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Rage developer id Software has released the entire source code of its seminal shooter Doom 3.


Aspiring developers can now download the code completely free, id co-founder John Carmack tweeted last night.


Doom 3's inner workings were ready to go at the start of the month, but last-minute legal issues temporarily held up its release - Carmack was forced to re-write some of the code to placate "skittish" lawyers nervous about the release of a particular section.


The release was announced by Carmack during his keynote speech at this year's Quakecon event, where he expressed the wish for other developers to follow suit.


The full code is available to download from Github.

Eurogamer


Legal issues have held up the planned release of Doom 3 source code.


According to a Tweet from id Software co-founder John Carmack, as reported by Shack News, the studio's lawyers are concerned about the patent for a stencil shadowing technique used in the game known as 'Carmack's Reverse'.


"Lawyers are still skittish about the patent issue around 'Carmack's Reverse,' so I am going to write some new code for the Doom 3 release," he explained.


Carmack didn't mention exactly how long that might take.


Id announced its decision to make the code public at this year's Quakecon, explaining that it hoped it would help aspiring developers learn their trade.

Oct 9, 2011
Eurogamer

There's a peculiar tension at the heart of Quake. Something's not quite right. For this reason it's a game that sits apart from id's other efforts while at the same time still being fundamental to the overall Brown Corridor heritage of the shooter genre.

It was a game that did so very much to evolve and define the FPS, and yet it does not fit so easily into the conventions that the Texan Doom-makers' other games wallow in. This tension is what makes it one of the developer's most interesting games.

Like all the shooting games whose existence has spilled from the number-fuelled mind of John Carmack, Quake's primary contribution to the history of games was technical. The 3D engine was a significant development atop what was prevalent at the time, and it introduced the minor revolution of "mouse-look" - that is free all-axes viewing using the mouse - to the majority of 1996's shooter players.

Up until that time gamers had been playing along flat axes, usually with "faked" height. But Quake made things truly three-dimensional, and this meant two things: levels which didn't have to shirk vertical complexity and, well, you could perform rocket jumps.

"It was the atmosphere and tone of the game that left its biggest impression on my imagination."

Rocket jumps were, of course, able to make Quake's tortuous, labyrinthine multiplayer maps faster to navigate, and were an unintended side-effect of the game's blast physics that became a defined skill within that multiplayer game and also with the bizarre phenomenon of speed runs.

It was the architecture of that multiplayer game that defined Quake's second contribution. Despite the richness of the world, the single-player was almost a prologue against the appeal and longevity of the multiplayer. In fact it was not Quake's 3D engine that really mattered to Quake, as powerful as it was. The technical project that had far-reaching consequences for multiplayer gaming was John Carmack's work on network code, which produced the kind of online deathmatch that still prevails today.

The Quakeworld update for the game, which introduced network code that would work feasibly over dial-up connections, was transformative: an action game that could, thanks to predicting where players were going to be, allow play at the high latencies that early modems had the contend with. Almost unimaginable now, in a world of ubiquitous broadband, but there was a time when a good chunk of gamers was unreachable in the evenings by their home phoneline, for reasons of Quaking.

Despite being shackled with tin-can communications tech, the sheer pace and intensity of Quake would daunt most modern players: the unrealistic physics and breakneck pace make Quake's multiplayer more like a twitchy kung-fu rocketry than the rather more pedestrian combat situations that shooters since Half-Life have delivered to us.

Enthusiasm for Quake's multiplayer game was ferocious, and id were quick to sponsor it - putting up Carmack's Ferrari as a prize in a 1997 tournament, won by the first notable FPS pro, Dennis "Thresh" Fong. The Quake scene surged across a nascent internet, and it was to define the pattern of FPS games for several years to follow.

The Quake template is one that is rarer now, due to its demands on player skill, but its influences are still felt in odd corners of modern game design, where the physics bounce players from the ground, and frictionless rocketry dominates the deathmatch.

Technology, however, is not wholly where Quake's value lies. Not to me, at least. It might have been the tech that rippled down the years, but it was the atmosphere and tone of the game that left its biggest impression on my imagination.








What I refuse to forget when looking back at Quake is how strange the flavour of the game, both mechanically and in its setting, really is. Quake was a game peculiar for almost refusing to tell a story, and setting itself in a world disconnected from standard fantasy, sci-fi, military, or post-apocalyptic templates that we see reused so routinely. Today, when every shooter imaginable is hammered across the contorted spine of some story or other, to be dropped in a bizarre world that served as little more than a container for violence and secrets is unusual indeed. Hell, it was unusual in 1996.

While the Dooms were sparse, they still told their tale of space marines versus the occult. Quake 2 and 4 focused on the rather more conventional "Strogg" story of space war between humans and their alien enemies. Quake itself stood apart, practically unexplained. The character was dropped into a byzantine world, and fought for his life, while checking every corner of the spiraling maps for secrets and hidden passageways.

The reason for this weirdness can be found in Quake's difficult and unlikely genesis. It was in fact a failed combat-based RPG. The id team's original plans for something more expansive after Doom quickly led back to a game that was even pacier and more focused on first-person close-quarters combat dynamics than Doom had been.

"It is a rumbling, speeding, frenzied dark masterpiece that deserves never to be forgotten."

But that had not been the original intention, because Quake had even once contained dragons and other trad fantasy standards. The id team's work took a darker turn as the RPG was eroded, but on close inspection you can see the echoes of the RPG-action game that, for a while, id thought it was making. As it turned out they ended up making a slick and minimalist FPS, but the ultra-gothic fantasy overtones remain. Quake is a shooter set not within a science fiction, or really within traditional fantasy, but in some kind of brutal, mechanistic pseudo-medieval realm in between.

This sense of rough-edged, grim fantasy design permeates the shooter, from its environments of clanking metal and rough stone, through to its monsters: savage sword-wielding skeletons, shambling giants that throw lightning-bolts, and Cthulhu-mythos boss characters that lurk in disturbing dungeon underworlds.

It is even reflected in the weapons: an axe, an archaic shotgun, a clonking gatling gun, a nail gun, a lightning gun like a giant magic wand. All this is set against a backdrop unlike normal fantasy Big Bad backstories, and quite unlike the other Quakes' galactic war, and even unlike the exposition-free Mars-demons of Doom.

Quake was set in a dimensional war of some kind, where raiders travelled through sinister "slipgates" to murder in other worlds. There was a whiff of beserk magic to the power ups, and the whole thing reeked of the dead remains of the game it might have been. Quake is a genre outlier in terms of setting and atmosphere, and as such one of my favourite games.

You can see why when people look at the other Quake and Doom games, they question whether a return to these evocative hybrid roots might not be a good idea.

Playing Rage this week has once again seen people raise the nature of id's "derivative" settings, as has happened numerous times in the past decade. Indeed, Rage does borrow heavily from post-apocalyptic cliche, lifted from Mad Max by countless driving and combat games, and most recently carved into our mainstream consciousness by Borderlands and Fallout 3. It seems to have almost no connection to Quake at all.

When contemplating the studio's colourful history of shooting games it's perhaps easy to glaze over the first Quake in the lineage. Not as infamous or as influential on mainstream perceptions as Doom, not perhaps as widely recognised as its first and second sequels, nor as notably disappointing as Doom 3, Quake is the game which is beginning to get fuzzy in our recollections.

It should not, because it is a rumbling, speeding, frenzied dark masterpiece that deserves never to be forgotten. And forget it I will not.

Eurogamer


id Software has explained why Rage, its upcoming first-person shooter, is better than Doom 3.


Sci-fi horror Doom 3 divided opinion upon its 2004 release and drew criticism for perceived repetition and monsters jumping out of cupboards.


Rage, due out in October, trumps it because, according to id CEO Todd Hollenshead, it's bigger, has more depth and seamlessly teaches players how it works.


"Rage is a huge game," Hollenshead told Eurogamer at QuakeCon last week. "It's the deepest game we've ever made. If I was as smart as John [Carmack] I could figure out the math of why it's bigger than everything else.


"I compare it to Doom 3. Doom 3 was great when it came out. I loved that game. But I think about the single-player experience for Doom 3 compared to Rage…


"There are elements that are the same. You still have guns. You still have bad guys you're shooting and areas you're shooting them in. I still think Doom 3 looks good.


"It doesn't look anything like Rage."


Despite some not warming to Doom 3, it set tills alight. id shifted more than 3.5 million copies of the game. It remains the most successful game by the famed developer.


Eurogamer's 2004 Doom 3 review of the single-player portion of the game fragged a 9/10.


"It may not feel like it's taking gaming forward to any appreciable degree in terms of astounding new ideas, but when it's as all round immersive and entertaining, who cares?" wrote Kristan Reed.


"The thrill of Doom III is simply that id has not only created something genuinely stand-out impressive on a technical level, but has gone on to create a beautifully unpretentious game that feels at home with itself in that it's not trying to be something it isn't."


Another area Rage improves upon Doom 3, according to Hollenshead, is in how it teaches the player how it works at the beginning of the game.


"I could take you over and say, sit down and play, and have complete confidence you'll know everything to do," he said.


"But with Doom 3, when you boot up the game on the PC, there's no, like OK, your control is WASD. We had some very simplistic stuff, like, walk around behind a robot, in the opening level before the invasion happened, but that was our version of a tutorial.


"I love the way we've done it in Rage. We teach you how to do everything that's integrated completely into the game so it's completely seamless to the player. Honestly, that's been one of my pet peeves with the company for years.


"I was like, we are not teaching people how to play deathmatch in Quake 3. This is not enough."

Video:

Eurogamer


id Software is to release the source code for its 2004 shooter Doom 3 to the public later this year, technical director John Carmack has announced.


Speaking during his keynote at this year's QuakeCon event in Dallas, Carmack revealed that parent company ZeniMax had given it permission to do so, and that the code will be available some time after the release of Rage in October.


He added that it needed a quick polish before you can all get your hands on it, and that it still has to be run past legal.


He then called on other developers to follow suit and release some of their old code, arguing that it helps young developers better learn their trade.

Eurogamer


Doom creator and industry veteran John Carmack has hit back at accusations that games promote violent tendencies in players, arguing that they're in fact "cathartic" and more likely to reduce aggression.


Speaking in an interview with IndustryGamers, the id Software co-founder explained that he'd never taken the "violence in video games debate" seriously.


"There was an E3 where all that was going on where I was giving interviews and the reporters would start going into their questions, and I wasn't supposed to talk about any of that," he said.


"My wife was there and she’d start kicking me when I was about to go, 'Well, I think…' And in the end it didn’t matter, it didn't make any impact on things. I never felt threatened by it and it turned out not to matter.


"And I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it's cathartic.


"If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you're probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive."


That study Carmack is referring to could be a recent report that argued the increase in popularity of video games is partly responsible for the recent drop in the US crime rate.


In related news, a Norwegian retailer today decided to remove 51 games from its shelves in the wake of the horrific Oslo shooting spree last week.


The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was reportedly a keen gamer who apparently considered Modern Warfare 2 a "training-simulation".


id Software's next release is post-apocalyptic shooter Rage, due out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from 7th October.

Video:

Eurogamer


id Software wizard John Carmack has recounted the experience of creating Quake, the seminal first-person shooter that turns 15 today.


"My defining memory of the game was fairly early in development, when I no-clipped up into a ceiling corner and looked down as a Shambler walked through the world with its feet firmly planted on the ground," Carmack, who is knee deep in Rage development, said on the Bethblog.


"This looked like nothing I had ever seen before; it really did seem like I had a window into another world. Of course, as soon as he had to turn, the feet started to slide around because we didn’t have pivot points and individual joint modifications back then, but it was still pretty magical.


"It seems silly now, but at the time we were very concerned that people wouldn't be able to deal with free look mouse control, and we had lots of options to restrict pitch changes and auto-centre when you started moving."


Carmack goes on to describe the game's online play as "almost an accident". He has kind words for its 3D graphics and modding, however.


"The most important thing about Quake for me was that I met my wife when she organized the first all-female Quake tournament. She still thinks Quake was the seminal achievement of id, and she glowers at me whenever I bemoan how random the design was."


At E3 Carmack outlined his vision of the next Quake game - what would perhaps be Quake V - in an interview with Eurogamer.


"Nothing is scheduled here, people are not building this," Carmack said. "We went from the Quake 2 and the Quake 4 Strogg universe. We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction.


"We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4.


"We certainly have strong factions internally that want to go do this.


"But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now."

Video:

Eurogamer


id Software's John Carmack has outlined his vision for the next game in the Quake series.


While confirming that the next Quake is not in development, Carmack told Eurogamer there are "strong factions" within the US developer that want to create another game in the seminal first-person shooter series.


And discussions are pointing towards going back to the first game's quirky roots.


"Nothing is scheduled here, people are not building this," Carmack said.


"We went from the Quake 2 and the Quake 4 Strogg universe. We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction.


"We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4.


"We certainly have strong factions internally that want to go do this.


"But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now."


Quake began life on PC in 1996. It involved a marine travelling through alternate dimensions to prevent an alien invasion. Quake 2 followed a year later, introducing the alien planet Stroggos. 2005's Quake 4 continued the story.


The first Quake is credited with pioneering online FPS gaming, but Carmack believes it benefits from rose-tinted nostalgia goggles.


"The way I think about some of those things, and I actually get into arguments with my wife about this, who loved the original Quake game, I looked at the original Quake as this random thing, because we really didn't have our act together very well.


"But because it was so seminal about the 3D world and the internet gaming, it's imprinted on so many people. It made such an impact in so many ways. Memory cuts us a lot of slack."


Adding his thoughts into the mix, id CEO Todd Hollenshead said: "People shouldn't worry that we're ever going to orphan or abandon Quake. We are huge fans of the game internally."


id Software's next game is Rage, due out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this October. Doom 4 follows. After that, who knows?

Video:

Eurogamer


Universal wants to make a new DOOM film, despite the first unanimously falling foul of critics and averaging a lowly 34 per cent (Metacritic).


This will be a reboot, What's Playing reports, and Universal is looking for a script that uses stereoscopic 3D to the max. A script? "Here come the demons in stereoscopic 3D!" "Shoot your bullets at them in stereoscopic 3D!"


Apparently Paramount's success with GI Joe rekindled Universal's interest.


The DOOM film, released in 2005, starred famous wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Karl Urban (the evil hitman in Bourne Supremacy and FBI supremo in newer film Red). Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li director Andrzej Bartkowiak put the film together.

Meanwhile, DOOM game creator id Software steadily beavers away on DOOM 4. We haven't seen anything but we've heard plenty, the developer's Todd Hollenshead saying DOOM 4 will "absolutely blow you away".

Eurogamer


John Romero, legendary designer of seminal first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, is turning his attention to a new type of gamer – Facebook gamers.


"We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades," the id Software co-founder told Venture Beat.


"Now it's time for the rest of the world. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games."


Romero hopes to achieve his goal through the California-based developer Loot Drop. Its small team plan to publish games for multiple social game publishers.


Loot Drop has funding from social game publisher RockYou, which will publish Romero's first game soon.


But Romero's already tasted sweet success in the social game space with Facebook game Ravenwood Fair, which a whopping 10 million people play every month.


Romero's new role as the designer of the next big social experience is a far cry from the one that made his name.


Romero co-founded id Software with John Carmack, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall, and designed some of the most influential games of all time.


Romero left to start Ion Storm and created the controversial Daikatana. In 1997 he appeared on an advert for the game that said: "John Romero's About To Make You His Bitch....Suck it down." That didn't go down well, and some 10 years later Romero apologised to fans for it.


After Ion Storm closed in 2001, Romero formed mobile game developer Monkeystone Games. After leaving that company, he joined Midway Games in 2003. He left two years later, starting MMO developer Slipgate Ironworks, which became the core studio of Gazillion. That didn't work out as planned, either.


Now the 43-year-old has a very different outlook on the creation of videogames, and believes in experiences fuelled by virtual item purchases. "The game industry is dropping down on top of social," Romero said. "We don't have a view of strip mining the players for cash. When a player gives you money, you want them to feel good about giving you that money."


Romero will launch four Loot Drop games this year, to be published and marketed by other companies.

...

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