The BYOC and Keynote Speech

Quakecon 2004 is over, but it was a great show. Lots of hardware vendors were on hand to show some new hardware, or maybe just tell us about it and the HardOCP workshop was a lot of fun as well.


Quakecon, now in its ninth year (yes 9!), once again showed why it has become one of the premiere gaming tournaments and LAN events.  Held this year at the Gaylord Resort in Grapevine, TX, just minutes from the DFW airport, this year’s show already had huge expectations on it.  The release of Doom 3 finally gave this year’s Quakecon attendees a playing field for the game that has been anticipated for over 4 years. 


If you have never been to Quakecon or another significantly sized LAN event, the sheer size of the Quakecon gaming area can leave you in awe.  This year, id Software and the volunteer organizers expected to have more than five thousand in attendance at the BYOC and show area, the largest so far. 

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 31

(Click to Enlarge)

This picture was taken from my perspective in the very center of the BYOC area, looking towards the vendor area.  Computers go all the way to the wall that you can see in the back of the photo, and that same amount of area also existed behind me.  Seeing 4500+ gamers sitting in the dark illuminated by the glow of their monitors definitely has an appeal all its own.  Though no speakers were allowed to be brought in for the gaming PCs, the organizers setup a music system that played hits throughout the day and night giving the place a very up-tempo feel. 

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 32

If you were there and happened to walk past the raised NOC, you probably saw a couple of swank Alienware machines surrounded by a pair of Alienware notebooks.  The blue one, an Aurora system pimped with an Athlon 64 FX-53 processor, was my gaming machine at the BYOC, courtesy of friends at Alienware.  Not having to worry about bringing a machine along makes the trip much more enjoyable.  🙂

The BYOC floor is also where you need to go if you want to see some of the most creative case mods you have ever seen.  VIA held a case mod contest and the two cases in the images below were participants in that.

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 33

(Click to Enlarge)

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 34

(Click to Enlarge)

The top image is a case mod made from a newspaper dispenser with an integrated LCD monitor.  The second one was the winner of the contest and was a Star Wars droid replica made from jet casing parts.


From memories of the 2001 Quakecon event the keynote speech from John Carmack was one of the more compelling and also the most confusing I have heard.  By no means is it that John is speaking incorrectly; his speeches are just incredibly technical and fast paced, able to shell out a lot of information very quickly.  And though I consider myself a pretty technical person, I really have to admit that a large percentage of what he was saying was above and beyond my realm of understanding. 

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 35

This time, John’s speech was prerecorded as his wife gave birth to a child the night before.

Quakecon 2004 - Shows and Expos 36

There was a Q&A session as well with some of id Software’s staff including their CEO, lead programmer, lead artist and lead level designer.  They did drop some nice information including the development of Quake 4 by Raven is still on going and that id’s next game title is already being worked on.  Carmack predicted that the engine would be completely done and ready to go in around a year, and that they are definitely going to have the next title out in less time than it took to develop Doom 3, which is good news for us all.  It is still going to be a first person shooter, but will be a completely new franchise this time, no longer going off their pre-existing brands.

« PreviousNext »