9 August - to - 14 August, 1998
Friday, August 14, 1998
Challenge.AU Invitational 16 Player Duel Tourney:
GreySeer has written a fine summary of our thinking behind this event, and some more news on our progress, which is published on GolSyd News tonight:
"The Challenge-AU Invitational LAN Tournament is a new approach in Australia to LAN tourneys. The central theme is to make a LAN tournament an exciting spectacle. Quakers from all around converge on one location to socialise, drink, eat and watch the big guns duke it out.
In order to achieve this we have designed the competition format and the venue to be spectator orientated. The matches will be played one at a time on a stage with the competitors facing each other (as Hoony points out, something not unlike a chess tournament ). The spectators can watch the action on big video screens and are updated on the tournament's progress frequently so they can see how the game they are watching fits into the overall picture.
The Challenge-AU Invitational LAN Tournament will be run with the utmost professionalism. Each match will be recorded from both players POVs. Every tournament match will have an observer who will officiate and record the game. There will also a team of people who will ensure that both the palyers and spectators always know precisely what is going on.
To stay in line with this attitude of professionalism Challenge-AU is holting a "test" Tournament. Since no-one has tried to do this before we thought it would be prudent to put this format through it's paces before we attempt "The Real Thing".
On Saturday the 5th of September we will be holding the Challenge-AU Invitational Test LAN Tournament at the Western Suburbs Leagues Club in Ashfield. Doors open at 9am, the tournament starts at 10am and will run until approx 11pm. The Leagues Club is open 24 hours and has all things associated with a Leagues Club such as pokies, bistro and most importantly a bar. :)
The test LAN will by no means be half-baked, we shall be running it just as if it was the real thing and to add some spice there will be prizes for the winner of the tournament and the runners up.
Entry is free so do not skip this opportunity to watch some of our best players in what promises to be an entertaining and exciting day".
New Japan-Korea Quake Site:
Lurid [V6] emailed me today with the URL to a new, joint South Korea/ Japan Quake site which is very cool. What a good idea, having a site that spans the two countries. Hopefully, this means that they get a decent enough connection to each other to be able to play some internationals, a bit like Australia and New Zealand.
Here's what Lurid [V6] said:
"I have a good news from Asia. We have finally finished that make Korean & Japanese quakers site. We, Korean and Japanese quakers will match and exchange the information by it. If you have interesting about us, visit in 'http://q2.always.co.kr/japakor' all in English".
It's up - head on over to the Interviews section to hear Hoony and Methos babbling away (take some beer). Not long after I posted a snippet last night - a somewhat controversial "Quake will eventually die" quote, I received an email from Darkthrone in Germany, from Clan Schmerzerzeuger, who had this response:
"Uhhmmm....let me tell you...as long as there is no Rocket Jump, RL and then some in any new type of 3D Shooter, Ill stick to Q1!!!! And I bet that even Q3:Arena won?t tear us apart!!!? I tried em all, those new "Quake Killers", and none of them got me hooked like Quake!!!! I don?t want those new visual effects, those fancy models and the weapon balance, I want WAR!!!! And Unreal is definitely NOT what I want in a 3D Shooter!!!!!".
Hehehe :-). Darkthrone also asked for more info about the UK Vs Germany match - sorry I don't have any more info than what is available on Coerj's Diary. I'm not sure who is playing from the German side or the UK side - if anyone would like to some info please do and I'll publish it right away.
Nine Studio Post Review:
Svenska Nine have posted some reviews and summary stuff on the 9vsDR match, which are well worth a look. There are a couple of quotes from Spice and Paralyzer here, and a NINE summary of the "fight of the century" here. Of particular interest is Henrik's look at how the proxy broadcasting performed:
Much could be learnt from this event.
We had quite a few partners that hosted proxys. Hans at the university of Ume? hosted the first external proxy in the chain. About 10-20 other partners from around the world acted as distributors and connected to Ume?. I don?t know how many others hosted proxys and in turn connected to the local distributors such as the PGL, Barrysworld and so on. What I do know is that many thousands of spectators wanted to see the matches live. In order to accomodate these we need a large network of hosts and a way to communicate and try the broadcasts way before the acctual events.
The 5 weeks we had from deciding on a date for this event to when it acctually took place was way to little time for us. There are acctually a few reasons there weren?t enough proxy?s for this event.
We run an Internetcaf? / computer studio. We lack the resources to hire people to set everything up. Getting enough proxy?s would be a fulltime job for at least a month if not more. As it was, I was the only one trying to get this whole thing together.
None knew what to expect in terms of attention. I?m quite sure that next time something like this comes along people will be more willing to spend time at work or where ever they are to host proxy?s. This time not so many volunteered.
Complicated software. It?s not so hard to host a proxy and to connect that proxy to another one if you know what you?re doing. But if you?ve never done it before, and if you aren?t familiar with the way quake and proxy?s work in terms of observer modes, FPS, communication within the software etc it can be tricky. If we had better or easier software we?d also have more people hosting proxy?s.
Beast is Awakening:
What could Hobbex be talking about here?
"Sleep - Besides being what I need badly it is what the Quake scene is in right now. But something is happening, a beast has been awakened. More will follow".
Dru's View on Online Cheating:
Ben Dobbs has written a very good overview of the problems some online Quake competitions such as liga.net and the PGL have been having with cheating. The issues are real, and justify close examination. Hobbex has pointed out that it's a bit suspicious, having a critique of these operations coming from a CPL-related website. I am willing to suspend judgement on that score, expecting that Dru's editorials will be balanced in their treatment of the issues.
As usual, I'm going to work on other stuff over the weekend - see you on Monday night.
Thursday, August 13, 1998
Challenge.AU Invitational 16 Player Duel Tournament:
Haven't mentioned anything about this for a week or so but be assured it is going ahead :-). This evening GreySeer and I checked out the venue we will be using - GreySeer is DA MAN for finding this venue :-) Here's some of the features:
- central location
- big screens
- open 24 hours
Man - does that sound good :-). And it is too, we were both really excited about the possibilities, and the lady we spoke to said that if the event is successful we can move to a larger auditorium. More news on this soon - just a reminder, the first event we hold will be a test - admission will be free for spectators, we will be testing out the whole format. Although it will be a test, we will be running it exactly as if it were the "real deal". More on this soon :-).
UK Vs Germany Scheduled for 16 August:
Saw over on Coerj's Diary that the big clash between the Brits and the Germans is coming up this weekend - the UK Players are in the midst of practice and preparation. Irish Quake newshound, Von Swine, has posted a prediction on the upcoming international Quake match:
"The next international type game of interest is this week when England play Germany. I expect the Germans to play a very um German type of game, lots of efficient methodical play. I reckon England will be good if they have control of the level early on but not so good if they have to come from behind. I have a feeling we'll be supporting the Germans for this one. :>)".
It's coming - the Methos Interview - I'm going to try and get it up for you tomorrow night. But while you wait, here is a snippet:
What do you think will happen to Quake? Will it die? Will it become like Doom is now? Or will it carve out a smaller, but intensely competitive niche which continues to attract highly skilled and competitive gamers (my preference ;-)?
I hate to say this but my prediction is that sooner or later it will die. If you think about it, Quake should've died already and if it weren't for the ineptness of gaming companies it would have died a while back. Doom players changed to Doom 2 because it was better in every aspect of the game. This isn't the case with Quake.
Quake is still popular and will be until something better comes along. Because of Quake 2 being prematurely released and not having teamplay, dm levels etc for over 3 months, this made many people stick with Quake for a while longer. Unreal could have taken over but until they fix the network and Internet code, it won't happen. Having said this, some game will come along someday and take over from Quake.
Xenon Interviewed at Solgames:
There's a very cool interview with  Xenon over at http://www.solgames.se/ - definitely worth checking out because he tells you about the mousepad he uses, the groupies, the sponsorship money - go for it! Oh and there's this cool photo ;-).
What are your plans now, you've beaten _everybody_, what's your next big goal?
<Xenon> We will try to get sponsors, and perhaps go over to the US to meet the winners of the next PGL Quake tournament.
Thresh mentioned that Hobbex and I seemed to understand his POV in his Frontline column today. Well diggity, man :-) Glad to have been of some assistance to you :-). Yeah, I saw nothing that wasn't just normal POV post-match analysis in what Thresh said. All the smoke that blew up about it from some quarters, nothing unexpected in that either. More games of Quake please :-).
Wednesday, August 12, 1998
International Quake Torunament:
I saw over on Izn0's Quake.World, that Frank "Ignatu" Cabanski has been working on the International Quake tournament thing. Izn0 writes:
"The major problems would be; getting sponsors to fly the teams to the US (but I guess if you can get a Ferrari as first prize in a quake competition anything is possible). Who gets to decide the teams? How is the competition played? The "American" way? (just dm3) The organizing part in the US seem to be easy though, according to Ignatu he has a couple of really good locations he has worked with before, and broadcasting.com will broadcast the tourney".
OMG - this may really be going to happen. Ignatu also emailed me a brief question which I will quote here for you:
"I'm putting together a LIVE International Tournament. We need each country to put together a method and org for choosing and for sending a team. Any thoughts?"
A question to ponder and one that deserves a good answer. Look, I would like to encourage ppl to have a think about this one and to , if you like, what you think on this matter. I'm interested to hear what ppl think, and I'll report back what I hear. But regardless, talk about it - on IRC, ICQ, online. It's a big step and it looks like someone who has the capability to do it is in the intial planning stages.
Hobbex has already expressed a view on this subject in his 9VsDR summary, namely that a battle of the clans would be more practicable than an attempt to get national teams together. I thought about Ignatu's question for 2 days and I came to the same conclusion - in fact FYI here is what I emailed Ignatu in reply:
"Is this [Quake 1] or [Quake 1 and Q2] or [Q2]?
OK, here are my thoughts:
- I think you should aim for a "World's Clans" type event - rather than a true World Cup. A World Cup suggests one team from each country. I don't think you should limit it to1 Clan/team from each country. Some countries (eg USA, Sweden) could send more than 1 team/ clan, and you should encourage that as it makes for more competition. Other countries will be lucky if they send one team.
- A "World's Clans" event would enable countries to be more flexible in how and who they sent across - it would be up to each country to send the best team, obviously, but if they are unable to have a national play-off at least they could send over a sponsored Clan or two. If you try and get each country to organise a national tournament to pick the "best in the land" it may be too early for many countries - the infrastructure is not there.
- I think you need to be open to multiple partners in each country - whether online games services or groups of gamers, who are willing to participate - you need to be able to provide the partners with a compelling business proposition which they can use to sell the concept to *their* sponsors - eg. the worldwide media promotion. For example, in Australia you might have Wireplay and Multiplay wanting to participate, as well as Challenge.AU. There's also an Australian Gamers' League (AGL) in the works which has Wireplay support (I believe).
- You could publish the conditions of entry, whatever they are, and if a partner meets those conditions they get accredited somehow, and the partner then raises the sponsorship to send their team(s) over. The team might be the "Challenge.AU" team sort of thing, or it might be an individual, self-financed Clan.
- The actual event needs to run for a week at least - a true international jamboree. For all the investment that would be required, you need it to be big enough and long enough to cope with say: 5 US teams, 3 Swedish, 5 other West European, 3 other European (Turkey, Russia etc), 3 Asian, 2 Australian, 2 NZ, 2 South African, 3 South American, 2 Canadian and probably more - that's shit loads of round robin or double elim Clan matches leading to some huge finals. My count has the possible number of teams reaching 30+ - that's a lot".
So there you go - my little frag in the darkness. Why don't you fire up your Lightning Guns and have a say on the matter?
Barrysworld 9vsDR Demos:
Check out the Barrysworld FTP for a truckload of demos here. Scored this link from Sujoy.com - Sujoy is back and he plans to write a piece about the event and about international gaming so that should be very interesting. Sounds like he had a good holiday with his girlfriend in Stockholm, but he didn't get to play any Quake. In fact, neither did Timber or Eldy who had actually been invited by Nine.
Check out VuduChild's Duel Manifesto for some cool demos of top Australian Players in recent action - among the pick there are Webby winning the recent MPU Quake 1 Duel match (which was run by GreySeer, Challenge.AU's tech guru), and Kabas winning the recent Regen Duel Competition in Queensland. You may be interested to learn that his opponent in the finals was none other than Frog, author of the kick-butt Frog bot. Cool hey?
BTW, Frog had this great idea: "I think a cool way to watch the [9vsDR] demos would be to have several screens next to each other playing different POVs, but I don't have enough computers. :)". Or my "video-idea" - hehe, we need a video with lots of replays and slo-mo, and multiple views of critical events from different POVs. I'm going to keep plugging away on this one :-).
VuduChild has also posted the results of a survey of Australian Quake players on what they consider is cheating in Quake - worth a look. Hacked models, hacked maps, and proxy bots lead the list. Followed by fullbright skins, v-kick and water vis. Only a few ppl picked camping and tele tricks.
BD-m0rm0r did such a great job reporting on the 9vsDR match that I am trying to enlist his talents in an occasional column, a la Methos ' and Spookie's Spookie Side (speaking of which - be sure to check it out he's been busy of late :-). Not sure if I can succeed here, but I think he finds the idea interesting. He emailed me to say that the University season is starting up again in Sweden, and this is good news for clan activity:
"I don't know how the swedish scandinavian clanscene is gonna react to this DR-Nine event. Maybe we should wait with it untill I see that the clanscene begins to get interesting again. This might very well be happening soon, because we have our second National Quake Championships(quake SM) coming up soon. That is an event I'm expecting very much of. One more thing that speaks for the clanscene is that the swedish students are going back to their universities this month and that's where the most action has been to this date. I could mention guys like DOOMer and his ex Teddy Bears freinds in the University of Linnk?ping, Brutal Deluxe and Perverted Angels from KTH Haninge and many more good swedish quakers are beginning to study this year. This fall may become very interesting".
Let's hope so, and I hope we hear more from m0rm0r too :-).
LakermaN_of_SC and Thresh:
What is it between these two guys? Doesn't really matter, but I saw on the GX MB that LakermaN has a cool demo page here, and they are well worth checking out.
Coerj and Timber:
Scoop! I saw over on Coerj's Diary that Coerj spoke to Timber about the event:
Timber and Eldy actually went over to watch the games and I managed to get an exclusive interview with Timber in an open and honest report on what went on! check it out:
Coerj: So tell me what's it like give me all the info
Timber: It's cool
Well after that I really don't think I need to say anymore I mean now you know the full story from someone on the Scene, I'm just waiting for the numerous job offers to come flooding in to Timber!:))
Hehehe :-?., that really cracked me up :-)
Coerj and UK Vs Germany:
Coerj's Diary is also the site to check out for news on the upcoming 10 vs 10 UK vs Germany Quake match, which is one well worth watching.
Queer on FOV:
Heard from Queer of the Icon of Pain which I reported last week as having beaten DR in a practice game. He wanted to point out that this was unfair as the DR guys were only practicing and not at full strength - oOps sorry dude :-). I guess the news travels too fast sometimes. He also had some very complimentary stuff to say about the DR guys (what a lot of Swede's have been saying):
"I must say that Death Row WAS EXTREMELY COOL! they were social as many wouldn't think about 'em and they had humour that could blow the empire state building apart.. and I couldn't imagine better looser... they took it as a pinch in the neck... Regarding skill it was VERY EVEN tho i think nine had an small advantage with higher fov since they got to see more and got to see all the action going on... but but .. it was all fun and the both teams had great fun in the game as well as in the social world of Sweden 8) too bad they didn't have the opportunity to stay longer and see the water festival in Stockholm... "
Danold on Methos on FOV:
Lots of interesting stuff on Methos today - such as an interview with Nikodemus but the thing I found particularly interesting was that Danold reports all the 9vsDR guys used Crosshairs 1 ("pffff, chicks :)" sez Methos ); 9 used fov 110-130, Reptile used fov 100 and all the rest fov 90; and all players used software Quake and QW except 1 (Frick or B2) used GL . Interesting hey?
Did you wish Cali Girl - Jody Robinson - "happy birthday?".
Tuesday, August 11, 1998
Well, until now we haven't really heard from Thresh as to what the experience at the receiving end of the 9 juggernaut was like. Now Thresh has posted a Frontline article on the 9vsDR match, and it's worthwhile examining what he has to say.
- The DR guys all suffered from lack of sleep and jetlag - getting 3-4 hours sleep the night before the final matches (finally getting to sleep at 5:30am). Thresh suggests that for future internationals the visitors get a couple of days to get used to the time differences
- Since most of the DR guys work or go to summer school, they hadn't practiced playing in the same room, whereas the 9 guys seemed to have practiced nothing else, and had been preparing for the match for months
- The DR guys felt their individual skills were up to scratch, in fact he thought the DR guys were superior individually to the 9 guys. In terms of teamplay, he thought they were up to scratch for the US, but nowhere near the mark for Clan 9. The teamplay 9 used was on another level they had not anticipated - "against clan Nine, you fight off two guys, two others guys, and the same two you fought off earlier, are all suddenly on your ass".
- The 9 guys used no binds - they were totally used to playing together in the same room - they communicated everything verbally, in Swedish, which the DR guys could not understand
- The DR guys had to yell loudly to hear each other through their headphones, and Thresh believes the 9 guys heard what was being said and played accordingly. The DR guys changed to codes- "I'm at the Apple, need help!!!" - but couldn't get it to work
- Thresh doesn't think U4 or any "all star" team would have fared any better against 9's style of teamplay
- He thinks that next time, things will be different
I think the lack of sleep factor was probably significant, and it would have been much better if the DR guys were fully rested. I don't think Thresh is saying this was a crucial factor though, it was more of a major irritant. What Thresh is saying really mattered here was that a team of players who communicate constantly and mount combined and continual attacks to retake an area, or quickly bring defenses to bear on an area, is something that he has simply never experienced or seen before.
The boomstick rushing was one thing, but these 9 players just kept flooding the room with respawned Players until they retook it. You don't normally go rushing into the area you just got smacked by a rocket armed only with your boomstick. You're supposed to go looking for armour and a rocket-launcher. But when not only you but your whole team does this, and at the same time, the combined effect of so many boomsticks adds up to a very powerful attack. Pretty soon it is your team who claims the rocket launcher.
It will be really interesting to see if the 9 style makes a big impression of the way future Clan games are played in the US, and in Australia.
Cricetus emailed me to say there is another German news site well worth checking out - the Q-continuum. I emailed him back to say that it was all in German and he emailed me to say so was the one I have listed now - Der Quaker :P~. So what can I say - was ist loss? Was das du gesart, Hoony? Anyway, I found there this link to the Deutsche Quake Liga - http://quake.webtown.de:8080/decl/. Looks like a big Quake league, so we should hear some stuff about this soon. And I also fixed up my German links - danker und tschuseee :-).
Did I Mention - "I'm Shagged"?:
Yeah, I feel lagged out major time, and there's not much more news around, so I am going to attend to my emails and a few other things on the 'to-do list".
Monday, August 10, 1998
More Great Coverage:
It's taken a couple of days for Hobbex and HeKSeN to get their tournament round-ups posted, but the wait has been well worth it. If you haven't seen these first-hand accounts yet, then be sure to visit A Frag in the Dark and ClanScene for the full story. Fragzone has a nice interview with Xenon from shortly before the last 5 games, while Methos has posted an interview with Xenon from shortly after the final games, and also some cool 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 demos. Blue posted his TNT Versus Voodoo2 Benchmarks :P~.
Look, I couldn't let Blue get away with that, so I interviewed Xenon as well :-D
How did it feel to win? :) After all that build-up - with this being Deathrow etc. Got any stories to tell about your post-match celebrations? Did you guys have a huge night?
Felt great. Post match celebrations? We went to a bar called "Masters". Hung out and player Pool (and of course talked some quake :) We all had a great night, but for Clan 9 - It was special.
Do you think the DR guys are going to get back into Quake now? Did they say they want to play you guys again, this time in the US?
When I asked them this they said they started to like Q1 again. I heard some talk about a rematch in the USA, Id love to go there, I just hope that it happens :)
The DR guys seemed to be learning the boomstick tricks pretty fast, and also gained control of the YA/Quad areas in dm3 and e1m2 much more. Those last 5 games seemed much closer and more hard fought. Was this how it seemed to you? What did you think of the last 5 games?
I think that the last 5 games were much closer because of just that - the boomstick in QW. Both clans have excellent boomstick aim. But I still think that you need more skill to be really good at NQ then to be really good at QW, and that is why I prefered the 5 NQ matches. NQ rocks on lan, but its totally unplayable over the net. (At least I feel this way)
Has it all been a huge success for Nine and Henrik? Will he be able to do more and bigger now?
Yes it has been a great success for everyone here :) Now its time to fish for sponsors. jk :-)
Are you experiencing any of that "international Quake star" sh*t yet? Have the American gaming media started knocking on the door yet? (I hope you get some nice sponsorships - you deserve stuff like that)
Not yet :(
What do you think will happen next? Do you have the impression that Nine will be invited to the US soon? Do you think Unforgiven and r3v (for instance) will want to play you now? Are the CPL and PGL falling over themselves to set something up? What do you think - do you think there will be a World Cup now? What would you *like* to see happen?
Too early to say. I hope we will be invited to the US, but im not sure if we will. As for the CPL and PGL, its too early to tell :) Only 1 day has passed since we won, and we haven't heard anything yet. Id like to see a big clan tourney with the best clans from all the major quake playing countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, UK, US, ect ect), now that would be something worth winning :D
A whole day has passed and the CPL and PGL have not organised anything yet? Come on guys, wtf are you doing over there? And also, Xenon is already a Quake star over here in Australia. I think that Volvo or somebody should get a move on and catch up with the Ozzies on this one, because this guy really knows how to play Quake!! My game has already improved threefold just from watching his demos ;-).
Also, I think 9 are the world's first potential Quake equivalent to "the Beatles" - I think they could go on a world tour and play the locals in packed-out stadiums, with thousands of screaming clan members yelling out for autographs :-?). I'm looking forward to the video/CD actually - there is a video/CD coming out isn't there Henrik? You DID organise for someone to film didn't you?? I'm looking forward to the slo-mo and replay stuff on the video/CD - the "let's see that from Thresh's POV" replays. Did Thresh record any demos btw? Does anyone know?
I've been watching a few of the demos from different Players POV, and it's great fun seeing the same event from different eyes. For example, when Xenon whacks Reptile near the Pent on DM3, and then gets boomsticked by Reptile just as he's about to reach the MH. Or when oKKun is dodging Reptile's grenades across the quadrangle. It occurs to me that it might be a good idea to have slightly modified skins in future, maybe color-coded armbands or something, so that you know who is who. Unless someone gets fragged, it's just another "yellow" or "red guy" that you see on the screen. If you knew who they were, it would add a lot to the spectating.
I liked all those pictures on PQ, but who the hell is that big geezer in the middle, the one with the white shirt? He looks like Arnie laughing his head off there - "Haaar Haaar Haaar". Is he one of the NINE dudes? A classic character if I ever saw one :-). I would have appreciated some captions to these photos, as I wasn't sure which guy was Xenon and which was oKKun - they are kind of similar. Turns out Xenon is the one doing the rabbit's ears behind DOOMer's head :-).
Finally, I had to smile when I read in Hobbex's report that only something like 194 Australians had visited his site (from a link on my page) :-). That's a lot actually - the Quaking population here is not as large as it is in Sweden. So that's pretty good. As for Swede's visiting Challenge.AU, well I think I should learn Swedish ;-). More Swedes have visited Challenge.AU than from any other country :-).
Almost Back to Normal:
Normal transmission will resume tomorrow night, but tonight Hoony has to prepare for a presentation tomorrow at an Internet conference. I plan to mention the 9VsDR games somehow ;-).There are a few emails I have outstanding, and a couple of chores to catch up on too. I'll get back to this tomorrow night. Cheers =)