Happy 15th, QUAKE II!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of QUAKE II’s release on PC. Celebrating the affair, id Software’s Tim Willits shared some fun facts about the game:

  • Only three artists made all the 2D and 3D art for the entire game.
  • One of the original suggested names for QUAKE II was WOR, but the game’s fast-paced, tactile feel felt closer to a QUAKE game than a new franchise.
  • ‘The Edge’ (Tim’s favorite deathmatch level in QUAKE II or any other game), has over 50 trick jumps possible in the map. Tim only designed two of them, and the rest were discovered by the QUAKE II community.

Later today, Tim plans to celebrate by taking these QUAKE action figures out of the display case and reenacting his favorite moments from the game. Let us know how you’ll be celebrating the game’s anniversary in the comment section below.

This week in QUAKE

Here’s a trio of cool Quake stories from around the web…

Kotaku recently posted a story discussing “The Carmack Prize” — a $10,000 prize John will award to an amateur rocketeer that can launch a home-made rocket 100,000 feet into space while getting a GPS serial log of the flight.

Late last month, a rocket appropriately named Qu8k, nearly landed Derek Deville the prize. In the video above, watch the rocket jump 122,000 feet into space.It’s a pretty amazing video, but unfortunately Derek wasn’t able to get a GPS log.

In more game-related QUAKE news, be sure to check out 1Up’s recent feature Why Quake Changed Games Forever – in which author Ryan Winterhalter argues the many reasons it could be considered the most influential game of all time. Here’s an excerpt:

Quake changed everything with the creation of the server/client architecture still used by games today. Players would login to a host computer that was preferably dedicated solely to that task alone. It was a revolutionary idea at the time, according to level designer Tim Willits, “In 1996 there wasn’t much of an internet. Doom was a peer-to peer-system, and a pain in the ass. Quake was the first true PC server/client architecture system. People told us we were crazy. They said, why would anyone run a Quake server on their machine to allow people they don’t know to play a game?”

Finally, fans can check out Game Front’s look at the hidden QUAKE room found in RAGE. Consider it a spoiler if you haven’t made it all the way through the game. Watch it after the break…

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Quake’s 15th Anniversary

Today marks the 15th birthday of Quake, the game that gave birth to online multiplayer shooters and even won an Emmy. In fact, Quake’s legacy is far too reaching to sum up here, so rather than pontificate ourselves, we got the id guys to say a few words before we blew out the candles.

When asked to recall Quake, id Software president Todd Hollenshead offered this amusing anecdote: “One of my all time best game moments is still grabbing the rune at the end of the first episode and awakening the lava monster! I’m sure that level also inspired the USMC commercial with the Marine fighting the lava demon. Compare the screenie to the video. :)

Also check out the video above, taken during the QuakeWorld launch event in 1996. The footage illustrates what a monstrous event Quake was in gaming history, and features a short historical Q&A session with John Carmack.

And finally, to cap off our celebration, a note today from the desk of Carmack himself:

“I could write an awful lot about Quake, but since we are in the final crunch for Rage right now, I’ll have to settle for just a few random thoughts.

I have a bit more subdued memory of Quake than many of our other projects, because the development was so tough.  It was the first project where I really had to grapple with my personal limitations;  I had bitten off a little more than I could chew with all the big steps at once – full 3D world, 3D characters, light maps, PVS calculations, game scripting, client / server networking, etc.  No matter how hard I worked, things just weren’t getting done when we wanted them to.

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Fallout 3 DLC Savings on LIVE; QUAKE savings on Steam next week

As previously announced, Fallout 3 DLC is the Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week. For one week only, Xbox LIVE Gold Members can purchase Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta for 400 Microsoft Points each.

In other 50% off news, Steam is slashing prices in half for all QUAKE games between Monday, March 29th (starting at 5PM PST) and Thursday, April 1st (ending at 4 PM PST).

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Now if Nick can just make some cookies in celebration of the QUAKE Sale.

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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