The Doom mod of the year just dropped in a mysterious forum post, and goes so hard we don't even want to spoil what comes next

(Image credit: Veddge)

On March 3, a largely unknown creator named Steve ‘Veddge’ Nelson shared an unassuming-sounding mod on the Doomworld forums. He claims this is an enhanced version of a 15-year-old "my own house but full of demons" map file (who hasn’t tried to make one of those?) left behind by a recently deceased friend. Tragic, but curious.

As an aficionado of all things Doom, I implore you to absolutely take this at face value, download it and play it immediately. You should also not read any of the Doomworld thread beyond the initial post. Just go in blind. Here’s what you’ll need: 

Unzip and put everything in the same directory, then drag and drop MyHouse.pk3 (not .WAD) onto GZDoom.exe. Make sure you’re playing in OpenGL or Vulkan mode (not Software), or some of the effects might break.

While I recommend going in blind, here’s a couple tips:

  • Ammo is scarce. The garage has a brown crate containing a chainsaw.
  • If you get stuck, check every door. There’s not many of them.
  • Still too hard? The lowest difficulty halves damage and doubles ammo.
  • Don’t miss the Supercharge out back. You can see it from the bottom floor.
  • Promise you’ll come back and read the rest of this when you’re done?
  • Pinky promise? Cool, have fun!


(Image credit: Veddge)

So, you’ve probably realized by now that the original post on Doomworld was a lie in the best possible way. Instead of a nostalgic trip through a classic Doom mapping trend, MyHouse.pk3 is a potentially hours-long horror experience through an ever-shifting, spatially impossible environment. It has already racked up enough community nominations to ensure it’ll win a Cacoward (Doomworld’s annual awards), and rightly so.

Technically, it’s an astounding piece of work, using every trick the GZDoom engine offers, but like a great stage magician it distracts and obfuscates so you don’t notice stuff moving around until it’s too late. The opening is an authentically retro-styled house recreation, using only pre-ZDoom tools and stays that way until you’ve been inside and circled around the house for a powerup that you can see from indoors, but is missing when you go to check.

Seamlessly and silently, the house is rebuilt with newer technology (including 3D swinging doors and modeled ceiling fans) and repopulated with meaner monsters that you can see through the windows from outside. Even your weapon sprites are more smoothly animated now. You return, find the keys, go to leave and the front door is gone.

Trapped, you search for a way out, discovering new rooms in impossible places, some of which disappear as soon as you’ve left them. Just as your options start running out, you hear an electrical sparking sound. Downstairs, a bookcase has shifted slightly. Behind it, a fuse panel. Use it, and all hell breaks loose. I don’t want to spoil too many details here for those of you who’ve not played yet, but it’s a rollercoaster ride from here. The burning house, the brutalist hellscape, the airport, and the final all-too-quiet return to the house, followed by an escape to Underhalls from vanilla Doom 2.

(Image credit: Veddge)

If you stopped playing there (and many do—it feels like the end), you’ve seen maybe a third of what MyHouse has to offer. The hint to keep exploring is in the sign you find outside the crumbling, ruined house. Navidson Realty, referencing the labyrinthian, otherworldly Navidson estate from Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. A novel famous for its final pages being far from the end of the story, with more threads being found in its annotations, notes and hallucinatory typography.

Those who play through the mostly-unchanged Underhalls will find themselves back at the house again, but this time carrying the super shotgun from the regular game. Trapped in a loop, and repeating your steps just leads you back around again. There’s no escape, and turning to the no clipping cheat to break out of bounds is punished by exiling you to the Backrooms, an endlessly looping maze dimension where you’ll be stalked and hunted until you die or find an exit back to the house.

It’s all technological smoke and mirrors, but this mod does a chillingly good impression of seeming genuinely haunted and never-ending.

Still, there is a true ending to discover, and a couple false ones along the way. Entering various classic Doom cheat codes provides hints instead of perks. There’s a whole mirror dimension to explore, a flood that drags you into an otherworldly bathhouse, a wardrobe that grows into a vast, dark labyrinth, a daycare center, a gas station on a long, dark road and more. There’s weird artifacts to find, and the route to them is strange and convoluted, some paths taking you forward to new places, or back to the house once more.

Not even dying is an escape. Just see what happens when you let Doomguy stay dead.

If you plan on figuring everything out for yourself, expect to lose hours to the house. Possibly while filling up a notepad full of paranoid-sounding theories. I know I did. For those wanting to skip the otherworldly detective work and just enjoy the ride, check out the extensive breakdown of its content over at the Doom Wiki. I do recommend taking a serious stab at solving it yourself. There’s a real thrill to discovering a new pathway or secret and some genuine unease in finding yourself completely out of your depth once more.

Even with Doomguy’s full arsenal of weaponry, the house wouldn’t let me feel safe, and despite seeing the finale, I still want to go back and search a little more. The house is in my head now, and I still haven’t truly escaped its grasp. 

Dominic Tarason
Contributing Writer

The product of a wasted youth, wasted prime and getting into wasted middle age, Dominic Tarason is a freelance writer, occasional indie PR guy and professional techno-hermit seen in many strange corners of the internet and seldom in reality. Based deep in the Welsh hinterlands where no food delivery dares to go, videogames provide a gritty, realistic escape from the idyllic views and fresh country air. If you're looking for something new and potentially very weird to play, feel free to poke him on Twitter. He's almost sociable, most of the time.