New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

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Roobar
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New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Roobar »

Well, I don't see anyone posting this here and I think it's important Keen history, so here goes.

This is neat! Scott Miller posted on Titter a letter sent to him in 1990 by Id Software:

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Link to the tweet and full story/additional info:

https://twitter.com/ScottApogee/status/ ... 7719824386
Last edited by Roobar on Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The historic letter sent to Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Benvolio »

Amazing. I love the many differences in both the word selection, and the actual plot. I'm so glad they changed to the American Football helmet thus propelling the visual appearance of Keen to the truly iconic.
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Re: The historic letter sent to Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Frenkel »

For more information, look at the KeenWiki.
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Re: The historic letter sent to Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by proYorp »

Does that say Thomas Hall? :eek Somehow it never crossed my mind that his full name would be Thomas. :D
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Re: The historic letter sent to Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Roobar »

Nice catch
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Re: The historic letter sent to Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Roobar »

But wait! There's more from Scott Miller:

1. https://twitter.com/ScottApogee/status/ ... zsosBLPJgg
Here's the original Commander Keen illustration, the first ever made for the game. I used to have it hanging in my office until I saw it fading--thanks sunlight--so now I keep it in storage. Notice that Billy is holding his gun in the wrong hand (this really bugged John Romero).
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2. https://twitter.com/ScottApogee/status/ ... zsosBLPJgg
Before the original Commander Keen was released Dec 10th, 1990, I sent to Id (still calling themselves Ideas From the Deep) a list of the needed shareware screens to advertise the remaining two episodes. Here's what I sent to them. Note the different names for Ep2 & 3 back then!
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3. https://twitter.com/ScottApogee/status/ ... zsosBLPJgg
After my call with Id about them making Commander Keen for Apogee in 1990, I wrote down the two main deal points that I needed to create an agreement with them around. Here’s my actual note to myself.
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Re: New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Frenkel »

This is neat!

I like the names of episode 2 and 3 that we got, instead of those working titles.
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Re: New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Ceilick »

I have to agree, those working titles are hilarious though :lol

Great posts, Roobar!
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Re: New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by proYorp »

1) Marooned on Mars
2) Aboard the Mothership
3) The Final Battle
Trippy. Man after reading this I had a hangup for a minute and could not remember the actual names of the 2nd and 3rd episode. :stoned "The Earth Explodes" and "Keen Must Die!" are definitely much more "action-packed" sounding. Fits the tone of the series a lot better. I'm sure the final more "clickbaity" names would've helped sales too.

And the old main menu text... it almost looks familiar for some reason. :confused "Journey onward..." Feels like crossing into a mirror world.

This is some juicy trivia. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by Roobar »

Yea thats the most interesting thing. I guess they also implemented clickbaiting.

I can imagine a mod that sole's purpose would be to change titles to these early ones :lol

Here, more interesting Keen tidbits are coming. So, I'll continue updating here as long as there is more interesting Keen related stuff.

1. Like Keen could've been distributed by Electronic Arts:
Early in 1991, Scott Miller sent a copy of Commander Keen to Electronic Arts, the industry publishing giant at that time.

But, they didn't look at the game and instead wanted us to sign a submission form -- too much friction to work with them so we blew them off.

Their loss.
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2. More from Scott and Romero, like Keen running on Windows and all the levels in PCX images:
John Romero sent me all the original Commander Keen levels in PCX image format (on the two blue floppies) for marketing. They were also starting a new game they never finished, Fight for Justice (I never saw a demo). Instead, they began work on the next Commander Keen games.
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3. This image is not new, but we now know more about its background:
Ken Rieger created this 6-character art for us in '92 that we planned to use on the cover of our Apogee catalog, but we never used it. George has the original painting. Even though I helped create Cosmo I never knew he was furry until seeing Ken's artwork! Yet, it makes sense lol
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Re: New Old Keen History From Scott Miller - Apogee/3DR Founder

Post by proYorp »

John Romero wrote: Well, we got all 3 Keens running under Windows, although there is a little screen banding that is impossible to remove. The most important thing was getting the menu to work! We also slowed down the text viewing.
Hee, they tested it on Windows. :D I didn't even think they used Windows then.

Oh man the lightning-fast text scrolling is the most annoying part about using version 1.0 of the games. I'm so glad they fixed that. Thanks John Romero.
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