Fueled by DOOM being a breakout hit on Xbox Live arcade, Carmack let it slip that Quake Arena is coming as a digital download. He didn't have much to share about that -- but that didn't stop him from also talking about a next-gen Quake Arena."We've already started this where I've pulled a kernel of a team over and we've begun hiring others to eventually make an Id Tech 5 Quake Arena title where it's back to the high-speed action and..."
Wait a second. Did he just let slip that he's actively planning the next Quake Arena game? Yep. "Quake III: Arena remains my favorite id game because it was so pure a concept. It wasn't our most popular game, but it was popular enough," he says.
One Quake-related development up for discussion, though, is Quake Zero. No, this isn't some low-calorie prequel. It's actually an experiment that'll be completely free. "What we're going to do is take the Quake III: Arena code base assets, strip it down and set it up so that its essentially a free Web application [but would still likely be a separate app]. We'd have a community-based service where the game is an accessory to the Web site rather than being a standalone thing. Chunk it up for easy, quick installs, and see what we can do with sponsorships and advertising in-game. Quake Zero for zero cost. We'd try and polish it a little, but this isn't a flashy game.
Many pro-gamers turn down the settings for improved performance. At this point we've got a game that'll run on every computer. We'll set it up so that it's easy to jump in and try new things. The useful thing is that we're bloodying this team of six coders, deploying Quake Zero and seeing what happens. We're going to lose money on it one way or the other, but this could help us learn even more about what people give a damn about. Personally, I'd like to see five million people give it a try and any lessons learned would find their way into that Id Tech 5 version with all the bells and whistles. This could be a great beta testbed to see what works and what doesn't.
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