X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse is an original, first-person X-Men game using the Quake engine. X-Men: ROA is a "total conversion", a game that relies on another game's engine, but changes every other aspect including story, locations, characters, weapons, display and interface.
X-Men: ROA was the first commercial total conversion to feature a high profile property. It was also the first real-time 3D game to use LightWave 3D for the creation of all the models and animation in the game.
Unavailable in stores for many years now, I've since made the full game available, including bug fixes by Lord Havok. X-Men: ROA is also playable in Lord Havok's DarkPlaces engine, and in PSP Quake, so the original Quake is no longer necessary.
Download X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse
Download updated Sourcecode
In March of 1997 I started a new R&D project to try my hand at real-time 3D characters. I found that it was possible to replace the characters in Quake as it had been in Doom II which I had some experience in doing with Bugs Doom. It turned out to be quite easy to partner X-Men characters to existing Quake monsters with similar moves or powers, so I started creating what was known then as X-Men Quake.
As well as replacing the characters, I discovered it was possible to include new code. I realised the potential in coding specialised behaviours for the characters, so recruited Ryan Feltrin who had experience in coding Quake mod's, having created Quake Rally, and happened to live nearby.
Once I started to promote what I was doing it gathered popularity very quickly. Before I knew it I was being asked for interviews, offered promotional assistance, and had offers to present the project to Marvel. Based on the work I had already done, and the updated story and game design for what would become X-Men: ROA, Marvel decided to make it official and to publish the project.
The big condition for Marvel publishing the project was that it would have to be completed in time for Christmas sales that year, which meant that by the time they made the decision we only had 3 months to complete it, and barely enough money for the 3 principle team members, let alone the other 15 people that would eventually be needed. But with many long hours and everyone pulling together we managed to get it done on time, a massive achievement for all involved.
Although justifiably criticised in reviews for the gameplay and difficulty level, both areas which would have benefitted greatly from more development time, I'm happy to say the story, graphics, characters and multi-player experience rated very highly.
With a limit of 500 polygons, and a single 320x240 256 color texture, using the same color palette for everything in the game, 3D game characters were a lot different in Quake than they are today. Here are some pics of the characters I created for X-Men:ROA.