Having found success in the 90s, John Carmack helped many people, including game designer American McGee. While most of them chose to forget about the money, the Alice creator eventually managed to pay off his debt.

American McGee pays off the debt to John Carmack after 25 years

Left: American McGee, Right: John Carmack

The year is 1993. Long before Alice, American McGee began his game development career at id Software, where he served as one of the designers of DOOM and Quake. He worked there for several years before being fired and joining Electronic Arts in 1998.

McGee was also close friends with the studio’s co-founder John Carmack, who recently recalled loaning money to the now-famous game designer.

“I often fronted [American McGee] ‘advances’ for various reasons,” Carmack wrote. “He wound up doing game development in China, and I wished him well, but I only had sporadic contact with him.”

Nearly 25 years later, McGee suddenly repaid his debt — probably with money from his successful plushie business — because “it had always weighed on him.” “I found this moving after all this time, and I get to push a nice positive update into my personal ‘model of how people behave,'” Carmack noted.

McGee replied to Carmack’s thread, thanking him for changing his life and always being an inspiration. “I’ll always owe you a debt of gratitude. But happy that this other debt is now behind us,” the Alice creatore wrote.

American McGee wasn’t the only person Carmack lent money to. The id Software co-founder noted that, in his 20s, he used to help many people. However, most of them never spoke of it again.

“It was a learning experience for me, calibrating some general people behavior,” Carmack wrote. “I don’t think anyone intended to not pay me back, but things often just don’t work out the way you plan.”

So it is doubly nice to see that McGee has kept this debt in mind for more than two decades and finally paid it off to the person who helped him early in his career.