Fascinating historical archive shows just how much Quake changed during development

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 23 June 2016 02:02 GMT

Quake is having a birthday, and we get the present.

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It’s Quake’s 20th anniversary, and to celebrate this milestone former id Software luminary John Romero has released some items of historical interest from his archives.

Although the first publicly-released screenshots of Quake are amazing (320×200? Love a duck, what a terrible time it was) what really got me was a text file compiled while the game was still in development. Super id fan Joost Shuur gathered together every reference to the nascent shooter he could find in magazines and on websites, so that his fellow enthusiasts would be completely up to date on the next big thing from id.

What makes this so great is the timing:

“Just one month after this QUAKETALK 95 FAQ was released was our fateful, big company meeting that determined the final direction of the game into the Quake that was released,” Romero wrote on his blog.

“It bears little resemblance to the designs discussed here but it lets you see how volatile game design processes can be.”

Wow, I’ll say; the document quotes interviews in which Romero and other id staffers talk about a game in which a Thor-like character battles other gods using a Mjolnir-like hammer. Gosh.

Anyway, it’s fascinating stuff; go check it out.

As announced at E3 2016, Id Software is working on a new Quake game with hero shooter elements called Quake Champions. Romero is currently working on a shooter called Blackroom, which was on Kickstarter but has gone back into the oven for a bit.

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