21 Facts About Wolfenstein 3D


Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software and FormGen.

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Wolfenstein 3D was the second major independent release by id Software, after the Commander Keen series of episodes.

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Wolfenstein 3D was a critical and commercial success and is considered one of the greatest video games ever made.

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Id Software never returned to the series, but did license the engine to numerous other titles before releasing the source code for free in 1995, and multiple other games in the Wolfenstein 3D series have been developed by other companies since 2001.

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Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter presented with rudimentary 3D graphics.

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Wolfenstein 3D took the unusual approach of creating the displayed graphics through ray casting, in which only the surfaces visible to the player were calculated rather than the entire area surrounding the player.

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Wolfenstein 3D felt the game would occupy a unique place in the industry, which was then dominated by slower simulation and strategy games.

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The one episode of Spear of Destiny was a prequel to Wolfenstein 3D and used the same engine, but added some new audio, graphics, and enemies.

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Wolfenstein 3D's made no progress on the port and the id team members instead spent three weeks frantically learning how to make SNES games and creating the port by March 1993.

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Since its initial release, Wolfenstein 3D has been ported to numerous other platforms as well.

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In 1993, Alternate Worlds Technology licensed Wolfenstein 3D and converted it into a virtual reality arcade game.

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Wolfenstein 3D was noted as one of the top games of the year at the 1993 Game Developers Conference.

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Wolfenstein 3D twice received 5 out of 5 stars in Dragon in 1993; Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser termed it "definitely one of the best arcade games ever created for PC", highly praised the graphics and sound, and said that the "fast-paced action" could keep players enthralled for weeks if they were not concerned about the violence.

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Wolfenstein 3D enthusiastically praised the speed and gameplay, calling it "a fun game with lots of action" and "a fun, fairly mindless romp", though he did note that at higher difficulty settings or later levels it became extremely hard.

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Wolfenstein 3D concluded that the game, then over three years old, "still packs a punch as a first-person shooter".

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Wolfenstein 3D won GamePros Best 3DO Game of 1995 award, beating the acclaimed The Need for Speed and D Maximum, on the other hand, while stating that the 3DO port was better than the original and as good as the Jaguar version, felt that it was so aged compared to recent releases like Hexen: Beyond Heretic and the PlayStation version of Doom that a new port was pointless, with the game now "somewhat tiresome and very, very repetitive".

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Wolfenstein 3D has been called the "grandfather of 3D shooters", specifically first-person shooters, because it established the fast-paced action and technical prowess commonly expected in the genre and greatly increased the genre's popularity.

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Section 86a had "social adequacy" allowances for works of art, but in 1998, a High District Frankfurt Court case evaluating the Nazi imagery within Wolfenstein 3D determined that video games did not fall under this allowance.

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In November 2019, Wolfenstein 3D was formally struck from the "Index", the list of games banned from sale in Germany.

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The modding efforts of Wolfenstein 3D players led id Software to explicitly design later titles like Doom and Quake to be easily modifiable by players, even including the map editing tools id Software used with the games.

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The source code for the original Wolfenstein 3D engine was released by id in 1995; when making the 2009 iOS port, Carmack used some of the enhancements to the engine made by fans after its release.

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