An interview with id software's
ROBERT A. DUFFY
Robert Duffy, full-time id software programmer, was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about himself, his job and the future of the editor and the tools - with the new engine just around the corner. A german translation of this interview can be found here.
01 Mr. Duffy, to start off with: What does the "A" in Robert A. Duffy stand for, how old are you, when did you join id software and what does your job description say in terms of your duties within the company?
Robert Duffy: The A stands for Allen. I am 38 and I've been full time at id for about two and a half years and I did contract work for them for about one and a half years before that. My job description is "Programmer", I work on the editor, tools, the in-game gui systems and game code ( doors, security cameras, etc.. about to get started on some effects for things as well ). I also deal with our licensees most of the time as far as code updates and stuff and at times work on other things as needed. I worked with Kevin [Cloud] on the Wolf MP stuff and did some work on Wolf towards the end of the project tidying some stuff up.
02 I'm sure a lot of enthusiastic gamers out there would like to know and follow in your footsteps: What kind of education did you go through and what other companies / projects did you work for before you got hired by id? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Robert Duffy: I am self taught. The last 3 companies I was at before id I wrote code as well as managed the development process. I was Director of Technology for a company in Los Angeles just prior to coming to id, co-founded a net company back in the early-mid nineties before that.. etc..
A fighter pilot but my vision sucks.
03 Who was around when you had your application interview and how did you feel when you entered the "holy hallways" of id software for the first time?
Robert Duffy: John [Carmack] sent me an e-mail saying they wanted to hire me full time. I went up and talked to him ( and I think Graeme [Devine] was there at the time ) told him I'd get back to him in a day or so and after discussing it with my wife went for it. I was first at id many years ago when DOOM was first shipping, we were looking to license technology for some stuff at the time.
More recently when I started contracting it was a good impression but a bit intimidating.
04 Violence in Gaming and its influence on teenagers is a huge topic worldwide. My opinion is that people who spend some time kicking butt in fast-paced shooters like Q3A will definitely not tend to aggressively kick butt out on the streets. What is your take?
Robert Duffy: I'll have to keep my take on this to myself.
05 As far as I understand legislation in your country, it is part of the constitution that every american citizen is allowed to wear a gun. In my opinion that is one major reason for teenage high-school killings - while claiming games like "Doom" guilty is completely ridiculous. What is your opinion?
Robert Duffy: Well wearing a gun and owning a gun are two very different things and neither of them have to do with any game in my opinion. The only countries I have ever seen citizens wearing guns are ones where it was illegal. I don't think to date I have seen a citizen wearing a firearm in public here in the US.
06 Doom 3: Quoting John Carmack, for the new engine the editor will be part of the main game executable and called via a command line parameter. Will that make it possible for level designers to preview their maps without fully re-compiling each time? Will the 3D-Window within the editor finally be game-engine-powered? And what will this mean in terms of the editor's looks and usability in general?
Robert Duffy: Yes the editor is built into the game ( as are all the tools ). You can preview in realtime what a level looks like. The editor is much like Q3Radiant but with additional functionality.
07 In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit community & professional level designers will face using the new tools / editor compared to what Q3Radiant does for them today?
Robert Duffy: Real time preview and integration will help a lot.
08 How is development of the new engine and tools coming along? Are the new tools already in use by anyone, creating content for the new engine? In general - without giving "when it's done" statements ;o) - when do you think a demo version of the new engine will be available: Late 2002, Early 2003 oder Late 2003?
Robert Duffy: Things are going very well.
09 If you were - and you are now :o) - to give yourself three attributes without giving a damn about what other people might think about you - what would they be?
Robert Duffy: Hmmm.. I dunno, I'm fairly happy to live with myself as I am and deal with the good and bad aspects of that ;-)
10 What do you think about George Bush? Do you believe in God? What are your basic ethical values in every day social life?
Robert Duffy: He has done a great job under intense pressure. I am glad he is our president. Yes but not like most people probably do. I try to be a good moral human on a daily basis.
We would like to thank Robert Duffy for taking the time to answer our questions and wish both him and id software all the best for the future.