Masters Among Us
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Artists in other mediums look back upon their masters and, intrigued, inspired or challenged by their methods and works, they innovate upon them in dramatic ways. Just as Cubism followed Impressionism, so too did RPGs follow war games and 3D follow 2D. Since the dawn of the digital industry, game designers and programmers pushed technology beyond its bounds, and on the granular level, millions of seemingly trivial mechanic innovations made the medium and cultural art form what it is today. Our masters still walk among us. Interestingly, however, few practicing game designers and even fewer experiencing their works know the masters among them. Study of their methods has fallen to consumption of modern output. Careful consideration of design methods has given way to repeating past failures. Regrettably, many of our works, like the works of the Renaissance, are simply lost or the design process unrecorded. John Romero discusses the masters among us, who they are, why we need them, how they have influenced today’s greatest games and what we will learn from them in the future.