Doom Guy – John Romero

Doom Guy is a book by John Romero that has been published in 2023. In short words it describes the creator of such games as Doom, Quake and Daikatana, just to name a few. The book goes through his whole life starting from being a child of an alcoholic father and some other issues he had as a young child growing up.

The beginning of the book is kind of sad. But I can appreciate that Romero is so honest. Ultimately the story is a happy one all in all. Yes, it is a happy and amazing story of how a hobby that involves spending hundreds of dollars to play video games in arcades transforms to a career that molded the whole video game industry.

The story begins from about 1970s. In the 80s was when John Romero was already actively developing some kinds of computer games. There was going on a transition from games that took only one screen in use to some games, like Super Mario Bros 3, that were played as they scrolled along to the sidesof the screen. The screen was scrolling to the players movement. This was, back in the days, something that required the newest technology.

Apparently there were games like Commander Keen released by Apogee. Later, when the company started getting their actual form, they decided to call the company “id Software”. And the “id” in the name was pronounced like it was written (not like “ai dee” an more like “id”). This team also had a very talented and hard working member – John Carmack. Carmack focused mainly on the hardcore programming while Romero also programmed and made sure on his his part that the vision that they were moving to was the right one. Romero also made many tools the team used and had his fingers in designing new levels for their games.

So, Doom was a revolutionary game. Before that game id Software released a game called Wolfenstein – 3D. Doom was released in 1993. Their next big game would have the name Quake. It was originally ment to be more of a phantasy type of a role-playing-game. Quake was actually a game that can be described more like a FPS game with very nice graphics. So, the team had to make some adjustments and start in a way to move towards a different goal with this game. Eventually this lead to Romero leaving id Software and go on to work at Ion Storm that was a new game company.

I have to mention that role-playing palyed a strong role in the team of id Software being about the most innovative game development team in the whole world in the 1990s. They especially enjoyed session of Dungeons and Dragons. Romero brought the vision and Carmack workd long hours programming these amazing games. They also had people working as level designers and as producers of music. They had also people working with the business side of the company.

John Romero has been successful in his career. We have, throughout the whole history, witnessed also some of his games being somewhat flops. This was the fact with a game called Daikatana. It was a disappointment for many of Romeros fans. The writer, John Romero, still adds a thought that you kind of have to fail some times to learn and to succeed. This seems very sensible to me.

All in all Romeros book offers some very satisfying details about these games that he has been working with. There is also some very nice insight to how games were designed at this time around 1990s. I can definitely recommend this book for any fans of id Softwares games or to somenone who wants to learn how the gaming industry was back in the 90s.

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