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ZDoom creator ceases development of the 19-year-old source port

ZDoom, the enhanced port of the (original) Doom source code, was first released in 1998 and has received some 75 updates over its 19 year history. Its most recent release arrived in February of 2016, and we've learned this version (2.81) will be its last. The creator of ZDoom, Randy Heit, has announced he is ceasing development of the storied source port. Posting on the ZDoom forums on January 7, he said:

"I am hereby eschewing further ZDoom development. There will be no future releases. Consider QZDoom or GZDoom as replacements."

Since its inception, ZDoom has been one of the pillars of the Doom modding community, removing many of vanilla Doom's limits, providing support for Doom engine games like Heretic, Hexen, and Strife, adding a console, and allowing for higher screen resolutions, more music formats, new camera effects and skyboxes, and much more.

And, while ZDoom will not receive further updates, it's not exactly going to vanish. In his post, Heit stated that the co-author of source port QZDoom, Rachael "Euranna" Alexanderson, will manage ZDoom's forum and wiki from now on. On the Doomworld forums, Euranna had some words of reassurance:

"ZDoom means a lot to many of us. But it's important to remember it is not completely dead. It still lives on in some form. While its main Github repository may never be updated, development in GZDoom is still in full swing. The forum and the wiki will continue on, if nothing else to support GZDoom and its child projects, along with the legacy that ZDoom has offered us."

Heit did not provide a specific reason for ending the development of ZDoom, but I sent him an email and will update this post if I receive a response. You can grab the latest and final version of ZDoom here.

Christopher Livingston

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.