John Romero has guest-edited in the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine, and in it he talks about co-founding id Software and how Darksiders was how he imagined Quake would have been.
“Quake was actually the name of a character in John (Carmack’s) D&D campaign, and he was just a super hardcore badass that had this huge hammer that he could throw through buildings,” he reminisced. “We wanted to do a game about him”.
Going on to discuss the pressures the team faced after the release of Doom, he reveals that Quake ended up a lot different than originally planned, and according to Romero, wanting to perfect the game was met with opposition from the rest of the team.
“The technology was constantly changing, so we couldn’t do much with the game design,” he said. “It took a year for that engine to be workable. Carmack was on the fence [about continuing work], and American McGee and Dave Taylor were on the side of, ‘You know what? Let’s just throw Doom weapons in the game and get it done. I can’t do this any more.
“I couldn’t believe it: how could you want to throw the engine away with a shitty game design? I was just fighting everybody’s attitude, but I thought, ‘Okay, I’m done here. This company is fractured.’”
However, he still feels that in the end, Quake was a great game.
“Quake’s a really great game,” added Romero. “I still believe the single-player was just awesome and scary, and, of course, the multiplayer was revolutionary. But it could’ve really been something else.
“It’s funny: when I saw Darksiders, I was like, ‘That’s it, right there. That’s what I wanted Quake to be.’”
Retro Gamer is at newsstands now.