John Romero has been making gaming headlines quite a bit lately. Just last month, he posted video evidence of a fully functional Super Mario Bros. 3 demo that he and fellow programmer John Carmack worked on back in 1990. Now he’s taking the nostalgia even further with the first new level for the original Doom in 21 years.
The map is called “Tech Gone Bad” and although Kotaku might leave you to believe otherwise, it wasn’t released completely out of the blue. In fact, Romero has been tweeting about this project since Monday.
“Almost finished creating a level I’ve been working on over the holidays,” Romero wrote. “It’s a warm-up.”
Almost finished creating a level I’ve been working on over the holidays. It’s a warm-up.
— John Romero (@romero) January 11, 2016
The level itself takes place after exiting Doom‘s Computer Station map, upon arriving at the Phobos Anomaly.
“Cracks from hell are all over the place as seepage from the portal invades the entire installation,” Romero writes in the description. “Now it’s time to find the portal and stop the demons from coming through. You know UAC had hundreds of scientists working at a high-tech lab somewhere in this area, and the portal must be connected to it somehow. Time to lock and load.”
The most interesting news here isn’t that Romero has returned to level design on PC after a prolonged focus on iOS titles like Dangerous Dave and Gunman Taco Truck, but that this new level is a “warm up.” The question is: what is he warming up for?
While it’s not clear what he means by this mysterious statement, Romero revealed that he was starting his own company back at gamescom in 2014 (alongside a concept artist), and even then he was “working on several games at once,” according to Eurogamer. To this day, not one of those titles has been officially announced, but hopefully we’ll soon find out more, coinciding with the new Doom level’s release.
You can check out John Romero’s reimagining of E1M8 for yourself by downloading it here.