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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Classic Game Postmortem: 'Quake': The End of the Original Id

John Romero  (Managing Director, Romero Games Ltd.)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 8:30am - 9:00am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: I acknowledge GDC 2021 is an all-digital event and commit to participating virtually.

With the release of DOOM and DOOM II, id software were masters of mayhem, riding high and unstoppable. They would soon begin work on Quake, an ambitious truly 3D FPS that would seek, once again, to redefine the state of the art. Released in 1996, Quake introduced the world to 3D mouse look, 60fps 3D texture-mapped rendering with lighting, and internet multiplayer with a client/server architecture. With its release came the birth of eSports as clans and competitions sprung up worldwide. Over twenty years later, it is still acknowledged as one of gaming's masterworks. In this talk, id cofounder and Quake designer John Romero takes the audience through the rollercoaster that was Quake's creation and reveals why it brought about the end of the original id.


This session presents the development history of the historic game Quake in 1995-96. Attendees will learn about the obstacles we faced and how we surmounted them, wrapping up with the changes in the company, and the advances that Quake brought to the game industry.

Intended Audience

Anyone interested in the history of the game industry, 3D FPS games, or id Software in general.