Great Quake Article

This got sent to me by multiple people , it is an excellent article on the development of Quake in 1995-1996.

There’s a lot of nostalgia articles about id around, but for this one I mostly I want to comment on Romero because really any non-technical article or discussion of Doom development or Quake development has to include stuff about him or frankly, it’s pretty boring.  At the time of Quake 2/3 there was a lot of hate on Romero about his alleged work ethic, playing games all the time, the Killcreek stuff and the general perception from the internet (mostly stuff on bluesnews) that he was fucking shit up all over the place, and then came Daikatana.

While all of these things may be true,  I beg to differ that it was detrimental in terms of the final deliverable of Quake, especially Quake (and Doom’s) deathmatch. This article confirms somethings people felt a few years after it shipped (no one really knew what was going on at id a the time of development), but if you read it, once the decision was made for it to be a FPS and not and RPG game, Romero helped make Quake beyond awesome, and part of that was his addiction to his own game.

JORTS!

While I like a lot of other First Person Shooters, Quake is still one of the most enjoyable free for all mutliplayer.  The engine is solid and it works extremely well with multiple players when they are all physically near each other– something that modern engines for FPS do not do.  That aside for now, I feel like the fact that Romero and American McGee played Deathmatch all day long when they were supposed to be ‘working’ actually made DM in Quake, Quake 2 and Quake 3 the absolute best it could be (yes I know Romero was gone after Q2).  Romero was more than a designer, he was the near ultimate consumer of his own creation, and for this, despite all the drama around him being let go from id, and the Diakatana debacle, was a critical component for the success of the game.  While I had dabbled in the Quake single player game, soon I was only playing CTF and DM and didn’t finish the SP for a year or so after it’s release, even though we played DM just about every day for 2-3 hours.   In fact, I cannot have imagined playing a game more fervently than we played Quake.  It was pretty much the focal point to everything we did for YEARS there– a bit after Quake 2 came out is when I started to go off the constant deathmatch (only to be revived again when Q3 came out).  And why was Quake’s DM so good and we still play it at every LAN? The tech of course, and american mcgee’s levels (the Bad Place for instance) but for the gameplay? I say Romero and his addiction to playing his own team’s games.

NECROMUNDA!!!!

We are getting real close people to release day for the new Necromunda. I picked up the November White Dwarf (and it’s a heavy fuckin mag) and I’m pretty pumped about the game. There’s a long interview with the developers about how they started out using 40K 8th (a good ruleset mind you) but it just didn’t quite fit so they made changes, the largest one being model to model turns rather than IGOYO that 40K and WFB have.

Now, I think that the 40K 2nd edition rules that power Necromunda1 and Gorkamorka are some of the best skirmish rules there are, and many have tried their hand at making something better with mixed results (Mordheim: no, LotR SBG: in some ways yes), so I have some hesitation about changing from 2E 40K… but I will certainly pick up the box set and go from there.

Needless to say, the models this time around are superlative. While the old models from 1995 were OK in most cases, some of the gangs looked pretty stupid in retrospect (the Van Saar). Yes, the Eschers (by Jes Goodwin) were excellent and I have a bunch of them. Getting a good look at the new ones I am quite impressed. The meatbag Goliaths are a massive improvement over the old models.

Where do I have some trepidation? First, this is going to be an expensive buy in to start with the core set and gang war– probably close to 200$ all told. Second, I haven’t been painting all that much in the last few years. My eyes (as predicted by my eye doctor) have gone to SHIT. While I have glasses to handle the mid and long distances, my close range is not too good. Yet, 10-15 models won’t be all that bad.  Lastly, the 3d terrain is going to be pricy, however, if you’ve seen my other posts on necromunda, I’ve got the old sets and the HULK (plus some AT-43 terrain) that should work just fine.

Yeahhhhh

Dungeon Degenerates!

I was one of the proud backers of this game TOTALLY ON THE ART ALONE and did so with no regrets.  However,  we have here an  interesting game on our hands in addition to being a beautiful one!  The art is basically gamer porn if you love Aly Morrison and John Blanche stuff from GW of old.  Chaos Marauders feels like a strong influence for the art style, both ooze theme, but this shit goes to 11 in metal.

If I was to compare this game to anything I would say it’s like a coop version of Tom Wham’s Search for the Emperor’s Treasure with a much darker backdrop and a bit more complexity in a few areas.   If you’ve never played SFtET that’s OK, it should become obvious what type of game this is with a brief description.

You are a group of escaped prisoners from the city dungeon of Brutellburg in the province of Wurstriech.  Wurstreich is getting worse and more dangerous all the time. The party can choose to fulfill various missions (or not) as you run away from the law and various monsters.  These missions lead to other missions and then you have a long story arc for your party through the game. You level up(sort of) and buy new gear as well.

Glorious!

 

The rulebook is a bit daunting. I read through it as a PDF a while back but didn’t have the game in front of me so very little STUCK up inside the brain. I have given it a go solo and here are a few things to look for in your first play.

  1. Paths can be used, but you cannot fast travel (force march) on them until they are explored
  2. It’s very important to understand the threat / town level system for the game as it determines encounters (the meat of the game). Which spaces have their distinct threat level and which share with their territory is critical to note.
  3.  Roads and paths are ‘spaces’ so you draw a danger card every time you move on to one. (I know this seems obvious but…)
  4. Combat – note that most combats you are rolling 5 dice. 2 are defense, 2 are offense and one power die. It’s a straight forward system similar to Search for the Emperor’s Treasure.  There are LOTS of conditions and effects to track as well as ‘approach’ effects such as ambushing.
  5. The Danger cards are worth reading and re-reading about as they have some things that will seem odd at first.  the TAGGING of the main threat number is critical as that’s the deck you draw from.   At it’s most complex, it is an encounter (card) draw, plus an Epic monster, plus normal monsters that are NOT of the area you are in. You need to know how to match the threat level on the card to the threat level on the space or area you are in. This is the most complex thing in the game, so study it closely for faster play.
  6. You SPEND your XP when you rest and you SPEND your gold when you rest in a town area for loot.  Your XP does not accumulate to level you up, you level up by buying skills.
  7. Read and re read the hand of doom rules.

Tuesday night will be the first play through with people (though my kids may force my hand earlier) and I’ll post feelings then on more than just the presentation.

Last I want to say this.  I got Massive Darkness and this within a few weeks of each other.  Both are Co-op Explore/Kill/Loot/Mission games.  Dungeon Degenerates I actually set up and played immediately and will do so again asap.  Massive Darkness — I doubt it will get busted out even with the kids until Xmas or something.

Chicken Dinner

I won a round of PUBG.  Wow.  Adrenaline pumping still.

How:

  1. hiding a lot
  2. not dropping in to known fucked areas (KFA’s)
  3. moving from cover to cover at the end
  4. luck.  I was in the first circle so didn’t have to take it on the arches or go find a vehicle.  Later, a guy one tree over from me ran to loot a guy he shot nearby and I hit him with a frag and then didn’t loot. Don’t loot at the end of the game.
  5. Final 1v1 shooting*.  I hit the guy partially hiding at a nearby tree with the shotgun and kept firing.  He couldn’t figure out where the shots were coming from and moved to the side of the tree that I was shooting at. He was standing up to try to see where I was shooting from (I have done this many times) and I was able to hit him 3-4 more times.

*I am a terrible shot with all weapons.

My final equipment (read it and weep!): Shotgun, Micro Uzi, dirty tank top, bike helmet, painkillers. I had lots of ammo though as I went through two houses that had already been looted and they left tons of shells and 9mm.  I never fired the micro uzi.

Pictures.

Feel the joys of bush.

Don’t be nervous

There’s quite a bit I should write about PUBG, but really it’s just a simple game that does what it tries to do very well.   If you’ve played a lot of battlefield games, you will really like it– it feels less pointless though you really won’t get the weapons you want when you need them.  A major studio (like DICE) could have knocked out in a few months and are probably kicking themselves that something like this got so big so quick– an idea that everyone has had, but they just didn’t go for it.  These guys did and it’s paid off for them and of course, for us.

Thursday articles of interest

Here’s some stuff.

Merciful death of the fad controller

That’s the wonderful thing about the game industry. Almost everyone burns out of it by the time they’re 35, so whatever institutional memory they developed disappeared and a new generation of worker bees is brought in to make all the same mistakes again.

80’s warhammer pictures that will give you a huge boner

FZD term 3 projects

Immersion is fake and a menace.

Even if it seems certain that you will lose, retaliate. Neither wisdom nor technique has a place in this. A real man does not think of victory or defeat. He plunges recklessly towards an irrational death. By doing this, you will awaken from your dreams.

HOB!

Hob is out as of yesterday. I put an hour in tonight and it reminds me of… Mario 64.  Remember that?  It was awesome.  If you like that type of game, you will love it.

The game is a total departure from Torchlight 2, the only things similar are some of the aesthetics and the scale of the game.  That said, there are some item management aspects as you can power up your sword and your arm.