Just started a small new project: a bare bones IWAD (main resource file) for making standalone games with GZDoom. This makes it so you can build something with GZDoom - probably the most advanced, feature-rich, quickly evolving Doom port - without needing to own any of the Doom games, or be beholden to Doom's genre or design.
More info in the TODO list:
The compiled resource file is only 87kb, but includes menus, a single minimal level, and some placeholder assets. You can download this, open it in SLADE and start adding your own graphics, sounds, ZScript files, and of course levels.
The next step will be to copiously document everything and add a PK3 (new-style WAD, basically) of example content, so that people who aren't yet familiar with GZDoom modding can learn the engine and build games with it.
5 years ago I talked about a project called DECK - the Doom Engine Creator's Kit. This is not that.
DECK would be a full Klik & Play style library of libre content, to give creators a firm starting point for making levels even if they don't have spriting or texturing experience. I'd still like to do that someday, but I'd want to crowdfund one or two professional artists to make that content. So it's a "someday" project. I don't have the time or energy for it right now.
One thing that's different now compared to 2014 is that GZDoom now has a very powerful, if idiosyncratic, full scripting system. I've made several Doom mods with it over the past couple years. I think a lot of people could make cool things with it, but the dependence on Doom's retail content and design conventions filters for certain tastes. When really, this is a fairly powerful engine with a uniquely fun and easy to learn level design pipeline.
Update: This project is now called Sectorseed. It's still in its very early stages and not ready to be used or promoted yet, but it's all on my Bitbucket (license choice pending) https://bitbucket.org/JPLeBreton/sectorseed and I'll regularly update my website's mirror of its documentation: http://vectorpoem.com/sectorseed
Update on Sectorseed: I've only done a bit more work on it since last update, but the base minimal ("seed") resource file has most of what it needs, I've documented most of the data in it, and am working on an example content PK3 addon that demonstrates a few advanced GZDoom features. Still not ready for primetime yet but it's making gradual progress.
Here's a view of what the IPK3's MAPINFO looks like, as you can see it's copiously commented with what all of the less self-explanatory properties do, and provides a link at the top to the wiki page which is very comprehensive. So you can easily dig around in it and find out what everything does, changing whatever you like as you go.
@jplebreton this sounds really cool!
@jplebreton As someone who has bounced off Doom modding in the past but really appreciates the breadth of creative output from it, my excitement for this went to 100 almost immediately
@jplebreton Great minds think alike!
You're making me want to make levels again
This is extremely cool, thank you for doing this!
I assume it's possible to bundle the resulting wad with gzdoom so we can ship "unzip and double-click exe" finished games?
@emptyfortress that's definitely the goal, i think a tiny change on the GZDoom source side would be required to get it to recognize minimal.ipk3 as an out-of-the-box-supported IWAD, once i'm certain of the soundness of this approach (and have chosen a final name) i was going to discuss it with GZDoom's devs.
Thanks for that! If it's a simple fix you can still distribute a patch file in the meantime, I'd happily build and distribute the fixed version (along with instructions on how to package and distribute a game)
@emptyfortress Thanks! The project is still in a very early state and not quite ready to be promoted and distributed widely, I'll let you know as soon as it is getting there.
Server run by the main developers of the project It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!