Very few months go by in PC Gamer without a mention of the favorite FPS of 1993, Doom. That game somehow manages to find a new lease on life (opens in a new tab) regularly, does it run ray tracing, on motherboard BIOS (opens in a new tab)or, as I just saw today, in the Notepad app.
game dev creator, Sam Chiet (opens in a new tab), claims it’s “the ideal way to play.” And while they’re clearly joking, it’s actually not such a terrifying experience. I mean the game runs at 60fps to begin with. I’ve certainly seen worse.
The fidelity of the final image may not be ideal, and yes, there is some flickering. But for a game shown entirely through the use of characters in the Notepad app, it’s not half bad. I can actually understand what’s going on in the game, and the lack of color isn’t as distracting as you might expect.
This isn’t some magically modded version of the text-based app, either. The Notepad program has not been modified in any way, says Chiet.
“Incredible,” John Romero, one of the creators of Doom, says in a tweet (opens in a new tab) answering to Chiet.
NotepadDOOM is coming soon as a downloadable version for others to play if you want to try it yourself. Cheit says it will take some time to pack everything together, but that should all be done in the next couple of days. There is also another version of Doom called DOOM-ASCII (opens in a new tab) that will work in a text-based terminal if you need instant retrogame success.
It’s all very impressive. You think you’ve seen it all with Doom and then someone comes along and runs the game on/with something they shouldn’t. There’s even an entire Reddit dedicated to old hardware running Doom (opens in a new tab). You can also thank the original creators of Doom for allowing all of this to happen in the first place. The source code of Doom (opens in a new tab) was released for non-profit use back in 1997, and since then it has hosted hundreds, if not thousands, of crafty projects.
Open source software has revived Doom time and time again, and allowed for many ingenious uses over the years, although Doom’s relatively meager system requirements certainly help many as well.
You can run the game on a potato, literally (opens in a new tab).