STORE COMMUNITY ABOUT SUPPORT
Login Store Community Support
View desktop website
© Valve Corporation. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners in the US and other countries.
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.
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.
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.
I love this sorta thing.
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.
It'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.
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 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."
Starting today, Steam is celebrating id and Bethesda's Quakecon with deals on their games. Sales will change daily from now until August 8th. Today's deals include discounted games, free-to-play Brink, and in-game specials for TF2.
Quakecon 2011 Steam Sale [Steam]
OK, so with QuakeCon this week it's a Bethesda marketing stunt (having published the last two Fallout games and owning id Software, the creators of Quake and RAGE), but these are cute enough to walk right on by that.
There are five items in total: the Sniper's Anger (based on the Resistance in Brink), the Soldier's Original (based on the rocket launcher from Quake), the Engineer's Pip-Boy (based on, well, the Pip-Boy from Fallout) and Wingstick (based on a weapon from RAGE) and the Heavy's Tamrielic Relic (based on a helmet from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim).
No word yet on how you actually get hold of the items.
For a time, years, whenever a person talked about a first-person shooter they called it a Doom Clone. Such was the power, the influence of one of the first, first-person shooters, the proto-FPS.
But in establishing an entire genre, Doom also planted itself firmly in history, becoming a game that even its savvy creators seem to struggle to make meaningful in an age when first-person shooters are ever evolving and flooding the video game market.
Consider Doom 3, a game of light and shadows, that while delivering big scares and high scores, still felt like a dated game fighting to stay true to its roots.
In writing up my review of the game for the Rocky Mountain News, I said that "I wanted to be surprised and astounded. I wanted something that wasn't just a new look at a great game but a new take on that game.
Instead of bland graphics wrapped around an original concept, Doom 3 is a vivid world of monstrous creations laboriously detailed (down to their blood-spattered chests) in a tired concept all too familiar to a new generation of gamers brought up on first-person shooters.
When you strip away the eye candy, what you're left with is more of a virtual haunted house than the immersive experiences most of today's computer and video games have become."
As we approach another Quakecon and another chance for id Software to give us our first glimpse of Doom 4, I wonder what they might deliver, can deliver that would satisfy today's gamers without moving so far from the game's nexus that it becomes Quake, or Rage or any of the other popular shooters now flooding the market.
We don't know a lot about Doom 4, but based on what we do know, this is what I hope the game could deliver.
A Compelling Story
The Doom series has never been one to dwell much on plot and character growth. Doom 3 did try to correct that, and to some extent succeeded, but it was still fairly unsurprising stuff. So why do I think Doom 4 will be any different? Graham Joyce.
Brought in by id Software to "develop the story" for Doom 4, Joyce's surreal approach to science fiction, horror and fantasy could lend itself well to a story that already blends the occult with heavily-armed marines. Joyce's writing style, and personal beliefs, approaches the supernatural from a less antagonist point of view, with characters learning to deal with, rather than fight against that which they don't understand. Some have called it as a form of Magic Realism. Imagine a Doom 4 that is more Pan's Labyrinth then Brother in Arms in Hell.
High Tech, Id Tech Atmosphere
We know that Doom 4 is going to be using id Tech 5, the same graphics engine that built the impressive, wide-ranging Rage. That means it has the potential to do a lot of different things, in a lot of different settings very well. But what I hope id does instead is to narrow the focus of Doom 4, resisting the temptation to drop in vehicles, and big, open-world maps, instead using their tech to deliver small, labyrinthine settings thick with atmosphere.
When I think of Doom, I think of corridors, maze-like levels and lots of dark settings. Doom 3 beefed up the atmosphere, but did it in such a hand-holding way that it ended up shrinking the scope of the game. I want Doom 4 to deliver that same sense of dread in a place that lets me run and run and run, and hide.
Multitudes of Monstrous Monsters
Given the choice between a few sky-scraping demons bearing down on me and a room packed with low level demons, I'd take the multitude any day. I want the game's sense of scale to be more focused on the numbers than the size. If I'm fighting against the hordes of hell I want there to be hordes.
I also would love to see that amazing graphics engine used to deliver the sort of macabre, frightening, unnerving creatures we expect from id Software. That means taking a new, id Tech 5 pass at their demons, Barons of Hell, Pain Elementals. And there had better be a grotesque Spiderdemon or two in the game.
Take Back Online
How did Doom go from being the chief online game of its era to an afterthought of online play with Doom 3? Shortly after the original Doom's release the game had become so popular on work computer networks that companies like Intel, and Microsoft had specific policies against playing the game. There was even a program, of a sort, written specifically to detect and stop the game when it was found running on networks.
But when Doom 3 hit in 2004 it brought with it support for just four-player gameplay and four modes. Sure, the always-skilled mod community went back in and built in up to 16 players, but why wasn't id on top of that? This time around I hope to see a robust, fully supported online portion to the game, one rich with modes, options and mod support.
Doom 4 doesn't need to reinvent itself, it shouldn't. Instead id should look at what they've created over the years, and with the help of id Tech 5, create the best of Doom delivered with a graphics engine that we know can blow us away.
Of course, this is all just my opinion. What do you want from Doom 4?
In celebration of this weekend's QuakeCon and the 20th anniversary of id Software, id and Bethesda sent me the most hideous cake I've ever had sitting on my coffee table, and I shop at the Publix bakery.
The Strogg make great arena fighters, but their freakish alien visage doesn't exactly scream "eat me!" That's the players' job. Still this is one fine example of gaming confectionery, direct from pastry chef Mark Brickman of Baker's Man, Inc., the same guy responsible for sending me my very first game-related cake last year.
If only the children were old enough to eat cake and be terrified.