The level itself may be familiar to veterans of the 1993 game, though. What Romero has released is his take on the E1M8 mission. Named “Tech Gone Bad”, it’s best viewed as an alternate universe take on the original version.
Romero developed his retro level in the Doom Builder map editor. Compatible with any shareware version of DOOM, it’s available here (although apparently struggling from excessive demand at time of writing). Failing that, you can even play it in-browser.
His reasoning for remaking that level in particular? “E1M8 was an obvious choice for me. Out of the shareware episode of DOOM, E1M8, the boss level, was the only level I didn’t make,” Romero told VentureBeat. “Sandy Petersen did an amazing job with the original one with the very memorable Barons of Hell right in your face at the end, of course.”
The new level’s release comes ahead of fresh — but as-yet unrevealed — work from Romero. “Whenever I start a new game, I usually warm up, so to speak, by creating levels in something I’m familiar with,” he said. “That way, the focus is on the creation and not the tools. In this case, I decided to start out with DOOM as the levels are relatively easy to create, especially with today’s modern tools. I used DoomBuilder, and it was just a total delight to use. I absolutely loved making a level using it.”
When DOOM — and yes, it’s officially all-caps — was first released, it was hailed as a breakthrough, paving the way for more sophisticated shooters in the years that followed. Romero last worked on the series in 1995. Developer id Software and publisher Bethesda are rebooting the series later this year, with the new version launching in Spring.