Doom developer releases new level for download, teases new project

19 Jan 2016

John Romero, pictured with fellow game designer and Inspirefest speaker (and wife) Brenda Romero at TEDxPhoenix. Photo: Sarah Cronk and Brittany Morris for TEDxPhoenix

A new level has been created for cult classic video game Doom. Unlike the others that have materialised since the game’s initial release, this one was designed by one of Doom’s original developers, John Romero.

Doom, a first-person shooter (FPS) with sci-fi and horror themes, came out in 1993 and was an almost-instant hit, with some 1m gamers playing it by 1995.

Romero – prolific game designer, programmer and developer, serial founder and Inspirefest 2016 speaker – worked as a developer on Doom, but hasn’t designed or built any new levels in more than 21 years.

Though that’s not to say that the game lay fallow. The Doom source code has long been available to fans, and many have opted to create their own levels, keeping the game fresh some 23 years after its release.

Romero’s new level, boss-level “Tech Gone Bad”, offers players an alternative climactic fight to the original, which was designed by Sandy Peterson.

Speaking to the BBC, Romero has said that his new level is differentiated from the original in that it takes place largely outdoors, where Doom is predominantly indoor play.

Despite initial worries on Romero’s part that the level would be ripped apart by the game’s hardcore fan base, the gaming community has welcomed it.

“It’s been out for four days and it’s exploded. It’s crazy that a game that’s 23 years old has so many people still super-excited about it,” Romero told the BBC.

Romero intimated that he had designed the level as a “warm up” for a new project, with commenters suggesting that this would be the long-mooted FPS first mentioned by Romero on the Joystiq podcast in 2014.

The new Doom level is available for download via Dropbox.

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Main image via TEDxPhoenix/Flickr


Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic