id Software: Get in Touch With Your Primitive Side
Look to any industrys upstarts for a glimpse of its future. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, id Software was one such place. Led by John Carmack and John Romero, the company consisted of ex-employees of Softdisk, which had published many of their early creations, including the Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Catacomb.
When Softdisk balked at publishing a side-scrolling action game called Commander Keen, however, Carmack, Romero and their crew released it through Apogee. When Commander Keen and its sequel proved successful, the team took their royalty checks and formed id, as in the Sigmund Freud term for the emotional, primal side of the human psyche.
After a few early forays into 3D, id Software published Wolfenstein 3D, the companys first full-blown hit and the basic template for the first-person shooter (FPS) genre. Revisited in 2002 as Return to Castle Wolfenstein (developed with Gray Matter Interactive and Nerve Software), the game established the ingredients essential to ids subsequent FPS titles: nasty monsters, powerful weapons, horrific settings, buckets of blood and guts, and action-packed, linear gameplay.
One word: DOOM
Wolfenstein 3D paved the way for 1993s DOOM. Not only did Carmack build a new engine that took 3D into uncharted territory, but DOOM also introduced the world to multiplayer deathmatches. That first implementation of the feature was limited to four players at a time and was sometimes plagued by technical difficulties, but once many gamers experienced the thrill of fragging their friends with a rocket launcher or a shotgun, they never looked back.
id quickly followed up DOOM with a sequel in 1994 before setting to work on Quake, which shipped in 1996. While it featured the same basic kill monsters with cool weapons gameplay as the DOOM titles, Quake shook the world with a new engine that rendered monsters in true 3D, instead of with sprites. Another first was the included editor that enabled anyone to create content for the game. Quake also introduced 16-player matches over the Internet, on dedicated servers, no less. A subsequent patch upped the limit to 32 gamers and reduced latency enough that even players with dial-up connections could participate.
Romero left id after the release of Quake, but the companys hits kept coming. Quake II shipped in 1997 and focused mostly on the single-player side of the FPS equation, but Quake III: Arena, which was published in 1999, balanced the scales by pushing the multiplayer action to new extremes. Quake III: Team Arena issued new challenges by demanding that players work together to win.
While the original Quake featured an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired tale of horror, its sequel dropped those trappings in favor of a futuristic battle against an alien race of organic cyborgs known as the Strogg. Because Quake III focused primarily on multiplayer action, Quake 4 had to pick up the single-player story where Quake II left off.
Quake 4 uses the 3D engine built for DOOM 3, which retold the story of the first DOOM game but took advantage of modern technology to do so. id is hard at work on a Return to Castle Wolfenstein sequel as well as a unique new game, both of which use the same engine. The trappings of success have not kept the company from remaining on the bleeding edge of technology.
New Worlds to Conquer
id plans to revisit Castle Wolfenstein in a new game simply titled Wolfenstein, while the DOOM story will continue with a fourth installment in the series. The technology driving DOOM 4, known as id Tech 5, will also power Rage, which marks a departure for the developer with its wide-open environments set in a post-apocalyptic world. Rage will also move id into a new genre: vehicle racing.
Meanwhile, the company continues to explore new platforms, releasing DOOM RPG and Orcs & Elves for mobile phones; the latter was also published for Nintendo DS. id also has a strong presence at the App Store, where it has published DOOM Resurrection, which features a new chapter of gameplay designed exclusively for the iPhone and iPod touch, along with the original versions of Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM. Electronic Arts has released an RPG version of Wolfenstein.
As in many other first-person shooters, you can take on other players over the Internet or a LAN in Quake 4. The game features five multiplayer modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Tournament, Capture the Flag, and Arena Capture the Flag. The first type is a free-for-all while the second divides the players into Marine and Strogg teams. Capture the Flag features the same teams.
In Tournament, players battle one-on-one through a single-elimination tournament, with the last two left standing duking it out for the championship. Arena Capture the Flag adds the ability to use one of four main power-ups until your character dies. Secondary power-ups can be added on to provide even better armor, firepower, movement, or health regeneration.
When you create your character name, type any of these codes to get the desired symbols. Theyll help spice up your name if you cant think of anything unique.
The Symbol Codes
^idm1 Green X
^iarr Right arrow
^idm0 Skull and crossbones
^ides Armor shard
^iw09 Dark matter gun
^iw04 Grenade launcher
^iw08 Lightning gun
^iw01 Machine gun
^iflm Marine flag
^iw05 Nail gun
^ifdd Player muted
^ifde Player unmated
^ipbe PunkBuster logo
^iw07 Rail gun
^iw06 Rocket launcher
^ifls Strogg flag
^ivcd Voice disabled
^ivce Voice enabled
Stumped? Then you may need some help, thanks to the cheat codes that are commonly placed in most video games. They allow you to, well, cheat and change the rules. This sometimes includes activating bonuses, unlocking secrets, and accessing new levels of gameplay.
To enable the cheats in Quake 4, press the Tilde (~), Control and Option keys simultaneously to bring up the console and type in the code you want to activate. Type com_allowconsole 1 and press Return if you want to be able to open the console with just the Tilde key. Press the Tilde key to close the console when youre done entering codes.
Some codes, such as god mode, may need to be reactivated each time you enter a new level, start a new game, or load a saved one. The up arrow on your keyboard enables you to cycle through codes previously entered during the current gaming session, which saves plenty of typing time.
When you jump ahead to another level in the game with one of the map codes, you start with the weapons you would have had if you accessed it through normal gameplay, along with a small amount of ammo.
When you see a number sign (#), substitute it for one of the indicated digits when entering it in the console.
give item_health_mega Adds 100 health, up to 200 total
pm_thirdperson # 1: turn on third-person mode; 0: turn it off
give all Get all weapons with full ammo, as well as full health and armor
undying Your health can drop to 1 and your armor can decrease to 0, but you wont die
clear Clear the console
testlight Create a new light source in the direction youre facing (use poplight to turn it off)
give weapon_dmg Get the dark matter gun
give weapon_grenadelauncher Get the grenade launcher
give weapon_hyperblaster Get the hyperblaster
give weapon_lightninggun Get the lightning gun
give weapon_machinegun Get the machine gun
give weapon_nailgun Get the nail gun
give weapon_railgun Get the railgun
give weapon_rocketlauncher Get the rocket launcher
give weapon_shotgun Get the shotgun
give weapons Get all the weapons, but without ammo
give quad Your weapons do four times the normal damage
give ammo Get some ammo
give all weapons Get all the weapons
give armor Max out your armor
give health Max out your health
killmonsters Automatically kill all the monsters and NPCs in the current level.
g_knockback # 0: Monster attacks wont knock you in another direction
g_stoptime # 1: stop time (you can still move around); 0: restart time
timescale 15 Speed up the game
noclip You can walk through walls and fly through ceilings and floors. Enter it again to turn it off.
god Good ol indestructible god mode. Nothing can hurt you.
notarget Youre invisible to monsters.
pm_runbob # 0: Your character stops bobbing when you run. Useful for gamers prone to motion sickness.
pm_walkbob # 0: Your character stops bobbing when you walk.
spawn weaponmod_rocketlauncher_homing Add guided missile ability to the rocket launcher (right-click to use it). This and the rest of the weapon mods require you to have the weapon first, of course.
spawn weaponmod_lightninggun_chain Blasts from the lightning gun jump between enemies, frying all of them
spawn weaponmod_hyperblaster_bounce1 Hyperblaster shots bounce off the walls
spawn weaponmod_machinegun_ammo Expand your machine guns clip to 80 rounds
spawn weaponmod_rocketlauncher_burst Fire up to 3 rockets in quick succession
spawn weaponmod_nailgun_ammo Increase the nail guns clip
spawn weaponmod_nailgun_rof Increase the nail guns rate of fire
spawn weaponmod_nailgun_power Add more power to the nail guns rounds
spawn weaponmod_nailgun_seek Nails home in on their targets
spawn weaponmod_railgun_penetrate The railgun does more damage
spawn weaponmod_shotgun_ammo Reload the shotgun with clips, rather than one shell at a time
Enter any of these codes to spawn a monster or a fellow marine. Create a bunch of Stroggs and Marines in an open area and let them duke it out:
- spawn char_doctor
- spawn char_marine
- spawn char_marine_fatigues
- spawn char_marine_tech_armed
- spawn char_marine_medic
- spawn char_marine_tech
- spawn char_marine_medic_armed
- spawn char_kane_strogg
- spawn monster_makron
- spawn monster_repair_bot
- spawn monster_harvester_combat
- spawn monster_gladiator
- spawn monster_fatty
- spawn monster_bossbuddy
- spawn monster_network_guardian
- spawn monster_scientist
- spawn monster_berserker
- spawn monster_failed_transfer
- spawn monster_grunt
- spawn monster_gunner
- spawn monster_iron_maiden
- spawn monster_sentry
- spawn monster_slimy_transfer
To jump into any map in the game, type map game/mapname, replacing mapname with the name of a map listed below:
- Mac OS X version 10.3.9 (10.4.4 or higher recommended)
- 1.67GHz PowerPC G4 processor (2GHz G5, Intel, or higher recommended)
- 512MB of RAM
- 64MB video RAM (128MB recommended)
- 3GB hard disk space
- DVD drive
- Internet (TCP/IP) and LAN (TCP/IP) play supported. Internet play requires broadband connection.