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Jan Paul van Waveren, programmer for over three generations of id Software tech, has passed away

id co-founder John Carmack described van Waveren as 'the best developer I ever worked with.'


Jan Paul van Waveren, known as JMP van Waveren and by his online handle, "MrElusive," passed away earlier today.

id Software co-founder John Carmack announced the passing of his friend on Twitter.

"Jan Paul van Waveren passed away today. The best developer I ever worked with, my right hand, and a good friend. It was an honor," Carmack wrote.

JMP van Waveren left his mark on the DNA of id Software and, in turn, on the games industry. He got his start as the engineer in charge of writing artificial intelligence for the bots in 1999's Quake III: Arena.

Following Quake III and its Team Arena expansion, JMP van Waveren wrote code for Doom 3 and Quake 4 before spearheading development of 2011's Rage as lead programmer. From there he joined the id Software Support Team that contributed to 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order, in the role of lead graphics programmer.

That same year, van Waveren followed John Carmack from id Software and joined his friend and colleague at Oculus VR, where he worked as a senior engineer.

JMP van Waveren's body of work earned him industry-wide recognition. At the fourth annual NAVGTR Awards, a group of judges comprised of critics and writers awarded him the Outstanding Lighting/Texture Effects for the rendering technology engineered for Doom 3. Doom 3 put him back in the spotlight again when he and the Doom 3 team were nominated for the Game Developers Choice Awards 'Technology' award.

Before working in the games industry, van Waveren cut his teeth on game development by designing maps for a 24-map campaign called The Abyss for Doom II. The campaign is predicated on solving puzzles and navigating mazes.

JMP van Waveren may be gone, but fans of id Software games are familiar with his engineering prowess even if they do not realize it. Known as the Area Awareness System, or AAS, van the AI routines that van Waveren wrote for Quake III are still used for entity pathfinding in contemporary iterations of the company's id Tech game engine.

Sources: John Carmack (Twitter), Mobygames, Doom Wiki, Snapshot courtesy of Mobygames.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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