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Enterprising Facebook developers get Doom running on an Apple Watch

Thanks to a 10-hour hackathon inside the Tel Aviv branch of Facebook, we now have the impressive video you see above — developers experimenting with ways to use Apple’s new WatchOS 2 managed to port the classic PC game Doom to the smart wearable. It’s not very playable on such a small screen of course, but that’s not really the point.

“Having only a few hours, we figured we’d better start with the simplest version of Doom we could find,” explains Lior Tubi, one of the developers involved in the project. “A quick search and we found nDoom, which seemed very interesting. This thing runs on a graphing calculators, it should run on a watch … mmm … right?”

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The interface is actually made up of a grid of buttons, while the coders also had to overcome problems with grayscale images and graphics buffers. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to try it out for yourself any time soon — “we won’t be making the source code available as it’s an example” says Tubi in the video’s description.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, Tubi’s colleague Mehdi Mulani also got the game working on the new Apple TV. In this format it’s much more playable, as you have the remote control as a physical input stick. This might not be what Apple had in mind when it added gaming capabilities to its set-top box, but it’s a fun watch nevertheless.

The WatchOS 2 update that rolled out at the end of September offers a faster, smoother experience for users. It also lets developers code native apps that run on the timepiece directly rather than doing all of their processing through a connected iPhone — making projects like this Doom port possible.