An interview with legendary Sandy Petersen (Call of Cthulhu, Doom, Quake, Age of Empires and much more!)
- You made games based on your nightmares, including Doom, you said. So, can you tell us some of that nightmares, if you still remember?
Well one such level was Doom 2 level 24, The Chasm. I had a nightmare in which I was moving through a network of walkways and narrow bridges over incredibly deep dark chasms. So I made a level to reflect it.
- I wonder especially a level from Doom II. Doom II have a level, like a library. Books everywhere. What’s the story behind that?
I assume you are talking about Doom 2 Level 27, Monster Condo. Yes I have a recurring nightmare about a library which has a secret room in which is something horrible. So I created a level with such a library.
- Did you do something special (or inspiring) when identifying the name of monsters. For example, why “CyberDemon” and “Icon of Sin” names?
Well the game is supposed to be about Hell rising up and threatening the world, but the hellish demons have taken onto them some technology, it’s supposed to be merging together. Hence the CyberDemon and Spider Mastermind.
- Can you talking about Icon of Sin from Doom II. It’s very different monster from the others. First of all, he is (or she?) on the wall. As a game designer (and one of creator of levels), is this your idea and what’s the background that monster?
Yes, it was my idea (and my level). Basically, the problem was that we had very little art time available for creating Doom 2. We only had time to add three real monsters – the Revenant, the Arch-Vile, and the Mancubus, and those because they had partly been done for Doom 1, though not used. So, we just finished them. The other new monsters I was able to get the artists to create – the Pain Elemental, Doom Knight, Arachnotron, and Heavy Weapon dude were all heavily based on previously-existing monsters, so we didn’t need new animation frames. But … we needed a final boss that was different from the previous ones, but I couldn’t get permission to create a whole new monster, particular a boss, which always are harder. So, I had the idea to use the ancient concept of “Baphomet” – a demonic creature which was basically a head hanging on a wall, supposedly worshiped by the Knights Templars in the late middle ages. This way I wouldn’t need any animation frames – just a texture. And that’s where the Icon of Sin came from.
- “When you pick up a rocket launcher, you can unleashed so many monsters same time.” This is your one of the signatures, if i’m right. So how was this idea born?
This comes from the olden days when I wrote lots of adventures and scenarios for roleplaying games such as Runequest and Call of Cthulhu. I created plenty of traps and lures for these, and I just used the same idea in Doom and Quake.
- What do you think about new generation of id and new Doom games (Doom 2016 and Eternal) Did you play Doom 2016?
I thought Doom 3 was abysmal and was glad that it led to the demotion of my former co-workers who masterminded it. I have not extensively played Doom 2016, but what little I’ve seen looks pretty great.
- You returned to tabletop gaming industry. Can you tell us your new projects a little bit? And also, back to 90’s again, did you think a board game based original Doom or Doom II?
Well I am now most famous for my Cthulhu Wars game, in which otherdimensional monsters fight over the world’s ruin. Upcoming soon (look for it on Kickstarter in January 2019) is my Hyperspace game about warring alien empires in outer space.
Interestingly I designed a game Planet Apocalypse which is literally about Hell rising up to conquer earth. It really stems from my work on Doom. It will be in the marketplace a couple of months from now – Check it out. It even has some cyborg-y demons.