The Community Vs. Itself 

Ah, QExpo rolls around again, and here I am, for the first time. I'd never even heard of QExpo until a month ago. I was simply not raised on Quake, and I came rather late into the whole scene. If anything, I'm a Doom dude. However, out of the respect and admiration I have for the community, I feel obligated to contribute this year. As a relative outsider though, I'm having to figure out what this is all about, and where a Doomer can fit in. This got me thinking about the Id games in general. They all basically consist of the same run-and-gun\deathmatch formula that we all cherish and have plugged ourselves into for the last decade. The only differences lie in the engines themselves, which, over the years, has become a rather blurred line, with the numerous and ambitious source ports available. You can now play Quake 1 with nearly every graphical and gameplay effect available in Quake 4. It seems these days that the barriers between the engines, and indeed the games themselves, are becoming increasingly artificial and, well, unnecessary.

The real thing that separates Quake 1 from Doom or Quake 4 is simply the respective communities. In general, the Quake 1 community includes the bulk of the modders and coders. Quake 2 and 3 contain most of the competitive players, while I like to associate Doom to some of the most talented mappers available.

The rifts between the Quakes, or, more importantly, the rifts between gamers, mappers, modders, and artists, saddens me. At least in my mind, if there is one thing that QExpo should be about, it should be about bridging these gaps.

Let me know if I'm wrong, but there seems to be a serious separation between the competitive Quake players and the mappers. I tend to get some rather odd reactions from Quake 2 players when they learn that I dabble in mapping (“People actually do that?”). I also find it very odd when Quake 3 players are totally oblivious as to what goes on in the Quake 1 world (“That old game?”).

Okay, no, not odd. Shocking. There is no shortage of demand for good mappers, and many of the players know what sort of maps are needed. The lack of communication between the two is totally... backwards. Additionally, the phrase “that old game” can't really apply to such source ports as Darkplaces or GZDoom, can they? Since when should I receive strange reactions from Doomers when I mention Quake, or vice versa? In a world of maps, mods, and code, there is no need for any collaborative barriers.

Let's use this year to let the left arm know what the right leg is doing. Let's have the hardcore gamers know that they can have an influence over the kind of maps they play. And for Shub's sake, let's have the mappers know where the good artists are. Sure, Quake 2 and 3 are now 'part of' QExpo, but does the mainstream Q2-3 crowd know this, or even care?

Don't get me wrong though, I'm very proud of how much collaboration we are all capable of, and how much it has shown. After all, that's what's QExpo is for, right? I'm just convinced that with a bit of effort, we can remove everything that holds us back from achieving Total Quake Nirvana (tm).

The games do not define the differences, the people do.