Quakecon day one recap: panels, mods, mods, and more mods

Considering my late arrival into Dallas Thursday night (thanks to Mother Nature for the 9-hour something delay, by the way), my first day of Quakecon at the Hilton Anotole actually began on a Friday. The good news, though, is that, aside from missing out on the Doom presentation, there was quite a bit to see.

First up was the main exhibition hall. This is where all the vendors are set up, along with a stage where hourly raffles are held for prizes ranging from premium PC parts to exclusive Quakecon gear. As you might expect, this part of the show floor was quite busy.

As for vendors, there were a number in attendance, including Gunnar Optiks, various mod-based companies showing off their latest gear, and even a few developers, such as Symbiote Studios. Bethesda, meanwhile, took up a good portion of the show floor near the back, highlighting its forthcoming releases Battlecry and The Evil Within, as well as a dose of The Elder Scrolls Online for those who wanted to take part in tournament play.

The biggest area of Quakecon, however, was reserved for BYOC, or, in layman’s terms, Bring Your Own Computer. Here, thousands of gamers lined up their custom PC units and took part in a number of game sessions well into the night, from Doom to Counter-Strike to Titanfall. As you can see, a lot of the custom units certainly satisfied, with wild colors, abnormal design (one mod case even managed to have a fish tank in it, with a live goldfish swimming around) and other little bits and pieces of décor. They managed to make this temporary game space into something all their own.

The outpouring of the gaming community was on full display in this room, no matter what you were in the mood to play. In addition, the BYOC room hosted a Tabletop Village, where those without a fancy computer could still get together and take part in some board gaming. We had a few sessions of Cards Against Humanity there that would certainly go down in infamy. (No fair repeating the answers here.)

Bethesda also hosted a private demo for The Evil Within, its upcoming survival horror game. We’ll talk about it more in length in an upcoming piece, but fans of the genre should be quite pleased with it. In addition, the publisher teamed up with the American Red Cross for a blood drive event tied in with the game (under the name The Good Within), which drew a large audience.

Lastly, the main ballroom played host to a number of presentations throughout the day. Leading things off was a special Bonus Room panel featuring Geoff Keighley, Adam Sessler and other folks talking everything Doom, Bethesda and more. Fans came up to a microphone and asked questions, in which they (mostly) happily responded.

As for other panels, one talking about the future of The Elder Scrolls Online took place later in the afternoon, with the team discussing upcoming content for the game. Sadly, there’s still no word on console releases, but they aren’t too far off.

Finally, comedic team Master Pancake tied up the night “riffing” on the 1986 cult classic Labyrinth, even going as far as to dress as David Bowie from the film…right down to the enormous codpieces.

Overall, day one (well, technically) of Quakecon was a huge success, and the show isn’t over yet. Be sure to check back on late Sunday evening for the complete wrap-up!