Life in First Person
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- Publication Date: July 18, 2023
- Imprint: Abrams Press
- Trim Size: 6 x 9
- ISBN: 9781419758119
- Page Count: 384
- Rights: World English
The inspiring, long-awaited autobiography of video game designer and DOOM cocreator John Romero
John Romero, gaming’s original rock star, is the cocreator of DOOM, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3-D, some of the biggest video games of all time. Considered the godfather of the first- person shooter, a genre that continues to dominate the market today, he holds a unique place in gaming history. In DOOM Guy: Life in First Person, Romero chronicles, for the first time, his difficult childhood and storied career, beginning with his early days submitting Apple II game code to computer magazines and sneaking computers out the back door of his day job to write code at night.
Industry-redefining breakthroughs in design and tech during Romero’s time at id Software made DOOM and Quake cultural phenomena, and this thrilling story recounts every step of the process, from collaborative, heavy metal–fueled days spent crafting the industry’s most revolutionary and cutting-edge games to a high-profile falling-out with id cofounder John Carmack. After years in the gaming spotlight, Romero is now telling his story—the whole story—shedding new light on the development of his games and his business partnerships, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, sharing insights about design, code, the industry, and his career right up to today. Sharing gratitude for a lifetime in games, Romero reveals the twists and turns that led him, ultimately, to be called DOOM Guy.
John Romero’s remarkable memory called up names and events that I hadn’t thought about in a very long time, taking me back to the stress and joy of throwing everything we had at projects that truly did break new ground and touched millions of people. It was an amaz- ing mad dash from humble beginnings to the well-known classics Wolfenstein 3-D, DOOM, and Quake, filled with exploration, learning, and the sharing of knowledge. For years, I thought that I had been born too late and missed out on participating in the heroic eras of computing. Only much later did I realize that Romero and I were at the nexus of a new era—the 3D game hackers.John Carmack, cofounder of id Software and founder of Keen Technologies —
DOOM made gaming cool and transformed game developers from nerds into rock stars, and John Romero’s brazen public persona defined the era. Reconciling the legend of John Romero with the warm, supportive game designer with whom I met as an unknown young programmer is a mystery that this book finally reveals in a wonderful narrative following Romero from modest game programming roots to the apex of video game stardom.Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games —
A fascinating deep dive into one of the game industry’s greatest success stories, Romero’s autobiography does for aspiring game designers what Stephen King’s On Writing did for budding writers. DOOM Guy is an engaging account of Romero’s extraordinary life and career. A must for industry professionals, newcomers, and enthusiasts.Rhianna Pratchett, writer —
John Romero is a gaming legend and seminal figure in video game history, known for his prodigious technical and design skills. In DOOM Guy, John offers valuable game design lessons, but as important he introduces readers to a man with a real commitment to helping others achieve their dreams. Deus Ex, the game I always dreamed of making, wouldn’t have been possible if John hadn’t lived up to every promise he made to me (a story you’ll read about in the pages of DOOM Guy). John’s games have inspired countless gamers and game developers. In his memoir you’ll learn that his life is as inspirational as his work.Warren Spector, creator of Deus Ex —
You know John as the designer of seminal games Wolfenstein 3-D, DOOM, and Quake, but this memoir also captures the essence of John as an innovator and business leader. While John tells the behind-the-scenes stories about making many elements of today’s gaming industry—first-person shooting style games, multiplayer games, free-to-play games, to name just a few—it’s the personal stories about his challenges, his choices, and his relationships that I love in this book.Reggie Fils-Aimé, former president and COO of Nintendo of America —
“The video game–creating legend recounts a life in the programming trenches…Students of game-making and business alike will find useful, sometimes rueful lessons.”Kirkus —
“[a] surprisingly moving autobiography…[Romero] manages to appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike with this celebration of triumphing over adversity.”Publisher's Weekly —
About the author
Computer and video game legend John Romero has designed and published more than 130 games since his first sale at the age of 16. A teenage programming prodigy, his major achievements include coinventing a series of revolutionary computer games—DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein 3-D, and Commander Keen—that launched the industry’s most popular genre, the first-person shooter. He lives in Galway, Ireland.