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    The Super Wolf3D Family Map

    Nexion
    Nexion
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    The Super Wolf3D Family Map Empty The Super Wolf3D Family Map

    Post by Nexion Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:05 am

    The Super Wolf3D Family Map Wolftr10
    Direct link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pg0tavsj9ng01yz/wolftree.png?raw=1
    Click the image or link for the full resolution, 2692x1529, 1.7 mb.

    Just a fancy graphic showing how Wolf3D (engine) games have evolved over time and how they are related in one way or another. Wanted to do this already few years ago but never got around it. It's not pixel perfect or has the most accurate date stamps ever. It's hard to say when some games were actually released. Tried to research everything to some degree and combined some facts here and there. Checked file dates, early releases/demos, game data, trivia and so on.

    There is some general influence at the beginning coming from Dungeons & Dragons sessions of the id Software guys and the games of that era. The Raven side is drowning in RPG elements as well.

    Aslo the Raven side, ROTT and Doom went for DOS/4GW to have more memory, while the left side stuck to the 640k limit.

    TED5, the tile editor, plays also a role in most of these games since the levels were made using it and giving the games a distinct design focus around tiles. The Raven side had it's own tile party and editor going on. At the end of the day Doom came along, crashed the wild tile parties and almost drove tile-based fps to extinction.

    *****************************
    1.0 - 1.3 Companies
    2.0 - 2.5 Pre-Wolf3D Games
    3.0 - 4.4 Wolf3D Area
    5.0 - 5.0 Floors
    6.0 - 6.6 Raven Lair
    7.0 - 7.0 Bonus
    *****************************

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    1.0 - Softdisk and Gamer's Edge
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    All the cool id guys were hanging around Softdisk before making their own thing. Gamer's Edge was a monthly game magazine publishing their early games. Later on Softdisk continued the Catacomb Series with 3 sequels. Sometime after that a few of the Catacomb devs quit and created JAM Productions along with Blake Stone. They also got hold of the Raven engine but nothing came out of this until they got In Pursuit of Greed published.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    1.1 - id Software
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    They made some unpopular games or something before being sacrificed to the icon of sin.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    1.2 - Apogee
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Helped id Software onto its feet and got involved in some other parts:

    * Wolf3D Part II until id was scared of possible competition and revoked the name. This turned it into ROTT and longer development time.
    * JAM and Blake Stones, which were crushed by Doom.
    * The Second Sword from the Raptor: Call of the Shadows developer but was dead on the water.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    1.3 - Raven Software
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Asked John Carmack for some nifty engine while he was melting his head over the Doom engine, which is known as id Tech 1 since 2011. Carmack had obviously too much free time so he knocked out a slower paced Wolf3D-Doom sibling. Later on Raven would gobble up any id Tech engine they could get and do their own spin on it. On few occasions John Romero was helping out with the design or something.

    =================================================
    2.0 - Castle Wolfenstein (Sep 1981) by Muse Software
    =================================================
    The origins of Wolfenstein, 10 years before id Software decided to go for a 3D concept after all their 2D platformers. The id guys had a tense battle between Tom Hall's "It's Green and Pissed" and Romero's "Wolfenstein Remake". In the end they got the abandoned trademark for $ 5.000 and went with Wolfenstein. The original 1981 game, popular in its time, spawned also one of the earliest mods in gaming, Castle Smurfenstein.

    =================================================
    2.1 - Commander Keen (Dec 1990) by id Software
    =================================================
    Has some core mechanics of the engine and tile thingies preceding Wolf3D. There was also this Dangerous Dave guy somewhere in the mix. After all 30-40 or more games were made by the power TED5.

    =================================================
    2.2 - Hovertank 3D (May 1991) by Softdisk/id Software
    =================================================
    Very early maze fps that has nothing but mazes and single EGA colors stretched across the screen.

    =================================================
    2.3 - Catacomb aka Catacombs (Dec 1990) by Softdisk/id Software
    =================================================
    Early maze game by John Carmack influenced by D&D.

    =================================================
    2.4 - Catacomb II aka The Catacomb (1991) by Softdisk/id Software
    =================================================
    Sequel to Catacomb.

    =================================================
    2.5 - Catacomb 3-D aka Catacomb 3-D: The Descent  (Nov 1991) by Softdisk/id Software
    =================================================
    Sequel but this time in pseudo 3D. At some point the Descent subtitle was glued on. One of the games for Softdisk, which continued Catacomb series with the AAA trilogy (Armageddon, Apocalypse, Abyss).

    =================================================
    3.0 - Wolfenstein 3D (May 1992) by id Software
    =================================================
    Microsoft's screensaver in 3D.

    =================================================
    3.1 - Spear of Destiny (Sep 1992) by id Software
    =================================================
    Prequel to End of Destiny obviously.

    =================================================
    3.2 - Doom (Dec 1993) by id Software
    =================================================
    The Wolf3D Slayer.

    =================================================
    3.3 - Spear of Destiny Mission 2: Return to Danger (May 1994) by FormGen
    3.4 - Spear of Destiny Mission 3: Ultimate Challenge (May 1994) by FormGen
    =================================================
    Officially licensed blue maze madness. A rare species considering that almost all other Wolf3D games ended up having additional features, like floor and ceiling textures at least.

    =================================================
    3.5 - Rise of the Triad (early 1993 - Dec 1994 (Shareware), Feb 1995 (Full)) by Apogee/3D Realms
    =================================================
    The sequel to Wolf3D that never was because id Software got the heebee jeebees that it could be competition for Doom. This combined with feature creeping while Duke3D was developed somewhere in the background made it a late party guest. Sort of like the insane brother of Doom who is covered in gory bits of the clown that was thrown into the meat grinder at the party.
    After all Tom Hall took his Tei Tenga concepts for Doom and merged some of it into ROTT. They also snatched up some Doom code along the way. Just a tiny bit for the inner core.

    =================================================
    3.6 - Extreme Rise of the Triad (Nov 1995) by Various
    =================================================
    It's not that extreme and won't bite you. It's just a collection of new levels that never got any love.

    =================================================
    3.7 - Super Noah's Ark 3D (1994 SNES, 1995 or Feb 1996 for DOS) by Color Dreams (Wisdom Tree)
    =================================================
    One of the few that has almost no code changes with the exception of the blue mission packs. It's almost a Wolf3D swap without extra whistles. The other curious thing is that it's the only Wolf3D game that made it to a video console. It's also based on SNES version of Wolf3D. The only other games based on this are the Jaguar, 3DO, Macintosh versions of Wolf3D. Thanks to the sluggish SNES version of Wolf3D all of those versions got BSP trees implemented afterwards. Doom followed the idea as well. It was also first on the console using an unlicensed cartridge before it was ported to DOS ages later. The exact date of the DOS version? I have no idea, figure it out!

    =================================================
    3.8 - Hellraiser (cancelled / 1993, 1994) by Color Dreams (Wisdom Tree)
    =================================================
    People often confuse the NES and DOS game and think that they put the Wolf3D engine on NES. Doesn't make really sense when you realize that the NES game was in 1990 and Wolf3D was released in 1992. The NES version had possiblely some pseudo 3D with 45-degree screens like old RPGs. The two games were different things, set apart by like 2-3 years. They simply still had the Hellraiser license and obtained the Wolf3D engine to make a game for PC. Got so far that they had a prototype with a few graphics but it was abandoned due either Doom making it look bad, the Hellraiser license running out or bible games being more suitable for kids and profit. Maybe it was a combo of all. Just imagine Noah's Ark but in another dress.

    =================================================
    3.9 - Wolf VR/Blake VR (1994) by AWT/id Software
    =================================================
    Alternate Worlds Technology's Reality Rocket cabinet that let you supposedly play both games by using virtual reality gear. No clue if any of those machines still exists or were out in the wild. The games likely have been the same as before but with extra control options.

    =================================================
    4.0 - Cybertag (1994) by AWT
    =================================================
    AWT continued to use the engine to make a new VR arcade game based on Cyberpunk 2077. One of the first if not the first virtual reality deathmatch games and also Carmack's early venture into VR. Can't tell you if it exists, never seen it in nature. Maybe it's the Mandela effect. There is a short video of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9n_TkFIttk

    =================================================
    4.1 - Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold (Dec 1993) by JAM Productions
    =================================================
    What have this and demons in common? They are both victims of the Doomguyslayer. Made by some ex-Softdisk guys.

    =================================================
    4.2 - Blake Stone: Planet Strike (Oct 1994) by JAM Productions
    =================================================
    James Bond or Duke Nukem in space with some extra features. One of the more advanced Wolf3D games having tons of features.

    =================================================
    4.3 - Corridor 7: Alien Invasion (Sep 1993 - Mar 1994)  by Capstone Software
    =================================================
    Going by the concept draft (September 1993) the development time was quite short and/or rushed. One of the few games to not have floor/ceiling textures. One reason could be that they got the engine bit too early without all the WOLFHACK stuff added to it. Around July 1994 a reworked CD version was released featuring cutscenes and multiplayer modes.

    =================================================
    4.4 - Operation Body Count (Demo Aug 1994, Sep/Oct 1994) by Capstone Software
    =================================================
    Capstones next game after Corridor 7. The internet often confuses this as the earlier game even that it makes no sense. After all it had floor/ceiling textures, cutscenes, multiplayer and even some edited Doom sprites. The first level is the maze of mazes but it gets better later on. Many creative or interesting ideas but wonky execution often. The lack of budget and time didn't do it favors. It has shading but seems to be for every wall separated. It has floor and ceiling textures but they swim around without fixed coordinates, graphic seems hardcoded and they are set by using area floor tiles, which probably explains the fun enemy AI.

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    5.0 - What's the deal with the floor textures?
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    The Wolfhack code for the floor textures is either coming from the Doom prototypes or the Raven engine split.
    Capstone must have missed out on the files at first when obtaining the Wolf3D engine for Corridor 7 around September 1993 but got them later for Operation Body Count. The Wolfhack files have a time stamp of October 1993 which would add up. Blake Stone also didn't have the feature up to September or so going by the early 1BSPIX promo images. Doom funnily enough had them already in the early 0.2 version in February 1993.

    There is a glitch that shows up in each one of those games using it. When opening a door you can often see some texture pixels on the floor or ceiling shift around. You can find it in all of those games from Blake Stone up to World of Aden with the only being In Pursuit of Greed and Rise of the Triad. Unless i missed it in those two. You can find this bug even in Doom 2, Heretic, Hexen, Strife.

    If you want to know what's up with the variable behind it feel free to bother a guy named AryanWolf3D.

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    6.0 - Raven Engine (1993) by John Carmack
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    John Carmack's experimental spin-off for Raven Software on the way to creating the Doom engine. It's a bit of a hybrid. The engine itself doesn't share overly much of wolf3d anymore. Some basic things here and there and the tile idea behind it. It's also making use of the floor/ceil drawing method that seems to be used for each game with this feature. Generally slower paced than Wolf3D and Doom but was meant to be for dungeon crawler games and has few things the Doom engine doesn't have.

    =================================================
    6.1 - Shadow Caster (1992 as Black Crypt 2, Aug 1993) by Raven Software
    =================================================
    Stick 'n' slopes may break its bones but it will be only gloom in the shadow of Doom. Fun concept and nice features if you like more RPG-oriented gameplay. The original game to use the Raven engine first and released before any other game using the Wolf3D engine. Originally planned to be Black Crypt 2.

    =================================================
    6.2 - CyClones (Feb 1994 - Nov 1994, STEAM Engine) by Raven Software
    =================================================
    Raven branching it's development into continuing the Raven engine side and the other making Heretic and Hexen via Doom engine. Decent game if you manage to figure out all the controls. Very advanced for its  time even though the visuals weren't fully up to the game of Doom.

    =================================================
    6.3 - The Second Sword (cancelled, 1993/1994) by Cygnus Studios
    =================================================
    A RPG game for Apogee but was cancelled in favor of Raptor: Call of the Shadows. Later they created Strife but they didn't actually finish it themselves due to troubled development.

    =================================================
    6.4 - TODD3D (Demo/cancelled, Sep-Dec 1994) by Softdisk Publishing
    =================================================
    Just a rough tech demo of someone who worked at Softdisk. Maybe it was still part of id Software's original deal to give them a new engine. Maybe Softdisk saw the potential in it and used it as bait for Channel 7 to form Mind Shear Software and create In Pursuit of Greed. It would go hand in hand timewise at least.

    =================================================
    6.5 - In Pursuit of Greed aka Assassinators (Apr 1995 - Sep 1995 (demo), 1996 (full)) by Mind Shear Software
    =================================================
    Softdisk offered the devs to make a Doom like game by using the Raven engine. They ended up fixing lot of engine bugs and added tons of unique features along with multiplayer. The result is a very quirky game with a PC-rendered look to its visuals. One of the most advanced games on this but no match for Duke Nukem 3D at that time. But where else can you play as a lizard man or cow man?

    =================================================
    6.6 - World of Aden: Thunderscape (Aug 1995) by Strategic Simulations
    =================================================
    One of the last to fly with the raven. Pretty advanced level geometry considering the engine. If you don't like hardcore RPGs then this one set your world on fire either.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    7.0 - Bonus Round:
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Wolf3D was almost ported to the CD-I but it got turned down. Two games were made running on the new CD-I (almost wolf3d) engine.

    https://cdii.blogspot.com/2011/07/paul-clarke-about-atlantis-last-resort.html
    https://cdii.blogspot.com/2020/08/philips-research-made-demo-of.html


    Last edited by Nexion on Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:21 am; edited 1 time in total

    Ryu-sama likes this post

    AryanWolf3D
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    The Super Wolf3D Family Map Empty Re: The Super Wolf3D Family Map

    Post by AryanWolf3D Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:17 am

    @Nexion wrote:Aslo the Raven side, ROTT and Doom went for DOS/4GW to have more memory, while the left side stuck to the 640k limit.

    Not just more memory, the compilers were faster and generated better code, so less need to hand optimise everything.
    Thomas
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    Post by Thomas Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:55 am

    Great stuff, very well laid out. Never heard of In Pursuit of Greed before but it looks pretty cool.
    Ryu-sama
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    Post by Ryu-sama Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:04 am

    Nice work, Nexion! Thank you for the chart and the explanations.

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