I was fortunate enough to meet Andrew (EverMan) and Tommy (from GeekWearZ) at Quakecon 2002 earlier this year in Mesquite, Texas. Tommy and I had communicated back and forth for some Urban Terror wear for the development team to sport while at Quakecon. He went one better and actually printed up some extra shirts that sold out during the event. His partner, Andrew deals with the technical jargon in contracts, so I was introduced to Andrew.
Andrew mentioned that he was the organizer of a two day LAN event in Colorado Springs, Colorado called EverLAN. Along with my duties for Silicon Ice Development and maintaining The 6th Floor, I am also on the public relations staff and a shoutcaster for The Team Sportscast Network [TsN]. Andrew and Tommy were able to catch some of the action TsN covered while at Quakecon, along with our “afterhours” BYOC Prize Patrol. The highlight of that being QuakeThong, sponsored by GeekWearZ.
After Quakecon, I kept in contact with Tommy, as Silicon Ice was trying to work out a deal that would make Urban Terror merchandise, which we aptly dubbed, “Vaporwear” to the community. A few months later, he had secured that deal and another opportunity presented itself, not only for Urban Terror but for TsN. I was approached by Andrew and asked if there was any interest in TsN covering EverLAN. Due to a conflict with a previously scheduled event, TsN was unable to attend and cover the event. But all was not lost. I was able to go on behalf of TsN to check things out, but also as a VIP for Urban Terror.
EverLAN was also where Silicon Ice Development announced the release date for Urban Terror Beta 2.6. This was posted on the Urban Terror web site, while a few of the development team members were idling in #urbanterror on the Enter The Game Network. While the overall feeling was positive, with an electric in the air, I was unable to provide a sneak peek to them of what would be offered for the gamers attending EverLAN.
If you have never been to a LAN party, then you are really missing out on a helluva good time. EverLAN is that sort of event. It is not fair to mention it in the same breath as Quakecon, but that is not to say the entire EverLAN staff from Everman, Sound_Man, NNG, Cel, Jaberwocky, Rimshot to all the others I did not include, on one excellent event.
There was early registration on Friday, as I arrived with Tommy at the hotel, where there were a few hundred spots for mad skilled gamers waiting to be filled. Even early in the afternoon, there were gamers hanging in the hallways waiting for registration to open up. This LAN was full of activity, with a multitude games on the schedule. The main draw was Half-Life’s Counter-Strike, as this was a CPL qualifier, with the winners moving on. But if you do not fancy this action shooter, there was Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament 2003, Battlefield 1942 and Urban Terror. There was really something for everyone.
There were also some LCD projectors set up with classic pong, some Sega Genesis, X-Box and Dance Dance Revolution [DDR] for those wanting something different. Numerous contests were held through out the weekend, such as a case mod contest, a DDR contest, along with some smaller giveaways that were pimped by Cyberkast Radio. GeekWearZ was on hand with many T-shirts, inexpensive hardware, mouse pads, sodas sponsored by Pespi. And of course what is a LAN party without Bawls.
With all the time Tommy and I spent corresponding, it was great feeling to see all the merchandise GeekWearZ will be carrying for the Urban Terror gamers. Many had already seen the T-shirts, since there were some offered at Quake con. In addition to those, he will have fleece pullovers, fleece vests, boonie hats and about four different styles of shirts. There were also four different styles of stickers available, that just looked awesome! All this will be available on GeekWearZ for purchase via PayPal.
From the start of the event, tournaments were set up very quickly and efficiently and gaming quickly began. The Counter-Strike matches were the main draw and those gamers and clans were playing on CPL machines running AMD 1.7, 128MB DDR, GeForce 4 4200MX rigs in smaller room adjacent to the BYOC area. Of course my interest was in the Urban Terror Tournament admined by NNG. Unlike many of the leagues, he decided to run third party levels that were not as well known as some of the more common ones you see. The favorite level seemed to be Area 51 by MAD-HORSE, as this level was chosen quite often, including the final match. The tournament was a 2v2 Team Deatchmatch with a 25 minute time limit.
The event was the third of its kind this year, with two previous ones held during the Spring and Fall. This was the final, Winter event of the year. There was also some major swag to be won, with sponsors such as ATI. It was interesting to note that the CPL machines were going to be available for sale after the CPL matches concluded for a nice price of $599, for a “phat” rig. Hell, I was hoping to pick one up before I had to leave, but it was not to be.
Would I attend again? Hell yes! The gamers, while most mid to late teens were quite enjoy and well behaved. The EverLAN Staff, as I said in the opening, just awesome! The venue was ideal for a LAN, within walking distance of fast food restaurants, a Target and Radio Shack, for those who forgot hardware. While it is not required to have a room, it sure was nice to walk down the hallway to crash for a few hours. Hopefully Urban Terror will still be a draw when the next EverLAN rolls around, because I am already making plans on attending.
Thanks to Andrew and Tommy for the invite. For more information check out the EverLAN web site or #everlan on Gamesnet.