Dat was het begin van een job bij ID! Hij is verantwoordelijk voor de bots, maar lees ff het verhaal waarin hij nadrukkelijk genoemd wordt. Sterker nog, zonder Jan geen Quake III voor de Kerst !! ":
With Q3Test1 available on the Internet and being lauded by gamers around the world, the pressure was on for id to capitalize on the excitement and release the game. "It was definitely a tough situation with the bots," elucidates Devine. "We knew that if we didn't bring in someone to help us, there was no way this game was going to ship before 2000."
That someone was Jan-Paul Waveren, a 22-year-old student from the Netherlands, who, between studying for classes and playing Quake, managed to create the Gladiator bot add-on for Quake II. One day this past summer, Waveren received SOS e-mail from id. "Graeme e-mailed me and said, 'Would you be interested in coming over for a week to talk to us?'" explains Waveren, sounding a little shell-shocked by the fact that he now has an office at id Software and is considered part of the team. Before he knew it, he was on a plane to Dallas to meet id.
Upon arriving at id, Waveren worked with programmer John Cash to bring the bots to life, a task that both programmers admit is an evolving science. "The hardest thing with the bots," explains Cash, "is developing the technology so they don't have perfect aim." Since the bots are technically part of the game, they could constantly point the rail gun at you and hit spot-on, no questions asked. "But we want to make the bots seem human," explains Cash, "and therefore we need to make them miss convincingly."
Balance was another key issue, and Waveren developed 50 different characteristics for the bots, including aim accuracy for each weapon, favorite weapon, aggression, and jump height. As a result, bots have developed personalities and character traits; for example, you'll want to get out of the way when the Grunt has the rail gun in his arsenal.
If there is one aspect of the bot code that Waveren is particularly proud of implementing into the game, it's his 3D area system. "A lot of our competitors use a waypoint system where you actually have to hand-place spots the bots can touch on the map," he explains in his European accent. "Well, if you play the game enough times, you get a feeling where the bots are likely to appear." Hence, Waveren developed an area system that actually takes a 3D representation of the entire arena and gives the data to the bot, eliminating the need for waypoints. "This way," he says with his finger pointing in the air as if to add emphasis, "the bots have no preordained path. They are just like human players, and they can go anywhere on the map."
Waveren's innovation didn't stop with his area system. In a feature that id did not reveal before the game shipped, Waveren also implemented the ability for you to actually chat and command fellow bots in teamplay modes, such as capture the flag. Pulling up the game on his computer to illustrate this new feature, Waveren spawns two bots and types in, "I am the team leader." Automatically, the bots recognize him as the leader. If you really want to get an edge on the competition, Waveren offers an important tip: "It's usually a good idea to make the bot your team leader and then just follow his commands!"
Quake III was shaping up to be the game that id had envisioned - but not without some expert help. All told, everyone inside of id admits that Waveren's involvement was key to putting the single-player project back on track. "It was really uncomfortable for me towards the end," admits Carmack, "because I'd been idling for a while, waiting for the bots to work." Although he says he considered just doing the bots himself, and "had a tough time holding back," Carmack is incredibly happy with the results. "In a lot of ways, Jan really saved us," says Carmack, in a tip of the hat to a fellow programmer. "Without Jan, we would have been at risk of missing Christmas."
Good job Jan-Paul!! Bovenstaande is overigens afkomstig uit Gamespot's artikel "The Final Hours of Quake III Arena", dat je hier in zijn geheel kan nalezen.