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Old 05-19-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
Joe Siegler
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Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Back in 1994 when I was working on Rise of the Triad, it was one of the more fun times in my life. Back then I was just two years into my 16.5 with the company. At that time, I was still fairly green, and it was really cool to me to have Tom Hall working here. I was a fan of this company's product (I'm in the ancient customer databases as having bought things like Wolfenstein, Keen, Duke 1, Crystal Caves, etc)...

Anyway, I was one of the level designers on Rise of the Triad. It was my first professional game as a developer, and it was working with a guy who was one of my heroes before I got into the industry – that was way cool. It was fun coming up with things and tech in the game, and one of the things that was an on the fly thing that I recall were “gads”.1 They're the little silver discs which could be suspended in air.. Anyway, Rise of the Triad was done with the same editor that Wolfenstein 3D & Commander Keen (and a host of others like Bio Menace) were done with. It's name was “Ted”.2 Was an editor that John Romero came up with way back in the day in the earliest days of id Software. It was a good little editor, but like most pieces of software it had it's own idiosyncrasies.

With gads, however, you had to figure out the proper hex values for each gad so if you wanted to make a stairwell of gads, you had to place them at the right spot. Each Gad item placement had to have it's height set via secondary (or tertiary, I don't recall right now) values. If you put them too close it looked really stupid, and if you placed them too far apart, your character would get stuck on them. Tom Hall eventually figured out a sequence of hex codes that would make a proper stairwell of Gads in ROTT. He printed it out on a piece of paper, and stuck it to his monitor. This was the general guideline for gad stairs in ROTT. It was tweaked sometimes, if you wanted a different visual look to your stairwell for some aesthetic reason, but this little piece of paper of Tom's was the defacto guideline for ROTT stair building.

So it was a surprise to me that when Tom left 3DR to go do Ion Storm in August of 1996, on his last day, he handed me the little Gad paper with his hex chart. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of “You're now the official keeper of the GAD chart”. I even asked Tom today if he remembered what he said, and he doesn't, but did recall the exchange. (We're fairly sure it wasn't something involving a scroll, robes, and pinpricks of blood, however.) So from that day on until right now, I've had that piece of paper on my monitor. Whenever I'd change offices, change monitors (or even in Nov 2002 when 3DR picked up and moved their HQ), that piece of Gad paper has been with me.

I've never forgotten the thrill it was to work on ROTT with someone whose work I admired before I started working for the company that was responsible for lots of my gaming enjoyment. That stupid little piece of paper is the last remaining tie to the days of ROTT development for me. Not counting Scott & George, I'm the last man standing at the same company (for the moment) that developed ROTT 15 years ago. It's a bit stupid, but that's how I feel about that piece of paper.

As I write this I only have a few days left to work here, and I'll be out the door. When I do that, the silly lite piece of paper is coming home with me, and will live on my monitor at home.

Attached are a few pictures of the piece of paper from various times during my time here at 3DR... The last one was taken today, but cel phone cameras don't seem to do it justice. I'll have to take a good picture of it when I get the paper home and on that monitor. To me personally, THAT will be the moment I don't work here anymore. When the Gad cheat sheet goes.

FOOTNOTES:

1. "GAD. Gravitational Anomaly Disc".
2. "TED. Tile EDitor."
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 03_2000.jpg (165.8 KB, 856 views)
File Type: jpg 05_2006.jpg (159.9 KB, 803 views)
File Type: jpg 07_2008.jpg (258.9 KB, 802 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1250.JPG (158.2 KB, 693 views)
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Last edited by Joe Siegler; 05-20-2009 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Added Footnotes at the request of Tom Hall. :)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
Boosh

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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I can't tell you how much time I've spent (back in the 90s, and even these days), playing ROTT. That game had such an immersive quality. Loved it. Still do.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
wieder
Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I'm a game developer thanks to ROTT!
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Story made me chuckle, i understand that memories of good times can be attached to the silliest and most pointless objects imaginable, even a sheet of paper
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
Ras

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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I had hoped that yesterday's press release meant you were going to be able to stay. Good luck to you in wherever you go from here.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Hmmm... I have erased like five reactionary statements along the lines of:
I understand very closely due to a very similar life work experience. :|
That is so freaking sad I nearly cried. );
Joe may be more human than he appears. : )
That is really cool to have kept up with that piece of history all these years. =)

Not sure what to say... the above will have to do.
Thank you Joe for sharing.

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I enjoyed reading that.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
The Count

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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I never completed ROTT but that doesn't matter - now.

What matters is that I will miss those kind of postings / stories. Thank you for sharing
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I see the Duke Nukem Forever wallpaper
I feel sorry for 3DRealms
3DRealms will live in our hearts
3DRealms was important for history of videogames
Joe good luck for your future and for your family
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Frame it!
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #11
Derfernet
Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
That Alf?
Killer office.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #12
shiranui

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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Thank you, Joe, for a nostalgic, yet poignant, piece.

DIP, or should the be "the DIP", promised at the end of ROTT that they would be back.
Remind Tom Hall of this, next time you talk to him.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:38 PM   #13
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Red face Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Joe S,

Rats.

So sad that you will be leaving.

It just won't be the same without you.

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Old 05-19-2009, 11:50 PM   #14
Kennerado

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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
lol DIP, I remember that.

One of the cheat codes was DIPSTICK.

ROTT was a great game, very funny as well.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:06 AM   #15
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Lost my ROTT disk sometime ago - but I re-bought it a little bit back to enjoy some classic FPS goodness...and it's still fun to play! I remember playing the demo of ROTT and seeing the bullet marks on the walls and being totally amazed...then dropping down into the first main room and being totally blown away at how awesome it already was... Man, I also remember making levels for the game and getting the "I'm Free!" error fairly often lol. Good times.

I hope all of you guys that worked at 3DR have nothing but fond memories of the time there!
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #16
Joe Siegler
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
OK, I brought my digital camera to the office today, and took a better picture of the Gad sheet on my monitor. I replaced the fuzzy picture in the first post with a better quality one.

I also took the picture that is attached, which shows the sheet more closely.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1251.JPG (165.2 KB, 392 views)
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #17
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Great stuff, Joe.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:51 AM   #18
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
That story reminds me of a chewing gum wrapper I keep in my wallet for way over a decade now.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #19
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ras View Post
I had hoped that yesterday's press release meant you were going to be able to stay. Good luck to you in wherever you go from here.
I second that. I still tend to think it's all gonna be a great joke somehow.

Thanks for sharing, Joe. And thanx for all the great work through the years making this place a friendly and cosy home for us waiters and believers.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #20
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Hehe, that's a funny story!

All these little tidbits kind of make it feel like I was there for some reason. Good stuff
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:02 PM   #21
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
I used to keep a 4 leaf clover that I found in 1992 (laminated) in my wallet until a few years ago when I was deploying. I didn't want to lose it out there so I kept it at my house.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:37 PM   #22
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosh View Post
I can't tell you how much time I've spent (back in the 90s, and even these days), playing ROTT. That game had such an immersive quality. Loved it. Still do.
I play it more for the eyeballs rolling down the screen
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:52 AM   #23
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Heh - nice story
By now, I bet you know can recall these numbers by rote.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:45 AM   #24
Per Hansson
Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
This port for ROTT to the Symbian S60 v3 based phones might bring back some memories, I never played ROTT myself, but allot of Duke3D (and yes, they do have a symbian port for Duke3D aswell)

http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39559
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:40 PM   #25
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Good story Joe. It's amazing the things that build up sentimental meaning for a person over time in a workplace. I have a few "gad sheets" of my own, so I get where you're coming from.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #26
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
That's pretty kewl. I loved the pictures on the ROTT CD of you guys messing around... especially the pics of Tom Hall. It looked like a fun group to work with. It's really amazing how much things have changed since then.

Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:23 AM   #27
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
ROTT is probably my favorite Apogee-developed game. Amusing story, Joe. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:20 AM   #28
NeiSep
Wink Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
i bet most of the guys/girls at 3D Realms has some kind of history but only one guy telling about it.
It feels good to know the history but Joe try stop being in the past and try figure out the future instead i mean your talent guy im sure you will find a new jobb that may fit you perfect

I do feel sorry for you losing something that has become kind of home number 2 is never fun i can actually not put myself into your position how you feel and such things but on other hand i know the feeling about having no work to go to
As you said in couple other posts that you been working for 3DRealms for 16 years theres probly reason why they have keept you so long.

Enought about that anyway i do remember in the old days when i was abit younger me and my friend got the shareware version of duke nukem it was actually the first game you could damage stuff in i remember i was very impressed at that time how much you could do in the game at that time there where no other games that i was familier with ah doom but it was only shooting nothing extra.
Also i do remember one very funny thing about the game Shake it baby you wanna dance ?, You wanna dance, shake it baby you wanna dance me my friend could sit their pressing the key all day just to hear that sound it was so funny hehe
Then my friend blown them up (((((

Have a nice day from Jimmie in Sweden
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:37 PM   #29
Joe Siegler
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
And here it is. The GAD sheet on my monitor at home. Now that I'm officially no longer working at 3DR, it came home with me.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:53 AM   #30
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Ahhh GADs...man I loved ROTT...I loved loved loved that game
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:27 AM   #31
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
And here it is. The GAD sheet on my monitor at home. Now that I'm officially no longer working at 3DR, it came home with me.
Seems in reasonable condition. Or I'd have suggested laminating it.

Nice desktop wallpaper btw.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #32
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Going to buy Rott on gog.com. See the levels you did. Got the Duke 3D one .

I bet working for this company must of been cool.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:27 AM   #33
Bert
Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
If it weren't for Apogee/3DRealms I wouldn't have become a game developer either. ROTT in particular really got me interested in games and holds a very special place in my heart.

I remember that HEX list from the hacker.txt file. "If you need higher ones, calculate them yourself, man."
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:22 AM   #34
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Thanks for sharing, Joe.
But I'm getting a sad nostalgic feeling right now.

Good luck for your future endeavors and, of course, your family.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:54 PM   #35
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
that was a great story
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #36
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Great story. that piece of paper looks like one of the labels you'd see on the back of a Video Cassette.
Oddly, I have a bunch of hex values and code for things on the side of my monitor, but I never thought to use paper for it and now it won't come off.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:31 AM   #37
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Would have been a better story with robes, scrolls and pinpricks.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #38
TantricNferno
Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
It's really cool that you guys kept the forums up even though the company is now kinda gone....


At least i gots me some Duke and some Prey!
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:09 AM   #39
Nulheron
Smile Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
And I love Wolfenstein
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #40
Joe Siegler
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Re: Memories from Apogee/3D Realms #6
Said chart has moved to yet another monitor. Got a new one for my primary display at home, and the old primary display is now my secondary. The GAD chart was moved to the new monitor.

I did discover a rip in it, had to stick some scotch tape on it to keep it from ripping in half.

Tom Hall suggested I laminate the thing.

A couple of pics of it on the new monitor at home.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0121.JPG (187.5 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0122.JPG (235.8 KB, 111 views)
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