What happens when you mix one part artist, one part producer, and one part co-owner of id Software? Kevin Cloud, a guy who knows a lot about first-person shooters. We recently got a chance to chat with Cloud regarding his latest project, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. From our brief hands-on time with the beta, ETQW looks ready to make some waves in virtual battlefields soon. Besides revealing details on ETQW’s gameplay mechanics and setting, Cloud shares his thoughts on what makes a great mod, the mysterious QuakeCon ninja, and hints at abroader beta in mid-April.
GR: Tell us how Enemy Territory: Quake Wars fits into the Quake universe.
Cloud: There are two things to keep in mind with Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. One thing is that its gameplay is derived from Return to Castle Wolfenstein Multiplayer. Its team play and its character classes and its objectives - and those types of game systems are sort of the origins of what you’ll see in ETQW. We’ve taken Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and now evolved that into Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
Way back with the objective based gameplay - we still had that sort of asymmetry of combat. You’ve got one attacking team, with a mission, and one team on defense. We really wanted to extend that out and see how far we could push that by having these two very different teams. And we thought the Strogg universe - the Quake II universe - was the perfect place. Quake II is sort of my game that came up with a lot of the story elements of that. And the Strogg universe - you know it’s my baby - we were really familiar with it - we were really comfortable with it - and we got excited about what we could do… taking that universe and bringing it into this type of gameplay. So that’s sort of how it came about.
So the storyline: Quake II had the Strogg battling earth and this game is a prequel to it. This is where the Strogg first invade Earth. It’s set in 2065 and so it’s not too far in the future. You have this alien technology facing up against these sorts of conventional weapons that creates the asymmetry. And then the Strogg characterization - in terms of what they’re like and types of weapons - often pulls from things from other Quake universes. You’ll notice the nail gun and the lightning gun. These are things where for us as Quake fans - whether we’re working on Quake or playing Quake - we wanted to see what that would feel like if we brought that into this universe.