In case you didn't know, this year is the 20th anniversary of the original Quake. And on this exact day, 20 years ago, a FAQ dressed up as a newsletter was created to keep everyone informed as to what was happening about the game.
Today, John Romero republished that newsletter.
The text file was posted online at John Romero's blog, the neatly titled rome.ro. According to him, the document — QUAKETALK 95 — was originally created by a bloke called Joost Shuur, a product manager at Playmob and a member of the QUAKE community who maintained id's FTP website back in the day.
"I merely gathere [sic] all the interesting tidbits on the net on QUAKE and put them in .txt form. everything i know about QUAKE is in here, so don't mail me for more details," the newsletter reads.
It's largely a collection of information that was disseminated publicly about QUAKE from various developers and magazines, and is a useful guide to building a timeline for what the development of the game looked like to the outside world.
There's even a little tidbit from a PC Format magazine talking about a potential virtual demo for QUAKE — in 1994. I've edited the quote for grammar.
There will almost definitely be a multi-player link-up, as well as a VR tie-in with a major manufacturer. The last point is probably the most exciting, as many of the VR exhibitors at CES used DOOM to show off their respective helmets' abilities. By producing a game with a specific headset in mind, id software could finally kick-start the VR market in a b-i-g way. prices of VR-headsets are already in freefall - five manufacturers were showing off cheap sub-$US200 helmets at the show — so a game designed to work with them would be an instant hit and could even be part of a bundling deal.
We all know how that turned out. Can you imagine how nauseous it'd be playing QUAKE in VR 20 years ago? Nevertheless, people were pretty keen to check it out back in the day. Here's a faux posting that was put up on the alt.games.doom newsgroup warning people about the "dangers" of playing leaked versions of the QUAKE alpha and beta:
it seems you guys have gotten ahold of alpha versions of both out VR QUAKE and neural QUAKE and I have to say I am not happy. It is not the fact that you are using stolen software that bothers me, it is the fact that you are putting your lives at risk. Just last week a beta-tester lost 33.3% use of his brain testing QUAKE II on the Intel/rs686 for win '98.june. If you guy [sic] really want some QUAKE action i suggest you stick [to] quake, winquake, and powerquake. For all you asking where to get it, it is ftp-able from 127.0.0.1 in the /pub/id/quake/incoming directory.
For those a lacking on their PC knowledge: 127.0.0.1 is an address described as localhost. It's only good for establishing a connection to your own computer, not anyone else's. (And certainly not a secret server with a QUAKE beta on it.)
If you want to have a little dive through QUAKE history and how the development progressed, you can do so over at Romero's blog. There's also a series of the first QUAKE screenshots, in all their 320x200 glory.