The ILL CLAN was a team who made Machinima “movies” in Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, and others. As of the writing of this article, all of their websites and links no longer work. There are multiple articles out there about them and their work, but most of the links go back to their website that no longer exists. They eventually became “ILL CLAN Animation Studios” (link from Aug 2008) and then in Sept of 2010 they split into two different groups. A few years later, the website went down completely.
During the days of limited hard drive space, and limited internet speed, Quake and Quake 2 had an ingenious idea for people to record their games into very tiny files. Demo files. They were small files that would record map info, player data, and movement positional information in a small file. When you wanted to watch the demo you recorded, you played it back within Quake 2. You could even send these “demo” files to friends and they could load them into their game and watch them. Before Live streaming and YouTube, people would share their demo files of their matches with friends and other players across the net.
Eventually people figured out you can edit this files to move the camera around, add graphics, and even make movies. “Re-cams” (re-camera), or changing camera angles of matches and competitions, were pretty popular, and people were even adding music to make “highlight reels”. This is where the Ill Clan came up with doing Machinima (movies rendered in games). Hardly Workin’ was the sequel to the Quake 1 movie Apartment Huntin’. As a side note, if anybody has Apartment Huntin’ (demo files, not the QT or divx video) zip file, please contact me. I am really trying to find this and add it back to my collection.
Hardly Workin’ was originally created to run Quake 2 in 640×480. I was able to adjust the UI scaling in Yamagi Quake II to make some of the sprites almost the correct size for 1080, but there are some graphic issues due to the game running in 16:9, and not the original 4:3 aspect ratio. When you have graphics that were setup for the old style “square” monitors, not for more modern widescreen monitors, it will cause some graphics to not line up correctly. You will see them mostly in the “Grind-O-Matic” scene, and during the end credits. The only way to make these graphics look 100% perfect as possible is to run the game with Quake 2 v3.20 in 640×480. Running it in 1080 isn’t perfect, but it still looks damn good. Hardly Workin’ really shows how powerful the Quake 2 engine was, and how talented and creative community was.
With all of this increase in retro games, and the new RTX Quake 2 builds, I would really love to see a few of the Quake 2 movie teams dust off and possibly create some new projects! (if anyone out there is interested, message me)
If you would like to download and play with Hardly Workin’ in Quake 2 you can download the file here.
The Technical Side:
I ran into several errors trying to get Hardly Workin’ to play back. With any “re-cam”
Quake 2 v3.20 plays all demo files normally, but the issue is with the UI scaling. ID Software never thought people to use beyond 800×600 (640×480 was pretty standard at release) as the hardware really wasn’t there to have the game playable at that resolution. When you do play at high resolutions, the UI (user interface) gets real tiny. This effects text, and sprites. The demos play and sound fine, but with the heavy use of sprites in this video, it wasn’t viable for a recording.
Yamagi Quake II v7.0 and newer has an issue with sound playback. As a scene would go on, the audio would become more and more ahead of the scene. I found that Yamagi Quake II 6.0 ran with most of the modern UI scaling and didn’t have the sound issue. Just set the UI scaling to 2x, and you are good to go. If you do try to run the 7.0 or newer version, you also have to run the 1.4 GL renderer, being as running the 3.2 causes many of the light colored textures to be blown out. light grey and light blue become pure white. I sat and adjusted settings in the video options, and even tried tweaking the config file to no avail. Just stick to GL 1.4. The image below is showing the differences between 1.4 and 3.2 using YQuake2 v7.43 with no other settings changed.
KMQuake2 You get a console ERROR about some model having too many frames. Not an option. This happens in a lot of demo playbacks.
Q2Pro… not an option. Being as the Q2Pro team changed the command on running demos, (from demomap to just demo) it breaks a lot of Quake 2 Movies if they are running multiple demo files batched together. Then again, playing original demos is not the focus of the Q2Pro port.