I posted this on the article about Carmack and Romero's memories of Doom, but it'll probably get lost there so I'm posting it here too.


Oh man, so many memories. I actually started with Doom II, just because that's what I had access to. I remember my parents made me take this computer repair class when I was a teenager (He likes computers? This sounds like a good structured activity!), the instructor was, now that I think back on it, probably just some college kid. He spent half the time teaching us useful stuff, and half the time we played Doom II on the three or four computers that were there. We used to play deathmatch on level 32, the second secret level. It was just a huge open room with all the weapons and powerups and columns to hide behind. We had a blast running around at Doom's fast speed and shooting each other with the game's crazy arsenal. And we left monsters on, so that every few minutes a cyberdemon would spawn and wreak havoc with our match. Man, that was fun.

I remember using PKZIP to span the Doom2 WAD file over a bunch of floppy disks so I could take it and play it at home. I remember it was like 14 or 15 mb, which meant a ridiculous number of 1.44 mb floppies. Then the floppies kept developing bad sectors when I got them home. It took several tries, but it was worth it when I finally got it. I was finally able to play the single player. At some point my Dad got worried about the effect of the violence on my young mind (this was the 90s), and told me to stop playing, but I kept sneaking in game time anyway. It was just so much more kinetic and immersive and fun than any other game at the time. And after I finished I sought out the shareware versions of Doom 1, Hexen, Heretic, Duke Nukem 3d and a bunch of other stuff.


Then when I was in high school I got my own PC (before I was using the family PC) and I could really lose myself in games. And around that time Quake came out, which was just mind-blowing. My friends and I passed around a Quake shareware CD along with a floppy with a program that would crack it to unlock the full version (Yeah, I know, but as an adult I've bought every id game since Quake II at full price. INCLUDING Orcs & Elves.). A few of us used to do LAN play in the computer lab in my high school during computer science class. Our teacher was vaguely disapproving, but as long as we had finished our work he didn't stop us.

I remember trying remote multiplay for the first time. We only had dial-up internet back then, and Quake didn't work well with it. (Plus it was actually time-limited, I think you had to pay extra if you used more than 4 hours a day or something.) But Quake had dial-up networking actually built in. It took some work to get it to recognize the modem, but then you could actually type your friend's phone number into the console and dial them directly (and half the time our parents would pick up the call despite our yelling at them). It was laggy as hell, of course, because the original Quake wasn't optimized, but at that time it seemed so freakin' awesome to be multiplaying remotely. We would take turns being the server, and we had an agreement that the server person wouldn't run around collecting weapons while the client person was waiting to connect. We broke that agreement all the time of course. I even learned how to make customs maps for Quake. Like probably every teenager who did, I learned that the layout of your high school is probably not conducive to good deathmatch.

Then halfway through high school, quakeworld came out (unlimited internet also became standard), and internet multiplayer became a reality. Gamespy was released so you could actually find games. Modern multiplayer was born. A few friends and I formed a Quake clan; we even had a website for it and everything. But when we got together for LAN parties we always spent a couple of hours playing DOOM2 Level 32. Then there was Heretic 2, Descent 3, Quake 2, Unreal, Dark Forces II... the 3D wave hit, but Quake 1 was still our go-to game (dm4 FTW). Sometime senior year I saved up and got a GPU, I think a 3DFX voodoo 2, and that was just mind-blowing. You could play Quake at 640x480!! But you had to download a program to process all map files to add in VIS data for transparent water.


OK, this has gone way beyond Doom memories, but all of this started from Doom 2. It really fueled my early interest in computers and PC gaming. It was how I made a bunch of friends as a shy teenager. I got to know my first girlfriend through Doom 2 and Quake. I mean, I know part of it is just coincidence that my formative years happened just as id Software was on top of the gaming world, but I'm still grateful that I was able to grow up with those great games. I still remember them fondly. I wonder if there's an android version of Doom with a halfway decent control scheme...