Romero: Quake Idea More Like Darksiders
The issue 75 guest editor talks candidly about co-founding id Software and his hand in it's classic titles. “‘Quake’ was actually the name of a character in John (Carmack’s) D&D campaign, and he was just a super hardcore badass that had this huge hammer that he could throw through buildings. We wanted to do a game about him," said Romero. “It’s funny: when I saw Darksiders, I was like, ‘That’s it, right there. That’s what I wanted Quake to be.’”
Developmental pressures and the success of Doom meant the game turned out quite differently however. “The technology was constantly changing, so we couldn’t do much with the game design. It took a year for that engine to be workable," the designer remembers. He lobbied to work longer on the game, but faced opposition. "Carmack was on the fence, and American McGee and Dave Taylor were on the side of, ‘You know what? Let’s just throw Doom weapons in the game and get it done. I can’t do this any more.’"
That was when he decided it was time to move on. "I couldn’t believe it: how could you want to throw the engine away with a shitty game design? I was just fighting everybody’s attitude, but I thought, ‘Okay, I’m done here. This company is fractured.’"
“Quake’s a really great game," added Romero. "I still believe the single-player was just awesome and scary, and, of course, the multiplayer was revolutionary. But it could’ve really been something else.”