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John Carmack the reason for Apogee's success?
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thewiirocks
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:16 pm
   Subject: John Carmack the reason for Apogee's success?
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You know, it's been an interesting adventure digging through the formats used by Wolf3D. They've lead me to a number of related and derivative formats used throughout the Apogee software catalog. Thomas mentioned in a recent thread that Bio Menace used some of the same datafiles as Wolf3D. Yet it appears that just about everything Apogee did derived from ID software's codebase!

I don't know about anyone else, but this is a bit of a shocker for me. I always felt that ID and Apogee were such a good fit back in the day because they both made incredible games. It never would have occurred to me for a minute that the Commander Keen and Wolf3D codebases were what propped them up!

Everything from Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Major Stryker, Bio Menace, Duke Nukem, and Duke Nukem II all the way to Blake Stone and Rise of the Triad; it was all John Carmack's code wasn't it? In fact, the company seems to subsist from one stroke of genius to the next. First Commander Keen, then Wolf3D, and finally the Build Engine by the incredibly smart Ken Silverman!

It strikes me that Apogee was never really the strong company they appeared to be. They fell to the wayside not because they couldn't get DNF out the door, but because they no longer had the backing of other people's talent to continue. Thus they died milking the daylights out of the last solid piece of technology they ever owned: the Build Engine.

Alas, my childhood is a lie. A cold, cruel lie. Crying or Very sad

Ok, so I'm overstating things a bit. But was anyone else hugely surprised to learn this stuff? I had always thought that Doom was the first engine that ID licensed for third party purposes. The Apogee engine had certainly appeared to be reused from game to game (the window layout was a bit of a tipoff), but I never in a million years would have guessed that ID was licensing engines from Day 1! Secret Surprised
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:32 pm
   Subject: Re: John Carmack the reason for Apogee's success?
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thewiirocks wrote:
Everything from Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Major Stryker, Bio Menace, Duke Nukem, and Duke Nukem II all the way to Blake Stone and Rise of the Triad; it was all John Carmack's code wasn't it?
Not all of them; check the author's credits for Duke Nukem I and II, Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Dark Ages, and Monuments Of Mars. These were all programmed by Todd Replogle. Assuming I have all the names spelled right, Pharoah's Tomb and Artic Adventure were programmed by George Broussard. Lastly, nearly all text-based Apogee releases were programmed by Scott Miller, Kroz releases included.
thewiirocks
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:14 pm
   Subject: Re: John Carmack the reason for Apogee's success?
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I see where my mistake was. In digging, I noticed two things:

1. Comments from ID that they began licensing the Keen engine to Apogee.

2. That several of the internal formats were the same between ID titles and Apogee titles.

I since found this FAQ:

http://www.rinkworks.com/apogee/s/2.7.1.shtml

It appears that only BioMenace used the Keen engine. Which actually makes me happy. My childhood is restored! Yay! Laughing

I guess there must have been some cross-pollination going on between the ID and Apogee teams then. That seems like the only reasonable explanation for how the ID formats (IMF - id Software Music Format - in particular) ended up in Apogee's software...
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