History of Polycount
Polycount was founded by Rogue13 on April 1st, 1998. It was originally known as the Q2PMP, as its first purpose was to store and showcase Quake 2 plug-in player models. Rogue13 and his good friend BearKub built the Q2PMP into a considerable archive of user-made player models, at a time when there were several sites vying to serve custom player models to Quake 2 players.
Competition did not remain constant, however. With games like Quake 2, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament supporting custom player models, the creation of and demand for player models grew rapidly. But not all sites could keep up with the demand. R13 remembers that a few webmasters of competing sites of the era (such as the 3D Bodyshop) gave up, they handed him their entire site backed up on a CD.
The Q2PMP prospered and grew, attracting a steady following of hobbyists and artists who enjoyed creating custom player models. Early Polycount fixtures included AlphaWolf, BurntKona, Gwot, Malekyth, Rorshach, JatotenRascot, LuppyLuptonium, Shatter, Shine, Sumaleth, Stecki, and Wrath, just to name a few. This era was for some the golden age of plug-in player models, since Quake 2 provided a great deal of creative expression when creating player models, but with a minimum of technical experience that would be necessary for later titles. Polycount still maintains an extensive database of player models from the Q2PMP era.
Polycount evolved into the now familiar green and black format the night before Quake III Arena was released in 2000. Quake 2 was arguably easier to create custom models for; but Quake III allowed for characters with 32-bit textures with an impressive array of shader effects, as well as higher polygon counts. Q3 was the entry point for much of the second wave of well known Polycount artists, such as BobotheSeal and DarkHorizon. The community continued to grow. Many of the longer standing members of the community began getting industry jobs, often as a direct result of their community involvement (a trend which still continues).
Polycount has grown to encompass an exceedingly diverse selection of custom player models for a variety of online multiplayer games, and its forum and IRC communities have grown with it. Though as of 2005, many FPS games have become exceedingly complicated to create custom player model content for, Polycount is a vital community where hobbyists and professionals alike hone their craft.
Snapshots of how the forum has appeared over the years, courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.