I was Googling around for something completely unrelated and came across a thread on a gaming site asking if anybody had signed boxes of Doom. It reminded me of a business trip to Dallas I took in early 1995. As a big Doom player at the time (oh how I loved those lunchtime frag-fests on the office LAN), I figured a side-trip to visit iD Software was definitely in order.
So the colleague I was traveling with and I looked up their office in the phone book (seems quaint, I know) and drove over. We went up to the second (or third) floor of a nondescript office building where they had a suite. I asked their receptionist if I could buy a boxed copy of Doom; I thought that saying I had a copy of Doom I bought at iD would be a nifty memento. She said they only had copies of Doom II on hand, so that'd have to do.
I mentioned that I was on a business trip and had come from Cincinnati. This fact, that I had traveled from another state, seemed to impress her, and she offered to have the designers sign the instruction manual. Of course, I said that'd be great. So she ripped open the box, took out the manual, and proceeded to walk around the office having people sign the credits page (see below).
What was even more surreal was having John Carmack give us a tour of the offices. He showed us a game they were developing (he didn't tell us the name, but it turned out to be Quake) and then he had to rush off to an interview and photo-shoot with a gaming magazine they were having there that day. Seeing the the software engineers photographed holding swords and laser guns and wearing Viking helmets was quite a sight (if anyone knows the name of the mag or has a copy of this issue, please let me know). I remember looking out the office windows and seeing Carmack and John Romero posing outside in the parking lot beside their twin Ferraris (one red and one yellow). I think a took a picture of that...I'll post it if I can find it.
Anyway, it was quite a neat experience. Here's a shot of the manual the team autographed (signers include Jay Wilbur, John Romero, Kevin Cloud, John Carmack, Dave Taylor, and Sandy Peterson):