QuakeCon 2001: Gettin' Reckless in Texas

PlanetQuake and GameSpy invade Texas once again for 4 days of Quake
By - Sal "Sluggo" Accardo

John Carmack frags away during QuakeCon 2000
It's a bird! It's a rocket! It's... ...QuakeCon 2001!

That's right -- the yearly pilgrimage to the Quake series is upon us, with thousands of gamers trekking to Texas for 4 days of fun with their fellow fragmates.

As in previous years, QuakeCon 2001 is once again being held in Mequite, Texas, just minutes away from the hallowed offices of id Software. This year's event is shaping up to be the biggest ever:

  • 2000+ attendees
  • a massive LAN gaming area supporting 1000 gamers
  • a 500 person 1v1 Quake 3 tournament
  • workshops by game developers, software creators and mod authors
  • a press conference announcing new games from Activision / id
  • the annual presentation by id's John Carmack
  • special live previews of other new games in development
Of course, we'll be on hand to cover the whole thing. Here's what we're expecting to see -- and tell you about -- over the next few days:

id's Announcements and Carmack's address
Probably the biggest news of QuakeCon 2001 will come from id's press conference, scheduled for Friday afternoon. We're expecting to hear some announcements about id's and Activision's future titles, and we can only hope we'll hear some more about the new Doom game....could Quake 4 be a reality as well?

John Carmack will give his popular annual address immediately afterward, which is usually filled with lots of info on what's going into their new game engines, as well as what we can expect from future games.

zEr04, winner of the QC2K tourney.
The Tournament
One of the highlights every year is the 1v1 Quake tournament, which this year will start with 512 players before narrowing it down to one champion.

As in past years, this year's tourney will start with a few free-for-all qualifiers before whittling the field to 128 players for the 1v1 portion.

(I'm also hoping make the round of 32 for the first time in 3 years ... but don't hold your breath. :)

New Game and Product Previews
In recent years, other companies have begun attending QuakeCon, setting up booths to show off new games and products. Last year, we got to see Team Arena and the Mac G4 cube, and this year promises more of the same.

Of particular interest is Activision, who are scheduled to do previews of two games yet to be announced -- our hunch is that they'll be Soldier of Fortune 2 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, both being developed with the Quake 3 engine.

One of the booths from QuakeCon 2000.
We also got word on Tuedsay that LucasArts will be showing off the Raven-developed Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast, so there will be plenty of gaming goodness to report on.

The Workshops
Another highlight of recent QuakeCons are the workshops. These are usually hour-long sessions held by developers or other groups, designed to be of interest to attendees.

Among this year's workshops -- id's Paul Jaquays will talking about "how to get my job", giving level designers an opportunity to "trash my map", and give mod developers tips on "how to avoid being Fox-ed" (aka: get your mod shut down by using copywritten material).

Discreet will be giving classes on using their new gmax product, and Raven Software's Rick Johnson will be giving a number of talks, as will many mod developers such as Team Reaction (Jailbreak, QPong), Silicon Ice (Urban Terror), WFA Software (Weapons Factory Arena) and ShortBus (Combat).

What would QuakeCon be without lots of pictures? We have a number of p33ps on hand taking pics of the event, and we'll be posting them constantly throughout the next few days. Look -- there's Levelord! And here's a pic of there's Fargo in the pool with his clothes on! And here's a pic of the Texas police! Uh oh...

Got some cool pics of the event you want to share? Let us know!

Of course, there are usually lots of spontaneous events that pop up here and there -- remember the Original PlanetQuake Cool Case Contest?

Be sure to check in regularly over the next few days -- it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun!

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