A Pip-Boy mask  from the Fallout game series greets gamers as they enter one of the isles at the BYOC hall (Bring Your Own Computer) at QuakeCon 2015 Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

A Pip-Boy mask from the Fallout game series greets gamers as they enter one of the isles at the BYOC hall (Bring Your Own Computer) at QuakeCon 2015 Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

When it began in 1996, QuakeCon was roughly 30 people who decided to hang out at a hotel in Garland in the hope that the game developers at Id Software, creators of the iconic Doom and Quake, might make a trip over from their offices in Mesquite.

20 years of QuakeCon memories from the Id Software employee who's seen them all

Now, 20 years later, QuakeCon is thousands of gamers from across the globe who pile into the Hilton Anatole in Dallas once a year for one of the biggest video game parties in North America. QuakeCon now hosts major tournaments (with a lot of money up for grabs), unreleased games to play, panels to see and more.

"It was really a humble beginning, and I'm not just saying that as a story," Id Software's creative director Tim Willits says. Willits is very proud of the fact that he's been to every QuakeCon over the past two decades, and while he's excited to see it grow in popularity, he also doesn't want it to become "a business."

"We want to keep that grassroots feel," he says. "It's more of a convention of people and gaming."

There are certainly games there, and people definitely came for them. The main draw, as always, was the massive Bring Your Own Computer space (BYOC), where thousands of attendees camped out all weekend playing games with friends both old and new. They played plenty of older games like Team Fortress 2, Counterstrike and, of course, Quake, but there were also a lot of newer games being played at all hours of the day, like the popular soccer-with-cars game Rocket League and Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm.

Megan "Sakiana" Bailey had sushi delivered to the BYOC hall as she plays World of Warcraft at QuakeCon 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. She came from Iowa to attend the con.

Megan "Sakiana" Bailey had sushi delivered to the BYOC hall as she plays World of Warcraft at QuakeCon 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. She came from Iowa to attend the con.

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

Crowds also formed for games that haven't been released yet. Most of the excitement this year was for a QuakeCon-exclusive demo of Fallout 4, the highly anticipated post-apocalyptic game from Bethesda. People started lining up for that panel before 10 a.m. - more than three hours before it was scheduled to begin. Judging by reactions (which were often loud), attendees loved what they saw of the game and are eager for it to come out Nov. 10.

The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise, though, was that QuakeCon attendees were the first people in the world (outside of Id Software) to play the new game in the Doom series. While not scheduled to be released until spring of next year, the booth where fans could play Doom's multiplayer for the first time drew long lines.

Gamers line up for a free six minute game time with the new Doom game in the exhibit hall at QuakeCon 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Many players got in line several times to play the trial.

Gamers line up for a free six minute game time with the new Doom game in the exhibit hall at QuakeCon 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Many players got in line several times to play the trial.

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer
A gaming newbie plays 'Doom' (with a geek) at QuakeCon 2015

The game, just called Doom despite being the fourth in the series, is old school in a lot of the right ways. It's fast (much faster than many modern shooting games, like Call of Duty), it's explosive, and its violence is both brutal and bloody. Most important, though, the developers at Id Software seem to know that Doom can't take itself too seriously. It's a game about shooting demons with shotguns, and it doesn't need to strive for more than that.

While the action in the BYOC continued into Sunday, the convention culminated in the Quake Live tournament finals party Saturday night, where U.S. player Shane "Rapha" Hendrixson claimed his fourth QuakeCon title.

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