One of our Most Wanted games of 2006, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars looks to blend the best of several worlds: the class-based teamplay of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory; the wide-open, go-anywhere, vehicle-laden mayhem of the Battlefield games; the sci-fi setting of the Quake universe; and the technical horsepower of an id Software engine.

At this year's E3, we had our first chance to try out the game for ourselves, and we suspect gamers will get the same chance at QuakeCon 2006 in just a few weeks. As work on the game continues, we kick off a new set of developer diaries giving a behind-the-scenes look at how Splash Damage and id Software are attacking the various challenges inherent in building a huge multiplayer game, starting with the biggest hurdle: balancing.


My name is Paul 'Locki' Wedgwood and I'm the owner and Lead Game Designer at Splash Damage -- developers of id Software's Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (ETQW).

Past Projects:

  • 2000/2002 - Quake 3 Fortress - (Project Leader)
  • 2002/2003 - Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (Lead Game Designer)
  • 2003/present - Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Lead Game Designer)
E3 2006 and Players' First Impressions

We came out of E3 2006 on a huge high; ETQW scooped-up over 30 awards and nominations from dozens of websites, magazines and official show judges, including Game of Show, Best PC Game, Best Shooter, Most Anticipated Game and perhaps most importantly, several awards for Best Multiplayer Game of E3 2006.

Following E3, Splash Damage and id spent weeks reviewing the status of Enemy Territory. 2006 has been a great year for us, with incredible response from the press and the community. It's also been a challenging year, as the team here has given extraordinary effort towards completing the game this year. Unfortunately, sometimes effort isn't all you need -- sometimes you just need more time. To ensure the quality we want, we've decided to push the release out of 2006 to allow for extended testing, feedback and game balancing.

Asymmetrical Gameplay Balance

One of the largest development challenges we're facing (and an extremely important issue to those of us that are ex-clan players) is the balancing. ETQW's unique asymmetrical teams and objective-based missions present interesting challenges. Matches are balanced internally, but we know that a larger community of players can develop more strategies and exploits in a week than internal testing can discover in a month. This is why I've decided to talk about gameplay balance in our first developer diary entry.

We're now entering the beta phase of the game's development, and this signifies a change of focus for our design team and our collaboration with id Software; that of achieving great multiplayer gameplay balance. However, ETQW's multiplayer focus on military objectives challenges us with balancing hurdles that didn't exist before.