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The Virtual Spectator   comment
With the emergence of large commercial Quake events comes the possibility of commercial coverage, and of Quake players being charged to enjoy "premium coverage" such as Qtv. Hoony takes a look at what we might expect in the next few years, including a comparison of the recent online America's Cup coverage:

Coverage of major LAN events is evolving into a cooperative enterprise involving a range of different technologies. We have seen NetGamesUSA who provide instant access to match tables, statistics, screenshots, and demos. We have Qtv, which provides live spectating to thousands through proxy servers in daisy-chains. We have Web Cams, which bring live images, and we have Shoutcast, which brings music and live audio commentary. We have IRC, which provides a massive "venue" for the "crowd" and a central location for official announcements. In addition, we have myriad "news sites" and "demos pages" which provide colourful commentary and information, such as interviews, stories, and match predictions.

What is often lacking with "coverage" of major events is a single location for all of these elements. It's very rare that they are all available at the same time. Currently, they are provided by independent services - no-one offers a "one-stop shop" service. There is nobody who can "produce" the show, who can orchestrate all of these elements into a smooth and seamless production. This entire territory is very much "up for grabs" at the present moment.

Read the full article here.

Origin of Challenge   comment
I was digging through the vault and I came across some of the first pages from Challenge.AU. In those days, there was only CHAU and CHUS, though Hoony couldn't find anyone in the US to take CHUS on. Way back then international Quake was a new and radical concept, and CHAU helped to bring it to our attention. The pages are an interesting record of some exciting months in the world of Quake and show the beginnings of our crazy network.

To give you an idea of what's on each page I've summarised some of the more notable stories. Enjoy.

Judging Jude's Maps   comment
Hoony looks at the debate arising from a comment in Jude's interview that in the mapping scene "commoners sometimes aren't given a chance and looked down upon because they are exactly that":

The mappers, of course, have a much broader and higher set of standards, and the "visuals" cannot be discounted. It would be fair to say that for many mappers making a map is as much (or more) about creating a "work of art" as it is making a virtual space for "Quake-as-sport", or for 1-on-1 or Team DM. As Mr Fribbles puts it (in an email - he gave his permission to quote in this article):
[O]ne thing which people need to realise (and it surely isn't immediately obvious) is that a lot of us mappers look at mapping as some kind of an art form. You may laugh but that's how it is. To most people a map is just a map. To mappers, it's more though, it's the combination of the light, architecture, texturing AND layout/item placement/gameplay. Because to me a map is comprised of all those elements (maybe more) then we expect a high standard in all areas, ideally. When maps fail to meet these (admitedly strict) criteria then they're not good enough, basically. Speaking for myself at least, other people have different standards.

Read the full article here.

Q3A Review - Doing it Differently   comment
Hoony looks at whether or not id Software could have done things "a little differently" with Q3A:

Why not make Q3A more realistic? Instead of the "arena masters" running the show, why not make the show an imaginary $1 million dollar "pro-gaming" competition, run by the World Deathmatch Federation (WDF)? You would still have to work your way through all the tiers and the maps, but you would be competing to win imaginary prize money, awards and points, and to top a league of "realistic" players and teams. I'm thinking of something along the lines of those golfing/ soccer simulations. Of course, why not just go the whole hog and make it really real :P.

Read the full review here.

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