Regular mod watchers have no doubt heard some rather startling
news of late. After more than a year of development, the Generations
mod has been discontinued. For the uninformed, Generations was
a mod in progress for Quake 2, one that contained unique player
classes based upon characters from past id Software games - the
Doom Guy, Quake Guy, Quake 2 Guy and Wolfenstein Guy. Although
the concept was certainly a lot of fun and had some serious potential,
all was not well.
the mod progressed at a steady pace for over a year, it ran into
some rather hot water only days ago. Apparently, the mod faced
some legality issues with id, and was supposedly in violation
of various copyright laws. After a very brief period of silence,
the Generations team came forward and announced that the mod had
officially been canceled.
So what happened?
Rumors appeared left and right, as many fans were rather bitter
towards id for seemingly "foxing" the mod. Even a few gaming websites
(which will remain nameless) went ahead and said that the mod
had been axed directly by id. But was it? Apparently not, according
to the development team themselves. I had a chance to talk with
Lee "Lee 'Mon" Montgomery, the leader of the Generations team,
about exactly what happened with Generations, and where things
are going from here on.
spite of the seemingly endless supply of mods that have been released
for Quake 2 over the past year and a half, Generations always
seemed like one of the more original projects. How was the original
concept created and had it gone through any real changes before
reaching its final state?
asked... many might consider it to be the LEAST original concept.
Generations was started by fans of id Software--people that had
played and loved Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, and Quake II. Many
fans had always wanted to see a game that combined id's greatest
first-person shooters together. The possibilities seemed endless.
Placing the characters in the different single player environments...
deathmatching with your favorite game character against other
player's favorites... even the ability to bring back the classics
enticed the players. Over a year ago, thanks to some planning
by our coder and founder, Gaz Iqbal (aka Skid), the concept for
such a game, codenamed Generations, became a reality. Thankfully,
the original concept--to combine the greatest FPS of all time,
as a tribute to id Software --has remained virtually untouched
throughout the production process.
was an extremely ambitious project - was the team solely in charge
of its development, or were you taking contributions from the
to say that the line between the Generations team and its fans
was never black-and-white. After all, we were doing the game for
them, so we were more than willing to hear what they wanted to
see in Generations. Of course, you always get the deviants--the
people who wanted Duke Nukem included, or Hexen and Heretic, or
even Commander Keen--but we were always able to find out what
the majority clearly wanted. As the list grew--Coop support, Single
player missions for all four classes, pickup games, Capture The
Flag, bots--we gained more people on the team, quite often people
who were fans of the project. Hey, it's how I got to be where
I am today! I started out as a fan of Generations, began working
on areas they needed help, offered support with critical decisions...
and somehow, today, I find myself in charge of the project--in
total control, in fact, since Skid left about a month ago.
had been in development for quite awhile - over a year. Did you
ever consider that you may have been overstepping some legal boundaries
with it, or didn't that thought ever occur to you?
the legality of Generations concerned me the first time I heard
of the project. When I entered the team, I posed the question
to Skid. I was assured that id had been informed of the project
well before our first release, and that they had given approval
for the project as long as it was noncommercial. However, Skid
had lost the original email, and could not show it to me. So,
as long as Skid was with the team, I assumed we were in the clear.
After being left in charge of the project, however, the legal
concerns were brought back up. I decided the best thing to do
was to email id Software, and ask for a copy of the original agreement.
While I was writing, I would ask for clarification on the use
of registered levels. We had included a few in our last release,
and I want to make sure they were alright. Well, this simple email
started the exchange that has led us to this point today.
said that you did have permission from id Software to persue the
mod originally, but they recently stated that they had no knowledge
of that. Why, after over a year, did id begin questioning the
legality of Generations?
that one slightly wrong. Saturday, I said that id apparently had
forgotten about our existence. To the best of my knowledge, they
never said they had no knowledge of Generations. In fact, after
the initial confusion by id and myself faded, Todd Hollenshead
forwarded the original email exchange to me. Although I cannot
forward these emails to you, I can tell you that the wording by
both parties was vague, at best. Skid went into little detail
about the actual goal of the project. id, in turn, listed a few
precautionary restrictions (including that the mod be noncommercial)
and ended with, "you should be fine." The end result, from a legal
perspective, is that we received a license for virtually nothing
we couldn't do anyway.
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