Softdisk

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Softdisk was a software and Internet company based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Founded in 1981, its original products were disk magazines (which they termed "magazettes", for "magazine on diskette"). It was affiliated and partly owned by paper magazine Softalk at founding, but survived its demise. The company has been known by a variety of names, including Softdisk Magazette, Softdisk Publishing, Softdisk, Inc., Softdisk Internet Services, Softdisk, L.L.C., and Magazines On Disk.

Softdisk is most famous for being the former workplace of several of the founders of id Software, who worked on a short-lived game subscription product, Gamer's Edge. Gamer's Edge was a monthly[3] PC game disk started in 1990 by John Romero. The disk's developers were John Carmack, John Romero, and Adrian Carmack. Tom Hall, then a programmer who worked in the Apple II department of Softdisk, would come in at night to help with the game design. Lane Roathe was the editor. Before he became a popular author Clayton Crooks had several games published by Softdisk.

These developers later left Softdisk to found id Software. To complete their contractual obligation to Softdisk, the developers built several more games for Softdisk, including Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion, Rescue Rover, Hovertank 3D, Rescue Rover 2, Tiles of the Dragon, Catacomb 3D and Keen Dreams (the "lost" episode of the Commander Keen series). Softdisk later hired a new team to create new titles using the game engines of the earlier games, including the later founders of JAM Productions. This connection led to Softdisk being mentioned extensively in the earlier parts of the id chronicling book Masters of Doom.

Also, some of the earliest employees of Origin Systems worked there before moving on: Greg Malone (Moebius, Windwalker), Dallas Snell (The Quest and Ring Quest), Joel Rea (The Quest and Ring Quest), and Alan Gardner (Windwalker, Ultima VI). Malone also later worked as a producer for 3D Realms. Softdisk continued to publish video games into the mid-1990s, most notably In Pursuit of Greed, based on an alpha version of the Doom engine derived from Shadowcaster, and Alien Rampage, based on the original Duke Nukem Forever side-scroller once being developed by 3D Realms.