Masters of Doom

Which computer game did you start with? In my case, it was PacMan on a brand-new 286 machine in my dad’s office. This was followed by several games, but ones which stand out in memory are: a car racing game by a company called Accolade, a version of Donkey Kong (can’t remember the name), a game called Bricks, and several others which I remember in flashes, but not in detail.
And then, after all these games, came Doom. I distinctly remember playing Doom for the first time. I could “feel” myself walking in the corridors. As I sneaked around corners, I would actually twist in the chair. When I got hit, it almost hurt. When I eventually fell asleep out of exhaustion, I dreamt of walking those corridors – the space shifting from one footstep to the other. This continued for days. And nights. Eyes red. Head swimming. And living in a different world, not responding to folks and friends. Thinking about the level you were at, about your health and arsenal. Lost. Such was the effect of Doom.
Who were the people who brought such a world alive on the PC’s limited hardware? Masters of Doom brings the lives of the two Johns – Carmack and Romero – who made Doom and took the PC gaming industry to a height which would probably be five years away had it not been for this genius-meet-genius teaming. I love their games, and I loved the book – read it one sitting actually. The author almost makes a novel out of their shared lives. You can almost feel the thrill of these guys as they create magic.
For myself, it brought back memories of the heady times spent writing code non-stop, creating stuff and being mesmerised by the magic of software. I honestly miss that feeling of wonder, discovery and thrill which I felt during the first five-six years of writing code. The joy of creation. The feeling of unlimited potential. This book made me feel like that all over again.

2 thoughts on “Masters of Doom”

  1. Chaitanya M.V

    Read about you just now. Nice to know that you like Q3. You said AoE. I presume its AoE 1. Did you look @ the Q3 source code? One thing I remember distinctly is the sqrt function that Q3 uses. Quite an optimisation there.

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