In 1996, id software released Quake. It was full 3D, fast paced, and quickly became my preteen obsession.
Bush – Sixteen Stone was in the disc tray when I discovered that Quake would play my music instead of Trent Reznor’s soundtrack. The game had secret items, secret levels, dark castles, gruesome dungeons, and lava filled hellscapes. There was so much intrigue, so many undiscovered secrets, so much challenge – it consumed all of my free time. Finding out that it played my own music during the game was super exciting. But what really became exciting was the new ways I would find to customize the game.
I had downloaded DOOM WADs before – custom levels or artwork that modified the game – but Quake was the first to capture my imagination. People had made mods that added all new gameplay. Capture the flag was my favorite, though Team Fortress was also another favorite. These mods were way beyond any simple DOOM level. Capture the flag had a grappling hook, and it was amazing. There wasn’t anything more fun than zipping all around the stage with my grappling hook to make daring flag captures.
Soon it wasn’t enough to just download and play other people’s mods. I had to make my own.
Knowing nothing of programming, I downloaded the files I needed to make mods.
After learning how to compile the source. I dug into the code. First stop, the weapons! You could change the spread of the shotgun, you could change the number of pellets, you could make the rocket launcher explode more, you could make enemies explode when you shot them, you could make your backup melee weapon kill any boss in one hit.