Frags aplenty as the QuakeCon tourney wraps up, and the id team takes on the crowd.
By - Sal "Sluggo" Accardo
Over the last few years, QuakeCon has expanded to become far more than just a large LAN party. It's become a mini-E3 of sorts, with game demos, seminars, special events and any variety of things happening at a given time. This was never more apparent that Saturday at QuakeCon 2001, where a little something for everyone happening throughout the day.
Seminars / Workshops
The how-to-avoid-being-"foxed" seminar
Most of the morning and early afternoon was dedicated to various workshops. id Software's Paul Jaquays held a "trash my map" seminar, where he went over some user-submitted maps in developent. With some help from Raven Software's Jim Hughes, the two pointed out common mapping mistakes and ways to avoid them. (You can see a full writeup at trash_my_map.shtml).
Raven Software's Rick Johnson also held two workshops, giving QuakeCon attendees a rare chance to offer feedback on Quake 4 and ask people what they wanted to see in the game. For nearly three hours Rick met with the fans, who had no shortage of suggestions. Topics covered the game story, settings, gameplay, multiplayer and more. (quake4ideas.shml)
Later in the day, Paul Jaquays was back with another seminar, this time talking about copyright infringement and giving tips to mod developers on how to avoid being shut down - or as it's known, "Foxed". The panel, which included id CEO Todd Hollenshead, Caryn "Hellchick" Law and Todd Ansler, gave a series of tips that mod authors could follow to ensure that months (or even years) of hard work wouldn't go to waste due to trademark or intellectual property issues. (foxed.shtml)
The mod roundtable group
Also of note were the various mod developer workshops and showcases held throughout the day. Teams such as ShortBus ("Combat"), Team Reaction ("Jailbreak", "QPong Arena"), Silicon Ice ("Urban Terror"), WFA Software ("Weapons Factory Arena") and the Q3Fortress team all held sessions throughout Saturday. Ending the day's sessions was part II of the mod developer roundtable (which was cut short by Friday's press conference), at which everyone got together and continued to discuss some of the recent QuakeCon announcements and the day's events.
id Software in the 2v2 challenge
Around 2 PM, things started to shift toward the tourney area, as the big 1v1 Quake 3 tournament speeded towards it's conclusion. At the same time, id's Robert Duffy and Tim Willits, along with Todd Hollenshead, Marty Stratton and other id employees, took on all challengers in an nVidia-sponsored 2v2 CTF challenge. The task - beat either of the two id Software teams on Q3Tourney6 and win a GeForce 3 or GameBoy Advance.
Unfortunately for the challengers, the home team had their way with just about everyone. The challenge went on for almost 4 hours, and at the end, the two id teams had won every match but two. Duffy / Willits lone loss was an 8-7 squeaker, and -- despite my ill-advised smack talk -- my own team (with Hellchick as my partner) lost to them quickly and quietly with an embarrassing 8-0 loss. Rumor is they play this map every day, and it shows -- they're damn good.
Around 6PM, another section of the tourney was opened to reveal a staging area with two large projector screens. For the first time, the QuakeCon tournament finals would be played on a large stage for everyone to watch.
The 1v1 tourney semifinals
First up was a semifinal between stx|revenant and perpetual tourney winner fatal1ty. Unfortunately for stx|revenant, fatal1ty started out strong and never let up, cruising to a 21-0 victory.
The main event pitted fatal1ty against last year's champion, zeRo4, with the winner taking home a whopping $30,000. It was close for a while - zeRo4 jumped out 2-0, but fatal1ty clawed out a frag to make it 2-1, and for a while, had zeRo4 on the run. It wasn't meant to be, though - some strong rail shots allowed zeR04 to pull away, and he repeated as champion with a 10-4 victory.
Wrapping up the day was a party thrown by id Software for all QuakeCon attendees, starting with an awards ceremony for all the top finishers. With the tournament over, and local industrial-rock band Squee-G on hand to supply the entertainment, fans were finally free to kick back and have some fun without having to think about practicing for their next match or hurrying off to the next workshop, and partied into the night.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
While QuakeCon is hurtling towards its final day, there are still a number of events left. A portion of the Quake Movie will be shown early in the day, and later QuakeCon attendees will be showing off their slickest computer cases.
We're be there to the end…and then maybe sleeping for a few days.