|My Life without
the Thrill Kill cult
At first, I didn't agree with EA's canceling
Thrill Kill... I would be very angry if a game I worked hard on wasn't released. However,
finding out that Thrill Kill features sex acts has changed my mind on this particular
I have a problem with games that go to extremes in violence and sex
content just for the sake of being controversial. I'm not talking Postal, or Quake, or
Grand Theft Auto... Those games are tame. But if someone were to create a deathmatch
game which featured photorealistic death scenes (not, for example, a detective game with
FMV of someone getting shot) I'd have a problem with that.
I also have a problem with one of the characters that's being put
into Prey. The "topless female alien" is going a bit far... I mean, it doesn't
even LOOK like an alien. They're obviously just doing it for the shock value, to see what
they can get away with. I'll happily play the game, it is only one isolated monster, but I
frown upon them for stooping to such low levels. I hope the game industry isn't going to
start becoming like the porn industry. Production value speaking of course.
|Q3 won't suck
From: Juggernaut [DofA]
get this whole Q3A single-player stuff under control. The fact is that Carmack had decided
to forego his "usual" single player game for a different style, where you would
face enemy AI's of increasing difficulty. Just because we'll no longer be hunting for keys
and opening doors does not mean that the game will suck.
The type of single player game Carmack has decided to make is
nothing new. In fact, it's been around for decades. Ever hear of, or actually play Pong?
It's the same idea...play against the computer in preparation for playing against others
in multiplayer. Just about every single arcade game (the Mortal Kombat series, or any
fighting game for that matter) has the same basic premise.
To say that Q3A won't sell well because it is not your standard
"shoot tons of stupid enemies with increasingly larger guns while opening doors and
finding health packs" game* is naive at best. The types of games described above have
proven to be quite popular, and I don't see this as any kind of exception. The fact that
Carmack has decided to devote all of his time to the multiplayer game (of which the single
player will just be an aspect of) speaks volumes about his dedication to making the best
*Editor's note: Also known as a STOSEWILGWODAFHP
|Q3 will prompt
people to stop playing with themselves
From: Jeff Buckland
I see a lot of
people talking about how a majority of the game-playing world doesn't play online, so if
id targets Quake 3 to multiplayer people, they're going to let down a majority of players.
Well, think about this guys - don't you think this game would maybe *prompt* a lot of
people who have never tried multiplayer to finally try it? If they integrated a server
browser like GameSpy and made it super-easy to play online right out of the box, Q3 could
turn that majority of single player gamers to multiplayer. Let's face it. Even if id's
vision of multiplayer isn't what you want, it IS a step towards the future anyway. All the
CRPG fans moan at the idea of more online deathmatching, but hey, maybe we'll see more
multiplayer, co-operative RPG games using things like the Q3 engine. Anyway, id Software
has broken new ground with almost every game they have made, and people doubt them EVERY
time. But guess what? id continues to succeed every time. Get used to it, nay-sayers. This
will break new ground as well, and everyone else will stand aside and watch as id sells a
million copies of another game. It's happened before and it's going to happen again.
|Unreal gets a raw
Why has everyone started bashing
Unreal lately? It seems that every PC game site I go to is making some backhanded
statement about Unreal. It started with the multi-player aspect (which to some degree was
warranted), but Unreal is great fun to play on a LAN or with the bots provided. At least
Epic included something other than a straight death match. People forget that most of what
made Quake and Quake II fun to play over the Internet had nothing to do with id. Why does
id get all the credit? It is the gaming community that added all the cool mods. If all you
could do was play Quake II the way it shipped it would suck. Now don't get me wrong I like
playing Quake II, but not in single player and not multi-player without all the incredible
mods you people have created. I only bring this up to put things in perspective.
Another criticism I keep hearing is that "The
weapons in Unreal are weak!". There are weapons that let you kill someone in one
shot. What more do you want? To kill 10 people at a time? These same people are the ones
whining about people using the BFG in Quake II. People complain when the weapons are too
powerful. They say it is unfair. I think the weapons in Unreal take skill to use, and are
just as fun as those in Quake II.
Yet another comment I hear is "Single player Unreal
is boring?". Name a better single player FPS that is currently out, or was out in the
last two years (007 for the N64 does not count). I am not saying that it is perfect, but I
enjoyed it. I loved the beauty you could find just around every corner. The story was
weak, but I felt like I was exploring a strange new world. Not like in Quake II where I
felt like I was in an old abandoned military complex. I have seen enough brown in Quake II
to last me a life time. Both of these games have their strengths and weaknesses. I am just
sick of all these people trashing on Unreal. When Unreal first came out there was not a
bad review to be found, but now everyone is putting it down. I am sure that Unreal will
soon be put to shame by Half-life and others, but it is not a bad game.
|Hell comes to
Personally, I've always respected
id software. Ever since Wolf3d, I've followed the company and have delighted in all of
their games. I viewed Quake 1 and Quake 2 as two separate (and both fun) games, which
approached FPS gaming from slightly different angles (yet with 100% id-style of play,
mainly focusing on quality of gameplay over a highly developed plot or supreme level
designs - though IMHO their levels are usually good quality and at least above-average).
Now when Quake 3: Arena was announced a whole lotta
people "put on the brakes" when it came to riding the id fan-bus around. Critics
have both praised and condemned the game and its concepts; even though we have seen but a
few brief glimpses of the total game. I personally took the skepticism with a fair-sized
grain of salt; yet the comments added up over time. BUT, I still stayed true to id in my
feelings about them as lords of the FPS gaming community (as a company) - and fairly
caring and "on-the-level" with their fans. They seem to support the
anti-shovelware tactics such as those that have embroiled the Duke franchise and
MicroStar; and though they DID seem a bit over-eager with some mod groups and wanting them
to license the full engine (a la Team Fortress 2) - I still feel that it was their right
as it was their technology.
So now we have this announcement that id wants to keep
Quake2 alive and kicking for a while... I KNOW its hard to turn a good profit; but we all
know that id has to have had one of the most lucrative histories in the history of
small-developer-gaming itself! Is it odd that this seems to be timed to coincide with
things like the Xmas shopping season or the release of Half-Life, another
Quake/Q2-engine-based game? Or is it just that id is hyping mods for multiplayer play
before their debut multi-player-oriented game gets ready to ship sometime in the first
half of next year!?!? While I'm a big Half-Life fanatic and all, neither of the above
questions bothers me as much as this one: WHY is id making money (by selling a retail
product) off of mods that were distributed via the Internet originally for free?? WHY
should id or its affiliates receive remuneration for the hard work and talent of so many
mod groups out there trying to show their skills, make fun game-play ideas a reality, and
make a name for themselves?? Does id feel that the mod-developers will allow this to
happen or something simply because they will get additional exposure through this? Part of
me wants to believe that id still cares about the community and isn't trying to make money
out of this deal - but it is worrisome to me that this is taking place.
I suppose I should add this disclaimer in all fairness
though: I have no evidence that shows that id is going to sell this product for more than
their cost of production; and I don't know any details about what they may or may not be
offering to the mod-development teams. HOWEVER, just ponder these simple statements:
1) id is going to be selling a retail product
2) id's "new" product is going to be other people's work (barring installation
programs or new documentation, etc).
If I were a mod-development team or team-leader and id
contacted me about this - I would sit and MAKE SURE I was getting something out of the
deal. I'm not saying you should be asking for thousands of dollars or 50% royalties... But
make sure that your team gets recognition for its work; and some sort of compensation in
lieu of the fact that id will be making their own money from this deal (i.e. Don't settle
for autographed Q3:Arena posters for your staff). I hope more details on this issue come
to light in the days to come; as at this moment I'm straddling between fan-dom and a lack
of respect; and with the already unstable nature of the gaming industry - the old mare of
fear and anticipation is buckin' something fierce.
|PMS got you down?
Use new Gex Pads!
From: The Czyz
Screw those PMS mouse pad
things, the best mouse pad I've ever used (and *still* use*) is the Gex-3D mouse pad they
gave away free at the Midway booth at E3 in Atlanta this year. Perfect size, grip-ability,
and it's got Gex the Gecko (or whatever his name is) on it.
|Will Prey become
From: Concerned Fan
Well, I can't help but
feel a little saddened by the news about Paul and William leaving 3D Realms and Prey.
I remember Duke Nukem 3D being one of the only games that
could be labeled a "Doom killer" (two years after, mind you) so when Prey was
announced all us id Software fans got little goosebumps on the backs of our necks thinking
about what 3D Realms was going to cook up. I remember screen shots and the phrase
"Quake killer" being used before Quake even hit store shelves. Publicly a lot of
Quake addicts scoffed at the thought that Prey could surpass anything by id, but deep down
I think we all wanted to see something that wowed us. That made us all quake <sic>
in our boots and watch Carmack try to beat it.
When much of the team left in '96 I think a lot of us
listened to the "don't worry, it's business as usual" schtick. But especially in
recent months as we see scads of screen shots and demos for games like Shogo, Requiem,
Thief, Prax Wars, and the like, we've also witnessed a dead quiet from the Prey team.
Right when we should be getting ready for release we have gotten eerie silence. I don't
doubt that Paul and William's departures are both directly and indirectly related to how
late the product is, and I would hazard to say that if I was 3D Realms I'd be looking to
rock the boat right about now too. But it's a shame to see the project as a shell of its
Do I think Prey is dead? No, I actually see the exact
opposite. I think the project will now enter
"Just-Get-The-F*ing-Thing-to-Market"-mode and this will almost definitely be
reflected in the quality of the game. It's really too bad to know that the game we all
feared and hoped would be the ultimate "Quake Killer" might make as many ripples
as a pebble in an ocean.
beings VS. Crackhead Czar
(or "FPS XXIII: The Crackhead Alien Flamewar")
From: Debabrata Banerjee
Czar: How's the crack pipe?
I'm saying 'hi' from the mothership, because I can
certainly see the difference between 25/35/60+ fps. How, do you ask? A PII 450
with a Voodoo2 and cl_maxfps 90 is real nice when I'm sync'd to 60hz. Ever try cl_maxfps
25, or even 35? If you can't tell the difference you must be blind. I'd sync to a
higher refresh, but unfortunately whenever the Voodoo2 can't keep up with 85/120fps you
get a little "skip" for the missed refresh. Keep in mind that this skip usually
takes place in less time than one frame at 35fps.
Start up a map and find a small room, now use the _arrow
keys_ not the mouse to turn. Now turn down your cl_maxfps to 35, and now do the same
thing. Big difference eh? If not, how thick are your glasses?
Your hardware might suck too, so if you think your
getting enough fps to convince you of fluid motion, then move around a bit and see if you
can see the individual frames, i.e. find a object and turn your POV infront of it. Do you
see multiple images? Now get up.. Look at your surroundings, and turn you head. Do you see
this in reality? NO, not unless your under flourescents, which is why I hate flourescents
personally, and it makes other people sick.
Yes I can see scanlines on NTSC, and yes the 25fps
at the movies bug me.
Bottom line: If you can't see past 35fps, good for you,
but don't try to convince me I can't.
mittens recommended for reading
From: Grant Rodgers
The following e-mail was sent
to Brett Todd.
I think it must be hard to be an editorial writer, in
which you have to express your opinions, knowing full well that they might be opposite
what the general public thinks. I feel sorry for you because every article you write has
to be about why you think others are wrong, and then said others say back to you:
1. You're completely wrong.
2. You are such a jerk.
3. Boy, are you ever a jerk.
Having said this, I give you my thoughts on your recent
rant about Quake 3, [in] which I was a member of said others.I don't take it too
seriously, it's just an offering of my opinions, similar to your recent offering.
I don't know about you, but I don't think it's always a
wise idea to give the people "what they want". Like you imply with your
comparison of the logos (I'm sure you know this, but that is not the q3 logo) minor
changes in an established genre are not enough to guarantee a game's success. However, you
state that instead of pursuing new directions, Carmack and team should crank out yet
another traditional FPS; and in doing so either make both the single and multiplayer
experiences mediocre, or make a game in which one aspect is much more emphasized than the
other, leaving customers dissatisfied with the product. In the past, a really standout
game has not been a rehash of old ideas or new twists on established hits. The instant
classics have been those that were completely different, that bucked the trend that gaming
seemed to be following. Before Wolfenstein, the most popular games were vertical side
scrollers like Commander Keen, then Wolfenstein came along and began a new genre, in the
process becoming a classic game. People don't say to developers (most of the time),
"This is what I think would be a great game, so give it to me and I will buy
it." They sit back and wait for a good developer to innovate. Thus, giving the people
"what they want" is not always the same as making a classic game. Although I
don't think appealing to such a small market is a particularly good decision financially,
Carmack has the capital to take that risk and see if he can create a new gaming sensation
(namely, easier-to-use online FPS games). He also states in the PC Gamer article that if
q3 doesn't do very well, then he will go back to the traditional format of FPS games. This
is the proper way to listen to the public. He is taking a new idea that he thinks is a
good idea, then seeing if the public likes it, then basing his next decision on that. This
is the process involved in "the continuing evolution of the gaming industry."
Carmack's move toward more specialization is not necessarily a bad thing though. He has
proven with his own company in years past that being very good at a particular aspect of
gaming can be a financially sound plan. When Wolfenstein came out, I would never have
thought that a company based entirely on making FPS games could make it in the cutthroat
gaming world. Carmack's decision to pursue the multiplayer aspect of FPSs may seem risky,
but it still has the potential to keep the company in the black while they continue to
evolve the gaming industry. What resonates with the world is not necessarily more of the
same, but is a new tone never heard before. Which are you going to notice, the bell that
simply rings more sweetly than the other hundreds of bells ringing the same note, or the
one bell that rings a different note altogether?
I can't resist addressing some specifics of your article
(in other words, here come the flames): It's possible that John Carmack is arrogant,
ignorant of the people, and solely pursuing his own interests, but I defy you to find any
programmer who thinks he is lazy. What in your opinion would be a "real Quake
3"? A copy of Unreal or Halflife with no originality? You seem to look down upon
these copies with distaste, and say that the public does not care about them, yet you say
that id should do one anyway. You speak of the evils of being "damned righteous"
and "true to your visions", and the worthlessness of "artistic
integrity", but your article seems to be full of these same evils. How can you
justify your criticism of q3's lack of a story by saying "Personally it doesn't
interest me" and then turn around and say that Carmack abandoning the original Quake
3 because it didn't interest him was "improper game design"? You condemn the PC
Gamer article for appealing to the more technically oriented because in your opinion, the
general public has no interest in the details of a game's design. Which game provides the
"full 3d shooter experience"? I haven't found a game yet that combines
backstory, scripted plot, and atmosphere with a fun to play 3d shooter in which the
backstory is little more than the standard "You have to escape this bad situation by
killing everyone in your way" and the scripted plot tells you what happened when you
pushed this button, like all the other scripted plots. Maybe what the public wants is one
shooter which focuses on being a blast to play and skips the story, and another which
focuses on the story elements more than the gameplay.
The above represents two different approaches to a
critique of your article, and should probably not be considered together. They are meant
to be separate discourses, each of which I thought had its own advantages.