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September 27, 2005

The Legend of FaTe’s Briefcase

Filed under: Thoughts and Rants — Tom B @ 8:41 am

Let’s get things clear here…I am a slacker. And from time to time I wander off. That means that there will be gaps on this blog - I suspect substantial ones. And this is the last I will mention it (yeah sure…right). The funny thing it that I actually really enjoy writing. Though my typing is a pain in the ass because I must review and proofread everything I do at least 4 times…and then I seem to always miss one or two typos. But we can all live with that, can’t we. After all, my typoing is the stuff of legend. (segway into humorous anecdote).

In 97 the online gaming world was new and the internet was still in large part more of a playground that a commercial thoroughfare and Quake was King! I don’t really know if any other games were being played online, but I know that everyone who was into FPS was playing Quake. Carmack had just released Quakeworld, a free version of Quake that he was basically beta testing online, that was Windows based. Everything up until that time was done on DOS. So, this was a big thing. Windows 95 was the platform. But JC was not into the whole Direct X deal prefering the Glide OpenGL API to the one’s that windows was pushing at the time. And the 3Dfx Voodoo Glide video cards made the game oh so sweet.

I had stumbled on a mod called Thunderwalker CTF. It was being done by Panda and Fezzik, two guy who at the time were in college somewhere in Minnesota I think. But they also had put together a mail list that was really the glue that held the TW mod community together. Thunderwalker was the fastest hottest FPS mod ever. (F8S still runs a server from time to time, if you ever want to check it out! 216.86.167.22) TW was also without question the most balanced game, in terms of scroring, I have ever played.

The guys on the TW mail list are still my friends and are largely responsible for much of the technical knowledge I have and for me getting involved in the industry. Many are now developers and several worked at Game Spy “back in the day!” helping turn it into the industry leader it is.

Clan CNN ran the best servers and were the undisputed leaders of the pack among TW clans. Apparent one of the founders, Emperor, worked at CNN FN online and was able to host a few servers at their data center. And when you captured the flag on a CNN server you got that “this is CNN” instead of the usual “Spoooon.” But what does this have to do with my typing you ask…well let me tell you…

We were discussing the viability of actually collecting a few dollars from people who were playing on the CNN server to help defray the costs of the server and pay for upgrades on the mail list. The question arose as to whether this would amount to commercial exploitation of the game Quake under the id Software EULA requiring a royalty to be paid to id. At the time, for some reason that escapes me now, I happened to have my QUAKE installation CD (with the EULA on it) in my briefcase. So I quickly typoed the following and hit the send button, immediately emailing the entire list something along the lines of

“I’ll check it out. I have my dick in my briefcase.”

Thus began the legend of FaTe’s Briefcase


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