The Addiction that is Quake
Last updated 1999.04.08
About a year ago as of this writing, almost against my will, I went
out and bought a copy of Quake, the 3D game from id Software.
Before I knew it, I was spending hours exploring the game, first in
single-player mode, and then later discovered the world of network game
When I discover something I find interesting, I like to explore it
as deeply and completely as possible. Quake proved to be just such a thing
for me. Ironically, I haven't found Quake-2 as compelling,
primarily because the art is just so bland (to me). All grey concrete
and steel, with almost no architectural variation (some people complained
that Quake was too brown, but since I like earth tones, I didn't see this as
a problem). Things start to get slightly interesting as you approach the
Strogg capitol/palace, but I didn't find myself as interested in exploring
the Quake-2 levels as much as Quake's levels.
Unreal, OTOH, looks like a masterpiece.
Anyway, here's a disorganized list of Quake-related links I've
collected over the last year or so.
By the way, there seems to be a tradition among Quake-related Web
pages mandating light-colored text on a black background. So that's why
this page looks the way it does.
- id Software, Inc.
- The creators of Quake and Quake-2. Ironically, this site is rather
uninformative, being mostly pages hawking their wares. This makes some
sense, I suppose, as they're doubtless too busy writing code to fiddle with
their Web site. They are quite good, however, at updating their ".plan"
- Blue's News
- As their masthead says, "All the Carnage that's Fit to Post." The
editor, with the help of countless enthusiasts around the planet, creates a
site containing some of the most comprehensive, up-to-date news on 3D gaming
everywhere. And he's not above the occasional political editorial now and
- The Console
- Need to know something about the Quake console? This is the most
comprehensive resource I've yet found. These pages include complete command
lists for Quake, QuakeWorld (client and server), Quake 2, and Hexen 2.
- When you're interested in playing a game of Quake on the Net, there are
literally thousands of servers available. How do you choose? Fear
not, for there are "master servers" out there that maintain lists of
currently-active games. Unfortunately, there are about a dozen of these.
GameSpy is a shareware program that interrogates all the master servers it
knows about, then goes and interrogates every server listed, and
presents you with a list of all Quake games running anywhere on the Net.
GameSpy will even launch Quake for you. I used to poo-pooh such things
("I can type in DNS addresses myself just fine."), but when your three or
four favorite servers are empty or down, this comes in as a real handy tool.
- Slipgate Central
- Site Unavailable: Undergoing "remodeling."
- A fairly comprehensive repository of Quake information, including pages
for first-time Quake players.
- I used to visit this site quite frequently and contribute to their Q&A
message forum. However, when they revamped the site, they added another
<FRAME> (grrr!), reducing the available real estate
for messages to practically nothing. So I stopped visiting. Your screen
may be bigger than mine, though, so give it a peek.
- A bit like Stomped, in that they have lots of info, but they're rather
better at maintaining their site and keeping it up to date (unlike me).
They're also the top-level domain for a number of other Quake-related sites,
created and maintained by people who otherwise can't afford their own Web
- Yet another resource site.
- Yet another resource site.
- Quake Weenie Tactics Site
- An excellent resource for the first-time Quake player. Don't be fooled
by the name; this isn't just a collection of walkthroughs. It's an in-depth
-- and often humorous -- discussion of tactics used in real network Quake
games. It also gives a good overview of many of the unwritten rules of
Quake combat, and the culture and "honor code" that has grown up around it.
It gives you tips on what works, what doesn't, things you shouldn't do,
and what you can expect to happen if you do them anyway.
- QuakeWorld Central Index
- There are two major flavors of Quake (ignoring Quake-2): Quake and
QuakeWorld. Quake is the original DOS-based game that plays over modems,
serial lines, and LANs. QuakeWorld is a special version that plays only
over TCP/IP-based networks. It contains a great many enhancements to the
networking code, including compensation for network latency (client-side
movement prediction), and reporting activity to a master server. It also
plays much smoother. Most network Quake games are QuakeWorld-based
these days. The QuakeWorld Central Index, hosted by
Stomped, used to be the "official"
repository for QuakeWorld information. That role, however, has since
moved to QuakeWorld.net, which I
feed is better organized, anyway.
- Another resource site, which leans toward QuakeWorld, but has info about
Quake Classic as well. QuakeWorld.net combines comprehensiveness with
brevity and good organization, which makes it an excellent reference
- Singe's Quake Mod Things
- Like me, Singe is a guy with too much free time on his hands, and has
used it to create some of the more popular Quake mods available. Among them
(Quake on hoverboards), and my personal favorite,
(I like powerups; lots and lots of stupid, inane powerups). Give it a look.
- Quake Done Quick
- Think you're good at Quake? Think you're fast? This site
contains pre-recorded "movies" of the fastest known runs through the levels
of Quake. Download 'em, start 'em up, and enjoy a cup of coffee... But
just one. They complete the entire game in 16 minutes.
If, like me, you want to do more with Quake than just blow up stuff,
if you'd like to actually fiddle with the game itself to do new things, then
these links may be of interest to you. I'm sure there are tons more around;
these are the ones I've found so far.
- Quake Developers
- Unofficial Quake
- "Top-level" pages for technical information on Quake. Includes links
decribing level file format, .DEM file format (which is also the data format
used for network play), and other crucial details.
- Description of the network packet structure used to communicate to the
QuakeWorld master servers (the servers that contain lists of game servers).
Useful if you want to write a GameSpy-like client.
- Defunct: Looking for the page's new location, or I
may end up mirroring it myself.
- Description of the network packet structure used to communicate between
the QuakeWorld game server (the thing that keeps track of all the players,
rockets, and bullets) and client (the thing that you're looking at when
you're playing). Useful if you want to write your own client or a "bot."
Quake Network Protocol Specs
- Like the above, but for Quake Classic (the original DOS-based game), as
opposed to QuakeWorld (which is Internet-only).
- Demo Specs
- With the exception of some framing semantics, the network protocol for
Quake and QuakeWorld is exactly the same as the structure of its demo files
(pre-recorded games). This page lists the demo file format for Quake,
QuakeWorld, and Quake2.
- The Little
Movie Processing Centre
- Ever downloaded a "refilmed" Quake demo? This is probably one of the
tools used to do the refilming. It takes a Quake demo file and turns it
into a human-readable text file, which you can then edit and turn back into
a demo file. Very useful for studying their structure.
Copyright © 1998 Leo L. Schwab. All Rights Reserved.
Leo L. Schwab / Digital Spellweaver / firstname.lastname@example.org