Site Updating

I just got some stub pages up for the bigger games like Wolf 3D, DOOM, Quake, etc. I rescued a few of my oldest game entries from the Wayback Machine, too: Crazy Climber, Alien Attack, and Bongo's Bash.

I decided to update the game pages and put gameplay video of the games on them (as well as download links for emulators). It's crazy to think that I can play a game I wrote in 1982 in an Apple II emulator, inside a Windows 10 emulator, on my macOS (Mac Pro), and record video of that from a macOS app. Gotta love it!

I figured the gameplay videos are nice for people wondering what my oldest games looked like in case downloading and setting up an emulator is a hassle.

Happy 26th Birthday, Commander Keen!

Man, 26 years. Seriously? Ok, well, I better deal with it. I've told the story several times before about how much fun we three had making the first Keen games (me, Tom and John). Here's something that I've never talked about before.

In early January 1992, before we decided to make Wolfenstein 3D, we planned on making the third Commander Keen trilogy, "The Universe Is Toast!". This is the VGA parallaxing technology demo that used VGA versions of Keen 4's background texture. The project was actually seriously underway with entire directory hierarchy and 230 files in it before we decided to make Wolfenstein 3D instead.

The demo only shows one level that we made with parallaxing graphics. We only worked on this project for a couple weeks before switching to Wolfenstein 3D.

Happy 23rd Birthday, DOOM!

It's that time of year again, where we say Happy Birthday to one of my most favorite games, DOOM! Every year I try to reveal something about the game's development that hasn't been documented to death. Believe me, DOOM has been documented more than most games. But never fear, I have so much stuff that no one has seen that I could do this forever. Of course, I'm limited in what I can release, so it's going to be something simple and maybe known already.

When we decided to create The Ultimate DOOM, we had a name for it internally since the title "The Ultimate DOOM" wasn't created until just before we released it in 1995. Internally, we called it The Special Edition. On our development drive we had a directory during original DOOM development called "data" that had all the game's data files (level WADs, palette, text screens, etc.) The directory for The Ultimate DOOM was "data_se" for Special Edition.

We had a utility called WADLINK that read a script file and put a WAD together. Yes, our Novell Netware file server directory was called FLEM. Um, yes, the $shootwad command really happened. Here's a little of the beginning of that file:

;=== WADLINK.WL -- This links all of Dooms WADs. ===
$WADNAME        /flem/doom/data_se/doom



;======================= MAPS ======================
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m1
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m2
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m3
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m4
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m5
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m6
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m7
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m8
$shootwad      /flem/doom/data_se/e1m9

As you can see, this script put together the WAD file for The Ultimate DOOM. Sorry this post was mostly for the tech-minded DOOM fans!

Gunman Taco Truck Imminent

Carnage Con Truckie

We're getting very close to completing development on Gunman Taco Truck, Donovan's first soon-to-be-published game. There's no release date yet as our publisher will be spending some time checking it out. It's been a blast working on it; such fun times. I've been tweeting some info and images recently and people sound pretty excited to check it out. Here are some examples:

Happy 20th Birthday, Quake

Twenty years. Wow. Where has all the time gone? We've all had many adventures during those years and Quake spawned many a game franchise and/or game company whether directly or through its influence.

For this 20th I'm going to share a document created by Joost Shuur called QUAKETALK 95. This Quake FAQ was created on 10/22/1995 to keep people up to date on everything that had been posted about Quake up to that point. People wanted to know what the game was about and information was spread thin all over the place: magazine articles, IRC logs, even in hint books.

Joost did a great job scraping this information together. You can see the original design thinking behind Quake while we were making it. Just one month after this QUAKETALK 95 FAQ was released was our fateful, big company meeting that determined the final direction of the game into the Quake that was released. It bears little resemblance to the designs discussed here but it lets you see how volatile game design processes can be.

On August 3, 1995, I released the first screenshots of Quake to the internet. Here's the text file that was included with the pics and those original 320x200 pics enlarged so you can view them without squinting.

Quake screen shots
Released August 3rd, 1995

Here they are - at long last!  The very first screens shots of Quake, taken at 320x200 resolution.  Screens q15.tif and q16.tif are high-res 640x480 24-bit TIFF color screens, just so you can see the awesome lighting. The cool Quake lighting can be seen in all these screen shots (except the de1m5-? ones, which are DOOM screen shots) and a couple sprites and an Alias model as well.  We don't have any Alias models working in the game at this point, but we're >this< close to getting them fully implemented with movement, proper light sourcing and animation. Screen q6.gif has our dragon hovering above a bridge above a moat.

The screen shots prefixed by qe1m5 are to be compared against their DOOM counterparts, the screen shots prefixed by de1m5.  Obviously, these are screens from DOOM episode 1, level 5.  I duplicated the level and Quakeified it and you can see for yourself how cool it looks compared to the original.

In q3.gif, you will see a couple torches at the end of the hall. Those are old DOOM torches, just holding a spot for the new ones, so don't worry - we're not shabbing out some old graphics on ya. The same goes for the numbers at the bottom of every screen shot, which are DOOM's status bar number graphics.

In the screens where you see some pink/purple sky - that sky parallaxes and is spherically mapped. You can just imagine the wind whistling in your ears...

You should see these screens in action. :)

| John Romero ( id Software                   |
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Sometime after Quake's release, someone created Quake trading cards. I thought they were pretty cool, so here they are.