The DSDA first formed out of Opulent's personal demos page,
as written in the oldest news post therein, dated September 2000:
Page opens; updated my Individual demos page to this page.
Again, I encourage anyone to submit a demo. -- I know that the average
skill level of these demos is pretty high, but since I know I won't get
many takers, don't be afraid to send me a demo. It can be of you on your
level on skill 2 using Jdoom. I do have preferences(see info page), but
overall.anything goes. I am starting this page with the release of
Doomworld's 10 sectors contest in hope that that will encourage more demo
activity. Expect some hurriedly recorded 10 sectors demos from me shortly.
Demos are the best way to show off a level, so start recording...
The first submission to the archive was a 34 demo Hell Revealed pack by Ryback
in October 2000. Opulent wrote an
December 2003 on the history of doom demo recording, including this passage
about his inspiration for the archive:
Andy Olivera is one of the most accomplished people in the DOOM community.
His all-in-one site was the first to be a review site, have his own demos,
and make his own levels. All with a quality that you'd think he was dedicated
to only one of them; as well as being during a time when almost no other
established sites were having regular updates. Besides his own demos, he was
the administrater of the Wad Master's Competition, a pwad contest done at
regular intervals. His site provided the root of the content and the main
inspiration for the DOOMed Speed Demos Archive. Besides Yonatan, Andy was
the most influencial person in pwad single-player demos ever.
The DOOMed Speed Demos Archive(DSDA). A cheap knockoff(I like to think of it
as a tribute ;) of the Quake Speed Demos Archive, the DSDA is home to a very
large collection of demos for third-party maps. The first major site to
allow demos recorded with source ports, it was started in August 2000 by me
and allows demos of virtually any type of recording.
Andy Olivera introduced the second incarnation of the site in November 2008,
as detailed in his first news post:
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.
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.
In 2016, we began to consider building a new DSDA from scratch, with
a much broader scope (adding Heretic and Hexen) and more ambitious goals.
Work officially began at the start of 2017 and is ongoing.
- Andy Olivera