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Early Versions Of Doom

Hello Doomworld Forum members, this is my first post!

I've been a fan of the Doom series for years, and I've finally started collecting to rekindle some of that nostalgia...

I have a couple of questions regarding the first physical release of Doom. Was the mail order shareware release (pictured below) the first official physical representation of Doom?

I know that Doom was released on a university server for free, but I'm more interested in the first time it was made available to the public in a tangible form (ignoring bootlegs, homemade versions, or id prototypes).

Also, what version of Doom is on the mail order shareware disks (pictured below)?

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/doom/cover-art/gameCoverId,194559/

Lastly, does anyone know anything about this photo?

Is this an official release? I didn't know the mail order full Doom came in a 5.25" disk format!

Thank you in advance for any input!

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n0w.co said:

Lastly, does anyone know anything about this photo?

http://n0w.co/images/doom-5-inch.jpg

Is this an official release? I didn't know the mail order full Doom came in a 5-inch format!

The Australian distributor (Manaccom) would provide 5.25" disks for a nominal fee though I get the impression there's not many of them in circulation, don't see any reason why other distributors wouldn't do likewise while the demand was there. Best I've managed to date is Shareware Doom on 360k floppies.


(900x830 - 249k)

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Thanks for the response, GreyGhost. Interesting information and photo as well...

To the best of your knowledge, did id release these 5.25" disks too?

The Doom logo is larger than anything else on the disk labels (photo below), which might indicate that this was manufactured by id.

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The box, manual and addendum look like they're from the mail-order release and the labels are thematically similar to the 3.5" disk labels, finding a receipt in the box would clinch it. The order form that accompanies Shareware Doom v1.2 has a 5.25" HD disk option, that was removed when v1.666 was released.

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Yes, it certainly does look very similar to the 3.5" version (packaging, manual etc). I agree that it looks like a pretty genuine "straight from id" copy.

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n0w.co said:

Was the mail order shareware release (pictured below) the first official physical representation of Doom?
http://n0w.co/images/doom-shareware.jpg

This certainly looks spiffy but is in no way any more "official" than any other shareware DOOM packaging. I'm afraid this thread is based on a misunderstanding. The mail-order version was registered DOOM (i.e. the three episodes), id did not distribute the shareware via mail order. All you had to do is upload it to a few major BBSes (like Software Creations) and maybe send a few diskettes to a couple of major shareware distributors, and from then on it would it spread by itself like a wildfire. Why would you spend time and money on something that everyone else was willing to do for you at no cost to you?

As for the 5-inch floppies, I can confirm what GreyGhost said. Although they were becoming somewhat uncommon at that point there was nothing extraordinary about distributors offering them as an option.

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Thanks again for the great input, GreyGhost. Enjay as well!

Never_Again said:

id did not distribute the shareware via mail order.


Interesting... I've seen this version bundled with other software (Wolfenstein 3D). Was this the only way to get Doom shareware from id?

Also, any idea which version of Doom shareware is on these disks?

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/doom/cover-art/gameCoverId,194559/

Thanks again everyone!

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n0w.co said:

Interesting... I've seen this version bundled with other software (Wolfenstein 3D). Was this the only way to get Doom shareware from id?

My understanding is that id uploaded the shareware to a BBS then every man and his dog downloaded it and anyone who had an interest in doing so put it on disks for people to get. I am not aware of id distributing hard copies of the SW version but that doesn't mean that it definitely did not happen.

Remember, at the time there wasn't an internet as such and a lot of computer users didn't have a modem so almost every PC magazine featured cover disks with the latest and greatest software on them. Any magazine worth its salt gave out a copy of Doom SW. However, there were also other people who made disks for sale. Many computer stores would have a rack of shareware disks for sale (the logic being that the cost of making and distributing the disk justified the price, not the software on it). Some of these were very professional/authentic looking. My guess is that's what's in that picture.

As for the GT disk, I know that my 1.1 and 1.2 disks don't feature the GT logo anywhere. Not much help I'm afraid.

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Thanks for the insight, Enjay!

Enjay said:

...anyone who had an interest in doing so put it on disks for people to get.


That would explain why there are so many shareware variations!

Enjay said:

I know that my 1.1 and 1.2 disks don't feature the GT logo anywhere.


Are yours GT disks? Also, maybe someone in this forum has the following disks:

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/doom/cover-art/gameCoverId,194559/

If so, which version of Doom is on these disks? Thanks again for all of the responses so far!

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