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Wolf17 – DOS modding without editing the source code.

How do you allow a person to modify normally hardcoded features without having to edit the source code itself?

Dugtrio17, a DieHard Wolfers member, attempted to answer this all the way back in 2005 with a project called Wolf17.
Using a special editor, Wolf17 gave a Modder access to several variables:

  • Weapon frames, and the amount of damage each weapon does.
  • Maximum health and ammo and how much ammo the player starts with.
  • Most aspects of enemies (health, damage, speed, kill score, etc)

When options were edited, a GAME.WL6 file was created with the new information.
WOLF17.EXE was designed to run the game like normal, but would reference this new file when calling on any of the edited stats.

The editable features are fairly simple in the grand scheme of Wolf3D modding, but many mods are made that only need these entry-level changes.

Initial plans for the project were for it to be open source, with modification and hex editing being encouraged. There were plans to eventually expand the list of editable features, as well.

Unfortunately, as Dugtrio17’s goals with the project took him in other directions, Wolf17 unfortunately got sidelined.

Shortly afterwards, the DOS4GW and Wolf4SDL ports of the Wolf3D engine were released.
With those and the eventual release of ECWolf, there’s very little attention left for DOS modding or other projects similar to Wolf17.

Wolf17 is still available for download, requiring the base game files to run.

Update: Nexion has provided a backup copy of the source code for Wolf17! Feel free to download it through the below link, tinker with it, and maybe even make something out of it?

If you know of any mods that used Wolf17 in it’s creation, be sure to let us know in the comments or on Discord.

Wolf17 Download
Wolf17 Source Code
DieHard Wolfers Forum Thread (2005/05/29)

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