You can’t swing a dead cat more than six inches these days without slamming into some incredibly improbable device running Doom. ASCII Doom? It exists. Playing Doom using a toaster to control it? It’s been done. But using a Roomba to build Doom WAD files based on your floor? That appears to be a new one.
Designed by veteran game designer Rich Whitehouse, Doomba leverages Whitehouse’s Noesis conversion tool. In his words: “Noesis is a tool for previewing and converting between hundreds of model, image, and animation formats. It utilizes a robust plugin system, with support for native extension modules and Python scripts. The plugin/script API features hundreds of functions and interfaces which assist in developing new formats, tools, and visualization aids. Noesis also features processing, conversion, and visualization options for many different types of volume data, including medical imaging formats such as Analyze 7.5, NifTI-1, and DICOM.”
In this context, what you need to know is: Noesis + Roomba = Doomba, a “half-goat, half-script creature,” (his words, not ours) “with native binary backing for the expensive parts, to be offered in place of my firstborn on this fine Christmas Eve.”
NO SERIOUSLY, THE FLOOR IS LAVA
The blog post steps through the process of configuring a Roomba to run Doomba and how to tweak the application to generate different types of maps. Monster placement and other map features can be tweaked, though the author notes that various options have the ability to “break things horribly.” Fortunately, this appears to refer to one’s map design, as opposed to sending the Roomba into a hidden “Devour Souls” mode.
The long-term potential of this type of map-building can’t be understated. Imagine: One day, you’ll be able to generate a comprehensive floor plan of your home, upload it to the internet, and then conduct velociraptor and/or zombie attacks against the premises using various creature presets and finely-tuned trap and weapon parameters.
In today’s world, however, we’ll all have to settle for the Roomba variant. Only the Roomba 980 has been tested, but the author believes the software should be compatible with other Roombas already in-market. You also have the option to generate multiple traces and stitch them together over runs or between runs, allowing you to create larger, more comprehensive levels.
It’s the most metal reason to vacuum ever invented.