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    PlanetQuake | Articles | Interviews | Big Fuzzy Focus: ThreeWave CTF
   

Big Fuzzy Focus: ThreeWave CTF
Frags and flags from a name you can trust
— by Pappy-R


 - click for full size image
Your virtual menu awaits!

Introduction

ThreeWave CTF is a name you should know if you've ever grabbed a flag in an FPS game. This is the group that started it all when Quake 1 was still new and so were modifications. The crew working on the latest incarnation of the mod have yet to release until later today, and it's striving for quality that kept this project under wraps for so long.

ThreeWave CTF has released map packs and a compilation pack up to this point, just a glimpse of what kind of solid feel they were going for, but little was known what the mod would bring until very recently. New gameplay modes, powerups, grapple action that depends on the gameplay and a lot more is packed into this first release. Oh and more maps, yes maps! Selection is key when you're trying to keep players interested and the crew has this area covered in spades.

The play is solid, as solid as you'd expect when you have someone as experienced as Casey at the helm of a powerful crew. The coding has moved along solidly and bugs are not treated nicely. I got a back seat to the last few weeks of development on ThreeWave CTF and bugs were squished as soon as they popped their annoying little heads out. A new build would be on the servers the next day, and the hammering began anew. The virtual menu for map and play mode you and the other fraggers will use is sweet as you please. Selecting the level from the galleries and the play type to use in a virtual vote is a great little addition, and so is waiting for the vote to go down because they've thrown in some side action where you frag your head off until things are set. No boring lines here!

Just so I don't keep you here all day when you could be checking out the info and pics that await, I'll get right to the Q & A section with the guys from the band.

Interview

Pappy: Tell us a bit about the project.

Dekard: Threewave will be a modification for Quake3: Arena mainly for CTF although other new gametypes will be possibly be supported through the portal in future releases. As most Quakers are likely aware Threewave has been through several reincarnations throughout the whole Quake series. This time we have cooked up something a little special for the ol' school Quakers out there, a portal system that players will feel quite at home with.. The portal system is very reminiscent of the Quake Threewave portal where you could vote for episodes, for Quake3 we are letting clients vote for maps and gametypes.

We have several portal maps to choose from an 8 map portal to a full 64 map portal, players spawn in this portal after each map to pick the next map they would like to play, after they choose a map to play on via the portal they will then enter one of several mini-games like (Pineapple Fury, Silly Quad, Lava Doom, or Quad Gauntlet Tag). These mini-games last approximately 60 seconds from the time the first map is voted for, after the mini-game is over everyone respawns in an arena where they then walk through the gametype they wish to play with the map that won in the vote. Gametypes include Classic CTF, Threewave CTF, CaptureStrike.

Clients are then whisked away to play their map and gametype of choice. With the Threewave release Thursday, October 11, 2001.. we will have 35 quality CTF maps gamers can play on. 8 maps from Compilation pack 1 (Plus 1 small fun map), 8 maps from Compilation 2 (Plus 1 small fun map), 8 Classic CTF maps, then to round this package of 35 maps is redesigned original 3 Threewave maps redesigned and 5 new ones (Plus 1 small fun map).

Pappy: Have you been encouraged by the Betas you've released or Alphas you've tested under a closed atmosphere?

Sludge: More in the quality of the tester's responses than the quantity. Those who have responded have personally encouraged me to work ten hours a day to get this thing out the door. Comments like 'my jaw was on the floor', or anecdotes about people falling off their chair and capping flags on their knees next to their desks really get me anxious to share our work with the world.

Dekard: We've had 'a lot' of positive feedback and quality well described bug reports from our testers, we've also had a few negative responses (like how the grapple should feel, etc.) and we try to come up with a median solution where the majority of players can be happy with solution we implement. We've had positive comments from Fred Nilsson over at id, and Hal-9000 who's map is in our Compilation Map Pack 2 who works over at Electronic Arts. Those comments always make you feel good when you know people who get paid to make games dig your work too.. :)

Pappy: How long has the project been in development, and using this as a guide, how long do you expect it to take before it's a completed work you can sit back from and smile?

Sludge: I am the major hardass on the team who puts his foot down and insists on feature freeze so we can get this thing out the door. Because of that, there'll be another version with more features and more maps after our big release. I come from a background of about eight years of serious programming, and I have never been 100% satisfied with any of the software I've written. It's impossible to be when you are so intimately knowledgeable with the nuances and therefore shortcomings of the software.

I foresee the next major hurdle for ThreeWave as a development team being the overcoming of the 'second system effect'. The first release will contain a lot of polish and many features, but as I said, many have also been removed. Our goal will be to put in more features, but a lack of decision on what should go in and what should stay out should be avoided despite the fact that our initial release will have bought us considerable time.

Dekard: I'd have to agree with Sludge here, he is a hard ass. :) According to Casey, The Threewave project has been in development since last September in theory, and in actual code time and mapping, etc, since January. As Sludge stated above we had to leave out some of the features we really wanted to include in this version just because of the feature freeze and the time it would take to implement the features. We already working on the 'todo' list for the next version. The Classic CTF radio is pack is one example I would of loved to have that in before this release but we wanted to get this out and in the community and with the "$" location macros back in place it will make the radio pack compliment those very efficiently for future release.

Next: the grilling continues


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