The History of Doom and id Software

Doom is arguably one of the most successful and well-known 3D shooters of all time. id software is responsible for creating Doom and a number of other groundbreaking titles like Quake and Wolfenstein 3D. More than anyone else in their gaming era, id software consistently set the bar for revolutionary titles in gaming, exploring technology like advanced lighting and 3D texturing years ahead of other developers.

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Doom was one of the first games that allowed player modability and customization. Users could create their own expansion packs for the game that added in custom levels and other content.
John Carnack of id came up with a revolutionary idea: network play. Doom was the first id game and one of the first of its kind to allow networked, online game sessions between players. Doom is considered by many contemporary theorists to be the game that first integrated the internet with the FPS culture, which has become inseparable today. FPS games are known in modern times for their fierce online competitive play and scoreboards, and if not for Doom, that cultural identity may have never been solidified with modern entries into the genre such as Halo.

Carnack came up with the title for Doom when he watched the Tom Cruise movie, “The Colour of Money”. Tom Cruise shows up to a pool hall with a suitcase in the film. When one of the actors in the film asks Tom Cruise’s character what was hidden in the case, he replied: “Doom”. John Carnack thought that “Doom” stuck with the series well.
A one-time employee of id software named Tom Hall desired for a more linear story with id games. Hall conflicted with the other employees at the company because they all believed game play should take priority over developing a continuous story with their games. Tom Hall made the decision to transfer over to another company that worked closely with id software, working as a project manager. Carnack and Hall had a number of creative disputes over the design of the Doom series. One major idea that Hall pushed for in Doom was the implementation of teleporters, which is a standard feature for modern FPS games. Carnack didn’t like the idea of putting teleporters into Doom, but finally relented at the last minute. Tom Hall wanted “easter eggs” and secret areas to be added to the game, and Carnack didn’t initially approve of the idea. Hall focused on nonessential visual implementations into the game that made it more aesthetically pleasing rather than functional. One of his major ideas was to have the trim of doors in the game match the colour of keys the player had to collect.

Hall showed great regret regarding the series after leaving the company. The majority of his concepts remained unimplemented or deleted entirely, save for a couple of functional visuals. He envisioned a game with advanced puzzles, environment interaction, rich cinematics, and a back story that made players care about achieving the goal in the game, rather than just “...flipping a switch for no apparent reason...” as Hell said in a 2001 interview.

Doom came under fire by conservatives in the UK and US for being too violent. A number of crimes all the way into the late nineties were pinned on violent activity linked to shooting monsters in Doom. Doom is famous as a reference to the Columbine Incident in the United States, when two shooters planned and executed widespread shootings at Columbine High School after being bullied. The shooters created virtual versions of their school in Doom, shooting characters to relieve stress.

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