Game developer and designer Rich Whitehouse gave the world an unusual gift this Christmas Eve. It's called Doomba and uses the popular Roomba vacuum cleaner robot to create levels for Doom the classic first-person shooter.
Whitehouse is a 20-year-old veteran of the gaming industry with credits on titles such as the original Prey and Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast . Along the way, he also built a tool called Neosis, which helps game developers and designers move digital assets between different platforms. The Doomba module works on similar principles; It only takes the digital maps created by Roomba's own internal software and converts them to Doom levels .
So what makes Roomba to make cards inside your house? Many of iRobot's modern robotic vacuum cleaner rely on VSLAM, also known as visual simultaneous localization and mapping. Instead of walking around like slow ping pong balls, modern Roomba units sweep methodically back and forth in long passes as if they were branching the lawn. It makes them much more efficient than previous models.
To do the work, some Roombas use a creepy, small electronic eye to make detailed maps of your home. Doomba takes that map and makes it a level of hell.
As Whitehouse explains, turning his creator against evil was pretty short work.
"I soon realized that there was a clear opportunity to serve the dark Lord by escaping a host of unholy algorithms in service to one of the finest works ever created in his name," Whitehouse writes on his personal blog. At the same time, I would be able to release a truly horrible pun to plague humanity. Now the fruit of my work is born. I produce DOOMBA, a half-book, half-scripture, with native binary back for the expensive parts, offered instead of my first-born on this fine Christmas Eve. "
Funnily enough, you don't even need to own a Roomba to enjoy Neosis and Doomba. Whitehouse included a map he created, along with instructions to customize algorithms that help create Doom the level to suit your taste. He warns that the software has not been tested with anything other than the Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum model.
"I hope you get some fun out of this feature," Whitehouse writes. that it is meaningless, but I have faith in my heart that the dark Lord will wipe these people from the face of the earth and capture them in a dimension of eternal hellfire. Their suffering will be legendary. "
Neosis is available for free; donations are encouraged.