John Romero, Ion Storm, Game Designer, (

Full Update Summary of Update:

July 27, 2000

I've decided to start posting all .plan-related stuff over on my site now.   The site continues to develop...


Full Plan:

*** Ion Storm's Finger Server

User name: romero
Plan modified: Thu Jul 27 00:50:54 2000 Current project

Current project: ???

   July 27, 2000

I've decided to start posting all .plan-related stuff over on my site now.   The site continues to develop...

   July 17, 2000


 .... damn, that JeffK is hilarious!   I guess some people can't take a joke.

   May 5, 2000

Once again, it's time to wish Wolfenstein 3D a Happy 8th Birthday!  I was going to copy last year's .plan update about it, but decided against it.  This should be good enough.

Also, Happy Birthday to Adrian Carmack who was born on Wolfenstein's birthday.........uhhh, wait...  :)


   April 26, 2000

If you're having trouble getting Daikatana to run with the Diamond Viper II (S3 Savage 2000 processor), the new Viper 2 95005 drivers released Monday fix your problems.


   April 22, 2000

As per the readme.txt in the Daikatana Demo:  My god, it's finally finished.  And I thought working on a game for 1.5 years was  I wish everyone would take a nice, objective look at the game and not base their criticisms on hype, but on play value and what we've worked to achieve: a really fun single-player experience.  We did not develop Daikatana to take on Quake 3 or UT, but we put multiplayer in the game because I really like my single-player games multiplayerable.  Is that a new word?  :)

 There have been a few technical issues with the demo that you can fix or workaround with the following information:

(Q1) Multiplayer is laggy or extremely choppy.

(A1) The server should have its CONNECT RATE turned up to T1/LAN (in the Multiplayer Menu).  Make sure your client connect rate is turned up as well.

(Q2) Daikatana doesn't work with a Voodoo2.

(A2) There are two fixes for this: (1) edit your config file (in the DATA subdirectory) and change "opengl32" to "3dfxgl" or "3dfxvgl", (2) download and install the miniGL driver from

(Q3) Running the DKDEMO.EXE on Windows 2000 gives you an error (Insert Disk 1)

(A3) Use WINZIP to extract the DKDEMO.EXE file, then run the SETUP.EXE program to install the demo

(Q4) The game pauses for a long time when you're playing multiplayer (seems like a lockup)

(A4) This is a bug in the demo only that occurs when you are attempting to connect to the Catacomb level (Greek time period).  Just wait 20 seconds and you'll connect.

(Q5) The game is too dark

(A5) Check out the README.TXT file, it has some useful tips.

So far, these cover 99% of the problems that people are having.  I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has been emailing me their raves and congrats -- thanks a lot, you guys make it all worth it.


   December 10, 1999

It was six short years ago, down to the hour.  I remember staying up the last 30 hours doing exhaustive testing before Jay Wilbur uploaded the shareware version of DOOM to the University of Wisconsin's FTP site.  We couldn't get in -- too many people were sitting on the site, waiting for our upload.  The target directory was full of bogus files with names like "" and "", but finally we got the sysop to up the connect limit to 250 and we barely got in.  After that upload, things changed.

I remember the crazy lockup bug we had the day before -- if DOOM sat running for too long, it would just lock up.  Turned out to be a value that was being incremented by the 140-tic-per-second timer function that was wrapping around (it takes a very long time for a LONG to wrap, even at 140-tics-per-second,  but this one was uninitialized so it took even less time).  So, we finished it up and sent it out, just knowing everyone would have a lot of fun with it.  Happy Birthday, DOOM.

I forgot to mention three birthdays in the past few months, the birthdays of Spear of Destiny (Wolfenstein retail) on September 18th (7 years old), DOOM II on October 10th (5 years old) and Hexen on October 31st (4 years old).  Got about three more birthdays coming up this month, too!  And one new arrival in the next couple weeks... :)

P.S.: Congrats to the guys at id for producing perhaps the most beautiful and polished game I've ever seen.


   May 5, 1999

Happy Birthday Wolfie!  Seven long years ago, the shareware version of Wolfenstein 3-D was uploaded to Software Creations BBS.  It was very late at night (in fact, i think it was 5am) and all our exhaustive testing was done, so we uploaded the final ZIP file and crashed.  Scott Miller and Bobby Prince were there for the shareware upload since they were just as excited about Wolfie as everyone else. 

We were running id out of a 1-bedroom loft apartment in Mesquite (La Prada Club) and the company had a grand total of 6 employees: Tom Hall, John Carmack, Adrian Carmack, Jay Wilbur, Kevin Cloud and myself.   The next couple months were spent finishing the last 3 episodes (6 in total) and Tom, Kevin and I wrote the Wolfenstein 3-D Hint Book using NeXT hardware for layout.  That was the first and only hint book id would ever write.  Things got *very* busy after that point...

   March 18, 1999

Oh my god Andrew, I'm gonna have to DESTROY YOU!!!!  Heh heh... great plan update and i agree with you... there's too much sniping out there in .plan land, the press, and especially those damned messageboards!  Really, we're all making games because they're FUN -- not because it's great to be deeply immersed in the politics of a company, providing grist for the rumor mill and plotting the demise of your fellow co-worker.  It's all about fun stuff.  You know: killing things with large weapons.  :)

When i did that interview, i don't believe i was that destructive in explaining the demo.  I was telling the guy that most of what you see in the demo was done by the new team.  The E1DM1 map is originally created, the basic textures are Andy Changs and the new special textures are from the new team.  The E1DM2 map was constructed from pieces of Dabug's DM map with lots more work done on it.  All the powerups, weapons, sound effects, multiplayer stuff, menu, etc etc etc was all done by the new team from scratch or they tweaked old stuff.  They did a great job in a very short amount of time and i'm very proud of these guys.  It's fun working with a hardcore team.

And by the way, Andrew, you did some really great work while you were here.   Thanks! :)

   March 14, 1999

Late night Daikatana demoing session here at Ion Storm with Blue, Redwood, Loonyboi and the Telefragged guys -- we're having a blast!   Lots of screaming, blood and gibs bouncing happily off the walls...

In one month, we will be releasing the Internet/LAN version of Daikatana so everyone can bring it to your LAN parties.

   March 10, 1999

First it was on, then it was off -- The Daikatana Deathmatch Tournament at Extreme Annihilation this coming weekend.  We've been really busy finishing up the MPlayer Tournament version and didn't think we would have enough time to get the systems all set up, etc.

The Extreme Annihilation team has been severely flooded with angry emails about the cancellation of the Daikatana Tournament; apparently, many people are going to Extreme Annihilation JUST TO SEE Daikatana!  Well, thank you guys very much for your interest in our game!

Well, you guys win.  The EA Daikatana Deathmatch Tournament IS BACK ON at this weekend's CPL event!  :)

   February 28, 1999

The modem interpolation bug was fixed just a couple hours ago.  We're finishing off some remaining polish and sending it off to MPlayer for their final testing phase.  We will be releasing the demo in the Practice Area of MPlayer first (limited release), then into the Tournament Area when Practice is through with their testing.   When it gets into the Tournament Area, everyone can download it and try it out.

About a month or so later, we will put up the Internet Deathmatch Demo release so you can play over LAN as well and start up your own servers.  Just remember: this demo is only for the first episode of Daikatana's deathmatch.  Each of the remaining 3 episodes have their own different deathmatch feel because the weapons are all different.  It's like 4 deathmatch games in one.  (And one single-player game in one. :)

We've been working hard on getting this demo together and I hope everyone likes it.  Sure, it's taken us a little longer to get polished, but it will be worth the wait.  No use releasing a shab demo.

   February 4, 1999

(Oops, fixed that link...)

I'm a real big guitar-music nut and just wanted to tell y'all how badass James Grote's "Quantum Rage: Songs for Deathmatch" is -- you don't even need to play this CD while deathmatching; I listen to it all the time in my car.  Get this CD if you are into metal or into doomy-melodic guitar riffs!  Samples are available on his site....check 'em out.

Also, one of the cool features of Daikatana Deathmatch is that, depending on the number of maxplayers your server is set for, the map can open up new areas or keep them closed off.  If you want your DM map to be scalable for 1-4 players, you just put in a special wall that blocks off access to the other areas if maxplayers = 4.   Likewise for the other maxplayer levels (8, 16 and 32).  This allows DM mappers to create one single map that is good for 2 players to 32 players!  You'll see this feature in our Daikatana Deathmatch Demo...

   January 26, 1999

GameStream knows things...

(Internet Explorer only, I'm told)

   December 15, 1998

Today's the 7th birthday of id Software's second Keen creation,  Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy!.  

   December 14, 1998

Today's the 8th birthday of id Software's very first game,  Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons.  

   October 30, 1998

Congratulations to the entire SiN team over at Ritual!  Your first full game, now gone gold -- it was tough, wasn't it?  Heh heh. 

I can't wait to play SiN, it totally kicks ass!

   August 28, 1998

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.  I take full responsibility for last night's confusion -- maybe I shouldn't have taken that morbid picture for Texas Monthly magazine, because someone apparently called the Dallas PD and heard that a John Romero got shot last night.  Coupled with the actual picture, you have yourself a news story (although a false one).

I was out of touch with people up here at Ion for a while last night, so they couldn't confirm nor deny the rumors, so Adrenaline Vault ran the story and got the "scoop" first.  Too bad it was incorrect, eh?  Well, don't blame them -- I got a call from their writer who told me where and how he got his information and I would have run the story myself, so don't slam on them, they were only doing their job.

And for all of you who really did care and got upset:  I love you all!

For the Avault story, go here:

   August 25, 1998

Good luck, Dr. Sleep and Xatrix.  The stop was short but fun while it lasted.

Now to find a fast monster of a map designer.  Anyone have any leads, send 'em my way:   Thanks.

   July 9, 1998

It was sad news indeed to hear that Danielle Berry died recently.   Danielle was going to attend my Apple II Reunion Party, along with Jim Nitchals, who died recently as well.  This party is becoming dangerous, you think?

Oh yeah, the name "id Software" was spelled "ID" in the beginning, then "Id Software" during Wolf3D, then "id Software" from DOOM onwards.

   June 26, 1998

I can't BELIEVE that someone found out that Carmack and I made up!  What the hell, are there no more secrets left?  Has all this .plan file madness destroyed everyone's ability to keep information to themselves?!

Well I never!  I just won't be paying him anymore special visits from now on!  ;P

   June 23, 1998

Happy Birthday Quake, even if I'm late by one day. :)

Hoo boy, do I remember developing that title.  All I gotta say is "The War Room".

   June 19, 1998

I'm gonna be having a massive Apple II Reunion Party here in August and there are still a few programmers I want to invite that have eluded my investigations.  If anyone out there has information on their whereabouts, phone numbers or email addresses, shoot 'em my way.  Thanks!

David Schroeder - Dino Eggs, Crisis Mountain

Tony or Benny (Aik Beng) Ngo - Drol, Bandits

Paul Stephenson - Aztec, Swashbuckler

Tony Suzuki - Alien Rain, Alien Typhoon, Star Blazer

Larry Miller (Sirius) - Epoch, Hadron, Minotaur

   June 16, 1998 : Part 2

Here's the Shockwave screenshot I promised early this morning. :)

daikatana03.jpg (33744 bytes)

   June 16, 1998

Carmack is totally right about moving as much as possible over to the client so as to reduce as much packet traffic as possible.  We're doing this right now in Daikatana by moving lots of animations over to the client so packet traffic is low. 

For example, our Shockwave weapon (a steel ball that blasts out, hits a wall, then explodes with tremendous force in an ever-expanding sphere of death and destruction) has all the animation on the client side, even the expanding, rotating  rings of death and all the hit-checking is done on the server with no packets being sent out saying which frames need to be drawn.  With this BFG-style weapon, that's a good thing because there are about 8 massive objects being drawn all at once!

<picture coming soon>

   June 15, 1998

Quake was released June 22nd, 1996.  I was going by the time it took to make the next game by the same team.  I've received some corrections on my times for development from some of the developers mentioned yesterday.  Dark Forces really took 18 months.  Duke3D took slightly less time, while Unreal took much longer.  At least the estimates are very close, small guy crackpimp.

   June 14, 1998

Damn, I'm overrated.  I'm an overrated geek, not a God.  An overrated rock star AND geek AND not God.  Thanks for clearing that up, GameCenter!

I don't remember telling everyone what the single-player gameplay was going to be like in Quake 2.  Too bad GameCenterLoaf didn't like Quake 2; I thought it was a pretty badass game.  And, hey, there's like hundreds of thousands of people playing it, too.   If too many people are playing your game, it's overrated.  Like me.

And Daikatana's been under development for an entire 14 months now.  That's a looooooooooong time to people with a 6-month memory.  What's the going development cycle for a 3D shooter these days?  Let's break it down:

Game Time in Months
Quake 18
Quake 2 18
Duke 3D 30
Dark Forces 30
Jedi Knight 30
Shadow Warrior 36
Blood 36
Unreal 36

<Achoo!>  Am I dead yet?

Rick Johnson is dead on correct.  :)

   June 8, 1998

An Apple II legend, Jim Nitchals, died last Friday night of a brain hemorrhage.  I was SO looking forward to finally meeting him at the massive Apple II party in August.  He will be well remembered. Follow the links:

   May 5,, 1998

And to think it was only 6 short years ago when Wolfenstein 3D was first unleashed upon the world...

Happy Birthday Wolfy!

   April 17, 1998

Thanks Kevin. Yes, we all know how difficult it is to get a name past the trademark office. As for the choice of name and everything else that's Dominion, that's completely Todd Porter's game so you can all tell Todd how cool his latest game is by emailing him at Check out the Dominion Demo on our site at! As for what I am personally working on, the game is Daikatana. :)

   April 16, 1998

I've been agonizing about how to describe the intense feelings within my husk, but there's no nice way of expressing my opinion of the importance of other company's game titles.

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." That's what I thought when I read both Scott and Kevin's .plans. Scott says Dominion's subtitle is bad then remembers his cornucopia of bad game titles and exposes a couple of them.

Good thing Quake 2 wasn't named "Wor" like id originally planned. The main character could have been the Wizard of Wor (starring Sylvester Stallone). Created by the Wizards of id. Quake III is a good name -- I just can't wait to see where they put that third nail.

Coffin Boppin'!!

And all of this stemmed from an argument that had nothing to do with name quality, but rather series integrity giving in to marketing greed.

   March 26, 1998

Heretic II. Uh, thanks guys.

Heretic, Hexen and Hecatomb would have been the artistically "right" way to preserve the scope and story of the Trilogy of the Serpent Riders. After i left, Hecatomb became Hexen II and series integrity went out the window.


The sentence that was originally here was rewritten about 10 times because i'm trying to be Politically Correct in stating my feelings for how the whole series lost its focus and instead is just using its established brandname to sell copies.