Aladdin for the Genesis had just been released.
April 6, 2009 11:49 AM   Subscribe

A visit to id Software, 1993. A must watch for anyone who's ever played Doom.
posted by WolfDaddy (49 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
You are huge! That means you have huge guts! RIP AND TEAR!
posted by adipocere at 11:54 AM on April 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wow! Doom had a soundtrack?
posted by Laotic at 11:59 AM on April 6, 2009


Is the "john romero" who posted that video the same who promised but failed to make us his bitch?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2009


I visited and worked at the immediate predecessor to Blizzard when it was about this size, in their second office. Though they weren't up high in a building with a nice view like this.

Funny thing -- we were playing Sonic on a Genesis in the office there, too.
posted by mrt at 12:08 PM on April 6, 2009


Playing Doom, with that low frame rate and the FPS-ness of it makes me dizzy.

Who knew that watching grainy VHS of someone playing Doom would make me dizzy too?

The world is a wonderful and curious place.
posted by orville sash at 12:10 PM on April 6, 2009


Holy living crap - just watching this music director guy's description (at 2:00) describe his music for Commander Keen, the guardian of my childhood. Little did I realize the complex and extensive narrative that he formed around the songs he wrote - in MIDI, for god's sake.

This is pure awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 12:12 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will never get tired of seeing videos about old software and hardware and listening to people talk about how awesome it is at time of release. I love how far we've come.
posted by Chan at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2009


Joe, I think that the "john romero" who posted that video might instead be the same who trademarked "Suck It Down" for use on every conceivable object. ;D
posted by Jinkeez at 12:13 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will never get tired of seeing videos about old software and hardware and listening to people talk about how awesome it is at time of release. I love how far we've come.
posted by Chan at 3:13 PM on April 6 [+] [!]


Oh yes. I love reading early 90s comic books and gaming magazines just for the advertisements.

"Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!!"
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 12:15 PM on April 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Joe, watch the vid, dude. He's in it.

And he's the most boring part - I'm sorry, but this interesting trip back in time ended when I had to watch him play Doom for twenty minutes. At least he warned me in the description.
posted by koeselitz at 12:22 PM on April 6, 2009


I just now realized that it's id as in ego, not id as in I.D.
posted by stavrogin at 12:26 PM on April 6, 2009


A must watch for anyone who's ever played Doom.

You mean Commander Keen, right?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:31 PM on April 6, 2009


One of the rooms in this office level video is pure Mullet Hell*
posted by Glee at 12:32 PM on April 6, 2009


Man, more than fifteen years.. I'm still suckin' it down!!
posted by autodidact at 12:36 PM on April 6, 2009


This video has 21 minutes of me playing DOOM

Can you say tl; dw?
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:39 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man, Aladdin on the Genesis was actually a really great game. (Yeah, and Doom, too. Hearing the awe everybody expressed really reminds me how cool Doom was.)
posted by uncleozzy at 12:52 PM on April 6, 2009


Doom was incredibly addicting. I hadn't really played many video games for some years when I came upon this thing and it really sucked me in.
posted by caddis at 1:20 PM on April 6, 2009


Doom is the best video game of all time. Hands down.
posted by Diskeater at 1:49 PM on April 6, 2009


It's 2009. I am not yet John Romero's bitch. I'll put that one in the Win column.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Doom was one of those watershed events. The thing you can point to and say "everything changed after that." For PC-based gaming...Doom was that moment.

God, I burned so many hours playing that thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:55 PM on April 6, 2009


It's odd how nonchalant they are about playing it. They have the unreleased future of the video game industry right there in front of them and their chatter is just "d00d, shoot that guy". It's like some audience member nodding off during Beethoven's premiere of the Ninth Symphony. Find something pithy to says guys, you're making a billion-dollar industry there.
posted by GuyZero at 2:07 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hell, I burned so many hours playing Doom last year. Get GZDoom and the appropriate DOOM.WAD or DOOM2.WAD, turn off the crappy-looking bilinear texture filtering, tweak the video settings a bit, and it's just like the original -- except at high resolution (widescreen where available), in true 3D (you can actually look straight up), and with surround sound. If you're clever enough to find the Gravis MIDI patches (don't recall the link offhand), you can also set up TiMIDIty to rock the soundtrack in full Ultrasound glory.
posted by neckro23 at 2:09 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Doom:videogames::smells like teen spirit:rock music
posted by empath at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this so great? The FPS pretty much destroyed the adventure game and set the industry on a single-minded FPS bender that it has yet to recover from. Granted, they are fun games and the audience dictates the market, but I see the FPS as the day computer gaming became mainstream and all those odd gaming titles and weirdo creativity in the 80s and early 90s just dried up. I guess I'll always see King's Quest and Bard's Tale as peaks, not Doom or Quake.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:54 PM on April 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


Anybody who likes this post should read Masters of Doom, a book about id software leading up to the departure of John Romero during the production of Quake.
posted by autodidact at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I first played Doom on a dodgy 386 (actually 486SLC) laptop with mono screen made by god-knows-who, 4MB RAM and standard built-in speaker, mouseless (I used to dream of having a mouse while I moved through Windows 3.1 using keyboard only). Hadda run memmaker to squeeze enough juice out of the thing and get it going, and still needed to shrink the screen and hit F5 to smudge up the resolution a bit and get it at a decent framerate. No soundtrack, naturally, just the default bleeps and bloops, so I varied between U2's Zooropa and Soundgarden's Superunknown (pausing to change sides on the tape, of course).

One day I snuck into Dad's office and hooked up the laptop to his 14" VGA monitor. Cranked up Doom.

MIND. BLOWN.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:06 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The FPS pretty much destroyed the adventure game and set the industry on a single-minded FPS bender that it has yet to recover from.

I beg to differ. Check out Flower, or Braid, or World of Goo or Puzzle Quest all links are YouTube. There's a lot of new ideas being applied to old genres--often by small studios or even just individuals--these days, and I would venture to say the FPS hasn't been king of the hill for some years WoW. I mean now.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:09 PM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


The FPS pretty much destroyed the adventure game and set the industry on a single-minded FPS bender that it has yet to recover from...

Very good point, but I'd say it wasn't so much solely the fault of the FPS (yeah, I'm sick of them too), as the fault of the FPS combined with LucasArt's anti-creative desire to work only on Star Wars franchise rubbish.

I love me some point 'n' click adventuring and played all the greats plus a whole swath of not-so-greats, but I long ago gave up on PC-based gaming because I got sick and tired of needing to drop 500 Ozbucks for an upgrade every 3 months. So now it's Xbox 360 only, which has no adventure games of any sort (though I guess I could look into some older standard Xbox titles - any recommendations?).
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:11 PM on April 6, 2009


combined with LucasArt's anti-creative desire to work only on Star Wars franchise rubbish

You mean other than Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


When this game came out I was unstoppable on multiplay.

At the time I was barely a legal adult. I lived and worked in the warehouse of my Dad's print shop. In that family business and warehouse was a screaming, ridiculously fast 486 DX 100 with a totally ludicrous 16 megs of ram and a 2 meg 32 bit VESA Local Bus video adapter.

The RAM alone was $500 bucks at the time. This was a seriously fast desktop graphics machine in 1993. It was the first machine I ever had my hands on that was three digits in megahertz. You kids can stop laughing and waving your 2 ghz quad core notebooks around, now, thanks.

The way multiplayer modem doom generally worked is that up to 4 players connected to a BBS server (or door or feature of a multifunction, multiline BBS while one player acted as host, controlling the actual in game environment. Anyway, some of you may remember the dos utlility ramdrive. 16 megs was more than enough back then to load DOS, the modem terminal program and all of the Doom server as well as my local Doom playing environment, with plenty of RAM left over for the system. "Quick" isn't even the start of it. It was like a tiny god, back then.

Which meant everyone wanted to play when I hosted and I always had home court advantage. It totally wasn't even fair. I used to have to beg other people to host just so I could have a challenge.

If I'd followed this upgrade path to it's conclusion I would probably have trophies and custom-balanced $300 carbon fiber mice and a computer that had more UV lights, ventilation fans and liquids in it than a disco. I'm pretty glad that this isn't so.
posted by loquacious at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


You mean other than Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango...

Oh yes I forgot all of the sequels to those games that have been released since 2000, my mistake.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:31 PM on April 6, 2009


You mean other than Indiana Jones & The Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max, Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango...

The newest one of those is from 2000, ever since then they've been happy to shovel out one mediocre Star Wars tie-in game after another.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 PM on April 6, 2009


Or what td said.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 PM on April 6, 2009


The Complete Doom is available on Steam, both as a package and as individual games. Grab the .WAD file and a sourceport like the aforementioned GZDOOM, and go to town; none of the oldschool Doom games have any DRM on them.

You can also still find Doom Collector's Edition in some stores.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:35 PM on April 6, 2009


Pursuant to autodidact's comment above, Masters of Doom can be downloaded in PDF format from here.

I make no guarantees about anything, expressly or by implication. If this formats your iPhone, sucked in for having an iPhone.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where did 2000 come into this? Doom was released in 1993 and all those games, all of which were adventure games, were released afterwards. If you're arguing that Lucas is responsible for killing the adventure game, they were one of the longest holders-out on that genre even after Doom's success. Other than possibly Sierra, what other company made more adventure games post-Doom, let alone ones as good as LucasArts' roster?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2009


The point isn't that LucasArts continued to develop adventure games post-Doom, the point is that they were uniquely positioned, with enough excellent adventure franchises, to continue doing so after 2000. Fans were salivating over stuff like Sam & Max 2 and Full Throttle 2, but the rise of the FPS and LucasArt's desire to cash in on Star Wars bullshit (which is all they have done since, and all I see them continuing to do), completely emptied them of innovation, when once upon a time they were one of the best publishers in town. With the squillions they were making from stuff like Dark Forces and the X Wing and Tie Fighter titles (Rebel Assault lol!) they could have easily kept up with development on the adventure games that their entire reputation was founded upon, without making a dent in their profit margin, but they chose not to.

When the biggest developer of adventure games stops developing adventure games, you effectively kill the adventure game market.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:45 PM on April 6, 2009


Did anyone notice that music at 11:35 in the video sounds very reminiscent of Pete Standing Alone by Boards of Canada? I don't remember that song in the final version of Doom.

Whatever it is, it increases the nostalgia factor tenfold.
posted by foot at 3:50 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


half the fun of DOOM was getting the ai to fight each other. I love in the video when they're oohing and ahhing over this. It was a little hard watching the video though; I kept wanting to shout at the player to go into the secret areas. :)
posted by wundermint at 4:11 PM on April 6, 2009


Fortunately, Telltale Games has picked up the Torch from Lucasarts, giving us Bone, Sam and Max, Strong Bad, and Wallace and Gromit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:16 PM on April 6, 2009


The FPS pretty much destroyed the adventure game...

No, the adventure games pretty much destroyed themselves.

(And you can't really say they are dead when Telltale Games churn out several series each year. They have become a niche genre, but are far from gone.)
posted by ymgve at 4:17 PM on April 6, 2009 [7 favorites]


MIT Media Lab, 1995: During the time I was visiting some of the students had rigged up a demo that allowed the player to experience DOOM whilst standing in front of huge display and holding a physical gun. The image recognition work beneath the surface of that demo was the subject of some quite serious papers. I believe it was driven by a Silicon Graphics RealityEngine - making it a little pricey at the time. It was great fun anyway.
posted by rongorongo at 4:45 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to once again wonder if games.metafilter.com wouldn't be a good idea. I *never* come across video/gaming discussion this diverse and interesting anywhere else.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:19 PM on April 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


[Apologies for dropping the link in pretty much every gaming thread where it comes up, but you might find mefightclub.com conducive and convivial, WolfDaddy and anyone else who's interested. Around 500 Mefites (and a few friends and family) registered so far, and we're game-geeking it like there's no tomorrow. From D'n'D to L4D, we've got people who are all too happy to talk about it and probably play it, no matter what it is you're into.]

Also, if you don't really to hang out with us, many game developers and writers participate at Tom Chick's forum here, and the discussion is usually pretty good.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:29 PM on April 6, 2009


my lord. what is the 'pickle' game being played at 5:48ish. I know I played it when I was young!

also. this is absolutely wonderful. my memories of futzing around with a computer in DOS are closely linked to my memories of my dad bringing home DOOM and my little mind being blown into tiny pieces.
posted by es_de_bah at 8:04 PM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aladdin for the Genesis? I loved Aladdin for the Genesis. I used to play it with my dad when I was about seven. I'll never forget that music, those wonderful 16-bit tunes. Though I'm ashamed to say I could never beat the game -- at least, not without the Game Genie (which made me feel like an epic haxxor).

For anybody wanting to revisit all these old titles, there are free emulators out there that'll let you play 'em on your computer for free. They also let you do advanced stuff like save at any time or play in slow motion. I've got my entire library of games from way back when and they only take up a few dozen megabytes.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:01 PM on April 6, 2009


It's fscinating to see those original Doom levels in these proto-layouts in the video, so close to what was released, but still with significant differences in room and weapon arrangements.

Like many, the Doom levels are burned into my mind (they're a place I grew up in) and I did a lot of level building, so it's really interesting to see these familiar layouts be so unexpectedly different - and through that be able to see some of the thinking behind why they were changed to their release layout. (There were some mild additional changes made in subsequent releases, but we were aware of those at the time)
posted by -harlequin- at 1:04 AM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


es_de_bah, the pickle game they showed there is Pickle Wars.

For a little bonus nostalgia, here's a video of part of Commander Keen 4, Goodbye Galaxy! featuring the music that the sound guy talks about doing for Keen Dreams.

You have to eat your vegetables...
posted by benign at 9:20 AM on April 7, 2009


Hot New Video Game Consists Solely Of Shooting People Point-Blank In The Face
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:57 AM on April 8, 2009


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