|Designer(s)||John Carmack, John Romero, Jason Blochowiak, Tom Hall|
|Engine||Wolfenstein 3D engine|
|Release date(s)||INT November 1991
|Media/distribution||floppy disk (1)|
Catacomb 3-D (also known as Catacomb 3-D: A New Dimension, Catacomb 3-D: The Descent and Catacombs 3) is the third in the Catacomb series of video games (created by the founders of id Software), and the first of these games to feature 3D computer graphics. The game was originally published by Softdisk under the Gamer's Edge label.
Catacomb 3-D is a landmark title in terms of first-person graphics. The game was released in November 1991 and is arguably the first example of the modern, character-based first-person shooter genre, or at least it was a direct ancestor to the games that popularized the genre. It was released for the MS-DOS with EGA graphics. The game introduced the concept of showing the player's hand in the three-dimensional viewport, and an enhanced version of its technology was later used for the more successful and well-known Wolfenstein 3D. The game's more primitive technological predecessor was Hovertank 3D.
The origins of the games are Catacomb by John Carmack for the PC and Apple II. This is a two-dimensional game utilising a third-person view from above, released in 1989-1990. It was followed up with Catacomb II, which used the same game engine with new levels. The first release of the 3D version was called Catacomb 3-D: A new dimension, but it was later re-released as Catacomb 3-D: The Descent, as well as Catacombs 3 for a re-release as commercially packaged software (the earlier versions had been released by other means such as disk magazines and downloads). The game creators were John Carmack, John Romero, Jason Blochowiak (programmers), Tom Hall (creative director), Adrian Carmack (artist), and Robert Prince (musician).
id Software's use of texture mapping in Catacomb 3D was influenced by Ultima Underworld (still in development at Catacomb 3D's release). Conflicting accounts exist regarding the extent of this influence, however. In the book Masters of Doom, author David Kushner asserts that the concept was discussed only briefly during a 1991 telephone conversation between Underworld developer Paul Neurath and John Romero. However, Paul Neurath has stated multiple times that John Carmack and John Romero had seen the game's 1990 CES demo, and recalled a comment from Carmack that he could write a faster texture mapper.
Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy 
Catacomb 3-D was followed by three games, in the so called Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy. They were not developed by id Software, though they were credited in some of the games.
Catacomb Abyss 
Catacomb Abyss was the sequel to Catacomb 3-D, and featured the same main character in a new adventure. It was the only game in the series that was released as shareware. It was released by Softdisk in 1991.
The game was developed by Gamer's Edge. The credits are Mike Maynard, Jim Row, Nolan Martin (programming), Steve Maines (art direction), Steve Maines, Carol Ludden, Jerry Jones, Adrian Carmack (art production), Jim Weiler, Judi Mangham (quality assurance), and id Software (3D imaging effects).
Catacomb Armageddon 
Catacomb Apocalypse 
Catacomb Apocalypse is the final game in the Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy. It was later re-released as Terror of the Catacombs. It was set in the distant future and mixed fantasy and sci-fi elements, pitting players against robotic necromancers and the like. It is also the only game in the Trilogy to have a Hub system. It was developed by Softdisk and published by Froggman.
- Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created An Empire And Transformed Pop Culture. Random House. 89. ISBN 0-375-50524-5.
- Mallinson, Paul (April 16, 2002). "Feature: Games that changed the world: Ultima Underworld". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
- James Au, Wagner (May 5, 2003). "Masters of "Doom"". Salon.com. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- id's look back at Catacomb 3D
- Catacomb 3-D at MobyGames
- Catacomb series at MobyGames
- Catacomb series at the Open Directory Project