A Brief History of SPISPOPD

Why Doom has an inside joke to Usenet, or How I helped create a cheat key code.

By Seth Cohn (seth@alchemy.tn.cornell.edu)(sethcohn@yahoo.com)
(Posted to Usenet on December 15, 1993.)

Doom came out Dec 10th, and first I did was go looking for cheat keys for it. Didn't find any, but I came close. My brother Dale and I had a funny feeling (call it a hunch) that somewhere in the game SPISPOPD was embedded. We didn't find it in the code, but turns it it was there after all.

What is SPISPOPD? Well, to make a long story short, due to all the Doom hype on the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action Usenet newsgroup, someone posted a suggestion to id that the next game be named something less likely to be used as a subject header (ala When is DOOM coming out? The DOOM beta is so cool, and the ever popular DOOM FAQ) They suggested the unlikely name of Smashing Pumpkins into Small Piles of Putrid Debris. Of course, someone else immediately posted that they wanted the beta of SPISPOPD and where was it? I joined in the fun, along with a long list of others and started to DESCRIBE this fictional game. We all got into the fun, and it was in part a healthy humorous response to the pressures of such a long wait for Doom.

I probably posted more SPISPOPD stuff then anyone else at first, and when someone else posted a signature spoofing DOOM FAQ author Hank Leukhart's saying "SPISPOPD FAQ 1.0 coming soon" I flamed them and stole the idea. I claimed to be the REAL FAQ author and asked for submissions. I got a number of good ones, and taking these and all of the posts up to the first mention of SPISPOPD (I saved them all, think it was a great thread) I created a really funny spoof of the DOOM FAQ. In the process, id became ego for one reason: I was afraid of getting sued. I mailed Jay Wilbur and asked what he'd prefer out the range of options (id was doing SPISPOD, wasn't, etc..) and the only answer I got from him was... well... I used it as his quote in the FAQ. <Big grin>

I got LOTS of mail including congrats, flames (such as GET A LIFE!), more submissions, and my favorite, people asking where they could get a copy of the game.

The best for me was getting a note from David Taylor at id, one of the Doom coders, saying how much he enjoyed the FAQ. Little did I know...

To make the matter more confusing, a bunch of guys at Cal-poly decided they liked the idea, and ignoring whatever features they didn't want to write into it (and I don't blame them... some of the FAQ was truly outlandish), they wrote a game called SPISPOPD. This game is cute, and using VGA and SB, is actually playable and well worth downloading. I am amazed they wrote it in 48 hours...

So, I logged on Dec 15th having beaten the game a few times, and lo and behold, someone has posted the cheat keys, and idspispopd is one of them. Someone (Patch) suggested I write a little explanation of just how and what SPISPOPD is, to help all those folks who don't know the inside scoop.

And as Paul Harvey would say, That's the REST of the story....

(I'm also including a copy of the FAQ, posted separately. This is MUCH funnier if you have a copy of DOOM FAQ 2.X around...)
[Not included in this page. -RRW]

S    P  P  II  S    P  P O  O P  P D  D | Seth Cohn
SSSS PPPP  II  SSSS PPPP O  O PPPP D  D | sethcohn@yahoo.com
   S P     II     S P    O  O P    D  D | FAQ 1.1 coming soon! SPISPOPD Feb 29!
SSSS P    IIII SSSS P    OOOO P    DDD  | Easter Ernie May 94! WAY Cool!

[Please feel free to include this article in any media, so long as it's not altered
 in any way]

Seth Cohn -     Warning - I use CAPS to emphasize, not to yell   |If you read
email preferred         - I consider spelling errors and grammar |RUOW, Honk!
Net Junkie since 89       to be secondary to the meaning itself  |Orange Rainbow
[Space for rent]        - I take unpopular positions & get flamed|Spirits R #1!

Posted with kind permission of Seth Cohn.
03 FEB 2001