The story about the development of the Doom port for the 3DO console has begun to gain popularity again on the web. The person who bought the rights was sure that it was enough to simply copy the files from the PC version, and new weapons could be added simply in the form of pictures. Now this story is being compared to people’s fantasies about transferring NFT items between different games.

Derek Alexander, one of the authors of the Stop Skeletons From Fighting YouTube channel, drew attention to this. He remembered the story of Randy Scott, who in the 90s became famous for an unsuccessful attempt to port the first Doom to 3DO.

What was the problem with the Doom port?

  • For the first time, the history of the development of Doom for 3DO was told by programmer Rebecca Heineman in 2016. We will focus only on the key details, and you can read more about it here.
  • Randy Scott decided to take up game development in 1993, having no experience behind him and having no knowledge of the industry. He managed to raise $100,000 from his friends from the church in Southern California and founded the company Art Data Interactive.
  • Soon Scott caught fire with ideas to port Doom to 3DO. He managed to buy the rights from id Software for a huge sum of $250 thousand at that time. At the same time, the studio transferred the source code and all the necessary materials to Art Data.
  • At the end of 1994, the marketing campaign of the Doom version for the Panasonic console began. Scott talked about upcoming improvements, new weapons and levels, and also showed screenshots to an enthusiastic audience.
  • However, no one suspected how much Scott did not understand the development. In his opinion, it was enough to transfer files from one system to another to port the game.
  • Experienced developers tried to explain that nothing would come of it, but Scott continued to believe in success. At the same time, representatives of 3DO gradually began to realize that all this looks like a big hoax.
  • In the summer of 1996, the company turned to Rebecca Heineman, one of the founders of Interplay Productions, for help. She had extensive development experience, including The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, Dragon Wars and, most importantly, the Wolfenstein 3D port for 3DO.
  • In August 1996, Heineman agreed to help 3DO, not yet suspecting what lay ahead. The company still wanted to release the game before Christmas. Thus, Heineman had all 10 weeks to finish work on the port and deliver it by the end of October.
  • Art Data assured that the version of Doom for 3DO is 90% ready, you just need to fix some bugs. At the same time, by the “source code” of the project, Scott meant a regular retail copy of Doom for PC.
  • Then Heineman contacted id Software directly and received the Doom version code for the Atari Jaguar console. She was already getting ready to start work when one of the Art Data employees admitted that the studio had nothing ready except the compiler, and Scott was just deceiving everyone.
  • Heineman wanted to quit the project, but 3DO representatives begged her to help. As a result, in 10 weeks she single-handedly ported Doom from Jaguar to 3DO from scratch. Of course, there was no time for optimization, and the game worked with large FPS drawdowns.
  • Then Heineman was confronted with Randy Scott’s vision. He complained about technical problems and the lack of content he invented. “He really believed that you could just give me a drawing of a weapon, I would insert it into the game, and it would magically start shooting,” Rebecca recalls.
  • By the fall of 1996, Doom for 3DO was ready to be shipped to stores. Then Scott proved to be an even more incompetent specialist. He printed 250 thousand discs with the game. For understanding, that’s how many 3DO consoles existed on the market at that time.
  • Critics and players ended up disappointed with the final product, as Randy Scott initially promised them “the best version of Doom in the world.”

What does NFT have to do with it?

This story is not directly related to the use of blockchain technologies in games. However, after Derek Alexander’s post, users found a lot in common between Randy Scott and modern NFT evangelists.

“When you say that blockchain and NFT will allow you to put all the characters in all the games at once, you look like Randy,” Alexander noted.

In particular, many recalled the story of musician Mike Shinoda, who recently spoke out in defense of NFT in video games. In his opinion, tokens will be able to improve the user experience and give them more opportunities.

“In—game items are essentially just NFTs that you can’t sell or take out of the game. What if you had the opportunity?” Shinoda declared.

Most users disagreed with him, who accused the musician of misunderstanding the topic. After the post about the development of the Doom port, many also compared Shinoda to Randy Scott, who thought that games could be made using pictures and copying files.

The very idea of transferring NFT from one game to another has become more popular in recent months. They say that this will allow users to use skins in several favorite projects, while earning money from them.

However, today the developers note that even technically it will not be easy to implement, given that different titles are made on different engines and technologies. Not to mention the fact that it is unlikely that large publishers will want to transfer in-game items to competitors’ titles purely from a financial point of view.

For companies, a more logical step would be to create their own NFT platforms and trading platforms from which they can charge a commission for each transaction. Although so far even such initiatives are not popular, being criticized by gamers. Suffice it to recall the failed launch of the Ubisoft Quartz platform, where the cost of the most expensive NFTs is measured in just tens of dollars.