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The Early Days of id Software
John Romero @romero
Madrid | November 29 - 30, 2018
I D S O F T WA R E ’ S
E A R LY D AY S
A S T O L D B Y J O H N R O M E R O
Inside Out Software
John Carmack Adrian Carmack(not related!)
Me
John
This is John’s Dungeons and Dragons
table where we played all our sessions
NES with SMB3 running on it and
an Advantage joystickThe 1st level
of our demo
Cheap
chairs
386/33s from
Softdisk
Eraser fluid
Whiteboard
DeluxePaint II
with tiles
NES with SMB3 running and
Advantage joystick on a 13-channel
TV set. VCR under NES.
More cheap c...
Founded February 1, 1991
“No prototypes. Just make the
game. Polish as you go. Don’t
depend on polish happening
later. Always maintain
constantly s...
QUICK STORY!
“It’s incredibly important that
your game can always be run
by your team. Bulletproof
your engine by providing
defaults up...
“Keep your code absolutely
simple. Keep looking at your
functions and figure out how
you can simplify further.
S TA G E 2
“Great tools help make great
games. Spend as much time
on tools as possible.
“We are our own best testing
team and should never allow
anyone else to experience
bugs or see the game crash.
Don’t waste...
“As soon as you see a bug,
you fix it. Do not continue on.
If you don’t fix your bugs your
new code will be built on a
bug...
“Use a development system
that is superior to your target.
QUICK STORY!
• at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want
an invento...
• at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want
an invento...
“Write your code for this game
only – not for a future game.
You’re going to be writing
new code later because you’ll
be s...
• at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want
an invento...
QUICK STORY!
“Encapsulate functionality to
ensure design consistency.
This minimizes mistakes and
saves design time.
QUICK STORY!
Turbo Mode
28 Games
5.5 years
Fewer than 10 developers
“Try to code transparently. Tell your
lead and peers exactly how you
are going to solve your current
task and get feedback...
“Programming is a creative art
form based in logic. Every
programmer is different and
will code differently. It’s the
outp...
The Early Days of id Software
John Romero @romero
Madrid | November 29 - 30, 2018
Thank You.
Instagram: @theromero
Twitter: @romero
john@romero.com
S I G N E D B Y R O M E R O
P O S T E R S € 1 0
B O O K + P O S T E R € 3 0
C A S H O R PAY PA L J O H N @ R O M E R O . C...
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018
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John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018

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As co-founders of id Software, John Romero and John Carmack created the code behind the company's seminal titles. The principles they defined through experience in id’s earliest days built upon one another to produce a unique methodology and a constantly shippable codebase. In this talk, John Romero discusses id software’s early days, these programming principles and the events and games that led to their creation.

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John Romero - The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles - Codemotion Madrid 2018

  1. 1. The Early Days of id Software John Romero @romero Madrid | November 29 - 30, 2018
  2. 2. I D S O F T WA R E ’ S E A R LY D AY S A S T O L D B Y J O H N R O M E R O
  3. 3. Inside Out Software
  4. 4. John Carmack Adrian Carmack(not related!)
  5. 5. Me John This is John’s Dungeons and Dragons table where we played all our sessions
  6. 6. NES with SMB3 running on it and an Advantage joystickThe 1st level of our demo Cheap chairs 386/33s from Softdisk
  7. 7. Eraser fluid Whiteboard
  8. 8. DeluxePaint II with tiles NES with SMB3 running and Advantage joystick on a 13-channel TV set. VCR under NES. More cheap chairs Bedsheet used as tablecloth
  9. 9. Founded February 1, 1991
  10. 10. “No prototypes. Just make the game. Polish as you go. Don’t depend on polish happening later. Always maintain constantly shippable code.
  11. 11. QUICK STORY!
  12. 12. “It’s incredibly important that your game can always be run by your team. Bulletproof your engine by providing defaults upon load failure.
  13. 13. “Keep your code absolutely simple. Keep looking at your functions and figure out how you can simplify further.
  14. 14. S TA G E 2
  15. 15. “Great tools help make great games. Spend as much time on tools as possible.
  16. 16. “We are our own best testing team and should never allow anyone else to experience bugs or see the game crash. Don’t waste others’ time. Test thoroughly before checking in your code.
  17. 17. “As soon as you see a bug, you fix it. Do not continue on. If you don’t fix your bugs your new code will be built on a buggy codebase and ensure an unstable foundation.
  18. 18. “Use a development system that is superior to your target.
  19. 19. QUICK STORY!
  20. 20. • at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want an inventory system in a medieval version of DOOM would play. it turned out great 
 • at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i wan an inventory system in a medieval version of DOOM would play. it turned out great 

  21. 21. • at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want an inventory system in a medieval version of DOOM would play. it turned out great 
 • at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i wan an inventory system in a medieval version of DOOM would play. it turned out great 

  22. 22. “Write your code for this game only – not for a future game. You’re going to be writing new code later because you’ll be smarter.
  23. 23. • at the beginning of i started working with Raven Software and developed Heretic using the DOOM engine. i want an inventory system in a medieval version of DOOM would play. it turned out great 

  24. 24. QUICK STORY!
  25. 25. “Encapsulate functionality to ensure design consistency. This minimizes mistakes and saves design time.
  26. 26. QUICK STORY!
  27. 27. Turbo Mode 28 Games 5.5 years Fewer than 10 developers
  28. 28. “Try to code transparently. Tell your lead and peers exactly how you are going to solve your current task and get feedback and advice. Do not treat game programming like each coder is a black box. The project could go off the rails and cause delays.
  29. 29. “Programming is a creative art form based in logic. Every programmer is different and will code differently. It’s the output that matters.
  30. 30. The Early Days of id Software John Romero @romero Madrid | November 29 - 30, 2018
  31. 31. Thank You. Instagram: @theromero Twitter: @romero john@romero.com
  32. 32. S I G N E D B Y R O M E R O P O S T E R S € 1 0 B O O K + P O S T E R € 3 0 C A S H O R PAY PA L J O H N @ R O M E R O . C O M

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