Modding Interview: Classic DOOM for DOOM 3

Following last week’s interview with Zombie Slayer’s Bryan Henderson, we continue our look into id Tech mods today with Classic DOOM for DOOM 3.

We have a lot of love for the original DOOM, and so does Gareth Ward. After getting his start modding on Team Fortress Classic — the Half-Life version of the original Quake mod — Ward made his name in modding by leading the Classic DOOM team, which sought to recreate the shareware levels of DOOM in the DOOM 3 engine. The result was a mod that not only nailed the look of the first DOOM, but also its distinct flavor.

In our interview, Gareth recalled the experience of crafting Classic DOOM, which involved the efforts of around a dozen modders:

Under the hood there are a lot of modifications going it that most people would probably take for granted. From the most obvious things like the new levels, the weapon models, item models and sound effects, through to simple things like how much damage each monster has, how fast they move and the amount of bullets that can be fired by each weapon at any given time.

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Modding Interview: Bryan Henderson’s Zombie Slayer

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Where would the mod community be without id Software? DOOM and Quake were some of the first games to spark what would become an entire generation of amateur game developers. And as id grew, so did the scene; some of those early mods went on to become the basis of successful retail games, and countless modders found their way into the industry by leveraging their modding experience.

But plenty of id Tech mods are still being released today. In our first id-related modding interview, we talk with Bryan Henderson, creator of “Zombie Slayer,” a mod that implements Heavy Rain/Dragon’s Lair-style quicktime events in DOOM 3. In addition to Zombie Slayer chat, the 29-year-old network administrator tells us about his first modding experiences, what he thinks the secret to a good mod team is, and what he’s working on next.

When did you first start modding?

Back in the late 90s, people started hacking apart game demos made using the game Quake to make movies. I found the entire process to be incredibly interesting since I had made movies back in the day using Red Baron’s movie editor. I never thought that taking a gameplay capture of someone playing a game and redoing the camera angles was possible. Continue reading full article ›

New Commander Keen Mod is Genius

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RockPaperShotgun is carrying a keen writeup on Commander Genius, a new mod that upgrades id Software’s classic platformer Commander Keen with modern VGA graphics.

As you can see in the comparison image above, the difference is dramatic. The mod is compatible with the first three Commander Keen episodes, and the team is working to extend the functionality to the rest.

Download links can be found on the Commander Genius site. The Commander Keen anthology itself can of course be purchased on Steam.

Carmack talks Pokemon with Kotaku

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Following his reception of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Game Developers Conference, id Software’s own John Carmack gave a few minutes of on-camera talk time to Kotaku.

Stephen Totilo asked Carmack about iPhone development, and the interesting nature of winning a Lifetime Achievement award when you’re still hard at work. Head over to Kotaku to watch the full interview.

Watch John Carmack Accept the GDC Lifetime Achievement Award Tonight

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As we mentioned last month, id Software luminary John Carmack will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at the GDC Choice Awards tonight. And thanks to the internet, you can watch it happen.

Grab some popcorn and head on over to GameSpot to view a live stream of the show. It all begins at 9:30 EST/6:30 PST — which gives you just enough time to squeeze in a few Quake Live frags before the proceedings.

Get your QuakeCon on August 12-15

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While it’s only March, it’s already time to get ready for QuakeCon 2010. In a media alert this morning, we’ve announced that this year’s fragfest will take place August 12-15 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

If you’ve never been to QuakeCon, I can tell you it’s a great time (last year was my first trip). The event allows you to play in world-class tournaments, meet and interact with game developers, be the first to learn new information about upcoming computer and videogames, and have the opportunity to frag with friends on QuakeCon’s massive Bring Your Own Computer network. And don’t forget, attending QuakeCon is free!

As we have more news on QuakeCon 2010, we’ll keep you in the know here at Bethesda Blog, as well as on QuakeCon’s official site, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

The day Quake shook the gaming world: Carmack, et al share their QTest memories

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Fourteen years ago today, the pioneering developers at id Software released QTest, the first public beta of the original Quake.

Contained within a massive 4.1mb package, QTest served as the first glimpse of many groundbreaking gaming features that we now take for granted. Realtime 3D graphics, mouselook support, built-in TCP/IP multiplayer; Quake ushered in an entirely new era of shooters, and we’re still feeling the aftershocks.

To mark the occasion, I asked the guys at id to share some of their memories of February 24, 1996. Read on for comments from John Carmack, Tim Willits, and more — along with a few stories from the team here at Bethesda.

John Carmack, Co-founder and Technical Director, id Software:

We were watching a live online chat when the upload went live.  When the first person got it, there was a great clamor for reports about what it looked like.  Unfortunately, one of the first things reported was “There is a turtle in the corner of the screen.”  I had a check in the code to draw that icon as a sign that you were running at 10 frames a second or less, so you should reduce quality settings to get a more playable experience.  Quake was one of the first PC apps where floating point performance was a critical factor, which meant that Intel’s Pentium processor had a huge lead over the competing AMD and Cyrix processors of the time, which had FPUs that were more similar to the 486.  A lot of systems weren’t really up to it.

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QUAKE LIVE celebrates Year One

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Nearly a year ago (February 24th, to be exact), id Software launched QUAKE LIVE — a browser-based (and totally free) version of Quake III Arena.

And what a year it’s been! Breaking it down by the numbers, players have spent over 8.9 million hours in over 60 million ranked matches, earning 8 million awards and 810 million frags.

Among those frags, two players have reached the status of Dark Angel — Trajan (featured in an interview on Bethesda Blog) and Yakumo. The two continue to battle it out for QUAKE LIVE supremacy. Meanwhile, one user, Pudrick, has spent nearly 56 days in-game on ranked servers (and I thought the guys in my dorm playing QUAKE II were hardcore).

To celebrate QUAKE LIVE’s milestone, id Software has launched QUAKE LIVE’s Year One Event. The event runs from today through March 9th. During that time, anyone that participates in an online match will receive a special “Year One” award.

To help get the year off to a good start, the team has also uploaded a new level, Fallout Bunker, for you to enjoy. As the team moves forward, they plan to bring many new fighting arenas to QUAKE LIVE, including nostalgic works from the community as well as new arenas designed specifically for QUAKE LIVE.

Thanks to all the players for making QUAKE LIVE such a success in its first year!

Around the web: New Vegas details, and the DOOM II RPG revue

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Outside of an excellent Brink interview over at Game Informer, this week’s roundup covers a diverse range of news pertaining to Sin City and Hell.

id Software’s DOOM II RPG hit the iPhone last week, and IGN Wireless and Touch Arcade both gave the portable dungeon romp great reviews. Head over to iTunes to pick it up. It’s only $3.99, after all; less than the price of your average fast food hamburger, and likely less hellish in the end.

On the id side of things, be sure to check out page 28 of the new Texas-specific Edge e-zine, which features a short-but-sweet interview with Todd Hollenshead.

You can almost see the high-water mark where the latest wave of Fallout: New Vegas details broke and rolled back. The news continues to percolate, with the PC Gamer podcast crew chatting up the game on their latest episode. PC Gamer also lists the game as one of the top 10 of 2010, along with GameZone.

Finally, in the realm of decade-long accolades, good old RPGamer named Fallout 3 its fifth favorite RPG from a list of hundreds.

That about rounds out the roundup. As always, let us know in the comments if you spot any other interesting stuff.

John Carmack to Receive GDC Lifetime Achievement Award

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It was just announced that id Software’s John Carmack will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards, in recognition of “two decades of groundbreaking technical contributions, and his role establishing the first-person shooter genre with landmark titles like DOOM and Quake.”

The award was voted on by an elite list of gaming luminaries, including Ben Cousins (EA DICE), Harvey Smith (Arkane), Raph Koster (Metaplace), John Vechey (PopCap), Ray Muzyka (BioWare) and Clint Hocking (Ubisoft). Will Wright will present Carmack with the award on March 11.

Gamasutra did a good job of recapping Carmack’s many achievements:

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