Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots
Still Creating Cool Stuff

Russ Pitts | 7 Aug 2007 14:12
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"As far as me personally ... id's known for getting to a point where we know, in order to get the game to where we want it to be, we've got to put in the extra hours to make it better. So that's not anything new to the guys here, but it's always a struggle to do it."

id is also known for bringing mod developers up to the big leagues and sharing its spotlight with some of the freshest faces in the industry. I asked Cloud what the secret was to id's unprecedented success at finding and elevating new talent, and if it had refined the art of plucking modders from the underground to a science.

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He said it all goes back to Doom and the decision to release the game's code to the community, something most companies wouldn't have dreamed of doing.

"John was really for [releasing the code,] and I have to admit at the time I was not supportive of it," he said. "It kind of worried me that we were creating a world of competition out there. But I think it comes from the idea that we'd all liked to have done that when we were not in the industry: to have played with these tools and created things [instead of] creating them on paper or writing the programs from scratch.

"As a company, we've been really supportive of trying to foster an online community, a mod-making community. As far as bringing them into the industry, I think that's not something unique to id. I think a lot of people are recognizing the talents of the developers out in the community. For one thing, they're working in real-world stuff. They're making models for games, making art and levels for games, so they have to work within the constraints of the game, which is difficult for people to get used to if they haven't worked in the industry before.

"Also, they're doing it out of pure passion. Because they love games and love making games, and that says a lot about the person you're hiring when they're willing to do that. When you're dealing with somebody who's getting out there and making content for games, you have a lot to see. They can put something up and show you exactly what they've done and that makes it easier to pick good people."

Talking to Cloud, I get the impression he's a bit of a battle-hardened warrior. After living through one of the most tumultuous break-ups in game industry history, surviving almost two decades of life at the cutting edge of game design and being a part of the design teams behind more than half a dozen record-setting games, I asked him if he ever felt like, no matter what the business threw at him, he'd been there, done that and seen it all.

"No, I don't feel that [way] at all," he said, laughing. "Sometimes you do run across things you've seen before. For example, on an id game, I really do have 100 percent faith that at the end of the day the game is going to be great. We will work on it and we will push it until it's great.

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