Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bending the rules

It was December the 2nd in 1999 when a computer game came out. Five days later the same game was released for linux which was a very bold move since common people were usually quite angry about this operating system. 

It was and still is one of the games that create a concept and game play that doesn't age. As amazing as it is the graphics still have it's style and even with it's tiny polygon counts and limited resources look very well, even after so many years. Many people won't agree with me on this but I have to say that compared to much newer games this one managed to keep it's style and create a world that has it's looks based on ideas rather than effects and supreme graphics and details. Moreover it's focused mainly on the game play experience which is what counts the most when you actually play it.

On the other hand the game is highly repetitive, maps are strictly limited and usually very small. Basically if you look at it, it's just a stupid psychedelic hunt for killing each other in a very fast and frenetic way. I guess that one could say that an unbiased person would be finished with this game after a few minutes saying it's always the same thing.  No to mention blood and various body parts constantly flying everywhere.

For me and many other people it was just the thing. It was simple and yet hard to master, the rules straight forward yet using them to your advantage a whole different story. It didn't take long and it became a small cult. In a much shorter time than you'd expect some people started to be a little crazy about it. In some time ... more than just a little.

In every game people are trying to be the best what ever it takes.  Even find loopholes and use them to their advantage. There were flaws in this one. One particular bug in the code allowed the player to do extraordinary things. In any game this would be considered cheating but this "cheat" was very hard to master and only those crazy enough to study it to it's guts were able to perform these stunts and all this only with standard game control without any modification to the game. This started a phenomenon which spread to nearly every game at that time because it was something commonly used among the elite players. This cheat was very simple in principle but very hard to actually do that the developers decided to keep in in the game on purpose. 

The ability to be something more in the game just by learning the limits of the digital world created a myth of these god-like players who mastered the game like no usual being. We could compare it to the matrix in a sense that once you realized your ideas are unlimited but the world is, you can use it to your advantage. After this, pro gaming, clans, every day training and overall craziness really took off. It didn't take long and a certain community of people emerged. They could play only among each other because anyone else was too much of a n00b. After that it went on to a completely new level of madness when most of the people started memorizing every place and rule in the game being virtually unbeatable when played against in a map they knew well or in any map actually. This led to a new era when common people pretty much lost interest and these pros were the only ones playing the game.

After ten years the game has been re-released completely for free and with the comfort to play in your web browser. It was a huge step everyone thought, but that is a different story.

For these 10 years I have been playing this game. Sometimes frequently, other times not at all. But the wish for being someone who can do these stunts while playing was never granted to me. Until today. Today I have finally learned how to do a strafe jump and even a circle jump. All thanks to a tutorial which explained in detail how to do it. Even with the new release after 10 years the "cheat" is still there and even with an official walk-through on how to do it.

It looks silly and this article got really long but somehow this was surprisingly important to me. After ten years I could finally feel how it was to officially cheat and be admired for that.   

unofficial jumping tutorial

a typical demo compilation


Minuska said...

finally got around to read this one.. and it is impressive.. so what can I say.. this game madness is very understandable for me :) congratulation on finally learning the trick :)

Ray() said...

thanks and thanks a lot for reading :)