Opulent's Original DSDA

The DooMed Speed Demos Archive

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Proudly hosting 54341 demos by 679 players on 3358 WADs for a total running time of 4387:46:43.



November 12th, 2008

Greetings DooMers! Andy Olivera here. It's been a long time coming, but the new, improved DooMed Speed Demos Archive is finally here.

Some background: This redesign was born approximately two years ago when Opulent was feeling down. It occured to me that having all those demos piling up would make the updating process a daunting task: updating each of the over 900 WAD pages individually, moving the files to their proper locations, keeping the tables up to date with entries from the dormant(dead?) Compet-N. I came to the conclusion that the DSDA had grown too large for manual updating and a new approach was needed. Whether this new approach would be utilized by Opulent, myself or someone else, I didn't know. So, with my meager coding knowledge I set out to redesign the DSDA as a dynamic, database-generated website. I had no idea it would take so long!

The backend portion took around six months. My first instinct was to use phpMyAdmin, but for the amount of records I needed to enter, it was just too slow and bloated. The initial plan was to write a simple record entry script. Thankfully, as I was writing and learning a bit more about PHP, it evolved into an efficient system of record management and file handling. That evolution probably saved me from getting burned out and abandoning the project during the next step.

Next up was the task of entering all the existing demos into the database. This took nearly 18 months and was incredibly tedious. Third, and finally, came the designing of the actual website. This step was a picnic compared to the other two. Though it did contain a few hurdles and the site didn't arrive with all the superfluous features I'd planned, I'm satisfied with the way it's turned out and I think you will be, too.

What's improved:

What's gone:
For the moment, there are no Compet-N records listed. This will be rectified in the future. Of course, all new demos from both DSDA and Compet-N incoming will be added first.

How can you help? Well, new demos are always good. If you have any demos here, consider filling out a profile. Right now we have over 170 players and only 9 profiles. That's just disappointing. Oh, and if anyone out there(Andrey, Adrian?) has the time, a new version of the DooM Replay Editor, updated to use the most recent PRBoom+ as a base would be greatly appreciated. Support for other LMP headers(Boom, MBF) and complevels as well as a bit more customizability(resizing the input window, anyone?) would be awesome, but I'd be happy with the updated engine. Also, if anyone has either DooM Legacy v1.32b2 or v1.41, those are the last remaining ports that are in use on this site that I don't have available for download. Send a copy my way if you have either.

And finally, in closing this inaugural update I think it important to salute the man who created all this in the first place. Doug "Opulent" Merrill kept the DSDA running smoothly for almost seven years. That's the longest any DooM demo site operator has managed to hang on. A glance at the site statistics above should give you an idea as to just how much work this entailed and the level of dedication required. So if you're a demo-lover as well, drop him an eMail and thank him for his years of service.

Take a bow, Doug. Ya did good.