Notes on the invention of networked video gaming

QuakeWorld by John Carmack - the .plan notes (basically a Unix-local blog) written during the development of internet networking (not just LAN-local) for Quake. It’s amazing to read the notes of a super-sharp person inventing the foundations of the multi-billion dollar gaming industry as we know it today.

Of course there’s great technical details, like this bit that should be familiar to anyone who has mysteriously died in an online gaming match:

I am reining in the client side prediction to a fairly minimal amount. It has too many negative effects in different circumstances. The problem of running away from or in front of your missiles was so bad that I considered simulating the missiles on the client side, but that is the second step on a slippery slope. If just the missiles were simulated, then a missile would fire through an enemy until the server informed you it exploded on them. Then you consider simulating interactions, but then you have to guess at other player inputs (which is hopeless)…

And complaining about Ferrari ownership, which is always a rich-people tragicomedy:

My testarossa snapped another input shaft (the third time).
damn dman damn.

Fabien Sanglard’s website is full of this stuff, if that’s your jam.

Adam Keys @therealadam