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About Tom

TOM HALL: A BRIEF BACKGROUNDER

(Don’t blame me — I didn’t write this. –Tom) 

 

 

Tom Hall has a 21-year history of successful game development, having co-founded two of the industry’s most well known software development studios, id Software and ION Storm. Tom’s games have been enjoyed by millions of game players worldwide and have consistently received high praise, excellent reviews, and numerous awards from the gaming press. Among Tom’s 45 published games, his flagship titles are the Commander Keen series, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, DOOM, Rise of the Triad and Anachronox.

 

Tom’s recent hit Anachronox was named Game of the Month by PC Gamer UK, received a score of 89% in PC Gamer US edition, and was awarded 4 out of 5 stars in Computer Gaming World. A movie of the game’s cinematics also won three awards, including Best Picture.

 

Tom’s strongest asset is his immensely creative imagination that enables him to dream up entire gaming worlds and character designs that are tightly woven and unique in the industry.

HISTORY

Tom started designing games in the 1980s on the Apple II computer. During his career he has progressed from the simple one-person team to working with a staff of over 20 game developers. Tom has the unique ability to conceptualize large-scale game worlds that are well designed and innovative, with an emphasis on story and characterization. Tom’s design abilities extend into all areas of game development such as graphics, world design, sound design, programming, story development and programming.

NOW

Tom is currently working as Creative Director at KingsIsle Entertainment. He is living in Austin, happily married, and making an MMO.

 

 

 

102 responses to “About Tom

  1. Brandon Moore

    May 6, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Anachronox was easily one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played. Seems that MMO’s is where it’s at today, but I hope to see more games like Anachronox in the future!

     
  2. tommune

    May 28, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Thanks much!

     
  3. J.B

    June 27, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Tom, is there even a MINOR chance for Anachronox sequel ?
    I mean, Anachronox was so nicely made game it moved a lot more people then show up in the internet.
    I played this game when i was 12 – completed it, i’ve completed it when i was 13,14,15,16,17 and after all these years, Anachronox is one game i still spend my time on.
    Why leave such a great storyline on a cliffhanger …

     
  4. Chris

    June 28, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Hello Tom! I am a huge fan of Commander Keen!

    Could you join facebook so I may give you praise daily?

     
  5. tommune

    June 30, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I am on Facebook! But keep the praise to weekly.

    Now, the question is… can you find me? 🙂

     
    • Mike

      May 23, 2010 at 6:07 am

      You’re not on facebook!?! If you were, there’d be about 20 thousand Keen Fans sending you pictures of Yorps… either that or FUCL.

       
  6. Joe

    July 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Hey, just wanted to say your voice acting in Deus Ex is definitely the best I’ve ever heard in any video-game. Gotta love Simons. Anyway, will you be working on DX3?

     
  7. tommune

    July 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Aw, thanks!

    Hey, happy to if they ask me!

     
  8. Joe

    July 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    What games are you working on nowadays anyway, might I ask?

     
  9. theguy1122

    July 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Hey Tom, it’s me (Joe). I was wondering if we could arrange to put each other’s sites on our blogrolls. What do you say?

     
  10. Matt

    August 8, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Tom, Your voice work in Deus EX was incredible. I’m sure you did more than that on the game, but Deus Ex was just incredible. I hope 3 will be a prequil or something that will incorporate the original Deus EX characters/voice actors. All I can say is the voice of Walton will haunt you if you play DX too much, too late at night. 😉

    Would you record a message for my answering machine?

     
  11. tommune

    August 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Aw thanks! Weird thing is… I only got ONE take. I could have done the intro exposition a lot better. Glad you liked it.

    No one’s called me for 3 yet….

    Haha, that would be great. “Matt’s been infected, and cannot come to the phone… leave a message. One of his relatives will get it….”

     
  12. Matt

    August 8, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Wow, you are quick in response, especially with the new project/job/company and all.

    It started off as a joke about the answering machine, but just out of curiosity…what would you charge me if you wanted to or could do a custom message. I cannot possibly cannot afford it, can I? LOL. There is just something eerie and cool about how you did Walton’s voice. The pauses, inflection, tone etc.
    Oh well, maybe I just need to put my brain and my PC to work so I can spice up the ol’ answering machine message.

    Thanks for the response. I wrote you one time before via email, but maybe that wasn’t the preferred medium or maybe with an email address like mine, it went to your spam box.

    Thanks all you do for the gamers!! Life would be rather boring without people like you using your talents and creativity!!
    I wish you the best.

     
  13. Dimitrios

    August 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Tom. I stumbled upon your blog because i was checking out if you will be on DX3. Too bad they haven’t called yet, I hope they do. Cant imagine a serius Deus Ex game without Tom Hall.

    I am also interested on what kind of mmo the creator of Anachronox will create. I hope it will be something special an not some kind of WoW or lineage crap.. Could you give us(or just me? :p) some informations about it? Just core mechanic stuff..

    And as for the answering machine :p “This individual(so anyone can use it 😀 ) is currently questioned by FEMA on conspiracy charges. You are required to leave contact information in case we need to question your relationship with the subject.” Or something like that. You are a writer i know you can come up with something. I would kill for this mp3.

    Good luck with your new game. I hope it rocks!!

     
  14. salma ahmed

    September 3, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Hello Mt. Tom,

    I am really so proud to write to you..
    I just wanna you tell me if there’s any plan to build new Commander Keen Game? because i am mad about this game , and looking forward to play the new editions under windows platform..
    I think it’s good idea to re-release new edition, and would be so interesting to many keen lovers, and to others who didn’t play Keen Before..
    Please email me, and tell me if you are looking to build new Game or Not..

    Thank you very much..

     
  15. salma ahmed

    September 8, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Please reply?

     
  16. tommune

    September 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I always want Keen back, and should I ever get him back, there will be a new Keen for sure.

     
    • Mike

      May 23, 2010 at 6:17 am

      I’m sure they’d never realise if someone *nudge, nudge* made Comunder Kean, from the makers of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D

       
  17. Jorpho

    September 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Heh. The complete Keen collection (except for the long-lost #6 and Dreams, of course) was available for $2.50 on Steam this past weekend. Couldn’t pass that up at that price.

    Too bad HDB isn’t there too! 😦

     
  18. Avion

    October 4, 2008 at 2:06 am

    I actually emailed a complaint about the commander keen complete pack not having all the games to steam and got my own custom sent responce:) I plan to print it off and frame it. And of course when I saw commander keen on steam I of course couldn’t pass up a chance to relive the old memories.

    PS:If Tom the GODLY happens to read this your games were such an impact on my childhood (I’m 14 now) that when I found an old floppy disk burried in my dads desk labeled commander keen+some mouse game I locked myself in my room and there went my school hollidays(that was about 5 years ago).

     
  19. Avion

    October 4, 2008 at 2:21 am

    I really hope Tom doesn’t mind me saying this, but I did a bit of searching and according to wikipedia the mmo Tom the GODLY is working on is called wizard 101 and it even has its own funky looking website and looks pretty good, it has card battles and other cool things.

    PS:I haven’t really looked around this site so Tom might of already announced it :0

     
  20. tommune

    October 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Jorpho: yeah, stinks, HDB’s kinda holding up on biz stuff right now.

    Avion: Aw, thanks! Playing the early Apple II games is what got me started, so know the feeling! 🙂

    I don’t mind you saying that, but though the super-fun Wizard 101 is from my company (and it has lots of cute characters and humor), I didn’t work on it. It’s made by the guys that did the MMO Shadowbane. That’s all them baby!

    I think I did mention it here…. didn’t I?

     
  21. Ben

    October 12, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Hey Mr. Hall, how’s it hanging? Just wanted to drop you a line saying that I’m playing through Anachronox again, for about the 10th time. Thanks for all the fun!

     
  22. Avion

    November 6, 2008 at 10:38 am

    wow….tom hall mentioned my comment. This is the best feeling I’ve had since I found that floppy disk…

     
  23. Eder R. M.

    November 21, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Hello!

    Me bothering you again Tom 🙂

    I was thinking about the (cliffhanger) ending of Anox, and was thinking that if, someday, you completely gives up hope of making another Anox game (please don’t give up), you could post to us fans how the story would end.

    The ending was quite mean, you see, because in the end after all we didn’t save the universe, lol 😀 Chatagra released, Grumpos gone with them, Sly and party on to another universe… Man, since I first played Anox I’m dying to know how it would actually end 😉

    Anyway, I’d rather wait twenty years for a new game instead of just reading the plot.

    Get trillionaire like Bob Page and get the rights, Tom 🙂

    Btw, I just found out “googling” around that Jake Hughes and Richard Gaubert are involved in the Watchmen Motion Comic. I need to see this! Watchmen is great, and Hughes and Gaubert rox. Wish you 3 could work together again. 🙂

    Thx Tom. Take Care.

    Eder R. M.

     
  24. Fushigi

    November 26, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Hi Tom!
    I just found your website… and I HAVE to ask… (I know you should have been asked the same question like a million times, but I really wanna know)
    What prevents you from having the Commander Keen rights?

    I’d really like to play a new Keen game… it was the first PC game I’ve ever played (I was like 4 or 5 years old then… now I’m 18). I still LOVE it.

    That’s it. Take Care. (And I hope you answer me =P)

    …an old Chilean fan of C.K.

     
  25. tommune

    November 26, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Ben: you’re welcome!

    Avion: now you’ve been mentioned twice! 😀

    Fushigi: that would be because id owns them. Love to have the rights back…. would make a bunch o’ Keen!

     
  26. Jorpho

    November 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    But HDB first, right? 😉

     
  27. TheAquaticJew

    December 4, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Aww, I kinda liked the old layout of your site. 🙂 I’m glad to see things are still going well for you guys, and FI’s Totem rocks!

    Hope you had a good thanksgiving! 🙂

     
  28. tommune

    December 4, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    TAJ: Heh, yeah it was cool… but BOY is this more convenient to update.

    Jorpho: yeahhhh yeahhhhh workin’ on it. 🙂

     
  29. Jason Root

    December 18, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Hey Tom, I just read on Doom-Wiki that you originally wanted to make a third trilogy of Commander Keen instead of doom back in ’92! Well, it turns out I’m a BIG fan of the Commander Keen series (specifically Episode 1 and Episode 4–gotta love all those secrets!) and Doom! I still make maps for Doom and have dappled a little in CK mapping (you could say I’m a bit nostalgic for the glory days of id…) and was wondering if there is still any hope for Commander Keen to be blazing his way into the 21st century? I think there is a market for simpler games and a new CK game would be very exciting. I have never been too much a fan of the more “mature” directions the gaming industry has gone. Keen had the perfect mix of adventure, charm and character! Let me know!
    thanks,
    Jason

     
  30. David

    December 19, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Mr. Hall, I just recently reinstalled Anachronox and as I was looking around for patches I stumbles upon your blog. I just wanted to say thank you and tell you how much I enjoyed your game. it was one of the very first RPGs that I ever enjoyed and the first one i actually finished.

    Thank you and the team again for hours of entertainment.

    David.

     
  31. Jüri

    December 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Hey Tom,
    I just finished Anachronox (found it on ebay) and had to thank you for that game. Weird, emotional, funny, exciting, epic – all at once, it really is an unbelievable achievement. All the ideas you guys put into this one game is simply amazing. My life certainly is richer thanks to Anachronox. I hope you get to make a sequel someday.

    Happy holidays 🙂
    Jüri

     
  32. Matt Klein

    January 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Mr. Hall, would it be possible for you to just make a new Keen, a sort of franchise reboot in the fashion of the new Bond and Batman films, and them just release them for free online, anonymously? Granted, you’d lose out on the millions of dollars. But, you’d be immortal in the gaming communinty for your bold deed. Indeed, everyone would know it was you, and you would know it was you, but you could deny the whole mess of pancakes to ID or whoever owns Keen right now. Also, did you play the fanmade Keen 7: Keys of Krodacia? Did you like that at all? A Commander Keen story telling on par with Mario RPG and gameplay on par with Zelda, and an epic scope on par with Fable and the like would be a sure way to reinvent the franchise. At least I’d like to think so. You could up the weirdness and make the humor more adult. Not hookers, booze and the like, but just smarter humor. Not that I don’t laugh at some of the old Keen jokes. Last night I inscribed the Standard Galactic Alphabet onto the wall in my basement… You see how I feel about this then, right Tom? Sure, I shot Keen in Doom 2, but I didn’t mean it. Did anyone just quit playing Doom cold turkey at that point? I would applaud them if they did. Quite the restraint. Quite the maturity.
    -Matt

     
  33. tommune

    January 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I would only do another Keen if I got the rights back, free or not.

    Haven’t played Keys of Krodacia…. will try that sometime…..

     
  34. Matt

    February 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Tom. I remember seeing a game called Penultima on a friend’s computer back in the 80s (either an Atari 800 or Apple II – he had both). This game was very similar in appearance to the Ultima series and I thought it was either shareware or freeware, but I don’t know for sure since it wasn’t my computer or game. I am looking to see if it is still available and your web site seems to be place to reference the game. Is this still available for download? I would be very interested in playing it if it is.

    Thanks,
    Matt

     
  35. tommune

    February 11, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I did a game called Penultima. It was a parody of Ultima. You just walk around and do three things, seriously, if you know where you are going, gameplay takes about 1 minute.

    It was just a one-off joke for the April Fool’s issues of Softdisk.

    Not available for download… I will see if I get my old disks archived. If I do that, I will try to get a disk image of that old thing.

     
    • Matt

      June 5, 2009 at 6:19 pm

      Hello again. Back in February, you mentioned that you would try to get some old disks archived and if you did, you would try to get a disk image of Penultima. Have you had any luck?

      Thanks again,
      Matt

       
  36. Lava89

    February 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Tom Hall

    My name is Nick. I love the work you’ve done with Keen and Wolf3D, both are games I grew up with. Have you by any chance visited the Public Commander Keen Forum? (at: http://www.pckf.com/) It’s the last of the Keen community.

    Many thanks,
    Nick (aka lava89)

     
  37. Patrick Smith

    February 15, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Hey, Tom. I emailed iD about giving you the rights to keen. i hardly expect a reply though as they don’t even read mail let alone email. 😦

    Anyway, A program called Clone Keen Plus is being made as a fanmade improvement thing. It could involve multiplayer in a while. Can you imagine that? I reckon 4 was the best. Someone’s also making an open source port of keen for the DS called “Commander KeeNDS”.

    Everyone at pckf.com wishes you the best of luck in getting keen back.

     
  38. Deepak

    March 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks for shaping my childhood.(I mean that in a non creepy way)
    Rinpoche Mr.Hall, rinpoche.

     
  39. tommune

    March 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Aw, that’s a nice thing to say…. I dunno if I’m much of an incarnate lama, but thanks!

     
  40. Avakazam

    May 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Me and my buddy/ brother were talking about the legendary dopefish

    He was filling me in on the timeline of dopefish and all that dopefish has done. He also filled me in on YOUR timeline. He said you can sniff out a great company in the making.

    2 words. Legendery LEGEND

    Me and my brother have been playing Duke Nukem since the age of five (now 15)
    Nintendo version

    The best….

    I leave you by saying, “Swim swim Hungry”.

     
  41. Avakazam

    May 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Forgot to say

    Nice work on C. Keen

     
  42. DaveTheKnave

    May 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Commander Keen occupied many a night for me when my family was struggling and down on their luck. I must have spent months traveling through episode 4 alone. I couldn’t get enough. And even though we couldn’t afford to buy the second episode, I just made up adventures for Keen in my head and wrote them down sometimes. Eventually, it’s what convinced me to become a writer. I am now only months away from publishing my first novel through ACE fiction… and it’s all thanks to Keen.
    Thanks, Tom… and if I ever catch a Dopefish, I’ll put it in a pool and name it after you.
    -Dave

     
  43. tommune

    May 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Av: haha 🙂 And thanks!

    Dave: aw that’s cool, glad to hear it helped you through tough times. Thanks for sharing that! Well, hopefully you can inspire someone else through your writing, too! Best of luck with that.

     
  44. Byron

    June 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    ‘Tis the Grand Intellect Himself! Mr. Hall I just wanted to tell you that Commander Keen is the greatest thing that ever happened in my life. I was like 3 years old when I played Keen 6 for the first time! Bloogs are so cool!

    I just can’t get enough, so I have been playing a lot of Keen mods lately. It’s amazing how many fans are out there who are willing to carry on the legacy of Billy Blaze.

    Keen rules!!!

     
  45. tommune

    June 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Awwww, that’s cool…. Bloogs are cool! Well, for Bloogs!

    Awesome… glad ya loved Keen!

     
  46. Byron

    June 4, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the reply Mr. Hall. Just a question if I may? What ideas were you planning for the next Keen game?

     
  47. tommune

    June 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Well, I ain’t planning on it until I, if ever, get the rights back. id owns them.

    If I haven’t finished the Keen story by the time I’m 50, I’ll release my original story plans to folks, heh.

     
  48. Byron

    June 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I would really love to see the official Universe is toast! I’ve been playing the mod version for a while now. Another question, what are your thoughts on the gameboy version of Commander Keen?

     
  49. clive

    July 8, 2009 at 8:34 am

    WALTON SIMONS!! Ha! Dude you will go down as a legend.. in the calmest of calm sunny afternoons, when all is silent and life is drab, you can rest assured in that beautiful moment that millions if not hundreds of thousands of innocent strivers were touched, non-remiss, and stricken with fear the day they all ever met the immortal, walton. Dude, I salute you, and get on DX3 those suckers don’t have a clue 😀

    deus ex forever
    peace x

     
  50. tommune

    July 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Byron, I personally don’t consider that Keen “canon” by any means. I tried to play it, wasn’t fun.

    Clive, heh, garsh thanks…. it was fun voicing him.

     
  51. Stormwalker

    September 16, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Deus Ex was such a great game. It meant so much to me that I actually have the DX logo tattooed on my arm! How about that part where Simons approaches JC Denton in the final area (if you didn’t fight him initially) and compares his presence to a “Hall” of mirrors? J.C.’s response is priceless.

    When can I expect Rise of the Triad 2, where the H.U.N.T. discovers that El Oscuro has not only risen from the dead, but has enlisted the help of a zombified Dopefish and the ghost of Hans Grosse???

     
  52. tommune

    September 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Heh, it was a great game.

    The guys are Apogee are “rebooting” the ROTT franchise… we’ll see what that means I guess!

     
  53. SIGGRAPH

    October 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Tom,

    You should consider doing an AMA (Ask me anything) on Reddit!

     
  54. Maria Colella

    November 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Dear Toml,
    I am a big fan of your online game. I started to play Wizard 101 to spend some time with my nephew, who does not live close to me. But I soon became addicted to the game. I would love to be part of your team. if there is anyway of me working from New York City, for your company, please let me know.
    I did have an idea of adding helper wizards to the game. It would be an honor if you considered my idea. And it would be a bigger honor, if you considered me for a position. I can work form home and be available at any time. Thank you, Maria

     
  55. tommune

    November 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    SIG: maybe….

    Maria: aw thanks…! Todd, James, Josef, and the team all did wonders on that game.

    We don’t do remote positions, but thanks for your interest!

     
  56. Old Keen Fan

    November 30, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Hi Tom Hall,

    I still enjoy playing those Commander Keen games from time to time. I read about your intentions of doing more Keen games if you could ever get the intellectual rights to it back in 2000. It is so sad that nearly a decade has passed and no luck. Whether or not you are ever able to finally continue the Keen saga to the end, your original Keen games will forever be remembered possibly for generations to come. Thank you.

     
  57. virginia Bennett

    February 13, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Thanks for the heads up on Prof Layton. If Jane likes it then maybe I will. I’ll buy it for Jack Bennett (Dan Bennett’s son)

     
  58. Mauro

    March 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Hello, I’m a game programming student from the Netehrlands.

    I’m currently reading the book “Masters of Doom”(got to the point in which you leave ID) and just wanna say how incredibly inspiring is (taking into account that what’s written is close to the truth) to read about a story of a couple of guys building an empire only based on their passion and skill.

    Is nice to find people still passionate even after such a long time, and after the game industry changed(and still changing) so much.

    If it wasn’t for people like you there wouldn’t even be a dream to pursue, for me and many others that share the same passion for this medium. Thank you.

    Hoping to follow the same path.

    Mauro

     
  59. Lee Jackson

    April 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Brenda and I hope you’re doing okay – take care of yourself, damn it!!!

     
  60. Andi

    June 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Tom!

    I am a great fan of you! I have even read “Masters of Doom” to learn more about you :-). Did you read it? It was quite fun and it helped me to understand why “The Universe is Toast!” was never developed. What a pity!
    I will try out “Anachronox”, because I love your type of humour. What I have seen so far looks very interesting!

    Do you know that Chrono Trigger was released for Nintendo DS? I know its one of you favourites, so I think I am going to buy since I haven’t played it yet.

    By the way, is that you playing guitar? No, or?

     
  61. Michael

    July 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Hello Tom.

    I’m a very big fan of all your work, loving everything from Wolfenstein to Anachronox. I have also read with great interest the DOOM bible.

    I don’t actually have a question, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your great work!

    Mikey

     
  62. Matt

    August 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Hi. I posted a comment some time ago about Penultima and you mentioned that you were going to see if you could locate that program. Did you have any luck?

    Thanks!

     
  63. roseanna lewis

    August 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    my son been asking about a rugby game for the wi but you cant get one no one has come up with one for the wi ,it would be so easy to make one and there could be a lot more to do i have loads of idear to come up with one but how would i do it i dont know what i need to do but i do have to say i love the games u have come up with

     
  64. Terri

    January 22, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Dear Tom, may I do an essay on you? xD It’s not a joke =x

     
  65. tommune

    January 23, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Of course you can. You can do an essay about anyone!

    😀

     
  66. Rec.koner

    February 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Hello Tom!

    Firstly i’d like to say (as many said it) that Anox is just..wonderful, incredible..best gem ever) I loved it after playing demo in 2001 but strange things happened that i bought it only 6 years later)

    Also.. Eidos is currently bought by Square Enix, right? And “rights” are squareE’s…

     
  67. theZTOW

    April 4, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Tom I suck at math, should I choose to avoid a career in game development?

     
  68. tommune

    April 5, 2011 at 2:24 am

    theZTOW: if you don’t do art, then probably yeah. It’s a dang tough industry.

    Rec.koner: Thanks! Yep. Harder now to get! :/

     
  69. Jibaro

    April 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Tom;

    Thanks for Anachronox. Top game ever. S’true. Now; I can see Paco and the midget wrestlers as some sort of insider humor, but where in the world you came up with “Surullo”!
    I nearly busted a gut laughing. My mother made them real good. Some with cheese inside. Appreciate if you can share. (email is fine) Thanks

     
    • tommune

      April 20, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      I came up with Paco Estrella, but Richard Gaubert, the writer, has a lot of Latin roots… 🙂 That’s all his magic.

       
  70. Doron Zur

    May 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Hi.
    This is Doron Zur from the State Of Israel.
    Let me begin by saying that
    I am a great fan of your work. you have enriched my world via your games, so rich with imagination creativity and adventure. You and your team are the founding fathers, the pioneers of pc games,
    right from the very start.
    Now,
    I am currently hosting Flash games on my non-commercial flash games website for companies like FreeOnlineGames.com (FOG) and 2DPlay.com:
    http://www.doron-zur.com
    (you many enter 2 search words ‘Doron Games’ – well not really my games… the Google search word mechanism is such – into Google Search Box and discover my website immediately).

    I wish to include a special download area for the Commander Keen Games.
    Which ones are ok for uploading?

    Since The DosBox Utility is doing wonders for the good old Dos Games I will also have a download area
    for this great utility without which the good old Dos Games will not have loaded on nowaday’s pc’s.

    Thank You Sir Very Much Indeed For Your Time.
    Please Reply as soon as possible.
    Shalom From,
    Ramat-Gan
    Israel.

    Best Regards,
    Doron Zur

    Webmaster: http://www.doron-zur.com
    email: doron-zur@doron-zur.com

     
    • tommune

      May 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Hey there! Thanks for the nice comments!

      I believe the games are still owned by id / Zenimax, and don’t know that they have released them to the public domain.

      I know you can still download them from Steam or something, so if that costs money, probably not public domain….

      Best contact them, I guess!

      Take care!

       
  71. David

    May 31, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Hi Tom,

    I just wanted to say after 10 years Anachronox still has its amazing ability to draw in the player and hold him there with an iron grip. And I think it always will. When you look at the best films, books or other media, they all have one thing in common: they all transcend their medium’s limitations. Graphically, Anachronox is so dated that it would be virtually unplayable if it was a shooter. But because of the characters, story and incredibly immersive worlds of the game, it is not only possible to look past the graphics’ deficiencies, but impossible to see it as anything other than a living, breathing world on the other side of the screen.

    It’s what makes Star Trek and Star Wars such powerful sci-fi films, they create an entire universe that is so believable that you almost feel like it exists somewhere out there. Anachronox is the ONLY visual media (be it TV, games, films, whatever) that has matched Star Trek: The Next Generation in terms of connecting with the characters, the plot twists, living worlds and unique characters… and that is saying something.

    When you read a good book, the characters become your “friends” and you share a journey with them along the way. It’s not really like that with movies and almost never like that with video games, but you and your team actually accomplished it with Anachronox. You actually feel like you KNOW the characters from Anachronox… feeling sorry for Fatima, sympathetic for Boots, laugh alone with the childlike innocence of PAL, and upset, if not a little understanding, of Grumpos.

    I look forward to the day when I can go back to the world of Anachronox one more time, but until then please accept my gratitude for giving the world such a fascinating, visually stunning and realistic world with such wonderful characters.

    Happy 10th anniversary of Anachronox!

     
    • tommune

      May 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Aww, thanks! It’s great to have all the hard work appreciated!

       
  72. Bojan Adamovic

    August 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Hey, mr Hall :),

    I have a horrible confession to make – recently I’ve been doing some research on ‘notable game developers’ (for this little ‘elevator project’ that I’m about to start working on. Don’t ask 😉 ), and I’m ashamed to admit it, but – your name has somehow eluded me all my life! All until a few days ago. And I can’t believe it, seeing how you’re THE man behind Anachronox, which is imho (next to Deus Ex and Planescape: Torment. I’ve yet to play Chrono Trigger 😉 ) one of the greatest and most fun and original videogames that I’ve ever played! (and I’ve played hundreds, if not even thousands of them!) So I hereby do apologize for this horrible omission from my videogame knowledge!

    All that said, I have a proposition for you… 😉 I plan on becoming ‘very rich and famous’ some day (though how in the hell am I ever going to achieve that is beyond me!). And when I do, I’m going to buy off the Anachronox license! And then I’ll want to hire you to make a sequel! And I’ll even throw in the Keen license to sweeten the deal! 🙂

    Yeah, wishful thinking… 😉 But I really do dream of starting up a company someday, that would deal in ‘making UNdead’ all the dead franchises that I hold dear, and make sequels to them. So if by some strange space/time-anomaly-freak accident such a thing should happen (and nobody else beats me to it), you can expect a call from me! 😉

    Anyway, thanks for being in the video-game industry, and giving people countless hours of fun, and keep up the great work!

    Best regards!

     
  73. Justin

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Hey Tom!

    I’m a very long time fan of all the projects of which you’ve been a part. Whether or not you had any sneak peek at the new Deus Ex, I just found an interesting little easter egg:

    http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/578932219477270620/EB1A0C9FF6A693CE483C1452A68129DC5FD7C314/

    Speaks volumes to me, at least!

     
    • tommune

      August 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Haha, hadn’t seen that — thanks!

       
  74. Richard

    August 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hye Tom ! Thank you very much for your work on DOOM. I really likes the game serial and especially the boardgame released in 2005 !!! By the way I did alternative rules for this without a game master but I can’t post it ! FFG lost the rights and I dunno who to ask for a authorization (I know i’m stupid many fans post alternative rules for boardgames without a authorization) since I use the official DOOM logo on it and some images of the original booklet. Can you advice me on this ? HeroQuestFrance@hotmail.fr

     
  75. ZeaLitY

    September 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Hey Tom! I’m one of those people who found Anachronox way later and went insane over it. I played it last year around July. Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that earlier this year, I went insane and dredged the net of yesteryear to put together the Wikipedia article the game deserves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anachronox

    (It’s been alleged by friends that I improved the article simply to promote the good name and music of Democratus, which I, eh, have a hard time denying…) I’m on the road to get it featured, and then hopefully on the main page, at which point (if you don’t have any objections) your picture will accompany it on the Today’s Featured Article blurb.

    But I do want to take this moment to mark out over that beautiful, beautiful planet. The music; the mapping (especially the habitat ring); the ponderous characters; it all…tied together to this beautiful feeling of trying really hard. Here was this civilization that had seen dark, dark times, and was now having an extreme course correction, even to absurdity in some regards. They weren’t getting it right by any means; the…well, Democratans still had the planet in total disarray, evidence of war crimes lay everywhere, and the enforcement of their democratic ideal was nothing short of totalitarian.

    But in that music, and in their culture, you see them trying so, so hard. There’s something enduring about it, and beloved in their effort. And even cute, in their making a botch job of it here and there… I had such a tremendous, heartfelt blast with that planet. Anachronox was an utter triumph of storytelling and character-building, and so many intersections came to roost in the habitat ring or on planet Democratus. Having it as a character; the sense of humor; “unanimously vote to laugh in your face,” etc., it was all too much. I’m a massive Chrono series fan (I run http://www.chronocompendium.com), but when people ask me my favorite video game, I unabashedly say Anachronox. There is so much beautiful humanity in it, deep in its humor and tragedy, there’s just nothing else like it. And the universe, my god. You had some truly badass mappers on that team. Even something like Hephaestus’s tourist district is so intricate and beautifully made; where other games would have had a flat wall of shops or some individual buildings, the mappers created one giant superstructure of believable, endearing awesome.

    I’d better stop there. But you succeeded, you succeeded, you succeeded. It was amazing researching and learning the entire development history of the game writing the article for Wikipedia, and I can’t wait to force some of my own friends to play it, just as my friend was prepared to take me hostage if I hadn’t last year. Best gaming decision ever. Long live Democratus!

     
  76. Pete

    January 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I’m all drunk getting nostalgic at 6:30am on a Sunday.. Commander keen and Rise of the Triad were some of the coolest things I had ever seen as a kid.

     
    • ThatTomHall

      February 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Heh, aw thanks man!

       
  77. Cyan

    February 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    So what with Tim Scahfer currently at $1.3m raised for his oldskool adventure (after only a couple of days) and Obsidian contemplating a kickstarter for an oldskool RPG..

    How’s about some Anachronox 2?! C’mawwwn!

     
    • Mad Brahmin Disease

      March 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Listen to this man! Get a Kickstarter campaign going so we can get Anachronox Prime made and/or buy the license back if necessary.

       
    • Artistical

      April 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Totally agree. I’m currently on my third playthrough of Anachronox, still laughing my ass off, still effin’ nostalgic, still willing to pay.

      Tom, let’s make this happen. I have three friends here already converted. I’m sure there’s plenty more out there.

       
      • Artistical

        April 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        Just noticed we share a birthday Tom. How about that kickstarter as a gift for both of us and all of the Anachronox universe? I’m pretty sure Sly is somewhere around, waiting to pop up and kick Chaos’ ass.

         
    • gumby_trucker

      April 27, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Hell yeah!!
      You could make a spiritual sequel if getting the rights is a problem!
      Thought I imagine it would be more expensive than the kind of game Gilbert and Schaffer are making, but hopefully it could still be done cheaply. Even if you go with Unreal 2/Quake 3 tech the game could still be beautiful! No need for all them fancy shaders if you choose the right art-style 😉
      Besides, the gameplay is where it matters, and I’d imagine others would agree.

       
  78. Oana

    February 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Hi Tom,

    We think you should start a Kickstarter project to hire a lawyer and sue ZeniMax for the rights to Commander Keen and then create a new game. Or just create a new game?

    We’re all rooting for you!

     
  79. Robert "No. 1 Machop Fan" Whitehill

    April 30, 2012 at 2:33 am

    You mentioned programming twice in your list of abilities. You must be REALLY good at programming! :p

     
  80. Veronica Galarza

    July 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    OMG I ALMOST DATED YOU, THOUGH I WAS 21 & you were 30. I am happy for you & your family. I am still a graphic artist & taking it day by day. I’ll never forget what you wrote to me. I am happy my husband told me who you were he played DOOM. 🙂

     
  81. Matthew Davis

    July 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Tom

    My boys. 7 and 10, just love Wizard101, and I feel safe letting them play it. They have finished the story line and are not into PvP. Aside from helping their friends, they are getting bored. I have a pretty well developed idea for a simple addition to the game but am having a most difficult time getting a chance to present it to anyone at KI. As an attorney, I think that I have a good understanding of KI’s business model and its philosophy. I think that this idea would be very popular and beneficial for KI. I don’t want anything of any kind for the idea, have signed and honored countless NDAs with clients, and just think that aspects of this idea make so much sense that they would be embraced by KI. Any chance you could give me a way to send this KI’s way?

     
    • ThatTomHall

      July 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Well, if they have been reluctant in other avenues, that’s probably a sign.

      I am sure your ideas are great… but a) if there hear it and already thought of it, they open themselves to being sued, and b) ideas take time to implement, and they are implementing their ideas already. So they probably would prefer implementing their own.

      If you don’t want anything, I guess just send them a letter, spilling the beans? There should be a comments and suggestions thing somewhere — or a forum to post it in… that way if people like it, they can chime in “yeah, that would be great”! Even using the the bug reporter would work, heh.

      I get asked to hear or pass on ideas virtually every day/week, so unfortunately, I can’t be the sluice gate for ’em, no matter how credible the source…. good luck!

       
  82. David Oerreault

    July 22, 2012 at 4:05 am

    I Tom.

    When I was young, I played Commander Keen.
    Now, i’m 16, and I do play again to this addictive game.
    I would like to thank you for this great job for doing good old games like Commander Keen.
    It will probably stay in my mind like the game of my childhood.

    So thank you so much.
    (And you should make your hairs grow again, it looked badass.)

    With all my admiration,
    David, Infinitely fan.

     
  83. THREE

    August 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Deus Ex — every time someone mentions it, someone reinstalls it —
    Walton Simons — sexiest voice & personality in a game character. It haunts me too, but in a ‘different’ kind of way *DX fangirl mode* 😉 ❤

     
    • iLikeTheUDK

      October 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      How could you talk about Tom’s voice work and not mention El Oscuro from ROTT a single time?!

       
  84. Mike Weemer

    September 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Tom I need your help, I’m being treated unfairly in wizard101 and I’m doing everything I can do to contact someone who can help me, Please respond to me at: mikeweemer@netzero.com thanks

     
    • ThatTomHall

      October 3, 2012 at 5:02 am

      Best I can do is pass your email onward — good luck!

       
  85. Alex

    December 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Hey there Tom Hall,

    Before you even read this message, I’m sure you’re expecting it to be an Anachronox romance after it’s recent re-release. And it is. But I’m not some previous nay-sayer who turned into a believer once Anachronox got all of its bugs fixed. It’s a long story, it involves my dead brother and your masterpiece of a game. I don’t care if you don’t read it, but I wanted you to be able to if you ever wanted to feel like you made an impact in someone’s life.

    I was 11 years old when Anachronox first came out. My then-24 year old brother was hyped up in a crazy way for it at this point. I was still a child, so I wasn’t so much for getting excited for games that hadn’t come out yet and more for absorbing every game on my brother’s Amiga, SNES and Lynx. My brother used to say (not verbatim), “Anachronox is going to be awesome. All the guys behind it have made classics.”

    Anachronox came out and for my birthday, it was wrapped up for me from my brother. We installed it. (You know how it used to be.. took approx. 2 hours). Then we played. But then it crashed. Then it crashed again. My brother got frustrated, saying that (verbatim)”This is bullshit. Those guys wouldn’t have released such a buggy chunk of code. That [expletive] publisher Eidiots (it was his word for Eidos) probably forced them to release it early.”

    I didn’t see the big deal, as at this point Anachronox was an intense experience for me in a variety of ways. First time I saw voice acting in-game, first 3D third-person RPG, very mature humour in dialogue. However, during this point, my parents had their own issues, and eventually they split. My brother really never got to try out Anachronox in it’s glory, as even though we got past all the crash problems, we were hit with the infamous Lucko bug which had very few solutions and even through debugging, could cause some issues. I went to live with my mom, and my brother with my father.

    So we let it sit. For a decade. I always thought of Anachronox as this pillar of light which wouldn’t accept me because of this escort bug and I always went back to re-play it even though I knew that one point would always bug out and end my adventure prematurely. I even recall one time that I got very far, by some kind of odd exception or stroke of luck (or perhaps it was a fortunate collection of hardware and software on one of my PCs), and I eventually got to the Sender Station. I was off Anachronox. My tastes were beginning to mature (I believe I was 17 at this point) and I could see that the game was absurdly ahead of it’s time, when I was just a young, naieve child.

    However, I couldn’t play. My brother had waited for this game for years and was torn when we couldn’t progress through the bugs. I put Anachronox down, knowing that I had adventures ahead of me, but not adventures I would experience with only Sly and Grumpos.

    Fast forward to May 2011. My brother is literally living in a hospital room, as leukemia has taken its toll in his adult life. He was always the awkward nerdy type, so I was the only one visiting him regularly. I brought my laptop and Anachronox. A bit eerie, that leukemia was dormant previously; “poison from the past.” I told him the deal: we hadn’t played this game for 10 years and it’s been fixed for sure. It’s time to beat this.

    We played. We progressed. We even started collecting the Anachronox symbols and the Red Bipidri photos on this playthrough. We laughed at all the dialogue in the game. The binary names you had to translate just to get. Bucking. The inside jokes. This shit was great, and we were 10 years late to the party. I couldn’t believe walking around Democratus, seeing and using Rho/Paco/Stiletto for the first time (only saw them in screenshots previously).

    We were far as hell. We’d been playing for more than 24 hours. We were about to buy OneGate tickets.

    “Alex, I think we should stop.”
    “You okay, man? I think we’re almost done with this. If -”
    “I don’t want to play anymore. I know how it ends.”

    Without further discussion, we stopped. I was a little pissed off inside: you know how it ends? What the fuck, man? I put this game aside for years to experience it with you.

    We had a short talk. It was an odd conversation and one which had tone that we’ve never had in a conversation before. He asked me to stop visiting. After that, I immediately went home and beat the game myself. Grumpos, you little fuck. Tom Hall, you genius fuck.

    My brother died in the following months. He stopped permitting visitors after my mom visited, which I hear was a month apart from my last time there.

    In our last conversation, my brother didn’t talk to me about Anachronox or video games. He didn’t talk to me about evil publishers or about some kind of sentimental look-back on his life. At least, not any of those things directly. He told me that when you have something that you want to do or need to do, then only you can make it happen through enough effort and determination. I guess he beat Anachronox before, alone. And I guess he sent me home to finish the game myself.

    Thanks, Mr. Hall. Without your vision and game, me and my brother probably wouldn’t have had a relationship to begin with. But for some reason, even though it brought us together and ironically put us apart at the end, I’ll always remember it. After this experience, I want to do what you’ve done for me one day. I’m a pretty terrible programmer, but I figure if I can go through my life and have deeds that pay off as well as yours did to mine, then I could die happy.

    Sincerely,
    Alex

     
    • ThatTomHall

      December 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Wow. So sorry you lost your brother, but glad that Anachronox could be that one thing the bonded you and made you laugh together.

      There aren’t words to express how this touches me. In games, they are things you do with a team in a room somewhere, and then lots of people see them. But to know your experience was more than a fun little game, something that helped you in some way, that is just humbling and heart-warming and heart-breaking and cool all at once. Thank you for sharing your story, and your brother was right. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, said the only thing that leads to success for sure is Persistence. Talent helps, sometimes Luck helps, but sticking-to-it is the steady way to success. As many have said, you don’t regret the things you do, really — you regret the things you don’t do.

      So I’m glad Anachronox could be there as a common, fun activity that had a deeper meaning and significance as well. My games tend to feature characters that seem one way, then you find out who they are underneath. And it seems your brother, at the end, was wise and serious and thoughtful. We rarely get to have serious talks with our brothers. And what he said is so very true. Find what you are passionate about, what gives life real meaning, and go after that. Regardless of your success, you’ll have few regrets and a happier life.

      I will share this with the rest of the team — we’ve stayed in touch over the years. Making Anachronox made us a family. And now I can share how Anachronox touched your life, and in doing, your life and story touched all of ours. Thank you for sharing this sad and happy story, and keep on going for your dream. It’s worth it, no matter what happens.

       
  86. Victor Gonzalez

    January 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Mr. Hall,

    First of things, I am a fan of your work for many years now and something that I can assure you is that your games influenced me to work in the IT world and motivates me to continue on it.

    Now if you allow me, just a quick questions. Yesterday I saw that Apogee is going to bring back Rise of the Triad. Are you involved in this at any level? and what do you think about it?

    My thanks!
    Victor Gonzalez

     

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