Book Review: Masters of Doom

Let me start by saying, no, this is not a new book. It was published in 2003. If you haven't heard of it and grew up playing video games in he 80's then you should read this book. That being said, I am currently listening to it on my phone from This book tells the rue life story of ID Software, it's founders John D. Camack, John Romero and their influence on the video game industry. A lot of what is in the early parts of the book, feels like it is describing myself and my friends at the time. Unfortunately, I didn't go on to revolutionize what video were and what they are today. These two guys did.  After all, they did create Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake and single handedly, created the whole FPS (first person shooter) genre.

And as an added bonus, if you listen to the version of the book, you will hear the book read by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame.



I remember playing a cool PC game back in the late '80s called Starflight, by Binary Systems. It was basically and space exploration, commence and battle space combat type game, similar to the old Star Trek episodes. Now this was back on one of the early 8088 PC clones of the day. Yes, they were called PC clones if they were not original IBM equipment.  Apple existed, but was "Jobless" at the time..

Fast forward like Marty McFly so many years back to the present, and here we are talking about another great space exploration game.  These days, this game genre is called a 4X, like in "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate", but I won't get into that.  It was developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive.

This game very much reminds me of a Starflight/Civilization combination game.  It has depth and is not a sit down for a quick 10 minutes type of game. I think my first sitting was in the neighborhood of about 5 hours. I played for about the same time period the next day as well.  I have yet to finish a game, so I don't know if this one suffers from late game boredom when a single faction gets too powerful. Time will time and I will post about it.

Here is a quick summary of the game taken from Wikipedia.

  • Stellaris is a real-time grand strategy game set in space in the year 2200. Players control ships and research vessels among other things, combat is more centered towards the bigger picture, preparation, and strategy. There are also diplomatic options such as alliances and trade agreements with other races. The game begins by picking a species, its ethics, and its technologies. Picking an alien and changing their ethics can change the way information looks; and any species can have any of the ship engineering styles.[2] The player begins with a single planet in their territory, an engineering vessel, a small fleet of warships, a space port, and a science ship. Early gameplay consists of exploring and colonizing space, while mid-game activities focus on diplomacy and governing an empire.[3] In the late game, crisis events can occur that have galaxy-wide implications—for example, an uprising by sentient AI robots or an invasion by extra-dimensional or extra-galactic forces, the former two always being triggered by careless empires. 

Good luck with your expire and see you floating around the galaxy......