Boom, which was one of the first ports around, has been said by id Software's lead programmer John Carmack to be the closest thing there is to an official Doom source port. Boom does not only remove a significant amount of the bugs that were in the original Doom engine, but also extends the editing possibilities so that maps can be more advanced. Boom introduced things such as translucency and BEX - which is a more powerful version of the popular DeHackEd patch format that allows modifying the game's monsters and weapons among other things. The Boom editing extensions are today a definite standard, for which most maps are being made. The development of Boom is now closed, and the engine only works under Ms-Dos, so it may not be a given choice on new systems. However, many of the newer source ports can play levels made for Boom. The real modern continuation of Boom is PrBoom (see below), but ZDoom is also thought by many to be an intuitive expansion of Boom.
PrBoom, which runs under both Windows and Linux, is aimed at being a fast and clean, close-to-the-origins and mainly compatible source port. PrBoom is the only source port that will play back practically all demos recorded with the original Doom, Boom, DosDoom or MBF, in addition to working correctly with levels made for those ports. PrBoom also follows the original Doom as closely as possible in behaviour. Therefore, it is generally thought of as a player's port and your best choice if all you want to do is to just play the game. PrBoom features extended options (including comfortable in-game control setup) and high-resolution rendering. The PrBoom download contains two executables, the ordinary PrBoom and also GlBoom, which is the same but with OpenGL-powered hardware rendering (still aimed at looking as true to the original as possible, without adding unnecessary effects).
ZDoom is a fast and solid source port, mainly targeted at map makers. It has a wide range of editing features, such as a customized Hexen-style level format that supports ACS scripts and hubs, colored lighting, sloped floors, simplified fake 3D bridges, mirrors, and polyobjects (moving and rotating walls). ZDoom is also almost fully compatible with Boom levels, fixing several of Doom's bugs and adding map extensions, and has support for DeHackEd and BEX modifications. On the graphical side, ZDoom features high resolutions and translucency, while also having the fastest known renderer around. It has several gameplay extensions such as optional mouse look and jumping, plus the ability to walk over and under things. Also features a console, convenient Quake-style keybindings and the ability to play several music formats such as MP3 and modules. Future features may include DoomScript (a scripting extension similar to UnrealScript that will allow modifying and expanding the game), Room-over-Room support and many other things. Supports Heretic and has support for Hexen in development. Runs under Windows 95/98, Windows NT, and Linux. Very many WADs have been made for this port. Thought by many as being the premier port.
Last edited by Fredrik on Aug 17 2002 at 14:36