On a side note, John Romero and Tom Hall did an hour long post mortem on the design and development of the original Doom a couple years ago . I found it interesting.
The main ingredients which imho make Doom classic:
- creepy/spacey/metal Adlib music, thanks to Bobby Prince (Adlib was good for that)
- simple, but effective spooky samples playing at random locations
- for the time good textures (need some good graphics artists) to give it a dark feeling
- kiss play experience (see how it probably would be done nowadays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4yIxUOWrtw )
- VGA-graphics, I keep saying this to people: VGA is pixely, but somehow I don't see that when playing Doom, I compare it with cartoon drawings, you don't focus on the details, but how it looks globally and use a bit of fantasy to bring it to life - nowadays graphics are so detailed that I somehow get distracted by too much detail, it's becoming too realistic almost and doesn't look like a 'game' anymore
- deathmatch or coop via modem, calling your friend to play a match via the telephone line, warning your parents that they are not allowed to pick up the phone, playing not too long because you had to pay per minute (in The Netherlands at least)
- everything packed in a few diskettes (3 or 4?) was at that time almost magic that you could have such a 3d world fitting on it
There are many more reasons why for me Doom will always have a good reputation for me, mostly because of a combination of properties which came together at that time.
You can convince yourself of the importance of level design by comparing the Doom mods vs the original game. Same mechanics, but the level design isn't as good and it changes everything.
And of course there are plenty of other beautiful recent maps. Thanks to Cacoward  (annual award for best Doom mods and maps), it's relatively easy to track them.
It's capable of playing the original trilogy as well as many classic levels and level-sets that are marked as doom2.exe, limit-removing, and BOOM compatible.
I remember playing Wolfenstein 3D for about an hour, then getting bored with the repetitiveness and lack of identification with the protagonist, and never touching the game again.
When Doom came out, I tried it for 10 minutes, concluded it's W3D with better graphics and aliens instead of Nazis, and never touched it again.
Of course I don't mind that others enjoyed the game. Unfortunately these games became so popular that everything turned to first-person 3D and killed most of the genres I had enjoyed, and so I eventually stopped playing completely.
Its not like they stopped making turn based games or RPG's or other genres. The Sierra-style hunt-and-peck adventure game died, but Sierra did that themselves by milking franchises and delivering a sub-standard product with, lets face it, boring and cliched gameplay. Not sure what other genre was killed at around that time. If anything, PC gaming flourished. Warcraft, X-wing/TIE fighter, Elder Scrolls, Sim City 2000, Command and Conquer, Mech Warrior, 7th Guest, Civ II, Diablo, etc came out around that time.
Even that seems to be undergoing a bit of a revival, e.g. Deponia.
Your post sounds an awful lot like "they stopped making good music back in [year I graduated high school]."
Around or after 2000, it seemed that there was nothing left but first-person shooters. That probably wasn't true, but I wasn't interested enough to discover the other stuff, and so I stopped playing games. So I've never had enough desire to try Half-Life, GTA, or any of the other 3D titles that appear to be basically Doom with a handful of storyline elements interspersing the shooting.
HL2 is practically unbeatable in my mind, I sound like a fanboy but it and its Episodes are really an amazing series of games.
They are extremely good at putting you in the mindset of Gordon Freeman and at creating a sense of being chased and action while presenting very relatable characters.
Also, if FPS really has you that turned-off, there has been a great revival of strategy and Rogue-like indie games recently. But it all depends on what you're interested in.
If you hate action and want to be impressed by an immersive FP experience, look at Gone Home.
As for recommendations, pavlov hasn't mentioned any genres or games that he particularly liked. Adventure games were pretty common back then and "died" around 2000, so I suggest looking into anything by Telltale Games or Double Fine.
I feel like you're out on a limb in this whole comment thread.
But, i've gotten back into things. I've really enjoyed both portal games, and following that asked around for something that is story-driven and got recommended the mass effect trilogy. I've since played through mass effect 1 and 2, and while there's a lot of shooting involved, the shooting makes sense as part of the story, and you are never forced in situations where you have to rely on reflexes. The mass effect storyline itself is fantastic. It's a grand adventure that unfolds over the three parts, and i'm really looking forward to playing part 3.
Edit: another game that i really liked focused heavily on puzzle solving with a decent storyline is mirror's edge.
Psychonauts (by Double Fine) might be too shooter-y for you, but I'm really fond of the strong characters that you meet throughout the game (each with a backstory of some depth).
Both of these games are pretty cheap on Steam, if you're not opposed to using Steam. They both run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Doom was a beast of an engine on its time and achieved some technical feats which were key for our current gaming/graphics scene. Maybe the game isn't really interesting story-wise, but is it really when games went downhill?
We wouldn't have Quake without Doom, and we wouldn't have Half Life without Quake... Half Life is quite a great game, which perfectly blended the FPS genre with an interesting story development. You just can't say Half Life is repetitive or monotonous and you can certainly relate to the main character.
Gaming went downhill when the industry took over.
With traditional narrative films I might say, "Wouldn't it be cool to be ____" or "What would I do if I were the main character?" but in a good FPS it is more like "What would I do if I were there?" Which really makes identification a really different thing. I'm not even sure if I would call it identification at that point.
So it is interesting to see that someone doesn't feel like that.
It eventually turned into a joke in HL2 where Alyx, your sidekick, jokes about your silence.
Come on. Be realistic. Yes, the FPS genre is not for everyone. But neither is whatever genre is your favorite.
Just because FPSes exist and are popular doesn't mean that games you like don't get made. And if the games you like really don't get made, then you should go out and make them.
It was Elite back in 1984 that broke the mold of simple side-scrolling games.
Also back in 1993 there were major technical achievements like:
Strike Commander http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL-ElsuJY8A
F-15 Strike Eagle 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koNyQ7J88xY
Papyrus Indycar Racing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfnNo7AG7FA
Frontier: Elite 2
Which are sadly ignored by mainstream media.
Doom, though, was amazing. It was a much more realized world, both visually and in terms of mood and design. Eventually the levels got a bit too puzzley, but it certainly deserves all the accolades heaped upon it.
They're all so young.
I remember them quoting Romero when he said Carmack was a beast at programming. He just kept him fed with pizza and diet coke and he would just hammer out code for hours on end.
Still crazy to think these guys were in a kind of heyday for video games. Sure, it's bigger now, but that was when it was in its infancy and they changed an entire industry with one game.
Makes you wonder what 3D Realms could have done had they had the focus these guys had.
Since I've used a professional saw (such as a Stihl 260, a 650 and a Husqvarna 395 among others), the Eager Beaver just looks lame now.
Chainsaws should have a sticker on them that says how loud they are. The three mentioned above are around 115 decibels, three minutes of use without ear defenders will give you permanent hearing damage.
If you want to see a really mean saw...
You could be imaginative and use the 880 to slay five demons standing in a row simultaneously.
At least with Steam the more obnoxious DRM has died a death for many games (Ubisoft I'm looking at you).
There is an upside to this, where some games will be released as partially complete, sell for a reasonably low price (none of that $60-80 USD nonsense), and get user feedback on gameplay and content as development continues for a few more years. Games like Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program both do this; they would probably be stuck in development hell of several years then become vaporware if they didn't sell before completion. (Incidentally, these are the only two games I currently own.)
Submitted here, but no discussion:
I wish there was something like that in windows.
Doom is the point where I became interested in programming and it got me looking to how you actually made these games. id Software eventually open sourcing Wolf3D really helped spur that on. On top of that, Carmacks talk and his always interesting .plan file (a blog before blogs) made him seem very accessible and really opened up the world of game programming. I still enjoy going back and reading parts of the Wolf 3D or Doom code to see how they handled certain problems/limitations.
I'd agree with the other poster that 'Masters of Doom' is a great read and worth it to grab if you haven't read it already.
Here's a video of John choking someone out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X68Mm_kYRjc
He's a great role model to aspire to as a software engineer. :)
So in the past weeks I read up on all the early id guys, and what became of them after they were fired or left, I did quite some (probably too much) reading on the mess that was Daikatana and how it came to be. I actually find this really interesting, to learn how a project backed with so many employees and so much money can fail so badly, there're probably lessons to learn here (I've even watched somebody play through Daikatana on Youtube).
While being on my search, I've found a lot of interesting or not so interesting things. So if you want to spend some time, here's an unordered list of trivia that I stumbled upon:
- Somebody playing through Daikatana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm3b0NJzhnQ
- Romero Himself on Daikatana, including a GB port of the game that actually got good reviews (never made it to the US though) http://rome.ro/games_daikatana.htm
- Awful public clash between John Romero and Mike Wilson (former Ion Storm Marketing guy): http://www.kotaku.com.au/2008/01/gamecock_head_tears_into_jo...
- Ravenwood Fair is a Facebook game that Romero did a couple of years ago (so that's what he's been up to recently): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravenwood_Fair
- If you read Masters of Doom, you'll remember that it all started at Softdisk, when Carmack and Hall created "Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement", a Super Mario Bros copy. Romero uploaded the original game including their level editor, you can find it here: http://planetromero.com/games/dangerous-dave-in-copyright-in...
- Unreleased Doom Midi Music Files: http://planetromero.com/2007/06/doom-archaeology
Sadly, the original Doom editor, DoomEd was never released. I read that it wasn't particularly good (compared to what is available nowadays) but since it was written in NeXTSTEP, I'd love to port it current OSX (or at least give it a go).
Here, there were a handful of programmers, experimenting with different pricing models (shareware vs. retail), dictating their terms to publishers, starting ethical and legal discussions (Columbine Highschool shooting related to violent computer games? Export laws of software, especially violent computer games to Germany), helping Microsoft to establish Windows as a gaming platform (by making Doom a Direct X game) and so on.
They not only made games, they established a genre and nobody had a clue what the future would look like.
In fact the developer a MS who wrote of Doom95 is another famous name in the world of gaming; Gabe Newell (who has obviously since left Microsoft).
The reason I nitpick is because ID Software have always been pro-OpenGL rather than favouring Dx3D. What's more, most of their earlier games (I've not played anything since QIII) have been ported to other platforms by ID Software themselves and often not even developed on Windows PCs to begin with. So I think Gabe really deserves the credit (or criticism hehe) for kick starting the Windows/DirectX culture we see now.
Which is ironic as Gabe is now -in my opinion at least- the biggest threat Microsoft faces for the future of Windows games. But that's another topic entirely :)
More recently, he's working for the University of California, Santa Cruz, teaching in & co-directing a 1-year professional masters degree program: http://news.ucsc.edu/2013/09/gpm-directors.html / http://gpm.soe.ucsc.edu/faculty/
Also interestingly, John Romero made a brief appearance at the Homebrew Computer Club Reunion last month (which I attended).
I would be very interested in hearing about your ideas for porting DoomEd to OS X. My contact is in my profile. I played Doom and Quake casually back in the day and followed the Daitkatana saga in the game magazines, but never got a chance to play seriously or mess around with the mods (I had a really crappy computer).
Sadly nothing else with his name attached (Grimm, the Alice sequel, Scrapland, Bad Day LA, etc) has been nearly as good. Not that they are bad (with the exception of Bad Day LA which is terrible), but they are just sorta okayish, whereas the original Alice was fantastic.
I tend to get bored of games quite quickly but Alice was one of the few which kept me engaged to the end.
Whenever I play shooters now, I still think, "Man, I should just get a copy of Doom and play that instead." Too much noise in some of these games –– I just want to blow stuff up.
- weapons with multiple modes and reload mechanics
- advanced lightning effects
- "5D" space (one of the multiplayer levels used this)
- physics (e.g. grenade hopping and missile ballistics)
- neutral and allied npc's
- more varied elevator / switches system (e.g. in the "Colony Ship For Sale Cheap" level)
- motion tracker in UI
- nifty level mechanics, like the levels without air (e.g. "G4 Sunbathing")
I still wonder if Jason Jones could have become an equal to Carmack if he kept his focus on coding games ...
Wolfenstein was original in it's technology, Doom was based on that tech. Both were extremely popular in their time. The main difference is that iD sold their Doom 3d tech (which produced games like hexen and heretic) and did not with their Wolfenstein tech.
I have the SNES version on a cartridge and it resells for as high as $300 CAD.
I think a lot of people got exposed to wolf3d after it had been out a while, but with Doom they got to experience the hype leading up to the release.
I played wolf3d the week it was released to shareware and it was groundbreaking in every way imaginable back then. Doom took it to a whole new level graphically, but the gameplay was no different.
I do agree that Carmack's attitude in general was awesome, he never seems to get intimidated by competition.
Carmack is one name I can vividly remember, but the one that stuck with me the most is Todd Replogle, of Duke Nukem fame.
It was before Wolf 3D and Duke Nukem was one of my first PC time-sinks.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. (again)
On a side note, I recommend the book "masters of doom" that that tells the story behind the game.