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Author Topic: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?  (Read 790 times)

Rakutenka

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Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« on: September 01, 2017, 09:01:56 am »
I've kind of been into the "will it run Doom" thing lately and figured somebody surely ported Doom to the NES by now, but it hasn't happened yet. I was kind of shocked as even the ZX Spectrum has a port. https://youtu.be/tAr0FtYbGCY

Does anyone know of any attempts to make this happen? I would be willing to throw money at a Kickstarter to make it happen if it meant a new cart with new hardware in it to make it more doable. (think the Kickstarer project for Super Russian Roulette)

KingMike

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 12:53:49 pm »
I don't know the technical limitations of the ZX Spectrum so I can't speak of how feasible it is to pull it off for that system.

But on the NES, trying to draw a bitmap image would be painfully slow.
Maybe it could be done with tile trickery. There have been some first-person RPGs, though all that I know of with 90-degree turning.

Though I'm surprised nobody even went the route of like Rainbow Six and Daikatana for GBC and turn them into 2D top-down games.
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maseter

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 01:52:14 pm »
My favorite FPS on the spectrum is "The Dark":
http://www.olegorigin.org/the_dark.html



It even has rain, bees and dragons!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVUYIksB3x0

Rakutenka

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 08:40:34 pm »
I don't know the technical limitations of the ZX Spectrum so I can't speak of how feasible it is to pull it off for that system.

But on the NES, trying to draw a bitmap image would be painfully slow.
Maybe it could be done with tile trickery. There have been some first-person RPGs, though all that I know of with 90-degree turning.

Though I'm surprised nobody even went the route of like Rainbow Six and Daikatana for GBC and turn them into 2D top-down games.

This person seems to have a pretty good start on an engine that could possibly make a Doomish game.

 https://youtu.be/po69zgqyFWM

MontyMole

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 11:29:00 am »
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I don't know the technical limitations of the ZX Spectrum so I can't speak of how feasible it is to pull it off for that system.
World of Spectrum has a lot of info on their main site about that sort of stuff, but the basics were a z80 processor and 48k ram with 128k for the +3 model.  Not sure of what limitations the NES had, but would settle for Wolfenstein 3D instead.
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KingMike

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 12:40:09 pm »
Probably one of the biggest bottlenecks on the NES is limited VRAM write speed.
(it can only be done reasonably during Vblank)

It's difficult to write very much data per frame without glitching out.
One example of this is Dragon's Lair. Look at how much lag is in the US version (which uses CHR-RAM, which means it has to load animations into VRAM) compared to the JP and EU versions (which use CHR-ROM, meaning the graphics are displayed directly from a ROM, so to swap graphics frames the game only needs to change one switch)

That VRAM limitations is probably why Color a Dinosaur is such infamous crap. The one thing it needed to be able to do (draw a bitmap image) is one thing the NES can't do very well, which makes you wonder why they released it.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 02:21:24 pm »
Honestly I am surprised there isn't an attempt yet, considering people make a point to port Doom to literally everywhere and your keyboard keys.

Closest I know to it are mods that are inspired by NES games, like Space Hunter.

Psyklax

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 04:30:47 pm »
World of Spectrum has a lot of info on their main site about that sort of stuff, but the basics were a z80 processor and 48k ram with 128k for the +3 model.  Not sure of what limitations the NES had, but would settle for Wolfenstein 3D instead.

The first model had 16 or 48k RAM, then the next one had 128k, before the +2 and +3. I had a 48k back in the day. ;)

The thing is, if you want to do palette based graphics with super smooth scrolling and lots of hardware sprites, the Famicom/NES was amazing for 1983, doing all of that with a tiny amount of RAM. The Speccy had no hardware sprites and had to draw the screen manually, so scrolling wasn't smooth and colour bleeding was a fact of life (what little colour it had).

But what the NES can't do well, like KingMike said, is draw an image that it doesn't already have in ROM. With enough ROM space and one of the later mappers you could have fantastic 2D animation with no CPU overhead, but Doom requires a viewport with a constantly-updated screen, which would be a hell of a job for the NES. The Speccy has to draw the screen manually anyway, so it's actually not such a big deal.

Basically the NES was built for shmups and platformers, and does them astonishingly well for the time. But 3D type games are something else. They had Elite but that's a lot simpler, just some simple shapes and pixels. Even the SNES struggled with Doom, don't forget, and needed a Super FX chip to get something close to the PC.

maseter

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 04:47:01 pm »
Psyklax: Which 8/16 bit console would be the best candidate for a ZX conversion? The Genesis?

Psyklax

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 05:34:04 pm »
Psyklax: Which 8/16 bit console would be the best candidate for a ZX conversion? The Genesis?

I don't understand the question. A console to port any ZX Spectrum game? Or this Doom game that someone made?

If the answer is the former, then the Master System seems the obvious choice purely because it has a Z80 processor too, running at an even faster clock rate. Also, the Master System's sound chip is comparable to the Spectrum 128's extra sound: though not strictly compatible, they could deliver a very similar sound. Whether the SMS could accurately emulate the simple beeper on the Speccy is another question.

The only downside is memory: the SMS has 8KB RAM and 16KB video RAM, while the Speccy has either 48KB or 128KB of general use RAM. It does have ROM space, however, so it could load in the necessary parts when required, and bank switching on the SMS is a piece of cake. The Speccy has to load the entire program into RAM because it came on an audio cassette (unless it was a multi-loader, but again, the SMS would be able to do that instantly).

So, there's your answer - assuming that was the question. Wonder if someone wants to convert a Speccy game to SMS just for fun? :) It's a bit beyond my capabilities.

maseter

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 06:57:50 pm »
Yes that was the question, i asked because the source code to "The Dark" is available for download.

Let's see then if http://www.smspower.org/forums/ has a "for those without skills" section! :)

Edit: You were right:
http://www.smspower.org/Tags/MSXPort
http://www.smspower.org/forums/16445-MSXToSMSHacks
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 07:50:28 pm by maseter »

lexluthermiester

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 09:47:41 am »
I've kind of been into the "will it run Doom" thing lately and figured somebody surely ported Doom to the NES by now, but it hasn't happened yet. I was kind of shocked as even the ZX Spectrum has a port. https://youtu.be/tAr0FtYbGCY
My guess is not. The NES simply doesn't have the processing power to do the rendering needed to pull off Doom effectively. It's a fun thought, but in the end you'd end up with something even worse than what was done on the ZX.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 10:37:14 am »
The NES might run "Doom" if it functioned similar to the cabins in Friday the 13th. Just replace Jason with undead space marines.
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Jorpho

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 10:16:55 pm »
The Game Boy managed to pull off an FPS in the form of Faceball 2000.  The results are, um, lacking.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQAhnNiOu54
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FCandChill

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 12:31:44 pm »
The NES might run "Doom" if it functioned similar to the cabins in Friday the 13th. Just replace Jason with undead space marines.

There's an NES homebrew demo that demonstrates 360 turning in a 3D maze. I don't know the name though...

lexluthermiester

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 12:45:22 pm »
Was reminded of the SNES port of Doom that used an FX chip. It was actually a plausible port and was fun, within the limitations of the SNES hardware. And good article can be found here; http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Super_NES

The Sega32X version of Doom was actually one of my personal favs.

Jorpho

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 09:39:28 pm »
I might suggest Bisqwit's lovely video on FPS programming.  He starts off in qbasic, of all things:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQYsFshbkYw
I heard someone refer to him once as the Finnish Bob Ross of programming.
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realworksuks

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 07:19:19 pm »
I've really wanted a Hexen port on the SNES.  I think it can be done if Doom can be.  Wouldn't be the prettiest, but I'd still play it!  Haha.

NERV Agent

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 10:06:05 pm »
I wish they would just finish cracking the Nintendo PlayStation already, so maybe homebrew programmers could make a decent port on the SNES CD (among other things).

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Re: Why hasn't there been a Doom port to the NES?
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2017, 01:25:20 am »
I've really wanted a Hexen port on the SNES.  I think it can be done if Doom can be.  Wouldn't be the prettiest, but I'd still play it!  Haha.

Heck yeah, I wouldn't mind solving some 1/3 puzzles on the SNES.
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