QuakeCon 2004. Dallas, Texas. Lets start with the weather. It was the middle of August and the weather was NicE. I was expecting the scorching sun and dulling humidity of pervious QuakeCon events. If we did venture outside, even after sundown it was not a pleasant feeling unless you were making a run for the front doors of  Denny's.

   The place. Hotel Gaylord was indeed a happy and colorful place. The gigantic glass atrium with hundreds of hotel rooms facing this large, indoor area made you feel like you were a productive little ant in your four star termite nest. It was impressive, extravagant and it was full of gamers.  It has been such a long time since the last QuakeCon. Badges, dark T-shirts and various gaming gear being carried around... It felt so great to be back once again.

   The event. QuakeCon felt SO much bigger than a regular con. It was a massive, jaw-dropping organized mayhem that involved thousands of people. Preparation, planning, volunteers helping out before, during and after the event. The gamers with their setup in the byoc area, the companies representing their products throughout the event floor. It was an amazing experience to be able to see so many pc's set up on LAN, the tournament area was nice as usual. The room set up for the finals felt like a large movie theater, with the exception that it was a lot more exciting than any action film that I can think of. I was at the edge of my seat watching the finals. Somehow I find it a lot more nerve wracking to watch your friends play in a close game against a strong opponent than to be playing in that match yourself.

   The Game. Doom III. Ah, yes. It's just you, me and DOOM III. The "Kornelia Challenge" was presented by Activision and Alienware on the floor of QuakeCon in the exhibitor area during the event. The event took place on Friday the 13th. Gamers attending QuakeCon could try their luck at playing against me in a 1 on 1 DOOM III match. (Some encouragement from friends was sometimes required.) DOOM III is out. The game looks incredible. I am going to stop myself from getting too  detailed here. I am sure that you know what DOOM III is like from various angles. (Gameplay, Storyline, engine, levels, etc...)

   The Challenge. Friday the 13th. 10am and the "Kornelia Challenge" event beings. Frag limit 7, time limit 7. Map DM2. Four frags gives you a raffle ticket that for a spiffy Alienware laptop. If you can beat me you get a DOOM III t-shirt a raffle ticket and various gaming goodies. (Basically the stakes are high. I must defend the shirts.) My first opponent of the day takes his seat across from me, soon the countdown is nearing zero and the match begins. He gets first kill. The crowd cheers. In the next couple of minutes he gets two more kills. It is three zero with him in the lead. As I try to regroup he frags me again. It is four zero with only a couple of minutes left of the match. I am sitting there thinking to myself, this is interesting, I should have eaten my spinach. I try to regroup again, I keep calm, we engage in a battle and I frag him. Four to one. I end up keeping control of the match and I frag him five more times. The final score of the game is 6-4 Kornelia. My opponent is quite happy with his raffle ticket. The matches to come had a more decisive outcome. Five people got one frag against me. (7 - 1) The other thirty matches were won 7 to 0. At the end of the day one raffle ticket had been given away for the chance to win the Alienware laptop, to the first challenger. (What great odds, 1 to 1.)

Match summary:

  36 matches played. 36 wins, 0 losses.
  30 matches won 7 to 0.
  5 matches won 7 to 1.
 1 match won 6 to 4.

  Overall  the event was a success. I really enjoyed playing and watching matches being played. It was great to be able to see my old friend and to meet plenty of "new" people and spend time with them over the weekend. Thank you OffLineTshirts.com for sending me this shirt that I picked out. It arrived in the nick of time. (It literally got to my hotel as I was preparing to head over to play my matches on Friday.)

Todd of id Software and I lounging afterhours.