How to package and release a file

Naming

Maps

Pick a good filename for your .bsp file. People commonly use their nicknames and a counter or try to find a good short word describing the map. Adding a "sp" or "dm" or "ctf" bit to the name helps indicating the intended gamemode. If you decide for a "boring" numbering scheme and you also release maps for other games, you might want to stick a "q1" in there as well.

Alternatively just name it after the map's actual name.

Don't forget to set the title field in the .bsp file to something useful.

Mods

For mods the standard seems to be a more descriptive filename. Usually it is a short form of the mod's title. If it is a mod just supporting one map (so it's more of a map than a mod) the map naming suggestions above apply though.

Examples of good naming schemes

  • efdatsp1.bsp - The Place of Dismay by efdat, full nickname since it is short & sp & number
  • chessp1.bsp - Shrine of Skank by cheshire, abbreviated nickname & sp & number
  • ikspq1.bsp - Before Nightfall by Iikka "Fingers" Keränen, abbreviated/acronym nickname & q & sp & number
  • ac.bsp - Adamantine Cruelty by Vondur, acronym of the level title
  • ant.bsp - Antediluvian by metlslime, abbreviated title
  • cogs.bsp - Cogs Of Conflict by spd, a single prominent word from the title

General considerations

Be aware that filenames longer than 8 characters will be a pain to use on DOS. So if you are a nice person, find a short one. It will also be nicer to type (if the user's engine does not support tab completion).

Avoid any characters that are not a-z or 0-9. A single dash - might be ok. Quake engines do not handle international keyboard layouts well. Do not use uppercase characters for any files.

Before you settle, search the web for the name and make sure it is not already used.

Text file

You must add a text file to your release, documenting at least the title of the work and your (nick)name. You should also include a release name, the intended purpose, contact details, release date and the like. Without this, your file(s) might be lost in "who on earth made this and when and why?!" limbo.

Best practice would be using the good old base.txt template: base.txt

Name the text file exactly like your zip file and/or your bsp file and/or your mod directory! For example the readme file for abc123.bsp would be abc123.txt. For the mod qwe456/ the readme file would be named qwe456.txt and placed into qwe456/ : qwe456/qwe456.txt!

If you name your text file readme.txt, it will conflict with everyone else's same-named file and no one wants to overwrite other people's files.

If you have creativity oozing out your pores, well, some mappers include short background stories too.

Packaging

Package your files into a standard zip archive. Not rar, not a self-extracting exe, just a plain zip. Zip is widely supported, Windows natively can handle the format since Windows XP. MacOS and Linux have no trouble either.

If you release a single file, put it (and its readme) directly into the zip file. Do not add a directory. If the user extracts the file straight into his maps/ directory, it should be correct.

If you release a mod, put a directory into the zip file so if the user extracts the zip into his Quake directory, the mod will be properly installed. Remember to mind the character rules, lowercase only, a-z and 0-9, no special characters except maybe - and no spaces whatsoever. Put all your files inside that directory.

If you are releasing a single file, name the zip the same as the file. For example abc123.zip would be the archive for abc123.bsp and abc123.txt. If you release a mod, try to do the same.

Hosting

If it is a finished work, you can contact Spirit to get it hosted at Quaddicted. Feel free to mail it straightaway.

If that is not an option, if it is a work-in-progress, you do not want to wait a week before Spirit replies (though he is quick if you packaged everything well) or otherwise you want to host elsewhere, http://www.quaketastic.com/ is there for you. The password for uploading is "ZigguratVertigoBlewTronynsSocksOff", the username "quaketastic".

Do not use services that do not support direct download links.