Before there was Doom, there was this

Monday, 30th June 2014 23:28 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mullets, Genesis games, an unfinished copy of Doom and more feature in this half hour tour of id Software, circa 1993.

The footage was posted on Vimeo by John Romero, with the following description.

“In 1993, Dan Linton, owner of a hugely successful BBS called Software Creations, visited Texas and made his way to id Software. This is the footage he recorded one night in November 1993.

“Shown are several of id’s employees at the time: Jay Wilbur, Shawn Green, John Romero, Dave Taylor, Sandy Petersen and Adrian Carmack. Bobby Prince was visiting to finish the music and create the sound effects.

“This video has 21 minutes of me playing DOOM before the sound effects were put in as well as some early deathmatching with Shawn Green.”

Wow. What a delightful slice of gaming history. It’s bittersweet to see this team; more than twenty years on, many of the key players have moved on, and id is owned by Bethesda parent company Zenimax Media. Id, as I certainly hope you know, largely invented the first-person shooter, first with Wolfenstein, then Doom, then Quake.

A Visit to id Software from john romero on Vimeo.

Thanks, Destructoid.



  1. TheWulf

    Wow. That was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I remember seeing shots of Id’s staff and offices from old magazines, and I remember thinking back then just how much they looked like a metal band waiting to happen. And, of course, how much of an incredibly chaotic mess their offices were.

    But that kind of thing was indicative of the indie spirit of the era. It was just goofy dorks getting together and making great games, and this trend continued that way up until ’03, just with slightly bigger groups and slightly bigger games.

    I can only imagine the fun they had in offices like that. No cubicles, and the people who needed privacy (the more introverted mindsets) had offices to hide away in. This reminds me of the Double Fine layout, because Double Fine is like that today. It’s a very inspiring environment where they coax creativity by not choking the life out of it with uniformity. It’s hard to be creative in a completely uniform space.

    But yeah. It really was just a metal band waiting to happen — look at that hair! And it make oh so much sense when you think of Doom and Quake. I mean, didn’t they have Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails doing a lot of the music/ambient design for Doom in the first place? I seem to remember something about that, at least. Haaa, what a bunch of nerds they were, and it’s great. It’s really great.

    I wish developers had identity like that, these days, rather than just being comprised entirely of clean and uniform waifs.

    I watched some of the ‘making of’ stuff of the new Tex Murphy game a bit back, too, and the offices were surprisingly similar to this. All I could think to myself was ‘not much has changed since the ’90s, eh guys?‘ I was right, and the game also had that quality, but I was very, very okay with that. It was just a bunch of dorks making the kind of game they’d always wanted to.

    Passion projects were the standard for the ’90s.

    This also reminds me of Origin, too, after a fashion. I’m reminded of how quite a number of furries worked there, and they were allowed to do inserts of their humour and creativity into many of the games. Yes, the kilwrathi were kind of influenced by this, too. Ultima, as well, received a lot of it. Ultima VII was filled with humorously imaginative stuff.

    That’s one of the reasons I still love Ultima VII. It’s clearly very amused at itself and it wants you to be, too.

    Different games and different developers from a different time, a time when things weren’t so regulated, and people were dorks who just made the games they wanted to make.

    Thanks for a peek back at that, Bren.

    #1 6 months ago

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