If it can be played, it can be ported. As we enter the age of operating systems in almost every device and appliance, coders and modders are starting to get restless, itching to try something new. Tom Kidd, a mobile developer, has managed to port several of id Software’s classic shooters to Apple’s iOS system, as well as their tvOS. Users can now replicate the process, which understandably will take a bit of work, as is par for the course with modding, meaning Doom iOS is available for dedicated players.
The history of id Software’s relationship with open source goes back all the way to 1997, when they first released the source code for Doom. At first, it was under a not-for-profit license, and later it fell under the GNU GPL license in 1999. Over the years, John Carmack kept releasing the source code for several other id Software classic shooters. The source code of all these games is now available under id Software’s official GitHub. Then, in 2009, id Software also brought official versions of Wolfenstein 3D and the original DOOM to the iOS App Store. However, those ports are no longer supported since 2014. In 2017, the iOS version 10.3 officially stopped supporting any apps based on the deprecated 32-bit architecture.
That’s when Tom Kidd stepped up to the challenge and decided to re-port those games using both the GitHub page and the obsolete iOS versions. It was more challenging than he expected. “I went and did the work to update them and get them working in the latest versions of iOS,” he wrote. “This wound up being both harder and easier than I expected.” The entire porting process is detailed in Kidd’s website blog. The result of this impressive work is now available from Kidd’s GitHub, in six repositories: DOOM iOS, DOOM3 iOS, Quake iOS, Quake2 iOS, Quake3 iOS, and Wolf3D iOS. The ports even include MFi controller support and fullscreen support on the iPhone X. After this, Kidd moved on to also port the games to Apple’s tvOS, so that now the games can also be played on Apple TV. You can see Kidd’s demonstration of DOOM 3 on iOS in his YouTube channel:
Those who are looking to try the ports should also understand that these are purely engine ports, so that the copyrighted data, such as graphics, sound, and level design aren’t included, same as with id Software’s original open source releases). The original files will be necessary to achieve a playable game. You can get the original id Software classic shooters from GOG for a great value.
- Wolfenstein 3D + Spear of Destiny
- The Ultimate DOOM
- DOOM 3 BFG Edition
- Quake: The Offering
- Quake II
- Quake III: Gold
To reiterate, the ports cannot be downloaded from Apple’s iOS Store, but only from Kidd’s GitHub. The walled garden nature of the iPhone and tvOS also presents another challenge for users. You’ll need to use a Mac with an Apple Developer account and Xcode or sideload them via other unofficial methods to run the games, even after you’ve gotten all the files together.
In May we also may see the anticipated release of John Romero’s DOOM mod, SIGIL, so it’s definitely a good month to revisit these classics.
What do you think of Tom Kidd’s porting work? Do you plan on checking out Doom iOS? Let us know in the comments below!