For a relatively small developer, id Software made a ton of announcements at last weekend's annual QuakeCon event. We have already talked a lot about their brand new game Rage and their new id Tech 5 game engine but now we have more info about all the other announcements id made at the convention based on an extensive chat with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead and design director Tim Willits.
Quake Zero and New Quake Game
Up to this point, id Software has remained small with only one internal development team of about 30 or so people on board at any one time. Now id is actually expanding extensively for the first time as it grows its staff to create a second dev internal team. Hollenshead told us that while a few people already at id will be moved to the second team, they will be hiring new people as well. And what will that second team be doing? Well, how about a free version of Quake 3 Arena? According to Willits, id's master programmer John Carmack will be creating a web browser interface that will allow people to basically download and play the game from any computer. "You set up the servers and the config and stuff, then launch the web browser and you're playing," Willits told us. Hollenshead added that the game will have some kind of advertiser support although it's pretty vague as to how that will work.
The second team will then move on to a full-fledged commercial game based on the Quake franchise that Carmack revealed at his keynote address will use id Tech 5. Hollenshead told us that after having Quake 4 developed mainly by Raven Software, they wanted to bring the next game back under id's internal wing, so to speak. "We feel that we have the most experience and really sort of the magic touch with respect with Quake multiplayer style feel." There's no other details on the new id Quake game but it's likely that it will be released sometime after id's next announced title Rage.
Quake Arena Arcade
Last year, Microsoft launched an Xbox Live Arcade version of id Software's Doom. During his keynote speech Carmack told the audience that the Xbox Live Arcade version of Doom was a big financial success. However he added that ports of other id games for the service are not likely as Carmack said Microsoft is trying to move away from ports of older games.
However it looks like there is a bit of a compromise as id announced plans for Quake Arena Arcade, which will be developed by Houston based Pi Studios. According to Hollenshead, "It's not Quake 3; it's a new Quake 3 style gameplay for Xbox Live Arcade." He added that the game will take some elements from Quake 3 Arena along with some new elements added in. "It's like Quake Team Arena skewed," Willits told us. There's no release date announced for the game.