20 years of id Software

Today’s the day where we gamer’s have to bow down and pay some respect to one of the best software studios that we’ve got the last two decades, it’s “id Software”. Today’s the day where “id Software” celebrates its 20th birthday. When it comes to push gaming technology to a bleeding edge limit “id Software” always had the leading role. The game engines John Carmack created and developed are absolute masterpieces and it does not matter if we talk about “Commander Keen”, “Doom” or “Quake”. They set the marks everybody else has to compete with. They have never been great story tellers in games, but what they did and still do, they take the gameplay to a level where everybody can handle it with fun and without any unnecessary complexity. It’s truely like John Carmack said, “Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.” When you look back in time their games were more like tech-demos put in a tiny game shell. Especially “Quake III Arena” was one of these games, there’s no story, just a few maps, a couple of opponents and that’s it, and this concept survived for years. Now, twelve years later “Quake III Arena” is still alive in the online remake “Quake Live”. The id Tech 3 engine that was used for “Quake III Arena” is one of the most popular game engines so far, if not to say THE most popular. “American McGee’s Alice”, “Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.²”, “Return to Castle Wolfenstein”, “Medal of Honor:Allied Assault” and sequels, are just a few of the famous branches based on id Tech 3.

I personally had millions, no, billions, no, bazillion hours of fun with games by “id Software”, it started for me with “Commander Keen” way back in 1992 (it was actually released in 1991, but 1992 was the years where I switched from the C64 to a PC). Then I played “Wolfenstein 3D” and “Spear of Destiny”, which was actually forbidden for a young kid like me and after these games I had the first LAN experiences with “Doom”, mainly in 1on1 deathmatch. 1,000,000,000 frags later a “Quake” came and me and my friends heard of these crazy people doing the whole aiming with a mouse and we started playing FPS that style. Those people still stuck to cursor keys and pic up and down keys were just the victims of us. I actually skipped “Quake II” right on its release, for one simple reason, I wasn’t gaming (— SHOCK —). I finished “Quake II” sometime in 1999, but I never played the multiplayer, because as you might know, 1999 was the birth year of “Quake III Arena”. Q]|[A also lead to a new era of how to handle your game. Lots of people started to tweak their game to gain highest rate of frames per second, they started overclocking their PCs, modded their PCs, tweaked their internet connection to get the best ping and more and more people played in clans, esports was going to become drastically bigger and more and more important to the whole gaming industry. There sure were tendencies in this direction in the nineties, but it was nothing of importance and just a sideshow.

As you can see, “id Software” not just only influenced the coding and the designing style of games, they also created a new kind of community and a brand new way of how to compete with each other, in another kind of sport, the electronic sport. There’s a reason why the most popular gamer’s communication net on IRC is called the “QuakeNet”. Although they lost I little of their undisputed leading role, with competitors like “Crytek” and “Epic Games”, “id Software” still sets the standards and every new product is a blast and I am very sure that this company, as long as whizz-kid Carmack develops, will be able to survive another 20 years, and I’ll be an grey haired old man and look back on a great chapter in gaming evolution.

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