Digital Media Concepts/John Romero

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John Romero
BornAlfonso John Romero
October 28, 1967 (1967-10-28) (age 52)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
NationalityNative American
OccupationVideo game designer, video game level designer, video game programmer, video game director
Known forDoom, Quake, Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, various others

Alfonso John Romero (born October 28, 1967, in Colorado Springs, Colorado), more commonly known as John Romero, is a game and level designer, programmer, and director in the video game industry. Romero is best known for working on games such as Doom, Quake, Wolfenstien 3D, and Dangerous Dave. Romero's skills as a programmer and designer has led him to gain fame from his works, as well as co-found several industries over the years.

Early Life and Career[edit]

Romero was raised in a town in Northern California after moving from Colorado.[1] At age 11, Romero had an interest to gaming during the 1970s, and started learning programming from students in a local college. Over the next few years, these skills would shape Romero as one of the most famous people in the video game industry.[2]

The Apple II[edit]

Before officially working in the gaming industry, John Romero started his work programming games on an Apple II that he had gotten. For 8 years, Romero used his skills as a programmer to sell and publish around 20 games before landing an official job at a company named Origin Systems. The first video game Romero worked on with this company was Space Rogue. By the time the game released in 1988, Romero had moved on to work at a different company.

Softdisk and the Forming of id Software[edit]

John Romero, after leaving Origin Systems, went to work at Softdisk, who were based in Shreveport, Louisiana. He worked as a programmer, along with future partners John Carmack, Adrian Carmack, and Tom Hall. Afterwards, Romero and the other three left the company to form a new company called id Software.

At id Software, Romero's work includes several games that have gained critical acclaim, which included Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth, Quake, Commander Keen, and Wolfenstein 3D. In addition, Romero had also created the editors for said games, which ranged from editors to installation setups for these games. Romero even appears as an easter egg during the final level of Doom II, appearing as a severed head on a spike, hidden in the head of the final boss.[3][4] The voice that is heard during the mission is actually a distorted and reversed recording of Romero saying the famous quote, "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero!" His work had panned out to become the most influential afterwards, including the expansion of the first-person shooter genre and the coining of the term "deathmatch."[5][6]

During the creation of Quake, Romero clashed with John Carmack, and, after conflicting views over the future of the company, along with several days of work missed, Romero was forced to resign from id Software.

After id Software and the Formation of Ion Storm[edit]

After his resignation from id, he moved to Arlington, Texas, to co-found Ion Storm, along with id Software co-founder Tom Hall. Here, Romero began the creation of Daikatana, a science fiction/fantasy shooter. Daikatana had been hyped for several years before its creation, including the controversial tag "John Romero's about to make you his bitch" and "Suck it down." Despite being hyped, John Romero's Daikatana was poorly received after a couple of years of initial announcement, and has been tagged as "one of the worst games in history."[7] John Romero departed from the company after a period of time.

Later Years[edit]

In July 2001, Romero founded the company Monkeystone games, focusing on mobile games. After a couple of years, Romero left the company to work and create other companies, such as Slipgate Ironworks, Cyberathlete Professional League, and, more recently, Romero Games and Night Work Games. In this span of time, Romero created games such as Gauntlet: Seven Sorrow, Ghost Recon Commander, and the upcoming Blackroom.

Personal Life[edit]

John Romero was born of Yaqui and Cherokee heritage.[8]

John Romero met Brenda Braithwaite, whom became engaged to her around 2012. Together, they were able to co-founded the company Loot Drop and work on three games together. Romero also has three children from previous marriages over the years.[9]

Notable Works[edit]

Game Year Released Published By
Commander Keen series 1990-1991 Apogee Software, Softdisk, FormGen
Shadow Knights 1990 Softdisk Publishing
Wolfenstein 3D 1992 id Software
Spear of Destiny 1992 FormGen
Doom series 1993-1997 id Software, Midway Games
Quake 1996 id Software
Daikatana 2000 Eidos Interactive

References[edit]

  1. "The Life and Times of John Romero, Gaming's Original Rock star - Part 1: 'That's Classified,'" accessed February 11, 2016, https://www.pcgamesn.com/Doom/john-romero-interview-part-1
  2. "John Romero: School is Unnecessary, Nintendo Switch Should Have Been a Phone, AR isMore Important than VR," accessed Feruary 12, 2016, http://business.financialpost.com/fp-tech-desk/post-arcade/john-romero-school-is-unnecessary-nintendo-switch-should-have-been-a-phone-ar-is-more-important-than-vr?__lsa=be36-d3f6
  3. "Romero's Head," accessed February 12, 2016, http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Romero's_head
  4. ""Doom Playthrough with John Romero - 20 Years of Doom!," accessed by February 12, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b86PwuzyxlY#t=3853
  5. "John Romero (Person)", accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.giantbomb.com/john-romero/3040-2/
  6. "John Romero Interview," accessed February 11, 2016, https://blankmaninc.com/john-romero-interview/
  7. "John Romero's Daikatana," accessed February 11, 2016, http://www.giantbomb.com/john-romeros-daikatana/3030-7747/
  8. "The Post-Apocalyptic Dimensional Space of Native American Video Game Design," accessed February 11, 2016, https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/06/the-post-apocalyptic-dimensional-space-of-native-video-game-design/
  9. "John Romero," accessed February 9, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Romero