Overview Digital Cinemassacre

Available to download and watch today: First Person Shooter is a four-hour-plus celebration of the FPS genre featuring the legendary developers and artists behind your favorite games.

Reviewers are calling it "Required viewing for any fans of the genre" (Shacknews), "A treasure trove of information" (TheGamer), and "The ULTIMATE video game documentary… a must-see for all gamers!" (WASD & Beyond podcast). 

Join us on a nostalgic journey through 50 years of FPS history, from the genre’s humble beginnings through to the present day, exploring the creation, impact, and legacy of a wide range of genre-defining classics from Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and GoldenEye, to Half-Life, Halo, and beyond.

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Along the way, you’ll hear from John Carmack and John Romero sharing stories from id Software’s early days, Cliff Bleszinski on Unreal and Unreal Tournament, Warren Spector on System Shock and Deus Ex, Marcus Lehto and Joseph Staten on Halo, and many more, each weighing in not only on their own projects, but also on other games that inspired them.

Secure your digital edition today for instant access. This exclusive bundle comes with the official soundtrack, a detailed PDF booklet, and three stunning desktop wallpapers.

Synopsis & Cast

Beginning in the 1970s, First Person Shooter takes you back to the earliest days of the genre, when a group of high-school students went from building simple 3D mazes to creating the first vital building blocks of the genre - including rudimentary online deathmatch and spectator modes - in the game that became known as Maze War.

From there, we go on a game-by-game journey through the genre, reintroducing you to the beloved classics you grew up playing and highlighting the lesser-known pioneering titles you may have never heard of before.

Here are a few of our favorite parts:

BFG: Big F***ing Games

All four id Software founders, John Carmack, John Romero, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack share stories about the early days of the company, taking a deep dive into the making of classics such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake.

Feature Image Carmack

They are joined by fellow id Software alumni, including Sandy Petersen and American McGee, as well as publisher Apogee Software’s founder Scott Miller and others, who each add their own insights.

Don’t miss: 

  • John Romero shares the exciting moment when Doom's level design and aesthetic crystallized in a way that guaranteed it would become an evolutionary leap beyond Wolfenstein 3D.
  • John Carmack speaks candidly about the challenge Quake's true-3D engine posed for him, going into detail on the obstacles he faced bringing it to life, and how this impacted the team.

Feature Image Romero

License to Kill

Karl Hilton and Brett Jones reminisce about making the hit GoldenEye on N64, discussing level design, the extensive use of motion capture, and, of course, the split-screen multiplayer - which was completely unplanned. 

Don’t miss:

  • Hilton and Jones discuss how Nintendo cautioned studios against making first-person shooters for the Nintendo 64, claiming the hardware wouldn't be up to the task -  and the design hacks the Rare team used to prove them wrong.
  • The team’s reaction to Shigero Miyamoto’s feedback to make the game ‘nicer’ - including the suggestion to have the player shake hands with enemies in the hospital at the end of the game!

Feature Image Hilton

“I Need a Weapon”

Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto, writer and cinematic director Joseph Staten, and designer Jaime Griesemer are joined by “Father of the Xbox” Seamus Blackley and former Microsoft Game Studios VP Ed Fries as they discuss the creation of the original Xbox and the enduring legacy of its most important game.

Don’t miss:

  • Seamus Blackley shares how he thought he was going to be fired from the Xbox project after Bill Gates’ initial reaction to their plans, and his amazement at the support Bill went on to give the project. 
  • Halo designer Jaime Griesemer remembers the email from Bungie co-founder Jason Jones claiming the firepower of Halo's pistol in multiplayer had been increased by approximately 25%, only to discover it was much (much, much) more powerful, as anyone who's been sniped from all the way across Blood Gulch can attest!

Feature Imgage Lehto

…And Much Much More

At more than four hours long, First Person Shooter hits harder than a Brute Chieftain's gravity hammer on Halo 2's Legendary difficulty, featuring 45+ experts who each add their own stories and insights. Check out the Full Cast tab to see them all (scroll down if you’re on mobile). 

Feature Image Spector

Our format lets you view the movie on your terms: binge the four-and-a-half-hour runtime in one go, or dip in and out using chapter breaks that let you get right to the stories you're looking forward to the most.

Don’t miss: 

  • Quake III designer Tim Willits and Unreal Tournament designer Cliff Bleszinski go head-to-head on their respective arena shooters 
  • Warren Spector discusses the importance of immersion, storytelling, and emergent gameplay in System Shock and Deus Ex.
  • Early Mac FPS games get their due credit as creator David Alan Smith discusses Colony and Bungie members Joseph Staten and Marcus Lehto recall Marathon and its influence on Halo.
  • Greg Thompson and Dave Lebling, two of the co-authors of Maze War, share their stories about creating the industry's true first FPS decades before Hovertank, Catacomb 3-D, and Wolfenstein 3D.
  • The irrepressible Jon St. John shares his stories from his time voicing Duke Nukem.

Feature Image CliffB

As we relive these iconic gaming moments through the stories of their creators, you will learn about:

  • How the industry transitioned from “Doom clones” to arena shooters to military shooters and back again, culminating in a return to 90s-style games such as Dusk, Ion Fury, and Prodeus.
  • The evolution of gameplay design and mechanics, including innovations such as free aiming, regenerating health, interactive cutscenes, dual-wielding, and more.
  • How groundbreaking technological milestones - such as online multiplayer deathmatch and the rise of FPS on consoles - drove huge advances in design and graphics.

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  • The incredible worldbuilding and level design that led to the creation of immersive worlds from dystopian cyberpunk cities to alien planets.
  • The huge contribution of modding and total conversions to the genre, from Aliens TC to Team Fortress and Counter-Strike, as well as the modding tools that made these and other creations possible.
  • How LAN parties grew from college dorms and internet cafes to the earliest days of QuakeCon, laying the foundations for the growing eSports scene.

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First Person Shooter was made possible through the support of thousands of FPS fans, as well as the developers, designers and industry experts who shared their stories and insights with us.

Order your digital edition now for immediate delivery. Your digital bundle will also include official soundtrack, PDF booklet, and 3 desktop backgrounds!

Feature Image Miller

Digital Delivery

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