New Quake Live maps for premium subscribers

A new update for Quake Live is up this week — including two new maps for premium subscribers. Details, courtesy of Quake Live community manager Adam Pyle, are below…

This week’s update, QUAKE LIVE Premium Pak 7, introduces 2 new Premium Arenas to QUAKE LIVE, adjustments to our hit detection, expansions to our social networking features, the ability to assign your own country flag (for use on profile and in-game), tier info displays on player profiles, and due to popular request – a fun killBeep option for premium & pro users.

Premium Maps Added:

  • Toxicity (Duel):

Created by Alexander Mader, Toxicity is an enclosed Duel map with a distinctive look. Twisting halls and teleporters provide ample escape, as long as you watch out for the namesake pools of toxic acid in the main rooms of this arena. Own the world, or at least your opponent, and spread disorder by knocking them around with some rockets. Bounce them well, and you can treat yourself to a Red Armor, while they suffer some unfortunate burns.

  • Distant Screams (CTF):

Formerly known as the perennial favorite Silent Night, we’ve torn down the Christmas decorations as to not look like that weird house down the street lit up well into March. Thankfully, it hasn’t warmed up enough to melt the ice that covers vast swathes of the level, allowing massive acceleration throughout the frozen tundra terrain. Everything else is still mostly as you remember it, from the grenade traps to the secret button that dispenses health. Wait, that’s supposed to be a secret…

Learn more about Premium Pak 7 after the break…

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RAGE website refresh + plus a free mp3!

This morning we updated the official RAGE website — adding  an interactive panoramic tour showcasing numerous areas found within the game world.  The panoramic also features plenty of info on weapons, gadgets, and vehicles. And for your viewing pleasure, the panoramic includes plenty of new gameplay clips!

Additionally, we’re excited to provide a free mp3 of Mark Lanegan’s new track, Burning Jacob’s Ladder. The track was used in the Untethered trailer we released last month, and the song will also appear in full release of RAGE.

RAGE roundup

On Sunday, we’ll be exactly six months away from the release of RAGE — id’s all-new, open-world FPS. To celebrate the occasion, here’s some new coverage from around the web.

This evening IGN’s Charles Onyett has a new feature on RAGE’s weapons. Read the preview on their site and watch gameplay footage above.

Last week USA Today’s Game Hunters ran a feature titled Five Things you didn’t know about ‘RAGE’. The article includes details on driving, the game’s story, and even a Hollywood actor that voices one of the game’s characters. Learn who it is here.

Senior Producer Jason Kim and Design Director Matt Hooper recently appeared on several episodes of the Jace Hall Show. In Episode 16, the pair discuss id’s storied history and also includes a hilarious clip of John Carmack beating down Jace. Episode 17 focuses more on RAGE — featuring gameplay footage starting at the 50-second mark and more at the 4:30 mark. Word has it Kim and Hooper will return to show more of the game in the next episode, which premieres this Friday.

Finally, Game Informer subscribers can turn to pg. 66 of the latest issue (April) for a two-page spread that discusses five ways the game separates itself from other FPS titles.

We’ll have more news on RAGE very soon… stay tuned!

Bethesda developers to lecture at USC

Education is paramount. So are video games. In recognition of these two great things, we’ve today announced that Bethesda developers will soon be lending their wisdom to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Developers from studios like Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and Arkane Studios are set to lecture students in the school’s Interactive Media Division, giving them a taste of what it’s like to work full-time in the gaming field. These sessions will include both guest lectures and smaller seminars.

Said ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman: “As the video game industry experiences continuing worldwide growth, there is an increasing need to support the education of the brightest minds who are interested in a career in our industry. We are pleased to be a part of that effort.”

Hit the jump for the full story.

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New RAGE trailer unleashed

We’ve released a new trailer for RAGE, the highly anticipated shooter from id Software. The trailer features an original track, Burning Jacob’s Ladder, by singer Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Gutter Twins).

Enjoy the trailer, and stay tuned to Bethesda Blog and RAGE’s official site for more on the game.

And in case you missed them, after the break, check out some RAGE gameplay videos featuring creative director Tim Willits. The interviews and gameplay were captured at E3 last year.

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That belongs in a museum!

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This… this IS history!

And by this, I’m referring to The Art of Video Games — a new exhibit coming to the American Art Museum in 2012. To prepare for it, Smithsonian is letting you vote for the games that will be on display.

It might take a second to load, but Fallout 3 can be found in Era 5’s Modern Windows category, while Oblivion is categorized under Xbox 360. Meanwhile, id’s DOOM II is listed in Era 4 under DOS/Windows.

Voting runs between now and April 7th. To get started, register here.

All the RAGE: Matt Hooper

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RAGE design director Matt Hooper joins John Carmack and Tim Willits in having a new interview up on Bethesda Blog.

What do you do at id Software?

My title is Design Director, which would imply that I handle the design direction. However, like most folks at id, I’m allowed to apply my skills beyond my title’s scope into other areas that benefit the team as a whole.

So, while my main passion has always been design and I do work closely with our group of talented designers, I’ve also been responsible for collaborating with the core technology group. I’ve always been excited by our cutting edge directions we take at id, and one of my tasks has been to help focus the practical application of our technology. With industry leading engineers like John Carmack, Robert Duffy, Jan Paul Van Waveren, and many more, I consider that a fun and exciting endeavor more than just a task.

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All the RAGE: John Carmack

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Whether he’s making games, building rockets, or just talking about technology, it’s always interesting to listen to John Carmack. Read his ‘All the RAGE’  interview below. And if you missed it, be sure to check out the podcast interview Nick and I did with him back in November.

What do you do at id Software?

I am the technical director. I find and develop the major technology pillars that our games are built on, which involves research, some inspiration, and a whole lot of work.

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The Temple of DOOM

Our European PR manager, Alistair Hatch, pointed me to an insane collection of DOOM collectibles on Flickr and YouTube. Collected by Mahmut Saral (aka DOOM Collector), he’s got every possible version of the game (32X!!!), as well as guns from the movie, old as dirt press kits, and even an HD-DVD.

It’s a collection that would even make John Carmack envious… unless he’s actually got John stashed in somewhere in there.

Remembering Commander Keen, 20 Years Later

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Hard to believe it’s been two full decades since the world got its first taste of what would become id Software.

Commander Keen, the earliest work produced by the id team, was launched 20 years ago on December 14 — over a month before the company was officially founded. Starring Billy “Commander Keen” Blaze, an eight-year-old genius-turned-space explorer, the Keen series quickly won a big following for its smooth side-scrolling action and irreverent style.

To mark the series’ 20th anniversary today, developers from both id Software and Bethesda have volunteered to share their memories of the Keen games. Take a trip back through time and space with us below:

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