Oswald Rant: Thanks Quakecon

I have been debating when and how I would make this announcement, as I know development team members and the community alike are interested. In what has turned into a yearly pilgrimage to Mesquite, Texas for Quakecon, this year is going to be different. Along with a new venue in downtown Dallas, I have made my decision today that I will not be attending Quakecon 2003.

Now for those outside the Urban Terror Community or those people who I consider friends I see once a year at the event, then this news is irrelevant. For me Quakecon was a true “mecca of all things Quake.” Before becoming involved in Urban Terror in late 1999, I had never heard of this event. Then with the impending release of the mod, the development team was invited to Quakecon, thanks to the organizers and id Software. Leading up to this, I had been in regular communication with Robert Duffy, programmer at id Software.

Quakecon 2000 marked the release of Urban Terror, Beta 1 from Silicon Ice Development. In attendance at the event was Bar-B-Q, Cricel, GotteBeKD, Gerbil!, Jake, Odd and myself. We were provided a mod table in the developer’s hall, needless to say we were excited to be walking, no make that strutting around as VIPs, or so our badges read. Some of the big sponsors around us were Nvidia, Ravensoft, Activision, Apple and Discreet, just to name a few. This was a BIG event for us and were ecstatic to be involved.

In 2001 we were invited back, thanks to the Quakecon organizers and id Software once again. This time, the mod was bit more established, as we had a community that continued to play and support our work. We released Beta 2.3 a few days before Quakecon, in order to give a new version that could be played during the event. We had a mod table set up in the developers hall again, as we showed off our latest work, as gamers had the chance to experience the mod at the 12 player LAN that was set up. We also introduced Proball, courtesy of Apoxol during the event. This was an exciting time, as we had nearly a full team on hand, Apoxol, Bar-B-Q, dokta8, Meaty, Miles, Jake, Odd, BotKiller, SweetnutZ and myself. The development team was also asked to give a roundtable discussion on the mod, which we do to a nice sized crowd, along with participating in the mod roundtable.

Between the 2001 and 2002 events, I became involved in the Team Sportscast Network, a non-profit group of volunteers who have come together in order to provide live shoutcast coverage for online games. Urban Terror was my main area of coverage, as we had a good casting team including, JeffT and Whizperz (Vansilli came aboard in late 2002). I began to split time be Silicon Ice Development and TSN. To be honest, it was a good move for Urban Terror, as gamers could not tune in and listen to the coverage that was provided from OGL, CAL, STA and Clanbase.

Quakecon 2002 was going to be a bit different than years past. This year, TSN would be attending in full force to cover the Quake 3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein Tournaments during the event. Silicon Ice Development would also be return to Quakecon, “where it all started” back in 2000. Even though some of the faces changed, we were all excited to going back to Mesquite! For me, it would be very hectic, as I was trying to make arrangements for the development team, but would be splitting time at the event, between SID and TSN.

While the development team had no problems with my absence through much of the event, I was able to spend “quality time” with them and take part in some of the fun and enjoyment, such as meals at the local eating establishments, such as TGI Fridays and Razoo’s. Those who were not in attendance during 2000, saw the id Software building and visited some of the tourist attractions in Dallas.

So what could happen in 2003 that would outshine all the previous years? I guess we will never know. Why? Because of events that have transpired in the past few weeks, TSN will not be covering Quakecon 2003. We intended to, but negotiations broke down and there was no agreement reached for shoutcast coverage. Details are irrelevant, and if you asked me I would not explain them. Let’s just say that the only people who know all the details were the few who were involved in the talks. Everything is rumor and speculation.

Now we are two months away and development team members are making their arrangements for lodging and travel. Some of the community members are excited to go to the event, provide a tournament for Urban Terror or just meet some of the SID team members. It really is enjoyable to meet some of those gamers you know from online, you actually get to know them as a person, not just a screen name. I have the utmost respect for each team member attending the event and I am quite loyal to the Urban Terror Community, but I am also in a position with TSN that requires my services at another event.

That is my predicament, I have told the development team that this is a possibility, due to recent events. Now, I am making it official, I will not be attending Quakecon 2003 this year. I am upset, I will miss seeing Blade, RabidCow, Bar-B-Q, Miles, Apoxol, SweetnutZ and others from SID, along with many from the Urban Terror Community. I do wish everyone who attends the best, as they will have one hell of a good time at Quakecon 2003.

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