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.
Oh and this year, on top of the keynote, the panels, the gaming rigs, there's a chance to get your hands on Rage.
If you've never been, but want to swing by this week - yes, this week - don't worry. Kotaku is happy to help you survive the rigors of QuakeCon attendance.
If this is your first time attending the con, don't go unprepared. Armed with the right gear, some helpful hints and a heaping dose of common sense, you'll survive all four days of one of computer gaming's biggest LAN parties.
And if you see a Kotaku editor you recognize at the Con, don't be shy.
• Shoes: While many of those attending Quakecon come to set up camp in the bring your own computer area, there's enough other things going on that an entirely different group of people show up to take in the games, the panels, the talks and the demos. Most BYOCers will likely not need to do a ton of walking, the other type will find themselves doing a lot of cross-hotel wandering. Stay comfy in a pair of Supernova Riot 2 Trail-Running shoes, Vans or Clarks Desert Boots.
• Clothes: Dallas is a blisteringly hot city. A Texas city so warm it's called the Devil's Oven.. not really, but I call it that. And why not? During my time in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, the city hit temperatures topping 115°. So be sure to bring plenty of t-shirts and shorts. But don't forget that the sweeping BYOC area, and it's oodles of temperature sensitive gaming rigs, is kept quite chilly by the pumped in air, so you might want to bring along some sweats too.
• Gear Bag: Bring roomy, mostly empty, reliable storage—tote bag, backpack, over-the-shoulder courier bag—to QuakeCon. Stuff it with the bare essentials, like your phone, camera and snacks. Mishka NYC's Panzer rucksack and Gravis' line of bags come highly recommended, as does Incase's nylon series.
• Electronics: Most important, bring a camera. You'll see some amazing gaming rigs, meet some wonderful folks and check out some great games. You'll want to snap pics.
• Your Rig: This is, afterall, a mammoth LAN party, so you may want to bring your gaming rig. If you're headed to the BYOC, don't forget to pack your monitor and PC/Mac (desktop or laptop) plus your keyboard, mouse, and headphones. As an alternative, this year you can bring a console instead. Just remember that everything you need needs to fit in the allotted three feet of table space.
• Rig Transportation: Have a plan so you don't break your back or equipment. With all the equipment you're bringing, be sure you have something to transport everything in – be it a dolly, a cart, or your old Radio Flyer.
• Water & Snacks: Hosting a con in a hotel has its advantages. Namely, good eats. You can't survive on BAWLs all weekend. While you'll have plenty of time to venture off to downtown Dallas for some choice food, there's also plenty of options at the hotel. QuakeCon favorites include Media Grill + Bar (lunch and dinner) and Gossip Bar (breakfast). There's also room service, but remember they stop serving each night at 12am. If you want to keep things cheap you might want to stock up on your own grub. Clif Bars and bananas. And whatever you do don't forget the water, plenty of water. (I like the Thermos Intak) should tide you over and keep you hydrated, letting you save your dedicated meals for something finer.
• Vitamins & Protection: The all-nighters and panels can wreak havoc on your eating patterns, so supplement with vitamins, especially since you're going to be around tens of thousand of people handling mice, controllers and keyboards. Keep some Purell around and wash those hands or you'll come back from the Con with the Nerd Flu.
• Eat: It would be a crime against humanity, and your gut, if you made your way to Dallas and never ventured outside the hotel to grab a bite to eat. The city is packed with amazing places to grab unforgettable meals. I can't even begin to summarize all of the places you could go, so I'll just mention a few highlights and leave it to more savvy and familiar commenters to expand the list. Mike Anderson's BBQ is, like all great barbecue joints, an outwardly forgettable restaurant. But inside you'll find the ribs, pulled pork and brisket that made this joint the Dallas Observer's pick for best barbecue in the city. The Angry Dog is a great place to pick up a great burger. Sfuzzi's Pizza is a must if you're visiting the town, as is the Heart Attack Grill.
• Drink: You might want to check out the Inwood Lounge at the Inwood movie theater if you're in the mood for a mean martini. Barcadia? Yes please. Combining beer with video games never gets old. NEVER. You should also take the time to check out Deep Ellum, home to nearly 50 clubs, restaurants and shops in what was once the warehouse district of Dallas. Back in the day they had some pretty amazing jazz bars too.
• Sleep: QuakeCon is back at the Hilton Anatole, so that's your best option for where to stay. To save on your room, make sure you reserve using the QuakeCon block. As of this morning they still had rooms available.
• Go: Getting to the convention is fairly straight forward. You'll just need to find your way to the Hilton Anatole, 2201 North Stemmons Freeway, in Dallas. No Comic-Con or E3 epic lines here.
QuakeCon is a free bring-your-own-computer gaming event held annually in Dallas, Texas hosted by id Software, makers of Quake, Doom and soon Rage.
The event started in 1996 as a grassroots gathering of fans of Quake at a Garland, Texas hotel. The event ended with a surprise appearance by id Software developers, who weren't a part of organizing the original event. John Carmack chatted with the group of 100-or-so people about the future of id and game development.
The event has been held annually since, growing to more than 8,500 people last year.
After you've secured your BYOC spot, if you're going to, make sure to check out the keynote. It's become tradition at QuakeCon that John Carmack does a keynote address, and it's always worth a listen, as he's sure to deliver thoughts on where he sees the game industry going in the coming years. And if you don't understand everything he says… that's okay.
• It's Not Just About Quake: It might be called QuakeCon, but this LAN party has people playing everything and anything under the sun - FPS, RPG, fighting games… they're all welcome. And for the first time ever, the public will be able to play id's latest, Rage, in the exhibit hall. If you want to hop on before the lines start, be ready when the exhibit hall opens.
• The Exhibits and Panels: Outside of the BYOC, there's plenty of fun at this year's event – including gameplay presentations for Skyrim and Prey 2, as well as panels featuring members of id Software, Bethesda, Insomniac, Respawn, and Arkane Studios.
• Master Pancake Theater: For the fourth year running, comedy group Master Pancake Theater will be delivering laughs to QuakeCon attendees. Whether you're on Team Jacob, Team Edward, or Team WTF, you'll definitely want to catch their performance Friday night at 9 pm.
• And Don't Forget the Quake: Big surprise – QuakeCon has some of the best Quake players in the world. If you're not already participating in the tournaments, be sure to catch the finals in the grand ballroom on Saturday night.
Deep Ellum is so great it warrants two mentions in this guide. Built in the late 1880s, this Dallas landmark became famous for jazz back in the 1920s. Nowadays you can find all sorts of walk-up clubs with live music to satisfy any tastes.
Of course it would be crazy to go to Dallas and not check out The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. The permanent exhibit details the life and sudden death of President John F. Kennedy in the spot where that fatal shot was fired from.
If you've got the time it's probably worth swinging over to relatively nearby Fort Worth where you can check out a more Texas version of Dallas, complete with cowboys in big hats, a daily cattle run right through the streets of the city... kinda, and Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky tonk.
Most importantly, don't forget: This is a show about everything that makes id games so wonderful. Have fun! And don't worry if you miss something, we have you covered.
Have some Quakecon survival tips to share with the group? Please leave them in the comments!
A special thanks to Tracey Thompson and the folks at Bethesda and id for helping out with this guide.
Once a year all things video game descend on Los Angeles for a nearly week-long celebration of gaming.
The Electronic Enterainment Expo is three days of gaming, parties and news. More »
Comic books! Movies! Video games! Toys! There's so much to see and do at the San Diego Comic-Con, it can be a little overwhelming. Don't worry, Kotaku is happy to help you survive the rigors of comic book convention attendance.
If this is your first time attending the San Diego Comic-Con, don't go... More »
Back in 1992, id Software released Wolfenstein 3D, a title that ushered in an entirely new genre and showed developers and gamers just how immersive and visceral a video game could be. Two decades later comes Rage.
For nearly 20 years the company has been improving the formula, creating more powerful technology, constantly redefining the genre it defined in the first place. In this first behind-the-scenes video for id's latest, Rage, John Carmack and friends talk about how they've instilled this new intellectual property with all they've built and learned since the Wolfenstein days to create what could be "the best thing that id's ever done."
Time for another "before they were famous" here on Total Recall. Last time we looked at Bungie, creators of the Halo franchise. This time? We're looking at id Software, the team behind Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake.
I'm going to preface this entire thing by saying that if you're at all interested in the history of video games, and in particular the PC and id Software, you owe it to yourself to read the amazing Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, which goes into a lot more detail than I'm about to.
That's for later, though. For now, we're going to run through the early years of one of the most important studios in the industry, and look at the games they made before they made the ones which got them famous.
id was founded in 1991, after a number of its earliest members (John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall) met while employed at Softdisk, a weird hybrid of a magazine, games developer and demo disk distributor. Yet perhaps the most interesting thing about the studio's early years predates the formation of the actual studio.
A year earlier, John Carmack and John Romero had built, from the ground-up, a PC port of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 3, at the time a remarkable feat given PCs weren't supposed to be able to handle side-scrolling like a console could. Initially a crude demo using characters from a Romero game built for Softdisk called Dangerous Dave, (and which they christened Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement) the guys eventually had Mario looking so good, and so faithful to the original, they contacted Nintendo about licensing the game from the Japanese company for release on the PC.
While Nintendo of course turned the offer down instantly, another party had become secretly interested in the team's work. With games like Dangerous Dave attracting a cult following, a representative from publisher Apogee began writing to Romero under the guise of a fan, so as not to alert Softdisk, as he had every intention of luring the guys away to make their own games for a living using the concept of shareware, which would see part of a game given away for free to tempt people to pay for the whole thing.
Tempted by this offer, and capitalising upon the platforming technology they'd built for the Mario demo, the team whipped up a side-scroller called Commander Keen, released in December 1990, which quickly became a hit. Keen was a small boy transported into a science-fiction saga, armed with a trusty laser pistol and defended by an oversized...Green Bay Packers helmet.
This only brought about the attention of the team's employers at Softdisk, however, who rather than crack down on them (the guys had been using Softdisk computers after office hours to compile the code for their games) offered to go into business together. That deal fell through when the existing Softdisk management baulked at the idea, though, so in February 1991 id Software stopped being "a bunch of Softdisk guys working in their spare time" and began operations as an independent video game developer.
While it continued developing Commander Keen games for a number of years, id's first new titles were both games that would be critical to the studio's future success. In April 1991, id released Hovertank 3D, one of the first games to ever be played from a first-person, 3D perspective on the PC. It followed this up in November 1991 with Catacomb 3D, an adaptation of an old John Carmack fantasy title dropped into the same revolutionary 3D engine.
These games, while important in their own right for their technological prowess for the time (3D and first-person being normally reserved for poorly-detailed flight simulators), are best remembered now for being essentially testbeds for the engine used in Wolfenstein 3D, released in 1992.
From Wolfenstein, one of the earliest blockbusters in PC gaming, things went from strength to strength for the team, who despite some high profile personnel changes (like Romero's departure to make the disastrous Daikatana in 1996) would go on to release classics like 1993's Doom, 1996's Quake and a number of well-received sequels for both, not to mention also being responsible for engine technology that has powered many other developer's games like Half-Life.