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Catacomb 3-D (also known as Catacomb 3-D: A New Dimension, Catacomb 3-D: The Descent and Catacombs 3) is the first in a series of 3-dimensional computer games (after two earlier 2-D games) in the Catacomb series created by the founders of id Software, published by Softdisk.
Catacomb 3-D is a landmark title in terms of first-person graphics. The game was released in November 1991 and is arguably the first example of the modern, character-based first-person shooter genre, or at least it was a direct ancestor to the games that popularized the genre. It was released for the PC platform with EGA graphics. The game introduced the concept of showing the player's hand in the three-dimensional viewport, and an enhanced version of its technology was later used for the more successful and well-known Wolfenstein 3D. Catacomb 3-D is seen as the precursor to later id published games Heretic and HeXeN in a similar vein as Wolfenstein 3D is seen as the precursor to Doom.
The origins of the games are Catacomb by John Carmack for the PC and Apple II. This is a two-dimensional game utilising a third-person view from above, released in 1989-1990. It was followed up with Catacomb II, which used the same game engine with new levels. The first release of the 3D version was called Catacomb 3-D: A New Dimension, but it was later re-released as Catacomb 3-D: The Descent, as well as Catacombs 3 for a re-release as commercially packaged software (the earlier versions had been released by other means such as diskmagazines and downloads). The game creators were John Carmack, John Romero, Jason Blochowiak (programmers), Tom Hall (creative director), Adrian Carmack (artist), and Robert Prince (musician).