Happy 23rd Birthday, DOOM!

It's that time of year again, where we say Happy Birthday to one of my most favorite games, DOOM! Every year I try to reveal something about the game's development that hasn't been documented to death. Believe me, DOOM has been documented more than most games. But never fear, I have so much stuff that no one has seen that I could do this forever. Of course, I'm limited in what I can release, so it's going to be something simple and maybe known already.

When we decided to create The Ultimate DOOM, we had a name for it internally since the title "The Ultimate DOOM" wasn't created until just before we released it in 1995. Internally, we called it The Special Edition. On our development drive we had a directory during original DOOM development called "data" that had all the game's data files (level WADs, palette, text screens, etc.) The directory for The Ultimate DOOM was "data_se" for Special Edition.

We had a utility called WADLINK that read a script file and put a WAD together. Yes, our Novell Netware file server directory was called FLEM. Um, yes, the $shootwad command really happened. Here's a little of the beginning of that file:

;=== WADLINK.WL -- This links all of Dooms WADs. ===
$WADNAME        /flem/doom/data_se/doom



;======================= MAPS ======================
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m1
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m2
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m3
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m4
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m5
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m6
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m7
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m8
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m9

As you can see, this script put together the WAD file for The Ultimate DOOM. Sorry this post was mostly for the tech-minded DOOM fans!