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FortressOne: Quake Team Fortress (1996) mod still under active development (fortressone.org)
149 points by drzel on April 5, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 70 comments

This game is a beautiful piece of living internet history. We still play competitively, the emergent gameplay continues to evolve. Most of the community have been playing for over 20 years, and a huge percentage of the players are contributing to code, art etc.

Hey Zel! Congrats to you and all involved for keeping this historic game alive.

And thanks for one of the best game videos of all time twist.

Is this twisted of QWTF Done Extreme fame? ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA3xBAe5nPs

If so, greetings from Baalz :D

Sup baalz! Yes it's me. I read this site daily but never expected to see a post related to QWTF on it.

Same, I was actually randomly thinking about QWTF just the other night, and then stumbled across this post today!

causticsoda! Come into the discord and say hello.

I worked for Rogue Wave Software years ago, and we used to play this on the corporate LAN at lunch time. IT guys were in on it too, and would quietly upgrade all the players to be on the "good LAN" for better connectivity.

Once the head of Tech Support from Boulder showed up during lunch hour and saw me playing, and says "You guys play too?!" - so then we each shifted lunch hour by half an hour and had cross site fun.

I will say that it was by far the best and most effective social engagement thing that existed cross organization on each site, and between sites. Well that and the free bagels and espresso machine.

Oh wow, QWTF was my absolute first contact with online gaming and it is so dear to my heart. They were such innocent times. People asking strangers on servers to join their clan and I remember cherishing my clan tag so much. I was on dialup and didn't start using the mouse for a least a couple of months, but like I did, innocent times and no one was whining or rude.

My internet was so bad I couldn't even really play. I joined the games lagged around and died.

There's also Fortress Forever, for anyone who misses TFC: https://store.steampowered.com/app/253530/Fortress_Forever/

This was always cool. Wasn’t it released shortly before TF2 and pretty much steamrolled into obscurity after that?

yep, it had a decent community for a few years but is mostly skeleton crew pickups at this point

I actually like this FF aesthetic art style better than TF2.

You can still play TFC if you miss it. In fact Valve fixed some bugs a few months ago!

What communities are there still around? I use to play on Royston Vasey but it was over a decade ago and I don't recognise anyone left - I popped into the IRC channel when my dad died late last year as he also used to play tfc and even made their website back in the day. I don't think there was anyone left who remembered him - pretty sad (the site is still up and has his alias http://www.roystonvasey.org.uk/, I'm surprised no one questions 'who was this milky guy?').

I played TFC a little bit back in the day (missed its heyday, unfortunately, but the TFC Gold servers continued to be active on Steam long after TF2 was released).

It's easy to think that TF2 "streamlined" the experience by removing bunny hopping and grenades, but honestly, whenever I try to go back to it, grenades are just annoying. They render much of the well-tuned class distinctions obsolete when even the medic can blow you up

The medic in TFC was really an offensive assault class, MUCH more analogous to TF2s scout than TF2s medic.

The scout class itself was actually rarely used because the medic was significantly more dangerous!

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is the real sequel to TFC. The medic in ET is a force of nature; a dual-wielding adrenaline junkie.

the medic was significantly more dangerous

I was surprised they didn’t bring the virus/infection mechanic back from TFC for the medic class.

In most servers you carry like two or three grenades though, usually not reloadable. It’s doesn’t imbalance that much.

I had nothing but good times playing TF in 1997/1998. I joined clans and made friends online in a way that seems almost impossible to do nowadays.

Action Quake 2 and CS through 1.6 offered similar opportunities to make good friends, but TF was the advent of that for me.

Same story, although I landed on aq2. Unfortunately there isn’t much an AQ2 community left. I was recently in ca/us and loved being able to jump on q2 dm servers and actually play! But still aq2 wasn’t very active.

If anyone has in Australia wants some aq2 /q2 action, I’m in.

Hey mate, AQ2 in Aus is still kicking. Funnily enough we've had 8v8 games this past week in Aus. The adu community is still active and i've been trying to migrate people from the FB to the discord. Which is ... Slow.


Come say hi, the new AQ2PRO client is really quite good.


Also - https://discord.gg/c6SEtCt

Is the 'main' aq2 discord.

The best and most fun Quakeworld mod was 'Capture the head' (or maybe it was called 'Headhunters' I'm not sure).

Every time you gibbed someone you could pick up their head, and run around with it attached to to you until you 'dropped' on a specific spawn point to score. You could run around with up to 6 heads attached to you in a 'chain' - if someone gibbed you, they could then pick up all your heads.

Very tactical, and lots of fun!

Sounds kind of like the "Oddball" mode in Halo. Wonder if that's where they got the idea

The “Oddball” mode in Halo references the “Kill the guy with the ball” mode in Marathon 2, one of Bungie’s earlier games.

> Objective is to possess the ball (which is actually a skull) for the longest amount of time.


(page 18)

I remember playing team fortress on my IBM Aptiva with the awful modem/soundcard combo which meant I could either play online or with sound but not both. Given the abundance in time inside all of a sudden I think I'll give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

Hey - please do! Discord is the best place to connect: https://discord.fortressone.org

Speaking of older games, are there any (other) active communities these days that still play competitive capture-the-flag style games? CTF seemingly died years and years ago and most games these days are sort of regressing to various spins on deathmatch style modes.

Miss TFC/Unreal Tournament style CTF communities, but I'm not sure there's anything left aside from obscure discord communities that occasionally throw together a few matches.

There is Enemy Territory, the multiplayer successor to Return to Castle Wolfenstein:


ETF (Enemy Team Fortress) also has a discord and people who seem to be developing/porting things, but I can't find a webpage :/


I spent many hours in the early 2000s playing RTCW:ET, I haven't played in 15 years and didn't know about ET Legacy. Downloading that now and going to see if there's a server about!

Thanks :)

2fort on TF2 is still popular. CTF can also be found in the new Quake Champions. Both games are free to play.

Diabotical [0] will be free to play when it is released.

[0] Diabotical.com

Thanks, I'll give it a shot when it comes out. Combat sort of looks like UT -- worth a try!

try tribes ascend, or savage 1

This brings back so many memories. What got me into servers and programming in the first place was setting up quakeworld servers and modding them.

What I miss the most are rocketjumping maps. I spent so many hours on those servers but it seems most of the maps are gone from the historical record.

And concjumping maps from TFC! Those were a ton of fun.

I wonder if there is an interest or place to dump these old maps. I have a ridiculous amount of TFC, CS 1.5, etc maps I've scoured the internet for and mirrored locally just because I'm worried they'll disappear forever at some point.

Maybe you can put these on Archive.org?

I think I'll do that! I just need to clean up, run em through resgen and probably zip them up to keep the clutter down.

Actually looks like I already have about 32k of them zipped from one of my mirror runs. Roughly 195GB, with most of it being CS 1.5 maps. I'll get that upload started. I've got somewhere around 1TB total though that I need to eventually get uploaded.

I have a few burnt CDs from the early 2000s (found them when my dad passed late last year and I had to clear out his place) full of TFC maps.

There might be an overlap with what you have. I could see what I have and release it out there if others will find it useful.

I remember with skulltag/doom there was an auto-wad downloader that would find the map for you if you didn't have it. I wonder if there is a want for something similar or a searchable database for all of these old maps for twenty year old game mods.

Perhaps 99% of people are content with fornite/etc. and don't want to bother spinning up old games no one cares about.

Like classical artwork and music, this is culturally relevant content that needs to be preserved. Thousands of hours went into creating it, even though it is not for the masses.

An outstanding mod with a lot of work going in to improve game play still till this day. Tournaments are being ran and the game is actually starting re-growth from all the hard work the development team is putting in. I think this game should definitely be on valve's steam 'free to play' option. I think the majority of gamers would enjoy getting into a game like this, especially the older lads.

Long ago when the number of games was much lower, you could count on people to know or hear about all the major games. There was a sense of community, of shared culture. Just like the first years after communism officially ended in Poland - there were 3 TV stations and there were cartoons at 19:00 every single day, with especially good ones on sunday. You could walk up to a random kid in class and start a conversation about his favorite bedtime cartoon. Or there was very limited choice in common household appliances and furniture, so countless people had the same models.

Yes, it's nostalgia too, but it was fun to have a sense of shared culture. Fragmentation has its downsides. I'm not sure how to have the cookie and eat it.

Yeah the 90s was a fun time. On EFNET #doom was a great hang, official ID software game releases and updates where announced there too and an occasional AMA with the team (if I recall correct Carmack and Romero participated). Was always elite to get a +v (unmute) so you could ask them questions.

That channel had some pretty hilarious bots also.

People are only playing a tiny subset of all games. Kids who follows gaming in 2020 are familiar with most of these games: https://www.twitch.tv/directory

You're assuming things have changed when they really haven't. In fact, there's even more of a shared culture around gaming these days because gaming is mainstream and ubiquitous.

Go to r/gaming and you'll see people talking about the same popular games.

Besides, when I was a kid, odds were nobody knew what games I was playing because nobody but a tiny minority played games. I just learned to not talk about gaming. Gamers have it much better now.

Yeah, I'm sure today's middle-school conversations about Fortnite are every bit as prevalent as the GP's conversations about cartoons were

One of the first mods I ever got into was the original TF. Too bad I pinged like 200 m/s from the majority of the servers so at best I could log in and spam grenades before I died. lol.

Our nightly games are played on local servers with 13ms pings, but we still have international matches played on midpoint servers, with most players pinging between 150-200ms. Holds up very well.

What if servers always enforced a minimum ping on the users! Never thought of this. Then, I might have had better luck playing shooters games when I was younger.

We do exactly this for example, for Australia vs USA matches, hosted in California. With minping, all players ping around 160ms.

I saw a frag video posted (Team Fortress Done Extreme 2).

I never got into team fortress from quake days, but I did get into team fortress classic.

One of the best frag videos for tfc is Last Dinosaur 2:

Apart from the final rendered quality (not exactly a 4k video) I think it still holds up, really good frag video.


The user experience is from the past millennium.

1. I downloaded the game and unpacked it. It would not start. Debugging reveals a dependency upon libpcre.so.3. This is not packaged (obsoleted by libpcre2). I hacked around the problem by making a link to libpcre.so.1. Imagine someone who is not a programmer, would he be able to figure that out?

2. I ran the game and go into the options menu. The text is so small it is almost unreadable and there is no way to make it bigger. We Quake players are all old farts now who more often than not have deteriorated vision.

3. I got the server list and attempted to join an empty server with low ping in the neighbouring country so I could experiment a bit. The game proceeds to download lots of files at 7 kB/s with no indication of overall progress. After four minutes of waiting I cancel out.

4. I find the menu to host a local server. Running it errors out in the console: something something DM4 not found.

5. I decide to write up what happened to HN. I quit the game. Gamma settings for the desktop environment are messed up.

Hey thank you for the feedback - you're not wrong. We haven't exaclty given Linux the focus it deserves. We're aware of these issues and working on fixing them.

As for the server, we run servers around the world including FortressOne in the title. These should work well, there are a couple of older community servers which... Literally are from the last millenium.

To be honest this sounds like a fairly typical Linux experience to me

Ok. I am not even going to try to get it running on Catalina.

Works perfectly in windows. And I have not the best sight.

I wish the Q2 mod Gloom had the same longevity :( last I heard there were just a couple dozen people still playing, mostly in Europe.

Same awsome game updated to 2020 standards !

For anyone who wants to know how impressive this sort of development time/commitment is, keep in mind that Duke Nukem Forever started development a year after this mod did.

Of course, people didn't have to wait from 1996 to 2020 to actually play it.

TF was good but I miss Rocket Arena more

Couldn't agree more. For those wondering, Rocket Arena was an amazing team game (last team alive gets a point, or optionally CTF rules) where each player starts with ALL of the weapons, armor and ammo in the game. Since everyone had a rocket launcher, railgun, grenade launcher, shotgun, etc, this focused the game on team strategy / communication and shooting accuracy rather than on timing the weapon / player health spawns. This would have been awesome by itself, but Rocket Area also made it so that rockets didn't do damage to your health (though they did hurt your armor!) so you could freely move with rocket jumping. This created unbelievable mobility and many beautiful custom maps were made; just imagine huge castles where your skill at rocket jumping allowed you to soar from turret to turret.

Here's a good video showing the mobility and skill involved in using all the weapons at once: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhzK5fL1mj0

Here's some of the maps that were common: http://www.bosskey.net/q3a/maps/standard.html

This reminds me of Instagib mode in UT ... same gameplay twist: since everyone is on an even playing field with a hitscan instakill gun, accuracy and agility were much more important

Instagib was my favorite mode back in UT2003/2004. Really forced you to hone your twitch muscles. When you and your opponent were both missing each other, it only upped the frantic tension until one of you bursts into giblets!

Quake Champions introduce Clan Arena game mode couple of days ago.


video - https://youtu.be/kfcoMgETDaI?t=354

2000: RA3 is the choice of the discerning gentleman

2008: Clan arena is the most popular game mode in Quake Live

2020: Check our our new game mode!

One subtlety to observe in that video at the end when he wins is he walks instead of runs so you can't hear his footsteps, and keeps the rocket launcher armed until he has a clean shot because the railgun makes ambient noise.

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