After a run of 22 years, the father of the first-person shooter is leaving the company where he became a legend.
John Carmack, cofounder of id Software – publisher of 1990s shooter classics such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake – has officially resigned from his position there. The announcement comes three months after Carmack took a post as Chief Technical Officer for Oculus VR, manufacturer of the virtual-reality ‘Rift’ goggle device. Though he had hoped to juggle his roles at both companies, “it just didn’t work out,” he wrote in a tweet earlier today.
Carmack founded id in 1991 with game designers John Romero and Tom Hall and artist Adrian Carmack (no relation). Though their early title, Commander Keen, was a 2D Super Mario-style platformer, it didn’t take Carmack – a talented, largely self-taught programmer – long to bring id’s games into the third dimension.
1992’s Wolfenstein 3D is generally considered the first true first-person shooter. Combining polygonal graphics with slick texture maps and lightning-fast, ultra-violent gun-wielding action, Wolfenstein established a template so appealing that its influence can still be seen in today’s games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4.
1993’s Doom and 1996’s Quake refined and expanded on Wolfenstein’s innovations. The trio of classics inspired legions of imitators over the next two decades and had an incalculable effect on the videogame industry.
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