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    PlanetQuake | Articles | Interviews | Big Fuzzy Focus: QPong
   

Big Fuzzy Focus: QPong
They've got big balls...
— by Pappy-R


 - click for full size image
Say hello to Mr. Grapple!

Pappy: What was the motivation behind the project? Was it just an idea you thought would be fun or is this to be part of a resume for a job in the game development biz?

BinaryC: Dave Wallin (Whitenoise) originally made QPong for Quake2 way back when Team Reaction was still a wee little sapling. That mod was arguably the best mod ever created, so we thought it would be only fitting to make a quake3 version. I never really thought of it as something to add to my resume, I just wanted to make something really fun. Now that I'm going to the Guildhall at SMU, I don't really need it as a resume builder.

Lifer!: It's something that we all thought would be fun to do. I remember playing the original Qpong when it won the PCGamer/Id Software Mod Contest. PCGamer had their server up and running, and it was a blast! Part of me was dying to relive some of those fun times playing it again on a newer engine.

Pappy: What have been the hardest goals to achieve to date, and do you have them licked or still on the drawing board?

Lifer!: I'd say getting the ball physics right was the hardest thing. So far, we have it licked pretty good.

BinaryC: The hardest part for me so far has been the physics. I had to pretty much code up the physics for the balls from scratch, as Quake3 doesn't really have anything like it built in. Then we had to tweak the masses of the balls and the coefficients of restitution, which was a fairly lengthy and painstaking process. The grapple hook was also kind of tough to tweak so it felt right.

Pappy: Was it difficult getting a team together, and are you still looking for help?

Lifer!: It's always difficult getting a team together. Fortunately, Team Reaction has been around for a long time, so we have a good team established. Still, it can be tough. Many of us have real life jobs or school, and modding is only a hobby for us. So it can be hard finding the time to work on a project.

As for help, we're always on the lookout for people with talent and the drive to go with it.

Mank: The most difficult thing that we've encountered is finding people who are willing to learn the new tools that are made available whenever a new game is released. It's taking longer and longer to create content with each successive game release, and as a result it's getting a lot more difficult finding people who are able to dedicate the amount of time needed to see a project thru to completion.

As for new talent -- we're well underway with developement of Q3Gloom, so we'll definately be keeping an eye out for people interested in contributing to that project.

Pappy: What do you think are the strongest points or features about your project that will attract players?

Jherax: The strongest quality of Q3Pong lies in the simplicity of its gameplay. We’ve managed to take everything that was fun about Q2 Pong and bring it to a new platform along with some new features that add fun to the game play. The grapple is a prime example of this -- it really helped to add a new and interesting twist to the game play.

Another strong point of this release is some of the designs that have been put into the release maps. Although they may not look as sharp as some of the other maps that have been released for the Quake 3 engine, they all provide for one hell of a fraggin’ good time.

Mank: I agree. In many regards this mod is as simplistic in its approach to gameplay as Jailbreak was, and based on the feedback that we've received during the Alpha and Beta stages, we've attacked this project on the premise that sometimes less means more.

Pappy: How open do you think you are to community suggestions, and have there been many?

BinaryC: The best suggestions that we get are actually from Quakecon where we can sit down with people and play it with them and hear their feedback. That's mostly how we tweaked out the parameters for the physics. One big thing that I changed at the suggestion of another developer was NiceAss gave me the player movement code from Reaction Quake 3, claiming that it is much better than the stock Quake3 movement code. I tend to agree.

Mank: The developement of this mod has been somewhat different than our previous releases, being that since we've never *officially* released it, we've had to rely on feedback from places like Quakecon and other LAN events, which has been a real plus during the development of the mod.

Pappy: Why did you choose the Quake 3 engine for your work?

BinaryC: The number one reason is because it's the engine we all know best. We had just finished doing Jailbreak for Quake3, and we had all worked on Quake2 mods before that, so it was a natural step.

Mank: What can I say? Since AlienQuake, and Doom even before that, Whitenoise chose Id's games because of their support and the kick ass nature of their games. And in that regard the cornerstone for Team Reaction's foundation was laid a long time ago. I dont see that changing anytime soon.

Pappy: If you could have anything you want happen with the project, what would that be?

Lifer!: I think the one thing I'd want is for people to have fun playing it, and enjoy it.

Mank: Since beta 1.666 was released at Qcon in 2001, Q3Pong has been a huge LAN party favorite all over the world, so we've already gotten back way more than we could have ever hoped for.

We can only hope that this release will be as well received.


Related Links:
  Team Reaction homepage
  Q3Pong homepage


Next: Ten glorious screenshots!

Have any questions or comments? Fire them off to our feedback mail.


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