Doom co-creators John Romero and Adrian Carmack unveil retro shooter Blackroom

The dream of the '90s is alive in Galway.


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UPDATE, 29 April: And the crowdfunding qualms win out. After raising about $150K in the last four days, Romero and Carmack “pausedBlackroom’s Kickstarter campaign this morning—meaning, it’s canceled for the time being while they work on a demo. From the main page:

“The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look, and innovative, cool features that make BLACKROOM truly unique. Simply put, this will take more time than the Kickstarter has left, so we’ve decided to suspend the campaign and launch a new one when the gameplay demo is ready.”

Bold move. We’ll let you know if/when the campaign returns.


John Romero and Adrian Carmack promised an unveiling for April 25 and an unveiling is what we’ve got. The two id Software alumni are returning after a long hiatus to their first-person shooter roots for Blackroom...provided, of course, that we make it through the requisite Kickstarter campaign.

Crowdfunding qualms aside, it sounds intriguing. The titular “Blackroom” apparently refers to an in-game hologram technology that “allows users to be anywhere at any time, creating fully realized holographic worlds that are indistinguishable from reality, all inside of a giant black room.”


Incredible technology? Cue horrific problems. “When testing of their new leading-edge Predictive Memory technology reveals troubling anomalies that blend the real world with the virtual, you’re sent in to investigate and are swept across a staggering and dangerous array of simulations developed for Blackroom users, from medieval castles to horror sets.”

That breadth and flexibility of setting could be fascinating, if done right—like an extended dream sequence.

But I expect more people will be roped in by the implications of a Romero/Carmack pairing. You can’t throw around the names of two id Software cofounders without certain implications, and Blackroom isn’t shy about the fact it wants to resurrect 1990s-style shooters. “Strafe jumping,” “circle strafing,” “rocket jumping,” and “fully moddable” are all mentioned in the Kickstarter description. This is a fast-paced game for people who miss gibs and wailing guitar solos and big guns.

Or people who hated the recent Doom multiplayer beta, I guess.

As for the actual crowdfunding campaign, there’s the usual slate of rewards and unlockables. Romero and Carmack are looking to raise $700,000, with the game set for a Winter 2018 release. The campaign ends May 27.

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