'Doomba' Allows Roombas to Create 'Doom' Levels Based on Your House's Layout

Friday, 28 December 2018 - 12:57PM
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Friday, 28 December 2018 - 12:57PM
'Doomba' Allows Roombas to Create 'Doom' Levels Based on Your House's Layout
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Frank C. Müller CC BY-SA 4.0
When the video game Doom was originally released in 1993, few people knew what they had on their hands—all they knew was that it was fun (and violent) as hell, no pun intended. You played as a space marine stranded on a science facility on one of the moons of Mars, which was being besieged by legions of demons who had crossed through a portal from Hell. Twenty-five years later, Doom is recognized as one of the landmarks in video game history, and fans have spent countless hours trying to get it to run on all kinds of devices, from toasters to pianos to ATMs. Now, someone has figured out how to design new Doom levels using a Roomba.

According to Polygon, game designer Rich Whitehouse recently released an addition to a piece of software he designed called Noesis, which allows assets (like character models) to be ported between different video games. The addition was a script designed for the Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum, which has a little camera attached to it that's used to map the layout of the user's house. Whitehouse was able to adapt his Noesis program to be used with that camera and convert the Roomba's map into a new level for Doom. Whitehouse announced the completion of the project before Christmas by saying:

"I soon realized that there was a clear opportunity to serve the Dark Lord by conceiving a plethora of unholy algorithms in service to one of the finest works ever created in his name. Simultaneously, I would be able to unleash a truly terrible pun to plague humankind. Now, the fruit of my labor is born. I bring forth DOOMBA, a half-goat, half-script creature, with native binary backing for the expensive parts, to be offered in place of my firstborn on this fine Christmas Eve."

If you're wondering what's with the Satanic overtones of the announcement, it helps to know that Doom was at the heart of a moral panic in the 90's, similar to D&D. Which is strange because one of the designers, a devout Mormon named Sandy Petersen, saw nothing wrong with kids killing demons.

You can check out Whitehouse's official page for DOOMBA here, as well as the download page for Noesis here.

(Cover photo: Frank C. Müller via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 )
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