John Romero, Ion Storm, Game Designer, (

Full Update Summary of Update:

December 17, 1997

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User name: romero
Plan modified: Wed Dec 17 16:52:16 1997

December 17, 1997
Okay, this whole ABC Nightline thing is getting outta hand here.

I don't spend my time around many females and the ones I do spend time around do NOT care for bloody computer games, much less computers themselves. Therefore, I don't get a huge vibe from the women out there that head-splitting, blood-pouring 3D shooters rock the house. Most of the women I know love to play You Don't Know Jack and various card games, adventure games, etc. I firmly believe that the women who like Quake, etc. are definitely a minority. Remember, there are millions of game players out there.

And whenever I get email from a Quake-crazed female they NEVER sound the same as an email from a Quake-obsessed male. The guys would say "More gibs! More blood! Double-barrel right in the mouth! BOOM!". The girls never said anything like that. It was usually, "Good game. We need to rematch."

I design games that I personally want to play. I don't make games for other people. If women like the games I create then awesome, happy coincidence. But the manic, crazed violence with fountains of bloody gibs in the original Quake is definitely me. As much as I love Quake 2, it is definitely not me, not my style. I prefer a relentless chase and battle with lots of sound cues, terror-inducing hints (like the quad/pent player glow) with a little humor added.

Sorry if I pissed off any females in the gaming world with my comments on Nightline. The women that got pissed are pretty much hardcore gamers, not your typical female that uses a computer.

December 16, 1997 (part 2)
In Daikatana, there's a really cool character named Superfly Johnson. There's also a cool DOOM site on the web called Abode of the Superfly. Coincidence?

Not likely!

Abode of the Superfly:

December 16, 1997
Anyone out there that has a PC CD audio player (like DiscPlay4, the best one!), the names of the Quake 2 songs on the CD are available through the CDDB internet database now. Special thanks to Sascha Dikiciyan from Sonic Mayhem - he rocks!

December 15, 1997
Looks like a couple more birthdays are in order! On December 14th, it was the 7th birthday of Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons, the first game that id Software created and released into shareware and started us on our journey. A big "thank you" to Apogee Software for helping us get into the shareware game market - they were 3 years old back in 1990.

The second birthday announcement is for today, December 15th, the 6th birthday of Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy! We completed this set of games in Madison, Wisconsin (along with Commander Keen: Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter!) and then we promptly started working on Wolfenstein 3D (originally titled: It's Green And Pissed!)

Man, I love this Quake 2 music. I play it all day, over and over. Maybe I have a problem now. Another collection of music to spooge over: Diablo. Holy cow! I just LOVE the town theme. Wish I had it all on CD...

James Barnes from First Person Gaming and Ali Hussainy from Mad Catz were both over here and they dropped off one of the new Panther XL joystick/trackball units. Wow, I'm pretty impressed with this joystick! This is basically the Assassin and a WingMan Extreme all in one unit and I was running through Quake 2 doing almost everything I do with a mouse in about 15 minutes of learning. Very cool! It should be on the shelves in the near future, so if you can't get the hang of the mouse/keyboard combo you MUST check this out.

December 12, 1997
I've been corrected by Brandon at id that Paul Jaquays actually did the majority of the work on "train" .. sorry Paul. id has tried to keep specific map credits out of the game mainly because almost all of the maps were "touched" by more than one person. Personally, i believe that the person with the most amount of time spent in a map deserves credit.

And about the latest Daikatana ads in the magazines: sorry if i offended your tender sensibilities by telling you i'm gonna make you my bitch. :)

December 11, 1997
I want to update on 2 important topics that just happened to coincide within days of each other.

Topic #1: Quake 2

Before i say anything, you simply MUST go out and buy yourself a copy of Quake 2, a Monster 3D video card and a P200 (just in case you have a slower system :)

I was pretty skeptical of the Q2Demo that was released last month, mostly because of the 10hz input problem and the fact that the sound fx were pretty bad. Of course, i'm not going to update my .plan to tell everyone that i didn't like the demo. We're all pretty .plan political these days. :)

But as soon as Quake 2 was released i ran out and bought some copies, put on the headphones, turned out the lights, set the GL mode and set forth on my long journey...

Oh my god.

Quake 2 is the most impressive game i've ever played on a computer.

Mind you, i have a different viewpoint than anyone out there. Some people have argued this point with me, saying that DOOM definitely had a more profound impact than Quake 2. I never got to see DOOM spring forth from the nether
regions of the internet, seemingly out of nowhere, like everyone else on the planet. Therefore, it couldn't have as profound an effect on me.

Quake 2's graphics are simply amazing. The colored lighting MAKES this game. If you're playing the game in software (non-GL), no WAY is Q2 going to blow you completely away. [I'm so excited to get Daikatana running under the Q2 engine! We have the source code right now and preliminary tests look awesome!]

I've heard some negative discussion on the Net regarding the CD music, but i TOTALLY LOVE IT! Playing Q2 with the music really gets your adrenaline pumping! I wish i knew the names of the songs, because my favorite song is track 6. Wow. I'm a guitar junkie, hardcore.

I'm a map designer at heart and the levels in Quake 2 are the most beautifully architected alternate realities i've ever experienced. They are so much better than Quake 1's maps that i'm almost embarassed to see my earlier work and say that it's still good. The majority of the maps were created by Tim Willits, the lead designer on the project. Tim did 22 of the maps and had a hand in the other 17 maps that were created by American, Brandon, Jaquays and Xian. Awesome work, Tim!

The level textures, models and animations done by Adrian, Kevin and Steed are just amazing and really create a cohesive, dark mood throughout the entire game. No other company has thus far matched id's trademark grungy, dark, hardcore art style.

Q2 deathmatch rules. The weapon balance is so much better than Q1. id definitely copied DOOM in this area (among other areas) and the results are magnificent. No more Q1 deathmatch for me -- Q2 all the way, baby. (Although i think the rocket launcher should have a larger radius of damage and go a slight bit faster. And maybe a better sound effect. Ok, i'm being nit-picky. :)

I've already beaten the game and am going to do it all over again this weekend. This is definitely not something i do with every game, but when you are profoundly affected by a game like Quake 2, you want to experience it all over again. Then maybe once more.

After you play Quake 2, you need to ask yourself this question, especially if you are a super-critical 3D shooter nitpicker:

What game have you played lately that was better than Quake 2?

I predict the answer is none.

Some of you out there may be interested in this information, so here's a list of the Quake 2 maps and who created them. (Thanks to Tim Willits)

base1 tim willits
base2 tim willits
base3 tim willits
train paul jaquays
bunk1 american mcgee
ware1 american mcgee
ware2 american mcgee
jail1 tim willits
jail2 tim willits
jail3 tim willits
jail4 christian antkow (xian)
jail5 tim willits
security tim willits
mintro tim willits
mine1 tim willits
mine2 tim willits
mine3 tim willits
mine4 tim willits
fact1 american mcgee
fact2 american mcgee
fact3 american mcgee
power1 tim willits
power2 tim willits
waste1 tim willits
waste2 tim willits
waste3 tim willits
cool1 tim willits
hangar1 tim willits
hangar2 tim willits
strike christian antkow (xian)
command christian antkow (xian)
space christian antkow (xian)
lab brandon james
city1 paul jaquays
city2 paul jaquays
city3 paul jaquays
boss1 brandon james
boss2 tim willits

Topic #2: DOOM

Yesterday was pretty busy and i forgot to update my .plan on a VERY important date, the fourth birthday of something near and dear to me, DOOM.

Happy Birthday, DOOM!

It's been an amazing four years since DOOM was released, especially in terms of the impact it had on the entire game industry. So much time spent inside that world, so much energy expended on the creation of data for DOOM and the destruction of opponents in deathmatch.

Even this long after DOOM's release, there is an active community that continues to support the game. Daily news updates, new levels being created, new graphics, music and sprites are still being made to extend DOOM beyond anything we ever imagined.

There's a lot of interesting information on DOOM out there that a lot of you may have never seen, such as the very first screenshots of DOOM that i ever released, the earliest pirated alphas of the game, the infamous leaked beta, etc. Lots of stuff has accumulated and now is a good time to check it out.

I've picked a few sites to represent them all because they seem to have the most interesting information out there on DOOM.

Functional Entropy:
(great site, even though they aren't excited about any of Ion Storm's games...yet)

Arcane DOOM Stuff:
(Awesome historical information!)

With the imminent release of the DOOM source code, a flurry of activity in the DOOM scene is taking place. After GLDOOM is completed, people will once again inhabit the world of DOOM on the latest 3D video hardware and perhaps inspire some to relive the experience all over again...

Long live DOOM!

November 11, 1997
Yep, got beat down last night by Joey in DOOM II.
NaTaS was training him and he did a great job,
but tonight Joey is going to be facing his very
worst fears up close and personal when we go at
it again.

Just got my Wild Arms soundtrack CD -- sounds
pretty awesome!

Currently reading Rendevous With Rama.

November 10, 1997
You know a movie is a big success when you have
half your company breaking into discussion/arguing
groups for a few hours immediately after returning
from the local Cinemark.

My opinion: Starship Troopers rocks the house down,
hardcore! Sure, the plot is a loaf and the acting
is passable, but who cares? Every movie that you
go to has decent acting and interesting plots. What
does ST have that all other movies don't have?

Hardcore FX and hardcore action. This movie is a
perfect personification of DOOM -- it's the blunt,
explosive, manic experience of the movie that really
blows you away. Not some amazing plot or breakthrough
acting by a newcomer vying for an Oscar. It's a
bone-breaking, badass action thrillfest. When
someone dies, the camera doesn't pan away at the
last minute -- it zeros in on the death and shows
it in all its gory glory! GIBFEST!

Just the way I like it. This entire movie is all
about the action and FX, nothing else. And the FX
are the best I've ever seen, period.

The movie that I'm waiting for that I expect to
have a lot of integrity in its plot, acting and FX
is Alien Resurrection. I expect Aliens+. But
with Starship Troopers, I wasn't expecting much
but instead got blown away, hardcore.

November 3, 1997
The Frag was cool. A bunch of guys took some time
out and came over to Ion Storm to play some hardcore
DOOM II deathmatch for a few hours (Blue, Joost,
OneThumb, etc.) Very fun.

About the AoE review: since I'm not a "realtime
strategy nut", I guess you shouldn't take my advice
unless you keep your head in first-person shooters.
At least that's what Steve Bauman at Strategy Plus
thinks. HE should know a good RTS, not me.

BTW: I've never been paid to endorse anything. My
endorsements came from my believing that the product
was good. I don't use a WingMan Warrior, but it's
a good thing for people who can't play simultaneously
with a keyboard and mouse. I like AoE, not because
I'm friends with Ensemble, but because Bruce Shelley
(and to a lesser extent, Sandy Peterson) created a
very well-balanced Warcraft2/Civ-style RTS game.

Had my "description" changed. I didn't set it that
way in the first place, MIS did.

November 1, 1997
I'm sorry and embarassed about the .plan war that
happened yesterday. We should never have responded
to Paul's latest update and I offer my apologies
to the great gaming community that had to sit and
watch their favorite game companies act like children.

This should not happen again. I have the utmost
respect for John Carmack, Adrian Carmack, Kevin
Cloud and the other people who worked long and hard
on Quake 2. I know that people's perception of
a company is partly based on the .plan file updates
and I don't want anyone thinking that Ion Storm
is of low quality based on low quality .plan info.

I can't wait to play Quake 2. Ship it!

September 23, 1997
I have never been a realtime strategy nut, I'm mostly
a first-person action hardcore gamer. I played C&C
a little bit last year, but I wasn't really impressed
too much with it and didn't really pursue checking
out any other "hot" RTS titles.

I just played the beta of Age of Empires and it is
a truly awesome game. Sure, you start out picking
berries, farming, chopping down trees, etc. But when
you build your civilization up to the point where you
enter a new age (Tool Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age), it's
awesome how much more you can do. This game does
civilization development and warfare (land & sea) very
well. There are numerous multiplayer options and a
scenario editor is included, written by our very own
Mickey Kawick. The CD music is very cool as well.
Just playing the title track makes me want to start
up a new game and destroy someone's civilization!
Go out and buy Age of Empires from Microsoft,
developed by our buds over at Ensemble Studios here
in Dallas.

Check out this review:

!! Beware The Romero Factor !!

May 31, 1997
Man, i'm moving my .plan over to html pretty soon. :)

Daikatana has the exact same type of randomized spawn
spots that Q2 will have: find all spots where the least
amount of people are and pick a random one of those
found. Note that picking up your backpack after you
respawn is only cool if your killer is nowhere near it,
which is about 5% of the time. Thus, uncool.

May 12, 1997
Got the Froginator animating and it looks really
excellent! It's the first model that we have
properly animated in the game so far.

May 7, 1997
Whoa, long break away from updating the .plan!

Daikatana is rocking along very well, the E3 demo
is gonna be really cool.

I'm a bit disappointed that Hexen 2 is being
named just that. I thought that Hecatomb would
have been a really great name and carried the
naming convention of the series to a logical end.
Doesn't this sound great: Heretic, Hexen, Hecatomb?
Heretic, Hexen, Hexen 2. Whatever. :(

April 2, 1997
That was a great April Fool's joke yesterday, eh?
No WAY is Onethumb working here! HA HA HA HA HA!

April 1, 1997
I've had a great idea for another game i'd like
to develop and i've asked OneThumb, who is a
great idea guy, to head up the project with me
as Executive Producer. It's in a different
genre than our other games and is going to rock!

March 31, 1997
Went muddin' in my brand-new fly-yellow Hummer.
Scared some dudes on the Dallas Tollway, i think.

March 28, 1997
Whoa. I didn't feel *too* sorry for Carmack after
hearing that his F40 got tapped by a truck since
he left a massively expensive Ferrari parked outside
all day. But after i found out the extent of the
damage and how much it will cost to fix, i now
feel pretty bad. I would hate to have to pay for
that amount of random damage. That does suck.

March 25, 1997
The F40 got hit. Carma.

March 24, 1997
The only stuff left to create are all the
artifacts. The design doc should be done Friday.

The www-book Halcyon Days is finished. Check out
this URL:

I'm gonna miss Abrash, he's a great guy and an
amazing codesmith.