Wolfenstein 3-D is available in Germany

At last! 27 years after its release in the rest of Europe, Wolfenstein 3-D can be now also bought in Germany!

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As reported in this news about the release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the attorney general of Germany challenged in 2018 the rule forbidding any representation of the imagery of the Third Reich in games, as it is allowed in other forms of art like movies (complete report here). And soon after, the USK rating board announced that it will examine each game case by case, with a more open mind, as the age rating in games have been introduced in 2003, and help avoiding children to be exposed to such imagery. This week, the banning applied to Wolfenstein 3-D in 1998 has been lifted, and the game can now be sold in Germany too.

John Carmack awarded for his work on VR… just before leaving Oculus!

Last Monday, John Carmack received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the VR Awards, and in his recorded acceptance speech, complained about the slow pace of progress in VR, knowing that there are still many things to do in that domain…

… but he won’t be the guy who will implement his long TODO list, as he announced today that he will leave Oculus, going from being the full-time CTO (since 2013 after his departure from id Software) to a “Consulting CTO” role for the company. He will work in research related to the “Artifical General Intelligence” – AI with some kind of real reflexion and learning.

Starting this week, I’m moving to a "Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.I will still have a voice in the development…

Posted by John Carmack on Wednesday, November 13, 2019

 

He was already talking about his interest in the domain in this long – but very interesting! – 2 and a half hours interview he gave to Joe Rogan in August about his past and future work, including long segments about VR and id Software:

We can be sure that with the intelligence of John Carmack, this domain might evolve more quickly in the upcoming years!

Bobby Princes sues Gearbox and Valve for Duke Nukem music

The composer of the legendary music of Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and Duke Nukem 3-D has filed a lawsuit against Gearbox and its CEO Randy Pitchford, and also Valve (for Steam) – because they have used the music he had created for the game in the “Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour edition” of the game w/o asking him and paying him his royalties! According to PC Gamer:

In a document submitted to U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Tennessee, Prince’s attorneys described how 16 songs he wrote were used in 1996 shooter Duke Nukem 3D under an agreement with developer Apogee. “Apogee had a limited right to use Mr. Prince’s music in Duke Nukem 3D in exchange for a royalty equal to $1 per unit sold,” they said. Prince had registered the copyrights for the songs.

Gearbox Software purchased certain rights to the Duke Nukem games from Apogee in 2010. Prince claimed the company went on to use his music in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, the 2016 update to the shooter, without his permission. “The electronic files for the music within Duke Nukem 3D World Tour include text specifically stating that Mr Prince owns the copyright to the music and has reserved all rights to the music’s use,” the court document read. “Yet Gearbox incorporated the music into the game without ever contacting Mr Prince and without clearing the rights expressly mentioned in the electronic files.”

Furthermore, Prince claimed he contacted Randy Pitchford requesting royalties for the music in the 2016 game, and was told he would be “taken care of”, but never received any money. Pitchford also “refused to remove the music from the game”, Prince’s attorneys said.

Prince also contacted Valve, he claimed, regarding the distribution of the game on Steam. “Valve ignored a takedown notice, thus waiving any immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and continued distributing infringing copies of the music despite knowing that Mr Prince owned the copyrights in the music,” the document reads.

Gearbox Software, Gearbox Publishing, Randy Pitchford and Valve have been given 21 days to respond to the summons.

Gearbox and Valve haven’t responded yet to this dispute, but Pitchford has recently found an agreement for another legal dispute with one of his former lawyers for some bad usage of the company money…

Bobby Prince in 1992

On his side, and even if he has been retired from the game music industry for years – Wrack was the last game he worked on in 2014, Bobby is still blogging about music and other stuffs, regularly posting very interesting articles about his career in the game industry. He battled a cancer several years ago, with the help of many people through public fundraising, and was cured successfully.

 

A TV series about Masters of Doom is in development

The book “Masters of Doom”, which describes the story of John Carmack and John Romero until they found id Software and create iconic games like Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and Quake, will be adapted to a TV series by USA Network (Mr Robot, Suits, The Purge, …), with the pilot episode that will be shot soon. The cast is composed of Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) as John Romero, and Patrick Gibson (The OA) as John Carmack.

The cast will also be composed of Jane Ackermann (Neptune) as Hannah Romero, the first wife of John Romero, John Karna (Scream: The TV Series) as Tom Hall,  Peter Friedman (Succession) as Al Vekovius, the boss of Softdisk, who recruited all these geniuses in the 80s before they left and created id Software, and Siobhan Williams (Deadly Class) as Stevie Case, a famous pro-gamer and the girlfriend of John Romero later in the 90s.

Tom Hall reacted to this annoucement in his own way!

Stevie Case too! (and her actress)

And the creator of the book:

… while John Romero was celebrating the birthday of Spear of Destiny (27 years old!) and admiring his own portraits in Ukraine! ^^

… and John Carmack was doing some tech conference about the Oculus VR set…

 

 

 

 

How id built Wolfenstein 3D

Gamasutra has posted an excerpt from the fascinating book “Game Engine Black Book – Wolfenstein 3-D” of Fabien Sanglard that explains in details the making of the game, from the team organization to the in-depth technical details of the development of the game, with the help of the original creators.

You can get the book via the links referenced on the page of the author.

Note that Fabien has also released the sequel of this book about the development of Doom.

Wolfenstein 3-D tournament at QuakeCon 2018

Shacknews has organized at the QuakeCon 2018 a tournament called “The Great Quakeholio Tournament”, where many players fight against each other on Doom and Quake games in different rounds, in order to win various prizes. And in round 4, they had to fight in another game: Wolfenstein 3-D! But as there is no multiplayer part in this game, they had to get the highest score possible in a set period of time, in the same levels.

Finally, the winner of the tournament was Lord_Reven, who didn’t succeed to defeat the boss of ShackNews in a final deathmatch on Quake.

Wolfenstein 3-D in VR

The indie developer Further Beyond Studios has released a recreation of the shareware version of Wolfenstein 3-D with a new engine, in order to be available for VR headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The game can be controlled with the Oculus Touch devices, but beware of the motion sickness effect, as there is no teleport, and you move thanks to the stick of the Touch. This is a very interesting project, but also one of my worst motion sickness experience with my Oculus Rift.

Happy Birthday Wolf3D!

26 years ago, id Software released a game that would change the History of video games: Wolfenstein 3-D!

Some of the game developers like John Romero and Tom Hall, and other fans of the game, posted some tweets about it:

Happy birthday Wolfie!

Wolf3D on Polish news TV!

As found by AllGamesDelta and on reddit, a technician from a Polish news TV started to play Wolfenstein 3-D during a political debate, without knowing it was broadcasted on the screen of the TV show!

You can see the surprised look of the host when she saw that!

Brutal Wolfenstein 3-D released in version 5.0

A new release of the remake of Wolfenstein 3-D as a total conversion of Doom 2 has been posted, in version 5.0. Here is a description of the mod by its creators:

It aims to recreate a new experience of the original Wolfenstein 3D, with new gameplay mechanichs such as new enemies, new weapons, interactive environment and, of course, blood. An huge amount of blood.

Here is a video of the game in action: