Sock Master's Gloom-3D demonstration

Click here for an MPEG of Gloom I introduced Gloom here in 1996 because there was some discussion on the CoCo listserver about wether or not a first-person perspective (3D) game similar to Doom could be possible to do on the CoCo3 . I quickly made up a demo just to show that it could be done, and still run pretty quickly - but with a few trade-offs. Texture mapped walls were out, but the results with flat shaded walls were still very impressive.

Well, a year has passed, and now I've decided to try working on it a bit more. I was actually a bit disappointed with the frame rate of the original version. This NEW version pretty much looks the same as the old one, but it's about three times faster! I've also corrected some of the fish-eye perspective distortion and made a new maze that isn't as cramped as the old one.

The old Gloom1 demo required a 512k CoCo3. It'll run on either a 6809 or 6309 CPU, but it will go about 13% faster with a 6309 because it kicks the CPU into 6309 native mode.

The new Gloom2 demo will on on any CoCo3 (even 128k!) with either a 6809 or 6309. (It runs a bit faster on a 6309, but since neither demo takes specific advantage of the 6309 other than just turning on native mode, the speed difference isn't significant.)
(The whole point of this demo was to show that a stock CoCo3 would do 3D.)

The new version (Gloom2) typically manages about 20 frames per second full screen animation, using the 256x192 16 color video mode. The old version is here only as a reference - the new one is MUCH better and you should try that one if you only want to download one file.

If you've ever wondered what ever happened with Gloom since, There are actually 3 spritual successors to it since the 2 inital demos. I still haven't made a full CoCo 3 game of it yet, but the idea still comes to mind every now and then.

In 1999, I wrote San Francisco Rush for the Game Boy Color. It used the Gloom technique for 3D gameplay and made good use of the technique's voxel-like properties to allow height mapped terrain for creating hills, variable terrain and other game objects. Sadly, the game was never released.

In 2000, Nickolas Marentes released Gate Crasher for the CoCo 3. This first person game uses the same 3D technique as Gloom, but all the credit goes to Nick as he wrote every single line of code in the game! Click here to see a video of Gate Crasher.

In 2004, I worked on Tron 2.0: Killer App for the Game Boy Advance. The story mode includes 3D sub-sections where you control a tank or a recognizer. And yes, it uses the Gloom technique. A number of graphical improvements include better textures, depth cueing and free-floating camera. Click to see videos of the game's tank mode and recognizer mode.

Gloom Files to Download

GLOOM2.BIN*NEW* Gloom2 demo BINary program file.
GLOOM1.BINold Gloom demo BINary file.
GLOOM.TXTGloom introduction text file.
GLOOM.ASMGloom assembly EDTASM source code.
README.TXTText file describing my intentions

Link to the CoCo archive, where the rest of the Gloom files are - CoCo file area.

Click here to return to Sock Master's page.
I can be contacted by e-mail at the following address: