Tech by VICE

After More than 20 Years ‘Doom’ Finally Has Water Physics

‘Brutal Doom’ continues to breath life into the classic shooter.

by Matthew Gault
Aug 8 2017, 2:37pm

There is no video game more unrelenting and adaptable than Doom. It can run on a single keyboard key, Kodak cameras, ATMs, and even a thermostat. But the best way to play remains a desktop computer and the continued updates to the popular mod Brutal Doom.

Modder SGtMarkIV has been working for years to keep the 1993 game relevant. He's already added new weapons and updated blood and gore tech to the game, but he's teasing a new update—v21—that promises to extend Doom's shelf-life even more.

By far the most impressive addition in v21 is the inclusion of water physics. Sludge, blood, and water now react to the player and the environment. Trudging through liquid causes ripples and firing a rocket at it causes a blue explosion. Falling ammo shells and bits of glass even disturb the liquid's surface. It's not what I would call "realistic" (rendering water in video games is a notoriously difficult task), but it is lightyears ahead of what Doom could do when it was first released.

It might seem like a small cosmetic change, but it's an impressive bit of programming to add to a game that's more than 20 years old. Changes such as these coupled with Doom's ability to run on anything resembling a computer means that people will be slaying demons in hell for decades to come.

v21 will also add a female avatar, several new weapons, and the ability to grab enemies and hurl them through the air. According to SGtMarkIV, two of the new guns were planned for the original game but dropped by the developers during production. He used old design documents and the console version of the game to bring a grenade launching machine gun and the demon-forged "Unmaker" to the PC where they belong.

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