id Considering Quake Reboot, Going Back to Roots

id Software's John Carmack recently confirmed that the studio currently isn't working on another Quake title. But he also admitted to Eurogamer in an interview that there are "strong factions" within the studio that want to create another Quake title, one that goes back to the gritty, Lovecraftian roots that started it all.

"We went from the Quake 2 and the Quake 4 Strogg universe," he said. "We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction. We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4. We certainly have strong factions internally that want to go do this. But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now."

Although DOOM put the FPS genre on the map and is still considered as the "grandaddy" FPS today, Quake seemingly transformed PC gaming by popularizing the use of polygons and supporting the emerging GPU sector to create a more realistic, deep virtual space. The game also pioneered online gaming and invited users to be creative, leading to many popular multiplayer modes still in use today like Capture the Flag and Rocket Arena.

Overall the Quake franchise feels somewhat fragmented, with the first installment featuring a palate of browns and creatures inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Quake 2 actually set out to be a completely new IP, but the studio wasn't able to acquire the rights to the desired title, so the team decided to use the project's nickname, Quake 2, instead. The third installment, Quake III Arena, was multiplayer only and featured the settings of both worlds. The lackluster Quake 4, developed by Raven Software, was a direct sequel to Quake 2.

But the mere mention of the original title brings innovation to mind, and still serves up fond memories even after all these years. "The way I think about some of those things, and I actually get into arguments with my wife about this, who loved the original Quake game, I looked at the original Quake as this random thing, because we really didn't have our act together very well," he said, looking back on the original title and what it brought to the gaming industry. "But because it was so seminal about the 3D world and the internet gaming, it's imprinted on so many people. It made such an impact in so many ways. Memory cuts us a lot of slack."

"People shouldn't worry that we're ever going to orphan or abandon Quake," id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead added. "We are huge fans of the game internally."

Seriously, bring on the Shamblers, the Scrags and all those bizarre, blood-thirsty ghouls we came to love back in 1996. Just don't take 14 years to bring them back. Please.

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  • Rab1d-BDGR
    Oh hell yeah! That ought to be all sorts of awesome... provided they don't screw up by letting Raven ruin the single-player like they did with Q4.

    There needs to be more Lovecraft in gaming! - Eternal Darkness sequel anyone?
  • wild9
    Hmm, would a re-release of Quake be as engrossing as the first one, or will it simply be another game's engine made to look and feel different? Could a return to Quake offer something significantly different than what's already been done to death? I am not sure to be honest.

    Memory lane: 14 years..has it really been that long? Where's all the years gone folks? I still have great memories of this game. Quake cost me very little money but an awful lot of sleep, especially when I ran GLQuake on a 4MB nVidia Riva 128ZX. Anyone remember running that for the first time, and comparing the benchmark? This let the car handle the rendering rather than the CPU, which was in my case a Cyrix CPU PR 200+. Man this is going back some years. The add-on packs were also good, and kept Quake alive for quite a while after. I rented two official add-on packs from a local video store and got fined for not taking them back. This game was incredible to play in the dark, with the headphones cranked up. Closest modern variation of this game I can think of, is Doom III.

    Quake II was OK, especially if you had a AMD K6-2 and 3DFX Voodoo card, and wanted to see what optimised code could do.

    After that, Quake III was so-so. Didn't last very long what with people mastering it so quickly. I mainly used it to benchmark hardware for speed and stability. Quake 4..hmm..what to make of that one. It seemed like a bit of bloated, and heavily ported game to be honest.

    So it all comes back to paying homage to a time when folks ran Socket 7 CPU's, and video card with 4MB of memory..and wanted something other than Doom. The monsters were great..and scary. But being shoved inside a hellish world where you have to go from one end to the other in order to face the big many times has that been done to death, in one form or another? I think that Quake would need epic proportions to turn heads the way it did back then. Let's go bust some zombie ass one more time, just for old time's sake.. ;)
  • wild9
    You know what? I have to say Kevin and Rab1d-BDGR.. I'm surprised more people haven't commented on this. We should hit them with our digital walking sticks ;)