There were a few major evolutionary jumps in the history of gaming. The launch of PONG, the first successful arcade game in the 1970s, the first generation of gaming consoles, the personal computer boom of the 1980s, and the games’ going online in the 1990s. The same process that led to the release of The Last of Us II and Far Cry 5 has pushed countless mobile games and the hypercasual titles you’ll find at the JackpotCity online casino into the mainstream. The 1990s when things branched out – it was the time when the game developer behind the JackpotCity game library built its first secure online gaming platform, paving the way for a multi-billion dollar industry. Today, online games are the norm, no matter if you want to play a slot machine or a massively multiplayer battle royale. Countless titles have helped the gaming industry to reach this stage. One of them was Quake, one of the most influential video games ever created.
Id has worked on projects called Quake since the beginning of the 1990s. Originally, Quake was supposed to be the name of a protagonist in a side-scrolling RPG called “The Fight for Justice” that was never released. Later, developer John Romero envisioned the game as an action game in a fully 3D world, in the style of Sega’s VirtuaFighter, complete with third-person melee combat – this idea was later dropped, and led to Romero’s departure from the studio.
After Doom II, id started building an Aztec-style game with a protagonist similar to Thor, complete with a hammer that he could throw at enemies. Later, the Aztec aesthetic was dropped in favor of a medieval look and feel, complete with dragons – these were also dropped, leaving the game with a look similar to Doom but with a medieval RPG feel.
Quake’s four levels were designed by four artists – American McGee, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, and Tim Willits, and the programming was taken care of by John Carmack, Michael Abrash, and John Cash.
New engine, new features
What made Quake special was its impressive game engine. First and foremost, it no longer relied on 2.5D maps (pseudo-3D where the protagonist has little to no access to the third dimension) but full 3D levels, polygonal models instead of prerendered sprites, and prerendered lightmaps. Plus, it allowed users to partially program the game using QuakeC, a compiled language developed by John Carmack to program parts of the game, that allowed users to customize various features of the game, build maps and modifications (mods) for it.
Another important innovation in the game was QuakeWorld, an update released a few months after the game’s launch, that turned Quake into the first popular online FPS of history – a big deal at a time when internet connections had nowhere near the speed and latency we are used to today.
Finally, Quake also made history because of its soundtrack done by Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails – it was not music, as Reznor said, but “textures and ambiances and whirling machine noises and stuff” that he and the band tried to make as frightening and depressive as possible. And they did a great job at that.
On June 22 this year, Quake will turn 25. In the years that have passed since its release, the game was ported to every platform imaginable, from AmigaOS to Nintendo64, and gathered a dedicated community. It was instrumental in the rise of modding, speedruns, and the machinima artform.
To this day, Quake is considered one of the most influential video games ever released – and one of the best. It had four sequels – Quake II, itself a legendary game, Quake III Arena, Quake IV, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars – along with Quake Champions, id Software’s take on the online multiplayer FPS genre. Somehow, in turn, even though rebooting franchises and remaking games are all the rage, Quake – the first one, the dark one, the pure Lovecraftian action game accompanied by Trent Reznor’s amazing soundtrack – has not been remade. Perhaps this year, when it turns 25?