Book Review: Masters of Doom

If you were like me and you grew up in the 90s and played any sort of video games then I'm sure you've played Wolfenstein 3D or Doom. Though, regardless if you were into gaming, these games probably marked the beginning of an era in computing in general.

I've heard about this book when I just happened to find it on Amazon, but what wanted me to read it was that it is apparently the book that helped Alexis Ohanian want to start a company so it actually helped make reddit a reality.  After finding that out I thought I just had to read this book.

What just starts out as a few guys who just want to make games that they themselves wanted to play soon turns into an empire. Instantly I can tell this is another nonfiction book that just reads so much like a novel. It starts off with telling the early stories of the Two Johns, John Romero and John Carmack. About their gaming passion and how they got into programming games, and early on you can tell that they were destined to create their own masterpieces. After a little while creating and developing games for a small company they get the itch to create their own company. With Romero's creative ideas and Carmack's programming talent, they definitely have what it takes. They created id Software.

With the help of a few others they recruited, they were able to make their first game Commander Keen. Now I remember playing this back in the Windows 3.1 days and I had no idea it was id who created the game. Their next big title was Wolfenstein 3D. I still have memories of when I first played this and I'm sure, like myself, it the first time others have played a first person shooter. Their next blockbuster is perhaps the one they're most famous for, Doom. I think it was the first time I was hesitant to open a door in a game because I wasn't sure what was behind it.

 

Of course, there were some inner struggles within the small company that the book goes over as well. Eventually a few of them left to pursue other interests, but their initial passion of creating great games never ceased.

This was definitely a joy to read and, if you're a developer as well, you may just get a little interest in graphics or game programming yourself.

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