(Freedoom was supposed to be tonight’s Saturday Night Freeware, but thanks to an unreliable Internet connection, I wasn’t able to test it.)
Freedom is a collaborative project to create a complete game based on the Doom engine. The makers of the Doom, iD Software, released the game engine as free software under the GNU GPL licence, which means than anyone can develop a game based on it. The game engine includes the settings, music, levels, objects, effects and so on.
Doom, of course, is a classic in the realm of computer games in general and first-person shooters in particular. It was revolutionary for its time (early 1990s), bringing us 3D graphics, much improved FPS controls, multiplayer capabilities, mods and more. As an unnamed marine stranded on a base in Mars that has been taken over by monsters, you must survive (both monsters and toxic spills) and find the exits. Apart from the exhilarating thrill of blasting away terrible monsters, there were some puzzles to sort out too.
Doom also gained popularity by letting people create mods (known as WAD — Where’s All the Data) that added new levels to the game. Freedoom is a IWAD (internal WAD), a core WAD file that contains all the necessary information for the game.
The aim of Freedoom is not just to create a complete free game, but also a pool of freely usable material for other developers to use. There is no stable release as of yet. You will also need a source port to play Freedoom — details in the download page.
If you’ve played and loved Doom, you’ll probably want to try Freedoom as well. I certainly do. (Want to try Doom? Download a free episode [nine levels].)