Splash Damage Blog

So Where's ETQW 1.5?

The marketing machine for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars is starting to spin up - if you missed it, don't forget to check out the first round of previews. More are sure to come within the next few weeks along with a few other cool announcements related to the console versions. In more PC-centric news, there have been quite a few questions about the status of the ETQW 1.5 game update on the forums, so here's what's currently happening with it.

Apple.com Looks at Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars

With Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars now shipping for Mac OS X in North America, the folks at Apple.com have taken a closer look at the game. Creative director Paul Wedgwood was on hand to walk them through a typical match and the article offers many of Paul's insights into the design philosophy behind the title.

There's also a second page filled with information about the two warring sides, all the maps, system requirements, and even single player cheat codes, so if you're wanting to get up to speed on all things ETQW, this is a great way to start.

Wheels of War Alpha Released

Start your engines and prepare to slide sideways through hordes of zombies! The team behind the highly anticipated Wheels of War for Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars has just released an alpha version of their mod! They caution that with this is the very first release, not all the features are included yet (zombies, stunts, and upgrades are still to come apparently) and that there may be a bug or two. Nevertheless, the guys want to get as much community feedback as early as possible, so don't forget to post your thoughts and impressions in the ETQW forums.

The mod currently comes in Windows and Linux flavors - a list of download locations can be found on the Wheels of War site, where you can also find a new trailer celebrating the alpha release. For more on Wheels of War, check out this interview with the team behind it!

ETQW 1.4 Status Update

We know you're all waiting eagerly for the 1.4 update to be released and I've got a brief status update for you. Quality Assurance testing has turned up a few issues with 1.4 that need to be addressed before it can go out the public. One of them is specific to ATI cards, so we're working closely with the guys over at AMD / ATi to get this resolved as quickly as possible, while also making sure that the rest of the update is as solid as can be. We don't expect this to be resolved before the new year, so we're now aiming to release 1.4 in early January 2008.

Despite the update not being out in time, we here at Splash Damage and id Software would like to wish all of you fantastic holidays and we hope you have a great 2008!

ETQW 1.4 Status; Updated Demo, Final SDK On The Way

So, where's 1.4? This has been a pretty hectic week in the Land of Updates. Our planned roll-out had to be stopped because internal testing turned up issues with the installers that could affect some players. The folks at Activision are trying to get these worked out as quickly as they can - they will let us know as soon as they have a solid estimate for getting the fixes in and tested. We'll pass that information on to you right away when we get it.

On a brighter note, we've also been hard at work on an updated version of the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars demo. This new demo incorporates all the improvements we've made to ETQW in the three months since its release, including the new training mode we’re introducing in 1.4. The training mode is a great introduction to the unique gameplay concepts and mechanics featured in Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, so this is a fantastic way for those still on the fence to experience the latest and greatest version of the game.

But that's not all!

A Quick Update on Remaining ETQW 1.4 Issues

Now that 1.4 has been released, let me bring you up to speed on the issues we've found so far and what we're doing to address them.

Perhaps the most rampant problem was server crashing just a few minutes after going up. What happened there? Well, it turns out that the newly added Hot Servers feature is indirectly to blame: when more than 256 players queried the same server at the same time, it became unresponsive and disconnected everyone playing on it. The good news is that we've since isolated and fixed the underlying cause - a problem with server info requests - and have deployed a hotfix to our GSP partners. So far things are looking extremely good on that front and barring any further problems, the fix will very soon be released to the community at large.

We're also aware that ranks are not being displayed and are currently testing a fix for this. Both that as well as any other necessary fixes will make it into a smaller update that we're hoping to release in the coming weeks. We'll continue to monitor the forums closely, so if you come across any other issues, please let us know there.

Official Competition Mod Beta This Week

With 1.4 out of the way, we are currently working on the next game update, and breaking with all known naming and moral conventions, we were thinking of code-naming it "1.5". This is going to be a smaller release and fix the remaining issues that cropped up in 1.4, such as ranks not being displayed correctly and Personal Bests being tracked on a per-campaign basis rather than globally (those two issues are actually related).

More immediately - and perhaps a bit more exciting - we are also wrapping up work on our competition mod. If you're not familiar with it, the main purpose of the mod is allow tournament organizers to easily implement and enforce specific rulesets. To that extent, we've stuffed quite a lot of cvar customization options in there and creating a new ruleset is as simple as putting the values you'd like to adjust in a config file on your server.

Barring any major international incidents, the beta will be released to the community at large within the coming days. We are hoping to squash any remaining stability issues and major bugs you might come across, so that the final version of the competition mod is in as a good a shape as it can be. To help out mod makers, we are also releasing the full competition mod source code at the same time as the beta – that way you can use bits and pieces of it in your own project, or add your own features to it.

With the technicalities out of the way, let's take a look at the major features of the mod:

ETQW Competition Mod Slightly Delayed by Legalities

We've been testing the ETQW Competition Mod Beta all week and the thing is in pretty good shape, though there are a few last minute issues that we're having to resolve before it can go out. Bizarrely enough, the main hold-up at the moment is that we're still waiting to get the correct license files for it – legal experts from around the globe are telling us that it can't go out without them, so there's unfortunately very little we can do there.

We do expect to get them within the next few working days, so hopefully it won't be too much longer until we're able to release the Competition Mod Beta.

Next Game Stuff - And It's Mostly Correct!

videogaming247 managed to corner our landing party out at GDC in San Francisco and got a few bits of information out of them regarding our next game. A few interesting bits and pieces in there, including the fact that it's a completely original IP coming to PC and consoles.

There's one passage that's worth clarifying, just so there's no misunderstanding. Nerve Software are currently handling the Xbox 360 version of Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars (and they're doing a fine job). However for our next title we're handling PC and console development here at the upside down Splash Damage space station.

While we're talking about GDC, don't forget that Paul's GDC talk is tomorrow - he'll be covering Splash Damage's first 5 years from a business standpoint and share the lessons we've learned so far. We'll keep an eye out for coverage of that and plug it here on the site.

ETQW Beta Bonanza: Comp Mod and 1.5 BETAs Rolling Your Way

Good news: There's light at the end of the license tunnel! We've at last received the proper license files for both the Competition Mod and the 1.5 game update. With that in mind, we're now prepping them for release and hope to get them out as soon as possible (for real!).

Since we want to make sure that both releases are as solid as can be, we've decided to run public beta phases for them - this will allow us to iron out any remaining stability issues and also make sure that the backend infrastructure is working properly. Both of these are the most difficult things to test for and since we've had a few issues crop up in 1.4 that didn't surface during our testing, we feel that a public beta phase is in the best interest of the game and the players.

Read on for more information on the two upcoming Beta releases and for the preliminary 1.5 changelog.