Quake: The Game that Changed the FPS Genre is 20 This Year!
Old school gamers, it's almost time to celebrate. Quake, the game that has forever changed the way we look at first person shooters, is turning 20 this year! This true 3D masterpiece, complete with Trent Reznor's disturbing background music, was originally released on June 22, 1996. Since then, it's made its way to many other platforms throughout the generations.
Quake - a short history
Quake was created by a team of developers who today are the stuff of legend. The code for the game was written by John Carmack, Michael Abrash, and John Cash. The levels were designed by American McGee, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, and Tim Willits. The graphics, those depressing, brownish graphics, were designed by Adrian Carmack and Kevin Cloud. The sounds and the music of the game were created by Trent Reznor, founder of the Nine Inch Nails, and were described not as music, but "textures and ambiances and whirling machine noises and stuff". Surely, it's not something you imagine listening to while playing slots -- but within the game it works like a charm.
A game-changing game engine
Remember the original Doom? It had a 3D-ish (actually a 2.5D) environment you could explore, with awfully flat models. But Quake was different. It was the first to use polygonal models instead of pre-rendered sprites, making the environment and the enemies much more lifelike. Its levels were full 3D, and it used pre-rendered lightmaps, which was a first for the gaming industry.
What makes the Quake engine even more important is the fact that it was the first to allow users to partially program it in QuakeC, a programming language used by Carmack to code the game. This allowed players to modify the game, extend it with new models, weapons, and scenarios, as well as change game's logic and physics. This made custom modifications - MODs - hugely popular.
The Quake engine ended up powering a series of well known games, like Hexen II and Half Life. The Source engine, as we know it today, was developed based on the Quake engine. According to John Carmack's blog, there are still bits and pieces of the original Quake in Half Life 2.
Happy Birthday, Quake
3D video games as we know them today were born on the 22nd of June 1996, with the first release of Quake. Its disturbing, dark visuals and fast-paced gameplay make it a popular title with a strong fan base even today. It might not have been the best selling game of all times, but it was one of the most important for the world of first person shooters. And it deserves a glass toasted in its honor this year.