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Birthday Quake

The-enemy-code-named-Quake celebrates his fifth birthday

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Five years ago today id Software unleashed their first truly 3D shooter Quake, complete with dodgy brown and grey palette, baffling storyline, anti-climactic final boss encounter, and moody soundtrack by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Although it was primarily designed as a single player game, most people remember it today for its fast-paced deathmatch and the all-powerful rocket launcher. It's also the game that launched 3dfx into the spotlight with the release of the 3D accelerated GLQuake patch. My own first 3D graphics card (an original 3dfx Voodoo Graphics board from Guillemot) was bought entirely for the purpose of playing Quake, and I can still remember the feeling of awe as I loaded GLQuake up for the first time and ran the game at all of 20 frames per second at 640x480. How times change...

In fact we are lucky that Quake turned out the way it did, because it came close to being Daikatana, and those of us who were around at the time no doubt remember some of the .. bizarre features the game was going to have. "Quake's design was very different from the game that was released. It was much more of a D&D-based game with a main character named Quake who had an awesome hammer that would grow in power as the game progressed", John Romero told old school fan site Methos Quake as part of their birthday celebrations today. "At one point in November 1995, we decided to change the design to something we were more comfortable creating - first person shooter weapons with a few twists. After the major redesign, the game underwent a few more smaller redesigns (to cut down development time) and we released the Quake that everyone knows today."

We are also fortunate that Quake deathmatch took off in the way that it did, because the inclusion of deathmatch maps was something of a fluke as well. In fact, they weren't even originally designed as deathmatch maps, which explains a lot. "When we were developing the game we had a bunch of maps that didn't fit with the single player game", according to Tim Willits. "I thought it would be cool to just include them as deathmatch only maps without monsters. The rest of the team wasn't sure about the idea and wanted to take a wait and see approach. I removed the monsters from the maps and rearranged the weapons. They worked out great and the rest is history."

Quake has had a major impact on gaming history and the online community, helping to popularise 3D acceleration, internet deathmatch, Capture The Flag, Team Fortress, clans, leagues, pro-gaming, LAN parties, machinima, and of course bringing us the joys of rocket jumping and speed running. It also led to a certain John "Gestalt" Bye dropping out of university to run a commercial mod team before winding up as Editor of the world's leading Quake fan site PlanetQuake, later leaving to join the newly formed EuroGamer as Editor-in-Chief back in the summer of 1999. How time flies...

Source - Methos Quake

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