Playing Doom2 on the Internet
There are two catagories of ways to play Doom2 over the internet. One way is through using a program that helps Doom2's non-internet-routable IPX-SPX packets get across the internet, and another is by using a special version of Doom2 called a "port" that supports the correct kind of networking for the internet.
Using IPX-SPX encapsulation for Doom2.exe
Doom2, as it was released by ID software, is not playable over the internet. It uses a protocol called IPX-SPX, which is not the protocol that is used on the internet (the internet uses TCP-IP). Therefore, Doom2 in its normally-installed state is never internet playable.
There are a few programs that can overcome this by putting the IPX-SPX packets inside of internet-routable TCP-IP packets, basically permitting the "Classic" Doom2.exe to play over the internet.
Ifrag (outdated)Using a Doom Port that supports TCP-IP
One program is named Ifrag, and was written years ago, evidently for older DOS machines that were running a DOS TCP stack. It used a master server to help Doom players coordinate games with other players across the internet. For the sake of completeness, I recently tried to get it to work, and failed. If you would like to have the program, you can download it here . It should probably be considered outdated. If you get it working between two Windows95 or higher machines, drop me an email at email@example.com .
Microsoft's Zone is a fully functional game coordinator and launcher website that people are using to play Doom2.exe over the internet.
To make Zone work for 1 on 1 games for a machine that is connected to the internet through a proxy (NAT), you need to have the proxy forward the following ports to the Zone-playing machine on the LAN (I forward both TCP and UDP):
Good things about it are:Because it uses Doom2.exe, the gameplay characteristics are unmodified. This makes Zone currently the best choice for deathmatchers who require the true Doom2 "feel" in their game.Bad things about it are:
It has a chatroom called "Action Games" where the Doom players have been meeting to get games.
It is a reasonable quality connect for players with cable modems, DSL lines, and T1's. I am told that modem-connected players can play but experience lag similar to a laggy modem game.It has a confusing login these days - - the login is related to a "passport" account. It didn't used to be this way.
It is server based for the game launch - - you will need to connect to Microsoft's "zone" website to play anyone. You cannot simply connect with your friend without using this web interface first.
KaliKali was formerly a gaming service for which people paid to get a registration number. As of the last time I checked, it has been changed to free. Kali appears to support Doom2.exe, and even has a utility that is supposed to help proxy-connected machines be able to use it. I was able to get the proxy-helper working, but never actually made it into a game. I have heard of other people being able to get it to work though. It had a pretty nice looking user interface, at least.
It may be worth a try for you. The current webpage is www.kali.net , and the "Kali 2" software (and some registration numbers to make it work) are there.
A "doom port" is a version of Doom/Doom2 that was made possible, directly or indirectly, by the source code release of Doom for Linux by John Carmack in December of 1997.
This review of several Doom ports that permit multiplayer gaming is strictly from the perspective of "classic Doom". Classic doom maintains the position that Doom's gaming characteristics and game balance are a positive set of standards that ports should be working to achieve, while perhaps adding functionality that benefits the general environment.
There are more ports than these, but these are the best known and most mainstream ports available to the Classic Doom scene. This page was written on July 24, 2004, so keep in mind that the situations of doom ports can change rapidly.
Zdaemon is the most popular and mature multiplayer port. It has a busy development cycle and tends to have frequent tournaments and other kinds of competitions. Despite the multiple small details that make its gameplay nonauthentic, it has not experienced severely balance-altering changes, and in the overall picture it remains somewhat true to classic doom no matter what settings the client and server select.
Skulltag is a mature multiplayer port which, in it's default mode, has many changes that make it incompatible with the aims of classic doom, including the addition of quake-like weapons. The crowd that currently plays it tends to prefer the changes, and this appears to have been part of what has historically kept the two playerbases seperate (and possibly, contributed to Zdaemon having the larger playerbase between the two). However, a deathmatch mode was added to it recently which deliberately and very faithfully mimics classic Doom2, specifically to appeal to classic doom enthusiasts. It is only because of this recent "oldschool mode" that Skulltag appears on this page, as its typical mode does not play like classic Doom.
Prboom is a doom port that has a slow development cycle, yet remains very true to classic doom at every step of its development. It's networking remains primarily peer to peer with emphasis on LAN performance. It's general 'feel' remains authentic, and it's method of demo recording is similar to Doom2. Because of it's slower development cycle, it is not as mature a port as the other two, and is too awkward in it's multiplayer game launch for most players to be willing to use when Zdaemon and Skulltag are available. Prboom does not come with a game launcher, it is always run from the command line, even for network games.
No (too easy), but in progress
Wall run correctness
No (works in an incorrect direction), but in progress
Yes (for version expected to release around September, 2004)
Item/weapon pickup sound
No (all pickups are audible)
Player hearing distance
No (hearing distance is too far)
Yes, but chaingun has mildly odd sounding intonation (two beat sound to bullet fire)
Yes, but not clean to client in network latency conditions
Visual perspective correctness during player movement
No (spectators joining multiplayer games cause respawn sound)
No (certain respawns are consistantly incorrectly silenced, problem occurs in Dwango5 Map1)
Hybrid client-server / peer-to-peer
Ease of Use - LAN
Ease of Use -
Yes but looks a little odd
Feel - Internet
No mouse lag, no firing lag, ammo impact lag in connections with latency. Bounceback can happen.
No mouse lag, no firing lag, ammo impact lag in connections with latency. Bounceback can happen. Mouse and firing lag match latency condition, no ammo impact lag, no bounceback.
has slowly advancing latency, not entirely consistant
Players can occasionally spawn on top of each other, resulting in one player being unable to fire until he dies and respawns correctly.
A live player very occasionally renders to other players as a death frame, including possibly a corpse. Affected live player notes no problem in his vision.
A player very occasionally becomes bugged, seeing a flashing red screen as though he is taking damage repeatedly. Restart of the client is necessary to restore normal vision.
A player very occasionally appears to be inside of floors in room-over-room maps.
In latency, a player can respawn and if during his prior death he was subject to actions that were pushing him (rocket splash can cause it), the pushing action continues slightly with the newly-spawned player.
Websites of these ports are:
Independent doom port launcher and chat client:
Doom Connector is a multi-function combined game launcher and chat client from which games for multiple Doom ports can be launched, some of which are classic oriented ports. The website and download location for Doom Connector is http://www.codeimp.com/connector_info.php?
Screenshot of Doom Connector: