id Software

id Software

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About

id Software is an American video game developer best known for creating such influential first-person shooter titles Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein.

History

Founding

Four members of the computer software company Softdisk, John Carmack, John Romero, Tom Hall and Adrian Carmack, founded id Software in Mesquite, Texas, in 1991. The team initially met when developing Softdisk's monthly video game releases. After John Carmack created a 2D side-scrolling engine that could run on computers of the time, he and Hall replicated the first level of Super Mario Bros 3, replacing Mario with Romero's "Dangerous Dave" character. After seeing the potential of this engine, the team began to use Softdisk computers to create a full port of Super Mario Bros 3 with the idea of selling it to Nintendo.

Commander Keen

After the Nintendo sale failed, Scott Miller of Apogee Software contacted the team, stating that he wished to publish 2-D side-scroller games for the PC market using the Carmack engine. With this in mind, the team created the first game in the Commander Keen series of 2-D side-scrollers, which Miller subsequently published.


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However, after Softdisk discovered the team using their computers for outside projects, they forced the team to sign a contract, which meant they had to provide a new game to Softdisk every month as an independent company. Hence, the group formed id Software.

Wolfenstein

About a year after the creation of id Software, and after seeing an engine demo for the game Ultima: Underworld by Looking Glass Studios, John Carmack came up with the idea of improving and speeding up the engine's ray casting rendering system to increase the low frame rate of the engine. Carmack successfully built an engine, sans such features as lighting and height differences. However, it could be run on even some of the lowest end PCs of the time, making it very accessible.

After Carmack's success, Romero and company had the idea for reworking and rebooting the Muse Software stealth-title Castle Wolfenstein. Carmack's engine failed due to the slow gameplay and the over-complicated controls, so the team decided to create an action game with simple controls that rewarded exploration.


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Wolfenstein 3D subsequently achieved critical acclaim and sold over 100,000 copies, which was unprecedented for shareware games at the time. This cemented id's place as one of the best first-person shooter developers in video games.

Doom

Following the success Wolfenstein 3D, and while Romero and company worked on an expansion for the game, John Carmack separated himself from the team to create a new engine with multiple improvements over the Wolfenstein 3D engine. The new "Doom Engine" added new features, like doors, saving, height difference, textured floors and ceilings, lighting and more.

The team subsequently used this engine to initially create a game with an intricate sci-fi plot inspired by the movie Aliens. However, after disagreements between Hall and Carmack, Hall left id to join 3D Realms, and the writers changed the plot to a significantly more action-based and violent game format.

Released in 1993, Doom received critical acclaim and single-handedly popularised first-person shooter games. Its combination of advanced graphics never seen in PC games before and its multiplayer matchmaking turned it into a global phenomenon. Within three years, id sold almost 10 million copies.


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Quake

After the success of both Doom and its sequel Doom 2, Carmack sought to advance the technology which made Doom a household name. He subsequently sought to create a fully 3D engine using 3D polygons for characters over sprites and full 3D level design combined with an easier and more efficient multiplayer client.



The idea for the game and its title came from a character created by id Software while working on Commander Keen. According to Carmack, Quake was the strongest, most dangerous person on the continent armed with thunderbolts and a Ring of Regeneration." This idea transformed into an HP Lovecraft-inspired setting where a lone soldier goes through a gateway to battle creatures being sent to Earth by an unknown entity codenamed Quake.


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The game combined this setting with a soundtrack by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, helping amplify _Quake_'s horror setting. Critics hailed the game, with many today regarding Quake as the genesis of modern 3D gaming.

Later Years and Zenimax Acquisition

After the success of Quake and Quake 2 and the departure of John Romero to form Ion Storm (known for games such as the infamous Daikatana and the critically acclaimed Deus Ex, id Software continued to create more advanced game engines with sequels to its many franchises such as Quake 3: Arena, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom 3.


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In 2009, id Software began developing a new game with its most advanced engine to-date, "id Tech 5," the post-apocalyptic FPS called Rage. After announcing Rage, Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, purchased id Software.


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In 2011, id released Rage to mixed reviews. Many hailed the graphics and gameplay as what id fans had come to expect. However, the game's poor performance on PCs, massive game size and poor multiplayer support caused the game to receive mediocre sales. After this, John Carmack, the last member of the original team still at id Software, left to pursue VR with the Oculus Rift team.


THE NEW ORDER

Since Carmack's departure, Bethesda Softworks have kept id Software and their franchises going with Machine Games developing and releasing a sequel/reboot to the Wolfenstein series with Wolfenstein: The New Order. Critics acclaimed the game, praising its innovative gunplay, revitalizing the franchise and adding characterization and heart to a series that typically had very little of it. Meanwhile, id Software has been developing a reboot to the original Doom using its new "id Tech 666" engine.


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Controversies

Wolfenstein Nazi Depictions.

Due to its usage of Nazi iconography, the German government refused to release the game in their country, which made such symbols a federal offense. Even though Nazis are the enemy, Germany and Nintendo of America refused to allow the game to sell without significant censoring of the offending content.


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Animal rights groups also objected to the use of German Shepard guard dogs being enemies in the game. These groups expressed concerns that violence could cause children who play the game to harm animals in the future. In response to this, id software censored the Nintendo versions of the game while keeping the PC versions uncensored.

Doom Violence

Due to _Doom_'s level of violence and satanic imagery due to its plot, several groups and legal cases put under considerable pressure on the company.

In 1999, in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shooting, sources relayed that both the culprits were avid video gamers, with Doom_ being a favorite game.

After details leaked regarding one of the culprits designing a WAD map of Columbine High School and using it to prepare for the shooting, the public outcry caused a discussion about the game during a congressional hearing, with individuals calling for tighter regulations of video games, particularly violent games.

The Doom Violence question has since become a common focal point of discussion regarding video game violence and the crux of numerous legal hearings, studies, and debates regarding government intervention in the video game industry.

DopeFish

The DopeFish is a character that appeared for the first time in the video game Commander Keen: Secret of the Oracle in 1991. He became a video game industry inside joke, inspiring many appearances in other games as cameos and easter eggs.



Mein Leben!

Mein Leben! is a meme that spawned from the video game Wolfenstein 3D. When the player character kills a Nazi SS Soldier, the soldier will shout Mein Leben as he dies (Mein Leben being the German term for "my life"). Due to the comedic aspect of the phase and its overuse in the game as one of the few enemy dialogue lines, fans started using the phrase in the early days of the internet and IRC.


IDDQD

IDDQD:/memes/iddqd/ is a cheat code used in the 1993 first-person shooter game Doom, which enables a game state that prevents the player from being damaged or killed known as "god mode." It is sometimes associated with the code "idkfa," which provides the player with all available weapons in the game, and "idclip," allowing them to pass through solid objects.

Rip and Tear / Huge Guts!

"Rip and Tear / Huge Guts!:/memes/rip-and-tear is a meme from the 1996 Doom comic book in which the main character Doomguy is under the influence of a berserker power up while facing a Cyberdemon leading to the popularised quote: "You are huge! That means you have huge guts! RIP AND TEAR!". Fans consider the line a quintessential Doom quote.


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BFG 9000

The BFG 9000 is a fictional plasma weapon featured in the Doom and _Quake) series. Since making its debut in 1993, the weapon spawned several reiterations in other games under the fan-given nickname "Big Fucking Gun," as well as a growing collection of fan-made replicas modeled after the original design.

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Quake Done Quick

Quake Done Quick relates to one of the first instances of professional speed-running in video games. The Quake Done Quick team comprised of gamers from the Quake community who created videos of themselves trying to beat the game in the quickest times possible using such skills as rocket jumping and bunny hopping.




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Top Comments

HumbleWaterFilterMerchant
HumbleWaterFilterMerchant

There seems to be some misconceptions on which games Id has made. Like Daikatana being a Id game or Quake 4 being an Id game. So for the sake of you normies here is a list of every game made by Id Software (not published by or made by ex devs)

Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons (1990)
Shadow Knights (1991)
Hovertank 3D (1991)
Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion (1991)
Rescue Rover (1991)
Commander Keen in Keen Dreams (1991)
Rescue Rover 2 (1991)
Tiles of the Dragon (1991)
Catacomb 3-D (1991)
Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy (1991)
Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter (1991)
Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
Doom (1993)
Doom II (1994)
Quake (1996)
Quake II (1997)
Quake III Arena (1999)
Doom 3 (2004)
Doom RPG (2005)
Orcs & Elves (2006)
Wolfenstein RPG (2008)
Doom II RPG (2009)
Quake Live (2010)
Rage: Mutant Bash TV (2010)
Rage (2011)
Doom (2016)
Doom VFR (2017)
Quake Champions (2018)
Rage 2 (2019)
Doom Eternal (2020)

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