Doom Took id Devs 100+ Hours Per Week to Complete

Developer id Software worked intense hours to get the iconic 2D first-person shooter out the door, sacrificing weekends and more.

Developer id Software worked 100+ hour weeks during the development of their iconic 1993 classic first-person shooter Doom, according to creative director Tom Hall. Hall spoke with The Guardian, saying:

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In the early days of id, we were like the limbs of one big creature, working brilliantly in parallel. But I now felt isolated [during the development of Doom]. We worked 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, with little outside contact. Taking a weekend off was looked on with disdain. Playing fighting games, often on the [rare Japanese console] Neo-Geo, was one of our few releases.

Hall also discussed events surrounding his departure from id Software. He continued:

We were all great friends and obsessed with making games but, in the end, bad working relationships and horrible communication on both sides put me in creative molasses. You can’t afford that with a small team.

Elsewhere in the article, id Software founder John Romero recalled the controversy involving Doom and the Columbine shootings in 1992. Romero said:

We were criticized after the Columbine shootings, but we knew it wasn’t our fault. There have been violent games since the 1800s, when you could put a coin in a penny arcade and watch an execution scene play out. “I was like: I’m not getting caught up in this age-old debate. I didn’t comment on any of it. Whatever the new thing is, people always blame that–Judas Priest, Ozzy, comic books. But the big problem is people not being in touch with their kids.

We worked 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, with little outside contact.

Finally, Romero revealed that Doom‘s art, including walls that looked like spines, screaming faces, and hellish monsters, was inspired by Swiss surrealist HR Giger–at least partly.

id Software is currently working on Doom 4, which has been in development since at least 2008.


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