Tom Hall

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Tom Hall
OccupationVideo game designer, programmer
EmployerPlayFirst
SpouseTerri Hall (died 2021)
Websitetomtomtom.com

Tom Hall is an American game designer best known for his work with id Software on titles such as Doom and Commander Keen.

Career[edit]

Hall attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science.[1] In 1987, Hall worked at Softdisk Inc., where he was both a programmer and the editor of Softdisk, a software bundle delivered monthly. Along with some of his co-workers, John Carmack, John Romero and Adrian Carmack, he founded id Software.[2] He served as creative director and designer there, working on games such as the Commander Keen series, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, and Doom.[3]

After some disputes with John Carmack about the design for Doom,[3] Tom left id Software in August 1993 to join Apogee/3D Realms. He was the game designer for Rise of the Triad, produced Terminal Velocity, and helped in varying degrees on Duke Nukem II and Duke Nukem 3D as well.[4][5] He also worked on the Prey engine until August 12, 1996, when he left Apogee.

Hall co-founded Ion Storm with John Romero, where he produced Anachronox. The company also produced the 2000 Game of the Year, Deus Ex,[6] in which Hall voiced several characters. He and Romero then founded Monkeystone Games, a company with the goal of producing mobile games in the new mobile industry.[7] He designed, and Romero programmed, Hyperspace Delivery Boy!, which was released on December 23, 2001.[8]

He and Romero joined Midway Games in 2003,[9] and Monkeystone closed in January 2005. Hall also left Midway early that year and did independent game consultation work out of Austin, Texas until in February he joined a startup company called KingsIsle Entertainment based in the same area.[10]

Hall left KingsIsle Entertainment and joined Loot Drop on January 1, 2011.[11] Along with Loot Drop, he unsuccessfully tried to crowdfund a game called Shaker on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter during October 2012.[12] Hall later tried to crowdfund another game on Kickstarter, Worlds of Wander, which was also unsuccessful in reaching its goal.[13]

In March 2013, Hall joined PlayFirst as Principal Designer.[14]

Dopefish[edit]

Hall is the creator of the Dopefish, a green, dimwitted fish in Commander Keen episode IV.[15] References to it have appeared in other video games, including the Quake series, Rise of the Triad, Daikatana, and Max Payne since.[16]

Voice work[edit]

Hall provided the following voices for the computer role-playing game Deus Ex: Morpheus, a sentient AI; Howard Strong, a ruthless and cruel MJ12 operative; and Walton Simons, the nano-augmented Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He also voiced the project director in Deus Ex: Invisible War's opening cutscene, and PAL-18, Councilman Willis, Dr. Hush-Hush and Eddie the Chew in Anachronox. He was also the voice and likeness of the main antagonist of Rise of the Triad, El Oscuro, voiced the Death Monk enemies from the game,[17] and earlier he voiced some of the characters in Wolfenstein 3D, including the female character Gretel Grösse.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Hall suffered a stroke on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. He was in rehabilitation until April 21, when he was released.[19] He was married for eighteen years to Terri Hall, who died on May 2, 2021.[20]

Games[edit]

Year Title Developer Publisher Credited for
1989 Catacomb Softdisk Softdisk Creative director (MS-DOS), Levels
1990 Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons Ideas from the Deep Apogee Software Creative director, sounds
1991 Slordax: The Unknown Enemy Softdisk Softdisk Creative director
1991 Hovertank 3D Softdisk Softdisk Game designer
1991 Catacomb II Softdisk Softdisk Creative director
1991 Catacomb 3-D id Software Softdisk Creative director
1991 Shadow Knights id Software Softdisk Creative consultant, level design, sound
1991 Rescue Rover id Software Softdisk Game designer
1991 Rescue Rover 2 id Software Softdisk Creative director
1991 Commander Keen in Keen Dreams id Software Softdisk Creative director
1991 Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter id Software FormGen Creative director
1992 Wolfenstein 3D id Software Apogee Software Creative director
1993 Doom id Software id Software Uncredited creative director
1995 Rise of the Triad Apogee Software Apogee Software Creative director
2001 Anachronox Ion Storm Eidos Interactive Project leader, game designer
2002 Hyperspace Delivery Boy! Monkeystone Games Monkeystone Games Game designer
2003 Red Faction Monkeystone Games THQ Creative commando
2003 Jewels and Jim Monkeystone Games THQ Game designer, lead programmer
2003 Dig It! Monkeystone Games THQ Game designer, lead programmer
2003 Congo Cube Monkeystone Games THQ Game designer, lead programmer
2005 Narc VIS Entertainment Midway Games Creative director
2005 Area 51 Midway Austin Midway Games Additional writing and design
2012 Pettington Park Loot Drop Zynga Creative director and lead designer
2016 Gordon Ramsay: Dash PlayFirst Glu Mobile Lead game designer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hart, Hugh (Summer 2012). "Tom Hall '86: Video Game Innovator". On Wisconsin. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. New York: Random House. p. 77. ISBN 0-375-50524-5.
  3. ^ a b Gestalt (November 4, 1999). "Tom Hall of Ion Storm". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  4. ^ Schreiber, Frederik (November 4, 2014). "The 3D Realms Vault: 1994 Design Tips from Tom Hall - Part 1". 3D Realms. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Siegler, Joe (March 16, 2015). "The 3D Realms Vault: 1994 Design Tips from Tom Hall - Part 2". 3D Realms. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "2000 Game of the Year". GameSpy. 2001. Archived from the original on August 12, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  7. ^ Wright, Chris (December 25, 2008). "A Brief History of Mobile Games: 2001 - A Mobile Odyssey". Pocket Gamer. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Harris, Craig (August 20, 2002). "Monkeystone on Hyperspace Delivery Boy". IGN. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Bramwell, Tom (October 24, 2003). "Midway CEO Speaks". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Van Zelfden, N. Evan (February 14, 2006). "Tom Hall Makes His Move". The Escapist. Archived from the original on May 24, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ Takahashi, Dean (March 3, 2011). "Loot Drop banks on talented game designers as it takes on social gaming's giants (exclusive)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  12. ^ "SHAKER: An RPG by Brenda Brathwaite & Tom Hall (Canceled)". Kickstarter. October 19, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  13. ^ "WORLDS OF WANDER plus "Secret Spaceship Club" Game!". Kickstarter. March 1, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Hall, Tom (March 31, 2013). "New Job: Principal Designer at PlayFirst!". TOMTOMTOM.COM. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  15. ^ Siegler, Joe. "The Dopefish". Dopefish.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  16. ^ Siegler, Joe. "Dopefish in Games". Dopefish.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  17. ^ Bowen, Kevin. "ROTT in Hell - Part II". KonTek.Net. Archived from the original on April 6, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  18. ^ Parrish, Peter (August 27, 2009). "Tom Hall on Wolfenstein 3D". IncGamers. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  19. ^ Callaham, John (April 15, 2010). "id Software co-founder Tom Hall recovering from stroke". BigDownload. Archived from the original on May 21, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  20. ^ @ThatTomHall (May 12, 2021). "I just lost the light and love of my life on May 2nd. Will black out social media for a bit. She was so amazing. E…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tom Hall at Wikimedia Commons