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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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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. 
...and our gameplay ideas / level designs. 
I Keep Coming Back To Quake After 20 Years 
mainly because of the tools and engine refreshes. I can confidently say that I would not be mapping right now if it weren't for Trenchbroom. Over the years I've used Quest (original release), BSP, Qoole, Phase2, GTKRadiant, Hammer etc and TB just grabbed me. Not as a novelty, but as more of a true evolution that makes sense and feels "right". Now TB and QS, MarkV, the compilers etc would be NOTHING without a supportive and generous community to help spread the good word.

Another thing is inspiration. Watching Daz play through some of these amazing works of art is truly inspiring. As soon as I see a new playthrough I want to jump on my system and start mapping immediately. 
So to answer this threads question daz, go make more videos!

supportive and generous community

I said that once, czg said "wow", Lunaran called me crazy, Warren called me gay. Lots of love going on <3

Yes, this community does cause a positive impact on newcomers. This answers what Sleepwalkr said about new people still coming. 
Another thing is inspiration. Watching Daz play through some of these amazing works of art is truly inspiring.

True. I've been away from quake mapping since about 2007. Daz's videos and streams (discovered them because of hl2 videos back then) gave me the first impact to return to quake mapping. The second impact was the quality of the modern maps. Seeing new names producing awesome content is inspiring as well.

And yes,
daz, go make more videos! 
func_msgboard is like Hogwarts.

There are wizards everywhere running around casting spells and arguing and sharing obscure level design secrets and rarely used compiler switches. Occasionally a visiting sorcerer is lured into the mix and decides to setup shop.

The alchemists are in their labs turning ordinary metals into gold, arguing about the number of neutrons required to create the ideal isotope.

The philosophers and the bureaucrats have a pedigree. The users, most uncommon. Even the janitors are quite unusual. The critics bite with a forked tongue that often echos to lands abroad and resonates.

The mappers are real mappers. The players are real players. And the small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri are real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. 
Baker is baking now! 
Who's the basilisk? 
Baker/Madfox duality confirmed 
/me Votes Vondur For Heir Of Slytherin 
It wasn't simply that they didn't know what the final form of the tech would be; new builds kept breaking maps and meshes, leading to lots of scrapped work. That can be demoralizing. Then throw in the fact that every one was kind of doing their own thing... And it wasn't one contiguous team. Willits started mapping for Quake in early 96. Romero finished the tools in December 95. Cramped timelines, no clear goal, progress being lost... But yeah, not the typical Development Hell situation. I've been there as QA, working 80 hour weeks on month old builds, and when a build arrives, no bug fixes... 
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