John Romero – interview

One of the most intresting and controversial game developers of the world – that is John Romero, the author of games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom I & II or Heretic. Few months ago, he changed his lifestyle – he started teaching at the university, cut his long hair and began the development of games for GBA and mobile phones. We have spoken with him about his life and future…
John Romero – interview

Doupe: Only few months ago you have visage as "a rock star". Was your life like it?
John Romero: I don`t think so - I don`t have any rock stars as friends, so I can`t compare lifestyles. I`m guessing my life wasn`t like it though since I work long hours every day...

Doupe: What lead you to lost your hair and go to teach at university? Do you like this job? What will you expect of it?
J.R.: I wanted a change from 11 years of having long hair. I definitely liked my hair long, but most of my life I had short hair and I like it this way equally. I love teaching class at the university especially because the students are so eager and excited to learn - and it only takes one night a week from me. At the end of the semester, if I really enjoyed the whole thing, I`ll probably do it again.

Doupe: Can you be self-critical? What do you think about your last projects in Ion Storm after several months?
J.R.: Well, Daikatana wasn`t the game I set out to create - it took far too long and lots happened during development to ensure it would never match its potential. I think it`s a decent game, but it`s not a triple-A title.  Anachronox was a great game, though, and along with Deus Ex, achieved what I had wanted to achieve at Ion Storm - multiple excellent games in development at once and all being released with critical acclaim.  Unfortunately, Daikatana didn`t make that list, but it did make an impact in a different way.

Doupe: After your leave from Ion Storm you started a new game company, which doesn´t produce magnificient PC projects (as e.g. Daikatana was), but small games for palms, mobile phones etc. Why such big change?Do you think that just palms and mobile phones are future of gamming?
J.R.: Mobile phones are the next frontier in gaming - there are about 800 million cell phones in use and people cycle them out within 2 years, very much like their PCs. And you`re not always at your PC, but you`re always a gamer; having fun games on your cell phone means you don`t have to stop playing games just because you`re not at your desk.

Doupe: Wouldn ´t you like to start to program some PC game again? Are you interested in PC games? Do you have some favourite PC game which you look forward to?
J.R.: I am programming PC games, but I`m also enjoying learning new platforms like the Game Boy Advance and J2ME for cell phones in addition to PC coding.

The PC game I`m looking forward to right now is Vice City!

Doupe: What do you think about online games? Do you want to make some? What it would be about?
J.R.: Online games are *awesome* - especially if you can really spend a lot of time in them and they reward you for the time spent. I am definitely going to be making online games but I`m not sure exactly what it will be about yet.

Doupe: How is your vision about the games in the year 2012? Will people still play games? :-)
J.R.: Of course - people will always play games. I can`t even imagine what games will be like in 10 years - that`s too far in the future.

Doupe: Do you have any dream in connection with games or gamming industry, which you want to realize?
J.R.: To keep pushing myself to learn more and work on coming up with new ideas for games of the future - my games.


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