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Death Egg

The fate of Vavoom

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Vavoom was at one point one of the most promising up and coming source ports; I would have put it on the level of Eternity or 3DGE in terms of it being an advanced port catching up to GZDoom. However, while the lack of interest hasn't deterred either of those ports, it seems it's what eventually killed Vavoom.

 

While I haven't had a ton of experience playing around with the engine, it's lighting system is unique and hasn't been replicated since. It's a shame to see it fail. Has anyone thought of continuing the port, possibly under a new name like 3DGE is just EDGE with a new coat of paint, or how Eternity if the successor to SMMU which is the successor to MBF etc. (May be wrong there) Alternatively maybe another port could absorb the features, in the same way most of Legacy is supported by GZDoom now.

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My recollection of Vavoom was that despite some interesting features (the most promising of which being that it supported QuakeC type definitions as I recall) it was intolerably crash-prone.  Didn't GZDoom get (partial, at least?) support for Vavoom maps already, or am I mixing it up with the support for Doom Legacy maps?

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GZDoom supports the main features of Vavoom. Most of them trivially mapped to things already present so it was relatively easily added. But due to the distribution format it is normally necessary to repackage Vavoom projects to run in GZDoom.

 

Of course the lighting model is not emulated. Vavoom was using real-time generated lightmap textures which is a very inefficient method to implement lighting.

 

But interesting features aside, the engine was simply too unstable and also had several technical issues that really did not help gaining any traction.

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Hm, what would you say then would be a better way to implement a more advanced lighting model in a Doom source port? I would imagine Doomsday is looking into something like that, though I don't keep up with Doomsday's progress.

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That's probably an additional effect.

BTW, what's the FPS numbers in those screenshots? I can barely decipher them but it looks slow.

 

 

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29 top and 43 bottom, looks like.

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Could that lighting effect only work with models?  Because aside from the terrible MD2s, that looks amazing.

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I feel like Vavoom was the port that demonstrated features that everyone begged the authors of more popular ports to add, but didn't because it would either look hideous or run horrifically bad.  I guess it stands as an 'Exhibit A' of the results of forcing the Doom engine too far out of it's comfort zone.  

 

Still,  I've always admired the author for trying.  

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5 hours ago, Bauul said:

Could that lighting effect only work with models?  Because aside from the terrible MD2s, that looks amazing.

It does look awesome. A lot of people rag on Doom3, but, in general, shadows done right in Doom/Doom II could really produce some scares...Imagine walking past a light, and seeing the shadow of a monster appear on the wall in front of you. That would be awesome!

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10 hours ago, kb1 said:

It does look awesome. A lot of people rag on Doom3, but, in general, shadows done right in Doom/Doom II could really produce some scares...Imagine walking past a light, and seeing the shadow of a monster appear on the wall in front of you. That would be awesome!

I think the issue with Doom 3 was that the only lighting effect was stencil shadows, and that gave it a real one-note tone.

 

But, as demonstrated by the above screenshots, dynamic light powered stencils combined with Doom's general sector lighting looks pretty damn awesome!

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On 9.5.2017 at 2:00 AM, Bauul said:

Could that lighting effect only work with models?  Because aside from the terrible MD2s, that looks amazing.

The shadows from the map structures are created without the models.

Spoiler

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kb060xJ.jpg

 

The low fps was partly due that I bound a key to take screen shot series to capture better the flickering shadows. At final stage Vavoom had two renderers to choose: "r_levelrenderer 0" with the wicked fly-by light casting/shadows and the old "r_levelrenderer 1". The gameplay with shadows is ~notably heavier though.
 

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Vavoom's penultimate release, 1.32, was actually fairly stable and usable; the ultimate release, 1.33, removed the software renderer and was almost incapable of running. VavoomC was quite a powerful scripting language. Jānis also independently reverse-engineered Strife.

 

The best feature was the interoperability of features between map formats. Strife conversations in Doom, say.

 

https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Vavoom

 

I was a big fan of Vavoom, and was working on a Heretic project at the time. I was truly bummed when it died.

 

ZDoom is like the Borg: it adapts a port and its features to service itself. Resistance is futile.

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On 23.5.2017 at 0:26 AM, Giomancer said:

ZDoom is like the Borg: it adapts a port and its features to service itself. Resistance is futile.

ZDoom never borrowed a feature from Vavoom, though.

It only implemented Vavoom's way of exposing the features because many years back. when Vavoom was really buggy I wanted to play Silen Steel with a stable engine. But that was even before the first official GZDoom release, so when it was finally released it already had the needed support implemented.

 

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Ultimately this is open source stuff, so this "Borg" trend is natural.

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10 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

ZDoom never borrowed a feature from Vavoom, though.

That much is true. ZDoom was adding new features, and Vavoom was mimicking them, starting (in my memory) with slopes and ending with DECORATE support. I believe Janis gave up chasing ZDoom with little reward.

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On 5/22/2017 at 6:26 PM, Giomancer said:

ZDoom is like the Borg: Resistance is futile.

I genuinely chuckled at this. ASSIMILATE! :P

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On 23.5.2017 at 0:26 AM, Giomancer said:

 

Vavoom's penultimate release, 1.32, was actually fairly stable and usable; the ultimate release, 1.33, removed the software renderer and was almost incapable of running

 

DRD team no longer have the Vavoom devbuilds. Here's the last r4431. It's dated nine months later than 1.33.

 

IMO it's pretty stabile and can play Vavoom wads like Silent Steel fine:
https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/s-u/steel
https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/v-z/vslyr1

 

The current problem I noticed in r4431 is that without models the Doom spectres are literally invisible!

One more thing: Vavoom doesn't read -iwad command at all but it expects "-iwaddir [...] -doom2" style selections instead...

 

comment: r4431 is 9 months later than 1.33, but the svn count didn't change more than from ~r4366 of 1.33.

 

Edited by dl_simc : + a comment

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Is there a GitHub or Sourceforge up out there somewhere for this? Maybe a Vavoom 2.0 could ride from the ashes of its predecessor. 3DGE certainly is doing a good job of carrying the torch for EDGE...

 

Maybe call the new port just Voom? Or is that too silly? (Not that Vavoom wasn't already a humorous title...) Or perhaps VDoom...

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Even the last commit(r4438, later ones are in the branch for maintaining compatibility with other project) still a year ago...and sadly still no official release after 1.3.3, that's why I never tried it again because 1.3.3 just keep crashing on my end. :(

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3 hours ago, Ichor said:

This is still being worked on even now, and yes, it is for Vavoom.

That is beyond cool. Those portraits look just like Strife!

 

Seems that they're continuing work on the engine? Vavoom isn't so dead, after all.

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I tried the mod, and...even that mod is good and cool but the engine itself just...well, not my taste, at least stable than last time I tried the 1.3.3 release......maybe because I get used the GZDooM engine, but I still feel something not right in the Vavoom engine, I just not sure... :(

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