id Software origin story | John Carmack and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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August 8, 2022
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Lex Clips
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id Software origin story | John Carmack and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

This content discusses the origin story of a game developer and their journey in creating iconic games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake, as well as the introduction of the shareware model in the gaming industry.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the game developer get their start in the gaming industry?

The game developer initially worked in contract programming and created small games for a company called Soft Disk Publishing. They eventually decided to take a job offer at the company after meeting programmers who had more knowledge in the field.

Q: What was the significance of the shareware model introduced by Apogee Software?

The shareware model revolutionized the gaming industry by splitting games into trilogy sets. The first part of the trilogy was distributed as shareware, allowing players to experience a complete game. If players enjoyed it, they could purchase the full trilogy. This model was successful and garnered a significant amount of support and fan mail.

Q: How did the developer implement scrolling in their games?

Initially, the developer used an adaptive tile refresh method, where only the tiles that changed when scrolling were redrawn, resulting in smoother gameplay. Later, they explored different techniques and discovered that having a buffer screen outside the visible screen area enabled seamless scrolling.

Q: What led the developer to start their own game development company?

After showcasing a demo to their colleagues, the developer and the team received positive feedback. They reached out to Scott Miller at Apogee Software and received financial support to create their games. However, they made the mistake of continuing their work at Soft Disk Publishing, leading to legal complications.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The content explores the early days of the game developer, highlighting their experience with game development and contract programming work.

  • The developer's encounter with programmers who had more knowledge and expertise than them led to them accepting a job offer and moving to a different city.

  • The creation of a gaming-focused subscription model and the development of games that showcased innovative scrolling techniques were pivotal moments in the developer's journey.

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