Beautiful Doom is the grandfather of most enhancement mods, including the well-known Brutal Doom. First released back in 2008 this mod aims to improve each and every single object in Doom, making them smoother, more impressive visually and having better sounds while retaining VANILLA gameplay. Keeping original vanilla gameplay is the core of Beautiful Doom. You will see smoke, casings, debris, hugely enhanced gibbing system, smooth weapon animations, but it will all play the same as vanilla Doom plays with (G)ZDoom. However, for those, who don't like fully vanilla things, there are two player classes: the 'Vanilla Guns' class will give you guns that only look better but act the same as original Doom guns. The 'Enhanced Guns' class introduced as number of changes: for example fist and pistol are slightly more effective, and many weapons have alternative attacks which, while not really more powerful, provide certain tactical variety. Choose whichever you want!

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How to install the mod and play it in case you don't know what ZDoom, GZDoom or Zandronum is and have never really played Doom on modern systems. Or maybe something just keeps going wrong for some reason.

Posted by on - Intermediate Other

The Doom community, which is alive and active now, naturally knows everything about it, so there's nothing here for them. For others who are unfamiliar with this here's the tutorial.

What is a source port?

A source port is a special software that was designed based on the Doom's original coding but developed much further. Source ports started long time ago. The most popular ones nowadays are ZDoom, GZDoom (which is basically it's OpenGL variant with true 3D) and Zandronum (which is very similar to those to but it has extensive multiplayer capabilities).

Usually a source port is designed for two reasons: it lets you play Doom on modern systems in high resolution and no sound problems; and it adds lots of features which you can then use yourself in custom maps and mods. ZDoom allows for lots of such things, like mouse look and jumping, extensive scripting that allows to create events and complex enemies and objects, GZDoom also allows using 3D models and dynamic lighting, etc.

Practically all modern mods and many modern maps for Doom are not created for vanilla Doom but rather for one of the source ports.

How to use a source port

Grab the one you like off its official site:

  • GZDoom: Forum.drdteam.org (just find the thread with the biggest version number and download it; as I'm writing the newest one is 2.1.1 and it's the first one that also comes in 64-bit version)
  • ZDoom: Zdoom.org (choose your platform)
  • Zandronum: Zandronum.com. As I'm writing this mod will only work with the development build because the stable build doesn't support some necessary functions, so it's WINDOWS-ONLY. Here's the direct link to the current development build: Zandronum.com

For my mod I highly recommend GZDoom. It'll be more stable and it'll give you better performance.

Then get yourself the original Doom. You're going to need the .wad file in it. Wads are resource files which contains everything. Even if you want to play a custom map, you'll most likely still need the original wad (and in most cases it's doom2.wad). You can play my mod with any of the original wad files: doom.wad (Ultimate Doom), doom2.wad (Doom II: Hell on Earth), tnt.wad (Final Doom: Evilution) and plutonia.wad (Final Doom: Plutonia Experiment). These wad files are called IWADs. You can get original Doom on Steam or GoG and then copy the wad from there.

Unpack the source port in any folder you like, then drop the Doom's wad file(s) in that folder.

How to play the mod

  1. First set up your source port as described in the previous paragraph.
  2. Download BDoom_61.zip off the downloads page or from my Dropbox folder where I keep all versions.
  3. UNPACK it. You need the pk3 file inside it, you cannot play pk3 from inside zip without unpacking it. DON'T UNPACK THE PK3. The pk3 is a modern replacement for wad, it's a resource file that shouldn't be unpacked.
  4. Now to start it you can use the command line (my preferred method) or ZDoom launcher.
    1. Command line: type gzdoom.exe -file BDoom_61. You can do it if you're using Total Commander or FAR manager (my personal favorite file manager). You can create a bat file with this command just use it to play later.
    2. ZDL:
      1. Download it here.
      2. Unpack it in the source port folder. Start it.
      3. Go to Settings, under Source Ports/Engines click Add, name the port whatever you like and locate the file via Browse button — for GZDoom this file will be gzdoom.exe. Click OK.
      4. Now on the same Settings page under IWADs click Add and in a similar manner find the IWAD (for example doom2.wad), click OK.
      5. Go back to Main page. You can see the IWAD and the chosen Source Port on the right. On the left you can see External Files. Click Add and in a similar manner find BDoom_61.pk3.
      6. Click Launch and the game will now start with the mod.

My source port doesn't look good

You'll have to spend some time in the options. I recommend doing the following things:

  • Options — Set Video Mode — choose the appropriate resolution (e.g. 1920x1080)
  • Options — Mouse Options — Always mouselook ON (I also like to disable the Enable mouse in menus option but that's up to you)
  • Options — Player Setup — Always Run ON
  • Options — Customize Controls — setup controls like a modern FPS game, for example:
    • Fire - Mouse1
    • Secondary Fire - Mouse2
    • Move forward - W, Move backwad - S, Strafe left - A, strafe right - D
    • Jump - Space
    • Crouch - Ctrl
    • Use/Open - E

Also at the very end of 'Customize Controls' you'll find BEAUTIFUL DOOM EFFECTS. You can specify toggle buttons and then turn on and off any effects you don't like.

That's it, knock yourself out!

What if I want to play your mod with custom levels?

If you want to play something like the great Alien Vendetta with my mod, it's quite easy. There are hundreds of great levels. The only limit is that the custom levels shouldn't have custom weapons or monsters, otherwise it wouldn't work. So you won't be able to play Neodoom or Torment & Torture. But any wads created in vanilla format (e.g. working with original Doom) will be fine for sure. That's how you do it:

  • Download the levels you like, like Alien Vendeta: Doomworld.com
  • Start with command line: gzdoom.exe -iwad doom2 -file bdoom_61.pk3 av.wad (you don't have to use -iwad doom2, you can select it manually; also you can play the levels from inside zip files so it can be av.zip instead)
  • OR start ZDL and add av.wad in External Files where you added the mod and click Launch as usual.
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