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Vanilla / Dos Doom in 3 screen mode. I finally did it!

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First post, by chinny22

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This has been on my to do list since I first read about it back in the 90's!
Just before Christmas I saved these 3 17" screens from work and I knew the time had come 😀
And I thought it was so cool I have to film it
https://youtu.be/HSR7b3fHRnQ

(ignore the 2 desktop 486's under the screens, they kept getting out of sync with the P3's)
Left PC, P3 1Ghz beige PC under the table
Dell makes surprisingly good retro PC's

Middle PC, P4 with red fans on top of the table
P4P800 End of Win98 Support Build

Right PC, Duel P3 600 with blue fans under the table
Asus P2B-DS Build

As the P4 doesn't have any decent dos sound, the Roland is attached to the AWE64 on the Duel P3
For the youtube Video I was actually playing off a second screen on the far left attached to the P4's geforce 6800, taking advantage of how in dos is just duplicates the image on both screens,
Doom4_Screens.jpg

The benefit of having a PC dedicated per screen is you can customise the screen layout somewhat, which I tried to show in the video.
Only the middle PC can move doom guy but each PC still has full local control of everything else like its screen size, so you can have the status bar on all 3 screens or pick and choose where you want it.
Press tab on the left PC will keep the map up on that screen and you can continue playing on the other 2.

This got me thinking If you setup a 4th PC you could in theory use that as a dedicated map screen. I tested assigning 2 left computers and nothing for the right and it ran fine, It doesn't look like the game checks for that.

The command line is:
Doom -net 3 -left
Doom -net 3
Doom -net 3 -right

I'm betting if you replaced the 3 with a 4 to make a 4 player game and simply made the 4th a drone PC with the -left command, it would work just fine.
But rest of the family want the room back.

This is the 1st time I've played any game with 3 screens and it definitely helps, I would recommend it. E1M1 and 2 doesn't make much difference but when the levels start getting bigger areas you see monsters you would normally walk past.
The good thing is the drone PC's requirements are pretty low, can boot to dos and the network card has a DOS ODI driver (even modern cards usually do)
You don't have to worry about sound, CD, Mouse drivers or anything else.
The catch is Doom itself.
after v1.1 the updated networking broke this feature. You can find early shareware versions here
http://toogam.com/software/archive/games/shar … om/doomshar.htm

Reply 4 of 13, by dr_st

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I'm more impressed by the view from the Windows then by the game. 😀

For complete authentic experience you should, of course, position the side screens so that they are really 90 degrees to the left or right (and you kind of sit inside a cube).

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 5 of 13, by chinny22

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I'm kinda surprised it isn't more well known even using source ports. I guess maybe due to it not working for very long (fun fact 1.1 and earlier also predate nightmare skill)
DoomWiki has a bit more about it https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Three_screen_mode

It's a shame as I'm really liking the idea even just a 2 screen setup now and having the map on the other screen.

dr_st wrote:

I'm more impressed by the view from the Windows then by the game. 😀

For complete authentic experience you should, of course, position the side screens so that they are really 90 degrees to the left or right (and you kind of sit inside a cube).

Yeh, This was just so the camera could see the 3 screens, I'm finding having the screens right up against each other and offset about 80? degrees works well. Kind of in a little box and you can see the side screens in your peripheral vision, was going to put try the screens 90 degrees for myself then thought, if I do that I'm just going to swing doom guy around rather then turn my head!

And it is a good view, we were very lucky, rent is about the same for a flat the same size but without the view in the area.
Our landlord asked if we wanted to move here instead of his other flat, He lives right next door with his wife and 2 young girls so think he only offers it to his quieter less troublesome tenants, effectively controlling his neighbours.

Reply 6 of 13, by dr_st

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Yeah, I don't recall when I first learned of this feature. Maybe from "The Official DOOM / DOOM II FAQ"? Back then it was irrelevant to me, because I had none of the hardware required to set up a network game. I'd say it was a pretty unique thing back then.

Which got me thinking: most modern games allow 3-screen setups in single-player now. Do they support something similar (90 degree angles) or do they just provide a wide but rather flat field of view?

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 7 of 13, by bregolin

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Mind. Blown.

IBM Aptiva 2162 - P55 166 MMX, 32MB, CS4237B + Wavetable, ATI Mach64 2MB / Win98SE
Custom PIII 750, 64MB, SB AWE64, Voodoo 3 3000 AGP / Win98SE
Sony Vaio z505 SuperSlim - PIII 550, 192MB, YMF744, NeoMagic 256AV+ / Win98SE

Reply 10 of 13, by chinny22

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orinoko wrote:

Oh mannnn. I'm trying to clean up my study, not make more mess!

I'd love to set this up...

Gotta move those PC's to get at the dust dont you 😉

Reply 12 of 13, by w0lf42

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Thank you for showing this. I am attempting to recreate this with a system from the era (PIII) and a Raspberry Pi 3. My first step is to get it working on my PIII. I'm able to get the network working (I think), but I can't get the game to start.

DOS Machine
IPX Networking

NetWare Link Support Layer V2.11 (940817) (C) Copyright 1990-1994 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved. […]
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NetWare Link Support Layer V2.11 (940817)
(C) Copyright 1990-1994 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The configuration file used was "C:\DRIVERS\NETWORK2.CFG".

Linksys LNE100TX Fast Ethernet Adapter(LNE100TX v5) v1.14 (010403)

Slot 1, IRQ9, Port C800, Node Address C41EC205A L
Max Frame 1514 bytes, Line Speed 100 Mbps Full Duplex
Board 1, Frame ETHERNET_802.2, LSB Mode
Board 2, Frame ETHERNET_802.3, LSB Mode
Board 3, Frame ETHERNET_SNAP, LSB Mode
Board 4, Frame ETHERNET_II, LSB Mode

NetWare IPX/SPX Protocol v3.00 BETA 5 (940812)
(C) Copyright 1990-1994 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bound to logical board 1 (LNE100TX) : Protocol ID E0

Run Doom

C:\Games\Doom1_1>doom -net 3 D_CheckNetGame: Checking network game status. D_CheckNetGame: Initializing network for 3 node game. […]
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C:\Games\Doom1_1>doom -net 3
D_CheckNetGame: Checking network game status.
D_CheckNetGame: Initializing network for 3 node game.
localnetid: 0xb661e041
Attempting to find all players for net play. Press ESC to exit.
look for player...found a player!
looking for players..._

The DOS machine will just sit there until I press ESC. It won't get into the game.

Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2020-03-21, 14:15. Edited 1 time in total.