A Visit to id Software
A Visit to id Software is a 32-minute-long video recorded in November 1993 by Dan Linton, operator of the Software Creations BBS. The first third is a tour of the id Software office (showing id employees and associates Adrian Carmack, Shawn Green, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, Dave Taylor, Jay Wilbur, and Bobby Prince), the remaining two thirds being game play footage. Joe Siegler from Apogee Software discovered a VHS tape with this footage in 2009 and sent it to John Romero, who digitized it and placed it on Vimeo.
The video quality is poor, since the game footage was obtained by filming the monitor. However, it reveals a few things about the development of the game, as it was recorded a bit less than a month after the release of the press release beta and about two months before the first public release. The id Software crew makes many comments about the game and the levels during the demonstration, drawing attention to various map details and engine features, as well as bugs not yet fixed.
The game still featured a number of major bugs, such as, when finishing a level, often crashing with a Z_Malloc error message and a helpful notice telling not to worry about the "file not found" error also displayed.
Some of the notable differences include:
- HUD messages (such as item pickups) are displayed right above the status bar, instead of on the top of the screen. The game displays the last three messages.
- The ouch face is displayed while walking on damaging floors. The face is also shown when taking heavy damage, as seen at the end of E1M3 and E1M4's crushing ceiling.
- On the intermission screen, the statistics are aligned horizontally as KILL, ITEM and SCRT, rather than vertically. The level music continues on the intermission screen, instead of it having its own theme ("Intermission from DOOM", also used for E2M3).
- Sound effects
- As a placeholder, the SNES Wolfenstein 3D sound effects are used. All the monsters have the same death scream, and all the weapons have the same detonation - even the chainsaw, which as a result sounds like a chaingun.
- As in the press release version when sound is enabled, there is no volume attenuation with distance.
- Unmodified GENMIDI lump from DMX SDK was used, resulting in different OPL music sound.
- Bonus items are still treasures instead of health and armor bonuses. However, the demonic dagger already functions as a health bonus, and the skull chest as armor bonus. Unholy bible and evil sceptres, present in the beta, were already removed from the game.
- Imp fireballs are still using the beta graphics (smaller and with four points, somewhat like a red plasma ball).
- Health and armor seem uncapped. Picking up skull chests after a blue armor improves the armor rating past 200%. The supercharge gives 100 points of both health and armor. Picking up one with 147% health and 203% armor resulting in 247% health and 303% armor.
- Keys are still around in deathmatch. They remain behind when picked up so that another player can also pick them up.
- Deathmatch uses regular player starts due to not being a distinct game mode yet - it is simply co-operative with belligerent players.
- Sprites can be seen through doors as they open, indicating there were still glitches in the drawsegs sorting algorithm.
- Sprites for gibbed enemies and door-crushed corpses differ significantly.
- The rendering engine still runs in VGA mode 13h, as evident from lack of shimmering in the hall of mirrors effect.
- Level design
- The exit rooms feature a nonfunctional door, making it seem like a switch-activated airlock.
- No bonus items are present.
- The green armor tower is behind a secret door, and contains a shotgun instead. The green armor and its pedestal is found right in front of the secret door.
- The computer room is not present. Instead, there is a length of detailed corridor, with a large bay window to the right and an elevated area to the left.
- The nukage pool in the secret courtyard has a supercharge instead of a blue armor.
- The room before the exit does not feature barrels yet.
- The red key aisle is still accessed by lifts rather than by stairways.
- The music track is "Dark Halls" (E1M3) instead of "The Imp's Song".
- The backpack secret in the computer maze area contains a rocket launcher instead of a backpack. (The game crashes after picking it up, so the rest of the level is not seen.)
- Music track is "Waiting For Romero To Play" (Doom II MAP18) instead of "Dark Halls"
- The hidden window opening from the left part of the map to the center room before the secret exit is behind a computer screen showing the "PLANET1" texture. Once opened, visibility is reduced by BRNBIGR+BRNBIGL midtexture combination.
- The start room has a UAC logo (SHAWN1) in it.
- The courtyard is not yet open to the sky. The skylight instead is textured with FLAT9.
- The northeastern room is still textured with GRAY7 instead of the final STARTAN3. Its "one-time-only" lift raises into the ceiling, triggering a massive HOM from which Romero escapes by no-clipping back into a playable part of the level. Interestingly, the HOM does not show the classic flashing effect that gives HOM its name, suggesting that at this point Doom was not yet using a triple-buffered "Mode Y" graphical mode, but was possibly still running in mode 13h.
- The stairways/corridors circling around the western nukage pit do not have their monster closet traps yet.