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Yet another Id retrospective

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This one seems to cover most of what was in Masters of Doom, except in video form. Covers many interesting topics.









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Sweet. I hadn't seen those before.

Not much in educational terms that I wasn't already aware of. But a good way to spend an hour all the same.

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Perhaps this is the Masters of Doom movie we have been waiting for. And I just finished this book too. Nice find.

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Thanks for this. I liked it.

My favorite part: "ID hired trent reznor to do the sound and music for quake"...(show clip of quake expansion + music reznor had nothing to do with)

Seriously though, it was interesting.

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Forgot to say... Too lazy to edit... They showed far too much of a Quake sourceport then actual vanilla Quake gameplay. I found that kinda odd. Most of the Doom footage (I think) looked original, minus the few obvious ZDoom port uses with the special guns and Blood on the Walls and shit.

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in todays economic climate and fierce video game industry competition, how likely is it to start a business relatively the same way id software did?

EDIT: Also, I noticed they talked about how they rejected Tom Hall's plans for an in depth storyline and character backgrounds as it would water down the explosive action content of the game. I think the rejection of that idea was way for the better. I feel as though any video game industries of this decade are so open-minded to being everything at the same time instead of sticking to an exclusive theme. I'm sure that sling-shptted doom's success.

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40oz said:

in todays economic climate and fierce video game industry competition, how likely is it to start a business relatively the same way id software did?

Possible, but your main demography will be the downloadable market.

No shame in making any game for any market.

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40oz said:

in todays economic climate and fierce video game industry competition, how likely is it to start a business relatively the same way id software did?

I cannot say it is impossible, Improbable really, but just ask the guy that made minecraft, I suppose. Multi-millionaire overnight really in his case.

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There are lots of people making iphone apps, etc. Most of them probably won't make it big like id, but if the game is fun and enough people are willing to pay a few bucks, then it all adds up to real money.

Some of them probably even make enough to quit their day job...

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Quast said:

I cannot say it is impossible, Improbable really, but just ask the guy that made minecraft, I suppose. Multi-millionaire overnight really in his case.


I don't want to sound all pompous and elitist, but can we really compare a novelty indie game like Minecraft with the impact Wolf/Doom/Quake have had, and continue to have, on the world? No one has a crystal ball, but who among us suspect people are still going to be actively engaging in playing and creating content for the former in like, 20 years time?

EDIT: What I mean to say is, the way id's success flourished had just as much to do with their revolutionary games as it did their shrewd business strategies for the market at the time. Whether something like Minecraft will catch on in quite the same way remains to be seen.

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I actually had to go lookup Minecraft, as I'd never heard of it before (mostly into old/retro stuff...) It sounds like a mix of lego and Harvest Moon, with monsters. Not really my cup of tea, because of all the micromanagement involved. I'm quite surprised that so many people enjoy that sort of thing. But maybe it is a way for them to express their creativity.

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Another thing that captured my attention was that John Carmack wasn't only fond of creating a great engine, but one that ran fast on an average person's computer. These days games have increasingly strict system requirements, hour and a half downloads and installations, etc. I'm really interested in little changes like how id software mirrored the sprites for different angles instead of creating all 8 angles for every monster. Or how they used midi tracks instead of recorded audio for music to conserve filesize. Nowadays with the infinite possibilities of the PC and internet download speeds, that kind of clever thinking and restrictions has disappeared.

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40oz said:

Or how they used midi tracks instead of recorded audio for music to conserve filesize.

At the time there wasn't an alternative, really. Large enough hard drives for even the lowest quality recorded audio were rare and really expensive (remember that in early 90's all hardware was much more expensive than today) and CD drives were rare and expensive as well, not to mention producing CDs for such a small company, so CD audio was out of question.

The history of music in computer games is simple: Midi/tracker music -> CD audio -> Compressed audio on hard drive. Id didn't do anything special with its choice of music format. Rather, it was the only possibility at the time.

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40oz said:

These days games have increasingly strict system requirements

Which is funny because a lot of games with system requirements are console ports which only have strict requirements if they're poorly ported or if you insist on using a shitty decade old computer.

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DoomUK said:

I don't want to sound all pompous and elitist, but can we really compare a novelty indie game like Minecraft with the impact Wolf/Doom/Quake have had, and continue to have, on the world? No one has a crystal ball, but who among us suspect people are still going to be actively engaging in playing and creating content for the former in like, 20 years time?

Err, Minecraft is pretty big these days, so I wouldn't call it a novelty game. Not to mention there are thousands of mods for it that change textures, add monsters, change the way the world generates, or even change the lighting effects just to name a few. Even with the vanilla engine people are doing a lot with it, from recreating levels from games and real-world architecture to creating static online environments for role-playing. When adventure mode gets made (either by Notch, or by modders) there are going to be even more options. Keep in mind this game is still in beta at this point, too.

So yeah, I'd say it's perfectly fair to compare Mojang to Id. If any innovation is going to come out of the modern industry, I'd say it will be from them or someone very much like them. Honestly, I'd say it's VERY likely people will be playing Minecraft in 20 years.

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Uhuh. Let's see--

Machinima.com


Youuuuuuu!

Now that I got that out of the way, this reminded me of a similar (?) retrospective in a local game mag few years back, there isn't probably anything there that isn't mentioned elsewhere but if I can dig up the mag I'll see what it had to say.
Well one thing I can remember from the top of my head: there was a short interview with Tim Willits I think, and they (the interviewer) asked him if Doom 3 was a success. Willits responded like so: "It sold x million copies. A game that's sold x million copies is a good game." Not sure if I can agree with that.

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hervoheebo said:

"It sold x million copies. A game that's sold x million copies is a good game." Not sure if I can agree with that.

I get enough of the "more money = better than" crowd in my life and business. I then ask them why Avatar is the greatest movie of all time.

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Here's the excerpt, translated:

Interviewer: Would you like to comment on Doom 3? You received some criticism from it.

Willits: Doom 3 was a really successful game, and at the time of its release, review scores were really high. Some people played and criticized it. Critics didn't play the game, but still criticized. I'm not claiming that they didn't play it at all, though they didn't play it to the end. A product that's sold three and a half million copies is a good game.

I: Does good sales equal good quality?

W: Not always, but for us it has a high correlation. An awful game can sell like hot cakes if it has a movie license, but a bad game won't sell well without some kind of marketing help like that. A great game won't always necessarily sell well.
Doom 3 was released four years ago, and people are still talking about it. We're excited about a new Doom project, which is taken care of by the in-house development team.


The rest is irrelevant to the thread

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That's all Willits is allowed to say. If he wants to keep his co-ownership he will (publicly) do and say what he's told. The 'interviewer' asks an open-ended question, and Willits responds with a pre-forumlated generic response that uses up the time necessary but doesn't actually say anything. Good boy here's a treat.

"A bad game can sell like hot cakes if it has an pre-established franchise backing it." FTFY Timmy.

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iori said:

That's all Willits is allowed to say. If he wants to keep his co-ownership he will (publicly) do and say what he's told. The 'interviewer' asks an open-ended question, and Willits responds with a pre-forumlated generic response that uses up the time necessary but doesn't actually say anything.


That's pretty much the reason why I stopped buying game magazines, that and newer games just aren't really interesting enough for me anymore.

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DeathevokatioN said:

That's pretty much the reason why I stopped buying game magazines, that and newer games just aren't really interesting enough for me anymore.

Huh, even if the magazine contents were worth a thing, why bother buying with the wonderful thing called Internet around? It's not like you couldn't get the same information for free (legally :P).

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hervoheebo said:

"It sold x million copies. A game that's sold x million copies is a good game."


Of course it's a good game. Good for the company.

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Just watched part 1. Extremely informative compared to the 5 other retrospectives I've seen.

As for the trio leaving Softworks (was it?), I'm guessing they were the 3 doing the work while someone else funded them. I've had that happen to me a lot where I was the guy or one of the guys doing the work while someone else did the talking and paid us.

Shenanigans like that are probably why companies like IBM have a clause in your contract, saying any other side projects you do IBM will own it. Make a game on your day off? IBM owns it. Make a program after work? IBM owns it.

Watching part 3... (spoilers)

So Hall was fired and it came as a surprise to him huh? When he wanted to make cartoonish games and how his output for DOOM was slim? What shock? I'm surprised they kept him that long. All he needed to say is. Yes lets make more money... I'll do what it takse to make us dumptrucks of money.

Like a decade ago, when my manager had this great idea to start doing porn model websites. I had a problem with it in my own head, but I said sure thing. We made money, the models made money. It all worked out.

Watched part 4... (spoilers)

So the guy with long hair taking goofy photos throwing parties was an inspirational leader, while the nerdy guy with glasses and professional photos was the genions? I guess you can judge a book by its cover.

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geo said:

Just watched part 1. Extremely informative compared to the 5 other retrospectives I've seen.

As for the trio leaving Softworks (was it?), I'm guessing they were the 3 doing the work while someone else funded them. I've had that happen to me a lot where I was the guy or one of the guys doing the work while someone else did the talking and paid us.

Shenanigans like that are probably why companies like IBM have a clause in your contract, saying any other side projects you do IBM will own it. Make a game on your day off? IBM owns it. Make a program after work? IBM owns it.


I don't think they automatically "own" it, its that they have the first shot at it. he would have to present it, or the idea to them first (IBM) for the use of it or exploitation of it.

Like Steve Wozniak from apple computers earliest days, he didn't mention to Steve jobs that he had to present anything he created or designed to the heads of Hewlett Packard first for them to decide whether or not they would be interested in it.

And that Mattel employee who created that line of dolls in his free time and failed to mention this to the heads there, well he lost and lost the patents to his creation to Mattel, and the dolls had to be pulled from the shelves.

Its my understanding if IBM wouldn't be interested in the idea/new product then he would be free to seek a means of venture capital or another company who would be interested in his idea, or the exploitation of it.

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It depends on what's in the employment contract. How many people actually read theirs and know? I do, but sometimes this results in funny looks, esp. when you scratch things out before signing. Then the management comes back with some bullshit about "but we have to protect ourselves..." and they seem to take it for granted that every resource* will just behave like a good little slave. Sometimes even independent contractor agreements have stupid clauses in them, but at least there it's easier to make your case, or accept their crazy demands if they're willing to pay a higher hourly rate.

* In this crazy bizarro world we live in, humans are refered to as "resources" and corporations as "persons".

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geo said:

So Hall was fired and it came as a surprise to him huh? When he wanted to make cartoonish games and how his output for DOOM was slim? What shock? I'm surprised they kept him that long. All he needed to say is. Yes lets make more money... I'll do what it takse to make us dumptrucks of money.


Hasn't Hall been rehired now? Or who was that bald guy on the Doom DVD Special Features talking about making Doom 3?

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