They're in the middle of crunch-time in preparation for the September launch of Rage, but id Software and Bethesda have taken a brief timeout to remember the Dallas studio's first foray into real 3D gameplay with the iconic Quake on it's 15th birthday.
Yep, 15 years ago today in 1996 Quake launched and blazed many new trails for the first person shooter genre. The official Bethesda blog has a great note from id Software founder, lead programmer and tech messiah John Carmack describing many of the game's features that were groundbreaking at the time, including support for 3D graphics accelerators and the client/server network model (that many devs and publishers still don't recongised the importance of today).
The internet gaming aspect was almost an accident. I had moved from Doom’s peer-to-peer networking to client/server primarily to allow late game entry, and UDP was supported because I was still doing a lot of the development on NEXTSEP unix workstations. The idea of playing over the internet was always there, but I didn’t think it would be practical for many people due to the long latencies and variable performance of typical connections. When it turned out that people were doing it despite the low quality, it gave me the incentive to develop the alternative QuakeWorld executable with the various latency reduction mechanisms.
Check out the complete letter over on bethblog.com
where you'll also find a retro video of the 1996 Quakeworld launch event.
Most long-time readers are no-doubt aware that the very roots of the AusGamers site and community sprouted from the early days of Quake LAN gatherings and tournaments and really evolved from there, so it's fair to say that we probably wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for that game and all that stemmed from it. Happy birthday Quake.