A community project (also known as CP) is a communal effort to create a PWAD, made by different users from around the Doom community, with the main goal being to offer an open map-making project where all kinds of mappers can participate and contribute with a level of their own. Usually, community projects require mappers to follow a set of rules, although it is not uncommon for community projects to have no rules at all.
Community projects tend to be very large in scope. Most community projects try to fill all map slots, depending on the target IWAD.
Community projects, despite being an open-door effort, tend to have one or more leaders that work as the spearheads and coordinators of the project. The leader (or leaders) of the project may impose a certain level of expected quality as a requisite to be accepted, or no requisite at all.
Community projects vary in their design theme and goal.
The initial PWADs, created by independent members of the community, were usually done through solo efforts or with a group of close friends. With the advent of the Internet, especially the creation of fan forums, map creation techniques evolved to offer different ways in which entire communities could participate in creating a WAD, usually with the goal of making it a complete megawad. One of the main advantages offered by this approach to creating maps is the ability to cover multiple levels in a relatively short period of time, which offers an attractive way to participate for other users without having to offer the work in its entirety, dividing it by parts and completing it in a convenient manner.
One of the very first community projects was the 1995 Memento Mori megawad, a collaborative effort spearheaded by Denis and Thomas Möller of The Innocent Crew mapping team which had gained fame thanks to the Slaughter Until Death and The Evil Unleashed episode replacements for Doom and the Obituary megawad for Doom II. Under their lead, the project managed to gather a total of 19 mappers, the largest amount for a collaborative effort up to that point, and was very successful, inspiring a series of other collaborative megawads including its sequel, Memento Mori II, and Requiem, which involved many of the same mappers.
Before this, most megawads used to be made either as a solo effort or a smaller team collaboration, such as the Serenity trilogy. Larger teams existed, and in some cases the line between a team effort and a community project can be blurry; such is the case with TeamTNT, a mapping team that produced many megawads such as TNT: Evilution, Icarus: Alien Vanguard, Eternal Doom and Daedalus: Alien Defense, all of which saw mapping contributions from many community members, due to TeamtTNT's relatively lax requirements for member recruitment. Another famous example is the Alpha Dog Alliance mapping team, which similarly consisted of many different mappers and modders who banded together to create the STRAIN megawad. Map makers would also start a project on their own and then invite other close collaborators to contribute a map, such as Alien Vendetta, a megawad founded by Anders Johnsen, but with a large number of contributed maps by other invited users, but despite this, WADs such as these, and other famous WADs following the same formula such as Ancient Aliens and Eviternity, are not traditionally considered to be community projects.
By the turn of the new century, community projects had somewhat faded in importance in the Doom mapping scene, and most releases returned to being either being developed solo or by mostly small teams. Things changed in 2003, when on the Doomworld forums, TeamTNT member Dale Harris (Cadman) proposed a brand new community project under the name of "The Community Chest Project". This was the first serious effort in this regard by a new generation of mappers since Memento Mori eight years earlier, with the key difference now being that recruitment and submissions were handled directly through the Doomworld forums, something not possible in 1995 due to the much more decentralized nature of the Doom community at the time. All kinds of mappers, newcomers or veterans alike, were invited to partake and the project proved very successful and became a series in its own right, spawning three successive sequels and two spin-offs – Heretic Treasure Chest and Community Chest 64. The success of the format ensured that from then on, community projects became a staple of the Doom community at large, and many others would soon follow in its wake, including Newdoom Community Project and ZPack.
Not all community projects feature multiple levels, however. Some of them feature mapping by multiple authors in the same map, such as Exquisite Corpse and the ZDoom Community Map Project "Take 1" and its sequel. Other types of community projects can instead not be focused on mapmaking, but on providing new textures (such as cc4-tex) or new music (as in the case of .MID the Way id Did). Additionally, community projects made by members of a particular nationality are also of common practice, such as the 3 heures d'agonie series made by the French Doom Community.
Notable community projects
- 3 heures d'agonie series
- 1000 Line Community Project series
- 1994 Tune-up Community Project
- Community Chest series
- Doom Upstart Mapping Project
- Doomer Boards Projects
- Doomworld Mega Project series
- Heretic Upstart Mapping Project
- Japanese Community Project
- MAYhem series
- Memento Mori series
- NOVA series
- Plutonia: Revisited Community Project
- Rabbit's All-comers Mapping Project