Review - amigaDOOM-1.10-0.5b
Mathew R. Ignash mignash@rust.net

amigaDOOM-1.10-0.5b by trance (trance@mail.org)

Introduction: It is difficult not to have heard of one of the all-time most loved video games of the 1990's, DOOM by ID software. Released in 1993 for MS-DOS, DOOM could very well be blamed for the movement to PC-AT clones in the video game market in the last few years. For the longest time many Amiga users have wanted to play DOOM in at home, and now their dream has come true.

Check out your Amiga Report archives. In Amiga Report issue 227, an article titled "A letter to ID..." In it an Amiga user pleads with ID to port to Amiga, but ID declines. In ID's statement, they claim that an 68040 based Amiga with chunky mode graphics card would be minimum to make DOOM run. Kind of ironic that I'm playing it now on my A1200 50mhz 030 with a port that took a guy less then a week to do.

In December 1997, ID software released the source code for DOOM to the public, together with a letter explaining that they would welcome ports in other systems. It didn't take long for a number of ports to arrive on the Amiga platform. The one I reviewed is called amiga-DOOM-1.10-0.5b by a person named of trance. Although it is considered a beta release it is very professional and playable.

Details: What is most amazing about this port is how system friendly it is. It installs to hard drive, where you have an icon that launches the game. After a couple of seconds it comes up with the DOOM logo. Meanwhile the rest of the system continues to run perfectly in the background. If you have a hotkey installed to switch screens you can move back to Workbench and use the computer normally. DOOM runs at full resolution on a NTSC 320x200x256 color screen, which means you can even display it on a TV screen. I don't recommend trying to run more then one copy of DOOM at a time though, even if you have enough RAM. The game exit's cleanly and quickly, returning it's RAM to the system.

The game runs fine using the doom1.wad file originally distributed with the shareware version of DOOM. What is difficult is getting the doom1.wad file into a machine without an internet connection or high density drive. doom1.wad is over 4mb in size! But it is necessary to run. Once you have it installed everything else is easy.

Playing the game is almost indistinguishable from the original version. The left Amiga key is used as the fire button and the arrows and keypad are the same as the original DOOM. Sound support is provided by the excellent AHI retargetable audio device, which means it can use your Amiga's built in sound or any of a number of audio cards available. Picture is generated through the RTGmaster.library, which means the majority of Amiga graphics cards are supported, as well as ECS and AGA systems.

System Requirements: At least a 68020 CPU and 8mb of RAM and about 6mb of drive space to install it are the absolute minimum. To get usable speed out of it I recommend a 68030 or higher, a floating point unit co-processor, AGA video or an RTG video card. If you are using the old ECS display chips for screen generation you are limited in the number of colors you can display, but RTGmaster.library dithers the display for you so it can still be played.

Software Requirements: Workbench 3.0 and several support files are used by this game. These files include RTGmaster.library (to redirect the graphics to a variety of displays), lowlevel.library (for joystick support), AHI (retargetable audio for a variety of sound devices), ixemul.library, and ixnet.library (both for easy porting of unix code). All these files are freely available to anyone on the internet. They all must be properly installed before DOOM will run, except for AHI, which will only silence the gameplay if missing.

Note: several other ports have been seen on the internet for the Amiga, and many of them have slightly different requirements and abilities. We will try to cover some of the others in future issues.

Mathew R. Ignash

Webmaster of Honorable Mention, The MCUG Amiga SIG Web Page and Amiga Decade, Matt's Amiga Dictionary And Reference, and Matt's Original Rifts Material.
(http://www.rust.net/~mignash/)

Webmaster of The C64/128 Web Directory.
(http://www.cucug.org/c64128.html)


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