Memoirs of a Failed Quake God, by Nanzinjal

Memoirs of a Failed Quake God, by Nanzinjal

Memoirs of a failed quake god

I have been playing Quake (in one form or another) now, since the test was originally released on 25.2.1996. Like many others I went through the agony of downloading the shareware version using a 28.8 modem on the day it was released by Id software: 23.6.1996. Playing the shareware version was brilliant and I eagerly looked forward to the release of the full game. I remember going with Cerberus to buy Quake from Virgin in Bristol on 23 August 1996, the day before it officially came out – and I still have the free T shirt to prove it! Quake undoubtedly changed my life, and I do not regret the time I have devoted to it, while failing miserably to achieve the status of Quake God. I have made many good friends over the years with quake, and have rubbed shoulders and even played alongside some who certainly deserve their status as Quake legends – players such as Fragga, Coerj and Dark Raven.

It occurred to me a while back that it really might be a good idea to record some of that history before it all gets lost.

This is a long project, and you will need to check back here as I update it.

-Nanzinjal

INDEX

  Chapter One:

Our time in Eden – the early days of Quake on CIX
Things get better – Quakeworld and CTF arrive
The birth of the CIX Clan – 6.1.1997
The CIX Clan’s first game – The QuakeLords

Chapter Two:

The departure of Coerj

Chapter Three:

Duelling, Fragga and Quake addiction
TraZ takes over
Smiley and Lord Storm – the UKCL meet

Last updated 24.10.2001

 

 

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20031206185252/http://www.cix.co.uk:80/~nanzinjal/quake.htm

nanzinjal

Memoirs of a failed quake god – Chapter 1

Our time in Eden – the early days of Quake on CIX

  Quake was my introduction to the wonderful world of on-line gaming. I can still remember the first time I managed to get my modem to connect me to a server running the shareware version of Quake. This was probably in late July or early August 1996. I had previously had a go at DOOM on a LAN and had tried Quake Test on a LAN. But somehow, connecting to a server and playing people I could not see was something new and very, very different.

CIX (Compulink Information eXchange) were running a Quake server, and having learned of its existence through the conferencing system I decided to give it a go. I was completely unprepared for the level of ability of the players, I recall that mainly I died a lot. But I also remember the feeling of hilarity and exhilaration. Needless to say, I soon began to get better. Using a mouse rather than a keyboard helped considerably.

Looking back it is obvious that there was a pool of talent within CIX at the time, little did we know it. Most notably two players, Coerj and Dark Raven who in their time were undoubtedly amongst a handful of truly amazing players in the UK. Other strong players included TraZ, Smiley, The_Storm, and Kansalis. In the course of the next few months others began to play, people like Cerberus, Virge and eventually Geda.

Right at the start, various players on CIX (one of whom was TraZ – then known as Magsy) had got together to organise a league, and team games were held on the server one night a week. Having gradually improved my game, I was eventually asked to join the Red team which I did. After getting a little fed up there I joined TraZ’s brown team known as the Gibiatrics, in view of the advanced age of our members. We had loads of fun working on tactics, most of which didn’t work terribly well, but boy was it fun. You have to remember that people were playing over 28,800 modems, with no voice coms and fairly basic graphics set ups.

Within CIX there was a very strong quake community at this time, with 6 teams – the Reds, Browns, Whites, Greens, Yellows and the Pinks. The Browns included TraZ, Virge, myself, and others, sadly now lost to Quake – players such as GirlsBlouse, Andrex and Xris. The Whites were undoubtedly the strongest team with Coerj, Dark Raven, Smiley, The_Storm and Cerberus. The Pinks called themselves “the Nasties” and certainly contained the most amusing anarchistic players of who Nemesis was the most talented. Many of these players would go on to play in the first Quake leagues run in the UK. The Nasties evolved in time into Clan Nasty, at which time they were joined by Necro (who was originally in the Red team).

Occasionally CIX players would play “off CIX”, and generally speaking the Minos servers were the obvious place to go. Nemesis mentioned in October of 1996 noticing a couple of clans that seemed to hang about there from time to time, the most promising of which prefixed their name with “QL”. I remember him asking if anyone knew what their clan name was or how to go about challenging them. Perceptively he observed that they were pretty organised on some levels “..if rude and abusive with it”. ;-)

Things get better – Quakeworld and CTF arrive

  By December 1996 Quakeworld was out, a version of Quake optimised for Internet play. Those of you that played will remember that Quakeworld came with its own ranking system which essentially just added up your frags and subtracted your deaths. I still have the Christmas stats and was somewhere in the bottom half of the top 500 – Coerj was number 5. Of course it didn’t take long for people to realise that if you picked your server and had the time to devote to it, you could rack up a very good rank, which did not necessarily reflect your ability. Then there were those players who had “fast” connections and very low pings, unlike us poor 28.8 modem players. But despite the inherent inadequacy in the ranking system (that led to its being abandoned) and the problem of unequal connections, Internet gaming had arrived properly.

One of the early modifications to quake was the idea of Capture the Flag, which first made an appearance in late October 1996. What made the game fun were firstly a series of power ups or “runes” that gave the player a tremendous advantage, as unlike traditional power ups such as the quad damage, they never ran out. However, when the player holding the rune was fragged, the rune could be picked up by anyone else, from either team. This added considerably to the tactics of both defending and attacking. There was nothing worse than to take a rune into the enemy base which, if lost, would considerably strengthen the defender’s position. Runes were not the only change however, of more significance was the introduction of the grapple which allowed a player to attach himself to any part of the level and pull himself towards it. As a means of swiftly moving around the level and launching unexpected attacks the grapple was a revelation to us at the time. Many evenings were spent hunched over keyboards mastering these new skills, and I can still remember the hilarity that was involved.

The birth of the CIX Clan – 6.1.1997

In time as Internet Quakeworld took off, Clans were starting to happen and the CIX Quake community were keen to form a CIX Clan. Coerj, TraZ, Kansalis and I got together and decided that we would constitute the core of the CIX clan – the competitive team. Our thoughts were that the clan proper would be open to all but that the team would be an inner core. So, we selected those players who we wanted, and invited them to join the competition team. Undoubtedly as individual players we were amongst the best then playing on the CIX server. But we were a self selected group and the cry of elitism was raised. Clearly to compete effectively some form of selection was required. As in any team sport, there had to be a degree of leadership and discipline. It was soon clear that despite our best efforts not to deliberately offend anyone, we had managed to do just that, and the warmth of the original quake community on CIX would never be quite the same again.

The idea of a practice session was a fairly new idea back then. We very soon realised that we needed to practice, but at first practice consisted of teaming up on public servers and fragging the opposition. While this was great for building team skills, it really did annoy the other players. To make it worse, realising that this might be the case, some of us would alias on the server while continuing to pair up. In hindsight it is easy to see just why relations within the CIX Quake community soured as quickly as they did, but at the time it just was not so obvious, although perhaps it should have been. There was inevitably a degree of polarisation within the CIX quake playing community, one positive result of which was the birth of Clan Nasty.

The early days of the new clan were tremendously exciting for us. Naturally we felt that we were all very strong players (having had he advantage of team nights on the CIX server). This (misplaced) feeling of our innate superiority was in due course destined to be replaced with a more realistic appraisal. The insular nature of the CIX community had shielded us from the possibilities of just what was possible on a low ping connection, and the general low standard of play on public servers had lulled us into a false sense of security. But as we began to play more on the few public servers then available in the UK we gradually became aware that there were other good players out there. Lord Storm and Ettu were two such, and had formed a clan which they called the Quake Lords. Meanwhile Zoser and Osiris had formed Demonic Core.

There had been earlier attempts to try and get a league of the ground, prior to the advent of Quakeworld, but they had failed. By the beginning of January 1997 the UKCL (United Kingdom Clan League) had been formed and a first set of rules published. QuakeWorld was pretty much the unanimous decision of the competing clans although interestingly, some Clans even then wanted to play old Quake.

The CIX Clan’s first game – The QuakeLords

With real competition beginning to loom as a possibility. Dark Raven was keen to have a trial run against another clan. Coerj agreed, he had received mail from the Quakelords asking for a friendly match. He was in two minds, accepting that it might be a bit early for that particular challenge and demoralise the newly formed clan more than anything. As he put it “on the plus side we will actually see what we are up against, QL’s being one of the best Clans around”. This was of course to be a “friendly” game. It would be good experience for us…. In the event, it was a useful experience – it showed us that the newly formed CIX clan had a lot of work to do on their teamplay and tactical skills. We were well and truly hammered by the opposition, on DM3. As Coerj said with masterly understatement after the event “… it was a bit of an eye opener for everyone I think” (!)

At the time many of the possibilities that the DM3 map had to offer were unknown. It had not been appreciated, for example, that a player could jump from one side of the central courtyard to the other. Over the following 12 months so much was to change, and the map became the real test of so many teams skills. The possible tactics became established and reasonably well published on the net. The significance of the key resources were understood and the deciding factor became individual skill and team co-ordination, and one other factor, where the players of a team spawned at the beginning of the game.

If you were lucky enough to get the right spawn spots at the start of the games, then you stood a good chance of controlling the game. I still remember CIX training sessions on a private server where the level was started and people raced from their initial spawn spots to given locations to try and establish who had the best chance of reaching the controlling resources first. Quake in competitive matches was all about controlling those resources. If you did it correctly the other side could (sometimes) be effectively reduced to spawning and dying.

Of course, it takes considerable discipline to have 8 or more players on a server just practicing the starts, and there were times when players mucked about or got fed up – much to the frustration of those who wanted to sort out the tactical issues. I can still remember getting immensely cross with Lord Soth who spammed grenades relentlessly into one particular room where this sort of thing was being tried out. Harsh words were exchanged and in the end he moved on from the clan. But Quake is a tremendously seductive environment in that respect. Put a rocket launcher in a player’s hand in a virtual 3d environment and then ask him to exercise self-control? Perhaps it surprising that the trigger did not get pulled more often.

In the first few months after we started playing Quake on the closed CIX server, one of the computer press journalists on CIX mentioned that he was doing an article on Quake and would like to take a “photo” of some players for an article. As a result about 10 players turned up on the server at the appointed time, and stood in one place so that a screenshot could be taken. Naturally the tension was too much and Zenith opened fire with his rocket launcher which started a spate of revenge attacks, coupled with cries of “stop stop ffs!” and worse. When we could finally stop the laughter, the screen shot was eventually taken – and shows a group of players standing in one place in standard Quake Marine issue and the widest possible variety of colours. At that stage skins were not supported. But with the arrival of Quakeworld, skins became a real possibility.

It was Rorschach who led the way, by developing skins for the Quakelords. I believe from speaking to him, that he originally felt that they would give the team an advantage, as they would only be seen by team members. In practice skins were soon loaded onto servers so that everyone could see you in all your freshly skinned glory. It was Rorschach who integrated the “full bright” Quake palette entries to make parts of the design visible in the dark. This was of course prior to the days of 3d graphics cards that supported Open GL, the Voodoo cards were still a good year away at this stage Of course the other thing that the Quakelord skin did, was to give the clan a real sense of identity on public servers. As a newly formed clan at CIX, Coerj felt particularly strongly that we too needed a unique skin, and I finally volunteered to produce one.

https://web.archive.org/web/20020414034327/http://www.cix.co.uk:80/~nanzinjal/quake1.htm

Memoirs of a failed quake god – Chapter 2

The departure of Coerj

Without a doubt Coerj was the most tactically aware player I have ever come across. There are undoubtedly players whose aim is better, or who have quicker reactions. Coerj had to make do with very good aim very and good reactions (please bear in mind that this is all relative; but undoubtedly there are players with better aim and quicker reactions – Dark Raven was one), but Coerj coupled this with an innate tactical awareness. Coerj had figured out that Quake was all about controlling resources and pinch points in levels, while the rest of us were still learning where everything was on the maps. He was undoubtedly an inspirational player, and we all learned from playing along side him. This is not to diminish a player like Dark Raven who was a good tactical player, but Coerj was undoubtedly a tactical god.

By now the UKCL was formed, and had decided upon quakeworld rather than quake. Initial discussions over LPB vs HPW status had not prevented teams fielding LPBs so at CIX (as an all HPW team) there was a lot of discussion about how we might struggle against teams with lower pings. The clan had been extended and now included Lord Soth, The Storm, Smiley, and Xris; which was good for internal competition as none of these players were slouches by any stretch of the imagination, you had to play well consistently to justify your place in a match game. Although everyone got a turn, the stronger a player you were, the more likely you were to end up playing a match.

I can still remember getting the shakes before those first few matches. The adrenaline would be pumping, as you tried to get your modem to connect to your ISP. At that stage PIPEX was the best connection and the London Docklands connection gave you a significant ping and latency advantage. (This was something else that Coerj had discovered and shared with the clan). Generally I would be on an adrenaline rush for the next hour, until the game was over, win or loose, and I could start to calm down.

CIX players were out and about on general quakeworld servers by now and some were beginning to build a reputation, and coming up against other players who already had reputations – players such as Lord Storm, Ettu and of course Sujoy. There was one occasion when Coerj managed to finish ahead of 6 LPBs, much to the chagrin of Sujoy. Someone (possibly TraZ) commented with natural pride that this was because Coerj was the best modemer in the world to which Sujoy commented “Yes, I know”. Sujoy had started on a modem and while we had considered him a good player, we certainly did not consider him a god. His new ping of 33 was an enormous advantage and the CIX players conceded that we had a problem. TraZ was the first of us to bite the bullet and get ISDN. But it really would only be a question of time for most of us. Interestingly Dark Raven never moved from a modem connection and remained highly competitive – a tribute to his abilities if ever one was needed.

The first week’s UKCL competition was on Sat 25/01/1997 and saw CIX Vs Clan Nasty Clan Pendragon Vs Demonic Core, Dominion Vs GSEH, Mandalore Warriors Vs Mental Carnage, Minos Academy Vs Quake Lords and QPD Vs QUTA. Some of these clans went on to attain near legendary status – most quake players will have heard of the Quake Lords and Demonic Core. But there was also the Quake Police Department or QPD whose members included Cenobite, Ving and Fragga. Fragga was a long time friend of Coerj, and in all likelihood Fragga really was the greatest quake player on a modem connection in the world.

CIX started that first week well, the final score was Cix Team 92 Nasties 04 – it sounds cruel but we were dismayed by our teamplay, and recognised afterwards that against any sort of quality opposition we would have been decimated. The second week went well too, but in the third week we had to play Demonic Core (Nightwing, Zoser, Sujoy, Loki, etc), but they postponed as they were unable to play all their LPB’s that weekend – gamesmanship had arrived! In the end CIX got a default win against DC, not a satisfactory ending from anyone’s point of view. The UKCL had started off with rules that balanced LPBs but by the fourth week the rule was abolished, bad news for CIX as TraZ was our only LPB :-) This was influential in the setting up of the MCW or Modem Clan Wars which CIX promptly joined. The league was run mid week (the UKCL ran at weekends), most matches being relatively early in the evening. Our first match, amusing enough, was against an under par DC team who we beat 100 to 22.

The next match was against Mandalore Warriors, a team we should have beaten, on DM4, but we didn’t. Coerj had been warning us that we were not taking things seriously enough, and he was right. Things were going well in the MCW but it was the UKCL that we had our eyes on, and in due course our first real test had arrived, in the form of the Quake Police Department. It was a nightmare and after the event, when someone asked me the score I recall responding “Don’t ask mate – just don’t ask, they fielded 4 LPB’s and Fragga.” The score was actually QPDvCIX 181-78 and considering that we had no LPBs you can make some allowance, but Coerj couldn’t. QPD Danman actually had the grace to comment after the game ” Sorry about the ping CIX, if you were a shitter clan, we would have fielded fewer LPB’s”. It wasn’t much comfort to us at the time. The real truth was, and this hurt, our teamplay sucked big time. We needed more practice if we were to compete and win, and Coerj knew it and kept telling us. We went on to win convincingly enough the next week but the opposition (Bog) just did not have players of the same ability.

Coerj’s old mate QPD Fragga had taken to joining us for practice sessions during this time, and more and more, Coerj had taken to coaching as a spectator with Fragga, while the rest of us ran around making mistakes ;-). Coerj and Fragga were frequently to be found on public server alaising as Zig and Zag and playing as a pair. On 11 April ’97, only 4months after helping to start the clan Coerj decided that he wanted out, he was joining Fragga in QPD. Perhaps we should not have been too surprised, but we were, and boy did it hurt. We had lost our captain, and the one guy everyone universally looked up to and admired. Coerj was open about his reasons – he wanted to be in a clan that was capable of beating the Quake Lords and he felt that only QPD and DC could achieve this. He commented that the other players in the clan were perceived by some as holding him back, but in his view it was our lack of LPB connections that was the problem. He was probably being kind, although there is no doubt in my mind that players like Dark Raven, Smiley and the Storm were certainly amongst the premiership of modem players at the time. As it was we finished the season 4th overall in the UKCL – not too bad all thing considered.

With Coerj gone we needed a new captain, and it needed no real thought – TraZ was the man. Foolish chap he thought it was an honour. It was actually going to be bloody hard work, but all that comes later. In the meantime some of us were building reputations of our own as the attached message from the UK Quake team manager Raw Meat shows:

Guys, As you may well know, the Clan UK Team is a team full of llamas !!! :)

Anywayz, they have asked me to captain the team for em to practice against. Therefore i want some decent players to be on the opposition team, and if u impress the selectors you never know what might happen!? Ok right so this is the deal. Clan UK is full of llamas, as you know. So we need some decent players to give em a proper trouncing.

Here are a list of players that I would like to hear from:

ROJ QPD
DC.Loki
TFS.Dusted
TFS.Alamo
CC-InterPhaze
Coerj QPD
Fuckall FK
DC.Jibsta
DC.Dranath
CP.Carnage
DC.Zoser
CIX.Sheol <——– :)
CIX.DarkRaven
CC-Scanman
Dazza Groffy
CP.Spirit
CC-Angel

That is a list of ppl that i “especially” want to hear from. Pls note that any Quake Lords who aint in the team (apart from Azrael :) :) :) ) and want play pls contact me. Also if neone who is a) lpb or b) very good that wanna play pls contact me too.

RawMeat

Fame at last!

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20020604094620/http://www.cix.co.uk:80/~nanzinjal/quake2.htm

Memoirs of a failed quake god – Chapter 3

Duelling, Fragga and Quake addiction

  While Coerj popped in to give us support for the rest of the season, it gradually became obvious that he was now a full time member of QPD and naturally his involvement in the CIX clan diminished. He now played for a competitor clan within the same division of the UKCL and it was inevitable that a degree of distance would grow between us all. He did continue to drop by our IRC channel and say hello, and CIX were to go on to practice reasonably regularly with QPD, but things had changed and we all knew it.

It was around this time that Fragga disappeared from the on line quake scene. Much was said about it at the time, but the long and the short of it seems to be that Fragga had developed a serious on line quake habit. The costs of playing on line were greater then, and Fragga’s habit had caused him real financial problems and he had to quit. Before he went, I had been privileged (read: unlucky enough) to play against him on public servers and I had watched him duel on DM4. Fragga owned that level, he knew every aspect of the level and could control it absolutely. It is hard to credit when you have not seen it, but he was awesome.

While Fragga’s departure was an early lesson to us all, Quake addiction was to be a problem for other players in the future.

I had not really played many one on one games at this stage, the concept of dueling was fairly new in the UK, and only just starting to take off. Fragga had taken to it like a duck to water, and Coerj had become pretty damn good at it too. Someone (I cannot remember who now) set up the UK One on One League or UKOOL. Dueling is common place now, but at the time we were in for a shock, as it was a totally different game to normal Quake. As Coerj said, essentially its just you and the other guy, if the other guy is good he makes sure you don’t get a sniff of any weapons and he hounds you mercilessly….depending on the level its usually a case of trying to find out where the other player is. It’s not easy and you need to know the levels backwards….any move you make or noise you make could tell an experienced player where you are….

I did take part in the first season of UKOOL (as did TraZ, Dark Raven, and Coerj). But my season never finished, too many people failed to turn up etc. I have continued to duel occasionally over the years, but I have come to realise that I actually enjoy team games considerably more than one on one dueling – and I’m not that good at it either :-)

TraZ takes over

  In the meantime and following Coerj’s departure TraZ had become captain and so ended the first UKCL season, with CIX coming a very creditable 4th behind the QuakeLords, QPD, and Demonic Core. Considering that we were the only one of those 4 teams with no JANet players that was a fairly good result.

But we did feel the need for a good LPB.

TraZ had been the first to get ISDN and reveled in mid 70’s pings – but the other teams had players with mid 30’s pings, and that was a a considerable disadvantage for CIX in the UKCL. We had managed to recruit Nemesis (ex clan Nasty) Cerberus and Cortex, all strong modemers, and all regular players on the CIX quake server. But even with players like Dark Raven (whose strong natural gaming skills made him a match for many an LPB) we were struggling – we were out pinged and we knew it. Following TraZ’s lead I too went for ISDN and was astounded at the difference it made to my game. All of a sudden some of the moves that really made a difference became relatively easy to accomplish. On DM4 there is a jump to Quad, on Modem it is possible, but difficult to get right every time – but ISDN cured that particular problem.

It was around this time that what I initially thought of as “special tricks” became more prevalent. These were things like the jump from one side of central upper level to the other in DM3, which enabled you to get to Quad from the “wrong” side of the level. These techniques revolutionised the tactics on many levels. The point was however, that on a modem you struggled to do these things, the lower the ping the easier they became.

The clan were beset with problems at the start of the second season in the UKCL. Dark Raven found that he was spending too much time on line and needed to take a break, so CIX were without one of their star players. Our moral had also been knocked, we were finding the second season in the UKCL much harder than the first, mainly due to the great increase in the number of LPB players fielded by the opposition. The MCW had started well enough – CIX had beaten the Quake Lords, but without Dark Raven, Sheol and TraZ there was a smaller pool of players to choose from and we were beaten by Demonic Core simply because we had not got the team organised. By the end of the season we were eventually relegated to division 2 of the MCW as a result.

But in June 97 CIX under TraZ’s leadership were actually sitting at the top of the UKCL table looking down on the others. None of us expected to be able to stay there but never the less CIX were No 1 for a while. News From the Front (the first ever UK quake league news web site) said of us:

The “Big Game” of the week was between CIX and Clan Corpus, two Clans known for their superb teamplay and dedication to tactics and practise. I’m sure the game was superb, with CIX narrowly winning the day 114- 96, a result which reinforces CIX’s favourite status and more or less condemns CC to a top 8 position without a hope of the trophy, now having two losses from their five games. CIX seem unbeatable at the moment, winning against the Quake Lords despite mouse and connection problems, and taking CC down this week. The question remains, will they be able to beat the other headlining Clans, Demonic Core and QPD?

I mentioned that we had beaten the Quake Lords in the MCW, now we had a match against them coming up in the UKCL. This was posted by accident to the UK mailing list by Rorshach it was meant to be to for the QL only:

“Hi , here’s the match schedule, just thought I’d point out that we REALLY wanna SLAUGHTER CIX to death haha I’m sure babyfragger and those others in the NCW match with them will agree

…Really wana see those rockets :)”

Sadly despite practicing quite hard, we did not manage to beat QL. It was not a whitewash, but we were beaten fair and square.

Smiley and Lord Storm – the UKCL meet

  In July 1997 the UKCL famously organised a meet at Shoot’n’Surf in Holborn. Nemesis and Smiley both went. Smiley got totally pissed and mortally abused everyone he could find, especially if they were lpb, although in his state everyone and anyone who could string a sentence together without repeating themselves over and over was an lpb. In particular he managed to upset Lord Storm who took a real dislike to the drunken Smiley. Needless to say Smiley was embarrassed afterwards, but the damage had been done, and even now QL’s will occasionally ask “Who was that tosser from CIX who ….”

Meanwhile the UK Quake awards had a category for the Worst Camper. The Winner was Nightwing but Coerj managed 2nd – He he he!

https://web.archive.org/web/20020604041338/http://www.cix.co.uk:80/~nanzinjal/quake3.htm

Like driftwood in the roaring rapids,
Helpless in its vicious flow,
Down the cataract of slander,
Willy-nilly, here we go.
 

By way of a historical retrospective – welcome to my quakeworld skin design pages.

I first started designing quake skins in the Spring of 1997. I was very impressed by the work of Rorschach who had produced the first Quakelords skin and desperately wanted to emulate that individual look for my own clan – CIX. I continued to design skins for quakeworld until February 1999, but I haven’t done any since then. There were clearly problems in using skins in Quakeworld. It didn’t take people long to realise that if you had a black skin you were invisible in the shadows, while if you simply copied wall textures you could be camouflaged. There are always Llamas around I guess. Of course, other players took to ensuring that all enemy players defaulted to a specific high visibility skin, which rather spoiled the fun for the designer whose work would then go unseen.

The advent of GL with the 3DFX Vodoo card saw (for the time) fantastic 3D lighting added to quake – but it also meant the loss of the fullbright glow in the dark colours which added so much to those early skins. Seeing a player running down a corridor towards you – his suit glowing eerily in the dark – was a real high.

With the advent of Quake2 I did work on a few skin designs, but never played the game enough to enjoy the design task sufficiently to motivate me to keep at it. Instead, I stuck with playing the “brown game” as some call it, and so did my skinning efforts. With the arrival of Quake3 skins have really died a death. No one uses custom made skins and, in my view, a little bit of the magic has gone from on-line gaming.

So for the time being I have given up skin design – but if there is ever a first person shooter game that supports glowing suits and the ability to upload and download the same from game servers while playing, then I could well be tempted back ;-)

https://web.archive.org/web/20030221202549/http://www.cix.co.uk:80/~nanzinjal/skins/default.htm

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