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QuakeCon

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15,000+ cans of energy drink consumed at QuakeCon 2013


*jitters*
Aug 05
// Dale North
Have you ever been to QuakeCon? It's fantastic. I missed it this year, and an infographic that Bethesda sent along shows me exactly what I missed.  Take the jitters. It's a reality for this 24-hour-a-day event, located i...
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Everquest Next, Arkham Multiplayer & Xbox GPU Upgrade


The Destructoid Show sleeps through its alarm sometimes
Aug 02
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! I'm wearing a really stupid shirt, it must be Friday! Suddenly, there are two new Everquest Next games on the horizon, and they look really cool. Quakecon is happening right now, and there's some Bethesda news...
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Here's the full QuakeCon livestreaming schedule


Watch talks and tournaments right on your computer
Aug 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
QuakeCon kicks off today! The giant convention and tournament is held in Austin, Texas and this year we can see some of the convention from the comforts of our own homes. Today you'll be able to watch the welcome keynote host...
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Every Bethesda and id game is on sale on Steam right now


Skyrim, Fallout, Quake, and so much more
Aug 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Update: I somehow missed this earlier, but ALL the games on sale here can be yours for $89.99 in the QuakeCon pack. That's 44 games, folks!] QuakeCon is happening down in Texas this week! For those of you that can't make it,...
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Play Wolfenstein and the Dishonored DLC at QuakeCon


Plus The Edler Scrolls Online will be playable
Jul 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
QuakeCon kicks off next month on August 1, and Bethesda has revealed what we can expect to see at the show. The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Dishonored: Brigmore Witches will all be playable. Plus the...
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QuakeCon 2013 pre-registration opens next week


Premium packages available
Apr 11
// Dale North
QuakeCon 2013 is right around the corner. Pre-registration for the event opens next week, on April 15. While admission is always free for attendees, premium packages will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis for thos...
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QuakeCon 2013 dated August 1-4


Back in Dallas
Feb 26
// Dale North
QuakeCon is back this year, coming back to Dallas, Texas this August 1-4. As always, attendance is free, thanks to id Software and Bethesda Softworks. The latter will be showing of upcoming games for the first time there, the...
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So long and thanks for all the man sweat, QuakeCon 2012


Aug 06
// Allistair Pinsof
Despite being 100+ degrees outside in Dallas, Texas all week, we somehow survived QuakeCon. Maybe having amazing A/C in the Hilton had something to do with it. I had low expectations going to QuakeCon this year, but was surpr...
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So much Bawls in this QuakeCon 2012 image gallery


Aug 05
// Allistair Pinsof
QuakeCon is over, but we haven't left without some memories: Stressing over a lost laptop, eating some amazing food (not P'zolos), and chugging some warm, disgusting 5 Hour Energy. Here's our photographic proof that QuakeCon ...

QuakeCon: This is the Rise of the Triad that you remember

Aug 05 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232549:44608[/embed] Rise of the Triad (PC)Publisher: Apogee SoftwareDeveloper: Interceptor Entertainment Release: Fall 2012MSRP: $14.99 If the multiplayer demo of ROTT was pre-alpha, the single-player demo was pre-delta. The game played under the framework of the multiplayer, including a time counter and a kill count at the top of the screen. Despite the demo being ghetto-rigged, it gave me a good impression of how far the single-player campaign will deviate from the original. As in, not very. Though I only saw the first level of the game, I get a sense that for every room of a ROTT level you recognize there will be one that you don't. Interceptor is taking the original levels as a blueprint and consulting Joe Seigler, who was a level designer on the original, but they aren't limiting themselves entirely to the original maps. The same is true of the bosses which will find familiar faces who will have new advantages on the player. These encounters will come down to a lot more than just "shoot the guy in the face." It will be more like "shoot those two generators while dodging obstacles and then shoot the guy in the face." Though nostalgia is key to the project, Interceptor are trying to do something more than a pixel-by-pixel recreation. Some changes are for the better while others are just kind of neat. The flamewall is now consistently confined to an area, instead of stretching across any space. Don't worry: You can still mow down enemies with it and cause other players to swear like sailors online. Coins are still collectable and make an appropriate arcade-like sound when picked-up. The developer is working on a novel multiplayer mode where players retrieve coins for their team but drop them all (a la Sonic the Hedgehog) when hit. The wonderful quirks that defined the original ROTT will return. Maps will still be filled with secrets, you can play the game on holidays for Easter eggs, and enemies will beg for their lives. And, yes, the game is still full of jump pads but they have been redesigned by an electrical propulsion engineer who is friends with the developer. As a result, they look a lot less silly even though their application and placement remains nonsensical. At the start of the game, you can choose between five characters that each have their pros and cons. For example, one character may be able to sustain more damage but will be slower, making him a poor choice for speed runs. The cheesy one-liners of the original will remain, but there will also be contextual dialogue inspired by Uncharted. You can toggle between the original's sound and music or the new re-imagined version at any time. Considering it took the developer five months to get to this point, I think it will take nothing short of a miracle for them to make their Fall 2012 release window. Nevertheless, the developer isn't shy about talking DLC. Free DLC that is, including various weapons packs. There will also be an expansion pack based on The Hunt Begins shareware. The game will also be fully moddable via Steamworks. Interceptor are some crazy dudes and not just due to this remake. It goes much further than that and you can read about it all in a feature in the coming week. They may just be crazy enough to make this reboot work. Even though there was no Dog mode or boss fights to be found in this demo, they will be in the final version along with everything else great about the original. Although I'm not convinced there is still a market for such a specific nostalgic trip, I'd love to be proved wrong. The game is still slated for a Fall 2012 release via Steam, but a console release hasn't been ruled-out. The Unreal Engine 3 makes a port feasible and the developer has interest, so keep your fingers crossed.
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] I drove up to QuakeCon expecting a great D...

Top five PC rigs of QuakeCon 2012

Aug 05 // Allistair Pinsof
5. Nuka-Cola Though it's not the flashiest tower of the show, the graphic design and lighting make this Fallout-themed PC stand-out on the show floor. If Nuka-Cola did make PCs, I have a feeling they wouldn't look this good. 4. The Next Level Of all the beefy, over-the-top rigs of the show, this one has to be my favorite. Between its chrome casing and intricate lighting (visit gallery for more images), I walked away rather impressed despite the douchey name given to it by its maker. 3. Trifecta It's funny how some people bring the biggest PCs with the biggest monitors to QuakeCon, while this guy powers three small connected monitors off a tiny box you can't even see. It's about the size of a laptop's power brick. The guy seemed rather humble too, but maybe that's because he was busy kicking ass in Left 4 Dead. 2. Vault PC Just look at that thing! Now that's some serious fan service. If you look closely you can see the paint job isn't great and if you touch it you can feel its made mostly of Styrofoam, but these things hardly dull the effect of this amazing Fallout 3 rig. 1. The Hulk While I can't say for sure this is made by the winner of our top ten list last year, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest. It shares the use of figurines (Marvel action figures, this time), a similar aesthetic, and is stationed on a raised platform in the aisle instead of of placed on the table. This guy clearly puts some time and effort into being the best of QuakeCon so who are we to deny him that? See you next year, I guess? For more pictures of the above rigs, visit our gallery.
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] One of my favorite things to do at QuakeCo...

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These new Dishonored screens will disturb you


Aug 05
// Allistair Pinsof
We got hold of some new images for the upcoming Dishonored, including some rather disturbing ones from the Lady Boyle mission I recently previewed. That baby mask is really something. I'm glad I didn't come across it during m...

QuakeCon Preview: Falling through the TV with Oculus Rift

Aug 04 // Allistair Pinsof
What we got our hands on is only a prototype and not the finished model being funded through Kickstarter, but it did give us a glimpse into the future of immersive games. The awful memories of heavy, whiplash-inducing headsets and lagging, ugly visuals become a distant memory once you put these goggles on. Even though you are looking at an aging game (Doom 3) with hardware literally taped together, you can’t help but smile at the future that Carmack is building. This is 2012’s curved hallways: A gaming innovation so simple in concept but has long been so hard to achieve for all except Carmack. The hype around this technology is deserved, but it did sour my first experience with Rift due to high expectations. While Oculus and Carmack are building the future, they haven’t built it quite yet. The first two things I noticed upon wearing the VR set was the low resolution and limited 90-degree view. Carmack stressed that these are both minor issues that will be addressed in time, but they proved to be noticeable obstacles in becoming fully immersed in the game. I felt like I was staring point blank at a CRT -- a jarring experience in the 1080p-era. Once I got past this complaint, I started to realize how fluid the visuals were and how I felt my presence in the game’s world. Believe me when I say this is not hyperbole: I felt a keen sense that I could take a literal step back into the game’s world. I could turn my head to see what is behind me and look up toward the ceiling. Where the experience lost me a bit was in the motion controlled gun. My head movement mapped to my aiming, so I could very slightly alter my view to raise and lower my gun. For the VR demo, Carmack removed all HUD elements which made for a rather miserable playing experience since I had no way to aim my gun The red laser on Doom 3’s machine gun is there for visual flair and will actually lead to inaccurate shots if you aim by it. Carmack thinks new players will find aiming through VR sets easier than a game controller. This may be so but Carmack’s demo didn’t help sell me on this point. Carmack and Oculus are doing what arcades and even the military could never achieve. Though Carmack isn’t planning on touching feedback vests and smell-o-vision, he is taking one dream-turned-laughing-stock of ‘90s gaming and making it into the reality we all wanted twenty-something years ago. This QuakeCon demo may not have sold me on this being the future -- who wants to stand to play a game or turn their head constantly in a heated multiplayer match? -- but it’s interesting to see how far Carmack has brought this technology. As of right now, Oculus Rift isn’t for journalists and gamers but developers who share the same dream that Carmack does. Together they may build new experiences we can’t even conceive right now. Considering that, maybe it’d be better to hear what developers think of Carmack’s new tech toy? Stay tuned for an upcoming feature where we ask developers what they think of the Oculus Rift.
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] Leave it to id Software mastermind John Ca...

QuakeCon Preview: Going to hell in Doom 3's Lost Mission

Aug 04 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232545:44598[/embed] Doom 3: BFG Edition (PC [previewed], Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)Developer: id SoftwarePublisher: Bethesda SoftworksRelease: October 16, 2012MSRP: $39.99Whether out of curved expectations or improvements made to an eight-year-old game, I was surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying Lost Mission. Though the game still lacks the open space, high enemy count, and ridiculous speed that defined Doom 1 & 2, this new environment brings Doom 3 a bit closer to its heritage. Instead of creeping down dark corridors with a flashlight in hand, I strafed past enemy projectiles while filing the screen with rockets. I didn’t play Doom 3 until 2008 but I was still impressed with its visuals on a PC with max settings. BFG makes the game look even better with a redesigned lighting system and impressive 3D capabilities (for those with the proper hardware to use it). The game looks better than many current releases, yet doesn’t seem all that different than I remember. That’s pretty much all you can ask of a HD re-release. As Jim Sterling said in his E3 preview, BFG Edition makes some minor changes to the combat. Most noticeably, the flashlight is now accessible while carrying a weapon. However, the flashlight has a battery that drains quickly. I personally was a fan of the flashlight in the original, since some memorable moments came from it. One moment had the player defending moving cargo on a track in a pitch black room. The tension between shooting enemies and seeing where the track extends to was unreal. I am worried how this new mechanic will affect that amazing scenario and others like it. Though changes were made, BFG Edition isn’t perfect. One thing that really irked me is the infuriatingly slow reload speed on the double-barreled shotgun. It rendered Doom 2’s defining weapon useless which is a real bummer as a series fan. There are a less lost souls, closet spawns, and other annoying features of the original Doom 3 but this is largely the same game. Well, except for Lost Mission. Lost Mission can be accessed at any time from the main menu. It takes place in Hell and is centered around killing hordes of enemies until the path forward unveils itself. It’s nothing groundbreaking but its the sort of cathartic, violent release that Doom 3 largely neglected to offer the player. It was a real shame too because the game has such amazing gun and enemy design that it begs for these big bombastic battles. Lost Mission gives the player a couple hours worth which may merit the return for some Doom fans. Though this expansion has no new weapons, it does contain modifications of established Doom 3 enemies, including a boss. It's also quite difficult, designed for players who have already mastered the game and its previous expansion. Doom 3 BFG Edition will come with the Xbox Live arcade ports of Doom 1 & 2, Resurrection of Evil expansion, and a revised, visually updated Doom 3. No word on whether the co-op mode exclusive to the Xbox port will be part of the package but one can hope. Though I don’t look forward to going through the slow start of Doom 3, there is still a lot to love about this re-imagining of a bold but flawed shooter. If nothing else, BFG stands as a definitive collection of the series highs and lows, all while trying to make its rough moments a bit more smooth.
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] In 2004, Doom 3 was a disappointment. It n...

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The DTOID Show: Zynga, Dishonored, and QuakeCon 2012!


Aug 03
// Tara Long
Happy Friday, lovelies! We've got a jam-packed show today, full of all the QuakeCon and copyright infringement news you can handle! We've also got footage of Assassin's Creed III's AnvilNext engine, a list of famous people l...

QuakeCon Preview: Murdering the homeless in Hotline Miami

Aug 03 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232500:44588[/embed] Stallions in America, Stench Mechanics, SeizureDome, Burn the Trash, God Came to the Cave, Keyboard Drumset Loving Werewolf. If a Cactus game doesn’t sound like the latest street drug, it at least sounds like a title made under the influence of one. A typical Catcus (Jonatan Soderstrom) game stretches the definition of “ludicrous” to its breaking point, is made in 7 hours, and has crude graphics that would make the Atari 2600 blush. Soderstrom may have a rabid sense of imagination, but Hotline Miami is his first attempt at trying to focus on a project for more than a day. The results are … interesting. Hotline Miami will draw a lot of comparisons to Retro City Rampage due to its Game Boy Color visuals, top-down perspective, and points-based combat, but it couldn’t be more different. Where RCR is a homage to videogames of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Miami pulls its influences from music and film, mainly David Lynch and twitchy, gloomy electronic music. The game has a strange aesthetic but it suits the story that begins with an owl and horse asking you to kill people. Sometimes the homeless. If Retro City Rampage is all about causing havoc in open spaces, Hotline Miami is all about controlled mayhem in small areas. You control your character with keyboard and mouse, but there is a lot of nuance to your approach. Enemies can kill in one shot, so you’ll need to keep quiet and be fast when dealing damage. For a retro asthetic, Miami sure is a brutal game. You’ll slit throats, filling the air with pixelated blood. You’ll beat guys to death on the ground with your bare fists. And none of these thugs have a problem returning the favor. As bizarre and fantastical as the story becomes, the missions remain grounded in reality. You’re always a couple steps away from dying, you can’t kill attack dogs without a weapon, and enemies will spray machineguns at the first sight of you. As a result, you’ll need to use some strategic planning before your approach a mission. By holding down Shift, you can get a view of the area before you approach. The game starts off simple enough, letting you get by on brute force and good timing. Soon, you’ll need to plan out assaults and perfect your approach. Throughout the game, you’ll acquire masks that act as buffs. Some will make you stronger, while others will make you faster. There is even a Fish Mask that turns all the dialogue to French in honor of French-Canadian Phil Fish. There is also an elaborate points system that judges your play on approach, timing, and other details most games don’t take into account. If you run into a room, you’ll score points for “boldness.” If you use a variety of weapons, you’ll score points for “flexibility.” Like everything else about the game, it’s a very strange thing. Like previous Catcus games, Hotline Miami has a strong aesthetic that resembles little else on the market. It’s trippy, haunted depiction of 1980s Miami that needs to be seen and heard to be fully appreciated. The brutal difficulty matches the violence, but like Super Meat Boy it is locked into such a quick start-and-restart cycle that you won’t be bothered much by it. Between its twisted narrative (which we can’t really go into here) and unique approach to top-down action, Hotline Miami is shaping up to be a surprisingly fun and accessible game from a developer who is known for making games that often rebel against those common developer goals. Whether this is an artistic compromise or a maturation is something we’ll find out when the game comes to downloadable services this fall.  
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] Russian text, a neon colored flickeri...

QuakeCon Preview: Dishonored is still amazing. Who knew?

Aug 03 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232470:44584[/embed] I’ve been talking up Dishonored since I first laid eyes on it during its big reveal at QuakeCon a year ago. I love the developer, the art direction, the world, and the ideas behind the game. Though, I worried Arkane wouldn’t be able to pull it altogether, making another heavily flawed classic like its previous release Dark Messiah of Might and Magic -- a game few love but the few that do love it dearly (I include myself in that group). Unlike the E3 demo, this new QuakeCon preview had higher stakes involved, more narrative elements, and worked as a great display for the lavish lives of Dishonored’s wealthy citizens. Halfway through the game you need to enter the estate of Lady Boyle and assassinate her, while guests and friends party below. You can either masquerade and find Boyle through dialogue and other clues or you can brute force your way, killing everyone on sight.  Though Dishonored is a linear game in a narrative sense, each missions gives the player numerous ways of approach and side goals to satisfy. Right from the start, I needed to make a choice as I stood on top on a boat in a canal far away from the party: Do I teleport from rooftop to rooftop, do I take to the shadows of the streets, or do I become a fish? Becoming a fish isn’t the most obvious option but I’ve seen enough Dishonored preview videos at this point that its advantages were clear enough for me. Through this method, I entered the party with minimal conflict. Those two maids? Don’t worry: I sent a horde of rats to eat them alive. I was later told it wasn’t necessary. Oops! Once within the party, I went to the courtyard to meet a contact and deliver a letter (an optional side objective). Turns out that letter was an invitation to a duel … with me. Being the savvy Dishonored player I’ve become, I used the Bend Time ability to slow time and get an unfair advantage in the pistol duel. The contact’s cronies shouted “witchcraft!” but weren’t hot-headed enough to fight me after killing their “friend.” They just kind of talked a load of crap about the recently deceased. It’s a small thing but this bizarre side quest and its outcome tells you a lot about the brutal world of Dishonored, where no man is in control for long. That includes me. Oh, did I forget to mention how I set off alarms at the party and repeatedly died in battle with the guards? Well I did, so returning to the interior of the building was no cakewalk. I made a hot mess of the situation. I would have reloaded to the beginning if this weren’t a scheduled demo, but I’m glad I didn’t. In other games, you’d be stuck in this awful situation, forced to make the most of a stealth game’s sub-par combat. Not the case here. Taking down the horde of guards wasn’t completely unreasonable, though it made the “normal” difficulty I chose feel like “very hard”. By blocking with my sword, throwing grenades, and firing my pistol, I was able to kill a good number of them but even that wouldn’t get me upstairs -- where Lady Boyle, my target, now cowered. After growing tired of dying, I changed my plans. I would enter the building, quickly teleport out of enemy sight, and possess a guard which let me walk past all barriers without setting off an alarm or being electrocuted. It worked. Now upstairs, I was free to loot the rich for coin, notebooks (some of these are lengthy, recalling Skyrim), and potions. The real goal was finding Lady Boyle, which wasn’t hard to do with my ability to see through walls. A couple minutes later, I killed my target in a brutal scene that was hard to watch. My mission had been done, now all I had to do was use the secret bedroom passage to leave the area and get back to my boat. Though a lot of this demo is missing context, there was still much to appreciate. The art direction, dialog, and presentation are of a caliber you rarely see in games. Most developers rather focus the time it takes to build a truly original world on making a multiplayer component. Most developers aren’t willing to show off demos that offer so many possibilities -- so many ways to screw yourself over. Arkane isn’t like most developers and Dishonored isn’t like most games. It will be an uphill battle convincing the mainstream that the game becomes approachable in time, but for us core gamers, we are in for a rare treat that blends action and stealth in a way we’ve never seen before. 
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] For a game as rich with ideas and exc...

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Doom 3: BFG will include an exclusive 'Lost Mission'


Aug 02
// Brett Zeidler
id Software brought a new trailer for Doom 3: BFG Edition with them to QuakeCon this year, and it shows off "The Lost Mission" that will be exclusive to the HD remaster. It's not clear what exactly it's about,...

QuakeCon: Rise of the Triad multiplayer hands-on

Aug 02 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232420:44571[/embed] The reveal of Rise of the Triad (2012) didn’t go exactly as planned. The info leaked out earlier in the day from a promotional Twitter account for the game, the reveal was pushed back two hours because of QuakeCon scheduling, and when the trailer was finally shown it was missing sound. Even worse, the reveal barely got a round of applause from the audience. This is to be expected though because ROTT isn’t Doom or Fallout. It’s a weird obscure game that only meant something to a few PC gamers in the ‘90s, but it meant a lot. Interceptor seems to be aware of this and is trying its best to make a worthy reboot. ROTT runs on the Unreal Engine 3, but it feels closer to Quake III in play. It’s furiously fast in comparison to modern shooters, including arena shooters like Nexuiz and Quake Live. The inclusion of jump pads and the small scale of the maps only makes things more hectic. There aren’t many games that play at the speed of ROTT, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when no one else is filling this niche. The map I played on took place in a dingy, grim looking castle, including a dungeon with malnurished inmates and a courtyard for long distance rocket firing. The outdoor space was filled with jump pads. Some would shoot you up to a second level, giving players a good spot to camp. Others would throw you across the map for a quick getaway. The map is filled with tight corridors that lead to some intense rocket exchanges, but it doesn't exactly make me feel nostalgic. The map is also horribly lit, with many areas being not far from pitch black.  The original ROTT wasn’t exactly a colorful game, but this reboot is in desperate need of some more lively art direction. The Wolf 3D engine and character models taken from photos of actors gave the original ROTT a lot of personality that the Unreal Engine 3 doesn’t bring on its own without some much needed modification. Then again, I may find that necessary element in the single-player (preview to come). Even so, there is a lot of technical issues with this multiplayer demo, including weapons magically disappearing from my inventory and weapon models not immediately showing up. Again, this is pre-alpha but it didn’t exactly make for a strong first impression. The comparisons to Quake III doesn’t stop at speed, tight corridors, and jump pads. You’ll also be dealing with a LOT of rockets. The demo map included two rocket launchers (one heat-seeking), an MP-40, and the legendary Excalibat. The pistols -- pick-up an opponent’s pistol for akimbo -- and MP-40 can be fired via ironsight by hitting the right mouse button. This is an interesting feature to include in such a fast, frantic arena shooter. I didn’t end up using it that much, but I appreciated its inclusion, nonetheless.  Being thrown through the air by a jump pad and firing rockets at the ground below never gets old, but it’s all about the Excalibat. Not only is the Excalibat ridiculous, it’s also pretty versatile. It makes for a great melee weapon and a powerful long range weapon thanks to its alternate fire that shoots off exploding fireballs. There is also the Firewall gun but I never saw it -- though I got killed by it a number of times. ROTT multiplayer is kind of what I expected it to be. It’s a fun and chaotic arena shooter that has gone out of style over the past decade. The uninspired art direction and buggy presentation didn’t leave a strong impression, but I have faith that Interceptor will be able to polish the game before its release later this year. If nothing else, it will make for a fun couple nights of drunk, nostalgic gaming.
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I never thought I’d play Rise of the Triad multiplayer again, and I especially didn’t imagine I’d be playing it at QuakeCon with others right beside me. It’s a surreal thing but Rise of the Triad is co...

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Making a surprise announcement at QuakeCon earlier today, Bethesda announced that the first expansion DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim would be available for PC today. And sure enough, it's up on Steam this very insta...

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QuakeCon: Carmack apologizes about RAGE to PC gamers


Aug 02
// Allistair Pinsof
[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] John Carmack opened his annual QuakeCon ke...

QuakeCon: Iconic FPS Rise of the Triad returns to PC

Aug 02 // Allistair Pinsof
In 2007, Apogee (the original) founder Scott Miller said that current day Apogee (not founded by Miller, confusingly) were planning on a ROTT reboot, but I didn’t believe it. Here we are, five years later, and I've been proved wrong. Interceptor seem like the perfect group for the project. They have yet to prove themselves with a shipped title (no updates on their Duke Nukem 3D HD remake), but they clearly have a passion for this series and staying true to old-school PC gaming. "We are all about fast-paced action and this was simply a perfect match for us as fans of old school shooters,” Interceptor CEO Frederik Schreiber said. Although I was expecting a Doom 4-related reveal, I’m ecstatic over this news. ROTT will be on the show floor of QuakeCon all week. In fact, I’m going to go play it right now. Check back for my impressions on the game. Until then, get on your knees and pray for a Heretic reboot.
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] Turns out those 17 years spent begging on ...

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QuakeCon is a thing that will happen soon. Hurrah!


Aug 01
// Allistair Pinsof
Last year was my first QuakeCon and I've been waiting for the next one ever since. Luckily, it's been a year and QuakeCon 2012 will kick off tomorrow! Though Bethesda's line-up isn't quite as full of heavy hitters as last yea...
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Play Dishonored & Doom 3 BFG at QuakeCon 2012


Jul 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
August is going to be one of the most jam packed months ever for gaming conventions. The crazy month starts off with the annual QuakeCon, taking place August 2 to August 5 in Dallas, Texas. id Software's John Carmack will be ...
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Pre-registration for QuakeCon 2012 opens tonight


Apr 25
// Jordan Devore
After seeing Allistair's report of QuakeCon 2011, this year's convention sounds rather appealing. Pre-registration will open up tonight at 8:00pm Eastern; those in the audience who are afraid of time zones can simply watch th...
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QuakeCon 2012 dated


Jan 24
// Dale North
If you're already planning out your travel for 2012, mark down that QuakeCon 2012 will take place on August 2-5 this year. It takes place in Dallas, Texas, at the Hiltone Anatole Hotel. QuakeCon is always the world's largest ...

Interview: Arkane Studios on Dishonored

Aug 16 // Allistair Pinsof
After things falling through with The Crossing, it must have been a big relief to have ZeniMax help you with this new project. Do you feel like it’s a new era for Arkane?Raf: As an indie developer, you go through a series of good things and bad things. From 2007 to 2009, we had a lot of really hard things to deal with, so when ZeniMax showed up and proposed for us to work on Dishonored -- which was about a year before they acquired us -- it was fantastic. Every hardship we went through, even though we were slapped over again by bad luck or whatever, paid off.  All of a sudden those near successes had an influence, and they made sense to the entire team. Whenever you get a game that is canceled or shelved or you don’t have enough money to go on or whatever, the people that stay in your company show their passion and you know why they are there.Is The Crossing canceled for good?Raf: At this point, it’s on hold. Have some elements of The Crossing carried on into Dishonored?Harvey: Well, our collaboration with Viktor [Viktor Antonov, art director on Half-Life 2] has continued.Raf: Even if you look at it from a team perspective, we learned so much from The Crossing – it was the first game Viktor worked with us on. He trained our artists so well. You look at Dishonored’s design, and everyone has been so fast and efficient to do things. Viktor told me he traveled across Europe to do research for this game. Not too many companies do that sort of thing (maybe Valve and Irrational Games). Why was this an important investment for you guys?Harvey: Those guys just wanted to go to Edinburgh and London to take lots of photos for architecture and the faces -- to get the faces right of very British people, the way they carry themselves and look. Of course, you can’t generalize too much. They went to construction crews and took some photos of some hardened guys – that’s why our guards in the game look so pissed off. You guys are culling a lot of elements from Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock. What elements of those games do you think can live on in modern games, while keeping the game marketable?Harvey: I am drawn to that type of game. Raf and I are the biggest Ultima Underworld fans, period. We’ll fight anyone else in a pile of Jell-O to claim that. We are both drawn to System Shock. [Raf] was working in Europe and I was working at Origin, and we were both testing System Shock.We are already drawn to these guys making these games. As soon as he got a chance he created Arx Fatalis, and as soon as I got a chance I worked with Warren Spector on Deus Ex.If you look at the Xbox 360 and PS3 audience, you can’t easily throw Deus Ex at them…Harvey: Well, if you look at the evolution of those games -- we love Thief, we love Bioshock and we love Far Cry 2. If you look at Bioshock it’s a good game, period. Whether you play it on the PC or on console. That’s our goal.Raf: The values don’t change, only the implementation of how deep you go with them in the execution. The values in games like Thief, Deus Ex, and Ultimate Underworld. If you compare their values to those in Dishonored, you’ll find at a high difficulty level they are the same. Of course, you cannot give a player Ultimate Underworld now. It will freak them out, now-in-days, due to the controls and all of that. It’s all about how you present it.Harvey: I think Raf is trying to talk about accessibility. The depth is there in Bioshock, but it’s presented with accessibility. Every now and then, I go back and try to replay a game like System Shock and I forget it didn’t have mouselook. And, it blows my mind! I played hundreds of fucking hours on that game – I tested it for ten months: On the floppy then on the CD. I put in hundred hour weeks during that period.Anyway, some people would play with a Gravis controller and a joystick [at the same time]. You just can’t do that today. So, now you have a controller and some saving conventions. We allow save anywhere, actually.  I would say on the depth-side we try to be hardcore, and on the accessibility side we try to appeal to everyone. That’s cool that you have save anywhere. I wish every game had that option. I’m sick of these obligatory checkpoints every five minutes in recent games.Raf: A checkpoint every five minutes wouldn’t even work in the type of game we are making, because you might want to go back. Maybe you didn’t want to do that.Harvey: I totally agree with him. The other thing is that in this type of game you want to experiment. You want to load up a save and try something out. There are five guys over there: I’m going to use the rats to do “blah,” then I’m going to bounce a grenade and then I’m going to posses this guy and do “blah.” Oh, wait. That didn’t work. Let me back up. And, you did it four or five times and you have a blast experimenting. It’s like alchemy.It seems like Arx Fatalis might be the last dungeon crawler made by a studio. Does that make you sad or proud?Raf: I don’t know. I think there may be more. Harvey: Every now and then we talk about making some sort of self-contained environment where you need to scrounge up food or even make your own food. Raf: We will do a game like that one day that is super deep and hardcore, but once again it’s all about presentation and the context. Will we ever do another medieval fantasy setting like Arx? Maybe and maybe not, but the format is something both of us really like. Do you two like the direction that modern first-person shooters have gone?Harvey: There is a lot that we love.  I’m a big fan of Left 4 Dead, Mirror’s Edge and we both loved Bioshock.Raf: At the end of the day, we are fans of variety. The worst thing for me is if every game mimicked this one game that made so much money -- so now we are all going to do this one type of game. There is more space for games than that. That’s what matters to us. Is this the first game you are making with consoles in mind?Raf: Individually, probably not, but as a company – well, no, we worked on Bioshock 2 before this so that was our first contact with making a game for consoles. Harvey: We actually picked up a couple level designers from Bioshock 2 and Deus Ex [designers], along with some members of the modding community of Thief.Would you say to a Thief fan that Dishonored is its spiritual successor?Raf: [laughs]Harvey: No, we wouldn’t say it in those words but we would definitely say that Thief is one of our big influences right now.Raf: I would say if you liked Thief, there is a big chance that you’ll like what we are making right now. You’ll find a lot of things in common, but then there are a lot of other layers involved. There are some Deus Ex things, the combat is more like Dark Messiah – it’s a mix of everything that we like.Harvey: We always use the term “immersive simulation.” It’s that school of thought that it’s a first-person game, but it’s not a shooter. It’s a first-person game with depth and world cohesion.
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After posting my glowing Dishonored preview last week, I received some comments saying my post was overflowing with hyperbole – they must not be familiar with the track record of Arkane Studios’ Harvey Smith and...

Interview: Prey 2 project lead Chris Rhinehart

Aug 15 // Allistair Pinsof
What are you showing off at QuakeCon?We are showing off two different levels from the game. One at the beginning of the game and one 25-percent into the game when the player is more established. The idea is that you play a bad ass bounty hunter in a sci-fi world. The demo we are showing shows off a lot of the cool gadgets, some of the open-area gameplay, and taking on a larger mission – going after a guy and trying to take him down.Could you explain how the open-world works? How do you acquire weapons and missions?There are a couple missions types you can take on. You can take-on a main story/narrative mission. You could also explore the world and find side-missions; there are ambient people that have missions you can take on. There are a couple ways to get weapons and gadgets. You can go and purchase them, because there is an economy system in the game. You earn money by taking on missions and taking down targets, which you can spend on new upgrades. But, there are some missions where the mission giver will say you’ll get this cool gadget if you take on this mission.As a fan of the first Prey what are some of the things we’ll see carried on?One of the big things we wanted to do with Prey 2 is to show you a new part of the universe. There are some creatures you’ll recognize from the first Prey, and Tommy is still very much a part of the game. Tommy is still there; he was always intended to be there. It’s not a cameo. You don’t play him, but he is integral part of the story. Is any of the perspective stuff –- being upside down and all that –- going to come into play at all?Nope.  We don’t have gravity and we don’t have any portals in the game. For me, Prey was about taking players to a world they haven’t seen before and having them experience new things in a first-person shooter. We are doing a very similar thing. We are giving you a new world to run around in, and gameplay where you get to be a crazy, bad ass bounty hunter with all these gadgets you’ve never seen before in a first-person shooter.When did the traversal stuff become a part of Prey 2?That was very early on. We knew we wanted to give the player more options with exploring the world. From an artistic standpoint we wanted to make a very vertical world so those two things lined-up very well.  We want to give you climbing abilities and a world to climb around in. That was a thing we prototyped early on, and we knew we needed to make it integral to everything else in the game. So the guys working on combat were like, "We need to merge these things together and make combat work, too." The end result is what we call agile combat. You are vaulting over things and sliding down pipes, and you can shoot the entire time. That was a core element of it. What are you doing with the controller to trigger all these moves?It’s super easy. There’s jump and there’s crouch. So when you’re running around all you have to do is jump and you’ll auto-grab things. If you crouch, you’ll slide and if there is cover near you’ll latch onto it.There is almost an auto-aim to it. If you jump toward an edge, the game will detect it and you’ll latch on. The challenge isn’t that I need to make this jump. It’s that I need to make this jump that leads to this jump and slide under this thing and kill that guy over there. We want players thinking tactically. Have you been talking to the Brink guys at all? Both of your games are running on the id Tech 4 engine and have similar traversal abilities.Completely independent.What’s it been like working with id Tech 4 and making a game that looks fantastic with it? Was that a challenge?We started with id Tech 4, because it's really good tech and we are very comfortable with it since it’s what we used to make Prey . Since we wanted to make an open-world game, we knew there was a lot more we needed to do with it to allow a lot more stuff. Prey was much more of a corridor shooter with limited number of enemies. We wanted Prey 2 to have more enemies and we wanted it to be open.  So, the rendering guys rewrote the renderer. The other thing we wanted was to have really cool lighting in the game. We knew the visual look we were going for. So, they spent a lot of time making lighting that is really easy to setup, making things properly bounce around to give us that really cool, realistic look. At one point in the demo, you grab a guy and use him as a human shield. Can you do this at any point in the game?Yes, you can grab anyone at any time. Certain guys you can grab but it will lower your reputation.  If you just grab some random citizen and you get his head blown off, that’s not good.Can I walk around with a human shield and hang out with other citizens. “Sup? Check out my sweet human shield, brah!” Not exactly. You can grab a human shield and wander around with him, but people react appropriately to it. What happens is that your gun automatically comes up –Right, there was that one point in the demo where you raised your gun to a citizen and it threatened them. It seems everyone reacts to what you are doing. When did that come into play?We first just had the gun out by default, like a normal FPS, but it started to feel really weird that no one was reacting. It’s weird to walk into a bar and you are running around with your gun in everyone’s face, so we decided to have it holstered by default. It’s the players choice to pull it out or not. After that, we decided we could threaten characters or not – it was the natural extension. So you can threaten anyone or try to mug them, if you want. One of the other big uses for it is for informants. You can go up to them and try to get information or pull out your gun and threaten them (the evil route). At the end of the demo, you capture your pursuit by throwing him in this crazy, bubble cage thingy. Are there any other gadgets you’ll use to capture your bounties?That’s the primary way you capture targets, but there are different ways you can incapacitate someone before you capture them. You can shoot them and maybe they’ll surrender. One of my favorite ways is the Boa which you launch and they’ll wrap around the target and take them down. The target is only briefly incapacitated, so you have to run over and get him. Some targets have abilities that counteract the gadgets so you have to tailor which gadget you use based upon which enemy you are going after. The second target we go after in the demo teleports right out of it.How do the chases work? Will the chase just keep looping until you capture your target?In that particular one, it ends with you cornering him. Other targets will escape, if they escape it's mission over. What other abilities will targets have?The second target in the demo has mines that he drops so you have to keep a bit more space between you and him. They have different weapons obviously, while others have different abilities like jumping higher or running faster which taxes the player.
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After watching Human Head Studios' 20-minute E3 demo in June, I felt a strong pang of hopeful disbelief. There is just so much craziness going on in the demo that it's hard to tell exactly the game works. This speaks to the n...

Interview: Talking Rage with Tim Willits

Aug 14 // Allistair Pinsof
What’s your current role on Rage? I’m the creative director. It’s very similar to what we did to Doom 3. Matt Hooper is the design director so I work with him. We basically built Doom 3 together -- remember it was only 33 people. That’s the great thing about id: it’s a small group of guys. Me and the other guys rolled right into Rage. I do a lot of similar things, but Matt does a lot of the heavy lifting. Much like Doom 3, one of the most impressive things about the game is the animation. Enemies have elaborate animations where they fall down and shoot you or jump from cover to cover -- can you explain how that came about? Where the game shines is in both our combat animations and AI system and how well they work together. When you were playing, you might have shot a guy and he grabs himself like this [Willits grabs chest] or you shoot them in the back and they do this [reaches for back], or you see them fall down. You think they are dead, but they slowly crawl to cover or shoot you from the ground. That’s awesome. It adds a whole layer to the system. Then all the characters you meet are keyframed which is amazing because keyframing is a lot of work these days. It adds over-the-top animation that draws a lot of character into those NPCs [non-playable characters]. So it’s a mix between great keyframing for our main characters and good AI and animation for the enemies. What was the thought process behind letting enemies jump from cover to cover, while the player cannot? We started with one cover system that was interactive. You went up there, hit a button and went into cover. Then you hit another button and got out of cover. That kind of slowed the game down. Then we added an automatic cover system where you would go to flagged points and you’d lock-in to cover, but it really slowed the pace. You can think about in your mind and go, “How is that going to really slow the pace down,” but we actually had it in and the pacing just didn’t feel right for us. So, we had two systems in that were fully functional and then poof. Gone! Same thing with getting into vehicles. You’d go up to your buggy and it’d trigger this animation where you climb in. It was really cool about the first three times you saw it, but then you just want to get in and go. So we got rid of that. Same thing with the Wing Stick; we originally had a complex animation for that but it slowed it down. It just wasn’t fast and responsive. That’s the great thing about id. We put stuff in, try it, test it out and if it doesn’t work -- great, we throw it out! One of the things that most impressed me about the time I spent with Rage was the cinematic score. What is the story behind that and who is the composer? Christian Antkow is our sound and music director and he works with a number of guys. What Christian did was he worked with the programmers to create multiple layers of music based on what you are doing. So, if the combat intensifies, the music intensifies. If you combat in vehicles, you hear the combat vehicle music. We don’t have a soundtrack that triggers based on maps or anything like that. We have context-aware music tracks. What are PC players going to get that they wouldn’t be able to do on a console? The great thing about Rage is that all the assets that the guys at id create are all the same, regardless of the platform you play on. But, on PC what you can do is crank up the resolution, anti-aliasing, and increase the texture bumpers to get higher-res textures farther out. Then, you can take your cores and apply them to to transcoding, so those textures come in fast. Then, after we ship, you can download the SDK, but you need to have 64-bit. You guys never built a full world like this before. The intro of Doom 3 had something going on, but not like this. Where did you start with Rage? Historically, our games start here and end here, but with Rage we wanted to setup a world where you can feel things happened before you got there and things will happen after you leave. We went as far as to do a three-part comic book series with Dark Horse. The book’s story takes place ten years before you even show up; it’s all about Elizabeth and Cavassier who you meet in the game. We also have the novelization of Rage, if you want to read more about the game’s backstory. It’s been a very conscious effort for us to make this world more than a single game experience, which really sets us up for anything we may want to do. Has Bethesda consulted id, while you guys were making this world? The great thing about the executive leadership at Zenimax and Bethesda is that they are letting us make this game. Todd Howard works a lot like we do. They said, 'You guys been making games for a long time -- keep doing that! We will support you, we will let you build the new Doom team and we’ll help sell the games. You guys just do what you do best.' So, it’s really worked out great. Do you see Rage being a game that people play at QuakeCon? The vehicle combat in multiplayer is quite fun. I like it a lot. So, hopefully we’ll see it being played. Is there any sort of fast travel you unlock in Rage? No, but if you are in the wasteland and your car gets stuck or destroyed you’ll have to call the tow truck.  But, it’s expensive. If you want to get back to the town faster you can call the tow truck but it ain’t cheap. What voice actors are involved in the game? John Goodman. He’s the first guy you meet and he’s perfect. If you can have one actor that is perfect for a post-apocalyptic world, of course you have to pick John Goodman.  He kind of looks a lot like Dan. There is some very good voice talent and a lot of guys we worked with in the past. We also have a lot of guys who had major roles in other games like Cain from Diablo, Drake from Uncharted -- it’s fun to play and go, “Hey, that’s Drake and that’s Cain!” Are there any missions or areas you can miss on your first playthrough? Yes, sewers are definitely one of them. I bet you missed them when you played them. I bet you drove past all three [He’s right!] That’s three levels you missed and then there are the post-it jobs, the Stanley Express missions ... there’s a lot of stuff. If you look around and listen to what the NPCs say and go out and find stuff, you’ll be rewarded. Id has always been innovative in its enemy design, but how do you keep that intact when all the enemies are human? [Lost a bit of the recording here: Willits describes the various clans leading up to ...] The Uncharted clan are not afraid of anything, they will hold their ground. One guy will drop a shield and another guy will step-up behind him and use him as cover. Then of course with mutants, skinny mutants and giant mutants they all have their very unique attacks. Rage is a long game but you won’t grow bored with fighting. Does it feel weird to show off a single-player game at QuakeCon? No, because the QuakeCon fans all love good games. If they didn’t like good games, they wouldn’t be at QuakeCon. I am excited about our multiplayer offering in Rage. It’s different. It’s not the cookie-cutter formula again -- well, the formula we invented. Besides, people at QuakeCon just want to see good games. Now that you have Hi-Rez showing off Tribes and all the Bethesda games here, QuakeCon feels a bit more like an expo. Does it feel different to you? Well, we’ve always had different games being shown here. Valve showed Left 4 Dead here, originally for the first time, and that was awesome. We’ve had various strategy games shown before. It’s always exciting to see great games come to the show. Are there any other games we’ll be seeing with the id Tech 5 engine, any time soon? Well, the id Tech 5 engine is exclusive to the Bethesda family. There are other studios who are working with it but – everybody knows Doom is using it. Further down the road, I really can’t say. When you were making Rage, you must’ve still hit some limits of what the hardware is capable of doing. Have you looked into what could be possible five years from now? One of the great things about id Tech 5 is that it’s very scalable. John Carmack believes as we look to the future, we’ll be able to reutilize this engine and its capabilities. We push the 360 and the PS3 right to their limit. We encourage gamers to install the game to their hard drive. There’s a lot of legs to this tech and you’ll see it around for a long time. I know you got your start as part of the Doom modding community. I was wondering if you’ve seen any of the crazy things people have done with the Doom engine the last couple years? Yes, there are some very neat Doom mods out there that are very advanced. Modding games is still the best way to get into the industry. Pick an engine you like and make something cool with it.
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My interview with longtime id Software member Tim Willits began with my pitch for a Destructoid crossover-promotion with id and the Hilton that houses QuakeCon. It’s called “GET RAGED!” The rules are whoe...







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