QUAKE

Say the word "railgun" around a PC gamer and they'll instantly start telling you stories about the Quake series, and how it's such an awesome weapon in a make-believe future universe.


They're right on the former, but on the latter, not so much, because railguns are real, and the US Navy has one. Here it is undergoing testing.


The project, which is being overseen by the Office of Naval Research, has been running for a few years now (indeed, experimental railguns have existed as crude prototypes for decades), but this is the first time it's been filmed looking like an actual gun.


Railguns don't work like normal firearms or cannons; they use rails and electricity to propel projectiles at speeds vastly greater than those possible with conventional explosive technology (modern weapons still use the centuries-old principle of an explosion to propel rounds).


Which is why the Naval Officer in the video loads not a shell but just a simple piece of metal into the weapon.


It's amazing footage. Next stop, handheld versions.


QUAKE

Arrested Megaupload Boss Threw Gaming Temper Tantrums?Kim Dotcom, the imprisoned mastermind behind busted file-sharing site Megaupload and, bizarrely, also the top-scoring killer on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn't always a showboating millionaire. He also ran a competitive video game league in the late-90s. And was by all accounts a rather sore loser.


How sore? Like, banning from his league everyone who beat him at a game of first-person shooter Quake 2. That kind of sore loser.


After our original report on Dotcom went up over the weekend, we heard from old-time Quake 2 players who had encountered the billionaire when he was known online as "Kimble". Using that handle, Dotcom - formerly Kim Schmitz - had become a relatively well-known personality among online PC gamers at the time, in part because he ran a Quake league called Liga.net.


In September 1998, PlanetQuake reported that Kimble, after losing a game against Immortal (at the time one of the world's top players), became so upset he banned his opponent from the league, accusing him of using bots, a form of automated cheating. There are then reports from gamers complaining about Immortal's banning were kicked to the curb right alongside him.


Those booted from Dotcom's Liga.net of course claimed it was Kimble himself that had been cheating, because the other thing he was well-known for, regardless of whether it was true or not, was being a high-profile and notorious users of bots.


Going into more detail was this commenter in the original Modern Warfare 3 story from the weekend:


Back in the days of Quake 2 and the Barrysworld free server network, Dotcom used to troll the Rocket Arena 2 duel arenas as 'www.kimble.org' with an aimbot on his 6ms T1 line, raging people to the point that the entire server would clear, rather than put up with him. Then one day he was faced down and beaten by a girl-gamer on a shitty BT ISDN line - one on one, rail only. He raged so hard that he then dc'ed, looked up the player's name up on Quake.net irc and DDoSed the b0rk.co.uk irc bouncer that she used offline. Having realised he'd accomplished nothing, he then proceeded to DDoS the entire Barrysworld server array for a week, out of petty vengeance for being made to look like a twat. He was a cheating shit now, so I'd very surprised if that #1 position is legit now, either. Take a browse through the PlanetQuake archives if you wanna see the other shit he pulled, like banning the people that beat him in the leagues he admined for liga.net. 100% twat material.


Then there's this gem from a forum thread where a bunch of old Quake 2 players are reminiscing:


I remember him. I played him once on barrysworld (Yeh I'm that old :<). Just about the most blatant cheater you'd ever play. .


I got so pissed off at one point that I focused all my attention and managed to kill him once. Which felt pretty good.


His actual nick was www.kimble.org. Which was some sort of huge ego website of him traveling around the world in luxury cars/jets etc squandering money he scammed of some idiots during the dot.com boom.


Needless to say he was arrested for fraud some time later.


Anyway, the moral of the story is that the personality in game isn't all that different outside the game.


While that "huge ego website" is long gone, if you're curious, it featured pictures like this.




A final note: with this stuff taking place over a decade ago, and Dotcom currently cooling in a cell, we can't get his side of the story.


QUAKE

Arrested Megaupload Boss Cheated His Way To Video Game Glory, Opponents SayKim Dotcom, the imprisoned mastermind behind busted file-sharing site Megaupload and, bizarrely, also the top-scoring killer on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, wasn't always a showboating millionaire. He also ran a competitive video game league in the late-90s. And was by all accounts a rather sore loser.


How sore? Like, banning from his league everyone who beat him at a game of first-person shooter Quake 2. That kind of sore loser.


After our original report on Dotcom went up over the weekend, we heard from old-time Quake 2 players who had encountered the billionaire when he was known online as "Kimble". Using that handle, Dotcom - formerly Kim Schmitz - had become a relatively well-known personality among online PC gamers at the time, in part because he ran a Quake league called Liga.net.


In September 1998, PlanetQuake reported that Kimble, after losing a game against Immortal (at the time one of the world's top players), became so upset he banned his opponent from the league, accusing him of using bots, a form of automated cheating. There are then reports from gamers complaining about Immortal's banning were kicked to the curb right alongside him.


Those booted from Dotcom's Liga.net of course claimed it was Kimble himself that had been cheating, because the other thing he was well-known for, regardless of whether it was true or not, was being a high-profile and notorious users of bots.


Going into more detail was this commenter in the original Modern Warfare 3 story from the weekend:


Back in the days of Quake 2 and the Barrysworld free server network, Dotcom used to troll the Rocket Arena 2 duel arenas as 'www.kimble.org' with an aimbot on his 6ms T1 line, raging people to the point that the entire server would clear, rather than put up with him. Then one day he was faced down and beaten by a girl-gamer on a shitty BT ISDN line - one on one, rail only. He raged so hard that he then dc'ed, looked up the player's name up on Quake.net irc and DDoSed the b0rk.co.uk irc bouncer that she used offline. Having realised he'd accomplished nothing, he then proceeded to DDoS the entire Barrysworld server array for a week, out of petty vengeance for being made to look like a twat. He was a cheating shit now, so I'd very surprised if that #1 position is legit now, either. Take a browse through the PlanetQuake archives if you wanna see the other shit he pulled, like banning the people that beat him in the leagues he admined for liga.net. 100% twat material.


Then there's this gem from a forum thread where a bunch of old Quake 2 players are reminiscing:


I remember him. I played him once on barrysworld (Yeh I'm that old :<). Just about the most blatant cheater you'd ever play. .


I got so pissed off at one point that I focused all my attention and managed to kill him once. Which felt pretty good.


His actual nick was www.kimble.org. Which was some sort of huge ego website of him traveling around the world in luxury cars/jets etc squandering money he scammed of some idiots during the dot.com boom.


Needless to say he was arrested for fraud some time later.


Anyway, the moral of the story is that the personality in game isn't all that different outside the game.


While that "huge ego website" is long gone, if you're curious, it featured pictures like this.




A final note: with this stuff taking place over a decade ago, and Dotcom currently cooling in a cell, we can't get his side of the story. And we haven't heard of him cheating to get his world's best Modern Warfare 3 ranking, so he must have some skills.


QUAKE

Hey Nexuiz, Aren't You a Little Pretty for an XBLA Shooter?Quake mod Nexuiz (pronounced "nexus") is so heavily modified that it's practically it's own game. It has been for years, since 2005, with a modified Quake Engine, completely overhauled weapons, but the same fast-paced gameplay. Someone at THQ must have been fond of the PC mod, because not only is it making a big comeback, it's coming back stacked.


Nexuiz, the new one that is, is a multiplayer-only XBLA title that looks and feels completely different from the original. It's not quite as fast, due mostly to the slower speed of its CryEngine 3 tech (more delicious screenshots here), but several key improvements have been made to overhaul the previously simplistic gameplay and give it more life.


Hey Nexuiz, Aren't You a Little Pretty for an XBLA Shooter?The major change is mutators. The new Nexuiz includes exactly 100 mutators such as jetpacks, triple-armor, double ammo-pickups, instakills, pogo sticks (where all players bounce repeatedly), inverted controls, etc. There are three basic types of mutators: Individual, team, and game-wide. Individual mutators may be special weapons not available on pickup or increased abilities. Team mutators can either boost the entire team with larger ammo drops or increased speed, or can cripple the other team, say, by inverting the controls.


All of Nexuiz's nine included levels have also been either completely remade or are brand new. I played two, Tension and Refinery, and the gameplay varied wildly between them. Tension is a larger, more angular map with skinny hallways and narrow paths while Refinery is a giant room that is tall yet circular; it's essentially one big space with a few closed-off halls.


Hey Nexuiz, Aren't You a Little Pretty for an XBLA Shooter?Nexuiz is a 6-8 player game only, so if you have four players or want a bigger party, the game won't support it. Individuals can play alone with bots, but online play does not support using bots. The smaller size is conducive to fast-paced gaming, though even six players feels like too few. On Refinery I played a six-player game, and because of the size of the map it was sometimes more than a minute before I found someone to shoot.


What's most noticeable about gameplay isn't how it feels like Quake, but rather getting into that hardcore zen that pro-gamers talk about when they make those famous comebacks. Nexuiz gives all players the opportunity to level the playing field even if all hope appears lost—all it takes is a good mutator and a steady trigger finger. So many recent multiplayer games try to keep gameplay as even as possible, with everyone having access to roughly the same tools and weapons. Nexiuz works on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you get to the mutator respawn first, you get the bonus.


Hey Nexuiz, Aren't You a Little Pretty for an XBLA Shooter?Stat hounds can rejoice, because Nexuiz features around 180 different stats. They include everything from kill/death ratios to pogo jumps per match. Scrolling through the long list in the postgame lobby is a bit ludicrous, and says a lot about the games statistical depth.


Microsoft hasn't officially announced Nexiuz's price. The game is set to release sometime during the Xbox Live House Party, which occurs from February 15 to March 14.


When he isn't writing about games, James Pikover plays with new cellphones and uses them as theft deterrent. You can follow him on twitter at @jamezrp.


QUAKE

Just imagine Quake with Achievements, hand-holding and other elements of modern games. Watch this video made by YouTube user kmoosmann and prepare to sigh.


If Quake was done today [YouTube, via Twitter]



You can contact Stephen Totilo, the author of this post, at stephentotilo@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
QUAKE

Among amateur rocket-launching circles, there's a bounty called "The Carmack Prize". It's named for id boss, Doom co-creator and budding rocket scientist John Carmack, and will reward anyone who can get a home-made rocket 100,000 feet into space and capture some GPS data from it.


The first people to claim the prize will pick up $10,000 from Carmack. Nobody has managed the feat yet, but late last month a team got awful close.


On September 30, Derek Deville made a rocket, named it Qu8k (pronounced "Quake", and using the classic id shooter's logo), stuck a camera and some GPS gear to it and shot it off a launch pad in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.


Sadly, he wasn't able to get a GPS reading from the rocket, but as you'll see from the footage above, he at least got the 100,000 feet part under his belt. While the beginning of the clip focuses on Qu8k's launch, eventually you'll get to some amazing scenes from a camera attached to the rocket's casing, which shows...well, what the Earth looks like to a home-made rocket that's just been shot 121,000 feet into space.


If you're wondering why Carmack has his name attached to the prize, he's a budding rocketeer himself, with one of the leading entries in a NASA competition to build a home-made lunar lander.


Glorious 121,000′ Amateur Rocket Flight [MAKE]



You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
QUAKE

There are plenty of Doom coffee mugs laying around in the world of Rage. But that's not the little bit of Doom I'm talking about, I'm talking about some retro gameplay.


We've shown you how you can find Wolfenstein in Rage and how you can find Quake in the game, this tutorial on how to find the Doom Easter egg completes id's trifecta.


I love this sorta thing.



You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
QUAKE

Earlier today we posted our walk-through video showing how you to find a little bit of Wolfenstein 3D inside id Software's Rage. Here's a look at how to find Quake in the game.


This time around you don't have to just bump into a wall, you need to track down four buttons, click em and then find a portal. Fortunately, Game Front walks you through it.


QUAKE

RAGE Has Been a Long, Long Time ComingIt's not every day you get to play a new id game. If you're not counting iPhone games (and we're not counting iPhone games) or re-releases, the last new title the studio released was Doom 3. And that was in 2004.


So this week's release of post-apocalyptic buggy death simulator RAGE is something to be treasured, whether it ends up a triumph or something...less triumphant.


Given the fact that id has been around for twenty years now, and in that time has released some of the best games ever made, I figured today was as good a time as any to look back on them.


In the gallery above you'll find clips of most of id's games. Some of them all-time classics, some of them games very few of you have played, and others are from the Commander Keen series. Because Commander Keen is awesome.


Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.

You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement (1990) - The game that started id, John Romero's unauthorised Mario port (using his Dangerous Dave character from a 1988 game) proving that id had the chops to pull off tech (in this case side-scrolling) on a PC nobody thought was possible.


Commander Keen (1990-1991) - One of the best, if not the best platforming series on the PC, id's Commander Keen saw six released in just two years, making the Green Bay Packers famous to millions of gamers outside the US.


Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion (1991) - John Romero's Dangerous Dave makes his id debut in another great platformer. Note the shotgun. id will be somewhat preoccupied with it in the future.


Rescue Rover (1991) - If you want to see what Portal would have looked like if it had been released in 1991 (and starred a dog), go play Rescue Rover. It would get a sequel in the same year.


Shadow Knights (1991) - id does Shinobi in yet another platformer, this time with ninjas.


Hovertank 3D (1991) - id get some 3D experience under their belts with Hovertank, which, as you can see, is Wolfenstein. With tanks.


Catacomb 3D (1991) - What the hell were id doing in 1991? Working nine day weeks? Catacomb was another 3D game, this time much more fully-realised, and clearly pointing the way towards....


Wolfenstein 3D (1992) - The game that gave id their big break. One of the most popular PC games of all time, and credited (if unfairly) of birthing the first-person shooter genre. Would get an expansion, Spear of Destiny, a year later.


Doom (1993) - Everything Wolfenstein did, Doom did better.


Doom II (1994) - A year after Doom, hell came to Earth with Doom II, which was bigger, badder and better than the original (if also largely identical, if you know what I mean).


Quake (1996) - Wolfenstein was a technical revolution. So was Doom. Could id's third shooter series continue the tradition? You bet it could. The world's first true 3D shooter was a revelation.


Quake II (1997) - Quake got itself an upgraded sequel a year later. It remains my favourite game of the series.


Quake III (1999) - Quake III tried something different, basically eschewing singleplayer content altogether in favour of a balls-to-the-wall multiplayer focus.


Doom III (2004) - All in all, a...disappointing game. A number of serious flaws, including a ridiculous flashlight mechanic, resulted in the first id game in over ten years to be met with anything less than overwhelming praise.


Rage (2011) - id's first major game release in seven years, its first designed with consoles in mind and its first since Hovertank to feature vehicles. To say it'll be interesting to see how it all comes together is something of an understatmenet.


QUAKE

Todd Hollenshead Explains Why Quake Live Isn't a Success YetQuake Live is a browser based free-to-play version of the classic FPS Quake III Arena that has been out of beta for a year. In a recent interview with VG24/7 id CEO Todd Hollenshead discussed what hasn't gone right.


"The thing for us with Quake Live is that there's one specific thing that can be isolated here," said Hollenshead. "The in-game advertising model hasn't delivered as promised."


While the service has been popular, it hasn't been as financially successful as other ad based online games. Due to different gameplay styles, ads are are easier to pass over in fast paced game like Quake Live. "For Farmville and those types of games embedded into Facebook—which are pretty pervasive about advertising—there' s a different model than what we have in Quake Live. You're playing through the game, and we're dynamically delivering ads to you."


Id has had their fair share of bad luck with the service as well. The advertising companies they work with were hit hard by the financial crisis. And four years after in-game advertising company Massive Inc. was acquired by Microsoft, the company was shut down.


"So that [shutting down Massive Inc.] had ramifications for us, because we used Massive. And if that was more successful, that'd have had some significant impact on what Quake Live is."


Quake Live isn't the only new gaming platform id has explored in recent years, as their iOS games have been extremely successful. But those games play more to id's strength. "Our skillset is leveraging our ability to create unbelievable graphics on, like, iOS devices," said Hollenshead.


Does a lack of success mean id is turning away from free-to-play Quake? They've already implemented an optional subscription model, added video advertising, and put ads on the Quake Live website. But the future is still unclear, but that doesn't mean the service is close to dying.


"So I still think the jury hasn't come in and given the verdict yet. As long as I've got an opportunity to try and do something with Quake Live—because I love the game—[I'll do it]." Said Hollenshead. "The game is an entertainment success, so now we have to figure out how to make the business model work."


Id's Superego: Todd Hollenshead on all things id Software [VG24/7]


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