Have you ever heard of Randy Linden? The name might not ring a bell, but he could have very well worked on a big part of your childhood. Mr. Linden was part of the team who worked to bring Doom to the SNES. Obviously the project was quite the undertaking, and all these years later, we finally get to see what working on the port was like! Below are some snippets from a GamingReinvented interview with Randy Linden.
GR: And what was it like being a programmer on Doom? What challenges did you have to overcome to get it working on the SNES?
RL: I started the project independently and demo’d it to Sculptured Software when I had a fully operational prototype running. A bunch of people at Sculptured helped complete the game so it could be released in time for the holidays.
The development was challenging for a few reasons, notably there were no development systems for the SuperFX chip at the time. I wrote a complete set of tools — assembler, linker and debugger — before I could even start on the game itself.
The development hardware was a hacked-up StarFox cartridge (because it included the SuperFX chip) and a modified pair of game controllers that were plugged into both SNES ports and connected to the Amiga’s parallel port. A serial protocol was used to communicate between the two for downloading code, setting breakpoints, inspecting memory, etc.
GR: Any features you wish you’d wanted to include but couldn’t get working here?
RL: Sure! More levels for starters — Unfortunately, the game used the largest capacity ROM available and filled it almost completely. I vaguely recall there were roughly 16 bytes free, so there wasn’t any more space available anyway!
However, I did manage to include support for the SuperScope, Mouse and XBand modem! … Yes, you could actually play against someone online!