The creator of Doom, John Carmack, took to Facebook earlier today to share details on interactions he had with Steve Jobs. Carmack gave some insights into what it was like to work with Jobs and his opinions of gaming.
Carmack’s first interaction with Jobs was when Jobs was still at NeXT. Carmack was looking to add a “Developed on NeXT computers” logo on his Doom game. The request was initially denied, but then Jobs changed his mind. Sadly, the logo never actually made it to the shipped product, however, Carmack went on to work with Jobs on other projects.
He revealed that Jobs never thought very highly of games and that he had many debates with Jobs over the adoption of OpenGL. One interesting note is that Carmack said that Jobs was great at being confident about things he was completely wrong about.
Carmack also offered some insights into Apple’s keynotes, saying that Jobs would stop at nothing to make everything perfect.
“My first impression of “Keynote Steve” was him berating the poor stage hands over “This Home Depot shit” that was rolling out the display stand with the new Mac, very much not to his satisfaction. His complaints had a valid point, and he improved the quality of the presentation by caring about details, but I wouldn’t have wanted to work for him in that capacity.
One time, my wife, then fiancée, and I were meeting with Steve at Apple, and he wanted me to do a keynote that happened to be scheduled on the same day as our wedding. With a big smile and full of charm, he suggested that we postpone it. We declined, but he kept pressing. Eventually my wife countered with a suggestion that if he really wanted “her” John so much, he should loan John Lassiter to her media company for a day of consulting. Steve went from full charm to ice cold really damn quick. I didn’t do that keynote.”
Carmack’s relationship with Jobs fell apart after the launch of the iPhone, when the two came to a disagreement on web apps. The media later uncovered Carmac’s comments, which lead to a heated dispute. After that point, Carmack never conversed with Jobs again.
You can read Carmack’s full stories about Steve Jobs on Facebook. If you are interested in Apple’s history, this is well worth a read.