Doomworld is the oldest unofficial fan website dedicated to the Doom games. The site was founded on March 13, 1998 by Andrew Stine (Linguica), Gaston Lahaut (Mordeth), and Javier Heredia (Dukrous); the site began as part of the AtomicGamer network of TeleFragged, LLC. It became an independent website following the shutdown of Atomic Gamer on July 25, 2015. Of the original founders, only Stine and Lahaut remain, but the number of total members on the staff has grown almost three-fold.
In addition to Doom related news, Doomworld also hosted the weekly /newstuff Chronicles reviews of new WADs uploaded to the idgames archive and a database of the archive with search, user comment, and mirror access capabilities. The site also provides informational resources about Doom and associated games, hosting of Doom websites, and a forum with over 40,000 registered users and 2,637,000 posts as of September 2023.
Doomworld received some mention in mainstream media in 1999 due to the controversy surrounding the Columbine High School massacre and shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's obsession with the Doom games. It gained some additional renown in the same year after Andrew Stine convinced John Carmack to allow the site to redistribute the Doom source code under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Doom creator John Romero said in 2016 that he still visits the website to keep up with the community surrounding his game.
Doomworld provides a set of forums. Discussion areas are provided for Classic Doom, Doom 3, Doom (2016), and Doom Eternal, as well as the “Everything Else” general discussion forum and areas for discussion of news and hosted sites.
- The pink fish first appeared on Doomworld. It is common for people to have fish as their avatars.
- Originally, it was not possible for a normal user to set their custom title. Instead, titles were given out by administrators in randomly timed "title giveaways", or set in response to behaviour on the forums. However, Steve Dudzik (Lüt), one of the Doomworld administrators, decided on July 19, 2021, to make users having more than four posts be able to set up their own custom title, in response to RestlessRodent's "Why I left this community" thread.
- The Doomworld forums inspired a series of joke WADs. An anonymous mapper created dwforums.wad as a parody of the forums. The mapper later followed up with dwforums2.wad and dwforums3.wad.
- Guess the Map is an intermittent but regular event in which participants are asked to identify WADs and maps from editor and automap screenshots.
These "punishment"-oriented forums were formerly notable features of the site that were retired when Doomworld transitioned to its new forum software in 2017:
- Instead of threads and posts being deleted, they were previously sent to "Post Hell". In contrast to the rest of the forums, Post Hell featured a bright orange theme, flashing imitation banner ad, obnoxious background music, and an animated flame effect at the bottom of the window. Fredrik Johansson was featured at the top of Post Hell.
- Troublemakers were generally not banned outright from the site, but were instead temporarily “losered”. Losered people could only post in a single forum, “Losers”, which was invisible to normal users.
Notable articles and features
- 5 Years of Doom (1998)
- 10 Years of Doom (2003)
- Top 100 Most Memorable Maps (2018)
- Top 25 Missed Cacowards (2018)
- Cacowards (recurring annually since 2004)
- The /newstuff Chronicles
2015 hosting change
It was announced by Andrew Stine in early July of 2015 that AtomicGamer would close down by the end of the month and that plans were in place to backup and transfer all of the site's content to a new hosting arrangement in the hands of community members. As of July 25, the doomworld.com domain became intermittently unavailable due to a change made to AtomicGamer's DNS records. It was afterward fully re-established under Stine's control as an independent website. The site was temporarily available at an alternate doom.world domain name until transfer of the doomworld.com domain from Telefragged and sufficient DNS propagation were complete.
2017 software change
On March 13, 2017, to coincide with the 19th birthday of the site, Doomworld changed its backend codebase, moving from a heavily customized vBulletin 2.2.5 along with a collection of custom-written scripts to the IPS Community Suite. The move was driven by the looming security issues in the old software, which was over 15 years old at that point, and it was decided that the amount of effort that would be required to fix the hundreds of potential vulnerabilities would be better used to configure a more modern backend software. The new software has support for social media features, such as username tagging, notifications, a more robust private messaging system, status updates (to replace the semi-hidden "Blogs" subforum), integrated file uploading and sharing, shareable and customisable activity streams, and the ability to react to content.
The /idgames Database was also fully integrated into the new software; however, users protested that the new incarnation did not include all of the same features as the old version, most notably in its search functionality and a lack of full backwards compatibility with existing URLs. Within days of the change, the "old" /idgames Database was revived and the new version was demoted to "beta" status.
2022 data breach
On October 12, 2022, the Doomworld database was breached and a reported total of 34,400 users were affected. The hacking in question managed to exfiltrate usernames, email addresses, IPs, dates of birth and password hashes. The following day, Doomworld admin, Andrew Stine (Linguica), issued an statement confirming the hack and informing the user base of what exactly happened, the targeted data, and reassuring that measures would be done to ensure the security of the forum.
- Doomworld's idgames archive database
- Backup of AtomicGamer's Doomworld directory for hosted sites
- Doomworld Facebook Group (unofficial)
- Doomworld Steam Group (unofficial)
- This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Doomworld (archived 🏛).
- Seligman, Katherine (22 April 1999). "Video game players say it's just that - a game." San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Candiotti, Susan (28 April 1999). "No easy explanation for Columbine killings." CNN (archived 🏛). Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Cover, Scott et al. Interview (4 June 1999). "Good Morning America." ABC. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Stanton, Rich (21 January 2016). "Doom returns: why John Romero made one last level." The Guardian (archived 🏛). Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- Dudzik, Steve (19 July 2021). . Doomworld forums. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
- NightmareZer0 (13 March 2017). . Doomworld. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- FalconFeedsio (12 October 2022). "Doomworld Database has been uploaded in the hackers forum." Twitter. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
- Linguica (13 October 2022). . Doomworld. Retrieved 11 December 2022.