It Runs DOOM #2

  • May 04, 2019
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  • By: Joe Rybicki

“But can it run DOOM?” is the techie’s go-to joke for just about any piece of hardware with a screen – and for good reason.

The original DOOM’s software was so ubiquitous at height of its popularity during the shareware era that fans took it upon themselves to get it running on as many devices as possible – no matter how ridiculous.

As a result, the game has been ported, emulated or imitated on countless devices thanks to skilled programmers with a little know-how and some elbow grease. They may not all be the most optimized rigs for playing shooters, but these fun feats in engineering deserve a shout-out because, well, they run DOOM.

With a Piano

No, we’re not talking about playing the DOOM theme on a piano. We’re talking about playing DOOM. The video game. On a piano.

As a special exhibit for the Virgin Media Game Space in London, a group of industry insiders got together to modify an actual piano to control a game of DOOM. The VMGS’ own David Hayward, George Buckenham (of Sportsfriends developer Die Gute Fabrik), Ricky Haggett (of Hohokum developer Honeyslug) and independent developer Sos Sosowski used a combination of copper tape and off-the-shelf PC-interface encoders to allow the piano to directly control a computer running DOOM. Different sections of the keyboard control forward and backward movement, strafing, turning and weapon selection – while actual firing is controlled by the black keys.

The sounds of someone playing are…not exactly pleasing to the ear, to be quite honest. But then, slaughtering hordes of demons shouldn’t sound particularly sweet now, should it?