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What Keeps The Quake Community So Active?
So I've been going over 2015's releases for addon levels for various games I follow and was surprised to find that Quake has actually overtaken Half-Life in both release quality and quantity of releases. Here are some quick and dirty stats from quaddicted/RTSL:

Quake Releases: 17

Half-Life Releases: 9

Half-Life 2 Releases: 19

Keep in mind that many of the Quake releases are Jams and other multimap releases, so the number of actual maps released last year will be much higher. The same can be said for Half-Life 2 as RTSL released 4 *ville competition packs last year.

I was chatting with Phillip (he runs RTSL) before christmas about this and we were both fairly surprised that an older game with a smaller community could put out more and higher quality content than a game which came out later, had massive mainstream appeal and a giant modding community.

Why do you think this is? What is different and/or unique about Quake that fosters such an active community? Does the Quake community do anything different to other communities that helps in this regard?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts!
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The Answers In There Nail It 
Though another factor that contribute to this is that despite its primitive graphics, they're not ugly and really gives the proper atmosphere, it has aged like whine, despite most 3D games of the generation.
And even when you want to make new theme, like a modern city, it's not really a stretch to take the vanilla monsters in, because they're interdimensionnal one, so they can pretty much go anywhere, same goes for Doom, so the flexibility definitely helps.
The obvious advantage Quake has over Doom though is of course true 3D Spacing, which I learned to really appreciate in general with how the game utilizes it, as before I was more of a 2D guy.

Speaking of Quake not being replicated, I've heard the only one that's close to that is Daikatana, with similar player physics and movements, though I can't really tell myself. What I can tell is that the game by now can't come close to Quake for a number of reasons:
1/Despite 4 Themes, some sets of weapons are exclusive to each of them, as well as monsters, but they're limited, with just 4/5 weapons (but I especially like the first set, with the Shotcycler and 2-way Rocket Launcher) and a measly 5/6 monsters for each themes, and they don't seem to be that varied anyway.
2/The level-up system makes the player OP, where the player kills everything in 1 or 2 hits. Not counting the speed and jump upgrades which makes traversing level design a pushover.
3/The AI Partners, which takes out of the isolation displayed in other FPSes. There's a patch that removes them, but still.
4/The game's just unpolished, both design-wise and technically. Bugs aside, the level design doesn't take advantage of the player's moveset (especially with the level up system), and the game's just not pretty overall. Even if it came out in 1997 like it was supposed to, Quake 2 and Unreal have a more appealing look. 
aged like whine

this forum in three words 
..and attention to detail. Seems the ID team that created Q were deep on attention to detail, down to the finest texture. It didnt stop at the artwork, they took a gamble with the NIN soundtrack and hit paydirt. First game with real 3d sound, and a multisession CD that has the game music as CD tracks was a first I believe. First real multiplayer internet type shooter..that made the first GLOBAL impact and impression of www gaming to the entire globe... lots of groundbreaking things no one else tried or dreamed of no less and they pulled it off.

Consider also Q was not bug free and still to this day its always being modded and improved. Its got an appeal the Darker side of mankind in the actual game, and an appeal to his potential if you look at its groundbreaking achievements. Very well balanced , groundbreaking and innovative I would sum up how I see it as. 
deep on attention to detail, down to the finest texture

Weren't too fussed about texture alignment tho. 
"Weren't too fussed about texture alignment tho. "

Well, considering the state of the tools... 
Well, considering the state of the tools...

Was it really that hard to rotate and offset textures on faces? I would have thought that considering texture rotation/offset was part of the .map brush definition, they would have made it possible to edit that stuff simply in radiant? 
I always suspected that they didn't bother with it too much because at 320x240 who's gonna notice? 
Sure, but it was primitive at best. Typing in numbers, guess work, etc.

I've grown used to Hammers alignment tools but it's easy to forget that id didn't have those. 
Why Do You Think That? 
Here's a screenshot from QuakeEd:

As you can see, it has a texture mapped 3D preview. Unless that wasn't updated in realtime, which I would find hard to believe, you have essentially the same tools available as in most editors today, sans automatic texture fitting.

I think what you're referring to is that originally Quake didn't have per-face texture axes. These were only introduced with the Valve 220 map format, and support has been added to Quake compilers later. 
Yeah, it's totes because at 320x240 no-one sees that shizzle, so they just left it at "good enough" 
Coupled with the fact that the poor thing was in development hell for 3 years (which was big at the time) and everyone was just tired of working on it. 
What scar3crow said, plus open source.

HL hasn't evolved, Quake has. Quake got not just new tools, but also new tech, new formats, higher limits and so on.

Quake's open source nature is also better to attract people who are more curious, more tech-minded, more prone to keep working on it.

And Quake will keep evolving. 
Coupled with the fact that the poor thing was in development hell for 3 years

Quake was in development hell? Are you sure that phrase means what you think it means? 
I read it certainly went on longer than they wanted it to but I don't think it was 3 years, was it?

I mean, compared to RAGE it was a long weekend. :) 
Quake was always in active development. True, they were making it up as they went along, but that's different to the typical definition of "development hell", where development is not allowed to progress for some reason. 
I think they were somewhat blocked on Carmack as he developed the tech or, hell, invented it in the first place. There's not a lot you can do when the engine isn't even working yet ... or is being rewritten for the Nth time. 
The Problem Was 
that it took Carmack a year to make the engine and the id guys couldnt work on the game properly... it was basically in pre-production for so long that they got bored of it, so when they actually started making the game they had to force their creativity to get the game done. 
Quake was one of the first true AAA games. Id was small and they didn't anticipate the amount of work properly.

From the history in The Masters of Doom, they most likely thought that once the engine was in place, asset creation would be as quick and intuitive as in Doom, so in the meantime they spent time working in other projects, because that's how they used to work.

Carmack had a feeling about this and forced them to start working on Quake before the engine was complete. But this made everyone confused, they didn't know how the engine would actually be because much of it was still in Carmack's head, so things got messy, in a bad way.

Even the map editors kept being modified until the last minute. The difference in quality between some assets, specially the monster's models, is a testament to this. 
That Must Have Been Terrible! 
It Still Is!! 
Quake mapping is more an artists platform.
Hl not as much, you're often just replicating real life scenes and so many modern games do this. No modern games follow the styles in Quake.

plus func_msgboard 
Romero On Quake 
Right. Sounds to me then that no-one had a clue what the technology would be capable of until the last minute, and id tends to design games around the technology, and not vice versa.

Still, a year of fannying around doesn't sound like a big deal to me; certainly not enough time to get burnt out.

I once wasted two and a half years working on a PS3 launch title with a design that was constantly in flux; always changing at the whim of a committee of producers that couldn't make up their minds what game they wanted us to make, and in the end it was too late and they pulled the plug. Was always fun seeing Sony sneaking our assets into other games though. 
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