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DOOM Ported To Palm Pre, Is Hardware-Accelerated

Tux, the ZombieMy oh my. There have been many hints and clues in these closing weeks of 2009 that GPU support for the Palm Pre is much, much closer than expected, but until now there's been nothing in the way of concrete proof. That all changed with the recent release of webOS 1.3.5, which zsoc (of Precorder fame) and destinal (who made the webOS Terminal) from WebOS Internals have been poring over today. And what they've discovered is starting to give us a pretty good idea of what Palm has planned for their upcoming 2010 CES appearance: hardware-accelerated graphics for webOS, via SDL.

What's SDL? It stands for Simple Directmedia Layer, and as the website will tell you, it's a cross-platform software library that enables low-level hardware access - which as of version 1.3.5 appears to have been baked into webOS's Luna framework. And what better way to test this new functionality than with a port of iD's seminal shooter, the legendary DOOM? zsoc was able to throw together a webOS port of the game today, and although it currently requires a bit of Terminal trickery to get it running, the proof is in the pud: behold the screenshot after the break! DOOM, running within a webOS Mojo-ized card and fully controllable via the keyboard. Brings a tear to the eye, it does.

Updated with video after the break!

Special kudos are also due to our good friend and benefactor Rod Whitby, who packaged the app for installation. Interested folks can download it for yourself (so long as you have webOS 1.3.5) via Preware. You'll also need a copy of the original doom.wad file actually, it's included in the download.

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Does it have sound?

SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 5:59:58 AM # Q
Inquiring minds wanna know!

[strangely, I just played DOOM online somewhere on the 'Net insie a browser window to show my daughter what a "FPS" program was.

RE: Does it have sound?
Tim Carroll @ 12/31/2009 6:02:38 AM # Q
It has sound - and the volume keys work to control it, too. But no strafing support on the keyboard yet...
RE: Does it have sound?
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 6:34:06 AM # Q
Very cool - wonder if they've ported a =native= Doom to the Nexus yet - apparently THAT phone is amazing with speed (snapdragon, graphics, etc).

Things are getting fast, huh?

RE: Does it have sound?
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 6:40:43 AM # Q
Looks like there IS a native version for Android - no sound though?

http://phandroid.com/2009/03/31/android-is-doomd/

[that was just the first of N I found]

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Pardon the stupid questions, but...

bhartman34 @ 12/31/2009 7:14:44 AM # Q
1) Where does one get the WAD files? It's my understanding that they're open source now, but I'm not sure where to get the original WAD files mentioned. All I've found so far are HR.WAD and HRMUS.WAD.

2) Where does the WAD file go? In the same directory as the game?

RE: Pardon the stupid questions, but...
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 8:31:57 AM # Q
Google is your friend. Try the exact same questions there - all is revealed.

RE: Pardon the stupid questions, but...
Tim Carroll @ 12/31/2009 2:23:38 PM # Q
bhartman, you can download the shareware doom here: http://www.doomworld.com/classicdoom/info/shareware.php
RE: Pardon the stupid questions, but...
bhartman34 @ 12/31/2009 3:58:57 PM # Q
Thanks, Tim. :)

SV: Google is how I found the HR.WAD and HRMUS.WAD files. The original Doom WAD files took a little bit more searching on my part. The problem was I wasn't being specific about which WAD files I wanted, and apparently (not surprisingly, though) the newer WAD files are more highly ranked on Google. :)

Incidentally, I found out too late that you don't actually need the WAD file to play. It's included in the Preware download, according to someone on the PreCentral boards. I tried it w/o installing a new one, and it worked fine. (At first I thought it didn't work because the monsters didn't come right up to you and try to kill you, but it turns out they're a little further away on the map than I thought they'd be.

RE: Pardon the stupid questions, but...
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 4:21:02 PM # Q
Doom's a fun game - I spent hours on the three levels, refusing to use "cheats" like God Mode or look up all the hidden rooms, etc.

Way fun stuff.

Used a joystick as well as keyboard, however, so it was a lot easier to do certain movements.

Maybe I'll try to download a version for my Ubuntu box that runs native and see if the speed is up to snuff (600MHz PIII).

RE: Pardon the stupid questions, but...
Tim Carroll @ 12/31/2009 4:43:18 PM # Q
Incidentally, I found out too late that you don't actually need the WAD file to play

(facepalm) Typical. thanks. i'll update the post... I thought they didn't want to include it in the download because of potential licensing issues.

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Whatta Spoil Sport!

SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 8:29:52 AM # Q
A comment elsewhere asked:

== "Since when does Doom need hardware acceleration?"

Questions are being raised about the 'hardware acceleration'
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 10:12:49 AM # Q
Some other folks are now chiming in (elsewhere) about the purported "hardware acceleration" with words along the line of "How? and, much more importantly, "What?""

Doom could use some bit blitting, perhaps, but it is REAL unlikely it is using a GPU to do, for example, 3D transforms or texture transforms, etc.

Which brings us to the question, does the GPU in the Pre even DO bit blittlng? (that is, does the GPU have direct access to the display memory?)

But in any case, the question is "What does this title REALLY mean?".

RE: Whatta Spoil Sport!
Tim Carroll @ 12/31/2009 2:33:17 PM # Q
Bear in mind zsoc and destinal puzzled this out over several hours yesterday, and there was a massive backlog on the WebOS Internals IRC I needed to pore through. But Jason Robitaille on PreCentral reposted one of the "money quotes":

It doesn't open its _own_ card so much as it starts it's own surface, and when luna realizes it has to share the fb after the initialized virtual surface, it creates a hardware accelerated surface in a new card and shoves it in there.

There's lots more, though, including telling comments from Palm themselves in the code that indicate yes, this is all for real and probably how they're going to handle gaming themselves - like, say, with Need For Speed.

Speaking of which, I need to hunt down some PR people from EA. I'm guessing we'll be wanting to talk with them post-CES...

RE: Whatta Spoil Sport!
SeldomVisitor @ 12/31/2009 3:36:19 PM # Q
I think some folks got carried away with their verbiage.

RE: Whatta Spoil Sport!
ardiri @ 1/1/2010 9:36:33 AM # Q
>> "What does this title REALLY mean?".

well; its classic PR crud - in its current context.

the original game uses a framebuffer based rendering engine; so all the drawing et al is done in a memory chunk that represents the display. if this is still the case - the only "hardware acceleration" is the fact that there is a surface used for displaying it. this is no different than using an open GL texture and letting the operating system do the blitting to the actual screen. you will find it would be much faster to draw direct to the framebuffer of the device - so, in fact, its slower now.

the biggest advantage of this is that it plays nicely with everything else on the device; meaning it can be pushed to the side and you can switch in/out of applications easier. it is how it should be; but it surely isn't hardware acelerated. if the game was re-written to use open gl; and utilize the open gl directly - like what has been done on the iphone; then its hardware accelerated.

from the quote; it doesn't seem to be the case tho.

--
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

RE: Whatta Spoil Sport!
jca666us @ 1/1/2010 10:22:33 AM # M Q
what - a misleading article posted to palminfocenter!!?!

say it ain't so!!!

RE: Whatta Spoil Sport!
Tim Carroll @ 1/1/2010 2:33:02 PM # Q
Aaron: I put the question to zsoc and destinal. The answer:

[zsoc] freakout: sdl apps are run on a surface using a framebuffer device driver which is only available when the powervr (gpu) module is installed in the kernel.

So in other words, they're using the GPU to render it, even if the game engine itself doesn't support hardware acceleration. They can also now launch multiple instances of the game in multiple cards - 5 sessions of Doom running simultaneously without much of a performance hit would seem to indicated there's hardware acceleration going on here...

The question is whether or not OpenGL is also accessible via SDL via its current webOS implementation. zsoc is currently working on porting sdlgears, which will be the test.
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro --> Pre
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Wow!

palmt600 @ 12/31/2009 11:11:17 AM # Q
This is excellent news! New API's to support hardware-accelerated 3D functions for hard-core game development on the Palm Pre will now have to be on my next list of Palm Pre apps to develop!
Reply to this comment

OMG!

NotTellingYou @ 12/31/2009 12:33:48 PM # Q
Look at the directions to install! What? THIS PEOPLE is a great example of what is wrong with this platform!
RE: OMG!
mikecane @ 12/31/2009 2:36:24 PM # Q
It's a hack, for people who want to try things first. Not meant for people who don't want more than Make It Work Now access.
RE: OMG!
Tim Carroll @ 12/31/2009 2:36:37 PM # Q
It's homebrew. It's not official. Hence why rough edges.

But Rod was able to cook up a front-end to launch the game in Project Ares in less than an hour, and a proper launcher is already en route so there's no Terminal fussing. The sticking point is whether to make Preware the launcher - something which it's not really meant for - or whether to build a seperate SDL game launcher, because DOOM is only one of many games that can run on it. (Descent, for instance, has also been ported to SDL....)

RE: OMG!
NotTellingYou @ 1/1/2010 12:31:38 AM # Q
Again..things liek "home brew" "it's not official" this sort of wild west crap is ok on my LinuX PC but NOT on a consumer phone. I call it my "mom test" if something can confuse my mom it doesn't belong on a mass market device. Why can't people get it in their heads that THIS is why Apple has found success on the phone that they didn't on the PC. People are ok with, and expect, complexity and issues like crashes and all, on their computer but they WILL NOT tolerate it on their phone. Apple, like it or not, with the locked ecosystem puts a firewall up. This would never be allowed on the iTunes store at this stage and unless Palm gets their $@%! together they will be like my Linux PC, loved by a few, but destined to be a niche player.
RE: OMG!
DarthRepublican @ 1/1/2010 11:00:47 AM # Q
NotTellingYou wrote:
Again..things liek "home brew" "it's not official" this sort of wild west crap is ok on my LinuX PC but NOT on a consumer phone. I call it my "mom test" if something can confuse my mom it doesn't belong on a mass market device. Why can't people get it in their heads that THIS is why Apple has found success on the phone that they didn't on the PC. People are ok with, and expect, complexity and issues like crashes and all, on their computer but they WILL NOT tolerate it on their phone. Apple, like it or not, with the locked ecosystem puts a firewall up. This would never be allowed on the iTunes store at this stage and unless Palm gets their $@%! together they will be like my Linux PC, loved by a few, but destined to be a niche player.

First of all, why would your mom want to play Doom on her cell phone?

Secondly, are you suggesting that the phone should be locked down so that people can't customize it and install what they want? Because that is what you are suggesting. Homebrew apps are not part of the Palm App Catalog and the typical user never sees them or is aware that they even exist. You might as well demand that in the interest of simplicity that Apple do everything possible to prevent people from Jailbreaking their iPhone -- oh wait, they already do that.

Palm Apologist
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http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/

RE: OMG!
bhartman34 @ 1/1/2010 10:43:14 PM # Q
NotTellingYou wrote:
Look at the directions to install! What? THIS PEOPLE is a great example of what is wrong with this platform!

It's actually not that complicated anymore. (Development has been fast and furious, apparently.) You can download it from Preware and it'll run when you tap the Doom icon now. The most typing you'll do to install it now is if you're just installing WebOS QuickInstall and have to get in developer mode (and Palm even made that easier than it used to be when the Pre was released).

RE: OMG!
SeldomVisitor @ 1/2/2010 4:02:54 AM # Q
> ...are you suggesting that the phone should be locked down so that
> people can't customize it and install what they want?...

There are Real World constraints on what can run on a phone.

Number One, of course, is the phone HAS to work as a phone with all that such a statement means.

Phone manufacturers like Palm or Apple aren't restricting access for no good reason.

RE: OMG!
bhartman34 @ 1/8/2010 12:09:21 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
> ...are you suggesting that the phone should be locked down so that
> people can't customize it and install what they want?...

There are Real World constraints on what can run on a phone.

Number One, of course, is the phone HAS to work as a phone with all that such a statement means.

Phone manufacturers like Palm or Apple aren't restricting access for no good reason.

Apple is certainly being vigilant about restricting what people can do on their phones. Trust me: If Jobs could get away with opening a gulag for them somewhere in northern Alaska, he would. Palm? Not so much... There was even praise for the homebrew community yesterday. Could you imagine Apple praising the jailbreakers?

I do think there are good points and bad points about it, but on balance, it seems to me that the more freedom you give people to create, the better things they create for the ecosystem. There's a good reason why so many people who know how to decide to jailbreak their phones.

RE: OMG!
SeldomVisitor @ 1/8/2010 1:14:46 PM # Q
Palm has to create interest in its devices. THAT is Number One priority.

They can simply blame bad software if someone crashes their phone with their unofficial application.

But they get lots of interest, they certainly get lots of free publicity, they get beta-testers out the wazoo, and they can lock things down LATER.


RE: OMG!
abosco @ 1/8/2010 2:17:25 PM # M Q
Beggers can't be choosers, that's why Palm praised the homebrew community.
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