Multiplayer ‘DOOM’ Arrives On the Raspberry Pi Pico, a $4 Computer

Multiplayer ‘DOOM’ Arrives On the Raspberry Pi Pico, a $4 Computer

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, Id Software

The $4 Raspberry Pi Pico is a low-power microcontroller, sort of like an Arduino board. It isn’t really meant to play games, and especially not 3D titles. But in the spirit of “can it run DOOM,” the Pi Foundation’s Graham Sanderson has ported the original DOOM to the Raspberry Pi Pico. And it works great.

Sanderson’s DOOM port is extremely faithful to the original game. It’s based on the Chocolate Doom source port, and it uses all of the original DOOM PC WAD files, plus the original music and audio. Fitting all this stuff on the Pi Pico’s 2MB of flash memory required a bit of compression, of course, but the game still runs at 300×200 resolution (but outputs 1280×1024 video) without a hitch. (Sanderson notes that microcomputers with the Pi Pico’s RP2040 chip should be able to run Ultimate Doom and DOOM II.)

Shockingly, this port actually supports four-player multiplayer. And there aren’t any weird tricks here—just connect a few computers via I2C and you’re ready to go.

Sanderson documented the entire project in a GitHub writeup, which is quite detailed. If you’re curious about his compression method, called WHD or “Where’s Half the Data,” I strongly suggest scrolling through that documentation!

All the code for this DOOM port is available on GitHub. Technically speaking, it should work on all RP2040 microcomputers with at least 2MB of RAM, though I suggest playing it on the Pi Pico. You can grab a Pi Pico now for just $4.

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

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