PWAD compatibility goal remains the biggest obstacle to it being anything worthwhile, and it doesn't even do that well as soon as you start getting custom resources that were meant to work with the originals. I'd rather have seen an actual new game instead of just a reskin of an existing one. For how much its proponents talk about fostering creativity and innovation, the FLOSS world seems largely stuck on making clone-offs on commercial stuff that's already successful, and this is a prime example.

It's nice to have a dump of open resources I guess, but I don't see the value of it as a game. You can get it for free? Whatever, do you really want a crappy knockoff for free when you can get the real thing pretty cheap anyway (okay, hardcore Stallmanites might, but anyone else)?

Isn't a TC a reskin of an existing game? How is FreeDoom any different (except that FreeDoom replaces ALL resources). The PWAD compatibility thing is an issue for any other TC as well. What you're seeing is a new game. When you say "new game", do you mean "new engine" as well as new resources? Is "a dump of new resources" really all the credit you're willing to give? That's pretty harsh.

Personally, I like what I've seen so far, but I'm holding out to see how it comes together as a whole.

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Da Werecat said:

There was this phrase on the official site, I can't find it right now, but it was something along the lines of "Freedoom represents talent and creativity of the Doom community". I used to think it was a pretty arrogant thing to say, and it embarrassed the very demographic it was supposed to promote.

I probably have to take responsibility for that since I probably wrote it. I'm sorry if you found it in any way embarrassing.

I've always thought of that as an aspirational goal. Freedoom is something people get exposed to who aren't necessarily regular Doom players. For example if you install PrBoom on Debian Linux you'll get Freedoom by default. In that sense it's kind of "ambassadorial" as a project and I hoped it could represent the best of the community to people outside it.

It also represents some of the early ethos of the project. If you weren't around back then (~2001) then you won't know what I'm talking about, but in the early days of the project there was a real buzz about it - lots of people contributed and the project grew really quickly. Back then it really did feel like it represented the talent and creativity of the whole community, because there were so many people contributing to it. That's no longer the case, so maybe it's no longer accurate to say.

Da Werecat said:

The quality situation was slowly improving in the last few years, but I'm still not sold. The very idea behind the project seems to become even less clear with time. Not exactly an original game, not exactly an IWAD substitute - like sitting on two chairs. Even the story is still being debated on. Is this how "design by committee" works?

It's a valid criticism. I've been pretty upfront in my opinions about the state of the project in terms of its management and so on. A lot of that is my fault. These are still things that haven't been "solved" by any means, and I'd still like to see that happen.

What I will emphasize is one thing you mention - the quality has improved vastly in recent years with contributions from a few people who have made some solid contributions which have really helped the project. I'd encourage people who haven't tried it out in years to download it and give it a go, since if you haven't tried it recently you may have missed these developments. I'd also encourage people to look at it with an open mind about what the project could be as well as what it currently is.

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When you make something for Freedoom, can you be sure of the future of your contribution? Does anyone ever hear "okay, this is good, your work will definitely stay and be used in the final version"? People spent hours and hours on making some of the stuff that was later replaced. It's a quite discouraging thought, at least to me.

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It's an understandable concern, but it's difficult to find a good solution. Earlier in the project's history we experimented with policies where we would not accept replacements. For example suppose someone submits a particular texture and then someone else comes along and submits another version of that texture - we'd then reject the replacement. The idea was that we wanted to encourage people to develop a full set of resources and then we can improve things later.

This turns out to be an unworkable system. The problem is that people make them anyway, and then what do you do? For example someone submits a new set of shotgun sprites which are obviously better than the current ones - it's madness to keep the inferior ones on principle. The quality of the project has always seemed to be the most offputting thing for people considering contributing to it, so making that worse is self-defeating too.

In the end what's really needed is better team cohesion where people will coordinate with each other and cooperate in a way that achieves the best result. Having your contributions replaced is always a risk in any collaborative project; the important thing is having trust in the other members of the team that this won't be done arbitrarily and that if it is, it'll be something good enough that you won't mind.

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One question I had was - who made the current Freedoom maps? I find it really weird that authors aren't credited for their maps in an obvious manner (unless I've somehow completely missed something obvious, but in the credits file I just see people credited for levels, not which levels).

Also, I guess related to what Memfis brought up... are there lost maps out there that have been removed and not released separately by the mappers?

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Memfis said:

When you make something for Freedoom, can you be sure of the future of your contribution? Does anyone ever hear "okay, this is good, your work will definitely stay and be used in the final version"? People spent hours and hours on making some of the stuff that was later replaced. It's a quite discouraging thought, at least to me.


i made the current torches in freedoom, and cwolfru has now made new ones wich are much better. i am not discouraged by that at all, and am looking forward to their addition

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Fonze said:

Considering the name, I see no logical reason why FreeDoom isn't 100% solely made for the purpose Jaws described: a free-to-distribute iWad replacement for people too cheap to buy a 5 dollar game with infinite replay value found in pWads. That said, removing vanilla compat is a puzzling shot in the foot, at least in my opinion.

Agreed 100%. I always thought Freedoom was meant to be a vanilla-compat iwad that replaced all copyrighted assets and could thus be legally passed around - when did that change? I really see no logic behind the whole thing not being vanilla compatible. It should run in everything from Choco to Boom to Doom95, no exceptions. That's my opinion anyway.

EDIT: It seems Freedoom has always been Boom-compat, I must have been thinking of FreeDM as I vividly remember recording demos in Chocolate Doom. I do think the idea of working towards a fully-vanilla Freedoom is a nice idea with that said.

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scifista42 said:

and can officially be used as a part of other games/software?


Are you referring to a commercial product of some kind? If so, the better option would probably be to create all assets you use yourself rather than using the fruit of the Free Doom's creators to make a profit. If you don't intend to put a price tag on it, then I don't see the point because you can simply require the user to provide their own WAD.

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Doomkid said:

It should run in everything from Choco to Boom to Doom95, no exceptions. That's my opinion anyway.

Doomkid said:

Doom95



You should have said that before they abandoned .mus music in favor of .mid all the way

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Well, D95 would still run it, just without music - that's still better than not being compatible at all! I get minor things like not converting to MUS and perhaps not including custom PC speaker sounds, but not being fully vanilla just seems so strange to me.

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7hm said:

One question I had was - who made the current Freedoom maps? I find it really weird that authors aren't credited for their maps in an obvious manner (unless I've somehow completely missed something obvious, but in the credits file I just see people credited for levels, not which levels).

Also, I guess related to what Memfis brought up... are there lost maps out there that have been removed and not released separately by the mappers?

Freedoom is a community project. Everyone can make maps for it.

Also about the credits file: Freedoom is constantly changed around. So we can't just write who made what. IIRC, there was an old Map09 called Mine HM09 (now its a new map called Datacenter).
When the project is going to release v1.0, THEN you will get a better more accurate credits file.

Lost maps? Yes. They are all in the attic.

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