[James Sharman] has been working away on a 8-bit CPU of his own design. Naturally, with his computing device largely functional, the obvious question was asked: can it run DOOM? [James’] latest video explores this question, showing just how close he was able to get.
[James’] 8-bit pipelined CPU also has its own UART, VGA adapter, and sound adapter all built up on discrete components on various PCBs. There’s also a custom interface for a SNES controller as an input device. However, it’s fundamentally well below the specs that DOOM originally required at launch. His 8-bit CPU runs at just 4 MHz, with 64 KB of RAM. This compares poorly to the 32-bit, 33 MHz Intel 386 chips and 4 MB of RAM originally recommended to run the game.
In lieu of running the real thing, [James] demonstrated the limitations of his machine by coding his own demo, nicknamed Doomed. It’s able to average 19 fps video output at a resolution of 80×60, and consists of over 5,000 lines of hand-written assembly code. Fundamentally, it’s a basic 3D engine not dissimilar to Wolfenstein 3D, though without any actual gaming interactions involved.
[James] could have simply stated the machine won’t run DOOM. However, trying to get something similar up and running was a useful learning experience, and in his own words, highly satisfying. This attitude of pushing on in the face of adversity is what propels many other DOOM porting efforts.
[Thanks to Keith Olson for the tip!]