30th anniversary of DOOM: fans share their love and memories of gaming classic

Written by on 12th December 2023

Veterans of DOOM are sharing their memories of the franchise as it turns 30 years old.

Doom Disks by VoxPelli

Doom is one of the first successful first-person shooter games, with a rich 30-year history. It predates more recently popular titles we see today such as Call of Duty. The first game, called simply “DOOM” was the third product of game developer ID Software, following the major success of their previous game Wolfenstein which also went on to be a beloved franchise itself. 

Tyler Mackay, an original fan of the series and owner of the unofficial Discord and ‘X’ fan group ‘DOOM Community’  shared his first memory of the franchise: “I remember seeing my cousins play it, and I was instantly like ‘I have to play this game’. It just stood out, and it was fun, there just wasn’t a game like it at the time.” 

Doom E1M1: Hangar – Map by vrchris

Tyler added that there was possibly an argument to be made the game was set up to succeed, saying: “It had a decent sized fanbase from the start, John (Romero) was at the time pretty big amongst the gaming community”

A prominent modder and the creator of ‘https://doombattle.zone/’ also recalled his first memory of the original back in the early 90s: “You could see it could render graphics as far as you could see, and that blew me away”

For a 90’s game, this was quite an innovative step, as dealing with the low amount of disc space games would often cloud the environment visually to ease the stress on their machine. Most infamously this was used in the critically acclaimed horror game Silent Hill in 1999. 

Providing a retrospect on how it has developed through the years, he also went on to say:  “There was that shift to the Quake series, so they went completely away from doom and then Quake and Quake two and three they went 3D.

“They were moving more towards just really using 3D technology and after then coming back to the series I think most of the original folks (Studio Developers) were gone other than John Carmack.

“With the introduction to DOOM 3, you could tell it continued to be technology-focused: it was dark and it kind of lost that sense of make-believe feeling, moving more towards realism.” 

Most ‘day one’ fans of the series still say the best remains the original.

Explaining this trend, he continued: “(playing it back) It feels like it has aged so well, if you look at it and compare it to games today it visually had a style such as you see with the likes of Minecraft, these pixel, non-realistic style games are still extremely popular I feel it stands up great to games today because of that” 

Expanding further on the point later, the creator of ‘https://doombattle.zone/’ said:

“A big reason also for that is that they were very open, Carmack released the source code, there’s so many mods and advanced tools for creating mods.”

The modding community throughout the franchise is a prominent feature of the old games, as games get older most people turn to mods to expand upon their favourite games to add more variety and to keep it fresh.

This is a trend that’s seen in games such as the Half-Life series with the almost standalone popularity of ‘Garry’s Mod’ mostly known as GMOD and the Counter Strike series with their plethora of user-created game modes and maps. 

File:In-game-view-doom by Freedoom community, Fredrik, user:Milasudril

Tyler finishes: “If it keeps going the way it is it will keep maintaining its audience and I hope to see it grow and continue to be successful., thanks for being a part of mine and everyone’s life.”

The original band of developers may have left however they have continued to create games, with them continuing to be a stalwart deep within the gaming community and with that why not see them come together once more?

Echoing this was the ‘https://doombattle.zone/’ creator when he said: “To the original team, my request for them is to work together on another project and do what they did with doom; change the world of gaming again.” 

Current track