Comiccon Video Game Review Show - ID Software Documentary Quake Nightmare-005:06

Comiccon Video Game Review Show - ID Software Documentary Quake Nightmare-0

This documentary looks at the history of Quake, it's production, game development and Id Software. It also looks at the impact Quake made on the gaming industry and software world.

Id Software Documentary Quake: Nightmare

This video is part of a mini-series of videos looking at the history of Id Software, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. You can find the full series here:

Sources for this documentary series include:Edit

  • Masters of Doom by David Kushner
  • High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games
  • Matt Chatt interview with John Romero
  • Matt Chatt interviews with Sandy Peterson
  • Interviews with John Carmack (various sources)

Transcript of videoEdit

In 1992 Ken Silverman after seeing Wolfenstein 3D decides to make his own version of the game, which he calls "Walken". Later he changes the games name to "Ken's Labyrinth" and releases it over the Internet using his brothers company name "Advanced Systems". And in January of 1993 Ken's father signs an agreement with Epic Megagames to release "Ken's Labyrinth". Ken is only 17 years old.

Ken then decides to make a newer better 3D game engine which he calls the build engine. He has an early version of this engine which he has made in march of 1993 and although it is impressive it has it's limitations. So ken decided to speak to John Carmack of ID software for advice. After picking up some tips from Carmack, Ken continues to work on his engine. 

Meanwhile Id Software release Doom in December 1993 and later go onto release Doom 2 whilst John Romero licenses out the Id Tech of Doom engine to other game companies. In 1995 Apogee breaks into 3D games with Rise of the Triad. 

Id software said after making Doom, Carmack would work on the new engine then they would make a comedy flight simulator game! Later of course this idea would be dropped. But when the idea for Quake came about it was originally intended to be a role playing game, which is not surprising if you consider the inspiration for the game came from a character called simply "Quake" from the tabletop Dungeons & Dragons the team was playing at the time. 

Quake didn't become a role playing game. But there where other ideas. Sandy Peterson had said initially they wanted Quake to have a lot more magical and melee weapons. One of these being a giant hammer that would cause a "quake" along the ground when you hit the hammer with it. 

Tensions where high in the company however and there was a lot of drama between John Romero who had been focusing a lot more on deathmatching in Doom 2 and licensing out Id Tech then designing games. Carmack was having a lot of trouble making Quake, he was after all trying to make a fully 3 dimensional game engine which was highly complex. Carmack took to working 14 hour days, and was so dedicated he didn't even have a bed as he didn't think a bed was important he just slept on the floor. Id Software had got in touch with Trent Razner from Nine Inch Nails to make ambient music for Quake. Trent who was a massive fan of Doom happily agreed. Id Software decided to include a Nailgun as one of the weapons in Quake with the Nine inch Nails logo on the ammo packs for the gun.

Both Sandy Peterson and Romero where particularly unhappy that Quake had become a lot more like Doom then they had originally envisioned. Carmack took a lot longer than expected to make the game engine for Quake and tensions grew high as the team had to sit on their ideas not having a finished engine to properly implement them into.

In January 1996 Apogee software releases Duke Nukem 3D which sports revolutionary new graphics. John Carmack however is unphased by this he knows his engine is more powerful as it is fully 3 dimensional. He even said that the build engine used in Duke Nukem "looked like it was put together with chewing gum".

When Quake was finally finished John Romero uploaded the game onto the Internet on June 22, 1996, it was late at night and everyone else had gone home tired from the long hours they had been working. As Romero stood there alone in the Id software offices, he saw it as being symbolic as to how the company changed, it wasn't the same friendly, innovative place it had been when they where making Commander Keen, Wolfenstein and Doom.

Romero would not be around to make Quake 2 however as Carmack had called him to a board meeting where the members of Id software had essentially taken a vote to fire Romero from the company. The very same company he had started and formed himself at the beginning of the 1990's.

Romero had said he wanted to form his own company, and he wanted Tom Hall to join him. Tom Hall was at that time finishing up work on the Prey engine for Apogee but would join Romero in forming a new company as soon as his work was finished.

On November 15, 1996 Tom Hall co-founded Ion Storm with John Romero. Romero stated that at Ion Storm Design was law! 

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