Saturday, November 5, 2011


So, it's been a little while since I've talked about classic Doom here...

As followers of my little blog here may recall, I've said that my favorite classic Doom sourceport is gzDoom. That hasn't changed, but in the interest of satisfying my own curiosity and better serving my fellow Doomers, I've recently begun experimenting with some other sourceports and now from time to time will be sharing the results of my experiments when they're worthy of note.

For me there are some basic criteria that a sourceport must meet to be deemed worthy of mention here. It must support widescreen resolutions (since I have a widescreen monitor on this rig). It must support the loading of multiple external PWADs, preferably through an intuitive interface (for you non-Doomers, a PWAD is a custom map or mod). Preferably it should support an Open-GL mode (though I'm not entirely inflexible on this). And perhaps most importantly, I need to be able to figure out how to get it to run on my computer.

To that last requirement, somebody out there might respond: "Gee Herc, isn't that kinda narrow-minded of you? Just because you can't figure it out doesn't mean it's no good!" True perhaps, but the way I see it I've really got no business recommending anything to anybody if I haven't figured out how to use it myself.

I recently discovered another sourceport that fits my criteria: prBoom+. Like many sourceports there's no actual "installing" involved with this one; just unzip it someplace and fire up the executable, so getting started is easy. In my opinion, visually it's not quite as good as gzDoom, but it's better than zDoom and definitely way better than "vanilla" Doom. Through a menu accessible in-game up to two PWADs and two DEH/BEX patches can be loaded simultaneously, thus allowing us to play our favorite custom maps with whatever resources they might require. Mouselook is supported, as well as high-res textures. The only major complaint I have about this one (major to me, but likely minor to other players) is that it doesn't allow the "run" function to be bound to a mouse button where I'm accustomed to having it. A major plus for me with this one is that my favorite Doom launcher zdl3.1a can be used to launch the executable, thus increasing the number of external files that can be loaded with it and making things simpler for me if I need to quickly switch between sourceports to test a map I'm working on (don't laugh; it could happen). To illustrate, here are a few quick screenshots of the megaWAD Armadosia running on prBoom+:
(Though you obviously can't hear it in a screenshot, I was also using one of my favorite custom music WADs here.)

So, while it's not my favorite, I have to list prBoom+ as a viable option for anyone looking for a classic Doom sourceport. I'm going to continue to experiment with other sourceports as well (as RL and GF allow) and will report back with my findings.

Until next time, watch out for those Arch-viles!


  1. Huh? We can't hear your music through the screenshots? WTF? *sigh* Back on the meds I go...

    Knowing there are other options out there for sourceports is nice. Should I bother to go exploring the various ones out there and what they can or cannot do for my Doom game, it is good to have a "heads up" about them before I download and install.

    Thanks for this Herculine :)

  2. No problemo. As I've said, gzDoom is still my preferred sourceport for a number of reasons, but I don't want to be anyone's flag-waver and instead present a variety of options, especially to newcomers to the game (if such people actually exist anymore).