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An explanation of why Doom runs on everything

Planetary
  • 3

"Has Doom been ported to it yet?" Is a question that gets asked any time a new digital device is released. Part in joke and part seriously and most of the time, the device ends being able to run Doom (even if a very crappy version of it).

The question is why? Why does Doom gets ported to run on almost everything like Smart Light Bulbs or 
pregnancy tests? (Yes, there is actually a version of Doom that tuns on a pregnancy test).

There are several reasons:

* Doom is Open Source.

In the year 1997, Doom source code was released.  That means people can work on the source code without having to reverse engineer it.

* Doom is written in C.

Because C is an old programing language dating back to the seventies and because it was made to be "portable", there are compilers to port programs made in C to almost every programing language you can think of.  That makes it much easier to port Doom. 

* Doom has very low hardware requirements.

Because Doom was released in the year 1993 and technology has keep marching on, a lot of modern digital devices have better hardware that the minimum required to run Doom. So ports can be made without sacrificing the game quality.

That however is not always possible yet Doom gets ported anyway. Why? Because people enjoy the challenge.

* Somehow the code keeps getting updated.

"When id software originally released the source code, they released the Linux version's code due to legal issues with the sound code in the original DOS version. Almost immediately, people got to work porting it back to DOS, hence the term "source port". Eventually, this lead to many forks of the code into different source ports, such as ZDoom and Chocolate Doom. This means that there's always people working with the Doom code, and thus keeping it up to date. The one thing all these ports have in common is that they can use the original Doom assets." Source: http://retrooftheweek.net/p/181/why-does-doom-get-ported-to-everything-/

* Doom is Shareware

While that does contradict to saying that Doom is Open Source, Doom was first released as Shareware. That means the first third of the game is free. If you want the rest of the game you have to buy it. That's because while Doom is Open Source nowadays, some of the game assets are not.

If you want the full game for free there is the Freedom Project that has only free (as in freedom) game assets.

* Doom was a very popular game.

Because Doom used to be in the rage in the 90s, many people that are adults now played the game as kids and teenagers and some of those people grew to be into programers.

All those factors combined explain why Doom gets ported to everything because it can be summed as "Is easy to do and many people like the game."

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