Carmack: “Quake III was my personal favorite”

Carmack has been interviewed about Quake Zero over on Gamesradar. For an old Quake III creature like me it was pretty satisfying to see the big man say this:

Quake III Arena was always my personal favorite id Software game. It’s such a pure activity kind of game – more of a sport than a movie. And I’m excited to have this opportunity to bring back the pure type of gaming as opposed to the “everything and the kitchen sink” modern design. We have no pretensions about it being the best multiplayer game in all types of things, but for any player looking to test their [deathmatch] skill, I think Quake III Arena is the best there ever was.

He’s not wrong.


  1. MisterBritish says:

    I could recognise that Q3 was the superioir DM, but I stuck with UT. Not really sure why now, was it the team stuff? I think I just played it first and got into the weapons and maps.

    Anyone remember seeing this and thinking; ‘omg that looks fkin amazing!’? It was one of the first images of Q3 and it blew me away at the time.

  2. mpk says:

    I dabbled in Q3 over dial up many moons ago. It was all a bit overwhelming as I was scythed down like the proverbial chaff by just about everyone else, but it suited my natural lemming tendencies to the tee. However when I finally moved onto broadband I discovered CounterStrike and Q3 fell by the wayside.

  3. Butler` says:

    Q3A is FPS deathmatch perfection

  4. Seniath says:

    @MisterBritish: Aye, the first shots of Q3A that ran in PCG blew me away.

    And yes, in the age-old Q3A vs UT debate, I fell firmly on the Q3A side of the fence. However, personally, Quake 2 is my preferred iD game. Though that’s possibly due to it’s nostalgic position as the first proper FPS I played (yes, I’m a young-un and missed out on Wolf3D and Doom and Quake).

  5. Masterdog says:

    Quake (esp. Quakeworld) for the ID win.

  6. Forceflow says:

    Very interesting talk on the QuakeZero website

  7. The Hammer says:

    I agree with Carmack there too. Though I’ve unfortunately never had the proper chance to play the game online, that’s gonna change with Zero. So yes. Can’t wait.

  8. andreas says:

    the carmack is allways right!
    im exited to try the browser thing

  9. Chaz says:

    Out of Q3 and UT I preferred the latter. But to be honest I’ve never really been into the hardcore DM type stuff anyway. I much preferred stuff like Tribes and Half Life DM and TDM, jetpacks and laser trip mines FTW!

  10. Alex says:

    Always preferred UT, really. Something about Q3’s style never gelled with me.

  11. Irish Al says:

    Is there that much of a market for no-frills deathmatch any more?

  12. itsallcrap says:

    Judging by UT3’s reception, no.

    I also liked Q3 more than any other quake game, but preferred UT to that. In fact, I remember being really addicted to plain old Unreal in “multiplayer” against a load of bots.

    About a thousand times better than the actual game, that was.

  13. randomnine says:

    The Clan Arena mod for Q3A was fantastic. Almost perfect one-on-one and team DM. I’ve always considered pickups essentially a distraction.

    That said I’m not much of a multiplayer fan, so I’m with Seniath – Quake 2 was the shit.

  14. Al3xand3r says:

    UT3 is just shoddy, UT2004 was a much bigger success and a title as solid as that could certainly repeat that. UT3 just isn’t.

  15. Frans Coehoorn says:

    I actually had more fun with Quake II. Went to CS when Q III came out… oh the days.

  16. Arnulf says:

    He’s not wrong.

    But he’s not Wright either…

  17. itsallcrap says:

    Well firstly, 2004 isn’t “any more”.

    But actually that’s not even my point. I really don’t think plain old deathmatch has anywhere left to go. Q3 was the epitome of deathmatch-for-purists and any future version of UT can only ever be ‘UT with knobs on’.

    FPS games are having to find new ideas to master.

  18. AbyssUK says:

    Q3 is deathmatch perfection anything else does isn’t quake3. The speed is the key I think UT just didn’t seem as fluid as Q3 for me.

  19. Morel Mushroom says:

    UT2004 is still one of the most popular online FPSes – not in the same league as CS, but at peak times there are thousands of people playing. DM is still a popular mode. UT3 DM, not so much, you’ll be lucky to see a few hundred (at least on PC, I don’t know about PS3).

    The UT vs Quake 3 argument is like arguing sex vs blowjobs. One may be a little better to individual tastes, but any sane person wants lots of both.

    Q0 will be good if it brings some noobs in, I can’t play Q3 online against the people who have been practicing for 8 years.

  20. Mustache says:

    Quake has always been the most important multiplayer FPS for me. As for quake 3, they style and probably my computer at the time does not put it at the top in my case.

  21. Forceflow says:

    But he’s not Wright either…


  22. Putter says:

    Always was a UT guy, always will be (though to be honest, I dislike Unreal, and UT2k4 and most likely UT3 haven’t done much for me). The gameplay felt tighter and a bit less forgiving, the weapons and maps were better, and the bots were amazing to play against.

    Plus, like Carmack says, Q3 is like a sport. You feel like a (cyber) athlete playing it. When playing UT, you feel more like a gladiator.

  23. Po0py says:

    I always had a lot of respect of Q3A but I considered UT to be the better and more fun of the two. Q3A is considered more skill based but I always beleived that UT was not given enough credit for the things you had to learn to become good. You had to know how to use your weapons and all their functions as well as timing pickups and learning when to jump into a spamfest and stand back. There was a lot to keep tabs on in a heated UT deathmatch. UT3 brought us back to that sesibility a little but for some reason it wasn’t quite the same. It just seemed like a tech demo with UT thrown in rather than a UT game.

    Very much looking forward to trying out Quake Live.

  24. ack says:

    Oh my, too many hours lost at after-work Q3 sessions to even consider any other DM shooter worthwhile. We tried playing UT2004 for a while, but there’s something with UT that removes the pure fun of DM.

    Yeah ‘Pure’ has to be the keyword… all that stuff in UT… double-tap this, double-tap that, secondary fire modes, bla, bla, bla. Too much, it just distracts you from the purity of velocity, trajectory and strafing. Just my 2c of course.

  25. Duoae says:

    Morel Mushroom says:
    “The UT vs Quake 3 argument is like arguing sex vs blowjobs. One may be a little better to individual tastes, but any sane person wants lots of both.”

    Wait… you can have BOTH??!!


    Oh yeah, Quake 3 FTW! I loved DM, TDM and CTF – though (as i’ve mentioned here before) Capture strike from Threewave was my personal favourite.

  26. Butler` says:

    Your 2c maybe, but i think you hit the nail on the head, and Carmack would agree.

  27. FlupKe says:

    I am a huge quake 3 fanboy and I think the game has done the best gameplay and engine a deathmatch game can have. The strafe jumping gameplay, simple but very hard to master, the awesome weapons, everything stripped down to only let the skill be.

  28. chopsnsauce says:

    Bah! Strafe jumping/bunny hopping are the WORST things to EVER happen to online FPS’ery. Having to jump around like a twat all the time is the most counter-intuitive stupid idea PC gaming has ever come up with.

    Thank god game designers are now moving away from that shite!

  29. Jim Rossignol says:

    Surely there’s room for hopping acrobatics and realistic movement? I actually enjoy both styles of play.

  30. Dogman says:

    While bunnyhopping is surely silly in a thematic or aesthetic way, its appealing in that it adds another learning curve to a game and another aspect to get involved with, much like the reloading meter in Gears of War.

  31. ack says:

    @chopsnsauce: In addition to it being an interesting game mechanic while still being simple, if you take a look at good players you’ll notice they really don’t do it that much except for transportation. Thus you can be good while not having to do it all the time ;-)

  32. Plentiful says:

    “While bunnyhopping is surely silly in a thematic or aesthetic way…”
    Unless your game is about rabbits fighting!

  33. Radiant says:

    For me Tribes was the turning point where it ceased to be about being the best and more about contributing.
    “Wait. You want to do what all game? Build machines? The fucking fuck?” now replaced by “What? You spent the last 4 hours fishing so you can do what?!”

    Tribes also introduced huge bf2 style maps and with it that weird sense of observing isolation that ends when you get disc’ed in the head.

    In regards to Quake Zero; keep in mind that out the box Q3 deathmatch was shit.

    It took 3 or 4 patches for it to balance out [it never really did balance out till cpma took an axe to it] .
    Then when zero lag was introduced and the twitch speed skill of judging and leading your shots was lost to slow mouse accuracy Q3’s non hitscan weapons never really recovered.
    I doubt Id have the design subtlety to recognise that.

  34. sherwinpg says:

    Where’s the QUAKE 2 LOVE?

    COME ON!!!!!!!!

  35. Andy Johnson says:

    Quake III: back when id were good.

    And even having said that, UT > Q3. Even the Queen agreed in about 2001, I seem to remember…

  36. Turin Turambar says:

    Q3 for DM and TDM perefection.
    UT was for fun Assault and some Dom and CTF.

  37. wcaypahwat says:

    I took the UT side in that particular conflict I must admit. Just seemed….. more me, I guess. Its great to see people still happily debating the issue nigh 10 years on though.

    I always wondered though…. why noone ever made a game to finally settle the matter…. say, one team with quake style weapons andgame play, the other with UT. Yeah, it probably wouldn’t work, but I always thought it’d be fun to see.

  38. Erlam says:

    I still believe that Quake 1 (QuakeWorld, basically) is the best that iD have ever done. I still play Quake from time to time.

    I liked Q3 a lot more than UT; mostly because I didn’t like the weapons in UT, and the game felt much laggier (at least, after Q3 patches).

    Quake Zero will be interesting. I believe there is still a market for that style of game, even though console-style “durr, thanks for da auto aim!” has been making us all retarded.

  39. sbs says:

    Bah! Strafe jumping/bunny hopping are the WORST things to EVER happen to online FPS’ery. Having to jump around like a twat all the time is the most counter-intuitive stupid idea PC gaming has ever come up with.

    I strongly disagree, especially the “real” bunny hopping with high aircontrol like in Quakeworld, Q3CPM, Painkiller and Warsow is in my eyes very elegant and, after having played CPM for quite some time feels so natural and beautiful I don’t even consider ever playing anything less flexible, it adds a fluidity and depth to it which I miss in every FPS I try(It’s kind of a curse really)
    Also I think complex movement like this is a hugely important addition to a shooter, for it can help you even out the odds playing against an opponent with much better aim, for example, and gives you an element in your play you can capitalize on when you put in time to try and master it.

    Hell, Quake 3 even has a mod dedicated solely to movement with mappers doing levels which talented runners then try to run as fast as possible. Have a look at this: link to
    Lots of those guys hardly play any deathmatch at all, they just enjoy exploiting the physics and mechanics to the full extent. I think that’s fascinating.

    Just saying.

  40. Plentiful says:

    wcaypahwat – UT vs CS could be a lot of fun. Maybe a UT guy with 5 respawns vs 5 terrorists.

  41. Radiant says:

    @sbs EXACTLY!
    The skill involved in strafe jumping your way around a map adds a depth to a game that far exceeds just opening and closing an umbrella attached to a bear.

    Online FPS games have been around for decades on the Pc they really matured into some spectacular games and gameplay dynamics where skills like strafe jumping became the norm.

    Unfortunately games like Halo really reset the online FPS experience to zero. If you think about it; Halo brought online FPS to the console masses.
    I’m mean jesus every game on the xbox360 doesn’t even have zero lag net code. Let alone something as advanced as skill based movement.
    Achievements? I’d rather learn new skill based ways to get around to nail someone with a rocket then spend most of my time farting around trying to fulfill some idiotic requirement that gets me a better gun.

  42. n3utr0n says:

    Always preferred UT myself, but more for the maps than anything else. The look of Q3 threw me off, ugh brown (I know, it’s quake). Also UnrealED = win. Loved mapping back in the old days, good ol’ bsp. None of this staticmesh shiny glossy phong shaded normal mapped stuff of UT3.. /old

  43. Dean says:

    As a level editor who wrestled with Build, Quake, and Quake 2, Unreal’s tools were a revelation.

    I bought both Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament at about the same time, and after a quick futzing around with Q3’s tools, went over to UT and never looked back.

  44. Valentin Galea says:

    There is something almost magical to that “Quad Damage” sound…

  45. Saflo says:

    Quake 2 took my deathmatch virginity but I never bothered with 3. To be honest, as much as I enjoyed 2, still play 1/DMC on occasion, and had a blast playing dormwide UT matches in college, this style of multiplayer has never truly been my cup of tea. The speed, the endless deaths, the goddamned bunny-hopping; it all eventually leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  46. Yhancik says:

    “more of a sport than a movie”

    This pretty sums up why I’m really not interested in such games…
    (not that I like much the movies wannabe games with hours of cutscenes either :p)

  47. sigma83 says:

    Quake is to UT as UT is to Halo? Quite interesting if you think about it. Halo DM is just… urgh. Especially with those stupid little sticks. No precision at all. No immersion either in single player.

  48. wray says:

    Q3A is the best! CPMA Pro-Mode ftw! Rocket Arena for shots and giggles, man, and TDM was great

    defrag anyone?! hahahaa

  49. zima says:

    Never got into Q3 multi (only dialup with paying by the minute available here back then…), however the game still has a place in my heart; especially its engine.

    So far not a lot of people (to which I mentioned that) agreed with me, but…for some reason Q3 engine is for me THE best ever when it comes to feel/immersion. It reacts perfectly to commands, presents the movement perfectly…no other game made me feel so much that “I was there” (at least when it comes to technical means :P )

    So I’m glad it comes back…and this time I won’t skip on it.

    PS. Though it’s a little frustrating that “pure DM” isn’t exactly my cup of tea…so I’m torn between games with immersive gameplay and…immersive engine/feel… :/

  50. gnustep says:

    UT3 sucks (like you have weights strapped to your feet), but UT2004 rocks, especially in “Capture the Flag with Vehicles” mode, where your buddy can give you a ride on the hovercraft (Manta) while you carry the flag and stuff. Super fast, super crazy.

    There is also a level-up mod called Rosebum which is an even better server (search for Rosebum VCTF) with 100+ different weapons and power-ups, of which you can choose only a select few, so every player has somewhat different powers. Plus hundreds of colorful and ingenious custom maps, jump pads, teleports, black hole gravity gun, Strangelove rideable missiles, TranslocatorSniperGun, etc. … Mucho Fun!!

    Quake never really caught my interest, but maybe Quake Live will change that… ?