DEEP SUMMARY - Masters Of Doom_ How Two Guys Created An Empire And Transformed Pop Culture - David Kushner

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Here is a summary of the key points about The Two Johns:

  • John Carmack and John Romero were the co-founders of id Software and creators of influential first-person shooter games like Doom and Quake. They came to be known as "The Two Johns."

  • In 2000, Carmack and Romero gave talks at a Quake tournament in Dallas. This was the first time they had appeared together publicly since splitting up professionally. Their relationship and the differences between them were a source of intrigue.

  • Carmack was a programmer who focused on technical excellence, while Romero had a rock star image and took bigger creative risks. They had a dynamic but turbulent partnership.

  • The summary profiles each of their backgrounds, with Romero having a troubled childhood and finding escape in video games, while Carmack was more reserved.

  • It sets the scene for their arrival and brief interaction at the Dallas event, noting the tension and symbolism between the two former partners. Their presence reinforced the cultural significance of their work developing immersive 3D shooter games.

In summary, it provides biographical context on Carmack and Romero as well as the historical significance of their collaboration and high-profile split, setting up the intriguing dynamic between the "Two Johns" at the center of the story.

Here is a summary:

  • Romero was intrigued by the text-based adventure game Colossal Cave being played on computers at his local college. He loved similar pen-and-paper roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons.

  • Romero started learning programming by visiting the college computer lab on weekends. He was inspired to make his own text adventure game, programming it on punch cards that he had to carefully transport by bike.

  • Romero had a passion for computers and gaming but struggled with his stepfather who didn't think it was a respectable career. Romero channeled his emotions into graphic comics with violent imagery.

  • For his first game, Romero programmed a basic text adventure on the college mainframe computers. But after his punch cards spilled on the way home, he decided to move to the more accessible Apple II home computer. This marked the beginning of Romero's career as a pioneering game programmer.

    Here is a summary:

  • Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (the Two Steves) co-founded Apple in 1976 out of a passion for computers and gaming. Jobs's experience at Atari influenced him.

  • The Apple II, released in 1977, was hugely successful due to its color graphics, game compatibility, and inclusion of game paddles. It established the personal computer as a gaming platform.

  • Popular early Apple II games included Ultima and Castle Wolfenstein. Programmers distributed games via Ziploc bags and achieved commercial success through small publishers.

  • John Romero was an avid Apple II gamer in the early 1980s. He began programming and self-publishing his own games as a teenager in England and America.

  • Romero won programming contests and gained recognition for his skills. By the late 1980s, he was achieving commercial success through magazine publications and working at Burger King while attending college. His early career foreshadowed his future success in game development.

    Here is a summary:

Romero was a skilled game developer by his late teens, having published 10 games. In 1987 at age 19, he was taking on a family after getting married to his wife Kelly. He saw an opportunity at the Applefest convention to showcase his skills and potentially land a job in the gaming industry.

At the convention, Romero impressed with a game demo that had enhanced graphics. He was offered a job by Jay Wilbur at Origin. Two years later after some job instability, Romero moved his family to Shreveport, Louisiana to take a job at Softdisk with Jay Wilbur. It was a gamble but Romero was pursuing his dream of being a game developer to support his growing family.

Here is a summary:

  • Carmack was a gifted student who loved computers, but his family situation changed frequently, leaving him feeling alone and without access to good computer programs.

  • He discovered the world of hackers and bulletin board systems (BBS), learning about phone phreaking, text-based roleplaying games, and explosives for fun experiments.

  • Carmack and friends broke into a school to steal Apple computers, but were caught. Carmack underwent a psychiatric evaluation and ended up in juvenile detention.

  • After release, Carmack continued programming graphics and games on his own computers. He sold his first game and used the money to buy better equipment.

  • Carmack strengthened his body through martial arts while continuing to challenge authority through his computer skills and intellect.

  • He began living independently in his own apartment where he dedicated himself to making video games, inspired by sci-fi shows like Star Trek that featured immersive virtual reality environments.

    Here is a summary:

Carmack tried to access his trust fund after high school but his mother had transferred the money to her account in Seattle and refused to let him use it for making computer games. He reluctantly enrolled in college at his mother's insistence but dropped out after two semesters, finding the classes pointless.

He devoted himself to developing his second game Wraith and self-published it, earning $2,000. This funded improvements to his car. Softdisk, a small company in Shreveport, Louisiana, began regularly buying Carmack's games. They requested he come for an interview, curious about this skilled developer.

Carmack accepted, seeing it as an excuse for a long drive. Softdisk was founded in 1981 by Al Vekovius, a former math professor, as a subscription software service mailing disks of programs to hobbyists each month. It grew successful with 100,000 subscribers by 1987. However, competition and growth led to challenges in managing the large company. In 1989, Al contacted Jay Wilbur from a competitor asking him to join and help run the Apple division, mentioning he knew two skilled game programmers.

Here is a summary:

  • John Romero had just experienced some setbacks in his career and personal life and was looking for a fresh start. He bonded well with other potential employees Lane and Jay on the road trip to Shreveport.

  • They started working at Softdisk in the new Special Projects division focused on games. However, Romero soon found himself doing more work on PC utility programs rather than games as planned.

  • Romero worked to learn new PC programming languages to stay on the cutting edge, but found his game development ambitions stifled at Softdisk. His home life also became strained living with other employees and working long hours.

  • Romero confronted the owner Al about not being able to focus on games as promised. He threatened to leave for Lucas Arts if things didn't change. Romero had become a valuable employee but was growing frustrated at Softdisk.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero was tasked with leading a new monthly PC games subscription called Gamer's Edge at Softdisk. He proposed doing it every other month instead of monthly due to tight development deadlines.

  • John Carmack was hired to join Romero and Adrian Carmack on the Gamer's Edge team. They quickly bonded over their passion for programming and games.

  • To meet their first tight 4-week deadline, they decided to port Romero's Dangerous Dave and Carmack's The Catacomb games from Apple II to PC.

  • Romero and Carmack worked long hours in "crunch mode" to complete the ports. Carmack proved to be very fast at programming.

  • Romero was going through a divorce around this time and immersed himself in work on Gamer's Edge.

  • Working on the ports, Carmack and Romero realized they worked best with Carmack focusing on game engine programming and Romero on game tools and level design.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero and John Carmack wanted to recruit new talent to their fledgling game development efforts outside of their normal work at Softdisk.

  • One of their friends, Tom Hall, was a talented programmer and gamer but was turned down by their boss for joining full-time.

  • They sought an artist and found Adrian Carmack, an intern with a talent for dark, detailed art who was not initially interested in games.

  • Adrian had a difficult personal background, having lost his father at a young age and working a grim job providing medical photos. His artwork reflected these darker influences.

  • Romero and Carmack convinced Adrian to join them by showcasing their passion and vision for ambitious game projects beyond what Softdisk was producing at the time. This marked the beginnings of a team that would go on to found id Software and create hugely influential early 3D shooter games.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack had figured out how to create side scrolling and animated tiles/blocks in games on PC. This was a significant feat as PCs were much slower than arcade or console machines.

  • He showed Tom Hall his discoveries late one night at the office. Side scrolling would allow the game world to appear to continue when a character moves to the edge of the screen, like in Defender and Super Mario Bros.

  • Animated tiles would enable effects where a character could jump on a tile and trigger an animation or action, like coins raining down. This was a key element of Mario as well.

  • Carmack's breakthrough was optimizing the graphics drawing so only changing elements needed to be redrawn, not the entire screen. This allowed for smoother scrolling effects on slow PCs. He tricked the computer into thinking tiles were in different positions to speed up drawing.

  • Tom was excited by these discoveries as they opened up new possibilities for PC game design, incorporating scrolling and animated tiles like in popular arcade titles. This laid important groundwork for id Software's later hit games.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Carmack added a feature to the game engine he was developing that allowed for smooth side-scrolling movement by pre-drawing extra tiles off-screen in memory. This was called "adaptive tile refresh."

  • Tom Romero saw that this would allow them to replicate Super Mario Brothers 3 on PC, which had never been done before and was hugely popular. They stayed up all night recreating the first level of SMB3 using Dangerous Dave sprites.

  • The next morning, Romero was blown away by what they had achieved - bringing a Nintendo-quality game to PC. He realized this was a huge opportunity and they needed to leave their current job to pursue game development full time.

  • Romero convinced their friend Jay Wilbur that they should create a full demo to pitch directly to Nintendo, hoping to secure a deal to develop PC ports of Nintendo games. However, they did not have the computers needed to work on the demo at the office without their employer knowing, so they faced a challenge of how to continue development at home.

    Here is a summary:

Romero and his team had made a demo of a Super Mario Bros game using computers they borrowed from their office over the weekend. They were disappointed when Nintendo responded that they had no interest in licensing Mario for PC. However, Romero had an idea of who might appreciate their work - Scott Miller, who he had contacted previously due to some fake "fan letters" Miller had sent. When Romero finally reached out to Miller, Miller was very excited about their Mario demo and wanted to publish it as shareware. Shareware involved distributing software for free but asking for a payment if users liked it, which had proven successful for other programmers. Miller saw an opportunity to make money distributing Romero's game this way. They had come up with a way to get them.

Here is a summary:

  • Scott Flynn was a game developer who had tried releasing his games as full shareware but didn't make much money, as gamers would just take the games for free without paying.

  • He came up with the idea of only distributing the first part of games as shareware and charging for additional levels/episodes, being one of the first to try this model.

  • His shareware games sold well using this model through distribution on BBSs and he quit his job to start his own game publisher called Apogee.

  • He met with John Romero and pitched publishing their games as shareware, pointing out their action-oriented, level-based style was suited to the format.

  • Romero couldn't offer his current game but said they were working on something new and exciting. He later sent Scott a demo of Commander Keen, which Scott was very impressed by.

  • They came up with the concept for Commander Keen - an 8-year old sci-fi hero saving the world. Tom Hall came up with the initial story and character details.

  • John Carmack and John Romero programmed the game, refining Carmack's improved engine, while Tom Hall designed gameplay elements and directed the project. They worked on it in nights and weekends to meet Scott's deadline to release by Christmas.

    Here is a summary:

  • Adrian was recruited to help work on Commander Keen but hated the project because it had a cute, kid-focused style, which he disliked.

  • While programming late into the night, the team would occasionally take breaks to play video games or Dungeons & Dragons together. Carmack had built an elaborate D&D campaign for the group.

  • At Softdisk, Al Vekovius was growing suspicious of id Software's behavior. When he walked in on them working, they dispersed quickly. Carmack openly criticized other Softdisk programmers.

  • Scott Merrill was promoting Commander Keen heavily to BBS systems and magazines in preparation for its release. He encouraged the team to include secret areas and bonuses in the game.

  • Tom Hall came up with secret tricks and previews of unmade future games to include as Easter eggs. The team was full of enthusiasm and ideas for future projects.

  • Carmack and Romero had a close working relationship and pushed each other to improve. A rainstorm isolated Carmack at the lake house one night to work alone.

    Here is a summary:

  • Romero was diverse and talented in many aspects of game development beyond just coding. He was also an artist, designer, businessman and fun personality.

  • One night during a storm, Romero walked through a river to get to work, arriving soaking wet with a big smile. Carmack was impressed by Romero's dedication and saved this memory.

  • On December 14, 1990, Scott Miller released the shareware version of Commander Keen. It was hugely popular and successful, driving over $30k in sales by Christmas compared to their usual $7k per month. The game received widespread praise for its quality.

  • Id Software was formed on February 1, 1991 after Carmack, Romero and others left Softdisk. There was initially an agreement for them to work with Softdisk but it fell through due to employee objections. Carmack did not care about upsetting the Softdisk staff with their departure.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack had been developing a pen-and-paper roleplaying game called Dungeons & Dragons (DD) for years. He had detailed worlds, characters, items, and rules.

  • The id guys played this game together, creating characters like Armand Hammer, Buddy, Rif, and Stonebreaker as the adventuring group "Popular Demand."

  • In one session, Romero's character wanted to acquire a powerful demonic artifact called the Demonicron to summon demons, but it was very risky. After debate, they decided to go for it.

  • The success of Keen allowed id to work full-time from their new office/home. Carmack focused on advancing the graphics engine while the others made new games for Softdisk using existing tech.

  • These included Rescue Rover and Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion, which included more violent and macabre elements that pushed boundaries.

  • Carmack was also pursuing 3D graphics as the next step, hoping to create truly immersive first-person experiences.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Authors like Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury envisioned immersive experiences combining sights, sounds, and other senses to transport the viewer to another world or reality. This concept of "virtual reality" predated modern technology.

  • In the 1950s and 70s, innovators like Morton Heilig and Myron Krueger began developing early multimedia and interactive systems to realize more immersive experiences, with goals of simulating real environments and allowing interactions.

  • In the 1980s, terms like "cyberspace" and "virtual reality" emerged as interactive 3D environments became possible through innovations like head-mounted displays, data gloves, and networked virtual worlds.

  • A key idea was creating a sense of presence and identity within virtual spaces through avatars and interactions with computer-generated or other users' representations.

  • Pioneers like Scott Fisher aimed to use virtual reality to allow people to enter and interact within simulated environments, effectively becoming "electronic personas" in other worlds.

  • Early developers focused on removing barriers between the user and the virtual experience to create a feeling of being transported to another place. This gave inhabitants the sensation of entering another digital world.

    Here is a summary:

  • id Software moved from Shreveport to Madison, Wisconsin in September 1991. They found their new apartments to be much worse than described by Romero and Tom.

  • The team worked hard to finish the second Commander Keen trilogy. Carmack improved the game engine while Romero worked on editing tools. Nothing could distract them from working.

  • Tom was excited about Keen's creative design with strange creatures. Adrian's artwork improved but he secretly created a graphic of Keen destroyed.

  • Carmack continued working on his side project of 3D first-person shooters. Romero told him about a new technique called texture mapping being used in other games to apply textures/patterns instead of solid colors. Carmack was interested in implementing it.

  • Overall, the move was difficult as reality didn't match the hype, but the team remained dedicated to finishing their games while Carmack pursued technical innovations for future projects. Adrian remained frustrated and unhappy in Madison.

    Here is a summary:

  • The id guys were growing unhappy living in Madison, as the weather grew cold and their neighbors caused problems. They spent most of their time inside working on their games.

  • They were brainstorming ideas for their next game for Apogee. Tom originally pitched a game called "It's Green and Pissed" about mutant lab experiments, but retreated from the controversial title.

  • John Romero suggested remaking the classic 1980s game Wolfenstein in 3D with Carmack's new technology. The others were enthusiastic about the fast-paced first-person shooter concept.

  • Romero had many innovative ideas for the game, like searching dead bodies for items. Carmack agreed to the Wolfenstein remake.

  • Carmack bought a powerful NeXT computer that would help him create better games. Around this time, they also fired Jason, leaving just the core four of Carmack, Romero, Adrian, and Tom.

  • Ideas and leadership were shifting within id, as Romero's influence grew and Tom's declined some. Overall, tensions were rising but they were optimistic about remaking Wolfenstein with new technology.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Id Software was working on a new first-person shooter called Wolfenstein 3D, taking inspiration from games like Castle Wolfenstein and aiming to revolutionize the genre with fast-paced, brutal gameplay.

  • They secured $100k funding from distributor Scott Miller to develop the shareware version. Carmack worked on optimizing the engine while Romero focused on violent, over-the-top gameplay ideas like shooting dogs and eating human remains.

  • The game incorporated digital sound effects for the first time to enhance the brutal atmosphere. Early tests left Romero laughing at the realism.

  • It would use 256-color VGA graphics instead of EGA to take advantage of expanded capabilities. Adrian created enemy sprites and animations like bleeding wounds.

  • Romero was convinced there had never been a game like Wolfenstein 3D thanks to the combination of fast-paced engine and ultra-violent gameplay.

  • The package caught the attention of Sierra On-Line heads Roberta and Ken Williams, who requested a meeting, excited by Id's ambitions andperfect timing as they were finishing development.

    Here is a summary:

  • id Software showed Sierra a demo of their upcoming game Wolfenstein 3D. Sierra offered to acquire id for $2.5 million but wouldn't provide upfront cash, so the deal fell through.

  • The id guys were disappointed to lose out on the money but felt validated that their work had potential beyond what Sierra recognized. Their confidence in themselves and their vision grew.

  • Back in Madison, their Dungeons & Dragons game ended badly after Romero's character pursued too much power. This highlighted Romero's recklessness that concerned Carmack.

  • They realized they needed more help to finish Wolfenstein and hired Kevin Cloud from Softdisk. Kevin was a good complement to the team.

  • Romero grew tired of the cold Wisconsin weather. He convinced the others to move the company to Dallas, Texas for its warmer climate and lack of state income tax. They urgently contacted Kevin not to sign a lease yet so they could relocate.

    Here is a summary:

  • Id Software moves into an apartment complex called La Prada Apartments in Mesquite, Texas near their publisher Apogee.

  • They find a Pac-Man arcade machine abandoned on a delivery truck and purchase it for $150, bringing one of their classic childhood games with them.

  • Their publisher Apogee agrees to increase their royalty rate to 50% for Wolfenstein and wants them to create 6 episodes rather than 3 to expand the game.

  • Id parts ways with their president Mark Rein after a disagreement. They will need a new business manager.

  • Romero spends lots of time playtesting and obsessed with Wolfenstein, shouting and getting immersed in the game.

  • Tom wants secret "push walls" added where hidden rooms can be found, but Carmack refuses, seeing it as an "ugly hack" and wanting to keep the code simple and optimized. This causes the first creative conflict within the team.

    Here is a summary:

  • The id Software team were working extremely long hours, 7 days a week, to develop Wolfenstein 3D. Kevin and Jay helped somewhat by assisting with character work, packaging, and marketing designs.

  • Tom and Romero enjoyed recording sound effects and answering machine messages that were over-the-top and noisy, annoying Adrian.

  • FormGen expressed concerns about the violence and realism in Wolfenstein 3D. Scott told id to beef up the violence instead of toning it down.

  • Adrian added more gory details like body parts and blood. Tom and Romero added screaming sound effects and songs. They also included a "Death Cam" replay of bosses dying.

  • id voluntarily rated the game PC-13 for "Profound Carnage". Wolfenstein 3D neared completion with the addition of secrets and cheats.

  • The shareware episode was uploaded to BBS systems. The first month's royalty check was $100,000, far more than expected. Wolfenstein 3D became a sensation spreading through gamers on BBSs and early online services.

    Here is a summary:

  • Wolfenstein 3D was an incredibly popular and immersive game when it was released in 1992. Employees at Microsoft were often overheard playing it in their offices. Press praised its ability to make the player feel like they were in a threatening virtual environment.

  • Some players experienced motion sickness from how smoothly the game animated. Others attributed it to the "jerkiness" of the graphics. Tips were shared on how to avoid losing your lunch while playing.

  • The game's violence and depictions of shooting humans and dogs generated some controversy. Still, most reviewers couldn't put it down due to its addicting gameplay.

  • When Germany banned the game for its Nazi imagery, the online service CompuServe initially removed it as well, sparking debate around legal issues of content available in one country being illegal in another.

  • Gamers began creating mods for Wolfenstein 3D, much to the delight of id Software founders John Carmack and John Romero but concern of others over copyright issues.

  • The founders met Castle Wolfenstein creator Silas Warner at a gaming conference and got his blessing after showing him their remake. The success of the game led id Software to treat themselves to a celebratory trip to Disney World.

  • Carmack focused more on technical improvements while Romero played the game obsessively, becoming the world record holder for speedruns. Their differing personalities and roles at the company were humorously documented.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack was experimenting with building a first-person racing game using images of Hitler from Wolfenstein to create roads. This led to work on the Shadowcaster game engine for Raven Software.

  • Most of the id crew were burnt out on Wolfenstein, but it continued to be very successful commercially. Spear of Destiny further cemented id's success.

  • id received unexpected offers, like porting Wolfenstein to SNES (with less violence) and licensing the engine for a Noah's Ark game.

  • Carmack improved the Shadowcaster engine, allowing full 3D environments. The team wanted to use this for their next game.

  • Tom wanted to do Keen 3, but others weren't interested. Carmack suggested a sci-fi horror game mixing demons and technology, like Evil Dead II meets Aliens. This became the idea for Doom.

  • id relocated to a new dark office building called the Town East Tower in Mesquite, setting the scene to develop their new demon-themed first-person shooter.

    Here is a summary:

  • id Software was growing quickly and seeing success with games like Wolfenstein 3D. However, they were still publishing through Apogee and only getting 40% of sales.

  • An Apogee employee, Shawn Green, told John Romero that Apogee was inefficient and disorganized, with many employees not doing real work. Orders were piling up and customers couldn't get through.

  • id decided it was time to go independent and self-publish their future games like Doom, cutting out Apogee. Only John Carmack had reservations about growing the business.

  • Scott Miller at Apogee was not surprised id wanted to leave, as he saw it coming. Apogee was still successful with other publishers like Epic MegaGames.

  • John Carmack also decided to get rid of his cat Mitzi after she started causing problems, much to Romero's dismay.

  • id moved into a new office space but Tom Hall was unhappy as he did not get his own dedicated office like the others.

  • Early Doom meetings saw disagreement between Carmack/Romero and Hall over the game's story and level-based structure. Carmack wanted one continuous world.

  • Carmack's technology innovations like diminished lighting were key to the look and feel of Doom. This required difficult programming choices with limited resources.

    Here is a summary:

  • Romero and Carmack began working on a new game, Doom, that would have free-form level design unlike their earlier games which used square tile-based graphics. Carmack was working on technology for arbitrary polygon shapes and dynamic lighting effects.

  • Romero was excited about Carmack's innovations and how they could be used for effects like flashing strobe lights. He began designing levels to showcase Carmack's work.

  • Tom Clancy had been working on a "Doom Bible" backstory but Carmack and Romero felt it wasn't necessary. Carmack was still developing the technology and wanted them to experiment freely.

  • Romero's level designs focused on speed and terror without context, unlike Tom's character-driven story. Id embraced an ideology of innovating technology first and removing anything that got in the way.

  • The id guys had a prankish culture, defacing photos of each other. Their office was disorganized with broken equipment.

  • For Doom, Adrian and Kevin designed frightening monsters with clay sculptures that were scanned into the game for animated characters.

    Here is a summary:

  • Kevin and Adrian had fun scanning themselves and objects into Doom to use as textures and in-game images. This helped shape the emerging world of the game.

  • By early 1993, there was enough of Doom coming together that Tom wrote a press release hyping the improved technology and storyline of the game, where players fight demonic creatures overtaking a military research base.

  • John Romero took control of level design and crafted more imaginative, abstract levels that broke out of Tom's more realistic military base designs. This shifted the game's direction.

  • Tom became increasingly unhappy and marginalized as his contributions were rejected. The others eventually voted to remove Tom as owner and he resigned, feeling ashamed though also relieved to no longer be so miserable. This marked the end of Tom's involvement with id Software and Doom.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack wanted to modify his Ferrari to make it faster but most mechanics didn't want to mess with a Ferrari. Romero recommended Bob Norwood, a racer and mechanic known for modifying Ferraris. Norwood installed a turbo system on Carmack's car, improving its acceleration significantly.

  • Carmack was exploring ways to speed up Doom further using a technique called Binary Space Partitioning (BSP) that broke levels into larger sections to more efficiently render them. This sped up Doom even more.

  • Id was looking for a new game designer and received Sandy Petersen's resume. Romero was initially concerned because Petersen was Mormon but Kevin said to meet him anyway. Petersen impressed them with his ideas during a design session.

  • Petersen was offered the job but requested more money to support his family. Carmack later clarified to Petersen that his praise of his work was not meant to get him to ask for less money.

  • It was revealed that despite being Mormon, Petersen had five kids and wore Mormon undergarments, surprising Romero. Petersen said he had no issue with demons in the game as they were just cartoons.

  • The success of the puzzle adventure game Myst on CD-ROM showed the potential of that new format which could store more data than floppy disks for better sound and video.

    Here is a summary:

  • Doom was being developed by id Software as a fast-paced first-person shooter, in contrast to slower adventure games like Myst. It featured graphic violence, demons, gore, and big guns.

  • Level designer John Romero enjoyed crafting suspenseful, staged battles between the player and hordes of monsters. He aimed to keep the pacing tense.

  • By late 1995, an early demo had leaked but not garnered much press. Marketing head Jay Wilbur focused on distribution deals rather than advertising.

  • In a breakthrough, programmer John Carmack added multiplayer networking capabilities in just a few weeks. This allowed players to compete in deathmatches, which Romero recognized would make Doom hugely popular as the first of its kind.

  • An early multiplayer test between Romero and Carmack demonstrated the exciting potential of playing against another human in virtual space. This helped cement Doom's status as a groundbreaking and massively successful game.

    Here is a summary:

  • id Software was developing Doom and nearing completion in late 1995. Employees stayed at the office for days, sleeping under desks to focus on finishing the game.

  • They created multiplayer deathmatch mode, where players could hunt and kill each other virtually. This led to the realization of competitive deathmatch tournaments.

  • Developers also conceived of cooperative multiplayer where up to 4 players could work as a team to fight through levels together, which greatly excited them.

  • As the release date neared, anticipation from gamers was growing. Fans called the office demanding to know when it would be done. Some expressed frustration at missed deadlines.

  • On December 10th, 1995 at midnight, id Software uploaded the shareware version of Doom to the University of Wisconsin's FTP server for gamers to download and spread.

  • However, over 125 gamers were already waiting on the server. It took several attempts for id to clear people off and upload the file due to the massive demand and server overload.

  • Once uploaded, over 10,000 gamers flooded the server, crashing the University's network in the process. Doom's release was a watershed moment, unprecedented in its online impact.

    Here is a summary:

Over the decades, various new forms of media and entertainment have been accused of corrupting youth and promoting harmful behaviors. In the 1920s, motion pictures were seen as problematic. In the 1950s, Elvis Presley caused concern. In the 1970s, the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was associated with satanism. In the 1980s, heavy metal music was blamed for suicide.

Video games also faced intense scrutiny from the early 1980s onward. Pinball arcades were initially seen as havens for criminals. The 1974 game Death Race further stoked concerns. In the early 1980s, video game arcades proliferated rapidly into a $6 billion industry. However, some academics, politicians, and parent groups warned that arcade games could encourage truancy, drug use, and gang activity. Some cities imposed restrictions on arcades.

The arrival of home video games intensified debates. News coverage emphasized potential dangers to mental health and risks of increased aggression. However, not all studies found evidence to substantiate these warnings. When the video game industry crashed in 1983, the rhetoric died down temporarily.

The 1993 release of the hugely popular first-person shooter Doom reignited controversy. It became a viral phenomenon, addicting players around the world and clogging computer networks. Schools, workplaces, and the government struggled with employees and students obsessively playing Doom for days on end instead of working or attending class. The game's violence and popularity raised new concerns about video games' potential harms.

This passage summarizes the success of Doom and its impact on id Software and the employees. It describes how Doom led to huge commercial success for the company and allowed the employees to spend money freely. It also outlines how a deal was reached with Good Times Interactive to publish a retail version of Doom II, taking the franchise mainstream.

Here is a summary:

  • John Carmack took his Ferrari to a shop called Norwood Autocraft to modify it, installing twin turbos and nitrous oxide to triple its 400 horsepower engine. For Carmack, cars were now engineering projects to modify rather than just toys.

  • Carmack programmed Doom in a way that allowed players to easily mod the game, like creating a "StarDoom" mod. This was inspired by early Wolfenstein 3D mods. Carmack included level editing tools so players could replace textures and sounds without overwriting the original files.

  • This was a radical idea, as no other game developer had openly shared their tools. It empowered players but concerned id Software's business leaders about legal issues and competition. Romero strongly supported Carmack's vision.

  • Players quickly began creating level editors and even mods that altered the core game code. The mods scene took off, with all kinds of creative mods shared online. Some players became addicted to modding over playing the game.

  • The success of Doom mods attracted interest from Hollywood and other game studios. Microsoft used an early Doom demo to help promote Windows at an event. Doom was growing into a multimedia phenomenon.

    Here is a summary:

  • Brad Chase from Microsoft said games were one of the largest and most important multimedia categories.

  • After Doom's success, some claimed id Software was making companies like Microsoft obsolete with their new business model of online shareware distribution and no marketing costs. Id's estimated $10 million in revenues and profit margins were said to rival Microsoft's.

  • Doom's violence led to some controversy, with bans in China and potential issues at retailers like Walmart. However, a new ratings system from the Entertainment Software Rating Board meant Doom II could be released with a mature rating.

  • Id emerged from the controversy even more popular. John Romero in particular became the face of the company, known for wearing a shirt that said "Wrote It" and attracting fans who bowed at his feet calling him worthy.

  • Romero enjoyed the fame and attention, becoming more outgoing and competitive when playing Doom against fans in tournaments. He saw the fans as his peers and friends who shared his passion for games.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Carmack was focused on developing technology and his programming skills. He wanted to improve the 3D engine for their next big game.

  • However, Romero was spending more time promoting Doom II through interviews and playing deathmatch games online rather than focusing on level design. Only 6 of the 32 levels in Doom II were on track to be Romero's.

  • Romero also took on extra responsibilities like acting as executive producer for another studio's game. Carmack felt this was distracting Romero from his work on Doom II.

  • Romero saw it differently - he wanted to have fun and enjoy their success rather than continue intense crunch cycles. He persuaded Carmack to license out their engine to make more games for profit.

  • Carmack described his vision for the next-generation Quake engine. Romero was very excited by the possibilities, such as large outdoor environments. However, others felt Romero was prematurely promoting Quake features before they were finalized.

  • Tensions grew as Romero continued giving interviews about Quake while Doom II was still in development, which others felt risked disappointing fans if plans changed. They wanted Romero to keep future projects private until closer to release.

    Here is a summary:

  • Romero had found an Easter egg in the game and left one of his own. Adrian and Kevin used rockets to defeat the final boss in the game while hearing demonic sounds from a hidden room.

  • When Doom II launched in 1994, id Software held a launch party called "Doomsday" at the Limelight nightclub in New York. The club was decorated with demons and gore from the game. Reporters attended and were fascinated by the new online gaming culture.

  • Bob Huntley and his friend Kee realized the potential for online multiplayer gaming over a phone line network, which they called DWANGO. They created software to enable this but couldn't get in touch with id Software.

  • Bob and Kee attended id's Doom II launch party, posing as contestants to get in. They lost quickly in the deathmatch tournament. They finally tracked down Jay Wilbur but he blew them off, not interested in their idea at the time.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Romero was intrigued by a demo disk that two fans, Kee and Bob, showed him for a multiplayer Doom game over a modem connection called DWANGO.

  • Romero tested it out and was excited by the idea of being able to play Doom anytime without having to wake up friends. He pitched the idea to id but Carmack wasn't initially enthusiastic.

  • Romero kept working on DWANGO in his spare time. When it launched with Heretic it was hugely popular, attracting 10,000 paying users within a few months.

  • Romero, Kee and Bob expanded DWANGO rapidly by franchising servers across the country. It was very profitable.

  • The success of DWANGO and Doom 2 led to massive financial success for id and Romero/Jay deposited a $5 million royalty check.

  • However, Carmack felt Romero was too distracted by deathmatching and other activities instead of focusing on making new games. He set up a prank where Shawn could kill Romero easily in a deathmatch to get back at him.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Carmack and id Software were pioneering 3D virtual worlds and online multiplayer gaming in the 1990s with games like Doom and Wolfenstein.

  • Programmer Michael Abrash joined id over a job offer from Bill Gates at Microsoft, attracted by id's cutting-edge work and Carmack's vision.

  • American McGee also joined id as a level designer after impressing Carmack with his skills and work ethic. He became close with both Carmack and Romero.

  • As id worked on Doom II and Quake, John Romero began overseeing expansion projects like Heretic and Strife from other studios to capitalize on Carmack's tech between engine builds. This annoyed Carmack who felt others like American were slacking.

  • Doom also inspired a thriving modding community of thousands making free user modifications. Some even had real-world applications like training Marines. Id capitalized on this success commercially with collections like The Master Levels.

  • As other projects grew, all eyes remained on Quake, which id hyped but had not shown yet as Carmack refined his new 3D engine technology.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • An id fan started collecting and sharing quotes from id members in an online newsletter called QuakeTalk. Romero shared early screenshots of Quake to generate hype.

  • By mid-1995, development of Quake was proceeding chaotically at id. Carmack and Abrash were focused on the engine while Romero worked on other projects, leaving the rest of the team without clear direction.

  • Team members grew frustrated with the lack of leadership and organization. When Romero provided a cursory 2-page design document, they viewed it as lazy.

  • Carmack's engine was taking longer than expected to develop, with no end in sight. The team resolved to stop committing to release dates and instead take as long as needed to finish the game properly.

  • At Microsoft, Alex St. John wanted to use id's success to promote Windows 95 as a gaming platform. He helped id port Doom to Windows using new DirectX tech, and secured id's help promoting the new Windows platform through a Halloween event called "Judgment Day."

  • Id employee Mike Wilson was excited to participate in Judgment Day and bring id's signature over-the-top approach. They planned a giant Doom deathmatch tournament as part of the festivities.

  • Judgment Day was a splashy Halloween-themed event designed to generate excitement for Windows 95 as a gaming platform before the 1995 holiday season. It featured sections by top game developers including id.

    Here is a summary:

  • Alex St. John organized a Halloween party at Microsoft to showcase id Software's upcoming game Quake. He persuaded Bill Gates to record a video message for the event where Gates pretends to play Quake and uses a shotgun to kill a monster.

  • The party featured many interactive game displays, including a controversial art installation by band Gwar. There was some tension with Microsoft PR but Gates found it amusing.

  • Rumors spread online that John Romero had died in a car crash, but he denied this. In reality, Romero was focused on side projects and not directly managing Quake's development, frustrating other id employees.

  • Carmack was fully immersed in programming Quake and working 80+ hour weeks, drifting away from normal conversations and interactions with colleagues. Tensions were rising regarding Romero's leadership of the Quake project.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack was struggling to create the 3D world for Quake as it required essentially reinventing everything from scratch compared to Doom. The world was filled with "blue voids" or holes as his engine couldn't render a complete world.

  • The pressure from developing Quake was starting to get to Carmack. He lashed out at employees, criticized their hours, and demanded high standards. Things became very tense at id Software.

  • Romero wanted to make an ambitious melee combat game with Quake but had made little progress. Others felt they couldn't be creative without a solid framework. They argued for doing something simpler like a sci-fi shooter like Doom.

  • At a meeting, most sided with doing a simpler Doom-like game rather than sticking with Romero's ambitious design given the lack of progress. Romero was upset they were abandoning the innovative game he envisioned in favor of redoing something similar to Doom.

  • Carmack could see merits to both sides but ultimately sided against Romero given he had not delivered on his design after a year of work while others had made progress on Doom-style levels. He felt they needed to change course rather than blindly pushing forward with a flawed idea.

    Here is a summary:

The development of Quake was becoming increasingly fractured and tense. Romero's original vision for the game had been rejected in favor of a more Doom-like shooter designed by Carmack. In the rewrite process, Romero felt Carmack had lost faith in taking creative risks. To make matters worse, Carmack was now showing more appreciation for Tim Willits' level designs over Romero and American McGee's work.

The pressure and crunch was intensified when Carmack had the offices renovated into a single "war room" with no privacy. Tensions and competition rose between Romero, American, and the up-and-coming Tim. American in particular felt disconnected from Carmack and the direction of the game.

Meanwhile, id was also in conflict with their publisher GT Interactive over shareware rights and profits from Quake. Id sought greater independence by pioneering a new self-publishing model for Quake through shareware. But internally, the creative vision and leadership at id was fracturing during one of their most challenging development periods yet.

Here is a summary:

  • Romero had been feeling distant from the Quake project since id decided to change the game's direction away from his more creative vision.

  • Romero called his former id partner Tom Hall, who was unhappy at Apogee/3D Realms. Romero told Hall about his disagreements with Carmack over game design philosophy.

  • Romero proposed starting a new company with Hall where design would be the top priority, not constrained by technology concerns. Hall agreed this sounded ideal.

  • Id uploaded an early test level of Quake which received some criticism for being dark and sluggish compared to Doom. This discouraged the team.

  • The different id members' level designs lacked cohesion. They hastily came up with a backstory involving "slipgates" to tie the worlds together.

  • During crunch time, tensions and frustrations led to clashes between Romero and Carmack over their differing views on games.

  • Romero had already been in contact with a publisher to start a new company with Hall. When confronted, Carmack forced Romero to resign from id.

    Here is a summary:

  • Adrian didn't want to be at id Software anymore and felt there was no way out, despite both Carmack and Romero having some justification in their perspectives.

  • However, Romero ultimately decided he would not let this get him down like other challenges in his life. He realized he had been planning to start a new company with Tom anyway, so he signed the papers to leave id Software and began his new life.

  • By the time Romero left, Carmack felt Romero had convinced himself it was part of a long-term plan and that he was leaving for bigger opportunities. Carmack watched Romero go with relief rather than sadness.

  • Romero then posted an online message announcing he was leaving id Software to start a new game company with different goals, without taking anyone from id. Carmack also posted acknowledging Romero had left.

  • The passage then shifts to describing the burgeoning esports scene for the game Quake, focusing on two prominent clans, Impulse 9 and the Ruthless Bastards, and two key players, Stevie Case and _fo0k. It describes a major in-person match between the two clans.

  • Stevie and her clan Impulse 9 ultimately defeat _fo0k and the Ruthless Bastards. This cements Impulse 9 as the undisputed champions. Stevie feels powerful and resolves to pursue her passion for gaming rather than her previous career goals.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero left id Software after clashes with Carmack over the direction of the company. Romero wanted a larger, more ambitious company while Carmack wanted a smaller, developer-focused model.

  • Without Romero, id lost its "soul" and fun-loving atmosphere. Employee departures began as the company shifted focus.

  • Romero received a multimillion dollar buyout from id but had to give up rights to their games. He set out to start his own big, ambitious company called Dream Design.

  • Romero found an enormous vacant penthouse in Dallas that he envisioned turning into Dream Design's headquarters, with fun, experimental workspaces. However, it was very expensive to rent.

  • Undeterred by the costs, Romero pitched Dream Design to publishers as a company that would license engines but focus on making multiple games across genres quickly with large teams, in contrast to id's smaller model. He aimed to create an "entertainment company" with loud, bold productions.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero founded Ion Storm with Tom Hall and Todd Porter after the success of id Software games like Doom and Quake. They sought creative freedom and control over their intellectual property.

  • Eidos Interactive provided $3 million per game and potential rights to six games, valuing Ion Storm at $100 million. Romero planned the epic shooter Daikatana as his magnum opus.

  • Ion Storm aimed to be a playground for game designers, with deathmatches and few limits on creativity. Romero said it would surpass id Software within two years in market leadership.

  • However, Carmack was angered when his Ferrari was damaged in the id Software parking lot, hinting at tensions between the pioneering developers who had parted ways. Romero sought more artistic freedom versus Carmack's technical focus at id.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero, the estranged co-founder of id Software, kept making snide comments about id in the press and claiming sole credit for their success. This angered the id employees.

  • Paul Steed, id's new artist, was particularly outspoken in criticizing Romero. He confronted Romero during a visit to Ion Storm's offices and later disparaged Ion Storm on a public message board, igniting an online feud between employees of the two studios.

  • Even John Carmack felt swept up in the rivalry and took shots at Romero in an interview with Time magazine, revealing Romero was fired from id rather than quitting.

  • The rivalry escalated as both id and Ion Storm prepared to showcase their upcoming games, Quake II and Daikatana, respectively, at the major E3 conference. Id was confident Quake II would surpass Daikatana.

  • Romero had hype Daikatana tremendously through bold marketing like an controversial ad declaring "John Romero's About to Make You His Bitch," raising high expectations for the unreleased game. The fate of Daikatana and Ion Storm's ability to deliver remained to be seen.

    Here is a summary:

  • The passage describes the booming video game industry in Dallas, Texas in the late 1990s, which had grown significantly due to the success of id Software games like Doom and Quake. Dallas became known as the center of PC gaming.

  • Many new game development companies were founded in Dallas and Austin, either started by former id employees or licensing id's game engines. This led to increased competition to develop the next major first-person shooter.

  • At E3 1997, John Romero saw a demo of Quake II with dynamic colored lighting and realized his game Daikatana would need to be reworked to compete. However, he was contractually barred from using the Quake II engine until after it was released.

  • The passage then shifts to describing drag racing contests held by id Software employees using the sports cars they could afford due to their gaming success. Internal pressure at id was also mounting as they aimed to retain their position atop the industry.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero left id Software to form his own studio, Ion Storm, along with other founders including Todd Porter and Tom Hall. They signed a $13 million deal with publisher Eidos to develop their first three games.

  • Warren Spector, a veteran game designer known for story-driven immersive simulations, was hired to lead Ion Storm Austin and develop Deus Ex. However, he avoided Ion Storm's aggressive marketing tactics.

  • Ion Storm grew rapidly to over 80 employees which increased costs. Their first game, Daikatana, was facing delays and missed release windows. Eidos was dissatisfied.

  • Ion Storm's marketing head Mike Wilson proposed "burning through" the options on their next three games with Eidos more quickly to access more funding. Eidos rejected this aggressively presented plan.

  • Tensions rose internally as costs ballooned and games slipped schedules. Porter complained the founders were too focused on development to manage the business issues, leaving growing unrest among employees and publishers.

    Here is a summary:

  • Todd Philip decided to personally oversee the development of Dominion at Ion Storm, which was taking longer than expected. He found that Mike Wilson and Bob Wright were spending money without clear oversight.

  • Meanwhile, Mike Wilson was hearing complaints from the young gamers on Jeremy Romero's team about Todd Philip and Jerry O'Flaherty's older, more removed teams. There was a culture clash emerging.

  • After many complaints, Mike Wilson proposed firing Todd Philip to Romero and Tom Hall. But when it came time to tell Todd, Romero backed out, saying they hadn't given Todd enough of a chance.

  • The next month, Mike Wilson was fired himself for borrowing company money without permission and because his focus on publishing didn't align with the company's focus on game development.

  • When Romero received the Quake 2 code from id Software in February 1998, he was shocked at its state. Tensions were also rising between different teams at id over levels and designs.

  • John Carmack briefly isolated himself in a hotel room to research his new Trinity graphics engine. Upon returning, he found tensions high between teammates at id as well. He proposed making Quake 3 a pure deathmatch game to allow isolated work, but this idea was not well received.

    Here is a summary:

  • John Romero started Ion Storm in 1997 after leaving id Software. The company grew rapidly but struggled with delays and cost overruns on their flagship game Daikatana.

  • Tensions arose between Romero and co-owners Todd Porter and Jerry O'Flaherty over the direction of the company and game development. Some employees also lost faith in Romero's leadership.

  • When it was revealed that Eidos was in talks to acquire and bail out the struggling Ion Storm, it further damaged morale. Employees and fans online mocked and criticized the studio's missed deadlines and lack of releases.

  • The summary touches on some of the rising expenses, personnel issues like the firing of Bob Wright, and negative press/reactions Ion Storm received as delays on Daikatana continued with no end in sight. It paints a picture of a studio strife with internal problems and growing public resentment over its stalled flagship project.

    Here is a summary:

  • After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, where two students killed 12 classmates and teachers, violent video games like Doom became widely blamed for inspiring the violence.

  • However, there was little evidence the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were significantly influenced by Doom. Harris mentioned the game in a journal but didn't actually mod or design levels based on their school as some speculated.

  • Politicians like Senator Lieberman called for investigations into violent media like games and music, claiming they "romanticize and sanitize" violence. Schools banned things like trench coats worn by Harris and Klebold.

  • Research had found games did not necessarily inspire aggression and may help release it. Some studies found skills from games could transfer to real life. But with little counterpoint in media, theories linking games to violence took hold widely.

  • In reality, games were just fantasy and make-believe violence could help people accept limits and reduce wildness, as pretending to be evil or violent allows releasing rage in a safe way important for development, according to experts. But the links between fantasy and reality were overstated in the reactions to Columbine.

    Here is a summary:

  • After the Columbine shootings, many blamed violent video games for inspiring the killings. However, few were willing or able to defend games publicly due to the controversy.

  • One writer argued that the real issue was access to firearms, not video games. Time magazine acknowledged constitutional protections for entertainment but noted the industry caters to demand for violent content.

  • Politicians like Senator Sam Brownback criticized specific violent games like Doom and Quake. In June 1999, President Clinton also weighed in, calling for an investigation into marketing violent games to children.

  • Senators Lieberman and McCain proposed legislation for standardized ratings and penalties for selling violent games to minors. While the industry supported ratings, they opposed government involvement.

  • Internally, id Software co-founder John Carmack acknowledged games could be disturbing but felt links to events like Columbine were overblown. He viewed games as extensions of childhood play and saw violence as making games more exciting.

  • While teenagers were fans, Carmack denied intentionally targeting anyone. id made the games they wanted to play. After Columbine, he questioned if violent games would remain commercially viable.

  • Romero also enjoyed violent games and content as a child but recognized their potential effects, especially on kids. As a parent himself, he supported ratings systems and placing responsibility on parents.

    Here is a summary:

  • After the Columbine shootings, Romero kept his opinions about games and violence private to avoid bad press.

  • His game Daikatana was plagued by delays and issues. His team had left to form another studio, damaging morale at Ion Storm.

  • Personal issues emerged as he separated from his wife and dedicated himself fully to his work, taking on a new girlfriend.

  • A Dallas newspaper published a damaging expose on the internal issues and dysfunction at Ion Storm based on leaked emails.

  • Attempts to finish Daikatana were further hampered. Eidos told Romero to "shut up and finish the game."

  • At E3 1999 after Columbine, the video game industry faced intense scrutiny over violence. Id Software avoided commenting and showed Quake 3 Arena behind closed doors only.

  • Quake 3 development was troubled, with Carmack focused solely on the technical side and lacking a clear creative direction. They hired a new producer to help manage the game.

    Here is a summary:

  • Graeme Evans was brought on to help direct the development of Quake III at id Software, which was disorganized with conflicting visions and no clear direction.

  • A key component, the game bots, was missing as their development had been poorly delegated. When Graeme struggled to get the bots built, it was discovered they did not behave like humans as intended.

  • At GDC, id saw Epic's new game Unreal Tournament, which was also a multiplayer deathmatch-only game like the planned Quake III, making them direct competitors. Epic may have "stolen" id's idea from Carmack openly discussing their plans.

  • As development continued troubled, more key employees quit id in frustration. By the end, the bots were farmed out to an external developer and the game was rushed to release, just before Epic released Unreal Tournament.

  • At Ion Storm, development of Daikatana was also troubled. Under crunch, employees were pulling long hours with little break. Romero was pushing for total control over the game, leading to conflicts with Todd Porter and eventual acceptance that Todd would leave Ion Storm.

    Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Jerry reluctantly agreed to go to the Eidos press event, but it was more about actors Rob Lowe and Heather Graham doing a photoshoot than anything related to Ion Storm.

  • Romero spent months finishing Daikatana after the Eidos acquisition. It was finally released in April 2000 after numerous delays, but received poor reviews compared to the hype and could not compete with games like Quake 3.

  • Carmack married his girlfriend Anna Kang in 2000. She had successfully organized a large all-female Quake tournament, impressing Carmack.

  • Carmack wanted id to shift focus to building a "generalized infrastructure" for online multiplayer worlds, but the others only wanted to make games.

  • They compromised by starting work on a new multiplayer roleplaying game called Quest, but Carmack grew to dislike it. He wanted to do a new Doom instead.

  • After threatening to leave id, Carmack got his way and convinced the others to work on Doom 3 instead of Quest. Development on their future direction was unresolved.

    Here is a summary:

  • Romero and Stevie Case had become regulars at a Mexican restaurant in Lake Tawakoni, Texas after escaping to the countryside a few months prior from their rock star lifestyle in Dallas. They were now known more for their fleet of expensive sports cars than their looks.

  • Daikatana, the game Romero produced, was brutally criticized and a commercial failure upon release in 2000. It only sold 41,000 copies in the US and received scathing reviews.

  • Despite this, Romero insisted the game was fun to play and that the company Ion Storm broke even financially thanks to licensing deals and foreign sales. However, the parent company Eidos terminated the Dallas office of Ion Storm.

  • Romero, Tom Hall, and Stevie then hatched plans to start a new small indie game studio called Monkeystone Games with ideas for various new games.

  • Romero pitched an idea to Carmack at id Software about doing a new Quake game. Carmack was working on Doom 3 but open to collaboration.

  • Romero and Stevie found the perfect house to base Monkeystone which they turned into a game paradise. Rumors also spread that Carmack may leave id after Doom 3 due to his growing passion for building real amateur rockets.

    Here is a summary:

  • Carmack heads to an open field called Samuel Field near Mesquite, Texas to launch model rockets for fun, like he used to do as a kid.

  • The field has picnic tables, an outhouse, flagpole and trash cans. Carmack sets up his launch frame and assesses the wind conditions.

  • He successfully launches a small rocket that returns with a parachute. Then he launches an orange rocket he built himself, with a more powerful engine, but it heads into the treeline.

  • Carmack retrieves it and is having fun despite the cold wind picking up. He wants to try an even more powerful engine on the next rocket.

  • Without warning, he launches it and the rocket soars high above the grazing cows, leaving a thick black smoke trail. Carmack enjoys heading out to the field to launch rockets as a fun hobby and break from his more serious work.

    Here is a summary:

  • After Anachronox, Tom Hall and John Romero decided to move into mobile/handheld games with a new small studio called Monkeystone.

  • Their first game was Hyperspace Delivery Boy, which was completed quickly and received positive reviews. They were working to recreate the "old days" of small teams making small games.

  • Romero cut off his long hair and donated it, signaling a break from his past image. He also sold his customized Ferrari online after no longer needing it in his new country life.

  • Years later, at a Quake tournament, Romero helped Carmack start his Ferrari in the parking lot, showing they had moved past tensions from the past. Mobile games allowed Romero to return to his roots of small productions.

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