Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Dang I Feel Old. More 20th Anniversary Goodies…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 11, 2012

Dang. First it was Ultima VII and Ultima Underworld celebrating 20th anniversaries. Coupled with the 30th anniversary of the Commodore 64, I’m really starting to feel old. It can’t have been all that long ago, could it? Sheesh. I need to get off the dime and finally finish some of the games I’ve been meaning to go back to for the last 20 years…

Anyway, at the dawn of the “boom” in the shareware industry, we had Epic Megagames appear. Which later evolved into just Epic, and is now a pretty mainstream studio producing some of the biggest-budget titles out there. How things have changed, right? I blame Unreal. I’m still waiting for a new Jazz Jackrabbit and Jill of the Jungle.  And my wife and I bought every one of their Epic Pinball games in the complete … what, $60 package? Something like that. That’s a purchase I still don’t regret, and thanks to DOSBox I find myself still loading up those tables and playing a quick round now and again. Good stuff. And I compete against my own high scores from… uh… a long time ago. Good gravy…

Anyway, to celebrate, Epic has released a free music album of music from many of their games over the last 20 years. There are tracks from Bulletstorm, Unreal Tournament, Jill of the Jungle, Epic Pinball, Gears of War, you name it. Good audio fun!

Epic 20th Anniversary Soundtrack

Next up… Wolfie.

Yes, it’s been twenty freaking years for Wolfenstein 3D. Twenty years since that summer when I opened up the door on that last level and nearly fell out of my chair when I was greated by a giant Nazi saying “GUTEN TAG!” before opening up with his twin chain-guns. Man. That was an awesome summer.

And now – you can play Wolfenstein 3D in your browser.  Back then we didn’t really have browsers. I think we had Gopher. But I didn’t know about it then, and was just using FTP and TELNET. Anyway, I ramble. Amusingly enough, id Software was a young shareware (today we’d call them “indie”) studio back then, and Bethesda was a scrappy young … publisher? Were they publishing back then or just a development studio? Anyway – times change.

Twenty frickin’ years. Sheesh. Okay, and to spice up things even more, we’ve got a video commentary of John Carmack discussing the development of Wolfenstein 3D as he plays.  I’ll just embed this puppy. For me, as a developer, it’s ridiculously cool to listen to, full of nostalgia and familiar development tidbits. For others, it may be a big pile of meh.  But here you go…

Twenty frickin’ years.

Where has the time gone?

Oh, yeah. I had family, graduated from school, and have had a pretty eventful career. Okay, I guess it was a while ago. But some things still feel like they were just last summer.

BTW, if you ever get the chance to read the book Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, do so. It’s a fascinating look at the early days of id Software, and into the 1990s game development / shareware era in general. Things are at their absolute coolest, IMO, during the Wolfenstein 3D development period.

This was all stuff that inspired me to try to make games for a living in the first place. My course-load was very light over the summer, my knees had disqualified me from the Air Force, and I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was playing a lot of games, and was getting a degree in Computer Science. It still seemed like a pipe dream at the time, but … hey. It all happened. It probably would have happened without Epic Pinball and Wolfenstein 3D and Ultima Underworld. But when I look back at the games that inspired me and pointed me in the direction I’ve been going, those are some of the main ones that I can point to as an influence.

Filed Under: Retro - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • slenkar said,

    John Carmack has that stereotypical nerd voice that can be heard in Futurama.

  • slenkar said,

    cool video though 😀