Gaming

Let your new Roomba build a Doom level of your house with DOOMBA

Let your new Roomba build a Doom level of your house with DOOMBA Devin Coldewey @techcrunch / 5 days

Some of you out there may be lucky enough to have received over the holidays a fancy new robot vacuum. Turns out it’s even more useful than you’d think: in addition to cleaning your home, it can scan its surroundings and produce a Doom level of your home! Just the right thing to ring in the new year: Hell on Earth.

It’s not an official iRobot feature, unfortunately, but rather a hack put together by veteran game engineer Rich Whitehouse. He noticed that Roombas were actually putting together some pretty detailed environment data with their sensors, and naturally felt this capability should be applied to a 25-year-old video game.

By combining Doom with Roomba, Whitehouse realized he would not only be able to make something fun, but to “unleash a truly terrible pun to plague humankind.” To wit: DOOMBA.

It works like this, though if you don’t have a Roomba 980, there’s no guarantee it’ll work at all: Using a special utility, your PC will detect the Roomba on the wireless network and begin tracking its movements and collected data. When the little robot has done its work, the data is saved in a file, which you can then convert to a Doom wad via DOOMBA, a plug-in for Whitehouse’s Noesis image/model conversion app.

The shape of the level will be taken from your place, but of course things may look a little different. More monsters, probably. That depends on the randomization settings you choose, which control which weapons, critters and other features show up in this hellish new version of your home.

It’s all free, except for Doom and the Roomba, so if you have both, get cracking. Thanks to Rich for this fun holiday distraction.

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