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dark1x

Console Doom Ports

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Greetings to Doom World!

 

Sometime in the next month, I'm planning to do an episode on all of the official console ports of Doom for my 'DF Retro' series over on Digital Foundry. Going to be grabbing in loads of fresh capture all from actual hardware, of course. Finally managed to get my hands on every version just for this episode!

 

Just to confirm - I'm planning to look at Sega 32x, Atari Jaguar, Super NES, 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance and then perhaps things like the version included with Xbox Doom 3 and the PS3/360 ports. That's everything, right?


Of course, Doom is an incredibly deep and complex subject so I'm working to get up to speed on important information. I'm already very familiar with all of these ports strengths and weaknesses but not to the level of the some of the posters here! Just wanted to get some discussion on the ports going on again while I'm digging around for new information. I may mention Doom 64, since it is based on modified Doom code, but it's really such a different game so we'll see.

 

Anything you guys would like to see? The topic is so broad that I'm afraid I'll miss something interesting with so many different versions to cover. :X

 

One thing I'm planning to do is run Saturn Doom through our frame-rate analysis tools - both the US and Japanese versions. I'd like to answer the question as to whether there IS a difference in performance or not.

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Firstly, oh god guys I love your show/YouTube channel.

 

20 minutes ago, dark1x said:

One thing I'm planning to do is run Saturn Doom through our frame-rate analysis tools - both the US and Japanese versions. I'd like to answer the question as to whether there IS a difference in performance or not.

 

Did you not already do this? I can swear I saw it somewhere, unless I'm thinking of a different video/YouTuber (or different game). Either way, I don't think the results confirmed any speed difference.

 

One thing to bear in mind is the Jaguar family of DOOM ports (to wit: Jaguar, 3DO, 32X, GBA, PSX and SAT all had the same architecturally-simplified maps, PSX/SAT going further by similarly-modifying maps not in the Jaguar original) and the more PC-style (SNES, XBox, XBL/PSN) may not be so objective a comparison because of (as mentioned) the simplified architecture but also perhaps there are other differences I'm not away of (I'm not one of the techies here).

GBA Doom 2 is an anomaly, too -- very slightly-simplified map layouts (actually some are split into two smaller maps so the console could handle it, etc) but as far as I gather it's not even the id Software engine running it.

I'll let more knowledgeable folk take the stage now. ;)

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2 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

Did you not already do this? I can swear I saw it somewhere, unless I'm thinking of a different video/YouTuber (or different game). Either way, I don't think the results confirmed any speed difference.

 

Well, I DID actually do exactly this for Tomb Raider. There were claims that the PAL version ran faster than the NTSC version but I discovered that they are 100% identical in terms of performance. Haven't tackled Doom yet, though, but maybe someone else has? I suspect they'll be identical but it's worth looking at!

 

You're right about the map differences. That's something I want to discuss, of course. 

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Just now, dark1x said:

Well, I DID actually do exactly this for Tomb Raider.

 

THAT'S what I saw! Thanks for the reminder/correction. Yeah, couldn't put my finger on why a side-by-side Saturn comparison by you guys seemed so familiar. Doing it for DOOM would be welcome; I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be any difference but seeing definitive proof would be ideal of course.

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You definitely want to draw attention towards DOOM64, especially point out that there are ways to play it on PC (Absolution TC, EX, GZD64, BD64, Retribution). It's a criminally underrated title, obviously much more than a port, but if you had to do an 'honorable mention' at some point it would make most Doom fans happy.

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Also I don't know if homebrew efforts are relevant (in a "Doom could've been ported directly to N64 instead of the game it got" kinda way)?
 

 

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53 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

One thing to bear in mind is the Jaguar family of DOOM ports (to wit: Jaguar, 3DO, 32X, GBA, PSX and SAT all had the same architecturally-simplified maps, PSX/SAT going further by similarly-modifying maps not in the Jaguar original)


I think the maps new to the PSX/Saturn were simplified significantly less than the original registered Doom-based Jaguar mapset. Same goes for maps used in PSX Final Doom. Eg. E4M2 should probably been simplified more because it runs very slow even on the PSX NTSC version... though on the other hand, the PSX engine could probably have handled the registered Doom 1 maps with less simplifications just fine so I wish they would have reconverted them and not just used the Jag mapset as is.

 

 

54 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

GBA Doom 2 is an anomaly, too -- very slightly-simplified map layouts (actually some are split into two smaller maps so the console could handle it, etc) but as far as I gather it's not even the id Software engine running it.

 

Correct, it isn't using the Doom engine at all. GBA Doom 1 does though.

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7 minutes ago, xttl said:

E4M2

 

Playing this map on the Saturn version is the REAL 'Nightmare!' mode of any version of DOOM ever. XD

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I am so excited!

Only about the PSX part tho,

Doom and Final Doom there was my first ever serious games I played.

 

It can be said that those two are "best doom's released" since they first introduced colored sectors, alpha blending aka transparent textures and so on.

Its interesting how is the IDTech1 engine running on playstation in overall, aka they removed archvile because he used way too much RAM, and it uses ... well sorta atypical resolution aspect ratio. Remember that the PS1 can output RGB video but grab "sync on luma".

 

I think if they optimized the game better it would run better. Not the maps tho. so how many FPS we will get?

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Btw. a PS2 and especially Sony's PS1 software emulator on PS3 might run the games slightly faster / with better framerate than an actual PS1. Thought I'd mention this in case you're going to use a PS3 for its HDMI output and do any benchmarking with it.

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1 hour ago, xttl said:

Btw. a PS2 and especially Sony's PS1 software emulator on PS3 might run the games slightly faster / with better framerate than an actual PS1. Thought I'd mention this in case you're going to use a PS3 for its HDMI output and do any benchmarking with it.

Yep, PS3 does tend to run PS1 games faster. I'll be using an original PSX since my copy of Doom is NTSC-J.

 

Quote

Remember that the PS1 can output RGB video but grab "sync on luma".

Yeah, I'm using a sync on luma RGB cable. I ran into issues with the first RGB cables I grabbed due to that issue (checkered patterns all over the image). Looks great in RGB now!

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One thing I would find interesting would be some mention of the 32X prototypes, as detailed at https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Doom_32X_Development and https://tcrf.net/Proto:Doom_(32X) .

 

Also, I would like to see a mention of the iOS port, which is unusual in that it's an "official" port that is actually based on a post-source-code-release community source port using a completely different hardware-accelerated renderer.

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39 minutes ago, Linguica said:

One thing I would find interesting would be some mention of the 32X prototypes, as detailed at https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Doom_32X_Development and https://tcrf.net/Proto:Doom_(32X) .

 

Also, I would like to see a mention of the iOS port, which is unusual in that it's an "official" port that is actually based on a post-source-code-release community source port using a completely different hardware-accelerated renderer.

Oh right! Great point! The iOS port was really quite good, wasn't it?

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Massive fan of DF here. Great to see you finally tackling Doom!

 

You should absolutely include Doom 64 in the episode, if for nothing else than to highlight the unique changes that Midway made to the engine. Quake 2 64 was its own game, too, as you rightly pointed out last time ;)

 

Also it would be great to finally see if NTSC-J Saturn Doom really does run any better. I've been toying with the idea of getting it, but I'm in Europe and while I have the AR cart, any performance gains would probably be offset by the decrease to 50hz :P

 

This has the potential to be a long episode! :D

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24 minutes ago, scalliano said:

This has the potential to be a long episode!

 

Aw come on. Saturn DOOM doesn't run that slow!

 

Well, it

nearly does...

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On the PS they did at least try to fix the speed in the PAL version (the way they did this causes some odd things though). Unfortunately nothing was done about the squished image even though this is a 3D game and not something with lots of 2D graphics that would have to be manually adjusted or remade. :(

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3 minutes ago, xttl said:

On the PS they did at least try to fix the speed in the PAL version (the way they did this causes some odd things though). Unfortunately nothing was done about the squished image even though this is a 3D game and not something with lots of 2D graphics that would have to be manually adjusted or remade. :(

For PAL games, if you're using a Framemeister or a Sony PVM CRT monitor, you can just adjust the image to eliminate borders, I've found. Was not useful back in the day since most consumer sets lacked such an option but, today, it is possible at least! I primarily collect NTSC games exclusively but do have a few PAL releases and, yeah, they can be weird.

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9 hours ago, dark1x said:

Just to confirm - I'm planning to look at Sega 32x, Atari Jaguar, Super NES, 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance and then perhaps things like the version included with Xbox Doom 3 and the PS3/360 ports. That's everything, right?

There are two more. One is the "official" port to Pocket PC, developed by Machineworks Northwest, which created some controversary, when the developer or the publisher, i don't remember exactly, tried to take down the existing ports to WinCE, based on the GPL'ed source code. It's interesting too, that while the game contain the Ultimate Doom doom.wad, you just can play the first three episodes, like in the first release of Doom.

 

The other one is Doom II for the Tapwave Zodiac, created by Machineworks Northwest too, which is a straight port, for the short lived mobile console, based on PalmOS. 

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Some older PVMs actually do not have the controls for picture size and position available externally, at least my PVM-2043MD (which was manufactured in 1994 I think, maybe even a few years earlier still) doesn't. There's just a single underscan mode button which shrinks the picture a bit and that's it. Fortunately I do also have the NTSC version and a region-free console for playing it.

 

IIRC they actually increased the player movement speed slightly in the PAL version to make it feel faster, but this also makes it possible to do jumps that don't work in the NTSC version or on PC. Frame timings for the weapons have also been adjusted so that eg. the shotgun's fire rate (in relation to the speed everything else goes in the game world) is noticeably faster. Monsters might've been altered too.

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2 hours ago, dark1x said:

Oh right! Great point! The iOS port was really quite good, wasn't it?

Yeah, I don't own a iDevice but they basically took advantage of prboom, one of the most respected source ports and added several control schemes with configurability.

 

https://github.com/id-Software/DOOM-iOS

 

They had to GPL-release the code, too.

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5 minutes ago, cybdmn said:

There are two more. One is the "official" port to Pocket PC, developed by Machineworks Northwest, which created some controversary, when the developer or the publisher, i don't remember exactly, tried to take down the existing ports to WinCE, based on the GPL'ed source code. It's interesting too, that while the game contain the Ultimate Doom doom.wad, you just can play the first three episodes, like in the first release of Doom.

 

The other one is Doom II for the Tapwave Zodiac, created by Machineworks Northwest too, which is a straight port, for the short lived mobile console, based on PalmOS. 

Ahh, those could be tricky then. I don't have either piece of hardware and I'm not sure I could capture from them anyways. Any good emulation options for those just to touch on them? I didn't actually realize they existed!

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iOS and PocketPC devices aren't really considered game consoles though or are they? Tapwave Zodiac was at least marketed as such. Not that I'd have anything against covering those ports too.

 

Official ports of Doom were also made for classic Macs and Acorn RISC OS machines (and you could maybe count Doom95 too, though it was only a port to a different OS on the same hardware platform as the original), but I guess you're not going to cover ports to other desktop computing platforms, they're very similar to the original PC version anyway...

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33 minutes ago, dark1x said:

Ahh, those could be tricky then. I don't have either piece of hardware and I'm not sure I could capture from them anyways. Any good emulation options for those just to touch on them? I didn't actually realize they existed!

 

I made a short video of the first demo years ago. While the game itself runs smoothly, the capture was sloppy as hell. I used MyMobiler, a free software for screengrabbing of mobile devices, i even tried a commercial solution, i stumbled upon in my job, the result was unfortunately the same.

 

 

For the Tapwave Zodiac i never found any equivalent software, unfortunately.

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Remember to include that John Romero officially deemed the PlayStation version of Doom to be superior to all other versions.

I tossed my diskettes out when I learned this, but some people still play the antiquated version on PC.

psx.jpg

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Not nearly as knowledgable as most here, but Super Nintendo Doom is usually considered the worst port gameplay wise.  It's impressive as hell though, imo.  Biggest thing to note about it is that it's not really a port of the Doom engine.  It's a rewrite from the ground up (as is one of the GBA Doom ports - 2 I think).  Apparently made by one of the developers of Bleem! (who knew) Randy Linden.

Also: Had deathmatch...

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Doom 2 on the GBA uses Torus Games Southpaw engine, which was used for GBA Duke 3D and Ice Nine too.

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Yah. Didn't mean to imply that it used the same engine as SNES Doom, only that it wasn't an engine port.

 

 

 

 

 

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Man, I'm playing the 3DO version right now and forgot how abysmal this was. I knew it was bad but, in my mind, it ran similarly to the Saturn version when, in reality, it's much worse. It's pretty much single digit frame-rates 90% of the time - like Perfect Dark 4-player mode but worse.

 

Even the smallest window is slower than Saturn.

 

I'm familiar with the story, though, thanks to that interview with Rebecca. She seems to have done the best possible job in the least amount of time. Surprised it runs at all, to be honest!

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