Host a Doom LAN Party

Remember LAN parties? If not, let me assure you, they were great. There's nothing like lugging a thirty-pound, front-heavy CRT monitor down the dimly-lit corridors of an unfamiliar building. Assuming you didn't drop it or your PC tower, you and your compatriots could battle it out until the rivers of Mountain Dew ran dry. And all of that without monthly subscription fees, in-app purchases or lag! Nearly all Shedbuilt-supported hardware can drive an HDMI monitor and connect to an Ethernet LAN so you can let the good times roll. Here's how to get the MS-DOS classic and perennial LAN party favorite, Doom, up and running.

Installing Doom

Have shedmake install the faithful, open-source Doom port chocolate-doom along with the many multimedia libraries it depends on. This may take quite some time so you should go get a coffee, reconnect with a distant relative or take a power nap:

sudo shedmake install chocolate-doom --install-dependencies

Now, download a copy of doom1.wad from the shareware version of Doom, and copy it to /usr/local/share/games/doom/.

wget http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/pool/non-free/d/doom-wad-shareware/doom-wad-shareware_1.9.fixed.orig.tar.gz &&
tar xf doom-wad-shareware_1.9.fixed.orig.tar.gz &&
sudo install -Dm755 doom-wad-shareware-1.9.fixed/doom1.wad /usr/local/share/games/doom/doom1.wad

You can configure the controls, as well as video and sound options by running chocolate-doom-setup. To play the single-player game, just invoke chocolate-doom without options.

Hosting a LAN party

For the ultimate in early-90s computer entertainment, convene a gathering a fellow Shedbuilt users and have them all draw straws. The loser has the 'honor' of running the server to host the game. The host can configure game paramters from chocolate-doom-setup, which up to four other players can then use to discover and join the game.

If you have a spare headless device around you can use it to host a dedicated server using chocolate-doom-server. I recommend running the server in a screen instance. You can install this useful terminal utility using:

sudo shedmake install screen

You can now launch the game server within screen:

screen chocolate-doom-server

While holding the Ctrl key, tap a and then d to pop out of screen and return to the terminal. When, inevitably, the police come to break up your raucous LAN party, you can reattach to the screen session to terminate prboom-plus-game-server by typing:

screen -r

The first player that connects to the dedicated server specifies the game type, which should be something like:

chocolate-doom -autojoin -deathmatch -nomonsters

Subsequent players can jump with with just the -autojoin parameter:

chocolate-doom -autojoin