Randy Pitchford: My 3 favourite games

Game Changers: The Gearbox boss on the titles that impacted on his life...

In last week's Game Changers, Media Molecule founder Mark Healey told us how video games had inspired him to create pretend G-force, ban Peter Molyneux from a room and fart in a jar.

This time, Randy Pitchford - boss of Duke Nukem Forever and Borderlands studio Gearbox and all-round Good Guy - reveals to CVG's readers the three games that changed his life.


Randy was once a professional magician, performing at Los Angeles' Magic Castle between classes at UCLA. He worked on the Atomic expansion for the original Duke Nukem 3D, and founded Gearbox in 1999.

He was awarded the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences gong for best PC Action Game in 2000 for his production and direction of Gearbox's debut title, Half-Life: Opposing Force. Gearbox has gone on to be involved in the making of released such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Randy's three Game Changers choices have a first-person bent and, just like Gabe Newell, come complete with a respectful nod towards Jon Carmack's id...

Colossal Cave Adventure (1977)


This was a text based game I first played on a CP/M system that my father built. It is the game that most likely started me down the path of becoming a game maker as I examined the source code to unlock the game's secrets and learned how it was crafted in the process. It motivated me and taught me how to program computers.

Doom (1993)


Doom moved me from being most interested in adventure and role playing games to games that were about high degrees of immersion and action. The story of the game's creators and how the game was developed also helped make more accessible the idea of games as a career. Several of creators of Doom have since become mentors or friends of mine - so there's been lots of impact there on my life.

Duke Nukem 3D (1996)


The last game I'll call out for Game Changers. It was because of Duke that I transitioned from being a hobbyist to a professional. I moved out to Texas to join 3D Realms to join the Duke Nukem 3D team and there I had my very first experience as a professional game maker shipping a commercial product. I still feel like I owe my career to Duke. Always Bet on Duke - and Hail to the King, baby!

Randy and Gearbox's newest beast, Duke Nukem Forever, is due for release on PS3, 360 and PC in May