The Info List - John Romero

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ALFONSO JOHN ROMERO (born October 28, 1967) is an American director, designer , programmer , and developer in the video game industry . He is best known as a co-founder of id Software and designer for many of their games, including _ Wolfenstein 3D _, _ Dangerous Dave _, _ Hexen _, _Doom _ and _Quake _. His game designs and development tools , along with new programming techniques created and implemented by id Software's lead programmer John D. Carmack , led to a mass popularization of the first person shooter , or FPS, in the 1990s. He is credited with coining the FPS multiplayer term "deathmatch ".


* 1 Biography

* 1.1 Apple II * 1.2 id Software * 1.3 Ion Storm * 1.4 Monkeystone Games * 1.5 Midway Games * 1.6 Slipgate Ironworks/Gazillion Entertainment * 1.7 Cyberathlete Professional League * 1.8 Retro Gamer collaboration * 1.9 Gamesauce * 1.10 Romero Games * 1.11 Night Work Games

* 2 Personal life * 3 Hair * 4 Recognition * 5 Games * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links


Among his early influences, he credited Namco 's maze chase arcade game _ Pac-Man
_ (1980) as the title that had the biggest influence on his career. He also cited Sirius Software 's Nasir Gebelli as his favorite programmer and a major inspiration, citing the influence of his fast 3D programming work for Apple II games, such as the shooters _Horizon V_ (1981) and _Zenith_ (1982), on his later work at id Software. He also cited programmer Bill Budge as another influence.


John Romero's first published game, _Scout Search_, appeared in the June 1984 issue of _inCider magazine_, a popular Apple II magazine during the 1980s. Romero's first company, Capitol Ideas Software , was listed as the developer for at least 12 of his earliest published games. Romero captured the December cover of the Apple II magazine _Nibble _ for three years in a row starting in 1987. He entered a programming contest in A+ magazine during its first year of publishing with his game _Cavern Crusader_. The first game Romero created that was eventually published was _Jumpster_ in Uptime (disk magazine) . Jumpster was created in 1983 and published in 1987, making Jumpster his earliest created, then published, game.

Romero's first industry job was at Origin Systems in 1987 after programming games for 8 years. He worked on the Apple II to Commodore 64 port of _ 2400 A.D. _, which was eventually scrapped due to slow sales of the Apple II version. Romero then moved onto _ Space Rogue _, a game by Paul Neurath . During this time, Romero was asked if he would be interested in joining Paul's soon-to-start company Blue Sky Productions, eventually renamed Looking Glass Technologies . Instead, Romero left Origin Systems to co-found a game company named Inside Out Software , where he ported _Might clear: right; margin: 0.5em 0 0.8em 1.4em; width:27%; padding: 10px; border: 1px solid #aaa; font-size: 88%; background-color: #F9F9F9;"> "You're not doing your work! You're not living up to your responsibilities. You're hurting the project. You're hurting the company. You've been poisonous to the company, and your contribution has been negative over the past couple years. You needed to do better but you didn't. Now you need to go! Here's a resignation and here's a termination! You're going to resign now!" John Carmack to Romero on the day of his termination on August 6, 1996

Romero worked at id Software from its inception in 1991 until 1996. He was involved in the creation of several milestone games, including _ Commander Keen _, _ Wolfenstein 3D _, _Doom _, _Doom II: Hell on Earth _ and _Quake _. He served as executive producer (and game designer) on _ Heretic _ and _ Hexen _. He designed most of the first episode of _Doom_, most of the levels in _Quake_, half the levels in the _ Commander Keen _, _Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny _. He wrote many of the tools used at id Software to create their games, including DoomEd (level editor), QuakeEd (level editor), DM (for deathmatch launching), DWANGO client (to connect the game to DWANGO's servers), TED5 (level editor for the _Commander Keen_ series, _Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny_), IGRAB (for grabbing assets and putting them in WAD files ), the installers for all the games up to and including _Quake_, the SETUP program used to configure the games, and several others.

During the production of _Quake_ Romero clashed with John Carmack over the future direction of id. Romero wanted the game to follow his demanding vision without compromise, but Carmack insisted that the project had to make steady progress toward completion and accused Romero of not working as much as the other developers. Although Romero relented on his vision and joined a months-long death march effort to finish the game, this did not resolve the tensions within the company, and Romero was forced to resign.

In level 30 of _Doom II_, "Icon of Sin", the boss is supposed to be a giant demon head with a fragment missing from its forehead. When first viewing the demon, a distorted and demonic message is played, which is actually John Romero
John Romero
saying "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero!", reversed and distorted to sound like a demonic chant. One can use the "noclip" cheat to enter the boss and see Romero's severed head which is skewered on a post. The player defeats the boss (without the noclip cheat) by shooting rockets into its exposed brain after activating a lift and riding it. Romero's head functions as its hit detection point; when he "dies", the boss is killed and the game is finished. In the 2013 IGN _Doom_ playthrough to celebrate _Doom'_s 20th anniversary, Romero shared the backstory behind the inclusion of his head as the final boss and the reversed sound effect - they were both a result of in-joke pranking between development team members.


Main article: Daikatana

Romero later co-founded Ion Storm in Dallas, Texas with id co-worker Tom Hall , where he designed and produced _ Daikatana _. This ambitious shooter was announced in 1997 with a release date for the Christmas shopping season of that year. However, this release date slipped repeatedly in the coming months, and the game began to accrue negative press.

In particular, a 1997 advertisement boasting "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch....Suck it down" caused controversy amongst gamers and the gaming press. The massive pre-hype for the game and the subsequent delays (it was not released until April 2000) were compounded by the poor reviews the game received when it was finally complete. Upon release, _Daikatana_ was critically panned and appeared on numerous "top 10 worst games" listings.

During this time, Romero was rumored to have been killed (aptly enough, with a headshot ) and a photograph of his corpse with a bullet wound was also spread through the Internet; Romero himself later stated that the picture was taken for the magazine _ Texas Monthly _, and that "maybe he shouldn't have taken it".

Romero departed with Tom Hall immediately after the release of Hall's _ Anachronox _ game and the subsequent closing of the Dallas Ion office.


In July 2001, Romero and Hall founded Monkeystone Games in order to develop and publish games for mobile devices , and Monkeystone released 15 games (approximately) during its short lifespan of three and a half years. Some highlights of their developments included _ Hyperspace Delivery Boy! _ (Pocket PC, PC, Mac, Linux, GBA), _Congo Cube _ (Pocket PC, PC, BREW , Java ME ), and a version of _Red Faction _ for the Nokia N-Gage . He and his girlfriend, Stevie Case , broke up in 2003, and she left the company in May while _Red Faction_ development continued until October. John then left Monkeystone Games' day-to-day operations to Lucas Davis while Romero and Hall left for Midway in San Diego.


In mid-October 2003, Romero joined Midway Games as project lead on _Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows _. While he continued to maintain his working relationship with Monkeystone, Lucas Davis took over running the office. The Monkeystone team moved to Austin, Texas to work on Midway's _Area 51 _ title until its release. Monkeystone Games closed down in January 2005. Romero moved from project lead to creative director of internal studio during this time.

At the end of June 2005, Romero left Midway Games mere months before the completion of _Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows_.


On August 31, 2005, Romero confirmed that he was working on a yet-to-be-announced MMOG at his newly opened development studio, Slipgate Ironworks. It was reported that the name was temporary. "For the record," Romero wrote, "I'm co-founder of a new game company in the Bay Area and am much better off in many ways than I was at Midway". He said that he would not reveal anything about the company or the game until 2007. On March 17, 2009 it was announced that Slipgate Ironworks was part of Gazillion Entertainment . Along with venture capitalist Rob Hutter and investor Bhavin Shah, Romero was a co-founder of Gazillion.

On July 22, 2006, John Romero
John Romero
and former co-worker Tom Hall guest hosted episode 53 of the podcast _The Widget_.

Romero departed Gazillion Entertainment in November 2010 to form a social game company called Loot Drop alongside Brenda Brathwaite . His longtime co-worker, Tom Hall joined the company on January 1, 2011.


John Romero
John Romero
was the CPL's Chairman of the Board for ten years.

On December 20, 2006, John Romero
John Romero
announced a new FPS project for the Cyberathlete Professional League titled _Severity _ for both consoles and PC. It was announced that Tom Mustaine (ex-Studio Director at Ritual Entertainment ) would act as Director of Game Development at CPL's new studio. It was stated that _Severity_ would be a multiplayer first person shooter, and that the game would be built on technology licensed from id Software.

On October 2009, Angel Munoz , founder of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) stated that _Severity_ was no longer being produced because they were not able "to convince game publishers of its value".


In March 2010, John Romero
John Romero
collaborated with the gaming magazine _Retro Gamer_ and taking on the role of a guest editor, taking charge of the magazine's editorial and contributing to a number of articles and subjects throughout the magazine. There is an extensive interview with Romero in the issue with industry luminaries offering their thoughts on Romero.


In Spring 2010, _Gamesauce _ featured Romero on its cover and contained an in-depth interview with Romero written by Brenda Brathwaite . In the interview, Romero publicly apologized for the infamous _Daikatana_ advertisement.


In August 2014, in a Super Joystiq Podcast at _ Gamescom 2014 _ Romero announced that he was about to make a new shooter, stating that he was working with a concept artist and he had some cool imagery for the main character.


In April 2016, Romero announced a partnership with Adrian Carmack to create a new FPS entitled Blackroom, describing their vision as a visceral, varied and violent shooter that harkens back to classic FPS play with a mixture of exploration, speed, and intense, weaponized combat. They are seeking $700,000 via Kickstarter to see the project to completion and anticipate a launch in late 2018.


Romero and other game developers at a BAFTA event in Los Angeles in July 2011. From left: Rod Humble , Louis Castle , David Perry , Brenda Romero , John Romero, Will Wright , Tim Schafer , Chris Hecker .

Romero was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the United States
United States
. He is of Yaqui
and Cherokee

His mother Ginny delivered him six weeks premature. His parents, married only a few months before, had been living long in hard times. Ginny, good-humored and easygoing, met Alfonso Antonio Romero when they were teenagers in Tucson, Arizona. Alfonso, a first-generation Mexican American, was a maintenance man at an air force base, spending his days fixing air conditioners and heating systems. After Alfonso and Ginny got married, they headed in a 1948 Chrysler with three hundred dollars to Colorado, hoping their interracial relationship would thrive in more tolerant surroundings.

In January 2004, Romero married Raluca Alexandra Pleșca, originally from Bucharest, Romania. They divorced in 2011.

Romero and game developer Brenda Brathwaite became engaged on March 24, 2012. They married on October 27, 2012. Together, they worked on _ Ravenwood Fair _, with Romero as Lead Designer and Brathwaite as Creative Director and Game Designer. They also founded social game development company Loot Drop in November 2010, and worked on _Cloudforest Expedition_ and _Ghost Recon Commander_ together.

Romero has three children from two previous marriages: Michael, born in 1988, Steven born in 1989, and Lillia Antoinette, born in 1998.


Romero's long hair has been a source of both admiration and derision for his fans. John guest-answered _ Planet Quake '_s "Dear Mynx" column, in which a female fan asked for hair care tips.

Romero cut his hair short in 2002 and donated it to _ Locks of Love _. Discussion boards such as _ Doomworld _ and _BeyondUnreal _ had threads discussing his new look at the time, although in recent years Romero has grown it back to full length.



000000002017-01-01-00002017 Development Legend Awarded at Develop:Brighton

000000002012-01-01-00002012 Tech Hall of Fame Included in list of technology creators.

000000002012-01-01-00002012 Apple II Forever Award Awarded at KansasFest to members of the Apple II community who had made significant contributions to the Apple II.

000000002011-01-01-00002011 Most Influential Person in Facebook and Social Games #1 in Games.com's 2011 list.

000000001999-01-01-00001999 MIT Technology Review TR100 Innovators Under 35.

000000001998-01-01-00001998 Time Magazine's Cyber Elite 50 #36, The top 50 tech elite of the year.

000000001998-01-01-00001998 Top 20 Texan of the Year Texas Monthly's yearly list of the Top 20 Texans

000000001997-01-01-00001997 Time Magazine's Cyber Elite 50 #40, The top 50 tech elite of the year.

000000001996-01-01-00001996 The most influential people in computer gaming of all time #7, GameSpot's "The most influential people in computer gaming of all time" list.



_Dodge 'Em_ 1982 Capitol Ideas Software

_Scout Search_ 1984 inCider Magazine

_Cavern Crusader_ 1984 A+ Magazine

_Bongo's Bash_ 1985 A+ Magazine

_Zippy Zombi_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Wacky Wizard_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Subnodule_ 1987 Keypunch Software, Inc.

_Pyramids of Egypt_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Neptune's Nasties_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Major Mayhem_ 1987 Nibble Magazine

_Lethal Labyrinth_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Krazy Kobra_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Jumpster_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_Evil Eye_ 1987 Uptime Disk Monthly

_James Clavell\'s Shōgun _ 1988 Infocom

_ Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate\'s Hideout _ 1988 Uptime Disk Monthly

_City Centurian_ 1988 Nibble Magazine

_Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz _ 1989 Infocom

_Zappa Roidz _ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_Twilight Treasures _ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_ Space Rogue _ 1989 Origin Systems

_Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World _ 1989 New World Computing

_Magic Boxes_ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_Journey: The Quest Begins _ 1989 Infocom

_How to Weigh an Elephant_ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_ Big Blue Disk #32 _ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_ Big Blue Disk #35 _ 1989 Softdisk Publishing

_The Catacomb Abyss _ 1989 Softdisk

_Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur _ 1989 Infocom

_Sub Stalker_ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_Pixel Puzzler_ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_Dinosorcerer _ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_Dark Designs II: Closing the Gate_ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_ Commander Keen 1: Marooned on Mars _ 1990 Apogee Software

_ Commander Keen 2: The Earth Explodes _ 1990 Apogee Software

_ Commander Keen 3: Keen Must Die! _ 1990 Apogee Software

_Catacomb _ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_ Big Blue Disk #40 _ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_ Big Blue Disk #41 _ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_ Big Blue Disk #44 _ 1990 Softdisk Publishing

_Alfredo's Stupendous Surprise_ 1990 Softdisk

_Xenopods_ 1991 Softdisk Publishing

_Slordax: The Unknown Enemy _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Rescue Rover _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Rescue Rover 2 _ 1991 Expert Software , Froggman, Softdisk

_ Shadow Knights _ 1991 Softdisk Publishing

_Paragon_ 1991 Softdisk

_ Paganitzu _ 1991 Apogee Software

_ Hovertank 3D _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion _ 1991 Softdisk

_Commander Keen: Keen Dreams _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle _ 1991 Apogee Software

_ Commander Keen 5: The Armageddon Machine _ 1991 Apogee Software

_ Commander Keen 6: Aliens Ate My Baby Sitter! _ 1991 FormGen

_The Catacomb (Catacomb II) _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Catacomb 3-D _ 1991 Softdisk

_ Wolfenstein 3D _ 1992 Apogee Software

_Spear of Destiny _ 1992 FormGen

_Cyberchess_ 1992 Softdisk

_ Terror of the Catacombs _ 1993 Froggman

_Street Ball_ 1993 Froggman

_ Shadowcaster _ 1993 Origin Systems

_ScubaVenture The Search For Pirate\'s Treasure _ 1993 Softdisk

_Dangerous Dave\'s Risky Rescue _ 1993 Softdisk

_ Curse of the Catacombs _ 1993 Froggman

_ Bio Menace _ 1993 Apogee Software

_Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold _ 1993 Apogee Software

_Doom _ 1993 id Software

_Corridor 7: Alien Invasion _ 1994 Capstone Software

_Super 3D Noah\'s Ark _ 1994 Wisdom Tree

_Doom II: Hell on Earth _ 1994 GT Interactive

_Blake Stone: Planet Strike _ 1994 FormGen

_ Wolfenstein 3D _ 1994 Atari Corporation

_Rise of the Triad: Dark War _ 1994 FormGen

_ Heretic _ 1994 id Software

_The Ultimate Doom _ 1995 GT Interactive

_Hexen: Beyond Heretic _ 1995 id Software

_Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders _ 1996 id Software

_Strife _ 1996 Velocity Inc.

_ Final Doom _ 1996 id Software ; Atari, Inc.

_Quake _ 1996 id Software

_ Chex Quest _ 1996 Digital Café

_ Doom 64 _ 1997 Midway Games

_Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 _ 1998 Eidos Interactive

_ Daikatana _ 2000 Eidos Interactive

_ Red Faction _ 2001 THQ Wireless

_ Anachronox _ 2001 Eidos Interactive

_ Hyperspace Delivery Boy! _ 2002 Monkeystone Games

_Jewels and Jim_ 2003 THQ Wireless

_Dig It!_ 2003 THQ Wireless

_Congo Cube_ 2003 THQ Wireless , RealArcade

_Cartoon Network: Block Party _ 2004 Majesco Entertainment

_Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows _ 2005 Midway Games

_Area 51 _ 2005 Midway Austin

_ Ravenwood Fair _ 2010 Lolapps, Inc.

_ Marvel Super Hero Squad Online _ 2011 Gazillion Entertainment Inc.

_Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon: Commander _ 2012 Ubisoft, Inc.

_Pettington Park_ 2012 Zynga Game Network, Inc.

_Dodger Down_ 2013 Howljerk Games

_Techno Dash_ 2014 Hammerwing Studios, Inc.

_ Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate's Hideout_ 2015 John Romero

_Grom Skate_ 2015 Grom Social Inc.

_Gunman Taco Truck_ 2017 Romero Games Ltd.

_Blackroom_ 2018 Night Work Games


* ^ John Romero
John Romero
on IMDb * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Kushner, David (2003). _Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created An Empire And Transformed Pop Culture _. Random House . 89. ISBN 0-375-50524-5 . * ^ Bailey, Kat (March 9, 2012). "These games inspired Cliff Bleszinski, John Romero, Will Wright, and Sid Meier". Joystiq. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2012. * ^ Barton, Matt (19 April 2016). "Honoring the Code: Conversations with Great Game Designers". CRC Press – via Google Books. * ^ "Jumpster game design notes & published information". Archived from the original on 2017-03-25. * ^ " John Romero
John Romero
discusses his early years in the gaming industry". Archived from the original on 2016-02-17. blankmaninc.com * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ The Escapist - John Romero: The Escapist Interview Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine .. _The Escapist_. * ^ rebelCoder (Юрий.Л.) (12 December 2013). "Doom Playthrough With John Romero
John Romero
- 20 Yars of Doom! (by IGN)". Archived from the original on 8 January 2015 – via YouTube. * ^ "The Top 7... PR Disasters" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine . Game Radar * ^ "Romero Threatens to Make You His Bitch" Archived 2005-12-11 at the Wayback Machine .. Top 25 Dumbest Moments in Gaming History. June 2003. GameSpy. * ^ Dunkin, Alan. "Romero Speaks... From the Grave?" Archived 2010-02-18 at the Wayback Machine . GameSpot. August 28, 1998. * ^ Retro Gamer magazine , issue 75: In the Chain with ... John Romero (pages 78-89) * ^ Games Industry International (13 July 2005). "Romero Leaves Midway". Eurogamer
. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. * ^ News - John Romero\'s new studio Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine .. September 21, 2005. Eurogamer. * ^ Gazillion in agreement with Marvel Entertainment to bring iconic super heroes to massively multiplayer games audience, unveils new company and studios March 17, 2009. * ^ John Romero\'s Twitterstream March 17, 2009. * ^ "Ep. 53 – Just Hanging Out - The Widget – Games, Tech, Whatever". Archived from the original on 2013-08-06. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-02-08. Loot Drop's About page * ^ Takahashi, Dean. " Loot Drop banks on talented game designers as it takes on social gaming\'s giants (exclusive)". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. * ^ Romero Announces New CPL Specific FPS Archived February 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "mylgn.com". Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. * ^ Gamesauce Spring 2010 Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine .. Spring 2010. Gamesauce. * ^ "Super Joystiq Podcast Special: Gamescom 2014 Day 1". Archived from the original on 2016-08-15. * ^ "After 14 years John Romero
John Romero
is working on another shooter". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. * ^ "Welcome". Archived from the original on 2016-04-28. * ^ "Doom creators seek cash for \'classic\' shooter". Archived from the original on 2016-05-01. * ^ The post-apocalyptic dimensional space of Native video game design Archived 2017-03-22 at the Wayback Machine .> * ^ "Facebook". Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. * ^ " John Romero
John Romero
- Facebook". Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. * ^ " Brenda Romero on Twitter". * ^ " John Romero
John Romero
on Twitter". * ^ Dear Mynx Editorial Column Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ John Romero\'s Blog Archive Archived 2009-02-22 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Develop:Brighton Development Legend". Archived from the original on 2017-03-25. * ^ "Pinterest Tech Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2014-07-10. * ^ KansasFest * ^ "Romero awarded #1 spot in list of Most Influential Person in Facebook and Social Games". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. * ^ "Romero awarded a position in MIT\'s technology list.". * ^ "Romero is at position #35". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. * ^ "Romero listed as one of the Top 20 Texans of the year". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. * ^ "News source at the time reporting Romero\'s inclusion.". Archived from the original on 2014-07-09.


* Kushner, David (May 6, 2003). _Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture_. Random House . ASIN B000FBFNL0 . ISBN 978-0375505249 .