Guide: Brutal DOOM on the RG350

Last updated 22SEP2020 (see Changelog for details)

I recently published my Native Apps and Games guide, which includes an extensive guide and video on how to load various DOOM mods. Those instructions provide for a good portion of mods available; specifically, most “boom” or “vanilla” compatible mods (packaged as .wad files) will work with this method.

But many people familiar with the DOOM mod scene know that ZDoom (now called GZDoom) has become the most popular mod platform for DOOM-based games, and those mods (usually packaged as .pk3 files) are not compatible with my previous method. Luckily, thanks to some very helpful folks on Reddit and Facebook, I’ve created a guide that will allow you to play Brutal DOOM, one of the most popular DOOM mods of all time, on your RG350 devices.

Table of Contents
Before we get started
Necessary files
Install Brutal DOOM
Controller configuration

Changelog

Before we get started

A few notes before we dive into the details:

  • This is an older, demo version of ZDoom originally built in 2014 for the GCW Zero (the first OpenDingux system, which the RG350 is built upon). It does have some great quality of life features, such as joypad support (dual analog sticks!) and it recognizes the L2 and R2 buttons. But because this build was never completed, it also lacks some features; for example, it doesn’t support music, and you have to do some modification to the config file to enable 640×480 resolution on the RG350M. If you’re a programmer and interested in making some updates to this demo, here is a link to its source code on GitHub.
  • The most recent version of Brutal DOOM is currently v21, but the “legacy” v20 seems to be the most recent version that is playable on the RG350. Even then, the game chugs a little bit under the stress of all the modified files; you may want to scale back a few of the visual settings to find the right balance for your gameplay. Some users have reported the v21 works, but I was not successful in my testing.
  • This method will possibly work with other ZDoom compatible mods (that is, those packaged as a single .pk3 file). This is a good guide to aid you in your search. I’ve also read that the WADs listed on this page will run directly in ZDoom.

Necessary files

You will need three files in order to install Brutal DOOM:

  1. A copy of the WAD files from DOOM and/or DOOM 2. You can buy these at GOG.com or Steam if you don’t have them already. They are typically named “Doom.wad” and “Doom2.wad”.
  2. A copy of the ZDoom.opk file, which you can download here (source).
  3. A copy of the v20 Legacy version of Brutal DOOM, which you can download here. You only need one file from this zip file, which is named “brutalv20b.pk3”.

Install Brutal DOOM

  • To start, unzip and place the ZDoom.opk file in the media/data/apps folder of your internal SD card. This is the app you will open in order to run the games themselves.
  • On your external card, place the Doom.wad and/or the Doom2.wad files. I placed them in a folder named “WADS” so I could easily find them. Once they’re on the card, you will need to add a “.bin” to the end of the filenames. So the files will now be named Doom.wad.bin and Doom2.wad.bin.
  • Move the brutalv20.pk3 file to your external card. To keep things simple, I moved mine to the same WADS folder as my Doom WADs.
  • On the RG350, navigate to your “Games” tab, then open ZDoom. ZDoom will ask you to navigate to a game file; go to wherever you stored your Doom WADs. Open one of them, which will load the original game. Close out of the game. Now, head to the media/data/local/home/.config/zdoom folder on your internal card. Inside, you should see a zdoom.ini file.
  • Open this zdoom.ini file, which will be a text file full of configuration options. Head to the section that says “[Doom.Autoload]”, and write the following code: “Path=/media/sdcard/WADS/brutalv20b.pk3”. Note that the “sdcard/WADS” part of this code can be adjusted to whatever path you used to store your Brutal DOOM pk3 file.
  • Inside the zdoom.ini file you can also make some adjustments to improve the graphics. This will also upgrade the resolution on the RG350M to 640×480. Make these changes within the file:
vid_maxfps=60
vid_vsync=true
fullscreen=true
  • That’s it, you should be good to go now. To load Brutal DOOM, start up ZDoom again. Now, when you open one of the Doom WAD files, they will open the Brutal DOOM versions of those games. Be aware that when starting up the WAD in ZDoom, there may be a slight delay in the game starting up; this is normal.

Controller configuration

Thankfully, ZDoom fully supports joypads on the RG350. Go to the main DOOM menu, then select OPTIONS > Joystick Options. Inside, enable controller support, then select the “Configure Controllers” option. There you can configure the axes. If you want a modern-style control scheme, set each axis as follows:

Axis 1: Strafing
Axis 2: Moving forward
Axis 3: Turning
Axis 4: Looking up/down

You can also configure the face buttons for any number of actions, to include jumping, crouching, reloading, swapping weapons, etc. To access these configuration options, go to OPTIONS > Customize Controls.

To top it off, this version of ZDoom also supports external gamepads or a keyboard/mouse combination via an OTG adapter. Honestly, playing this game with an Xbox/PS4 controller is a whole added level of awesomeness.


Changelog

In this section I’ll provide a quick summary of any updates I make to this guide.

22SEP2020
– added external gamepad support info

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