Doom ported to Firefox using JavaScript, HTML5

Who needs fish in a fishtank when you can pimp your browser’s HTML5 capabilities with a port of the original Doom? The port, which quietly popped up on Mozilla’s Developer Network website earlier this week, is glitchy but playable… as long as you’re running Firefox or Safari, that is.

I was able to gun down a few enemies, although for some reason, the demo emitted a high-pitched whine that forced me to quit after a few minutes. I guess this is more of an experimental endeavor than anything. According to the "details" page, the demo was compiled from C to JavaScript with Emscripten and clang. The source code is linked on that page, so adventurous developers could take a crack at improving it.

While neat, the demo’s spotty browser compatibility is a bit discouraging. (Only Firefox really lets you play smoothly.) One of the selling points of open standards like HTML5 and JavaScript is consistent cross-browser support without the need for plugins, yet I can’t help think that, had this demo been done with Flash, it would probably work happily across many different browsers and platforms.

Comments closed
    • jcw122
    • 11 years ago

    Plays very smoothly on Opera 11, but I had no sound.

    • jcw122
    • 11 years ago

    Who cares about DOOM when you can play Wolfenstein:3D?

    JK JK JK! 😀 😀 😀

    • Malphas
    • 11 years ago

    Ha ha, of course. Forgot about that one.

    • PixelArmy
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]had this demo been done with Flash[/quote<] Already done... in '08...

    • cynan
    • 11 years ago

    All fun and games until “FAILURE in loop iteration: SDL_Quit!”

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 11 years ago

    [quote<]yet I can't help think that, had this demo been done with Flash, it would probably work happily across many different browsers and platforms[/quote<] Who cares about Flash, long after Flash is relegated to the trashcan where it belongs, someone will dust off this source code and it'll work on a wristwatch.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    If it runs with independent timing, then it gives you plenty of time to not see how you got killed.

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    Tried on Macbook (C2D 2.24Ghz, Nvidia 9400M) and Safari. 28-35 fps.

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    GIves ya plenty of time to think what enemies to shoot next.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Don’t mind little ‘Tater, he’s a very simple man, can’t even grasp the ideas behind a paragraph or full stop. How do you expect to explain formatting to him?

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    IDSPISPOPD for labyrinths.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Heh, just tried it on my old Athlon XP 3000. All of 2 fps, woot.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Right, and this way they can play casual games in the browser on their SMART PHONE. Though I’m not sure why you need all caps, when you’ve got so many other formatting options available to you. Even on your smart phone.

    This has nothing to do with being impressed, and everything to do with appreciating another development path is available for people who don’t want to use, install, or code in Flash.

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    Fun tech demo, but yeah, needs more polish before it can make a case for html5’s coolness. Felt great to play DOOM again, though. Still fun after all these years.

    • sschaem
    • 11 years ago

    I’m more impressed with efforts like [url<]http://fractio.io[/url<] (webgl) or any molehill tech demo (Flash 11) then using HTLM5 to render doom. Not sure what this prove beside that html5 is not suitable for modern graphic rendering in a web browser.

    • siberx
    • 11 years ago

    Visual rendering? Fairly impressive, except for things occasionally vanishing and reappearing (and enemies being visible through doors while they’re opening). Sound rendering? God-awful. Quality is crap, lagged by a second or two, and there’s a persistent and very irritating high-pitched whine in the background while the game is running.

    As a tech demo though, still pretty cool.

    • Geistbar
    • 11 years ago

    Vista has nowhere near the market share that XP had, or even [i<]has[/i<] currently* for that matter. IE9 will be much less of a long term obstacle than IE6 is, or was. * To my knowledge, anyway.

    • potatochobit
    • 11 years ago

    yes, but most people play casual games on their SMART PHONE
    this is already 3 years too late
    if people are sitting around playing bejeweled in a web browser it means they have nothing to do at work

    considering an 18year old PC with the processor of a modern pockewatch can run doom, you people are too easily impressed

    • Malphas
    • 11 years ago

    Worked almost perfectly for me, sound was lagging by a half second or so, but otherwise solid. Got to the Central Processing level which is where the game starts to a bit labyrinthian and I lost interest trying to remember where I was meant to be going. Was suprised that the cheats from the original game were ported as well – and that I still remembered them IDDQD for god mode and IDKFA for all the weapons.

    I remember it was only my second computer (a 486) that had enough horsepower to play Doom, back when it first came out, so the fact it’s now running in a web browser with no plugins is kinda odd and impressive to me. I can see why it wouldn’t mean anything to those a bit younger or who got started with computers later, to whom Doom is just an ancient DOS game. I think the fact this is (D)HTML and not Flash or another plugin is signifact regardless though.

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    DBGL makes DOSBox reasonably easy to use.

    • Madman
    • 11 years ago

    Yes, and with IE9 stuck on Vista forever, we can expect at least 10 more years of maintaining hacks. And no mainstream HTML5.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    There are lots of games with modest requirements that might just as easily be coded with JS/HTML5 as with Flash — “casual” gaming is a huge category, including virtually all the timewasters on Facebook.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    [list<] First W3C Working Draft in October 2007. Last Call Working Draft in October 2009. Call for contributions for the test suite in 2011. Candidate Recommendation in 2012. First draft of test suite in 2012. Second draft of test suite in 2015. Final version of test suite in 2019. Reissued Last Call Working Draft in 2020. Proposed Recommendation in [url=http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/programming-and-development/html-5-editor-ian-hickson-discusses-features-pain-points-adoption-rate-and-more/718<]2022.[/url<] [/list<] Just saying...

    • poulpy
    • 11 years ago

    Yes, what he said.

    Let’s give HTML5 a break, the standardization is still not finalized at this stage so let alone implementations.. It is quite a promising technology IMO but you’ve got to give it time to reach a) proper standardization and b) mature implementations before being overly critical.

    Flash has been around for years now and utter rubbish for the most part. Only recently -too late?- they’ve waken up a bit, cleaned up the code/bugs and added some much needed GPU acceleration.

    • BenBasson
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t think you can really expect much from browser compatibility yet… Look how long it’s taken for CSS to even become usable without hideous hacks; we’re only just getting there now with the almost-complete demise of IE6. It’ll be a while before HTML5 is universally supported to a useful level.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    I’d like to see more of these, for sure. DOSbox and friends are clunky to use, which is sad since I get the old nostalgia itch every now and again. Current one is Rollin, one of my old puzzle favourites, and the next one in line will probably be Dangerous Dave. I loved that as a kid, it was [i<]something else[/i<].

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Even with a plugin, Quake Live does NOT “natively” run in a browser. There’s a lot of wrapping and hackery in there, and performance – while excellent – is a fraction of the original, standalone game.

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    I’d suspect you of being Krogoth, but he writes better.

    • potatochobit
    • 11 years ago

    quakelive has been running in a webbrowser for 2 years, albeit with a plugin
    using HTML5 for gaming is a waste of time in my opinion
    now, for videos and shopping, that makes more sense

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