October: The Month of Many Birthdays

Man, last month was hella busy for me and I forgot to announce all the fun birthdays that took place! We have 5 birthdays that happened last month, so let's begin:

October 28th :
John Romero - 35 years old (!)

Yes, I'll announce myself first before the other ones since they're, ya know, not living beings. I just turned 35 and, yep, I feel old! Big surprise there, eh? Well, it's been a fun time and I do look forward to the future. I'm having a ton of fun now that I'm back to coding and learning lots of new stuff.

Random fact: Julia Roberts and I share the same birthday and age! Bill Gates was also born on the 28th.

October 10th, 1994:
DOOM II - 8 years old

We held the launch party for DOOM II in New York City at the Limelight, a really cool old church right in the middle of New York that's a dance club. It was amazing: when you walked in, there was a huge holographic generator that displayed DOOM's monsters (you could walk through them and it was weird); the entire place was booming with the music from MAP28: The Living End - it sounded awesome. There were lots of people deathmatching in a special section, lots of news media was there (local NYC news channels, game press, etc.) During Jay Wilbur's speech some crackpot even claimed we were responsible for corrupting the youth of America! Shawn Green yelled out, "Suck it down, dude!" Hahahahaha, awesome. DOOM II was selling so fast that in Best Buy they didn't even bother stocking the shelves with it - they just dropped the pallet right there inside the door.

October 30th, 1995:
Hexen - 7 years old

I loved working on this game with Raven. We got right to work after shipping Heretic, so it was at the beginning of 1995 that Hexen work had begun. I came up with the Hub Design for Hexen since I wanted this game to be a little more involved than Heretic. I still think the first Seven Portals map has 4 portals too many, but if you're serious about playing the game you can get through it. I still remember when Raven first showed me the Wraithverge model and it was a nice, shiny gold cross. I was like, "What? This thing looks like it's a GOOD cross!" It needed to be dark and awful and the next version they sent was perfect. I came up with the idea of the spirits *blasting hard* out of that weapon and Ben really did a great coding job on that. We had some really fun co-op sessions at Ion Storm through this one - 8 players, too! For old-times sake, just play it again but in JHexen this time.

October 10th, 2002: Age of Mythology - Just Born!

Ensemble Studios held the Age of Mythology launch party at a local company here in Dallas called AMS. It looked just like Disneyland inside the place! Tony Goodman sent a limosine to pick up myself and the Monkeystone crew and drive us the 45 minutes to the event - what a cool guy Tony is. I was in the Celebrity Deathmatch tournament and I played with Lucas Davis on my team. We played against The Fat Man and his chosen partner: the best Age of Kings player on the planet. Ugh. We lost, but it was a great night. Lots of fun, food and friends all talking about games! AoM is an instant classic.

In case you hadn't put 2 and 2 together, DOOM II and AoM share the same birthday!

In other news, I am very close to finishing our latest game here at Monkeystone Games: Congo Cube! It's a cross between Bejewled and Tetris Attack and so far our beta testers have loved it even more than Bejeweled (which is a good thing!) Stevie Case and I attended the Smartphone Launch Event in London, England over a week ago, where Congo Cube was featured on the Smartphone and on the PC.