Celebrating 30 Years of ‘Doom’: Retracing the Roots of One of the Greatest Shooter Franchises with its Developers
Doom has remained one of the most influential and beloved shooter franchises in video game history for nearly 30 years. It’s hard to believe that this once-fledgling title released back in 1993 is still a major part of gaming culture today.
The game was a revolutionary mix of fast-paced shooting and exploration. Players were challenged to take on hordes of monsters in dark, suspenseful levels while searching for key cards and secret passages that would help them progress deeper into the game’s various scenarios. From the iconic release of the original Doom to the thrilling and competitive challenges of Doom Eternal, this franchise has left an indelible mark on the industry.
To celebrate its 30th birthday, we’ve gathered up the original developers who created Doom to talk about their experiences making it happen. We’ve included their insights into the development process, the difficulty of making a worldwide-hit, and the way in which Doom made its mark on the industry.
John Romero, one of the original game’s lead designers, talked about the incredible amount of freedom given to them by publisher id Software. He said that they “had free reign to go wild with the game and not worry about having to meet some set timeline.”
The team had a vision of a game that pushed the boundaries of violent graphics on the home computer, something that hadn’t been seen before. Therefore, they weren’t worried about taking the time to get it exactly right since they were confident of the game’s success regardless.
Romero also discussed the challenges the team faced in making a revolutionary shooter. He said, “It was a new genre and we were so far ahead of its time, so there wasn’t an existing base of knowledge to draw from. We had to invent everything from scratch.”
The other lead designer, John Carmack, commented on the persistent worldwide popularity of the game. He said that he was surprised by the lasting impact of the game’s graphics and storytelling, citing the dark and gritty level design as key to its success.
Finally, Adrian Carmack, the original game’s lead artist, looked to the future of Doom as one of the most celebrated shooter franchises. He said, “The game was revolutionary for its time and it continues to be revolutionary today, and I am sure that it will continue to inspire future generations of developers.”
Doom has inspired generations of developers and gamers, and remains a global phenomenon. Celebrating its 30th anniversary with its original developers was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through their insights and memories, we get a glimpse into the creative foundations and evolutionary path of one of the greatest shooter franchises the world has ever seen.