Jim Lowell is a level designer and programmer. He was born in 1970. During the time that he worked on E1M1: House of Desolution, he lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to his work on that level, he was designing levels for TeamTNT for Doom. His contributions for Doom include MAP12:Crater for Final Doom, MAP04: Engineering and Map31: Great Balls of Fire for Icarus: Alien Vanguard, and one of the maps for Bloodlands.
Eventually, Lowell started focusing more on Quake maps and joined up with HeadGames Publishing, Inc.. He learned most of his knowledge of the editors by himself, though struggled with the shift from Doom to Quake. He felt he lacked the proper 3D levels for Quake, stating that he tended to make his levels more Doom-like with some nice architecture. While this was fine, he felt he could do better if he took better advantage of vertical space.
Lowell's greatest contribution to the community was the assistance on an editor called THRED. Mavor created Radix: Beyond the Void in December of 1995, though that game was considered a commercial failure and caused the breakup of the development team. After the project collapsed, Mavor went on to create a generic 3d editor, the next step to the 2d-limited RadCad he had designed for Radix, intended to be used with any game. Jim Lowell, one of the few fans for Mavor's game, was shown the new editor and suggested that it could be used to modify Quake levels. Upon the release of Qtest, Lowell went to the message boards and started uploading screenshots of the test level that Mavor made. THRED immediately gained popularity due to it being the only 3d editor for Quake at the time, previous attempts to design levels had been done with text editors
Mavor cared little for getting involved with the community, feeling THRED was simply a project to learn how to create a 3d editor, and moved on to other financial opportunities. Lowell therefore became the main person to support THRED, including publishing the later releases of the editor that Mavor designed as well as any documentation written for the editor. By 1997, the technology had become rather outdated (there were numerous limitations, including the fact that there was no proper undo/redo system). Mavor said he would potentially make a 1.0 release that would allow for better entity support, better functionality for grouping, gamma correction, and keyboard shortcuts in January of 1997. By April of that year, Lowell had lost faith when Mavor had become too busy with other projects to work on THRED and could not promise another release. As Lowell himself stated, "The "official" status of THRED is that there will be another version released. The "Jim Lowell" status is that THRED is dead." As no version 1.0 was ever released, this proved to be true.
He believed heavily in goal-oriented maps. For example, a goal might be to find a Key or open a Door. While he enjoyed all of the levels of Quake, he had a slight preference for American McGee's levels, even though he stated that he rode in John Romero's Ferrari. American McGee answered a lot of Lowell's questions for Quake level design, plus American had principles that Lowell admired such as the belief that all lights should have a light source. His favorite Quake monster was the Fiend, while his least favorite was the Rotfish.