A couple of months ago our Development Team here at Talis decided they wanted to have some sort of game server running internally so we could have a little fun from time to time. Most people had settled on Unreal Tournament but it had two major problems, a) you needed a semi decent graphics card to play it, and b) you had to buy it ( if ur being honest and above board which we are! ).
Anyway I came across Nexuiz, which is a free FPS based on an early Quake Engine. It requires fairly modest hardware to run, so it’s perfect for running on laptops. It also runs natively on both Windows and Mac which is excellent given a number of us have Mac Book Pro’s and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try and run an FPS inside of VMWare although it would probably have worked. Anyway because of this we set up a Nexuiz Server running in a VM on our internal network. It runs very well, and plays incredibly well. It might not be as visually aesthetic as later versions of Quake or Doom or Enemy Territory, but what it lacks in visual polish it more than makes up for in playability … it is awesome!
Having played a few times there’s a number of things that strike me. I’ve been playing FPS games for a number of years, I even play for a great team. Now because Nexuiz is based on a Quake Engine, anyone who has ever played Quake/Doom/Enemy Territory will be immediately familiar with it. Whilst the game-play is different, as are the weapons, the damage levels and even the hit boxes, it doesn’t take too long to get used to it, or the frantic pace at which the game is played. Check out these gameplay videos…
It supports all the popular game modes, although at the moment we have it running Team Death Match pretty much all the time. it also supports a really nice little single player mode which is great to practise on, and get used to the controls and feel. I have to confess I am really beginning to like it, in a LAN setting. It’s a lot of fun, and just the thing when you need a five minute break from staring at a load of code that you have been refactoring for several hours.