After only a day or two of raising pledges through Kickstarter, John Romero and Adrian Carmack have officially suspended their Kickstarter campaign for their dream FPS, Blackroom. Most people will remember John Romero for being one of the founders of id Software, being heavily involved in the creation of Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Commander Keen, as well as the tools that made games like Quake possible. He is also known for the famous debacle surrounding the title Daikatana that led to the closure of the Ion Storm studio. Adrian Carmack was another one of the founders of id Software and worked as an artist there until 2005 when he and the rest of id Software had a financial falling out that led to a lawsuit.
The two game creators have joined forces along with Night Work Games to create Blackroom. Blackroom envisions a future in which virtual reality has become commonplace and one day it goes horribly wrong. Rooms equipped with advanced technology reminiscent of the Holo-Deck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, blackrooms, have gone haywire. Those who enter them run the risk of becoming trapped within a shifting reality that mixes time and space. Medieval castles, the Wild West, sci-fi impossiblities, and surreal landscapes await those who become snared in a blackroom.
John Romero plans to handle the level design of Blackroom as well as some of the general game design. Romero hopes to take Blackroom in a classic FPS direction, including circle strafing and rocket jumping. Carmack will be in charge of the art design to give it an authentic retro feel for the modern age.
The Kickstarter aimed to raise over $700,000 in funding, but was cut short after a large number of people asked to see a working demo of Blackroom. The time required to create the demo would be longer than the Kickstarter campaign, so Romero and Carmack suspended the campaign to come back at a later date with the playable proof of concept. They released a letter to the community who had backed them so far to explain the situation:
After listening to the gaming community since we've launched the campaign, we've decided to give you what you've asked for: a gameplay demo of BLACKROOM. The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look and innovative, cool features that make BLACKROOM truly unique — the things we’ve waited years to put into an FPS and which make us incredibly excited about this game.
There’s a hitch here, a hitch that’s making us do something that’s right for the game, the team, and the community: we’re pressing “PAUSE” on the fundraising campaign for BLACKROOM to complete this gameplay demo. 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. We believe, however, it is the right choice. Thanks to the community feedback, we know we should have included it at launch.
Your support for our game and our vision has been incredible and valuable. You've already proved you want this campaign to succeed, and we believe a gameplay demo will get the rest of the gaming community just as excited for this game as you already are. We will, of course, honor backer achievements in the next campaign. We’ll add an extra something for those of you who continue to support us and we will be in touch to collect your information to reward your support in the next campaign.
While we're working on the first gameplay demo, we welcome you to stay in touch with us at nightworkgames.com and @nightworkgames. Sign up for our newsletter for regular updates. You’re also welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John, Adrian, & The Night Work Games Team