Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

John Romero Returning to FPS… Just Not As Soon As Thought

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 29, 2016

So… in case you missed it, there was a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a new venture by id Software alumni John Romero and Adrian Carmack. Their new company (brand) is Night Work Games, and their project is kind of a catch-all genre (!!!???) First-Person Shooter called Blackroom. They launched with a really cool parody video teaser announcement.

Sadly (?), the campaign didn’t gain enough traction over the first week. So they’ve suspended it to spend some time developing the playable demo.

So… what’s this mean? Presumably not much, although it does suggest that star power, a couple of cool new Doom levels, a cool teaser video, and an early concept pitch video aren’t enough to launch a project in a somewhat crowded field. It perhaps also calls into question what kind of star power these two bring more than 20 years after the release of their most famous game, but that’s another story.

I suspect that the crowdfunding thing is maturing a little bit. Even when big names are involved, potential backers want to see some recent track records as well as the developers putting some serious skin in the game.  I also think they may be wary of too much of an open-ended, “everything but the kitchen sink” design that Blackroom seems to be.

Of course, there may be the shadow of the Ion Storm debacle, which was a long time ago but may still bring doubts to the minds of the old-school fans. The much lower profile things he’s done since then and some very challenging old-school game levels should allay some fears there, but is that enough to convince 20,000+ people to shell out $30 – $60 for a vague game idea that they won’t see for at least 2.5 years, and would require some additional funding from unknown investors to really move into full production? I wouldn’t think so, and it looks like they were on track to get somewhere around 1/3 to 1/2 of the way there.  Respectable.

Personally, while I’m not a major FPS fan, I’m looking forward to seeing this happening, and wish them good luck. Hopefully they’ll get a more solid campaign together for their next go, and have more than just a couple of Doom levels to show what they are talking about. In the modern era, with something like Unreal 4 which by all accounts is a dream engine for a hardcore FPS developer, it shouldn’t be that challenging to put together a decent proof-of-concept. I can’t wait to check it out.

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Anon said,

    “John Romero’s About To Make You His Bitch!”

    Just Not As Soon As He Thought…


  • Rampant Coyote said,

    You heard the story about that, right? Romero wasn’t too keen on that banner, either, but was told “Don’t be a p***y!”

  • Anon said,

    The problem isn’t what I believe (and I tend to go with Romero here) but
    a) he wasn’t exactly a schoolboy either at the time
    b) it will probably stay as his FPS-legacy (unless he comes up with something spectacular again)
    and most importantly
    c) you can’t milk that version for a (bad) joke!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    a) Nope. It’s just funny that it was so bad it pushed HIS threshold of good taste, and he went against his better judgment. WARNING! WARNING!

    b) He’ll never live that down, nope. Some will forget (just as they forget who he was), but he’s got that one with him forever. Hubris.

    c) Well, yeah. 🙂