Doom operates on many things. Here it is on an Intel Edison chip, which is actually quite mundane as these things go; It can be seen more impressive with a home pregnancy test, 100 pounds of moldy potatoes, a display showing your order in a restaurant, and even some sheep in Minecraft in action. Here’s a whole different list if you really want to go down that rabbit hole.
The most recent addition to the lineup of “Strange Things Going On” is nothing short of Twitter, and notably Tweet2Doom bot Which enables anyone to play the game directly through social media platforms with little patience. Movement and interaction are controlled through a native scripting language that is input through reply tweets sent to the bot; Those instructions are turned into a gameplay video that is sent to the user in a tweet. Each valid Tweet also generates a “new game state” that can be escalated through further replies, meaning that gameplay sessions can be extended across Tweet threads.
The process is simple, though there are a few syntax rules and you’ll need to be patient enough to figure out how the scripting works. To start a new game, you must reply-tweet “/play x,,e,,e,,e,,50-,50-u,15-f,” for example. OK, so maybe it’s not that easy.
Here are the complete instructions:
And this is what it looks like in action. This is, predictably, a crap show.
RANDOM PLAY DETAILS: 10 randomly chosen @tweet2doom nodes rendered in a single videoFramerate: 60fps pic.twitter.com/PEPbo3uUDb14 October 2021
However success is possible. In a thread leading up to the tweet below, bot authors @ggerganov and @ASPIRINmoe were able to make it all the way through E1M1 and E1M2. It’s ugly, but it works.
Author: @ASPIRINmoe | Depth: 23 | new frame: 155 | Total frames: 3795Play:56-r,99- pic.twitter.com/SB0fNtOJwx8 October 2021
The secret, as far as I can tell, is to take it in small bites: move a little, shoot a little, see how the game world reacts, and then react accordingly. You can see that in the thread above, where they run in short sections, pose individual threats wherever possible, and make sure they are in good standing for subsequent tweets.
Of course, there’s always the dynamic approach:
New record! Best time for E1M1 Difficulty: Hurt Me TooTime: 0:19Order: 4Tweet Series: https://t.co/IzpJXMzuMY⠀🎥 pic.twitter.com/7RAfKGAnlI12 October 2021
An Interactive Roadmap of All Twitter Doom Runs On Github, where you can see all the dead-end runs (including mine, which was just a cut-and-paste of someone else’s script command to see how it all worked) and some very long strings that could possibly are more interesting and successful. Clicking on any name on the map (which can be dragged and zoomed in using the mouse) will take you to Twitter, where you can watch that particular piece of Doom gameplay.
It’s certainly not the most practical way to play Doom, but it’s fun to watch and see how the runs expand across multiple tweets. Will anyone ever be able to reach the end of the game like this? My inclination is to say “no”, but it’s been a long time since I knew someone would pull it off – the only real question is when.