ZDNet | Reviews | Shopping | Business | Help | News | Investing | GameSpot | Tech Life | Downloads | Developer
ZDNet click here for your Instant Approval, 0% introductory APR Visa
 
ZDNet > GameSpot > Features > The Story of Daikatana
 

GameSpot
 SEARCH FOR:
 ON:

Knee Deep In A Dream: The Story of Daikatana








By: Geoff Keighley
Designed By: James Cheung
Selected Photography By: Ric Moore

Part 1: Dream Design

It's just past midnight on a windy February evening in Dallas, Texas, and game designer John Romero sits in his office, scrolling through e-mail. The glow of his 21-inch monitor illuminates his face, while the glass of a framed photo on the desk behind him - which depicts Romero with former partner John Carmack of id in front
screenshot
John Romero, designer of Daikatana.
of a red Ferrari - reflects the monitor's image. Romero keeps scrolling at a breakneck pace, as if his inbox is its own deathmatch where dealing with each e-mail translates into one more frag in his column. As he reads, Romero shoots off replies, complete with his e-mail signature that proclaims, "Daikatana: Almost Done!" above an ASCII-text representation of a Hummer vehicle.

But tonight one message stands out from the rest. Romero's reply tempo is upset when he begins to read a message from a game fan who seemingly picked up Romero's e-mail address off an online site. "Make a public statement that Daikatana is really a thought and some screenshots," the pithy e-mail begins. Then it gets more personal. "I'm here to tell you: Your

"Your days as a game developer are absolutely over."

- E-mail in John Romero's inbox
days as a game developer are absolutely over." Each word of the author's prose further accentuates the prevailing theme that is stated in the concluding paragraph: "I think it would be impossible for you to sleep at night, knowing that you milk the industry and blanket yourself under the sheets of pity."

screenshot
John Romero turns away from his monitor after reading a harsh e-mail message.
After Romero's eyes zero in on the words "sheets of pity," he swivels his chair away from the screen. While not articulating it, it's clear the e-mail vitriol fazed him. "I get that kind of mail on a daily basis," he attests, trying to brush it off. But you can tell no matter how dispassionate he tries to be, each e-mail acts as salt to his wounds, wounds that have grown deeper and wider throughout the development of Daikatana, a first-person shooter that is the first full-scale production from infamous Dallas-based developer Ion Storm.

BEHIND THE GAMES
Instant Poll
What do you think of Ion Storm?
Top quality developer
Yet to prove itself
Troubled past, bright future
A disaster. It should be shut down
No interest in the company

Yet before you pull out your violin to help paint the somber portrait of Romero being a game designer misunderstood by his fans, you remember the ads that ran three years ago, the ones that screamed, "John Romero Wants To Make You His Bitch!" Back then Daikatana was billed as the glorious follow-up to Quake that was going to be done in seven months. Now, it's a game that is more than two years late, has gone through five lead programmers, and is produced by a company that has reportedly burned through $30 million in a few short years. For a second you think that maybe the e-mail author was right - who is Romero, the legendary designer of games like Doom and Quake, trying to fool?
 
« Previous Page A New Romero? »

 

PC GAMES
  ACTION
  ADVENTURE
  DRIVING
  PUZZLE
  ROLE-PLAYING
  SIMULATION
  SPORTS
  STRATEGY
  HARDWARE

  REVIEWS
  PREVIEWS
  FEATURES
  DOWNLOADS
  HINTS/CODES
  GAME GUIDES
  NEWS


where you set the price


SERVICES
  DEMODISC
  GAMESPYDER
  ECIRCLES
  FORUMS
  CONTEST
  EMAIL

INFORMATION
  JOIN
  HELP
  CONTACT US
  INTERNATIONAL

SPONSORED SITES
Play on HEAT.NET

  HEAT
  HEAT.NET


 Sponsored Links
Computers!  Save on Quality Hardware, Software & More at PCZone.com
Sweeps  Win a $4,000 shopping spree at Dell and Office Depot!
LIVE HELP  Get live Windows 2000 help & advice! FREE trial offer!
NeoPlanet  Surf with NeoPlanet 5.1 It's fast, It's free, It's easy
Books  Save $10 off your $30 order today at Barnes & Noble.com!
FAST&LIGHT  TransPort LT - 500MHz, under 5 lbs, from $2100!
 ZDNet Featured Links
Freebies  50 FREE downloads -- this week's top free files!
Shop Smart  Compare prices on over 7,000 computer products & save
Freebies!  Free e-mail, voicemail, downloads & more - all from ZDNet
NEW!  Shop the Outlet Store for best buys on computer products
 Magazine Offers
Biz Help!  Make your small biz a smash: Expert advice, downloads & more

Tech Jobs |  Digital Coupons |  Free E-mail |  Newsletters |  Updates |  MyZDNet |  Alerts |  Rewards |  Join ZDNet |  Members |  ZDNet eCircles
Feedback |  Your Privacy |  Service Terms |  Ad Info
Copyright © 2000 ZD Inc. All rights reserved. ZDNet and the ZDNet logo are trademarks of ZD Inc.