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Antique Code Show id Software’s Doom – the definitive first-person shooter – is 20 years old today.
It was uploaded to the University of Washington’s servers at midnight, 10 December 1993 in the form of a .zip file containing the game and the first set of levels. It didn’t take long to generate a massive buzz – and because id was offering extra levels for a $25 shareware fee, massive profits for the developers, among them John Romero, Mike Abrash, Dave Taylor, Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud and, crucially, engine developer extraordinary John Carmack.
WIRED: Doom basically created a genre. There’s a chart that tracks the use of the phrase “Doom clone” to describe games in a first-person environment, and then eventually it became the genericized “first-person shooter.” It’s interesting that shooting and first-person view became linked so quickly.
John Carmack: That definition of the genre, about what people expect in it, is something that—far more than rendering technologies, or character descriptions or anything like that—defining and laying out the boundaries of the genre is something that sticks with us. I think that first-person shooter is a stable genre that’s going to be here forever, just like there are going to be driving games forever. There’s something just intrinsically rewarding about turning around a corner and shooting at something.