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 play...

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" files...
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 then.
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 site.
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, which I feed is better organized, anyway.
Another resource site, which leans toward QuakeWorld, but has info about Quake Classic as well. combines comprehensiveness with brevity and good organization, which makes it an excellent reference resource.
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 are Slide (Quake on hoverboards), and my personal favorite, Artifact (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.

Technical Information

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 Pages
Unofficial Quake Specs
"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.
QuakeWorld Master Protocol
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.
QuakeWorld Network Protocol
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."
Unofficial 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.

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Copyright © 1998 Leo L. Schwab. All Rights Reserved.

Leo L. Schwab / Digital Spellweaver /