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Friday, September 1, 2006
 
A Short History Of id Software
7:10 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

In the last of its "A Short History of.." series, Next Generation offers a look into the formation and growth of id Software. The article reveals the history of the company's creators, examines the gaming revolution sparked by Doom, and finally offers comment on the company's perceived failures.

Where it all went wrong is where id began to push the technology further than current systems knew how to handle then started intentionally designing years into the future, just expecting the hardware would catch up with them. This started a mad rush for the fastest, most expensive systems and graphics cards, in turn creating an expectation that every game had to milk the newest hardware to its limit, creating a spiral that sent PC games back into their niche, where only the hardest of the hardcore could keep up with them and only the flashiest games had a chance of selling to this increasingly narrow audience. Today the cycle has kind of hit a lull to the point where a halfway decent card from a few years ago is more than adequate to play the biggest games released last week, and where a bunch of subsided genres have started to make a comeback. Still, yikes.

And the other silly thing is that after the perfection of Doom, id began to pay less and less attention to the actual designs of its games, figuring its energy was better spent on the technology. Compared to Doom, Quake was a dreary and no-frills package (however impressive the engine and Nine Inch Nails were); Quake II barely had a single-player mode. Somewhere in between, John Romero got himself fired and stormed off in a huff, determined to prove the dominance of design over technology. (Tom Hall had already left, over squabbles with Romero.) In 1998 Half-Life exploded into prominence; since there was no competing with that, Quake III moved its emphasis fully over to multiplayer, resulting in criticism that it was more a ridiculously elaborate game engine than a videogame much like, come to think of it, id's last couple of games. Even as a multiplayer sports event, the game was to some extent overshadowed by Epic's Unreal Tournament.

Read the full article at the site listed below.

Next Generation: A Short History Of id Software
id Software


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