I am a casual gamer for those of you out there who may not know me. The other day I retweeted a list of games for Linux, my OS of choice, and in that list there were links to open-source Quake 3 Arena clones. I have played Quake for years and I played Doom before that. Between work and the family I do not have a lot of time to play games but sometimes, in between coding, it is therapeutic to go and blow some stuff up. The only problem with the open-sourced implementations of this is if you do not own the original game you will not have the WADs for the maps. While there are ways around this, I have gotten legit in my old age so this didn’t really appeal to me.
Then out of the blue, I remembered my friend Sean told me to check out Quake Live a while back. Some of you may be familiar with this but for those who are not, Quake Live is an implementation of Quake 3: Arena in a web browser. There is a plugin to install, but the game is free to play and is supported by ads. They offer a subscription where you can play ad free, but I don’t mind waiting to play.
As a web developer I tend to feel pretty spiffy when I do something cool with just a web browser, but Quake Live just nails it. Running in full-screen mode it is easy to forget the game is running in a web browser. It has all the options you would expect: key bindings, player models, network play. The first time you play it you will have to install the plugin and then wait a few minutes while it downloads the game data (presumably the map packs, etc). The one thing I did notice, and this might be a Linux thing, all the opponent character models appear to be the same for me when I am playing. However, when you are spamming rockets they all look the same.
This is definitely a blast from the past (no pun intended) and my new form of anger management. I still like to hop on WoW every now and then, but when you just need a few minutes of “relaxation” this is great.
Check it out: http://www.quakelive.com