- This level occupies the map slot E1M1. For other maps which occupy this slot, see Category:E1M1.
Origwad is the earliest known user-created Doom level to be released. It was designed by Jeffrey Bird of James Cook University in Northern Queensland. Origwad was released on March 7th, 1994. It does not have an official name, and is stored with the filename ORIGWAD.PWD. The level is notable for being the very first user-created map. A release announcement was posted to alt.games.doom on March 9, 1994; the time stamp and the readme file both indicate March 7.
In his readme, Jeffrey Bird stated that: "This is an experimental PWAD file for use with DOOM. It is rather simple since I cannot generate the nodes structure for anything much more complex than this. This level has been generated entirely by hand. No editors were used to produce it."
The level uses the same level slot as E1M1, with no support for difficulty levels. It consists of two rooms joined with a door. The first room contains a shotgun and a shotgun guy. The second room contains three imps, two Barons of hell, and the exit switch. There are no power-ups or ammo caches. This makes achieving 100% kills problematic, as the second Baron requires dozens of punches to kill even if the player uses ammo wisely, and forces monster infighting.
There are no secrets in this map.
Areas / screenshots
The records for the map on the Doomed Speed Demos Archive are:
|UV pacifist||0:02||Kristian Ronge||2007-01-29||orig-002.zip|
|UV built||0:02.00||Kristian Ronge||2007-01-29||origbuil.zip||No monsters mode. It has been suggested that a built demo with monsters could reach 0:01, by causing the shotgun guy to blast the player in the back as he crosses the second room.|
This map cannot be played in multiplayer mode, as it contains no co-op or deathmatch start points.
ORIGWAD.PWD must be renamed to ORIGWAD.WAD before some source ports will load it.
The sidedefs in this level are packed, which for a level of any typical size would presuppose a full-featured editor.
Inspiration and development
Origwad was followed four days later by CROSS.WAD, which was also produced by hand, by Alistair Brown at Bradford University in the United Kingdom. Although there had been level editing utilities before March 1994, they were incapable of creating new maps entirely from scratch. The first editor able to do so was DEU 5.0, which was released at the end of March 1994, several weeks after Origwad. With the release of this utility a torrent of user-generated levels followed.
Jeffrey Bird released no further Doom levels. As of January 2006 he still worked at the James Cook University, as the CSO System and Directory Administrator, and used the same email address included in Origwad's readme file. Thus he was able, in 2009, to license Origwad for use in a community megawad of retooled 1994 levels.
As of 2019, he currently serves as a Middleware Developer at James Cook University.
Origwad is widely accepted as the first PWAD created from scratch, but a few observers have called attention to incomplete "paper trails" from this era of the internet and the problem of corrupted time stamps on very old WADs, leaving room for speculation that some other map might have been first.
- ↑ "First *TOTALLY* original PWAD on wuarchive", thread at alt.games.doom
- ↑ 2.0 2.1
- ↑ "Origwad speed running!", thread at the Doomworld forums
- ↑ "Doom Editing History" at Johnromero.com
- ↑ Personal correspondence; he responded in Doomworld's reviews section for the level a few comments later
- ↑ "1994 tune-up challenge", thread at the Doomworld forums
- ↑ "Jeffrey Bird's Linkedin Account"
- ↑ "The first PWADs", thread at the Doomworld forums
- ↑ "First PWAD ever?", thread at the Doomworld forums