id Tech 1 Maps in UE4 Part 1: Parsing WAD Map Data

The map data serialization for Doom 1/2 is pretty well outlined here on the Doom wikia. Game data (including map information) is stored in WAD (Where’s All the Data?) files. If you want to follow along with a DOOM 1 or DOOM 2 WAD you will need to purchase the games as the game data is not freeware. If not you could try parsing something like Freedoom.

It follows the following format:

The header struct, refered to as wadinfo_t:

Offset Size Name Description
0x00 4 identification “PWAD” or “IWAD”
0x04 4 numlumps Number of lumps in WAD
0x08 4 infotableofs Offset of infotable

The directory struct, refered to as filelump_t:

Offset Size Name Description
0x00 4 filepos Pointer to the start of the data in the WAD
0x04 4 size Size of lump in bytes
0x08 8 name String for lumps name. If shorter than 8 bytes must be padded to 8

We will respresents these two structures like this:

typedef struct header_t {
char id[4];
int numlumps;
int infotableofs;
} header_t;

typedef struct directory_t {
int filepos;
int size;
char name[8];
} directory_t;

Lets load our WAD into memory and read in the header:

FILE *wad = fopen("DOOM2.WAD", "rb");

header_t header;
fread(&header, sizeof(header_t), 1, wad);

With our header read in we get some information on the structure itself. id should be either "IWAD" (for Internal WAD) or "PWAD" (Used for expansions or modding.) numlumps will be how many lump directories we have with infotableofs being the offset of where this list starts in memory. Now we can start reading in our lumps:

// Allocate space for our lumps
directory_t *lumps = malloc(sizeof(directory_t) * header.numlumps);

// Move the file head to the infotable offset
fseek(wad, header.infotableofs, SEEK_SET);
// Read them in
fread(lumps, sizeof(directory_t), header.numlumps, wad);

Lets iterate over the first 20 to see what we have to work with.

directory_t *lump = lumps;

for (int i = 0; i < 20; i++) {
printf("%.8s (%d) [%d]\n", lump->name, lump->filepos, lump->size);

Here is the output:

PLAYPAL (12) [10752]
COLORMAP (10764) [8704]
ENDOOM (19468) [4000]
DEMO1 (23468) [4834]
DEMO2 (28304) [8018]
DEMO3 (36324) [17898]
MAP01 (54224) [0]
THINGS (54224) [690]
LINEDEFS (54916) [5180]
SIDEDEFS (60096) [15870]
VERTEXES (75968) [1532]
SEGS (77500) [7212]
SSECTORS (84712) [776]
NODES (85488) [5404]
SECTORS (90892) [1534]
REJECT (92428) [436]
BLOCKMAP (92864) [6418]
MAP02 (99284) [0]
THINGS (99284) [1730]
LINEDEFS (101016) [7322]

The first six are:

After that we get to what we are actually interested in, a map marker.

MAP01 (54224) [0]

Notice that the size of this lump is 0. This is not always true for WADs though (games like Hexen actually use this space to store data in.) A better test is testing against the name, which must follow the format of: ExMy or MAPxx in the case of Doom.

What’s important is what comes after the map markers, these structures are always present:

THINGS (54224) [690]
LINEDEFS (54916) [5180]
SIDEDEFS (60096) [15870]
VERTEXES (75968) [1532]
SEGS (77500) [7212]
SSECTORS (84712) [776]
NODES (85488) [5404]
SECTORS (90892) [1534]
REJECT (92428) [436]
BLOCKMAP (92864) [6418]

The only ones we need to concern ourselves with are: