John Romero is probably best known as the co-founder of iD Software and
co-creator of Doom and Quake (and Commander Keen). But his game experience
extends back to the era of the Apple II and before. While reveling in the
golden age of video games, his friend told him that there were games for
free at the local college, and there they discovered the family of games
now considered classics: Hunt the Wumpus, "Poison Cookie" and a game which
turned out to be Adventure.
He was inspired enough by Adventure to try writing one of his own, but while
learning a number of new tricks and techniquess in programming, an errant
bump in road sent his punch cards into a puddle, cutting the project short.
He switched to an Apple II and a disk drive some time after, and his game
coding took off.
Romero's path crossed with Infocom's in the late 1980s; while working for
a company he co-founded called Ideas From the Deep, he wrote an operating
system for the Apple II that was used in the last round of Infocom games:
Journey, Shogun, Zork Zero, and Arthur. He didn't get to meet anybody but
he was proud of his contribution and offered to be interviewed.
He was kind enough to make himself available on a Sunday and gave a great
interview, a short one before I headed off to squeeze in one more interview
before flying back from California.