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Razer-CPL Coverage

Live from Dallas, Texas!

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

Index Pre-Tourney Build-Up 1 Index 2 Introduction The Competitors 3 Other Hopefuls Official Seedings 4 Arrival Tournament Structure Thursday 5 Introduction Photo Gallery 6 Qualifier Scores 7 Blokey interview DOOMer interview Friday 8 Introduction Photo Gallery 9 Qualifier Scores 10 Makaveli interview 11 Future of the CPL 2001 12 First Round John Carmack workshop 13 Introduction Light and Shadow 14 The Next Engine Graphics Technology Conclusion Saturday 15 Round Two - Short Reports 16 Round Two - Blokey vs Cujo 17 Round Two - Xenon vs Propolys 18 Round Two - Wombat vs Dta 19 Round Two - Shub vs a|citizen 20 Round Three - Blokey vs Xenon 21 Round Three - Fatality vs a|citizen 22 Round Four - Makaveli vs Rix 23 Round Four - Vise vs DOOMer 24 Round Four Losers Bracket - Blokey vs Kane 25 Round Four Losers Bracket - Scoob vs DOOMer Round Four Losers Bracket - Kane vs Rix 26 Round Five - Sujoy vs Makaveli 27 Wombat interview 28 Saturday Match Analysis 29 Saturday Night Fever Sunday 30 Semi-Final Losers Bracket - DOOMer vs Blue 31 Semi-Final - Makaveli vs dethstalker 32 Semi-Final Losers Bracket (2) - Sector vs dethstalker 33 Final Losers Bracket - PowerK vs dethstalker 34 Final Winners Bracket - Makaveli vs Fatality 35 Final Losers Bracket (2) - PowerK vs Makaveli 36 Grand Final - Makaveli vs Fatality 37 PowerK interview Makaveli interview 38 Angel Munoz interview 39 Fatality interview Post-Tourney Wrap-Up 40 Photo Gallery 41 Final Results And Analysis 42 Event Overview Conclusion

Thanks to event organisers The CPL, our venue the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas, and main event sponsors Razer for making it all possible!


The Razer-CPL tournament taking place in Dallas, Texas this weekend is the biggest pro-gaming event ever held, with 512 players taking part and a massive $100,000 (that's over £60,000 in real money!) up for grabs, including a cool $40,000 for the winner and $20,000 for the runner-up. With cash prizes for everybody down to 32nd place, this event should help make the idea of professional gaming a more realistic prospect, as not only the top few players will be walking away with a cheque this weekend - even the eighth place man will get a respectable $1,000.

Obviously competition is going to be stiff, and with so much money available hundreds of players are flying in from across the USA and Europe, as well as competitors from Asia and Australia. So who is most likely to take home the big prizes? We take a look at some of the likely lads...

The Competitors

Johnathan "Fatality" Wendel

Fatality has to be the favourite this weekend, having only been beaten once so far this year. He came third in his first pro-gaming event, the CPL's Frag 3 last year, and went on to win the big XSi tournament in Sweden back in January. If he doesn't make it through to the finals it will be a big disappointment, and he has to be our tip for the top. Victor Jose "Makaveli" Cuadra

Makaveli has consistently placed in the top four in every major competition in the last year, an impressive achievement even though he has never actually won anything. Could the Razer-CPL be the event that finally breaks his jinx? We're certainly expecting Makaveli to make it to the semi-finals, and he's in with a shot at the grand prize. Mark "Wombat" Larsen

Wombat is one of the youngest contestants this weekend, and had to get a signed parental consent slip to even take part! Don't underestimate him though - he was fourth at XSi, the CPL champion last year, and is seeded third for this event. He should make it to the quarter finals unless something goes horribly wrong. Amir "Hakeem" Haleem

Englishman Hakeem is a member of Swedish super-team "Clan 9", and surprised the Americans by beating them all at the Frag 3, making him top seed this weekend. Unfortunately, as he was one of the organisers of the XSi tourney we haven't seen him play competitively recently, but if he's on form he could provide an upset, and should make the semi-finals at least. Ian "Timber" Holder

British QuakeWorld veteran Timber, another member of Clan 9, is seeded sixth by the CPL and should do well this weekend. He came third at the XSi tourney in Sweden, but his play can be rather erratic at times. If he can hook it together on the day though he should make the quarter finals with a little luck. Tomi "DOOMer" Kärnä

Yet another member of Clan 9, DOOMer made it to the semi-finals at XSi before being knocked out by Makaveli. Seeded 12th by the CPL, he tends to be overly cautious at times and threw away sizeable leads a few times during XSi. But if he's learned from that experience he should be in with a good chance of making the quarter finals in Dallas. Marius "Shub" Jones

Although Norway's Shub was knocked out of XSi in just the second round, his performance there may have been a little deceiving. He was unlucky enough to face Fatality in his first game, and was knocked out of the losers bracket by DOOMer, with each of their three games coming down to just a couple of frags either way at the end. If he has managed to kick his Everquest habit since XSi he may be on better form this weekend... Oskar "Lakerman" Ljungström

Sweden's Lakerman earned his place in the Razer-CPL tournament by winning the official Danish qualifier, and made the semi-finals in the loser's bracket at XSi. Personally I don't rate him that highly, but he may just make the quarter finals this weekend if he's on form, and no doubt his groupies will be out in force again! Chris "Blokey" Hoare

Winner of the official Razer-CPL UK qualifier, Blokey's biggest disadvantage is that he only has a modem at home! Luckily he has been able to get plenty of LAN practice recently though - at The Playing Fields in London, our own EuroLAN event in Brighton, and the LAN Arena 4 tournament last weekend in Paris. Although he is only seeded 50th by the CPL he should at least pick up a cash prize this weekend. We'll certainly be cheering him on here at EuroGamer!

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Other Hopefuls

Acquiesce is only seeded 64th by the CPL but performed well at the UK qualifier, making it to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Billox. With a little luck and plenty of practice he could well pick up some hard currency, although I doubt we'll see him reaching the quarter finals given the strong competition here.

Germany's Kane and Denmark's Insane were both at the XSi tourney in Sweden back in January. Insane went out fairly early in the contest, but Kane made it to the quarter finals before being knocked out by Lakerman, and may do well this weekend.

Xenon and Sujoy are joining the massive Clan 9 presence in Dallas, and are seeded highly by the CPL. I've not seen them duel competitively before but, judging from their past performance and what I've seen of their "friendly" play in Sweden, Xenon at least should make the quarter finals, and either player could provide an upset if they are on form.

c3 is another person I haven't seen play before, but he is the only gamer who has been able to defeat Fatality in a LAN duel so far this year. Even he could only beat Fatality once though, and as it was a double elimination tournament Fatality took the grand prize on his second attempt. Still, if c3 can repeat that kind of form this weekend he may just cause an upset, and could well make it to the finals.

The CPL's other top seeds include Moonshine, Sector, Rix, and gemini. All highly rated and well-known Quakers, but as I've never seen any of them play in person I wouldn't like to make any predictions on their performance this weekend given how close the field is...

Then of course there are the outsiders. Players are flying in from as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong, and Russia! Many of these players haven't taken part in a big international tournament before, making it hard to rate their chances. Some of them may just surprise us all, but that's what makes pro-gaming so interesting!

The Competitors

As of Monday April 10th the preliminary seedings for the Razer-CPL tourney are as follows -

Seeding Player Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Hakeem Fatality Wombat Xenon Makaveli Moonshine Sector Timber Lakerman gemini sploid DOOMer Rix batch demerol Pele Kane Elan DieharD Python c3 Burn Sujoy method 4gloat dethstalker Power Matador vise WereMouse lagwagon Shub

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After a gruelling thirteen hour flight from London to Dallas via Chicago, I finally arrived at the Razer-CPL tournament's venue on Wednesday evening local time.

The Hyatt Regency is a 30 floor hotel, built next to the impressive looking "Reunion Tower" that has its own restaurant at the top, giving you a view out over downtown Dallas. It's also conveniently located just a stone's throw from the infamous Dealey Plaza, so we should perhaps expect a photo shoot on the grassy knoll at some point this weekend.

My room is on the eleventh floor of the hotel, and as you walk out the door you find yourself on a balcony that overlooks the hotel's "atrium" ten floors below, with another ten floors visible above you. Looks great, but not recommended if you suffer from vertigo...

The event itself kicks off this afternoon, with registrations starting at 1pm and the first matches beginning at 6pm, so stay tuned for all the latest news, reports, scores and interviews!

The Hyatt Regency, on a sunnier day

Tournament Structure

The tournament starts with a series of 40 free-for-all matches played on a modified version of Q3DM12, with the top two players from each game going through to the next round.

There they will join the 48 players who have been given "auto-berths" - top contenders from previous pro-gaming events such as last year's CPL events and the Swedish XSi tournament, as well as the winners from the various international Razer-CPL qualifiers that have been taking place around the world for the last month or two.

This gives a total of 128 players, who will play two standard single elimination duel rounds to reduce the numbers to just 32. All duels will be 15 minutes long and played on one of the old favourites - q3tourney2, q3tourney4, q3dm13 - or the less popular q3dm6. If the players can't decide between them which map to play on, it will be decided randomly by rolling a dice.

Once they're down to 32 players, the double elimination rounds begin. That means that if you get this far you will need to be beaten twice before you are out of the tournament, dropping down into a "losers bracket" the first time you are defeated, but still able to carry on all the way through to the grand final if you can beat everybody else.

It's a long way down! The Hyatt Regency's atrium

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Great BAWLS! Of Caffeine


The Razer-CPL tournament kicked off on Thursday afternoon, with the hundreds of players taking part starting to arrive and register from 1pm onwards. The first free-for-all qualifiers would then start at 6pm.

The event is being held in a big underground hall here at the Hyatt, with row after row of tables covered with computers filling the main area. Further back and around the sides there are stands for Razer and several other companies, including a giant Bawls bottle! Mmm .. caffeine.

Most of the top players were on site in plenty of time, with Wombat, Shub, Insane, Fatality, Blokey, and several of the Clan 9 guys practicing or checking out the opposition as I did my pre-tourney walk-abouts. Not everybody was there though - I hadn't seen Makaveli or Lakerman yet, and a few of the British contenders had apparently cancelled at the last minute, including Acquiesce.

More worrying though was the continuing absence of Russia's star player, Pele. After qualifying for an auto-berth at the Razer-CPL in a qualifier in Russia, the American embassy there had denied him a visa to visit the USA. Apparently they were worred he was going to defect!

The CPL fired off a letter to their local congressman to see if he could intervene on their behalf, but the chances of Pele actually making it to this event are now virtually zero. Which is a shame, as he should really have taken home one of the cash prizes. Yet another shining example of the American immigration system in action...

Photo Gallery

The man himself, tourney favourite Fatality, puts in a brief appearance


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Qualifier Scores

Apparently the top four players from each of the free for all matches will now be going through to the duel rounds. Here's a list of who they all are, and what their scores were -

Qualifier 1   Cujo-r3v [0wn]Config K9-Quaint Fervid[Tex] 65 60 55 50   Qualifier 2   D|S-Nildo Mr.PussyWiggler Phong Chenome 80 70 57 56   Qualifier 3   Bone.PH Voo G8|Diablos BlackKnight 65 61 61 59   Qualifier 4   4ReVeNaNt Nosferatu 7th Recreator 92 82 63 63   Qualifier 5   Specie D|S-BadSlinky dCypher Usurper 84 80 59 57   Qualifier 6   Gimp777 Obwando sOcrates o|Muiy 68 64 62 60   Qualifier 7   AntiBody BuGHouSe Kron Nogame 106 96 73 62   Qualifier 8   PowerK q|Master-Xi Gimp912 Ravenshadow 77 67 62 56   Qualifier 9   sumnr a|revelation Pan Fuzion 84 65 59 57   Qualifier 10   rdwilson Killa JamesTowN Unix 72 70 64 63   Qualifier 11   Blue Exodus Chief Lobot 83 69 64 62   Qualifier 12   Thrax siro o|Puppetmaster Sarge P Doom 72 66 61 59   Qualifier 13   Gremlin2 Griff Dta EG|Monster 65 65 59 54   Qualifier 14   FiTH-arcance [DC]VipeR infamous alph4 85 80 76 75   Qualifier 15   airdave Zero 4GodFatherX HKA KapnKickass 79 78 78 54  

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Blokey interview

With the qualifier rounds underway, we caught up with Blokey, who earned an auto-berth by winning the official Razer-CPL UK Qualifier in London recently...

EuroGamer : What do you reckon your chances are this weekend? Blokey : I think it all depends on the seed I get basically. If that goes down to somewhere under 32, say, I think I could do really well.

EuroGamer : There's not many British players here. Apart from the Clan 9 guys [Hakeem, Sujoy and Timber] you're pretty much the only one. How do you feel about that? Blokey : The UK is lagging behind - it doesn't have much of a 1 on 1 scene, so it's understandable. It's a pity the DC guys couldn't come here, because I think they could have done quite well. It looks like DC could have got through the free-for-alls and maybe got a bit further into the tournament. It's a pity really. Hopefully the next one there'll be more interest, maybe the qualifier will take out two or three players.

EuroGamer : How do you think the UK Quake scene compares to the US and Europe at the moment? Blokey : On teamplay I think we're doing really quite well. 4K at LAN Arena came second and DC came third, which was good. And EuroCup we're doing quite well in as well. But 1 on 1 .. there's just no leagues for it, so there's no real reason for anyone to compete. I think a 1 on 1 league, a really good one, is what we need in the UK right now, to promote the scene.

DOOMer interview

The whole of Clan 9 has turned out for the Razer-CPL tournament, with most of them guaranteed auto-berths. We spoke to [9]DOOMer, who was a semi-finalist at XSi...

EuroGamer : What do you reckon Clan 9's chances are? DOOMer : Well, they might be quite good. We haven't practiced that much though - some of the guys have been quite lazy, if I may say so.

EuroGamer : Do you want to name any names? DOOMer : Hakeem and Xenon, maybe? But they know the game, so I don't think it's a problem for them to play anyway without the practice.

EuroGamer : What do you reckon your own chances are? DOOMer : Ah, not so good. I haven't played that good lately I think. But then anything can happen, there's a lot of luck involved too, so .. we'll see.

EuroGamer : Why do you think there are so many Scandinavian players here? DOOMer : Yeah, that's really cool. I think many of them have good chances actually. They're usually very good players from Scandinavia, especially Norway, Sweden and Denmark. So I think we're going to see a lot of Europeans in the top spots.

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Friday is when the real action starts. The last few qualifier rounds will take place over the next few hours, and then later this afternoon the duels begin.

128 players will have made it this far, and by this evening half of them will have been eliminated from the tournament in the first round of duels. The 64 who survive will then go through to the second round, which will be kicking off tomorrow morning.

Whereas Thursday was a day for the top players to relax, practice, or just plain get drunk, today they will all be taking part in the action, so we should begin to get a feel for how the tournament is going to go. Who is on form and who is falling behind? Will there be any surprise winners?

Stay tuned to find out, as we bring you all the latest scores and of course full reports on some of the key matches!

Photo Gallery


Dallas, Texas

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Qualifier Scores

Here's a list of the top four players from each of the remaining qualifier free-for-alls that were played today -

Qualifier 16   K9-Mastakilla Paralyzer Burke 2ur'Cheech 90 82 79 60   Qualifier 17   leprechaun Khaotic clem [9]Spice 77 72 71 70   Qualifier 18   cereal psylence *69|Katsu K9-Alcazar 66 61 60 57   Qualifier 19   Paracyde HKA-Ironcat nb.sirex Stasis 79 78 72 68   Qualifier 20   gring0 False God Trillian Screw 86 81 77 77  

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Makaveli interview

As the last of the qualifier matches wound down, we talked to one of the best (and loudest) players taking part in the tournament, the eternal runner-up himself, Makaveli...

EuroGamer : Do you think you're in with a chance of taking the big prize? Makaveli : Hmm .. definitely. I was playing a little bit yesterday, and I felt pretty on, so we'll see what happens later in the tourney.

EuroGamer : You seem to have been runner-up in just about every tournament over the last few months. It's an impressive record, but you've never actually won anything so far have you? Makaveli : No, actually it goes all the way back to Quake 2. I always seem to end up second or third. I think this time there's no Thresh or Immortal in my way, so my chances are better.

EuroGamer : Have you been practicing a lot? Makaveli : The last week I've been playing a lot on LAN with Unholy and Orion from my clan, Deathrow. It's actually just added a lot of consistency to my games. I've also toned down the kind of reckless play I was showing at XSi, kinda calmed down a little.

EuroGamer : We can still expect the smack talk from you though? Makaveli : Hah, of course! The people will hear me yelling across the room, and I'll probably be talking to Fatality before if I ever play him. I'll just be psyching people out as normal.

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Future Of The CPL

Just after John Romero started his workshop session on designing and developing 3D games, he was called away to answer a phone. In stepped the CPL's head honcho, Angel Munoz, who filled in by giving us an exclusive sneak peek at the future of the CPL.

The first announcement was that the CPL has decided to stay focused on Dallas, with all their big American events being held here. With so many locals in the audience, that pulled a big cheer! The Razer-CPL event had originally been intended for Los Angeles, though that fell through for various reasons. But as Angel commented during an interview yesterday, it would have been weird for such a milestone event as the Razer-CPL to take place anywhere other than Dallas, home of the first person shooter and the venue for so many of the CPL's previous events.

Rather more unexpected was the announcement that there will no longer be any free-for-all qualifier rounds at future CPL events, something else which brought a big cheer! Instead players will qualify for the events before even arriving, which saves them the trouble of turning up only to be knocked out of the competition without playing a single duel...

The current qualifying center system will be expanded beyond the dozen or so qualifying sessions that were used for this event, and the CPL are looking to partner with companies that are planning to open whole networks of gaming centers in major cities.

The second way of qualifying will be at other tournaments. This happened with XSi, for example. It wasn't an official CPL event, but the top four players from it got auto-berths to the Razer-CPL. The same was done for the Australian "Big Day In". In future more of these events will be able to send a few of their winners to CPL events.

The third and final way to get into an event will be via online qualifiers, working with an (as-yet unannounced) gaming service. Although this will allow people to qualify who couldn't make it to a LAN event, it will be the hardest way to qualify probably because of the sheer number of people taking part in it.

"And the optical nerve is connected to... Anybody? Anybody? The upper or lower? Anybody? Anybody? Upper brain stem, and..."


The next big CPL event, taking place later this year, will be primarily sponsored by Babbages, who are also one of the sponsors of the Razer-CPL event.

The Frag 4 or Babbages CPL, whichever it ends up being called, will also have $100,000 in prize money, but "only" $30,000 of that will go to the winner. Instead more money will be funnelled to the lower places, hopefully allowing everyone in the last 64 to get some sort of prize. This can only help pro-gaming to grow, as it encourages more middle rank players to keep trying, and should allow more and more players to actually make a living from playing games.

Next year will see the prize money growing again, this time to a massive $200,000! But from there onwards the CPL will be moving more towards team-based and national events. Four players will be selected from each country and then play as a national team to represent their nation in a massive global competition, no doubt held again in Dallas.

This is a major change for the CPL, which has always been duel based before. Angel is a big fan of boxing, which is why he started the CPL with duels, but now he says it is "time to grow up to the next level".

The big question is, what game will they be playing? Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament will both be going on for two years old by the time the CPL's big teamplay tournaments are beginning, and in his workshop earlier John Carmack had already told us that id Software's next big project won't be suitable for competitive play in the same way as the Quake trilogy.

One interesting possibility is that a whole game will be designed with the CPL specifically in mind, and apparently they are already deep into negotiations with a publisher that is interested in funding such a project.

We live in interesting times...

John shows why he leaves the artwork in his games to the rest of the company... It might look like a hamburger, but it's actually showing how diffusion and reflection in the conference room's flourescent lights works!

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"Um .. what was I talking about?"

First Round

The first round went pretty much as everyone had expected, with most of the matches ending with the top seed winning. Which is as it should be at this stage of the competition!

Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Hakeem, who was seeded 1st and therefore played 128th and last seed, Nogame. At the end of the match Hakeem was "just" 18 : 9 up - comfortable enough, but hardly the commanding performance that the difference in seeds might have made us expect. Meanwhile his clan-mate Timber had only beaten 121st seed Sarge P Doom by 7 : 3.

British contender Blokey made it through to the second round, beating 100th seed gring0 14 : 6, while America's own Vise had an even closer match, only beating 102nd seed DarK by two frags! And not all of the top seeds were that lucky - 30th seed Lagwagon was surprised to find himself on the receiving end of a 12 : 7 defeat by 99th seed Usurper.

Some of the games were rather more one-sided though. Elan took down Stasis 46 : 1, Lakerman demolished alph4 by 34 : 0, Makaveli won 42 : -1 against Obwando, and Lagwagon's clan-mate Wombat took out Ravenshadow in a humiliating 70 : -3 massacre that left the ceiling dripping with gibs.

And so we go into the second day of duels, with another single elimination round to cut the field down to 32 contenders before the main double elimination section of the tournament kicks off. Anybody left standing at that point will already have won a cash prize, but the $40,000 grand prize should prove to be a powerful incentive for all the competitors... Full first round scores and statistics can be found here on the ngStats website.

No comment

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"Can you guess what it is yet?"


The first major workshop session of the Razer-CPL tournament saw John Carmack, co-founder and programming guru of id Software talking about .. um .. well, we're not quite sure actually.

Things got off to a bad start when John's driver (he was getting a limo to the venue!) apparently convinced him that his talk was actually on Saturday. Eventually his wife, Katherine Anna Kang, tracked him down and told him he had been right in the first place - the talk had been due to start half an a hour ago! While we waited for John to be rushed over from Mesquite, Katherine generously took us all up to the hotel's bar and bought everyone a drink. Can't say fairer than that.

When John did arrive his talk was rather technical to say the least. Katherine's version had been "Graphics cards are cool, buy Quake 3!", but John's speech wandered off into the way data is passed from your eye to your brain (apparently with all the bandwidth of an analogue modem), the way we perceive things, and the physics of lighting. As a former physicist myself I was in a better position to understand it than most people in the room, but it was still pretty baffling in places, and splattered with buzz words and technical jargon!

That's not to say it wasn't interesting at times though, and John was obviously enjoying himself. He talked about the possibility of wiring computer graphics directly into the brain or optic nerve, which has already happened (on a very primitive level) with an experiment to give a blind person artificial vision. Of more immediate interest was the idea of tracking the movement of a player's head or eyes to give some sort of 3D parallax effect in games, allowing you to literally lean out to look around corners. I do this all the time, but at the moment it just makes me look stupid. Perhaps in a few years my character will actually lean with me to give me a better view...

Blokey warming up

Light And Shadow

The main part of the speech covered the way that lighting works in real life compared to how it works in computer games, particularly in the Quake series which has gone from the "hack" lighting of Quake to basic radiosity lighting in Quake 2 and then back to hacked lighting for Quake 3. Although radiosity lighting is closer to how light works in real life, just because it is the "right" way doesn't mean that it is how it should be done.

John explained that there are "two reasons for not doing the right thing - you don't know how to do the right thing, or you choose to do it wrong for a good reason". With Quake 3 the latter was the case.

Partly this was because of the arrival of curved surfaces. A complex curve will be split up into thousands of small surfaces, each capable of reflecting light, and so doing a radiosity lighting pass on a level would have taken vast amounts of computing power.

The other reason was that the level designers preferred the harsher shadows of the basic lighting system on a purely artistic level, as it gave them more control and more dramatic effects than the relatively blurry shadows created by radiosity lighting. Quake 2's lighting was made even worse because the radiosity patches used to calculate the reflected light were usually about four foot square, and the lightmaps only had a resolution of two foot square as well, losing all the small details and sharp edges.

Something else John touched on was the way that game design is becoming more and more time consuming and complex as technology advances. To take advantage of faster CPUs and graphics cards, designers must generally add more detail to their levels, models and textures, which usually means spending more time.

One extreme example is the idea of "painting" an entire level with unique textures rather than using a few small repeating textures, which John described as "crappy texture compression". Artists would also be able to go in and edit the lightmaps by hand, as they can on computer animated movies. Again, this takes a lot of time, effort, and storage space, and graphics cards would need to have much better texture management to make it possible, as well as pushing texture compression to its limits.

This isn't a direction id is likely to take in the near future though, as John told us he is "scared to death of having to hire ten more artists" to do it!

Shub, just before the game

The Next Engine

This lead on to the subject of id's next engine, which John is currently doing research for while the rest of the company works on a Quake 3 mission pack.

But then, we've heard this before. The same was supposed to happen after Quake 2, and instead we ended up with Quake 3 Arena. So don't take everything here as gospel - it could all change before their next game ships in two years time!

The big change is that lighting and shadows will always use the same calculations, whether it's a static light source (a lamp) lighting a piece of world geometry or a moving model, or a dynamic light source (such as a rocket) casting the light. As with Quake 3 the lighting will be a hack version rather than the more realistic radiosity lighting, simply because radiosity lighting would be too computationally expensive to do in real time. And besides, the designers prefer it that way.

Because everything will be done in real time, light sources will be able to move around and cast believable shadows. There won't be any more lighting phase in pre-compiling a map (woohoo!), and maybe no vis process either! This should see map compile times tumble, which has to be a good thing, as at the moment much of your time designing a map is wasted waiting for it to compile.

In fact, John told us that "I'd be happy if our next tech has no need for pre-processing".

The tournament area in full swing

Graphics Technology

Finally John got back on to the subject of the talk, which was graphics technology. John is currently getting around 140fps in Quake 3 on his development machine, an Athlon 1GHz with a DDR GeForce graphics card! He says that this is "beyond useful values", and pointed out that you can't actually tell the difference between 100 and 140fps.

The gigapixel fill-rate of 3dfx's forthcoming Voodoo 5 6000 is no use for higher resolutions and frame rates, as most monitors don't support 3000x2000 resolutions and have refresh rates of up to 120Hz. Instead that extra fill rate can be used for doing more passes, adding more interesting effects. Incidentally, John seems to be in love with the V5-6000 on a purely geek level simply because it comes with its own external power supply! What self-respecting hardware geek could resist?

He also talked about T&L acceleration on the GeForce, and why using it to raise detail levels in Quake 3 doesn't have a stunning

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