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Great book on the history of ID Software

Book Review:

Masters of Doom

This is a book I’ve just read for the second time. I’m talking about it here because I mentioned it on a programming forum recently to find other people felt in a similar way to it to me. And that is that it’s a great book to get you in the mood to work on your game projects.

It’s basically the story of ID software (makers of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, and more recently Doom 3). It focuses on what the author calls “The two Johns”, and that is John Carmack and John Romero. Both very technically brilliant, from similar programming backgrounds programming games on their own for the Apple-2 computer before moving over to PC’s after they started working together. However they have very difference personalities as shown in this book.

Romero is the Rockstar geek and Carmack is the Uber nerd with some cool hobbies, such as upgrading Ferraris to three times their factory built horsepower and launching home made rockets full of hard to find explosives. Their business goals are different too, Romero labels himself as “Ace Programmer and future Rich Guy”, wanting a vast games studio churning out loads of top class games unlike the world’s ever seen before. While Carmack only ever wishes to earn enough money to keep working on his graphics engines and have a roof over his head.

The best sections of this book are probably the first two thirds of it before things start going wrong ending up with Romero splitting from ID to start his own studio “Ion Storm” and working on the ill fated “Daikatana”.

Once you get into reading this you’ll feel so much more energy and effort insde you for working on your own game projects. After I finished re-reading it last night, I sat down and spent three hours non-stop typing code (I did compile and test it a few times in that time 😛  ) And now I’ve got the core of a fun little casual game I’m putting the finishing touches to and hope to have online shortly.

Get masters of Doom at amazon:
US: http://www.amazon.com/Masters-Doom-Created-Transformed-Culture/dp/0812972155/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207248004&sr=8-1
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Masters-Doom-Created-Transformed-Culture/dp/0749924896/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207248037&sr=8-1
or check Ebay

  1. July 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Yeah it is a great book indeed.

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