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Role Playing (Games)

John Romero Developing a MMOG 107

bmarklein writes "According to, John Romero is to developing an MMO. He doesn't divulge any details, but does say that it's 'the most money I've ever spent on a game' and that it's 'very different from any other MMO for some special reasons.' Will this live up to the hype, or is history repeating itself?"
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John Romero Developing a MMOG

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  • Daikatana (Score:2, Funny)

    by ponds ( 728911 )
    Man, I just hope it's as good as Daikatana was!
  • MMO? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:28PM (#14616496) Homepage Journal
    John Romero is to developing an MMO.

    What's a Massive Multiplayer Online? Is that a game where Romero goes around with magical powers, turning all the players into a female dog? Sounds about as much fun as his last big game...
  • by Sheik Yerbouti ( 96423 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:28PM (#14616502) Homepage
    Yeah the whole John Romero rockstar developer thing was lame. And the John Romero will make you his bitch ad was really lame. But that is enough kicking now let the guy up. He's just a dude we all do stupid things we should't have to hear about them forever.
    • He's just a dude we all do stupid things we should't have to hear about them forever.

      True, but none of the stupid things I've done have ever been published in a (inter?)nationally distributed magazine.
    • "He's just a dude we all do stupid things"

      Yes, but most of us stop.
    • I would cut him some slack but this interview is hype. Bad hype, just like the past was bad hype. If he had said "I am trying to make a good game" I could accept that. But, no, he is just attaching his name to a phantom title that will supposedly rock your world. It's the same ego, which is amazing given the public floggings his name has received. On the other hand this interview might not have been his idea. It might be a slow news day and the writer said "I wonder what Romero is up to? I could use a good
    • I agree, the whole rockstar thing was lame.. and he looked like an ass. However, another tool was that Shiny guy (also thought he was 'fly'), wtf did he make that was any good, and please don't say 'earth worm jim'.
  • Editing much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cortana ( 588495 ) < minus threevowels> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:28PM (#14616503) Homepage
    "John Romero is to developing an MMO"? An MMO what?
  • by Vaystrem ( 761 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:30PM (#14616523) []Funny All by Itself.
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:32PM (#14616537) Homepage Journal
    I was wondering why Romero has been relatively silent on the MMOG gaming spectrum. The MMOG world is a little too crowded, but there is so much room for more growth outside of what we consider the standard MMOG platform.

    I have an intense high speed connection on my cell phone (the Samsung t809 [] -- 150kbps EDGE download speeds, Java capability, great screen. MMOG occupy a lot of home-office time of my friends who are addicted, to the point that they might blow off good live concerts or events to play. If someone finds a way to get the MMOG world onto the high speed cell phones out there, I think Allstate will have higher premiums for drivers after paying out all the accidents caused by using the cell phone for more than talking.

    And what about developing more cross platform mini-MMOGs? I'm not just talking about getting it working between the X-Box, the PS3 and the PC, I also mean older platforms and even PDAs, laptops, cell phones, who knows what else? Java is pretty standardized, and I think it should be able to handle the performance if the server-side does a good job of filtering out more update information than the bandwidth can handle. I don't see why these games need to be tied to a high speed high power computer at home.

    Other things I'd like to see are MMOGs that set some time limits to equalize the time allotments for older players. I know I can't compete as well as the 15 year old can, so I don't play. I don't have that kind of time. A 1 hour a day time limit might be interesting, though, especially if the game works on any of my many platforms I use daily.

    While MMOGs seem to have hit a plateau of sorts, there is still room to grow once they find the new markets. I know MMOGs will be mainstream when we have a reality TV show dedicated entirely to the lives on digital people. Can you imagine the market of geeks who would watch it? Yeesh.
    • Time limit? why? More specifically, why do you feel the need to be able to keep up with the time commitments of someone else? Even if the time allotments were equalized, how do you deal with the new players? What is the difference, game-wise, between someone who is 'lower-leveled' because they're new as opposed to someone who is lower-leveled because they haven't commited the time? Maybe you're just upset that you never get to see your name on the highscores list, which, if that is your goal, seems to be a
      • I'm going to reply to this, for no particular reason. I don't play WoW, I play a text MUD, but the same problem is there:

        I'm still treated like a newbie. I've been playing longer then a lot of people, on and off, a couple of hours a week, yet all the people I meet don't want to party with me, because every-one else is in a rush to get past "newbiedom" and get to "the real game". When I meet a person who I can party with, next time I play, they are 5 levels up and not interested in some-one of my level.

        So in
        • I play a 2D MMO, and there seems to be a really simple solution to "being treated like a newbie" -- everything important someone's done is kept in a "legend".

          This means that, at a glance, people can see what Yuri (in-game year) I was born, which quests I've done, who I've married, and so on. Those who play simply for levels and stats usually don't have a great legend -- usually less than one page. My legend isn't the most impressive, certainly, but you can tell I'm not a complete newbie.

          Yes, I am still tr
    • Even with 3g and beyond latency is so bad on cell networks that it isn't feasible, except maybe for a turn based game.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:32PM (#14616543)
    Who remembers this?

    "ok, imagine this. you have a health thing and you don't need it.
    you meet someone in the game who has a nice weapon but is really
    low on health. you guys decide to exchange items. you don't really
    trust this guy so you bring along a friend and tell him to hide out
    somewhere with a bead on the other guy's head. you meet somewhere
    in the middle of a field and face off. you drop your health, he drops
    his weapon and you both strafe over the object of your desire. you
    start to back away (not turning your back on him) and suddenly decide
    you're going to whack this guy before he gets a chance to use that
    health. you move towards him and draw back with your hammer. he notices
    this and starts to duck, but it's too late. you smash him in the head
    and watch him fly down to the ground, landing on his side. you smash
    his still body a few more times and cause him to explode! now you and
    your friend pick up all of the items your dead friend left on the
    ground. as you are walking off you pick up his severed head and put
    it in a bag. that will come in useful later... when you need something
    to sacrifice to a demon."

    That's what you used to get if you read his .plan back around 1995. Then we actually saw Quake a year later, and it was just a bigger version of Doom that wanted way more CPU to work properly.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:33PM (#14616559) Homepage
    I wonder what makes it different than most other MMOGs? Maybe he means he won't be using any of the advancements made in the genre in the last ten years? Or maybe it will make your progress dependent on suicidal AIs whose inevitable deaths costs you dearly won progress?

    Or maybe he just means he'll sink incredible amounts of cash into a project that ends up being years late and when finally loosed upon the world is so beneath expectations that it vanishes quietly within months, only to be heard of in derisive jokes?

    No, wait, that would be just like most MMOGs.
  • by Dmala ( 752610 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:34PM (#14616572)
    Of course, one of the character classes will be "John Romero's Bitch"
  • by Fr05t ( 69968 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:38PM (#14616632)
    "Will this live up to the hype, or is history repeating itself?"

    Please check out :

    Yeah, so basically John started Ion Storm and made a couple turds. The problem wasn't the creative portion, it was the project and technical management.

    What use to make id so great was the combination of John C. and John R. C had the technical know how and ability to push a project ahead with realistic technical goals. R had the creative vision to bring together original and fun game play / storyline.

    Personally I feel that id has landed just as many turds since Romero left. The reason it seemed to go unnoticed is because of the big stiffy game mags / teens have for OMGR33TGRFX!

    Anyhow, back to my point. John Romero has been involved in MANY very good, and successful games in the past (before Ion Storm). I don't see why he can't bring us more terrific games, if he manages to surround himself with the right kind team. Not sure if that's the case this time around, but either way I'm willing to bet this new MMO will actually be an original take on the genre.
    • Carmack really helps push foward the game technology world, and yes, most say that now he fails to alight the gamePLAY world, but he has as much significance to the techies as he ever did. He's an important head in such a crowded industry.

      Romero is just a bit of an egomaniac who seems to have no clue these days and is past his selldate with everything. Why should we trust him?
      • "Why should we trust him?"

        Did he steal your lunch money, or something? Why should you trust him? I don't know how to answer that question, because I honestly don't understand how he hurt you so.

        I trust in his ability to bring forth the 'gamePLAY' portion of a game. As I said before if he has the right management / technical people with him, I trust he can live up to his track record. That record being VERY good with the exception of a few games made at Ion.
    • Lacking Romero, id has released a bunch of uninspired games that were entertaining. With Carmack's engine-writing capabilities, they end up with games where you can do all sorts of neat things, but have no reason to do them. Except that they're neat things to do, even without any in-game motivation. With Romero's game-writing capabilities, Ion Storm's released a bunch of inspired games make pointless by technical limitations. This is a worse failure mode for a game.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I would mod you down simply for your whiney title.
    • Personally I feel that id has landed just as many turds since Romero left. The reason it seemed to go unnoticed is because of the big stiffy game mags / teens have for OMGR33TGRFX!

      id hasn't relied solely upon the sales of their games for income. id licenses game engines to others. Basically, look at Half-Life. A highly modified Quake 2 engine powered one of the most popular games of the past decade. Arguably the most popular shooter. id made a killing off of the game too because licensing income is pure pro
    • Have you checked the credits for the games John Romero worked on? There is one game in which he is the lead game designer (yes, the "bitch" one). All the other games that he worked on in the last 10 years he was either a programmer or one of 3+ designers. The last two games he claims credit on he is listed under "special thanks" and "additional design." In other words, he did very little or pissed off the wrong person.

      So, given this track record I'd say that if he is working on an MMO as a programmer o
  • John Romero? Awesome! It must have zombies in it, then!
  • new mod score (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @12:51PM (#14616788) Journal
    -5 (Letdown)

    I first read this as "John **Carmack** developing new MMOG?"
    • That's odd. I first read it as "*George* Romero developing new MMOG". Now *that* could be fun. Shooting zombies right and left, moving from safe-house to safe-house, watching your fallen comrades rise again as flesh-eating creatures of the night. Mmmmm....brains.
    • Yeah, I read it that way too. Ah well.

      Perhaps it won't be as bad as people might fear. He *has* done good stuff, despite what the PA crowd might say.
  • John Romero is to developing an MMO... Microsoft is to writing secure software? the RIAA is to sharing music? Slashdot editors are to using proper grammar?

  • 1000 people walking into walls since it's incredibly unplayable!
  • Can someone post a link or two that might help explain who John is and what he has done?
    • John Romero is a video game designer and programmer. From what I've read, he's an excellent designer, but often finds it frustrating that the programming aspect of the games he envisions often lacks the necessary capability to bring his work to life in the way it was originally intended.

      He worked closely with John Carmack at id Software to develop various classics including: the []>Comman der Keen series, Doom [], Doom 2 [], Quake [], then later Daikatana []. Daikatana wa
      • Wow - thanks! I'd never even heard of "Daikatana" (2000), but then again I finished up my undergrad, started working full time and got married in 1998 so my knowledge of gaming pretty much drops off at that point. (I was dimly aware that my Linux-powered Doom machines were alive thanks to a pair of programmers, but I wasn't actually aware of their names.)

        From the articles...
        "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch"
        "In January 2004 he married a teenager he met on the internet." sounds like th

      • "but often finds it frustrating that the programming aspect of the games he envisions often lacks the necessary capability to bring his work to life in the way it was originally intended." Then he isn't a good designer. Period. You have to know the limitations and do your best to produce the best work possible within them. He doesn't do this. At all.
        • You're beginning to get the point. When he tried to run his own company and set his own creative process, he failed miserably.

          Essentialy he grossly underestimated the amount of work required, horribly mismanaged his enormous team (he assumed that more people is better), and (here's the big thing), wasted enormous amounts of money on lavish offices and expenses.

          Had they not blown all their money on useless things, they might have survived the post-daiketana implosion.

          The interesting thing to note is that the
    • He made you his bitch.
    • are you f*cking retarded?
      it's 2006, learn to f*cking use
      • I think your keyboard keys are stuck together again. All your u's turned out to be asterisks. (I think I agree with your mother: it's time to put away the Showgirls posters in your basement.)

        I suppose I could use Google, but what's the point of allowing links in the articles if authors are too lazy to spend one sentence telling us why we might care about this or that random fucko?

    • Happy to oblige.
    • Can someone post a link or two that might help explain who John is and what he has done?

      That's simple. 10 years ago John Romero and John Carmack made games for ID software. Romero did the gameplay and design, Carmack did the graphics and coding. The combination resulted in great games, Return to castle Wolfenstein and Doom I/II.
      Then Romero left during or after Quake 1, and since then Carmack has been making games that are great in graphics but sorely lacking in gameplay. Romero has been thinking up games

    • You did _not_ just ask that...
  • by MythoBeast ( 54294 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @01:06PM (#14616974) Homepage Journal
    I thought that the tag line said that George Romero was creating a new MMOG. Now THAT would be cool! Especially if they could get Burton to help design the sets, and maybe Geiger to design some monsters.

    I can just see it now. Aliens came and conquored mankind, destroyed all of civilization, and then died of bird flu. The corpses of the dead roam the world, animated as killing machines to help clean up the remaining humans. Even though the aliens are wiped out, the planet is still heavily infested with their deadly flora and fauna. Only a few small enclaves of man remain in existence, subsiding off of scavanged materials and parts gotten from dangerous trips into the nearby critter infested cities.

    Oooo, I like it! Now all I need is a few million and some good developers.
  • Isn't John Carmack making an MMO also? I specifically remember from the book Masters of Doom, that both of them have always been into the MMO idea. I thought Carmack was actually more into it, talking about how he wanted to 'make the metaverse' one day.

    Really, it would be cool if they were both working on it, because neither seems to make games as well without the other.
  • Question (Score:3, Funny)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <> on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @01:08PM (#14616998) Homepage Journal
    Will it make me his bitch?
  • I am interested because I am sure Romero will approach the genre with a different perspective than what we keep seeing now. Almost all of his projects, except for Gauntlet, were pretty original or tried something new.
  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @01:41PM (#14617364) Homepage
    Could this secret company be KingIsle Entertainment ( [] ) ?

    Tom Hall moved to that company to create an MMOG.
    • It very well could be that company. They boast "well-funded" and "veteran programmers". I guess we'll see. The're actively looking for level designers, senior programmers and character developers.

      Time will tell.

  • zerg (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @01:45PM (#14617405) Homepage
    Everyone makes mistakes. Let's at least wait until the demo comes out before we pass judgement.
    • Sorry. Everybody wants in on the Daikatana jokes... ;)

      Seriously, I agree with you. Hope it's not yet another swords and wizards MMO, though. :)

  • and Immediately got excited thinking how awesome a zombie apocalypse survival horror MMORPG would be. Then I remembered the name and realized it was the pretty-girl man thing who was important once.
  • Romero's response (Score:3, Informative)

    by aarku ( 151823 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @02:56PM (#14618245) Journal []
  • Poor John. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mathness ( 145187 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @03:14PM (#14618457) Homepage
    John Romero Developing a MMOG

    Is is cureable and is he getting treatment?
    Did he get a second opinion from another doctor?
    What is it any way? I sure hope it isn't some nasty stuff like the avian flu or cancer.
  • Way back when usenet was useful, I actually hung out on the newsgroups. I remember reading this post in

    Eric: :You may be a DOOM GOD, but I am the Master of your Universe and all that bow :down to you eventually bow down to me. Yes, even YOU, Eric, kneel and drink my :knob after having beaten all who challenge you. Do you dare take on your :master, pitiful DOOM GOD? :Email me and request your ass beating, if you have the balls.

  • That fits. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by leshert ( 40509 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @08:51PM (#14622004) Homepage
    Interesting... I used to be in the game industry, and a few days ago I got an email from an independent headhunter looking for senior developers to work on a project at "John Romero's new company". At least one of my ex-coworkers from the game days also got the email.

    The email was very short on particulars, but the company appears to be in the Bay area. Honestly, if it weren't for having to pull chocks and move cross-country, I'd seriously have thought about it... yes, Daikatana sucked, and yes, Romeros started breathing a little too much of his own exhaust during the late id days, but I still think he knows what he's talking about.

Air is water with holes in it.