Tom Hall, co-founder of id Software and creator of the Commander Keen games that brought Super Mario Bros.-style platforming to PCs two decades ago, is ready for a new journey in the video game industry: re-imagining Diner Dash.
According to Venture Beat’s Dean Takahashi, Hall has joined mobile and social game developer PlayFirst, whose Diner Dash games were some of the first truly break out mobile games to release over the past decade.
“I started my career with cute and quirky character-based games like Commander Keen,” Hall told Games Beat, “That has always been where my heart is. I’ve made all sort of games all over the place, but that’s what I love. It’s alpha and omega. Both Flo in Diner Dash and Commander Keen are wearing red Converse sneakers.”
Flo will be the character Hall is working with during his time at PlayFirst. “We’re going to give him the next-generation Dash game,” said PlayFirst CEO Marco DeMiroz. Hall’s game will be the sixth in the series when it comes out. Diner Dash 5: BOOM!, released in 2010, was the last main entry in the series.
If Hall is making Diner Dash 6, sadly he won’t be making the new game or the platformer construction suite he was developing under the studio name Pieces of Fun. In February, Hall started a Kickstarter campaign to fund “Worlds of Wander,” a LittleBigPlanet-style game creation suite, as well as a Commander Keen-inspired game made with the Wander tools called Secret Spaceship Club - Hall said the game would have been a Commander Keen title but ZeniMax Media, owner of id Software, refused to part with the IP. Hall set out to raise $400,000 for the project but only raised around $108,000.
“If it doesn’t fund, we’ll keep doing it as a back-burner project,” Hall told Digital Trends in February, “But we really believe in this concept.”
Does PlayFirst believe in the concept? We’ve reached out to find out if Hall’s project will find a second life at his new employer, but as of this writing we haven’t heard one way or another. We’ll update this article as we receive new info. Regardless, it’s encouraging to see Hall land a new gig making games, even if it isn’t with his own characters.