Studying the Doom port for the original PlayStation #Doom #PlayStation @fabynou
DOOM was ported to the PSX by Williams Entertainment with some assistance from id Software. It took a little bit less than a year for a team of five to port the engine, change the assets, and make everything work with “only” 3.5 MiB of RAM.
The graphics were reduced: the textures chopped down in size, the sprites, monsters, and weapons reduced in size. […] Sometimes animations had frames cut. – Harry Teasley
The result shipped on November 16, 1995. It is universally considered the best console port with some aspects even outmatching the PC version thanks to colored vertex and CD quality music.
The original source code of of DOOM on PSX has never been released but it turned out to not be a problem at all. There is plenty of information out there.
The first source is the amazing PSY-Q SDK which was the “official” tool used by PSX developers at the time. There is a lot of documentation in the many PDFs provided. The library (e.g: libcd, libds) developed by SCE are also well detailed. It is refreshing to find clear explanations when compared to the next to nothing provided on other consoles like SNES.
Another source of information was the many external tools available nowadays. ISOBuster allowed to open the CD content. PSound was able to scan LCD archives. The awesome no$PSX emulator’s ability to trace GPU and SPU commands were pure gold.
Finally and perhaps most impressively, DOOM on PSX has received a lot of love from the fan community. It has been fully reverse engineered. PSXDOOM-RE particularly stands out since it is a C codebase which can be compiled with PSY-Q SDK into a fully playable PSX game. The code hosted is highly reliable since the methodology used to produce it involved taking machine code and rewrite each functions in C.
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