Quake Live Is A Chance For The PC To "Stand Alone"

Quake Live Is A Chance For The PC To "Stand Alone"


id mastermind John Carmack says Quake Live, which entered open beta yesterday, is a way to give the PC platform a chance to "stand alone" in an increasingly console-centric world.

"A lot of this project was about doing something that the PC was going to be better at than the consoles," he said in an interview with Gamasutra. "Our modern triple-A stuff has to be somewhat more console-centric, with the PC as a peer, while this is an opportunity to do something where the PC will really stand alone."

What makes the PC stand alone is its ability to fully integrate with the web in areas like social networking, communications, leaderboards and friend lists. Quake Live's browser integration is a key component of that formula, he said, noting that those aspects of the game "certainly appear to some degree or another on the consoles, but are just a lot more fleshed-out and have more depth with what we can do here."

Quake Live will support full-screen play but Carmack said he expects few people to bother with it. "It'll be interesting to see if hardcore people play full-screen still," he said. "But I suspect that probably there will be a lot more people, as our user base grows, who are playing it just in the browser window."

"I'm curious to see how that actually plays out in the end, how many people look at it as a serious gaming experience and just use the portal to get there, versus the people for whom the portal is a large chunk of the experience," he continued. "For years, I've often thought about the fact that a lot of people spend vastly more time on websites and forums about the games that they're playing than they actually spend playing the games themselves. We hope to have some aspect of that here."

Quake Live is a browser-based online multiplayer FPS based on id's 1999 release Quake 3 Arena and the Quake 3 Team Arena follow-up. The game won't support mods but during the 2008 QuakeCon Carmack promised ongoing updates and support for the game and said it may also offer "officially approved" user-created maps. Sign-ups for the open beta are being taken at www.quakelive.com but the servers have been overwhelmed since opening yesterday; at the time of this writing I'm in position 43,433 in the queue to access the game, which means that with luck I'll be playing by late Friday.


I can't run it. How sad.

The Queue takes so long to get through that I never quite finish it before I have to quit.

Wow, Quake 3 Arena came out in 1999? Jeez.

Right now I'm at 42435, one of the longest lines I believe I've ever been in. It looks pretty cool and hopefully it will help me kill a lot of time at work.....if I can get on.

Wow, Quake 3 Arena came out in 1999? Jeez.

10 days after UT! :P

Anyway, I really hope this ends up being popular. I haven't tried to log in yet but I could imagine it would take forever. I'm quite excited about the idea. Hopefully it will being FPS games to more casual players.

QL is a sadly watered down version of Q3, riding off the back of the initiative of developers like Garage Games Studio's with their InstantAction.com site. Its still fun, but it comes across as a slap dash job just taking off their own material and putting it in a browser rather than creating something new.

Shame really. That and the que is a joke.

interesting but im playing Unreal Tournament now

Not very exciting. Sure it's cool but not as cool as something like Battlefield heroes where they are at least doing something original.

I don't see much point in playing a watered down port of a 10 year old game when the full version probably costs $5 on Steam.

I'm at work can't check the price but I can't imagine it's more than $5

...The PC is better than consoles at a lot of things.

Its a very interesting experiment, we could see more like it in the future.

I had Quake III: Arena on my Dreamcast that's how long ago it was.

Woot i'm at 9989 in the queue

John Carmack misses the point. Again.

John Carmack misses the point. Again.

This is probably the only instance of cloud computing that I've seen that works somewhat so far. I don't think John Carmack's missing the point at all. Even though I believe that cloud computing is ultimately destined for failure, if it does happen to take off, the console will be rendered immediately obsolete, as even netbooks will be able to play full 3D games.

That said, I don't like Quake 3 that much compared to its predecessors and even Unreal Tournament, and the queues are an utter joke, but I think it's an interesting experiment. One doomed to ultimate failure, but interesting nonetheless.

Got in and played some last night (looks like they're finally getting the queues under control) and I have to say it was pretty good - for a Quake 3 experience. There's no getting around the fact that Quake 3 is a decade old and this is pure, unadulterated, out-of-the-box Quake 3 action and for some people that's going to be a problem. But once I got out of the queue, the download was extremely quick and the play was flawless. I'd say things are looking very solid at this point.

nice to have mainstream games like quake 3 on the web...
thumbs up 2 id
wonder what's comin next?

I think the idea is awesome reminds me of the time the only game my computer could handle was runescape however I never play demos or betas so i still have to wait

It's time for the PC fan boys to come out of the closet. I love playing my video games on my computers and I'm proud.


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