In the over twenty year history of computer and video games, many games
are remembered, worshipped, inducted into “Hall of Fame’s”, lauded
as being “groundbreaking” and “revolutionary”, etc.
Everybody remembers games like Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids, PAC-Man,
Super Mario Bros., M.U.L.E., Sim City, Civilization, Wolfenstein, Doom,
and countless others.

But the so-called “clones” of these games are usually doomed
to obscurity…and usually for good reason. Many “clone games”
are of poor quality, created only to benefit from the success of the game
it imitates. Some, however innovate or inject new ideas into the genre.
Some clones are even better than the game they imitate.

Why..
Is that Killcreek, RonSolo, and John Romero an watching ParadoX play
ROTT? According to Wendigo: Yup.

(According
to ParadoX it’s not, but he’s kinda loopy I think :))

ROTT is the perfect example of this. It’s of the most underrated games
of all time. ROTT not only surpasses current games in some ways (and it’s
almost three years old, ancient in computer years) but the people responsible
for the game have spread out and are working on games such as Prey, Half-Life,
SiN, and Anachronox. Not only those, but people like John Romero, John
Carmack and many others are indirectly tied to ROTT. Not only has ROTT
helped define the shooter genre with its revolutionary features, but it
continues to have an effect on the industry today.

The Beginning

The “3D” first-person shooter craze started with Wolfenstein
3D. While the first-person shooter idea wasn’t new (id even did a similar
type game called Catacomb 3D while still working for Softdisk), never before
had it been so successful or well done.

Wolfenstein’s success led to an army of forgettable clone games.. like
Corridor 7, Blake Stone 3D, Ken’s Labyrinth, Hugo’s Nitemare 3D, Terminator:
Rampage, The Fortress of Dr. Radiaki, Operation Bodycount and Terminal
Terror, just to name a few. Most of those games were typical clones: god-awful
and poor sellers. The most notable clone of this group is Ken’s Labyrinth,
written by then middle-schooler Ken Silverman. He later went on to create
the BUILD engine used in Duke3D, Blood, Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior,
etc. Ken’s Labyrinth had a very Wolf3D-like engine (With AWFUL art…probably
because Ken did it himself) and had some interesting features like crouching,
standing taller (I don’t know why that would be useful…Standing on your
tippy-toes makes you more imposing maybe?), working water fountains (later
used in Duke3D) and working vending machines. Hmmm…vending machines that
work every time…how unrealistic :)

It goes without saying that Wolfenstein was a HUGE success. It was banned
in Germany, got a lot of publicity for being violent…and just plain ruled.
And when a popular, awesome game sells well…we all know what that means…

Sequel!

Ah yes: “The Sequel”. For every hit (like Warcraft 2 or Doom
2), there’s a bomb (like Star Fleet 2 or Street Fighter 3…too many to
list). I’m sure everyone can think of a movie sequel that tanked (ex. Home
Alone 2, Speed 2, The Two Jakes….too many to list again!). Like Forrest
Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get with
a sequel.

So in early 1994, “Wolfenstein 3D: Part II” started production.
Kinda. The premiere issue of Game Developer’s Magazine stated that “Apogee
Software was working on a game called “Wolfenstein 3D: Part II,”
which was to be a totally new game, with completely new actors, and new
everything; the only thing the same being the title Wolfenstein 3D.”
That was partially correct, but the plans for the Wolfenstein sequel dissolved
soon after.

“Originally, the project was to be nothing more than new levels
for Wolf3D, with a few extra added graphics.” Says Joe Siegler (Apogee’s
Online Support Manager). “It then turned into a Wolf sequel. The original
name was ‘Wolfenstein 3D II: Rise of the Triad’. (Later on) The Wolf references
got dropped, but the work done in that era is easy to see in ROTT.”

The project name was then changed to “Rise of the Triad.”
Often referred to by its initials: “ROTT”. Later, a little known
42 level add-on pack to called EXTREME ROTT was released.

If you are confused about the relationship between Apogee and id…don’t
worry about it. Early id games (like Commander Keen and Wolf3D) were distributed
by Apogee and later FormGen (Wolf3D: Spear of Destiny), a company that
eventually was bought by GT Interactive. But why would Apogee (3DRealms..
whatever you want to call it) have the right to do a sequel to Wolfenstein?

“Apogee didn’t have rights to make the sequel.” Explains Tom
Hall, the Lead Designer Producer of ROTT. “As I moved over to Apogee
to start up in-house development (after major creative differences with
id), it was sort of a bridge project, but also a horribly constraining
one.”

The Team

“The
Developers of Incredible Power”

Starting
from Top Left: Steve Hornback, Chuck Jones, Mark Dochtermann,
Jim Dose, William Scarboro, Tom Hall and Susan Singer

The ROTT design team was usually reffered to as “The Developers
of Incredible Power” or “DIP’s”. Why the strange name? Well,
Tom Hall sent out a memo, and at the end he said, “If we do this,
we will be the Developers of Incredible Power.” It stuck. On ROTT’s
final DOS screen, it says “Thank you for playing the first release
of Apogee’s Developers of Incredible Power! We will return”.
But this was the only “DIP” release. Prey could have been the
second DIP game, but the team is almost completely dissolved now.
It was made up of some people you might recognize:

The aforementioned Tom Hall, who had just left id Software (He was one
of the founders) was the Lead Designer Producer. Tom Hall later went
on to start Ion Storm with John Romero. Anachronox, a massive sci-fi RPG
using the Quake engine, is his current project.

Mark Dochtermann from Ritual (Formerly Hipnotic) was the Lead Programmer
and wrote engine and communications networking code. Ritual’s other programmer,
Jim Dose’ did the sound engine and Ritual artist Robert Atkins designed
the very cool manual. Also Joe Selinske, a mapper for ROTT now works at
Ritual. All four of them are now hard at work on SiN.

Chuck Jones did ROTT’s art and cinematics. Today he’s an artist at Valve
Software and hard at work on Half-Life. William Scarboro did the actor
(enemies, items, etc.) code and Steve Hornback did most of the textures,
the actors, the cool explosions, and items. Both are still at 3DRealms
and working on Prey. Lee “Duke3D” Jackson & Bobby “Doom,
Duke3D” Prince, did music and sound effects, Gregor “Doom”
Punchatz, did Robot, Gun, other Models (He’s the guy that modeled the Cyberdemon)
and Joe Siegler, 3DRealm’s Online Support Manager Webmaster, did levels.
And he almost killed himself doing burp sounds
that were actually used in the game. Let me tell you, the quality of this
game greatly benefitted because of it. :) Steve Maines, now a level
designer at Rogue played a minor role and was Apogee’s Print Art director
in the early stages of the project.

Doomed

ROTT was a game Doomed to failure (in more ways than one). Just take
a look at this mini-timeline:

  • May 5, 1992 – Wolfenstein 3-D, is released by
    Apogee.
  • December 10, 1993 – id unveils Doom. Millions
    Spooge.
  • October 10, 1994 “Doomsday” – Doom
    II: Hell on Earth released (Retail only). Ended up to be the best selling
    computer game of all time with over 1.6 million copies sold.
  • December 21,1994 – ROTT 1.0 released.
  • December 23, 1994 – id released Heretic, developed
    by Raven Software.
  • Now those dates aren’t exact, but it gives you a general idea of what
    was going on at the time. No matter HOW good ROTT was, it was going to
    be lost in a shuffle. It would have to go head on with Doom. Unfortunately
    (for ROTT), Doom II was an unstoppable force, with thousands of drooling
    fanatics waiting for hours in line to get it, take it home, and frag until
    the wee hours of morning.

    But when ROTT was released to the Doom-crazed public, it got fairly
    good reviews: “Rise of the Triad is sure to have every Doom freak
    in the world lining up just to drool over it.” Said one magazine.
    “I’ve played ROTT and it’s good. REEEEEEEEEEEEALLY good! Honestly,
    I can’t think of any reason why every DOOM nut in the country won’t flock
    to this game when it’s released. It’s beautiful, fast and challenging.
    Rise of the Triad is truly an awesome game.” Computer Gaming World
    raved. Other magazines gave it similar reviews, so-so reviews or just dismissed
    it as another clone.

    But why didn’t ROTT have every “Doom freak in the world lining
    up just to drool over it”, as “predicted”? Well, there are
    many reasons, but I think I can sum it three words:

    90 degree walls.

    That’s right…ROTT had a Wolf3D-type engine (At least, as far as 90
    degree walls go). This was a MAJOR reason it didn’t catch on. After Doom,
    this was a step backward.

    ROTT wasn’t very successful (especially compared to Doom), but since
    it was a good game that had many features that Doom didn’t have (Even features
    Quake doesn’t have…even some Unreal won’t have) it developed a small,
    cult following. Most people ignored it (or didn’t know it existed). Or
    they just dismissed it as a thing of the past after hearing about the 90
    degree wall thing. I remember being a newbie on MSN (there was a free beta
    test period prior to Windows 95’s official release) and hearing “ROTT
    SUCKS!” about forty times a day. If you asked them why, they would
    say “BECAUSE DOOM RULES!” or something. I wrote a sad little
    ROTT cheat file on MSN (just codes I ripped off a few BBS’s), so if you
    have a ROTT cheat file buried on your hard drive written by some lamer
    named TOG_MAN (Hey, it was my Dad’s account), you own my first piece of
    online writing. :)

    But for those people that ignored the 90 degree walls…and had access
    to a LAN…quickly realized ROTT’s appeal. ROTT was (and still is?) quite
    possibly the best deathmatch game of all time.

    The Engine

    The story behind ROTT’s Engine is quite interesting. While doing research
    for this article, it seemed to me that the ROTT Engine was built from scratch.
    However, Ritual’s Mark Dochtermann gave me the full story (warning: slightly
    techie):

    The ROTT engine initially started out as the
    Wolf3D engine. The Wolf3D engine was a REAL mode engine rather than a PROTECTED
    mode engine like Doom. My first task was to rewrite the engine so that
    it was a PROTECTED mode engine. Once this was done, ROTT could take advantage
    of linear memory and access to high memory without using EMS or XMS (remember
    those?) Wolf3D also generated all the code necessary in memory to scale
    a 64 high textured line from 1 pixel to the maximum scaled size which was
    about 300-400. This took up a bit of memory, and while it was an amazing
    innovation for 286’s (it allowed WOLF3D to be as fast as it was) it didn’t
    make a lot of sense for the 486. I took that stuff out and then had to
    convert the renderer from 286 assembly to protected mode assembly. John
    Carmack gave me a little piece of code which turned out to be the assembly
    inner loop for Doom. ROTT, it turns out uses the same scaling routines
    as found in Doom (who would have thought). Apogee also signed a deal with
    id that would allow us to put floor and ceiling code in ROTT. Once this
    was done the game really took on a whole new look.

    The conversion from REAL mode to PROTECTED mode
    required a complete rewrite of almost every subsystem in Wolf3D which in
    the end made the ROTT engine VERY different from the Wolf3D engine. One
    of the subsystems which had to be re-written was the sound system. That
    is where Jim Dose came in. He wrote an amazing sound system outside of
    Apogee/3D Realms that would later be used in all of Apogee’s products.
    Once he was near completion he was brought on to the ROTT team and helped
    finish up the game (he created RANDROTT among other things).

    After the initial hard stuff was completed the
    ROTT engine turned more and more into a bastard child as features were
    added like room over room and transparency which were clearly never intended
    for an engine like ROTT’s. The finished product is by no means an engineering
    marvel but had a certain charm to it.

    Here are some of the things that are in the ROTT
    engine:

    Multi level orthogonally based levels.
    Room over room (sort of).
    Transparency.
    Textured Floors and Ceilings.
    Dynamic Lighting.
    FLIC support (although we never had any in the
    game).
    CINEMATIC engine (also never used. The ending
    sequence is scripted but doesn’t utilize the cool shit developed before
    hand).
    11 player network support.
    Masked Walls (Textures with holes in them).
    Moving Walls.
    Stairs (sort of).

    ROTT had many features later picked up by the BUILD engine: Bullet hole
    marks in walls, destroyable objects (Tables, lights, you know stuff like
    that), breakable glass, thumbnail pictures in the saved games, and adjustable,
    password-protected violence settings. It was the first “clone”
    that a had look up look down ability.

    The engine could handle pretty big levels too: up to sixteen stories
    high and an area of one million sq. feet.

    ROTT also had things the BUILD games didn’t have like parallaxing skies,
    fog, boulders, real lights that illuminate walls (that you can shoot to
    make the room get darker), ricocheting bullets, touchplates, and gas grates.
    They were nasty little buggers that pumped a room full of gas (almost as
    bad as being in Taco Bell on your lunch hour). If you didn’t have a gas
    mask, you were toast. It also had a 180 turn key (great for keyboarders).

    ROTT was the first game that let you fall off ledges and die. If you
    weren’t careful jumping around you could fly off the edge of a cliff. And
    of course, there where the famous jumpads. They where like mini-trampolines
    that hurtled you 5 stories in the air. Once in the air you could maneuver
    yourself around and do all sorts of weird stuff. Aerial battles often got
    pretty crazy. Jump pads were used to jump over obstacles, walls, other
    players, to get weapons and items… they’re all over (and yes, enemies could
    use them).

    “One of my levels in Extreme ROTT was based on this.” Joe
    Siegler adds. “It’s called ‘The Hoppe Hop’. The gag was a really tall
    level with a ton of jumppads everywhere and a bunch of enemies. The first
    room of the level was quite silly with a whole mess of jump pads and enemies
    going all over them. The idea with that level was that you had to run and
    jump and use the jumppads to get to specific places.” 

    It also had strange death sequences. When you fell off cliffs, were
    shot, exploded, burned up, etc. the camera would change. It would zoom
    in, show a third-person view of you blowing up, etc. There also was a “Missile-Cam”
    that let you see exactly what the missile saw (usually a ton of gibs).

    ROTT also had things called GAD’s (Gravitational Anomaly Disks). They
    were gray disks that float at a certain height. Using GAD’s you could actually
    create some primitive 3D things, like levels above levels. There where
    also EGADs (Elevator GADs) that rose and sank and TGADs (Train GADs) that
    move along a path. “Yes, it was the first 3D action game to have levels
    above levels.” Tom Hall says. ” Ultima Underworld did, but it
    wasn’t an action game.”

    Standing
    on top of GAD’s looking at GAD’s and TGAD’S and EGAD’s. Oh my!

    The
    “Piece of Paper”

    (Notice
    Joe’s Good Taste in Writing) :)

    “Gads were a pain in the butt to program.” Joe Siegler
    says. “Each one you see had to have it’s height set in hex in TED.
    For making really long stairwells, it was annoying, since you had to tell
    the editor “OK, I want on here, and I want it this high”. To
    make a working stairwell, you had to have them so far apart from each other.
    It was very easy to screw up. Tom Hall had this piece of paper he made
    which had the coordinates for a working stairwell. It stayed taped to his
    monitor all during development, and even when he started working on Prey.
    When Tom left to go start up Ion Storm, he gave that paper to me where
    it stays to this day. I suppose that means I became the keeper of ROTT
    at Apogee? :) (Just kidding Tom, but I did have that feeling when you gave
    that to me).”

    ROTT’s engine also had some primitive 3D features like being able to
    jump on top of objects and enemies (with Doom, you couldn’t do that). If
    you jumped on top of an enemy (except for bosses), they’d die if you stood
    on ’em for more than one second. This went for other players too so you
    could crush them in Deathmatches. There were a few particular places (Like
    “The Corpseyard”) where this was easy to do. The game had a “Oh
    yeah, you’ve been crushed” text remark that came up when someone did
    this to you.

    Another strange thing that came with ROTT was an infinite random level
    generator (RANDROTT). That’s right… computer made levels. Actually, there
    wasn’t an infinite amount…there was “only” 2,147,483,648 (2 billion,
    146 million, 483 thousand, 648) random level sequences. I thought this
    was the only game to ever have this, but Joe Siegler pointed out that FormGen’s
    two add on level packs for Wolf3D: Spear of Destiny (Just think of
    it as Ultimate Wolfenstein) included a random level generator with the
    CD version. That was the first known random level generator (for 3D action
    games) that I know of. Apogee also sold an addon for Wolf3D called “Wolf
    3D Super Upgrades”, which had a random level generator for Wolf3D,
    but that came out after ROTT.

    The add-on pack, Extreme ROTT added other things like like moving walkways
    to ride on, Ballistitowers (fires dozens of missiles at you at once) Oscurovators
    (teleporters), Climbing GADs, Impossiboulders, FireRisers and tons of other
    stuff with weird names.

    Joe Siegler also believes ROTT was the first game with Non-Linear Level
    Progression: “It’s nowhere near as pronounced as it was in Hexen,
    but in Extreme ROTT (not the original ROTT), if you got to the first level
    of Episode 2 (called High Road Low Road), you were presented with a choice.
    There were two exits on this level. One took you to Episode 2 Level 2,
    and the other took you to like Episode 2 Level 5. Because of the way the
    game was constructed, the boss level had to be a specific number (I think
    Level 9 on Episode 2). The bosses had special game coding such that you
    had to use them on the level number they were originally designed for,
    or the game would crash – hence the problem (crashing) in my original “Vomitorium”
    level. Anyway, Tom took the player through a different way to get to the
    end of Episode 2 there. Depending on which exit you took in E2L1, you’d
    get a different set of levels taking you to Episode 2 boss level. Again,
    it’s nowhere near as pronounced as it was in Hexen, but if my memory serves,
    Rise of the Triad was the first game such as this not to progress in Level
    1,2,3,4,5 order 100% of the time.”

    The Plot & Cast

    The plot to ROTT (yes that rhymes and yes, there was actually a plot)
    goes something like this: You are a member of the HUNT, the top secret
    High-risk United Nations Task Force, sent on extremely covert operations
    to possible trouble spots outside the three-mile boundary waters of member
    countries. You are on a routine reconnaissance mission on San Nicolas Island,
    located in the Pacific twenty miles west of Los Angeles. Your team is investigating
    possible cult activity in an old monastery, when suddenly troops pour out
    of nowhere! In the distance your boat explodes. Just before your radio
    cuts to static, you hear desperate newsmen describing the systematic destruction
    of Los Angeles. An escaped prisoner informs you that a pyrotechnics expert
    and a rich studio head have joined forces with the Oscurido cult. Their
    plan: kill millions of innocent people for the glory of their master, El
    Oscuro. Having no other escape route, the HUNT heads into the monastery,
    taking the only course of action left: stop the Oscuridos or die trying.

    Your
    Friendly Neighborhood Task Force

    Ironically, El Oscuro was played by Tom Hall, so that cult leader thing
    wasn’t really much of a stretch. Just ask any of his employees over at
    Ion Storm. :)

    One interesting thing about ROTT was that it was the first game to have
    different characters to play…and they all had different voices (only like
    death, grunt sounds…they didn’t talk like Duke) and abilities.

    There where five available characters in the registered version (Descriptions
    taken from the ROTT FAQ):

    Taradino Cassatt: Cassatt is Mr.Average. That’s why he’s in the shareware
    episode. He has average life, average speed, and average weapons accuracy.
    If nothing special is called for, Cassatt’s a good choice. Voiced By: Joe
    Selinske

    Thi Barrett: She’s pretty average, too. She’s a female average character,
    in case you don’t like Cassatt or you prefer a female character. She’s
    a little faster than Cassatt. Voiced By: Susan Singer (Artist)

    Doug Wendt: This guy is a tank. He’s pretty slow, and only has average
    weapons accuracy, but, man, he can take tons of damage. Lots o’ hit points
    here. Voiced By: Lee Jackson (Music Guy)

    Lorelei Ni: Not many hit points. Fast. Extremely good weapons accuracy.
    Not for beginners. Voiced By: Pau Suet Ying (a waitress at a Chinese Restaurant
    frequented by Apogee’s staff)

    Ian Paul Freeley (Yes, his initials are I.P. Freeley): Freeley is a
    player who is provided for a happy medium between players like Cassatt
    or Barrett and Wendt. He’s got more hit points than Cassatt or Barrett,
    but he’s slower. On the other hand, he doesn’t have as many hit points
    as Wendt, but he’s faster. Voiced By: Jim Dose

    And yes, it made a difference in deathmatch who you played as. I personally
    played as Freeley most of the time. I guess I shouldn’t go around telling
    people that though. :)

    “Some of the level traps were designed so you could only get by
    them with certain players.” Joe Siegler adds. “I know, I did
    a few of my traps that way. You had to be using either Loreli (fastest)
    and or be using someone except Doug Wendt and be using a mouse maneuver
    to get to something.”

    Tom Hall points out, “It was also the first 3D action game to have
    the ability to play as women or people of color.” Actually, I don’t
    think minorities were won’t be represented again until Lo Wang in Shadow
    Warrior and Superfly Johnson in Diakatana.

    Gibs
    Galore

    (Gosh..
    Notice The Hand? Naughty Naughty! According to a source close
    to the making of the game, this was almost impossible to capture in a screenshot)

    Oh.. did I mention ROTT was violent as hell? It was the first game
    to get an RSAC rating of 4 (That’s as high as you can go) with wanton and
    gratuitous violence…and yes, this was a selling point. Once you blew up
    somebody, their head (well…what was left of it) might hurtle towards you,
    their eyeballs might fall in front of your face, their blood might linger
    in the air or stick on the walls for a few minutes. If that’s not enough,
    there was even an EKG (Engine Killing Gibs) mode (accessible via a cheat
    code) that caused violence that would even make Itchy and Scratchy say
    “Ewww… that’s sick!”.

    Network

    For people who had access to a big LAN, ROTT was a dream come true.
    Screw the 4 player limit Doom had… ROTT had 11!!!! Back then, this was
    an INSANE amount. There was another game that supported this many players
    before ROTT, and that was the god-awful Corridor 7. It supported 12 players,
    but as Tom Hall pointed out “You could run right through other players.”
    Not good.

    Remember: Back then LAN’s were not as common as they are now. I
    had a LAN at home back then… and that was a big thing. Now, it’s pretty
    common.

    ROTT had nine different multiplayer modes. In ROTT, DM was called “Comm-Bat”.
    Some modes had to be played in teams, others couldn’t, some could have
    multiple teams, some couldn’t.

    Normal Mode – Just regular DM

    Score Mode – Regular DM, only you get points for more difficult kills.
    For example you get 1 point for killing an enemy with a missile weapon
    on the ground, 2 points for killing an enemy with a bullet weapon on the
    ground, 2 points for killing an enemy with a missile in the air, 3 points
    for killing an enemy with a bullet in the air and 4 points for crushing
    someone or stomping on their head. That’s right, you could kill people
    by jumping on them. Nothin’ sweeter than launching yourself with a jump
    pad 75 feet and landing on top of a camper and squishing him :) (Actually,
    I think there’s an option in QW that does this now).

    Collector Mode – Try to collect more “Triads” (little triangle
    symbols 3D rendered by Chuck Jones) than your opponent(s)… without using
    any weapons.

    Scavenger Mode – Like collector, only with weapons.

    Hunter Mode – Kind of like “Kill the Guy with the Ball” except
    you hunt down the guy without the weapons. Then after awhile, somebody
    else becomes the prey and the prey becomes a hunter. In team mode, your
    entire team is either hunter or prey and whoever with the most points wins.

    Tag Mode – One guy is “it”, you run up to him and tag him
    with your hand and the guys who’s “it” gets a point. Once you
    tag him, you become “it”. The person with the least points wins.

    Eluder Mode – You chase roving “Eluders” (Triads kinda) and
    you have to tag them. Then you get a point. The person with the most points
    at the end game wins.

    Deluder Mode – like Eluder, except that you need to destroy the roving
    “Eluders” instead of tagging them.

    And finally, and probably surprising to some people, Capture the Triad.
    Yup. Just like Capture the Flag. People where CTFin’ (Well.. CTTin’ I guess)
    in “3D” games years ago. It didn’t have a grappling hook though,
    just jump pads :).

    Then you could get into it even more and adjust a ton of other options:
    gravity, speed, ammo per weapon, hit points, spawn dangers (like boulders,
    spinning blades, fire and stuff), spawn health (no health), spawn weapons
    (no missile weapons), spawn mines, other respawn options, repawn items,
    weapon persistence (controls weapon system), random weapons, friendly fire
    modes for teams, light levels, fog levels, lightning & thunder levels,
    pulsating lights, point goals, danger damage, time limits… in other words,
    it’s pretty damn customizable and there’s TONS of options. You can pretty
    much play a whole different way every time you play. You notice one thing
    that’s missing? That’s right: Cooperative. Kind of surprising considering
    this was a “team” game….

    ROTT supported a whole slew of uniform colors (like Quake, except you
    could only change your shirt color) with even… … olive!
    ROTT also had a Quake-like Client Server networking scheme. It even had
    listen and dedicated type modes (except “listen” didn’t give
    an advantage to the server). It also had a timer so you could calculate
    respawns as well as check the time left on games with a time limit.

    Remember the Quake
    Hype
    article? Remember how microphone support (where you could scream
    your own insults at people through the game in near real-time) was planned
    for Quake? Fargo’s recent Teamplay
    article
    also made mention of this. Yeah, so? Well, ROTT had it way
    back then. If you held down F12 and had a microphone (or better yet, a
    headset) you could scream at the guy across the office. To this day, ROTT
    is the only “3D” game to have this (with the exception of Marathon
    maybe?). It was also the first game to use remote ridicule, later used
    in Duke and all the other BUILD games.

    “More precisely, that Microphone thing only worked in the final
    revision of the game (v1.3), and it was for network play only.” Precise
    Joe Siegler says. “Another company made a product called “Echophones
    that worked with our Duke3D game, so the idea did live on, but not natively
    with us. This was a lot of fun, actually, insulting other people live during
    Comm-Bat play.”

    One interesting idea ROTT tried out was a site license. For $89.95 you
    got a signed site license agreement for 11 copies, 10 more Comm-bat zones,
    and eleven command cards. Not a bad deal considering that was the cost
    of two games.

    Multiplay wasn’t perfect, however. ROTT had a few compatibility problems
    with versions 1.1 and 1.2, but they were eventually ironed out. There also
    where many versions of Rise of the Triad available (contributing to the
    compatibility problems). There was no Dwango support (Hey, that was popular
    back then) and a lot of fixes and patches.

    Want to know the most annoying thing of all? This
    Remote Ridicule sound
    . People would hold the button down and play this
    over and over again just to annoy the #$*(@$ out of you. Play it a few
    times and you’ll see what I mean. :)

    Part II – Weapons of Mass
    Destruction


    ©
    1997 Fragmaster – This article may not be used in part or whole in any
    form, print or electronic without express written consent. ROTT, Rise
    of the Triad and Wolf3D is a Trademark of Apogee Software and used with
    permission. All other Trademarks and Copyrights are hypothetically
    acknowledged.

    Read More