Quake Advent Calendar 2013 - Part 2

Welcome to a Quake-themed Advent Calendar. On 24 days 24 people will showcase something about Quake. Something old, something new, something obscure, something you should check out. Monitor the list on the frontpage to see new posts every day. This is part 2 for the 7th to 12th December. See Quake Advent Calendar 2013 - Part 1 for the previous posts.

12th December - Johnny Law

I often don't pay enough attention to a game's sound design while playing it. But particular sound effects can really stick with me… showing up as surprise nostalgia years later when I hear an HEV suit charging, the chunk of an 8-ball launcher, or even "wort wort wort".

Of course the classic Quake sound effects from McGee/Romero/Reznor are high on that list. So for a while now I'd thought it would be nerdycool to set a few Quake sound effects as phone alert sounds. When I actually bit the bullet though, it was a surprising amount of work to find good alert-sound candidates and then extract, rename, noise-reduce, format-convert, and gain-normalize them.

I decided it would be neat, in a small way, if I could make a shortcut for that process – a utility that you could throw your pak files at, and have processed sounds pop out the other end. Having a Quake Advent Calendar slot to fill seemed like a good excuse to get off my butt and do it, so:

Downloads: From GitHub


11th December - Tronyn

No Vertigo

As one of the last truly "arcade"-style FPS games, before that style of game was self-consciously and somewhat ironically resurrected a decade later by games like Serious Sam and Painkiller, Quake has some relatively unique features. For example, no matter how far you fall, you can only ever lose 5% health. Vertically, there's nothing to be scared of - and this total lack of realism has always opened up creative possibilities. In the comments after the article Gaming Made Me Quake, one "BobsLawnService" wrote: "The one thing that always blew me away about Quake was the architecture. Looking back I think it is because the level designers thought 'Hey, we can do full 3D now so we’ll overdo it.' A lot of modern level design seems flat and uninspired in comparison." This reminded me of how much Quake exploited 3d in its level design from the very start. The classic example is "Ziggurat Vertigo," probably the single weirdest and most impressive original Quake map. In fact, my dream map is probably if a modern mapper made a gargantuan level inspired by Ziggurat Vertigo. Years later, some mappers came up with the idea for a "Vertical Map Pack" in which they would only be allowed to build up. Later still, others followed up on this theme with great results such as negke's Skinny Norris and necros' Moldy Tower. I should also mention the id map "The Wind Tunnels," and some of the great maps it has inspired including at least one remake, Backspace's The Fierce Livid, Digs' Digs03, metlslime's maps Crawling Chaos and Antediluvian, most recently sock's Backsteingotik. Vertical design is one of the strengths of Quake's level design legacy, something that more "realistic" or "place-based" games have really neglected in their level design.

Today I'm releasing my own vertical-style Quake map, Nyarlathotep.

10th December - Neozeed & [HCI]Mara'akate

QDOS is a modernized Quake and QW port for DOS. The aim of this port is to keep the same feel as stock Quake, but have support for some of the larger mods out there as well as online play! Some of my favourite features that I've added include: V_CONTENTBLEND (disables colormap changing like gl_polyblend), support for the CHAT SETINFO extension, on-screen time and FPS counters, players emitting a dynamic light and spinning quad symbol if they are typing, Fitzquake protocol support, Warpspasm support(!), external *.ent file loading, and entity dumping.

Original WATTCP injection done by NeoZeed. Here is his words:

Originally I was playing with djgpp and re-building dosdoom, the first source port of doom. sadly all the original ms-dos support code for doom had been stripped out. But then I remembered that quake had been released in its entirety! I was able to quickly and easily build quake for ms-dos. Then I found this old library, wattcp a tcpip stack for ms-dos, and I built that too! It was very exciting. Looking at the wattcp examples, I noticed that they looked kind of normal from a bsd tcpip wise, so I thought, what the heck I'll try to see if I can combine quake and wattcp. I still remember setting up this elaborate debug setup with sniffers and a server with as much debug stuff I could throw in the socket code, but it wasn't needed; it connected and worked on the first shot!

After I announced what I'd done, I got a request for quakeworld. So I setup the compile, and connected to quake.xs4all.nl and proceeded to get destroyed. I'm not very good at quake, but my client was working!

So I zipped it all up and thought that would be that… then [HCI]Mara'akate found it :)

Credits: Neozeed, [HCI]Mara'akate with advice from Sezero, Taniwha, Deek, leilei and other respected members of the Quake Engine community.

Experience Quake like it's 1996 on original hardware!

9th December - ijed

Tech Evans stood, stretched, then sat back down in the creaking office chair.

Overhead, the fluorescent lighting buzzed and outside, through the thirty centimeter thick window, a radioactive dust storm scoured the black sands of N411-b of anything that could be considered life in even the broadest interpretation of the the concept.

What was done here was electronic espionage through the slip gate network. The company wanted to steal the secrets of the weird and violent societies living out here, beyond the slip gates, in the dimensions unknown. And so they set up these research stations, micro-drones spying on the cultures and stealing their knowledge while techs like Evans filtered through the dross for a paycheck.

Evans knew why they were out here, not even in the same dimension as those they were spying on. Isolation from everyone, eighteen months at a time with strict reintegration protocols for infection before they could go back through the gate, to earth. Basically, if something went bad, if they were compromised or invaded, the station could be destroyed at a remove. It was rumored a remote triggered nuke was housed beneath the main reactor for just this purpose.

But, the pay was good. He turned back to his terminal. This was an interesting group in any case. Not quite as crazy or monstrous as most of the others. Not crazy. Incredibly, Ruthlessly sane. A cold, calculating instinct for survival born from their knowledge of cloning technology.

Probably why the company was so interested.

The individuals that made up the group couldn't even be called as such. They were grown in vats, more than half their brains being composed of circuitry. They communicated by short wave radio, but not with anything as primitive as speech. Instead it seemed to be directly by thought. So far human technology was yet to properly crack open either telepathy or cloning. Interesting stuff indeed.

Apparently there were some individuals in the group with free will, though Evans had yet to see any. All the micro-drones that had come into contact with them had been destroyed by some sort of unknown attack. It seemed that these guys called the shots in any case, and had access to even more advanced technologies.

There was something mildly crazy about them though. They seemed to worship a deity. One of the drones had come across a large hall full of the lower warrior class of cyborgs, all chanting in unison, repeating a phrase or name endlessly. Their technology also seemed based around this entity. Evans had found the idea fascinating; technology as a religion. It also appeared that this deity was an actual conscious entity as well. Something out there was talking back to this group of lobotomised killers.

What was the name he'd gleaned from the servers? Nyar… Nyarlathotep, that was it. He adjusted his glasses and leaned closer to the terminal.

By his foot, something black and oily leaked from the terminal casing. Then it seemed to twist in a breeze that wasn't there, taking on a smoke like quality before coiling back into the terminal. The fluorescent lighting buzzed and the storm howled.

8th December - Preach

Right from the very dawn of Quake time, there have been some incredibly devoted modders, people like Nezu who mapped out what made Quake tick from the early technical demos. Some people were so keen to start creating maps that they didn't even wait for the editor to come out, and created map files in a text editor instead. As a tribute to their early efforts, I've tried to revive this tradition somewhat with a new twist…

Today's adventure is a return trip to the Chambers of Torment entitled "In Small Packages". It offers a familiar environment with some slightly less familiar inhabitants, and a vague festive theme running through it. To play:

  1. Download 12days.sav
  2. Put the file in your ID1 directory
  3. Launch Quake
  4. Enter the command "load 12days" in the console. Don't use "map 12days" as that won't work!

Happy holidays!

7th December - Emergency Spirit

WebQuake is a HTML5 port of Quake to Javascript and WebGL by SiPlus. It was first released in February 2013. It is available at https://github.com/SiPlus/WebQuake. You can play Quake online with it at webquake.quaddicted.com. That's a Quake shareware installation so you can play the whole first episode. WebQuake also has a server component in node.js which currently hosts a server at ws://webquake.quaddicted.com:26000. You can join this deathmatch game (at least today). It is running some maps from |Scampie's list but if too many people enter I could load death32c. ;)

Use WASD for moving, the cursor keys for aiming, CTRL for shooting, SPACE for jumping, T for chatting, your skills for fragging.

Play the Quake Shareware singleplayer episode at http://webquake.quaddicted.com/

Play Quake Deathmatch in your browser at http://webquake.quaddicted.com/WebQuake.htm?+connect%20ws://webquake.quaddicted.com:26000!

Please be nice and respectful. Happy fragging!