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Quake: A Look Back
January 8, 2011 10:25 PM   Subscribe

The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: A Quake Aftershock. Shortly after the release of Quake in 1996, former iD employee Michael Abrash gave a talk detailing many of the technical hurdles that had to be resolved in making the game. For its 25th anniversary, GDC has put up video clips of two segments (1 2) as well as audio of the full talk.
posted by kmz (21 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
wouldn't that be 15th anniversary?
posted by mannequito at 10:31 PM on January 8, 2011


... or did I lose another decade to smoking pot and playing Quake?
(dammit!!)
posted by mannequito at 10:32 PM on January 8, 2011


Ack, sorry, that is confusing... the 25th anniversary refers to GDC, where the talk was given.
posted by kmz at 10:38 PM on January 8, 2011


I don't know if it was mentioned in a previous thread on Metafilter, or if I saw it on Stack Overflow, but Quake's fast inverse square root trick is a pretty interesting story.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Awesome stuff. Cheers for the link!
posted by dougrayrankin at 1:30 AM on January 9, 2011


ooh, nice... and linked from his wikipedia page is Ramblings in Realtime, a series of articles in which he describes the Quake engine in-development, prior to the game being released...
posted by russm at 1:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some people are still doing amzing things with quake. Here is a link to Quake done 100% quicker. 52 Minute Youtube video
posted by Chorian at 3:14 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it the fifteenth anniversary of NO BLOODY HALF LIFE III yet? Because it damned well feels like it.

Hell yes, I'm bitter.
posted by Decani at 3:17 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd be less irked if the half life episodes weren't promised as a way to get more content faster since they wouldn't need to take as much time to make radically shorter games. (sorry, also bitter!)
posted by Silentgoldfish at 4:02 AM on January 9, 2011


Those two clips were pretty interesting. Shame they didn't feel like putting up a video of the whole talk.
posted by beerbajay at 4:23 AM on January 9, 2011


Anyone have a direct link to the mp3? It's hard to carry around a desktop computer to listen to mp3s.
posted by CarlRossi at 6:53 AM on January 9, 2011


direct link to the mp3
posted by beerbajay at 7:24 AM on January 9, 2011


Thank you. May you have strong offspring.
posted by CarlRossi at 7:47 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


And if it wasn't for that single clever rendering loop that took advantage of the 486's FPU, it wouldn't have been quite the same game.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:33 AM on January 9, 2011


See also: Michael Abrash's Black Book of Graphics Programming.
posted by organic at 10:03 AM on January 9, 2011


Those two clips were pretty interesting. Shame they didn't feel like putting up a video of the whole talk.

Hi, I put together the column, digitized the talk, and made the screengrabs.

The internal CMS of GDC's weblog (which is part of a family of sites) makes it much easier to link to audio than video, and video needs to go through a different set of people than I had access to before filing the story. Once those set of people approve, the full talk will eventually show up on video.
posted by jscott at 4:20 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, I thought I had a basic understanding of how this stuff worked. I've played with openGL, drawing quads and triangles and adding textures to them. I even managed to break the quake1 source in a few interesting ways that both compiled and didn't crash. I know I'm not a real programmer or anything, but I playing with quakec taught me what a crossproduct is and why one needs them to do anything in 3d on a computer.

Come to find out, I have no fucking clue how any of this shit works. In fact, it's a fucking miracle it does at all, especially on the PCs that were available when quake came out.
posted by LiteOpera at 7:12 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man watching that Quake Done Quick video again gets my blood pumping -- just the sheer virtuosity of it, and the sounds and those madhouse maps. Takes me back. Must be time for yet another run through Quake 1 with my favorite source port.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:49 PM on January 9, 2011


Quake was true 3d and ran entirely in software (which is why there was usually only one AI-driven baddie on the screen at any one time). You kids today with your OpenGL's and your DirectX's and your hardware acceleration. Hardware sound adapters, hardware graphics, hardware physics. Next you'll want hardware-accelerated teabagging.

vvv pours out a forty for unchained mode X.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:24 PM on January 9, 2011


jscott: "the full talk will eventually show up on video"

Rad! Thanks!
posted by beerbajay at 11:30 PM on January 9, 2011


hardware-accelerated teabagging
posted by LogicalDash at 1:27 PM on January 10, 2011


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