Celebrating 12 years of Quake!
Pay attention to the man behind the curtain!
2008-09-12 15:46:52 PST - by Jehar
In case it hasn't been made clear enough, this is the man behind the Quake Expo hosting this year - behind Tastyspleen.net itself. Yup. That's our wonderful superheroic Quadz. Huzzah.
Some of you may be wondering what the hell Tastyspleen.net is anyway. The short answer is a Quake II community, richly blessed by this man's server space and services. The long answer is that it's a continuation of the xquake servers back in the day (some of you may remember it), and it's been a movement that's been growing in portent since then.
As you can see, however, this growth has had a decidedly relaxed attitude. And I think quadz wouldn't be too offended if I said that he's the type who could take over the world while napping on the couch. Tastyspleen.net is just that cool.

If you would like to relate your experiences with this year's Quake Expo, in a form that can be looked back upon and remembered, then REGISTER at the Tastyspleen.net forums, and POST in the Quake Expo 2008 Memoirs thread to share the joy!

Don't wuss out, as forum registration takes less than half a minute.

Infinite Vistas (no, not Windows)
2008-09-12 15:13:00 PST - by Jehar
Let's head right on over to the spacial aspect - maps. We've had plenty of speedmapping events, and I haven't even been able to check out everything everybody in negke's circle has put out in the last few weeks. Some of those Dreamscape maps are especially mouth-watering. Or tentacle-watering. Whatever. Point is, we've seen a lot of old hats come and display their talent, as well as a fresh crop who are just learning what the sharp end of a brush feels like.

Meandering over to the Pineapple Sanctuary you'll notice that Lardarse has delved into mapping headfirst, packaged along with a brand new mod, written from scratch (I know this because he was bemoaning the difficulties of it the whole happy way). To the untrained eye, it looks like e1m1rmx, but I'll leave the gameplay surprises to him to tell you. Either way, it's a great example of how mods should be done - with maps to go along with them. Ideally, one person wouldn't have to do it all himself. But what can I say? Lardarse is one bad mutha.

If you're travelling these new halls, but aren't quite happy with the old weapons, then Dr_Shadowborg has a little treat for you. It's a modification of the IKSPQ weapon pack, with a few new goodies in store. Grab it HERE.
Quake - where only the polycounts are limited
2008-09-12 14:44:20 PST - by Jehar
You know what rules? Quake rules. And that's Quake with a capital Q. You know why? Because it's not a one-trick wonder. Mods are cool. So are maps. But does it end there? Not by a long shot. I can (and frequently do) complain about how segregated the community can get, but when you take a step back and take a wide look at everything, it really is rather impressive. Here at Quake Expo, we've attempted to help make that a little more clear. During this last day of festivities, we don't want to leave you high and dry with nothing to look forward to. Even though the Expo may end for the year, everybody who contributed is still going to be working on their projects - whatever they may be. So here's a slice of what some people have gotten in for the last day:

The Director's Chair (Amon's booth) is something that's made me especially proud. It's not every day we get to mingle with machinima artists, especially ones as talented as Amon. I'd like to extend my personal gratitude towards him for making an appearance at the Expo, as it's added some wonderful diversity.
According to his booth, he's working on the next episode of Quake III TV (Think Robot Chicken in Quake), and promises to release it soon. Keep an eye out for some well-orchestrated laughs.
While we're the subject of diversity, I'd also like to give thanks to the :Lvl: guys for making a booth here. It's been under the radar, simply because he just came, made an awesome booth, and didn't really have to add much to the perfection. It's simply one of the most well-designed sites for Q3 map submissions, and a great encouragement to mappers.

Heading over to the nuts-and-bolts side of things, the persistent Motorsep has brought us an article detailing how to get models from Blender into the Quake engine. I've been getting more into Blender myself lately, and it's certainitly a blessing to us prospective modellers who have more talent then cash (unless you're willing to pirate Maya). This way, there are no licenses to worry about, so model away! I'd also like to thank Motorsep once again for being such an enthusiastic part of the Expo - and more importantly one that got me off my ass. Congratulations on your U.S. Citizenship!

Open the mod flood gates!
2008-09-12 09:53:12 PST - by Jehar
To everybody who's been salivating over tantalizing screenshots and demo reels this Expo, I'm proud to say that your time has come. At about this time, I'd suggest cancelling all of your activities this weekend so you can have the appropriate time to download and play everything that's become available. My fingers are itchy myself, so let's dive right in:

Yeah. It's here. It's really actually here. My axe is throbbing for the first release of daemon's script-heavy quake rpg. With my last mention of Feral, I think I embarrassed him a little by speaking so highly of the project's aspirations. With this release, however, the time is ripe to play the hell out of it and give him as much feedback as possible (maybe even give him a hand), and spur this thing on to perfection.
I think I can be totally satisfied swinging my axe around, playing with my inventory, and chopping dogs to bits. Err... or is the correct term "Harvesting"? Enough talk - go DOWNLOAD it!

What Contra lacked in blood, Arcade Quake more than makes up for. If you've been under a rock all Expo, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like - side-scrolling rocketry action. Plus a snazzy hud.
What more can I say? DOWNLOAD it, jump into a single player game (or hop on a server), and be ready for some insane gibtastic twitch gaming. I wonder if there's a spread shot?

I just love it when old mods are retooled and get a facelift. The result is usually very satisfying, polished, and just plain wonderful. What's more, it gives those who have missed the mod the first time around a chance to enjoy some really great work. Drake (formerly Dragons) looks to be no exception.
The creators kept a place for it in their hearts long after it's heyday had passed, and it looks like there's major headway being made towards giving it another shot. While there's no shortage of throw-everything-at-the-wall mods, this one looks like it brings some really unique items and flavor to the game. While the new fine-tuned version is still in the works, a little preview of the old Dragons mod is up for DOWNLOAD, so go check it out and keep an eye open for the new version.

Exceed Haven
Speaking of polish, Exceed Haven's creator blessed the Expo with a special update, just for us! In the spirit of balls-to-the-wall chaos, this is... well, from the sound of it, imagine if the DoomGuy from the comic made a Quake mod. That's how over the top this is. Fortunately, he also promises a stable and clean experience, with a minimal amount of bugs and weird behaviours.
So if you don't like fountains of gibs for the sake of shits and giggles, don't like guns that shoot ludicrous projectiles, hell, if you don't like Quake mods that CHANGE the game, then by all means step aside. The rest of us, well, we're gonna go PLAY

Rolling With the Rockets
2008-09-11 09:31:31 PST - by scar3crow
MauveBib bounces a corpse our way, and clutched within its cold dead grasp is a barely scratched disc containing Sagdoll 1.3. What is Sagdoll you may ask? It is what brought you the disc! Sagdoll is MauveBib's take on ragdolls using arcane magic and QuakeC trickery! To the left you can see a video of Sagdoll being implemented on a player.mdl.

This new version brings some vast improvements to the original Sagdoll, namely a nicely sagging player.mdl, implemented with Frikbot support, and QuakeMatt's dizzying gyro physics! For those unfamiliar with Sagdoll, though its not as physically accurate as ragdolls, its lack of a skeleton enables for dismembering which makes for a much more memorable deathmatch session! Remember kids, Frikbots are included.

MauveBib even has a few recommendations on how to play it in the readme, such as:
Play on a map with lots of Grunts e.g. E1M1, because all monster_army entities are replaced with civilians called Nigel. They stand still and wander about a bit. If you kill them they become Sagdolls. It works with any weapon, and the corpses stay manipulatable when on the ground. If you hit them with a few rockets or grenades, they'll start falling apart

Pile a few corpses up and chuck in a grenade
Set SLOWMO .1 in engines that support it
Set SV_GRAVITY 100 for moon deaths

Interested? Go check out MauveBib's booth and give it a download! You can also find another video in there showing off the great Nigel Massacre, largely in slow motion. Not interested? Get a sense of fun and head over to the booth!
When the sun-wind pours
2008-09-08 20:05:46 PST - by Jehar
We're getting down to the final stretches of the Expo, and we're starting to see some of the previously mentioned projects coming close to completion. Naturally, not all of them are going to make the deadline, but that's the point where I'd hope that people will venture out and stay in contact with the things they've seen here. We've certainly done our best to ensure that a wide variety of communities come into contact for the Expo, and on that note I'm particularly proud. It's up to you guys to carry that on afterwards, however. I have full faith in this however, because so many of these projects are simply too cool to pass up!

Though it hasn't been mentioned yet, OpenFortress really really excites me. In case the title is obscure to some, the project aims to combine the assests of Enemy Territory Fortress with the open ioQuake3 engine. The end result is a badass Team Fortress game that's totally standalone and free! These projects are usually plagued by a lack of content talent - but avirox actually got permission from the ETF modellers to use their assets, so it already looks awesome. This doesn't mean that the project is near the finish line, however, and he's put out a valiant call for help. If you've got the hankering to add something good to the world, this is definitely a good place to start.

Heading over to GoldenBoy's booth, the linux mappers out there have a good reason to stimulate their saliva glands - the ever-so-useful AguirRe q1bsp compiling tools have all been ported to linux! Binaries are available for download, as is metaphoric cake. Us linux-philes are used to having to do all the hard work ourselves, so when someone steps in and does something really handy for us, it always elicits a goofy smile. Thanks GoldenBoy!

Speaking of mapping, the Nexuiz Ninjas booth has a fresh and tasty link to a new map based on the Halo map Wizard. From my brief and ungratifying encounter with Halo, I remember that map as being rather decent for dueling - and it looks like the added speed of Nexuiz will make it even moreso. Head on over to their booth for the forum link and download.

With all of this rocket-filled bounty, how can one not smile at what the community is still doing? And the best part is, there is no end in sight. Frag on.
What Gets Downloaded, Must Go Up
2008-09-03 09:18:41 PST - by scar3crow
negke has released his towering vertical single player map. Clocking in at significantly taller than you, it features a very prominent z-axis, multiple routes including a choice as to whether you want to face puzzles, or traps, monsters galore in a Quothian style, and some rather interesting texture decisions.

Though not the largest Quake map (counting one rather insane exception), it is uniquely tall and mixes textures excellently, creating at a glance both a tech base and a medieval castle feel, while still finding space to use some blue brick, runic symbols, and mossy e1m3 stylings. Never mind the interesting 'rafter' designs, and the simple but great use of single sided door panels, even if the gameplay isn't to your taste, the map is a visual treat!

Head over to his booth and give it a download now!
Oh the cheese!
2008-09-02 14:19:20 PST - by Jehar
Some photoshop monkeys really missed out, because the GlobalGamers photoshop event is over - and the contestants really get to reap in the wealth! Even with a relative lack of submissions, there's still some amusing Quake toonage going on - and now the tooners get to play with some easy money (ThinkGeek money that is). Go check out the submissions, and the winners!
That way madness lies!
2008-09-02 09:26:00 PST - by Jehar
The Expo is still going strong, and there's a veritable torrent (water kind, not protocol kind) of new stuff flooding in just about every day. Grab a surfboard and come with me...

Speedmodding and Speedmapping events are still plugging away, and this means a good stream of new and quirky toys to play with in your Quake sandbox. The Melee speedmod event is still underway, and contestants still have a few hours left in which to get in their submissions. This time around, expect to be slapped around with all manner of spiked, plumed, and rocket-encrusted blunt objects. Sajt makes a mark in his booth with a few screenies from his Wrasslin (think Rocky with a good dose of hallucinogens) mod - and it's already up for download!

The Warsow booth is up and running now, and sporting some slick arty projects from fans of the Quake 2-based pro-centric vector-fest. I'm especially curious about the player model in the banner, which I can't find reference to anywhere else... it's certainly one of the better models I've seen in a while (or maybe I just really like the way that the Q2 grunt is proportioned...) Anywho, check out the booth and check out the servers - especially if you're into some unique trickjumping. One last note - it's interesting how Warsow allows both Q2-style strafejumping and QWPK movement as well, in a cvar no less. This allows for different movement styles among players in the same server. Groovy.

MegaTF Coop is making a push to bring back some good old fashioned relaxing coop - with a few bags of crack-encrusted Sweet Tarts thrown in. It seems they are going for the throw-everything-at-it-and-bollocks-to-sanity attitude. At least that's what the screenshot of the baseball bat lends me to believe. Later tonight I'll have had the chance to have a more in-depth look. At any rate, jump in the servers and be there when I get there, because I do love some company.

On the interview side of things, we've got a couple new ones up - one with the duo behind Arcade Quake, and another with the Travail team. Go check them out!
Fists of thunder
2008-08-30 09:12:56 PST - by Lardarse
This weekend sees three more events happening. The first is the Thunderwalker Smackdown Extravaganza III which is happening tonight at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern/4am Central Europe. Join the players there for the countdown of the top ten maps of the last month, as voted for by the regulars at twctf.org. Go to the TW Revival booth or the announcement thread for more details.

The other two events both focus on time-limited creativity. This weekend's speedmodding theme is melee, and the speedmapping theme is tilted. Both of them have deadlines on Monday (though at different times, check the pages for details). If you're taking part in any of these events this weekend, then make sure to go hand over fist, and don't fall over...