This Doom 2 level is actually based on the level designer's house

A lot of people don't know that part of the Doom 2 level 16 map is based on the floorplan of the house that Doom designer Sandy Petersen was building at the time. I was among the people who did not know that, until I took this video tour of that exact house, delivered by none other than Petersen himself.

The house has changed a little bit over the years—it's been almost three decades, you know—but you can see in the split-screen video that it still matches up quite well with its in-game counterpart: The library, the microwave, and even the cacodemon are all right where they should be. The stairs don't work quite as they should—Doom was never very good with the Z-axis—but the garage is there, and appropriately loaded with demonic beasts as well.

This isn't the only real-world house that was recreated for the level. Petersen says at the start of the tour that "several" houses were made for it, and wraps up with a note saying that the house he grew up in, and where his parents still live, is also in the game. It's not as obviously spot-on as Petersen's own house, but yeah, you can see it.

Petersen, by the way, worked on games including Quake, Age of Empires, and Halo Wars in his post-Doom videogame career, and these days focuses on making tabletop RPGs and board games at Petersen Games. (In his pre-Doom life, Petersen was an employee of Chaosium and the designer of the 1981 Call of Cthulhu RPG.) 

If you don't have picture-perfect recall of Doom 2 level 16, you can see the whole thing in the walkthrough video below. The trip to Chez Petersen starts at 1:35.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.