Doom is old. Yes. And so is the community around. There are people here who are married, have children, a job and their lifestyle can't be compared to what they have been used to when they played the shareware episode of Doom for the first time. Things have changed. Though I find it always very interesting to take a look at the past, compare it to the present and see what we have reached all together. The Retrospect Issue #1 is the first part of a series, where I simply switch back 10 years and see what has happened back then and what we have now. We have May 2016 - so let's see what was going on in May 2006...
Eternity Engine v3.33.33 has been released
Despite the version numbering, that instantly reminded me of DOOM2.EXE V1.666, taking a look at the new features then certainly feels medieval: The Eternity Engine finally supported PolyObjects, large flats (I guess larger than 64x64), Hexen map format, the Heretic IWAD (even though Heretic wasn't fully implemented) and even MP3/OGG and tracker modules could finally be played. Things that can be conidered as standard now. Csonicgo though was totally overwhelmed, as he was finally able to play ZDoom wads without ZDoom as ZDoom made his machine overheat - congratulations.
Better it was considering the drama, the release brought a few months later. Carnevil's Skulltag, the predecessor to Zandronum was one of the most active sourceports for online-play. It provided new gamemodes, a server browser, new weapons and a lot of stuff, that was very usual in the multiplayer shooters of the early 2000's. The version 0.97b though wasn't released in May but it was hyped in a massive way by the developers and the community. As heavy as the hype was, as heavy has the drama been after the release in december - crashes, glitches, shitstorms. Long story short: After even more drama in 2009 and 2010, the port ended up being frozen and that's when Torr Samaho started off with Zandronum.
Yes, John Carmack blogged in 2006, mostly about vaguel Doom-related stuff with some remarks about sales and development of the Doom RPG, a cell-phone game that's kind of Doom - but actually wasn't. It was fundamentally different in that it was a turn-based RPG. All bombat and movement was turn-based, allowing the player time to select their responses in combat. Well, it was 2006, there hadn't been a lot of smartphones around so playing Java games was what the majority of people did when sitting on the pot while being in school or at work. There was even a sequel 4 years ago called Doom II RPG but to be honest, for me it wasn't the same, glad that I jailbroke my iPhone for trying it instead having to buy the app.
Thanks god that next to buggy sourceports and awful apps there has been the community. With brilliant releases and gigantic efforts, they saved the month... well, actually the reviewers did with reviewing mostly '94 material that popped out in the chronicles of May 2006. There have been a few interesting releases though that I didn't spot then but now. Starship for example was a 6-map Hexen hub with npcs, new monsters and advanced scripting, Also NeoDoom by Daniel made it's first appearance in the community which was a huge project popping out of nowhere. Something that has deserved being mentioned at any cost is Enjay's Thief - The Trail of the Arch-Heretic, a mixture of the games Thief and Heretic. This was - afaik - the first ever Heretic map for GZDoom, taking full advantage of dynamic lights and 3dfloors. Last but not least - and this made me laugh hard - my very own project Sapphire was reviewed, with those words that seem to follow me my whole dooming-life: "Looks beautiful [..] gameplay is utterly dull" - meh.
Well, we can definitely say that it was an interesting month 10 years ago with a lot of things going on in terms of projects, technique and community. Let's see what happens next month - 10 years ago. And take your time for some comments on this, I am looking forward about your thoughts on the first Retrospect Issue.