About DUMB: A Short FAQ

Q: What is DUMB?

A: The following is extracted from the (sorry excuse for) documentation, README.dumb.

DUMB is a 3D game engine, reminiscent of id software's Doom. In fact it is gamefile (.WAD) compatible with Doom, and the related games Doom II and Heretic. The internal workings of DUMB are quite different to those of Doom, though.


a) DUMB does not use a BSP (binary space partitioning) algorithm to order wall textures. Instead it insertion-sorts the walls on the fly (a feature inherited from wt). This has the advantage that map vertices can move during the game without a costly BSP tree reconstruction.

b) DUMB adds several new lumps to game wads to control texture animation and object behaviour. The Doom engine requires these to be compiled into the game. A single binary of DUMB can thus play a variety of different games.

c) DUMB is more generalised in several miscellaneous ways. For example, it can render into large framebuffers at 8, 16 or 32 bits per pixel. Panning the camera up and down is possible (though this just moves the horizon around on the screen, it doesn't change the perspective that walls and objects are seen at). Textures can be displayed at various resolutions. Very tall (>128 pixels) textures are possible. Textures can be vertically tiled at any power-of-two height between 4 and 1024, and horizontally tiled at any width. And there's more....

DUMB is reasonably fast given this: an important goal for me has been to keep it running reasonably well on an i486-based Linux box (since that's what I've got).

DUMB is a work in progress. It is not complete. I'm only releasing it because I thought that if I didn't now, I might never.

I might add that DUMB was written on a Linux system, and, though portability is a goal, I have only tested the current version on an i486 system running Linux. The engine itself should compile under MS-DOS or Windows 95 with DJGPP, but the utilities used for creating the gamefiles won't, as they rely too heavily on netpbm and unixy makefile magic.

Q: Where can I get gamefiles to use with DUMB?

A: You can play Doom, Doom II, and Heretic. Not all of the features of these games are implemented, but most levels are still a challenge to play. You can also play any of the gamefile patches (PWADs) available for these games. You need the main gamefile (IWAD) for each game, though.

You can also (and I hope you will) create your own levels, using the level editor, XWad. If you want to contribute a level to be included with the main DUMB distribution, please drop me an email.

Q: Who's this guy?[Rosella

A: It's a crimson rosella, a relatively common Australian parrot. There are lots of them outside my office at the ANU. I just happenned to have a photo of one and scanner handy when I was wondering what to use as an icon for DUMB. The rest, as they say, is history.

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