Posts Tagged ‘id Software’

QuakeCon, the Reckon Crew, and a Cheerleading Convention

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
QuakeCon 2011

If anything had happened at the Hilton, the world's IT departments may have never recovered...

It seems odd to think that being based in Texas, the Reckon Crew has never been out to QuakeCon. I know, I know, we’re horrible people. Fortunately, the newest addition to the Reckon Crew, photog extraordinaire Jim Brown, made it his personal mission to get us there.

Now we’re kind of sorry he did.

Not because it wasn’t awesome. Seriously, with the computing power in the BYOC, we probably could have opened a portal through time and space and wireless streamed games… from the future.

And it wasn’t that there wasn’t a lot to see. Between the keynote where John Carmack got on stage and demonstrated to us that his brain was considerably larger than our own and getting to get our hands on Rage (only four hours of playtime), there was plenty of firsts for us.

It wasn’t that we didn’t fit in. Honestly, if there were ever a place where the Reckon Crew fit in, it was the liquor drenched halls of the Hilton Anatole where QuakeCon 2011 was held.

Ventrilo ponied up a sweet looking truck (worth a measly $70,000) in a drawing. The entire weekend, people competed in the events id was hosting for a chance to get into the drawing.

QuakeCon 2011 Rage Truck

We didn't want the damn thing anyway! *sniffle*

There was the small glitch in scheduling that had us sharing a floor with cheerleaders from all over the U.S. And not the cool kind of cheerleaders where you can stare for a few minutes and just be normal for checking them out but the young kind (prostitots as one of Jim’s friends advised us they were called) with their creepy little faces done up in makeup and with only the energy that someone that the young can have without being put on medication.

But even that couldn’t mar the satisfaction we felt at finally making it to the premier Texas gaming event.

However, I am fairly certain that small bits of our soul and spleens were left in Dallas after having to come back home.

This is the sort of thing that can make you realize that you aren’t alone out here in the gaming world. It’s a reminder that no matter what you enjoy playing, there is someone out there who would love to throw down in the game with you, with or against, and you can walk away from that experience a better player and with a new friend.

It’s also a good example that Gamettes exist. Not just on our site but out there in the real world. I watched with no small satisfaction as the ladies were able to put a hurt on the boys there that would do any gamer proud. And yes, the boys (including us, we’re not immune) are still prone to staring and forgetting they’re gamers as well as women. It’s always good to have your point of view so soundly proven in that type of atmosphere.

We were loud, we were rambunctious, we drank too much, we stayed up too late. And all the while, we were amid like minded individuals who were doing the exact same thing.

Pedobear and the girls from Charisma+2

Pedobear does exist and he's checking out your girlfriend...

Somehow, during all of the drinking, cavorting, and ingestion of entirely too much caffeine, I was able to make my way to the IGDA Charity Event and play cards for a good cause. I lost early on but I met some interesting people and tried not to make eye contact with Pedobear when he sat down next to me. No, that last part was not an alcohol induced hallucination. Pedobear actually sat down next to me.

The lovely ladies from Charisma+2 were on hand to offset most of the ugly walking around at the Con… okay, so most of the ugly was me walking around the Con but you get the picture.

Somehow we made it home with our livers relatively intact and despite a mishap with my laptop that prevented me from posting this sooner, we managed to make it home with all of our electronic devices as well. No, the thing that made us regret having been at QuakeCon was that it was over and that it would be another whole year before Dallas would see this type of gathering again.

We’ll be there again next year… with more booze.

We might even challenge you to a drinking contest if you’re (un)lucky.

QuakeCon 2011 IGDA Charity Event

Wanna bet how much Gatorade there *wasn't* in that bottle?

Gritskrieg – End of Line

All photos contained in this post were taken by Jim Brown and then nearly lost in a game of Strip Battleship to the Editor of this site so as cool as they are, you’ll have to ask for permission to use them.

Game Review: Quake Live

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
QUAKE LIVE: Busy Gamer Rating 4

QUAKE LIVE: Busy Gamer Rating 4

First Glance: The reincarnated spirit of Quake III, but downloaded and launched through a browser plug in- and totally free to play.

Short Story: Shoot, blast, explode, or gauntlet your friends, automated opponents, or complete strangers! Fast FPS action with five main types of matches, around forty maps, a skill matching system, and a social networking style system of profiles and friends lists.

The Score: While I could definitely craft an argument for rating Quake Live a 5, I’m going to go with a 4. It is definitely possible to log on and play just one match per day, but I don’t think many gamers will actually play the game in such a manner. One of the best uses of Quake Live is playing with friends, and limiting such play to only an hour at a time would deny the tangled web of matches, vengeance and grudge matches which naturally should result from fragging your friends. You also will most likely not go to the top of the leaderboards putting in an hour or two a day, but most busy gamers will not need that kind of validation to enjoy the gameplay. Being free also gives Quake Live major points- you have to spend exactly zero hours at work to afford it!

The skill matching system means that you can enjoy yourself without getting pwned too hard, even if you are on the wrong end of the learning curve. Its not impossible to stay alive long enough to improve your skills when you are playing matches at your level. It is also perfectly possible to pick the game back up after a long absence. Even if you do get a bit rusty, you’ll still be able to enjoy the game.

Quake Live is perhaps best as a binge game- its best played in segments of more than an hour, but you don’t need to play everyday. (Barring any addiction you may develop, anyway.) It’s great for lan parties and tournaments as well.

Quake Live boasts 5 types of matches and 40 maps! Plus it's free to play!

Quake Live boasts 5 types of matches and 40 maps! Plus it's free to play!

Body of Review: All you need to do to get started playing Quake Live is to take a little stroll to Create a free account, and quickly download the plug in. Then you play a match against Crash, who also shows you around the game a little. The rest of the files you need to play are downloading as you play this match, and this match also places you in the skill ranking system. Once your account is created, you can log in and play from any computer with only minimal time spent downloading content.

Once in the game, you can choose to practice against computer opponents or you can select a match. Types of matches include Capture the Flag, Clan Arena, Free For All, Duel, and Team Deathmatch. You can filter matches based on type, or with criteria such as players on your friends list or maps. Matches appropriate for your skill level are automatically suggested, but you can also choose to play matches at a higher level if you wish. The player base is very good as well, no long waits for matches to fill. You can log in and get to shooting pretty much immediately.

Gameplay is much as you would expect- fast and violent. You pick up weapons such as rocket launchers, lightning guns, grenade launchers, and chain guns, and various armors and power ups. Then you take your new arsenal and try to reach out and touch someone. Techniques such as rocket jumping and strafe jumping will greatly improve both your deadliness and your lifespan, and there are tutorials on both if you need a little help.

Check out more of Rika's Reviews! Photo by Jim Brown.

Check out more of Rika's Reviews! Photo by Jim Brown.

Quake Live also has a built in system of friends lists, and player profiles somewhat similar to a social networking site. Each player profile lets you see a pretty intense amount of information on that player, such as a detailed match history, stats like accuracy and favorite weapons, arena, ect., and players they have recently competed against. Public records keep smack-talking players honest. There is also a built in chat window where you can converse with players on your friends list. Also in social networking fashion, you can use your email contact list to find people you know who play.

The only word of warning for busy gamers is that it is of course not in your best interest to go afk during a match, and any matches you leave without completing do go on your record, so you need to know for certain that you have time to complete a match once you join. Regardless, Quake Live is still one of the best suited online games for those of us with jobs/lives/other games to see to. And did I mention that it’s FREE?