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Vol. 2, Issue 2
November 15, 1999

End of the Line

A report by Russell "RadPipe" Lauzon




adPipe has a vision. It's the id Software annual marketing meeting, where all ideas for the coming year are discussed and hashed around. There's a big table. There's lots of chairs. The owners of the company are there, as well as the biz and marketing people. Perhaps they're having danishes and coffee. Perhaps not. Anna Kang is talking.

<Anna> It'll be great! We'll buy a big bus, design it up all cool like with big Quake III logos everywhere, we'll put really fast computers on it, network them up, and drive the thing from city to city and let people try the game. It'll be a big roving lan party! It'll be great! Why is everyone looking at me so strangely?

I haven't a clue who was the first to propose the idea of the Quake III: Arena bus, but Anna sure deserves credit for making it happen. And seriously, I bet whoever came up with the original idea got some strange looks before the dream was finally realized. (Personally, I like to think it was my Road To QuakeCon series on QuakeCon.org that brought it about, but I'm told differently. But that would have been cool.)

I had the wonderful privilege of doing interviews for the Quake III Arena site. Which was rather odd, because I never got on the bus until the final stop, in LA at Activision HQ. It was there that I finally played on those very cool Athlon machines with the flat screen monitors, and I kicked me some Activision employee butt. Ok, some of them had never played before, and they were having problems getting the controls just right, and I kept kicking people behind me, and most of them had never played any sort of FPS game before, but I still won myself a glorious battle and smack-talked them into oblivion. When in Rome, do as the Romans, right? Of course we were nowhere near Rome.

At least half the id Software folk were on hand and we retreated to a secret Activision room where more machines were setup and a special build of Q3A was loaded and raring to go. So what did I do? I sat down at one of the machines and we played on q3test2, The Longest Yard. Not the brightest thing considering we had new levels to play with, but I wasn't about to stand up and suggest we do something else in a roomful of id and Activision people. Someone else soon stood up and suggested we play a different level and everyone applauded and commended his initiative. I was tempted to throw something, but I didn't. (And by the way, it was Christian "Disruptor" Antkow of id.)

We dropped into one of Disruptor's maps and he proceeded to mop the floor with us. I got my first look at both the Klesk and Orbb models. I got fragged a few times trying to check them out, especially when I was laughing my ass off at the "testicle on arms" model (as described on Blue's msgboard one day). Don't get me wrong, it's definitely a cool model once you get used to the obvious strangeness of it. Paul Steed did an excellent job animating it, which leaves me to wonder who at id he used for the motion-capture filming. I can see it now…

<Paul> Hey Tim, can you walk on your hands? Great, now can you do it holding this basketball between your legs?

No, that's not a quote. That's my cracked mind creating reality out of fiction. Cool huh.

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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Illiad. End of the Line is © 1999 Russell Lauzon. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, goldarn it.