Interview of John Romero and Kevin Cloud by noclip

noclip did an extensive interview of John Romero about his career and his new home in Ireland. Subscribers to the patreon of noclip can also watch a very interesting tour of the huge collections of old games and pieces of software history that John gathered or created across time.

noclip did also an interview of the last of the founder members of id Software still in the company, Kevin Cloud, about his career and the new Doom game.

You can also watch other videos about Doom with extended interviews of the development team.

 

Interview of John Romero

The English website Games TM recently interviewed John Romero in order to remember his career, and his work at id Software. They talk about many things including Wolfenstein 3-D:

We were all brainstorming one day for the next game to make, and I said ‘Why don’t we just redo Castle Wolfenstein in 3D?’ Me, Carmack and Tom Hall were all major Castle Wolfenstein freaks, so that was it. We were going ‘Can you imagine killing Nazis in 3D? There’s no game like that!’ One thing people don’t really know is that the game ran at 70fps because the video controllers of the time ran at 70fps, unlike today, where they’re mostly working at 60. So all of the technology behind it was built in four months, from January to April 1992, it was released on 5 May 1992 and the response was just massive. Like, Commander Keen’s sales were a joke compared to Wolfenstein. That first month we sold 4,000 copies and were doing phone interviews, and the local news came over and videoed the team. We really knew we were onto something – this 3D, violent thing is huge! [laughs]

They also discuss about his departure from id, and his difficult relationship with John Carmack soon before…

In 1995, when I wasn’t working directly on Quake, and John was working really hard on it, I was busy with all the other stuff in the company. Heretic had just come out, and I was dealing with that, as well as the development of Hexen with Raven. There was also the re-release of Doom to retail, the amount of things going on was huge, and I was the only one doing these things, and I think John didn’t feel like I put enough into Quake. I was building the level editor with John so that all of the level designers could build levels, and I kind of waited until the engine was ready to make the game. It took about a year to get to that point, and so I think that he was mad because I wasn’t on the game like he was on the game. I think that upset him, and it could have gotten fixed if we had reorganised the company into an engine development team and a game development team. If we could have carried on making games in the Doom engine and then when the Quake engine was ready switched over to that, that would have been an optimal strategy for the company, but we did not really analyse the problem back then. All we really knew was how to work on the game together. Looking back, I believe that was a mistake.

A sad view of what could have become id with a better internal organization…