Muderous recently did an email interview with id level designer Sandy Petersen. He was kind enough to send it to me for this page. His questions are in white, Sandy's answers are in red.

Sandy makes a number of references to Cthulu sites and other fictional works. You can find them here



>You designed Call of Cthulhu (the Role Playing Game set in the horror mythos of H. P. Lovecraft) and co-designed Cthulhu Now! (the same game, but set in present day). How did you get involved with the Cthulhu games?

The person that Chaosium originally hired to do the Call of Cthulhu game wasn't doing an adequate job. They knew me, knew that I was a fanatic on the subject, that I could write, and that I'd never missed a deadline, and offered me the project.

>Did you do a lot of role-playing? If so, do you still role-play and what?

Yes. Yes. Mostly RuneQuest with a smattering of Call of Cthulhu.

>Could Quake have done with more role-playing elements, or is that really the task of 3rd party designers (as John Romero implies in recent interviews)?

The latter.

>You must be something of a fan of H.P. Lovecraft. Were you the force behind "Cthulhuing-Up" Quake, or are there other Lovecraftians there?

It couldn't have happened without collaborators, but I doubt there would have been so much direct Lovecraft influence if I had not been working here.

>Could, or should, the Quake monsters and story have had a more Lovecraftian theme?

I take the 5th Amendment.

>What 3 Lovecraft stories (or poems) would you advise someone to read?

It depends on who that person was. But in general, I would strongly sugggest PICKMAN'S MODEL, THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE, and THE CALL OF CTHULHU as good starting points.

>What other 3 stories, poems, or whatever would you suggest someome to read?

We're talking horror fiction, right? In that case I suggest OH WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU MY LAD by M. R. James, THE INMOST LIGHT by Arthur Machen, and THE WHISTLING ROOM by William Hope Hodgson. All short stories.

>You did a lot of level design for Doom/Doom 2. What levels are you most proud of?


I'll pick one from each game :-
	Doom:	E2M9 (the secret level)
	Doom II: Level 13 (Downtown)

>And which, if any, are you most ashamed of? :)

I take the 5th amendment.

>What input did you have on monster design?

Quite a lot.

>Doom had a really Satanic feel, much more so than Quake. Do you think ID will produce a game as overtly "Evil" as Doom?

It seems unlikely in the near future.

>Believe it or not, there are companies still licencing and writing games for the Doom engine. Are they flogging a dead horse?

Depends on if the games are fun or not. I still have fun playing SHERLOCK, KYE, and MASTERS OF ORION, and those games are practically stone-age. I, myself, don't rate a game's qualities on the basis of its technology. I realize that sounds funny, coming from id Software.

>Why did you go down the route of gloomy corridor levels?

My levels were designed to impart a constant sense of action to a player running in single-player mode and to give the monsters the best possible backdrop for their activities. I'm told they are popular as multiplayer levels, but only if there are a bunch of players. Fewer than 4-5 people doesn't work well, because they are so sprawling.

{...I've also got mail from CTF people that give these levels as the best for balance...}

>What was the inspriation behind [my favorite level] the Nameless City?

I was consciously trying to create a level that seemed like it was inside the slums of some huge ancient city. I'm glad you feel I succeeded.

>What single bit of advice would you give for making Quake levels?

Always backlight the monsters. They look better that way.

>Why didn't you have a deathmatch-specific level included in the Quake final release? Are you a deathmatch llama -- or are you "hard"?

Because the other designers cared more about it than I did. Deathmatch is terrific, but I'm always cognizant of the fact that probably 90% of Quake gameplay is single-player.

>Your "mission", according to the ID bios, is to "do everything that's neither programming nor art. To figure out what monsters are supposed to do so the actions and animation make sense. To write and edit manuals." What contributions did you make to the design of Quake's adversaries?

Helped figure out hit points, attacks, speeds, appearance.

>What are you doing/going to do for Quake II, and is it too early for the ID designers to nag Professor Carmack with Trinity wish-lists?

Everything I can, and yes.

>Are you really Mormon, or do you wear that beard to scare small children?

I am really a Mormon, and the beard only frightens children over the age of 8.

>Your bio-note on the ID homepage is "Eat Me!" Has this happened yet, and if it has do you think it's about time you got another quote?

The web-dude asked me what my bio should read during a rather hectic day, and I told _him_ to eat me. Obediently, it went onto the web page, and it seems like it would be wrong to change it now.

Thank you Sandy Petersen.


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