The QuakeWorld Chronicles
Part One: The Promise, OR, The Waiting is the Hardest PartOriginally posted on PlanetQuake.com in April, 1997
by Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
On August 2, 1996, John Carmack updated his .plan file with a startling announcement. Confirming a criticism heard from some quarters, John admitted that they had not done enough testing under conditions that most users would consider typical. From that .plan update:
Yes it did suck. But that was all going to change. John detailed a plan to create a new client called QuakeWorld, that would only work with QuakeWorld servers. The whole project would be an unsupported experiment, at one point described as a free gift to the community. John gave details of how it would work, and hope for smooth Quake games for all was reborn. There was good reason to hope that this would happen soon based on this statement, also from that .plan update:
Hope that John Cash fueled the next day with a letter to a Quake Servers mailing list, which contained the following encouraging words:
On August 7, 1996, John Carmack sent an email to Joe Powell of TeamQSpy asking:
On September 19, 1996 an event was held in New York City called the QuakeWorld Launch Event. A few weeks later than initially thought, but we were finally going to get our hands on it. Or were we? It turned out the client wasn't ready. It was close, though: at the event I got to talk at good length with John Carmack, who told me that he was going out of town for a week, and he expected fellow id programmer Michael Abrash (who has since returned to Microsoft) to have completed his projects upon his return the next Monday. He padded a couple of days for unforeseen difficulties and said it would be out the following Wednesday (October 2, 1996).
John Carmack's .plan, October 10, 1997:
He was not exaggerating. The beta program was gearing up, and some people were playing QuakeWorld on test servers already. I was lucky enough to be given a copy, but as described, it did not like my machine, and would lock up every time. But hope still ran high, since it seemed that whatever was causing this was the only remaining reason for the delay. So we waited. Six weeks later, as programming challenges often go, we were still waiting on that "one last bug." From John Carmack's November 23, 1996 .plan:
The bug was real. Occasionally you could not step off a lift after it raised or lowered, as if your shoelaces were tied together. The beta team (the Windows Glitches fixed, I was among them) dubbed it "the Shoelace Bug." Testing went on and, like all good bugs, the shoelace bug suffered it's rightful fate, and finally, on December 13, 1996, , the server software was released (in order to have servers online when the client was released).
On December 17, four and a half months after the first announcement about QuakeWorld), the client followed, and the Quake world was changed forever.- Blue
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