Quake – How it Defined First-Person Shooter

Back on the 22nd of June in the year 1996, id Software released Quake and the first-person shooter gaming category was never the same. It was an evolutionary leap for the FPS sector, as well as for the entire industry as during that time it was still taking its baby steps into something larger. But prior to id Software making the leap, they had to take things one at a time.

Quake - How it Defined First-Person Shooter

Celebrating 20 Years of Quake

Before Quake was even released into the gaming world, back in 1991, id Software released two landmark games that did not get nearly enough recognition in modern times. The first of these games was Hovertank 3-D, in which, while it was not the most detailed game, it was easily one of the fastest ones during the nineties. It was Catacomb 3D that built on the title’s foundation as it applied the texture maps to the surfaces. It then transformed the flat, single-colored areas into dungeons that have been built brick-by-digital-brick and then covered them with slime and gore. Furthermore, Catacomb 3D was the first first-person shooter that shows the player-character’s disembodied hand.

Then came the more popular Wolfenstein 3D, and the advancement into the category hastened further from being a crawl straight to a sprint. John Carmack, a programming prodigy, rendered the corridors and walls in the game to create a pseudo 3D environment with the use of raycasting, which is a process wherein a rapid-fire series of tests that would cast invisible lines, called rays, in practically every direction to portray location of the next physical object, prior to painting them with textures.

Afterwards, another iconic title came to be in 1993 as Doom was released into the gaming world. This was three years prior to Quake coming to life. With Doom, it upped the ante by stretching the boundaries of Wolfenstein 3D even further. The rooms now varied in height and width unlike Wolf3D’s square-ish looking environment. It now had height, width, staircases, elevators, connected platforms, and even flying enemies that could swoop over you in a blink of an eye.

When Quake entered the scene, it was a revolutionary game that has been made by a small team as it only had less than two dozen developers at that time. Despite id Software being a small company at that time, the game quickly grew into a videogame legend as the technical pedigree and deceptively simple gameplay sets the standard for first-person shooters everywhere.


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Quake – How it Defined First-Person Shooter
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