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The Making of Doom 3

What you are about to read is an entirely original research paper chronicling the development of Doom 3 by id Software.  Please forgive some of the formatting.

“DOOMSDAY”

By Joseph “Maniac” Cirillo III

Introduction

The year was 2000.  The video game industry had entered the new millennium.  When it came to the realm of games there was no other company that teetered on the edge of game play and technology better then id Software.  id was famous for not only making games but for making pure phenomena with each game.  Taking advantage of the capabilities of computer hardware in ways no other company had ever imagined before, id literally pushed the envelope of graphics and game play with each of their titles.  But more interesting then their games was the stories of the development behind their games.  These stories usually go untold to the public and travel no further then the company’s walls, but they truly paint a picture of the game industry, and more then that, reflect upon the decisions and personalities of the young minds involved.

The Genius

id Software was formed back in 1992, and was owned by a then five man group.  Four of those men were Tom Hall, John Romero, Kevin Cloud, and Adrian Carmack.  However, by 2000, id Software had only three owners because Tom Hall and John Romero would both leave.

The final owner of the group was the man who truly was the edge that id Software had over the competition.  His coding abilities are unmatched in the world, going as far as earning him a place on Bill Gates’s own private list of world’s greatest programmers and also earned him the title of “God” by the gaming press.  That man’s name is John Carmack.  No relation to Adrian, John Carmack has been known as both a programming prodigy and as the heart and soul of id Software, responsible for creating the “spine” of all their games.  He created the first ever 2D side-scroller engine for personal computer architecture in 1991 and it was used in id Software’s first game called Commander Keen.  By 1992 he was already working on the first 3D world which would allow players to move through mazes of corridors smoothly and fight 2D enemies.  That game was called Wolfenstien, and was one of the major action games for the DOS computer platform.  But no other game that id created had an impact in the world like their first major seller, Doom. (Kushner)

 

So, What’s Next?

But now the company was having creative differences.  Their most recent project, Quake 3 Arena, had concluded.  id needed to make a decision on what their next great game would be and at this point had no direction to go into.  The only thing they knew for certain was that the focus for this next game would be single player.  There were complaints from the press and even the players over the fact that Quake 3 Arena was a multiplayer only title, and id was ready to go back to doing a well organized single-player game.

At the same time John Carmack was currently busy doing research on modern computer technology for use on just how far he could make the next graphics engine go.  The research looked promising, a relatively new feature called bump mapping was now a common feature on all new video cards, and with some creativity (something that Carmack was known for) their next game, whatever it was, would defiantly surpass anything the world had ever seen.  The only question left was what kick ass game would be used to push his new engine to its limit.

Project manager Graeme Devine proposed something radical to the owners.  id Software had been long known as a company that kept “going back to the well” so to speak.  While id had made some of the most ground breaking games the industry had ever seen, most of their games followed the same tried and true formula of pure run and gun action shooters separated only by better looking graphics. Devine thought their past games were good, but he didn’t want the company to be a victim of their own success.  His feelings weren’t without merit.  Both Kevin Cloud and Adrian Carmack felt the same way about the company’s direction.  They needed something different, and what Devine proposed was music to their ears.  Devine proposed a game called Quest, an action/roleplaying game unlike anything id had ever done before.

Kevin and Adrian liked the idea.  They were more than ready to try something new.  But John Carmack hated it.  He thought the idea of Quest was stupid.  Roleplaying games were never the best way to push graphics technology, and the staff had never done a roleplaying game before, their expertise was all in action games.  It would also mean they would cater to a whole new set of players, and these gamers wouldn’t know who id was and would be skeptical of their game. (Kent, Kushner)

 

The Perfect Game

But there was an idea that Carmack did like.  For years the id fans had been begging the company to do a new Doom game.  With the graphical engine Carmack had in mind, Doom would be a perfect fit.  They could create hyper realistic monsters and incredibly realistic arenas and use them to scare all their players senseless!  And because id was privately owned, they had no bosses to answer to and they could change projects very easily.  But there was a problem, Kevin and Adrian hated the idea.  They didn’t want to do another Doom.  In their minds Doom was perfect and if they tried to change the perfection of Doom by making a new game that in any way wasn’t like the first it could very well alienate their fan base from them.

Frustrated with the decision of his colleagues, Carmack turned to an old friend of id Software, Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor.  Trent had been a long standing fan of id Software, he would rush straight to his trailer after concerts just so he could have some more time to play the original Doom.  Reznor had worked with id before, in 1996 on Quake.  Reznor’s job on the project was to contribute to the sound of Quake and also did the music.

As usual, Carmack didn’t mince words.  He asked Reznor that if id Software was working on a sequel to Doom, would he be interested in contributing to the project.  Reznor stood up to the chance to contribute and pledged his loyalty to Doom.  It was settled, Reznor was on board.

Carmack took this news to id Software employee Paul Steed.  Paul was one of the third generation employees at id, he had started at the company working on Quake II and had created an updated Doom character model for player use in Quake 3 Arena.  He was also Carmack’s friend.

One day, Carmack walked into Paul Steed’s cubicle and told him about Trent Reznor’s offer to do the next Doom game.  Paul was shocked at the news, he didn’t know what to say to this bomb that Carmack had dropped on him.  There was no discussion up to that point that Paul was aware of that a new Doom game would be done.

But the idea of a new Doom thrilled him.  Carmack assured Paul that with his support, they could convince Kevin and Adrian to make a new Doom.  Paul, like all the other later generation employees were raised on the original Doom.  The chance to actually make a new Doom would be a dream come true.  Paul agreed.

Armed with the direct support of Paul and Trent, as well as some of the other employees, John Carmack confronted his co-owners one last time.  He told them that unless Doom 3 was id’s next project, they would all leave.

Carmack’s plan must’ve sounded crazy and ridiculous, but he had the good of the company in mind the whole time.  id was indeed turning into a victim of their own success, but that didn’t make it a bad thing.  Their games had catered to a specific range of users, and those users stayed with them throughout the whole company’s life span.  If they created a game that was unlike anything they had done before, it would separate id from their fans and could cost them thousands of dollars in unsold games.  On the other hand, Doom has always been id’s most popular series, and the sales of a new Doom would be incredible.  The coup d’etat was necessary for Kevin and Adrian to see Carmack’s devotion to his company.  He wanted to steer them in the right direction, and that direction was towards Doom.

It was done.  A decision was made.  Both Kevin and Adrian knew they had no company without John Carmack.  Reluctantly, they agreed to his demand.  Doom 3 would be the company’s next game.  The casualty was Paul Steed, who was fired by Kevin shortly afterwards.  On, June 1st, 2000, John Carmack posted in his .plan file that Doom 3 would be id’s next project.  id Software had used .plan files since the start of their company as a way the gamers could read about what was up in the company straight from the horse’s mouth.  Since its creation, no .plan file ever made a bigger announcement.

When that message hit the internet it became official, Doom 3 was born.  The roles were set at the company.  John Carmack would handle the major programming of id’s next amazing graphics engine and he would also handle the multiplayer networking component of the engine as well.  Owners Kevin Cloud and Adrian Carmack, while they were originally against the project, would do the art.  Tim Wiltis, a man who was hired at id Software because he was such a fan of the original Doom that he created some of the best fan made levels for the game in his spare time, was set as the lead game designer for the project.  Graeme Devine would create the sound engine and be the project manager.  Trent Reznor would be contracted to do the sound design and also write music for the game. To replace Paul Steed would be a man from a film background who worked on Shrek named Fred Nilsson.  Fred would use his talents to work as an animator and as an artist.  The usual suspects were ready to go. (Kushner, appendix I)

Story

But there was still something missing and that was story.  Story had never been a major factor of id Software’s games.  No one could speak volumes about that louder then former owner Tom Hall, who was fired from the original Doom because of creative differences.  id had worked with a storyline only once in the past.  It was on their game Quake II, which ironically had become the hottest seller of the entire Quake series.  With the current direction that games were currently heading, story was becoming an integral part of the immersive experience to the games.  If Doom 3’s focus was intended to be single player, it had to have more then just great visuals and sound, it had to have a great story to flesh it out.

Graeme Devine recommended a man named Matt Castello, who worked on The 11th Hour and The 7th Guest   Devine had worked with Castello before at his previous company, Trilobyte, and thought his sci-fi driven imagination would be a perfect fit for Doom 3.  It would be a first for id but certainly not a taboo place to go.  Using a preliminary design from Tim Wiltis, Castello drafted a ninety-page design document for the game.  It was quite a heavy amount of reading for such a band of misfits.  Never had they worked with such a detailed plan before. Also a complete set of storyboards detailing all the game’s action was drawn up which was another first for id.  The storyboards helped the employees who couldn’t find the time to read through a ninety-page design document.

Castello’s plot for Doom revolved around an object known as the Soul Cube.  The game would partially retell the story of the first game, once again taking place on a scientific research base on Mars in the far future.  The scientists are working on highly advanced teleportation technology.  While doing experiments the scientists actually open up a portal to Hell sending Hell’s army of demons into the base, killing most of the scientists during the transport and turning the rest into zombies.  You as a player remained unharmed during the initial contact, but have now been given the ominous task to save Mars with only hope and lots and lots of ammunition.

But the enhancements to the story come deeper into the game.  Along the way the player learns of an ancient civilization that was unearthed and died out centuries before the humans even settled on Mars.  Hell had tried to invade Mars millennia ago during the peak of their civilization and almost succeeded.  As their last hope, using their technology the ancient Martians sacrificed the lives of the majority of their people to create the ultimate weapon, the Soul Cube, and gave it to their mightiest warrior.  Using the Soul Cube, the Martian warrior was successful in sending the demons back to Hell, but at the cost of the lives of their people and the loss of their civilization.  Eventually, the Soul Cube would find its way into Hell, where the player is forced to seek it out.  While in Hell, the Soul Cube offers the player a deal, free it from Hell and in return it will help you fight Hell’s mightiest warrior, the CyberDemon. (PC Gamer, Kushner)

 

Design

Now Carmack needed to take this story and create an engine that would breathe life into it.  By his own admission there were three groundbreaking technological leaps that he envisioned that would bring this world to life.  All these systems had never been used before on this scale in games.  To use them was a gamble, but Carmack felt the payoff would be in the finished product.

The first was unified lighting and shadowing.  All other games to this point had fixed light sources that would either never change or only change once.  Therefore the light on all surfaces would be predetermined by the game developer’s supercomputers and the effect of light would simply look like paint on the walls.  This was incredibly unrealistic.  Carmack wanted a new approach, to add a layer of diffusion on surfaces that would make surfaces like metal shine depending on the player’s perspective.  Shadowing would add another part to this realism.  Dark environments heighten the element of fear up.  For example if there was only one major source of light a monster could pass by it and cast a huge shadow across the room.  This would build tension and alert the player of its approach a fraction of a second before the attack.

The second was the advanced animation system which would enable enemies and characters to move at twenty-four frames per second, the same rate as Hollywood films.  With these animations that would be designed by Fred Nilsson the enemies could not only look terrifying but move realistically in almost any position.  They could climb down walls and bend on all fours to leap then claw at the player.  Even more terrifying, they could slowly stalk and taunt the player before they attacked, just like movie monsters would do.

The third was the GUI (Graphic User Interface) surfaces.  Usually in a game a player would just walk up to a complex looking computer console and push a “use” key to “activate” the console to either unlock a door or complete a mission objective.  This was an inelegant way to go.  Carmack wanted to make the player actually able to interact with the console like they were actually operating it.  A player would walk up to a console, when they were in proximity their weapon would drop and their targeting crosshair would become a cursor to manipulate the console.  Then the player could simply “click” the appropriate buttons to operate the machines across the base.

The general feeling was that everything planned up to this point could add up to an awesome game.  The roles were set, and now all they had to do was make it.  id put itself into complete isolation in this time.  Because hyping a game took time away from actually making the game, they didn’t talk to the press or do interviews.  It was better for them to actually start building the game and have something physical to show to go along with their announcement.  On top of that it was unnecessary for major hype this early, the gamers knew Doom 3 was coming because of Carmack’s .plan file, they just had no idea how long it would take before they found out exactly what was in store for them.  But, knowing id, they suspected John Carmack would deliver a hit once again. (Icons)

E3

Two years passed.  It was May 2002 and the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the biggest game developer exposition of the year, was in high gear.  Developers and press from all over the world crowded the hallways of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the home of E3 for the year.  Across the convention center supermodels in mini-skirts walked by game developers who normally wouldn’t be given the time of day by the girls to help promote their games to event spectators.  And in the center of the event, was a hollowed out plastic cube that looked like it came straight from the future.  The lights were dark and plasma screens broadcasted footage from id’s new baby.  Doom 3 had arrived at E3 and it had arrived full force.

Press would be escorted into a theatre that looked like it came straight from the future.  In front of them for the first time would be Doom, a game that looked too good to even be believed by the E3 attendees.  During the twelve minute demo the press was treated to what could only be described at the time as a quality presentation on par with what the movie company Pixar had done.  But where Pixar was able to create beautifully rendered computer generated movies, their strength came from the fact that their movies were not being produced in real-time, the movies were pre-rendered.  Doom 3’s graphical engine was being rendered in real-time for all to see.  John Carmack had outdone himself again!

As Trent Reznor’s incredible sound effects were being blasted through the six channel audio system built into the booth, the id Software crew running the booth promised the press that both the video they were seeing on screen and the audio they were hearing was being produced by the computers they had rigged into the booth.  The demo was completely in real-time.

The press didn’t buy it.  On the last day of the show, one of the gaming news sites, ign.com, told id Software that they were ineligible for a “Best of E3” award unless id would show them a demo of the game that was playable.  In reality, ign.com was lying.  They were actually eligible for a best of show, but the press just wanted the ability to play this game.

The crew at id Software was more then happy to comply.  John Carmack typed in the command EDITOR into the game console, and suddenly the game’s core building tool appeared over the video window.  With a few modifications to the editor, Carmack was actually able to make changes to the level, close the editor, and play through the level without telling the editor to restart the map.  Such a thing was unheard of!  The game had surpassed all expectations and saw numerous awards from E3 for the year.  But now the pressure was on for id.  Now they had to deliver a hit game.  Their fans would expect nothing less from them.  After seeing a taste of what Doom 3 had to offer, the fans wanted the whole slice and fast.

With Doom 3 nowhere close to completion, the team returned to their home base of Texas and got back to work.  Now they had to put their skills where their mouths were and finish what they promised.  It wasn’t going to be easy but id had done miracles before. (http://pc.ign.com)

The Dream

id Software was truly living the dream.  All the fear that the company had in choosing Doom 3 was gone.  It was now August 2002 and a new and improved version of the Doom 3 demo was shown at the company’s yearly convention, the Quakecon.  ATI had released some updated drivers to the graphic hardware id used on the computer system built for the E3 show, and now they were able to show the demo at a higher resolution with enhanced graphics.  The fans, previously only able to read what the press had said about the game months earlier, were now gazing upon it with their own eyes.  Their money was slapped down on the table, ready for id to take it when the game was done.

Quakecon was only a little taste of the anticipation for the game.  A gaming magazine quoted, “The anticipation for this game is second only to the anticipation for the second coming of Jesus.”  Hungry gamers filled internet forums trying to trade the latest gossip for the game.  There was not yet a release date for the game.  If a gamer wanted to know when Doom 3 would be released, the response from id would simply be when it’s done. (http://www.gamespy.com)

The Nightmare

It was November 2002.  Psycho was just another gamer among the rest of them but what he did in his spare time was a little bit different.  As one of the users of the Northeastern University Direct Connect hub he was a part of a network on campus where students could connect and share millions of files per hour ranging from music and movies to software.

Tonight was special though.  A new chunk of data found its way onto the network.  Now, Psycho had seen false filenames on pirated software before and was about as skeptical of this new data as he would be of the rest.  A lone zip file, with the title “Doom3 beta” had found its way onto peer to peer networks and was sharing like crazy.  For Psycho, who was a gamer as well as a pirate, the opportunity to play Doom 3 was too much for his curiosity.  He decided to take a look at the file.

Sure enough, the file was legitimate.  It was actually a pre-release executable.  The game was barely playable in its state, but that didn’t stop it from being shared like crazy among the pirates.  The thing that all game developers feared had happened, Doom 3 had leaked onto the internet!

It wasn’t a first for id.  All of their games in the past had somehow in some stage found its way to be leaked.  Nothing good ever came from it.  When id first found out about the leak and started to do damage control, John Carmack was at least relieved that the editor was broken and wouldn’t work for the pirates.  After checking their versions and watermarks on the data they discovered it was in fact their E3 2002 build of the game that was specifically written for the show.  There wasn’t enough data in the leak to make the game fully playable, but it sure was playable enough for people to start complaining about how buggy it was!

Eventually a hacker took it upon himself to fix the problem with the editor and pirates started making their own content with the game, which was John Carmack’s worst nightmare.  With help from their publisher, Activision, id succeeded in shutting down all the websites that were mirroring the leaked files.  It’s currently unknown who was responsible for the leak although at the time it was believed that the graphics card manufacturer ATI was responsible because they never held their own standards of secrecy very high.

In the end when John Carmack had time to reflect on it he shared his thoughts on it with the press.  While he preferred something like that didn’t happen in the end it didn’t really hurt them all that much.  The leak was hardly a finished version, so the pirates had not spoiled any factors of the game that hadn’t already been said by them before.  It was unfortunate like something like that were to happen, but the games do play on. (Icons, http://games.slashdot.org)

Changing Times

Time went on, and things began to change.  Right after the beginning of 2003, because of the lack of a contract with him, Trent Reznor was forced to leave the project, taking all of his music and sound work with him.  It was never said exactly what the reasons were for Trent to leave the project. The most logical speculation that was traded after his leave was that he just had no idea the game would take that long to make.  Todd Hollenshead during an interview said they never had a contract with Trent’s studios in the first place and his people just could never come to a final agreement with theirs.

Graeme Devine would also leave id to start working on his own projects.  Fortunately, the sound engine that Graeme created was nearly complete and no more major work was needed on it.  John Carmack took it upon himself to do the final work on the sound engine although the decisions he decided to make with some of its features would haunt him at the end of development.

Trent Reznor’s replacement would be former Nine Inch Nails guitarist, Chris Vrenna.  Vrenna was currently the leader of the rock band Tweaker.  While he was contracted to do some extra sound design for the game and provide a game theme song, the game was at first not intended to have music at all.  id’s first decision was that all of the levels would have a musical quality to their ambiance which would enhance the immersion of the game.  But it would still be useful for the in-game menus and the game trailers for there to be a theme song.  Vrenna created a hard rock theme for the game that was purely instrumental.  The first time it would be heard would be in the game’s release trailer.

Even at the show that Doom had swept a year earlier, E3, id decided that a whole new demo wasn’t worth the effort.  Instead they cut together a new trailer for the game to be shown by their publisher.  The trailer impressed many but it quickly became upstaged by the heavy hitter of that year which was Half-Life 2.  At the time it was on track to be released on September 30th, 2003, sooner then Doom 3, and it showed some good competition with an impressive graphical and physics engine and jaw dropping game play.

In April 2004 out of the blue id Software announced the two second generation employees that had devoted so much of their lives to id, CEO Todd Hollenshead and lead designer Tim Wiltis, were made owners.  For id that meant the number of owners was five once more. (http://www.planetdoom.com)

Crunch Time

Software designers call it the “death march” but game designers call it the norm.  By Spring 2004 id Software was deep into crunch mode for the game.  Hours became increased tenfold with some developers opting not to go home at all.  The tents were pitched, id had finally announced the game would have a “Summer 2004” release and they were going to bank on it.

The game was in “completion mode” and now the task for id was clear.  They had to play through the game like crazy to find all the bugs with it they possibly could and fix them as fast as possible so the game could be shipped as bug free as possible.  They were also polishing the game as much as possible to ensure that the game would be enjoyable for the players.  The intention of Doom was to scare the lights out of their players.  When a designer doing some testing would be suddenly startled in his seat, they knew they were on the right track.

id opted not to do anything for the E3 2004 show, instead allowing the company developing their XBOX version of the game to have a playable demo of the game on hand for the show.  Only four members of id Software, including CEO/Owner Todd Hollenshead, actually showed up for the show.  He promoted the game as he was supposed to, but it was nothing like the show id ruled back in 2002.

The XBOX version of Doom 3 would see a great amount of publicity for that year, but the gamers wanted to know how the PC version was coming along.  That version of the game would be released first and other then a summer release, speculation started when the game would be out.  Just what did id have in store for them, and when would they be able to finally see it after all the waiting? (http://www.gamespy.com)

IT’S DONE????

It was now June and there had been no word about the game’s release.  Other than the interview with Todd Hollenshead there had been no new information Doom 3’s progress.   A premature worry started among the fans.  What if the game didn’t ship that summer?  How far along was it?  Was it almost done?  These questions buzzed in gaming message boards all over the world.  There was just no new information about the game.  No definite release date, no previews, nothing.  Panic set in.

Then something odd happened.  Online game retailer ebgames.com posted what they claimed to be the “official” Doom 3 release date on their front page.  They said that Doom 3 would be “officially” released on August 3rd!

The fans didn’t buy it.  August 3rd was far too close a date to that point.  They also recognized the fact that a lot of the time, online retailers were usually a little optimistic when they predicted release dates for games, going as far as to guess a release date based on no actual information and ending up being totally wrong.  The big factor was id had stated that unless they did an official press release, no release date should be considered “official”.  In the end, nobody believed this could possibly be the release date.

However, ebgames.com swore this indeed was the official release date as told to them by id Software.  To add further proof, on the announcement of 2004’s Quakecon, id Software promised a Doom 3 tournament using the final version of the game.  The Quakecon that year was planned for the 12-14th of August, not too far past the August 3rd predicted release date by EBgames.  Could the release date be factual?  Neither id Software nor Activision would say.  After doing the math out in his head, an online forum user reported that if the game were to actually meet that release date, it would have to go gold by either the 13th or the 14th of July, or it would never make the shelves in time. (http://www.ebgames.com, http://www.planetdoom.com)

IT’S DONE!!!!!!

On July 14, 2004 Owner and CEO of id Software, Todd Hollenshead announced in his .plan file that Doom 3 had gone gold.  Gone gold is an old term coined by the game developers.  “Gold” referring to the “Gold Master” or “Master Disc” of a game.  Basically if a game goes gold it means the game is complete and currently being shipped for duplication.  With the gold announcement came the release date, the game was expected to ship on August 3rd, the release date promised by ebgames.com.  Only one word could possibly be fitting to describe what August 3rd would mean, and the day was called doomsday.  Doomsday would come on August 3rd, 2004.

Shortly before the game’s release however, a strange press release made it onto the web.  Sound card manufacturer Creative Labs announced that all of the later versions of the Doom 3 engine would include their proprietary EAX Environmental Audio technology.  This was a very odd statement to hit the Internet, since all the previous press interviews from id mentioned that they were using their own sound engine for the game, and it would not need any special sound card to operate.  Instead Doom 3’s sound was all processor based.  Why would they make this press release?

It turned out that John Carmack had made a mistake.  When he was building the engine for Doom 3, he ended up using a similar coding pathway that Creative had already copyrighted.  Because John Carmack was a man who didn’t believe in the copyrighting of source code, he was totally unaware that the code he developed was owned by someone else!  When the game was finished, Creative immediately recognized the code as their work and was in a very actionable position to sue id Software.  But Creative knew better than to sue such a powerful game development house.  They knew that their customers were also customers of id Software.  If Creative were to sue such a high profile company, it could very well cost them a lot of money in lost revenue as well as legal counsel.  Instead Creative offered a settlement with id.  If id put their sound engine in all the later versions of the Doom 3 Engine that would be sold to other companies, Creative would be happy with that.  The EAX engine would not be in Doom 3 since it was already done and being duplicated, but if another company chose to license the engine from id to make their own game, they would also get the EAX sound engine to go with it.  An agreement was reached between the two parties.

Doom 3 was released to the public on August 3rd to rave reviews.  Finally the gamers had what they wanted and Doom 3 would not disappoint them.  It was the end of an era for them.  Looking back there were ups and downs for all parties, but in the end it was all about the game that had to be played that summer.  That game was Doom 3. (http://www.bluesnews.com, Appendix 1)

Appendix I

.plan files

The John Carmack Game Announcement .plan file:

6/1/00      Carmack, John      Owner/Lead Programmer, id Software

Well, this is going to be an interesting .plan update.

Most of this is not really public business, but if some things aren’t stated
explicitly, it will reflect unfairly on someone.

As many people have heard discussed, there was quite a desire to remake DOOM
as our next project after Q3. Discussing it brought an almost palpable thrill
to most of the employees, but Adrian had a strong enough dislike for the idea
that it was shot down over and over again.

Design work on an alternate game has been going on in parallel with the
mission pack development and my research work.

Several factors, including a general lack of enthusiasm for the proposed plan,
the warmth that Wolfenstien was met with at E3, and excitement about what
we can do with the latest rendering technology were making it seem more and
more like we weren’t going down the right path.

I discussed it with some of the other guys, and we decided that it was
important enough to drag the company through an unpleasant fight over it.

An ultimatum was issued to Kevin and Adrian(who control >50% of the company):
We are working on DOOM for the next project unless you fire us.

Obviously no fun for anyone involved, but the project direction was changed,
new hires have been expedited, and the design work has begun.

It wasn’t planned to announce this soon, but here it is: We are working on a
new DOOM game, focusing on the single player game experience, and using brand
new technology in almost every aspect of it. That is all we are prepared to
say about the game for quite some time, so don’t push for interviews. We
will talk about it when things are actually built, to avoid giving
misleading comments.

It went smoother than expected, but the other shoe dropped yesterday.

Kevin and Adrian fired Paul Steed in retaliation, over my opposition.

Paul has certainly done things in the past that could be grounds for
dismissal, but this was retaliatory for him being among the “conspirators”.

I happen to think Paul was damn good at his job, and that he was going to be
one of the most valuable contributors to DOOM.

We need to hire two new modeler/animator/cinematic director types. If you
have a significant commercial track record in all three areas, and consider
yourself at the top of your field, send your resume to Kevin Cloud.

The Todd Hollenshead Gone Gold Announcement:

7-14-2004 11:52 AM CDT      Hollenshead, Todd                               Owner/CEO, id Software

IT’S DONE!!!!!!!

Yes, this is the official word that DOOM 3 has been code released and has been approved for manufacturing!
It won’t be long now until the anticipation ends and the PH34R begins 😉 We literally just hung up with
Activision and have confirmed that our latest release candidate has been mutually approved and is finally
GOLD. Thanks to everyone for their patience (yeah right! =) and for everyone at id, Activision and our
numerous partners for helping us create what I believe is absolutely the best game we have ever made.

So, the next question is release dates. Retailers in the States will be allowed to pick up games starting
at 12:01 AM on August 3rd. The official street date is actually August 5th in the U.S.A., but some of
your favorite stores will probably have it early for those of you who have to have it first. Check with
your local retailer for that information.

Internationally, the game will take a few more days to make it to the store shelves. The UK will probably get it first, on or about August 6th. Everywhere else will probably be Friday, August 13th (que Twilight Zone Theme) or close to that date, with just a few exceptions (e.g. Russia and Poland). This isn’t
because we don’t have love for you folks outside the U.S., but the localization and manufacturing process
takes a bit longer outside the U.S. where we will have JVC run 24/7 to get the units built. I guess the
European manufacturers prefer to give their employees nights and weekends off. Go figure!

The champagne is flowing here at id and smiles abound!

I’ll update again with some DOOM 3 preparation tips (not what hardware to buy – you’ll have to wait for

a programmer for that sort of thing). In the meantime, I want to see those “DOOM 3 GOLD!!!” threads set
new records for swamping message board servers, destroying productivity, and post counts 😉

Recapping today’s headlines….DOOM 3 GOLD!!!

Works Cited

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