The BOOM Engine
|Last updated 08/26/07
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I want to use BOOM in a game of my own. Is that legal?
Yes, within the specifications of the GNU Public License (GPL). From the "ABOUT.TXT" file:
This release of BOOM does not involve any changes in the binaries or
sources from the v2.02 release, it is simply a relicensing of BOOM
under the GPL. The old license file DOOMLIC.TXT has been replaced by
a new one, COPYING, copied verbatim from the pages of the GNU
organization (Free Software Foundation). This was undertaken only
after permission had been obtained from all copyright holders: id
Software, Chi Hoang, Lee Killough, Jim Flynn, Rand Phares, and Ty
The main purpose of relicensing was to clear the path for works derived
from BOOM to also relicense under the GPL if they wish.
Note that this license only applies to this executable engine and its
sources. All artwork, sounds, music, and other intellectual property of
DOOM is not affected by this license.
Any questions regarding the license for BOOM should be sent to:
This license change only applies to BOOM, not its derivatives (such as MBF, PRBoom, etc.) unless those authors also so specify.
Is there a Windows version?
There is now. PRBoom is a Win32 port of version 2.02 of Boom, done by TeamTNT member Florian "Proff" Schulze. It will run in Win95, Win98 or WinNT and provides high resolution play. Features are the same as Boom, other than enhancements for the Windows environment. Check the text file on the "GoGetIt" page.
Why is the stereo reversed left/right?
Imps coming at you from the wrong direction? We suppose you think we should implement a reverse-stereo function? Well we did, or rather Allegro did. Here's what you do:
Set the value of flip_pan to 0 or 1 in ALLEGRO.CFG to switch the stereo to the way you want it. Note that you can also do this in the ASETUP.EXE program, but then it sometimes gets the test sounds reversed itself on some cards.
What is BOOM, anyway?
BOOM is an enhanced version of the DOOM game executable, that TeamTNT has been working on since the DOOM source code was released in December 1997. The main effort in BOOM was to remove limits and bugs, and add new functionality for level authors.
Our philosophy has been that though playing the old levels with nifty features is more fun than playing them without nifty features, the real key to DOOM's longevity has been the plethora of wonderful add-on levels that have been produced. The BOOM engine releases wad authors from many of the limits that DOOM imposed on them, and frees them to make excellent new environments for the players to enjoy. BOOM is freely available from this site--see the "Go Get It" page.
What do I need to be able to use BOOM on my computer?
In theory you won't need anything more than you do to play DOOM, though 8MB of memory would be a minimum. But anything less than a 486/66 processor is probably not going to work. Now, you also have to realize that the levels that are being designed especially for BOOM are free of limitations, and that means you'd better have some horsepower to go with them if you expect to have fun. Pentium 133 and up wouldn't hurt, but that's true of any game nowadays.
Where can I get the source code?
There's a link on the "Go Get It" page on this site, that points to the release zip on cdrom.com. It's also available on the cdrom.com mirrors.
What do I need to be able to compile my own version, and can I call it BOOM too?
Our sources are designed for compilation with DJGPP C, from Delorie, a free C compiler. It won't work as-is with Watcom or MS C/C++, though you're welcome to attack it any way you want. If you don't do something that's just a port of BOOM to another environment (Colin Phipps' LinBOOM for Linux, for example) then we don't think you should use BOOM in the name. We're only responsible for the one we released in any case, and don't plan to answer questions about other ports.
Why don't I see much difference when I play DOOM with the BOOM engine?
Well, not much was changed from that perspective, if you're playing the id Software original levels.
We removed limits, improved lots of things, got rid of a lot of bugs, etc. We didn't add things that you'd notice while playing other than maybe the translucency of some objects (fireballs, etc.) and the Heads-Up Display mode. There are lots of things in there, like key reassignments and such, but if you just start up BOOM and start up DOOM you won't notice a lot of difference.
The place you'll see differences are in some of the problem add-on levels where savegames used to blow up because they were too big, you had Visplane errors that would crash the game, you'd see Hall Of Mirrors effect in complex areas, a view with lots of decorations might cause some of them to blink in and out of view, or the game would inexplicably hang your computer. Of course levels made for BOOM will be much different, including the often-seen conveyor belts, underwater areas, 6 different keys, and much more.
Where can I get add-on levels that have been specially designed for BOOM?
There is a new set of directories on cdrom.com, under each of the levels sections, which will contain levels made for specific source ports. In this case for BOOM, you can find several, though many aren't populated quite yet:
/pub/idgames/levels/doom2/Boom /pub/idgames/levels/doom2/deathmatch/Boom /pub/idgames/levels/doom/Boom /pub/idgames/levels/doom/deathmatch/Boom
and others that were created by TeamTNT members can be found in our TeamTNT directory at :
Does BOOM have high resolution (640x480, etc.) video settings?
No, that didn't make it into Phase I. We were
concerned about just turning on other resolutions without proper scaling of menus, status
bar, etc. and so chose to defer that to Phase II when we'd have time to do it right.
*NEW* There is now high resolution available in the Windows port of BOOM called PRBoom. See the GoGetIt page for download info.
Can I jump, look up and down, crouch, fly, etc.?
No, we don't have jumping and such in Phase I of our engine. There are many reasons why we chose not to do so, but it mostly boiled down to not enough time to do the things we did and that too. Something had to slip to later versions, and we wanted to handle all of the 3d-ish stuff at once: jumping, crouching, flying, going over and under objects, up/down look, etc.
It needs to be done well and it's a more complicated thing than just adding a button. (example, with a berserk pack you should be able to jump higher, maybe heavy loads of weapons and ammo make a difference too, maybe you can't always jump the same amount right in a row because your legs start getting tired) Looking up and down has a lot of idiosyncrasies too, such as the way textures have to warp and wrap, skies, the funny angle things have when you look down at them from above, and others.
Will BOOM ever have those things? When?
The 3d effects and high resolution support are in our current plans for the next engine which is being done by the new source merger project.
What about walking on the heads of imps? I really want to do that.
That's one of the effects that will have to wait for Phase II. There are issues around standing on top of monsters, such as inheritance of momentum, attack radius, combined height issues, and much more. Again, we need to defer that for Phase II to allow for proper design and implementation.
What editors can I use that will support BOOM's special features?
One of our team members, Jim Flynn, has been supporting the DETH editor and there is a version of it (see the "Go Get It" page) that has been enhanced to handle BOOM. We've also got some users and team members who have developed add-on files for WadAuthor and DCK.
DEEP97 has been enhanced for full support of BOOM, and is a good option if you want a Windows95-based editor.
So, that's DETH, DEEP97, DCK and WadAuthor so far, though only the first two have been actually coded for BOOM enhancements. There are other authors who are discussing supporting their editors too, though many editor authors have moved on to other games at this point.
Where can I get some help on how to edit and use the new BOOM features for my own levels?
There are files included with BOOM that will describe new features in some detail, and the example wads that are also available with it are a good place to start. The BOOMEDIT.WAD example level specifically shows many of the enhanced line and sector types and flags, with signs all around to explain what you're seeing. Very nice for someone who likes to see it rather than read about it.
In addition, Gaston Lahaut has some excellent guides and tutorials on the DOOMworld web site, which are a must-see even for people who think they know it all already.
Though we'd like to answer how-to questions, it's pretty hard to get the time to do so. Try these other resources first, and like in the "good old days" of DOOM editing, experiment, borrow from others, and so forth.
What is some of this terminology I hear about the source "ports"?
Well, the term Source Port is used (incorrectly, really) to refer to the various projects that have taken id Software's source code for DOOM and enhanced or modified it. The original release of source code was a port (between platforms) of the DOS code to the Linux environment. Then the first action done in the DOS community once that was released was to port it back to DOS.
That first port, by Chi Hoang, was the beginning of it all for most of the projects. Modifications to that port-of-a-port have also been known as ports, rightly or wrongly.
Mods, on the other hand, are projects which don't specifically intend their engines to be used by the general public, but rather are modifying one of the ports (BOOM or DOSDoom, typically) for a specific purpose or TC.
These terms have been defined by the Joint DOOM Standards group (JDS), and further details are available on the JDS web site.
How many times does a question have to be asked before it will show up here?
57. Or email us at the link on our home page.