This page is maintained by myk helnyte. The tips and ideas contained here are considering that the player is using the original EXEs from a DOS prompt in Windows 98, but most of the information also applies to staright DOS or Windows 95. The tips might also apply to some of the DOOM released source based engines available.
Running Doom on a newer version of Windows is not recommended. It may work, but sound will probably not. It's best to stick to Windows 98 if you really like Doom, possibly with a boot manager between it and a more advanced OS (Windows 2000 or Windows XP) if necessary. Nonetheless, there have been reports that with proper DOS emulation Doom will run quite fine on Linux.
Note: I've found that Windows 98 doesn't manage memory very well, and even though DOOM is an old game and generally isn't a memory hog it may add up with other running applications, producing occasional jerky system slowdowns. A memory manager will get rid of these. I recommend this version of RAM Idle which is free and very effective.
High mouse sensitivity
Vertical mouse sensitivity
More than one executable in the same directory
Centralizing DOOM's configuration
The -file parameter
« Since id Software (with Activision) has started distributing the game without Doom and Doom2 (and only Doom95) it's now possible to have DOOM or DOOM II without the original DOS engines. To remedy that, one can do a couple of things, as shown hereafter.
Doom2 v1.9 for DOOM II: Hell on Earth is identical to the Doom v1.9 engine available in the shareware distribution of DOOM. With that in mind, get the shareware package, install it, and simply copy and the included Doom engine to your DOOM II directory, renaming it to Doom2. That's all you need to do.
Doom v1.9 for The Ultimate DOOM is a bit different than Doom v1.9 for the original 3-episode version of DOOM. To generate it, get the DOS shareware version if you don't have it already, install it, copy both your (The Ultimate) DOOM wad and the unpacked contents of this patch into the shareware directory, and run PShell. It will try to patch DOOM v1.9 to The Ultimate DOOM, exiting with an error (because you have the updated IWAD already), but not before updating the engine, which is what you really want. That's it.
In addition, Final DOOM has its own slight variant of the engine, but unlike the other two, you can't really generate it or download it. That's not such a big deal though, as you can still play Final DOOM using DOOM II with the -file parameter, as if the Final DOOM wads were PWADs instead of IWADs. Some recorded demos may not work right with this solution; in that case you can use something else to watch Plutonia and TNT demos, such as Chocolate Doom or PrBoom.
One other thing that will come in handy is the Setup utility for editing default.cfg. Use the one in the shareware package you got already when you followed the steps above to get the engines.
« If you are used to playing DOOM in DOS you may find Windows' mouse response isn't what you prefer. You can install the DOS drivers that you have been using for DOS and the mouse will then function like in full DOS from the DOS prompt, but you won't notice any changes in the Windows environment itself. Check the documentation found in your mouse's driver disks for more information (or search for an appropiate DOS/Windows compatible driver on the Web.)
« You can't increase the mouse sensitivity over 9 from the Options Menu in DOOM, but you can increase it to any number that suits you by changing the CFG file itself, modifying the mouse_sensitivity entry (5 is the default.) Be warned though, if you do so (something usual and almost necessary for mouse users that don't prefer accelerated turning) you cannot use the Options Menu; DOOM will crash if you try to do so (because the graphic for the switch indicating Mouse Sensitivity is drawn in an unacceptable place.) You'll have to change any sound and video options through the Function keys or directly through the CFG file with Notepad or Edit.
« DOOM has a fixed forward/backward sensitivity for the mouse one may find annoying (especially when trying to move along slender catwalks like the ones found in DOOM II's Map24.) A player can use Novert to turn the sensitivity off. There's also DMS, that has an in-game switch to turn it on or off, but it's somewhat less stable. There are also some mouse drivers that allow you to modify the vertical sensitivity, such as cpanel.
« When choosing what keys to use for each command be aware that DOOM always maps some keys to certain functions. These cannot be changed (except maybe with a TSR application that changes the functions of the keys in general, such as zdkeymap.) All screen size adjustment, weapon selection, automap and talk keys are fixed. Be wary of the ones that appear only under certain circumstances and aren't mentioned in the Help Screen:
These are G, I, B and R (which talk to particular players) as well as Q, which quits the game when using the -record parameter.
« It's a good idea to add startup commands to the DOS shortcut you'll be using to launch DOOM. The shortcut Program tab in the Properties dialogue box has a batch file enrty. Make a batch file with the commands you want loaded and add the name of the batch there so it's loaded when you start the DOS session. In pure dos you can add the batch file (or the equivalent commands) to the autoexec.bat used when DOS loads.
I have a start.bat that does the following:
c:\windows\command\doskey.com set dmxoption=-opl3-phase c:\windows\command\novert.com
MORE THAN ONE EXECUTABLE IN THE SAME DIRECTORY
« You can have both Doom and Doom2, and even the Final doom engine, in the same directory. The usual problem with this is that the engines look for an IWAD in a certain order, and they all start with DOOM II's wad. You can fix this with DeHackEd. Open the appropiate executable with DeHackEd and press F7. Find the IWAD names and change the IWAD names you want it to ignore to harmless names. An example of the usual change made in DeHackEd for The Ultimate DOOM is given below:
Before the change:
7528 default.cfg 7540 doom1.wad 7552 doom2f.wad 7564 doom2.wad 7576 doom.wad 7588 -shdev
After the change:
7528 default.cfg 7540 doom1.wad 7552 doom2f.wad 7564 doom2.not 7576 doom.wad 7588 -shdev
CENTRALIZING DOOM'S CONFIGURATION
« You may want to place the games in separate directories. In this case it is possible that a single CFG file may simplify things for you. For instance if you change DOOM's sound volume or gamma correction to suit general changes made in Windows or to your monitor you don't have to modify more than one CFG file. This is possible adding the -cdrom parameter each time you play (made easy by leaving it in the appropiate response file, see below) and placing your CFG file in c:\doomdata. Note that savegames will also go into that folder. If you don't like "c:\doomdata" you can modify it a bit through DeHackEd by going to the Text Editor (F7) and searching for the appropiate entries to edit. Otherwise you can simply use the -config parameter to specify any location.
« Using a response file to run DOOM speeds things up and isn't limited in length like the normal DOS command line (or a batch file.) It also allows more flexibility in respect to configuration.
You can give your file a very short name. A single letter will do, or you can use any name and add a TXT or RSP extension to open it with Notepad. But with typing "edit r" in the DOS command line to modify it, one can use an extensionless file name, as well.
One great advantage is that you may use the | character to "comment" commands, making them easily available later without having to re-enter them each time you need them. Just place that character after the initial dash and the parameters will be ignored by DOOM:
-cdrom -file pwad\c-n\av.wad demo\01av5419\01av5419.lmp -playdemo 01av5419 -|file pwad\dm\dwango5.wad -|timer 15 -|record av05 -|warp 05 -|skill 5 -|nomonsters -|deathmatch -|nodes 2 -|player 1
In the example given above a number of common deathmatch parameters have been "commented" while an single player WAD is loaded to play back a recording. The player can then add or delete a few of the | characters and change a few things and he'll be ready to play something completely different. All that is needed to start the game after that is typing "doom @r" or "doom2 @r" (the name of the engine used plus @r, that is.)
THE -FILE PARAMETER
« We all know the -file parameter requires that we press Enter right after we start the game. If that annoys you create a text file named F (no extension) and write the following in it:
ECHO Y ECHO.
Then to run doom while using the -file command type the name of the executable, plus @r, plus <f, for instance:
doom2 @r <f
There wont be a need to press Enter. To give proper credit I'll say I got this idea from Mordeth, who used an equivalent tiny BAT file to do the same in the Mordeth startup batch file.
« It is possible to record games into any directory, or even to play back demos found outside the engine's directory. To record just enter the path and name for the new file into the command line after the -record parameter, like:
Make sure the directory you are recording into really exists, otherwise Doom will pretend it recorded something but your demo will never materialize.
To play back a demo in another directory you must load it with both the -file parameter (which reads the lump) and the -playdemo parameter (which plays the recording) as shown in the following example:
-file pwad\c-n\av.wad demo\av05.lmp -playdemo av05
Doom will say it can't read the demo as it starts, but that just means it doesn't find it in the engine's directory. It plays it just fine.
« The standard IPXSetup that comes with DOOM or DOOM II is limited in a couple of ways; not only is the Player color per node (computer) fixed, when we know some colors can give advantages over others, but also the executable name sought by it must be either Doom or Doom2. This means you are forced to rename any DeHackEd modified engines to play with them on the DeathMatch or Cooperative modes. To remedy this you can use the IPXSetup modification made by John Cole for CTFDoom. This tweaked IPXSetup allows you to define the Player colors for each networked machine through a command line parameter and also has a DOS environment setting that selects the name of the engine to be used.
During DeathMatch it is best to alternate Player colors, particularly during one-on-one DeathMatch games. It's best to play a couple of games in the same map, each to the same score, but alternating Player colors. Adding the results of both games will give you the final result of the match. For instance you could play two games to 50 frags, the first in which you are Green, and the second in which your opponent is Green. If the final scores were 50-25 and 40-50 you could say you won the match 90 to 75.
Finally, to watch MultiPlayer recordings from a different viewpoint I recommend LMPC or LmpUtil to change the Player view.