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TEAMShambler Quake Level Reviews

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Help with problems on levels.

» How to get download links to work.
» How to install and play levels.
» How to solve general problems with levels.
» How to solve specific errors with levels.

This section contains useful information on playing custom levels, solving various problems and working round some errors. Please read this page carefully *before* asking me about any problems, but if you encounter a problem that is not covered on this page, or have another solution to any problems, please email me.

Help with editing and mapping:
I do not make levels, and I cannot offer any editing help. Please do not email me asking for editing help. For help with editing levels and beta-testing levels, you should try the QMap site, and the following IRC channels: #terrafusion on any server, or on the server.

Help with Nehahra or other modified engines:
Nehahra (review) and modified engines can give abnormal problems and errors in Quake. I cannot provide any technical support for Nehahra or other modified engines as I have no knowledge of their errors. If the problem isn't addressed on this page or in the engine documentation, you should email a member of the Nehahra team, or the person who modified the engine, for help.

1. How to get download links to work:
Sometimes it can be difficult to download the levels (or demos) at this site for a variety of reasons: The link might be wrong, the level might have been deleted, the place where the level's stored might have too many people visiting, etc etc. Here are some explanations / suggestions for successful downloads:
A. General tips:
If you can't get a download too work, there's a couple of things you can do:
2. Search for the file over the internet. I often use Lycos' Fast FTP search site, just type in the filename (all the names given first in the review are the name of the .zip file that is available to download), and it might find it for you.
3. Report the problem to me - if you just can't get it to work at all, email me and I will try to fix the link.
B. Fileplanet downloads:
These can be very problematic due to the queuing system, login, and low user limit. Some of the following suggestions may help:
1. Login: The Peej has graciously supplied the following "super-dooper-multi-purpose-QMap-VilePlanet-login": Password: qmap, Email: qmap@qmap, to save you having to create your own login.
2. Time of day: To avoid the low user limit, try to download files at quieter times - generally these are when Americans are offline, i.e. 6 am - 6 pm GMT. Early morning (GMT) is best, I've managed to avoid queuing recently by downloading in the morning.
3. Download first: Arrange your surfing so you start your download queuing first, then browse stuff (e.g. goat pr0n) in the meantime. Obvious I know but if you're online doing stuff anyway, the queuing won't seem as bad.
4. Mirrors: Use alternative mirrors if at all possible - obviously you'll want to anyway, but it also takes pressure off that miserly user limit for other people. If you find any mirrors for maps posted here, please email me and I will add them ASAP.
5. Mappers: If you can post your maps at a non-Fileplanet download, that will be gratefully appreciated by everyone concerned - please email me if you manage to get alternative downloads for your maps.
C. Other downloads:
These generally come in two types:
1. A link to Sunet or Sunsite. Sunet and Sunsite are European "mirror" sites that store the same files as the original American file archive, (currently all gaming content has been removed from, hence it's no longer used for downloads). The advantage of these sites is they give a direct download link without any intermediate pages. Most older levels use these links.
2. A link to another site, for example an author's sites. These just provide a straight download with no alternatives, and if the author moves, changes his links, or the site disappears, the download will not work. If you report this to me, I'll try to fix it.

2. How to install and play levels:
There are two sorts of custom levels: those that come as a .bsp file, and those that come as a .pak file. You can check which the map is by looking at it's Properties, and it also should say in the map text. Each type requires different tactics (this is assuming you can create folders, use Winzip, etc):
A. .bsp levels:
Create a folder called maps in your Id1 folder, so you have a route thus:
Place the .bsp and accompanying text in this folder, then simply start Quake, choose your skill, then go to the console (by using the ` key), and type:
map mapname
where "mapname" is the name of the .bsp file. The level should then start.
B. .pak levels:
Read the accompanying text for instructions. Generally what you have to do is the following: Create a folder called the same name as the .zip the level came in, in your Quake directory, so you have a route thus:
where "foldername" is the name of the folder you just created. Next find out from the text what mapname you should type in once you have started Quake, and if you will need to use skill settings. Then you need to run the level via a command line, either from your DOS prompt or by creating a shortcut to Quake and adding the extra commands to the shortcut path. For a shortcut just add "-game foldername", for a DOS prompt use these commands:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>quake -game foldername
or if you are using GLQuake, as I strongly recommend you do, type:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>glquake -game foldername
This should start Quake in the new directory, so now choose a skill if applicable, and then type:
map mapname
at the console as before, where "mapname" is the name of the level as mentioned in the text.

3. How to solve general problems with levels:
There are various things to look out for when playing these maps, here's a few problems I can anticipate:
A. How to allocate more RAM (e.g. the level runs very choppily or won't load).
Some levels are naturally slow due to excessive detail, or require large amounts of RAM. To make the latter more playable in DOSQuake, add the "-winmem xx" command to your shortcut, or these commands for a DOS prompt:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>quake -winmem xx
where "xx" is the amount of RAM required - most levels needing extra RAM need a minimum of 12 meg, the more you can allocate the better. For GLQuake or WinQuake this problem is less likely to occur, but if it does, add the "-heapsize xx000" command to your shortcut, or the these lines for a DOS prompt:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>glquake -heapsize xx000
where "xx000" is the amount of RAM required, measured in k, so to allocate 12 meg of RAM, use "-heapsize 12000".
B. The level doesn't support skill settings.
Quite a few custom levels don't, though they should IMHO. If they don't, you will just have to put up with it, but these levels will still be affected by choosing Nightmare skill, as that affects monster reactions and not their numbers.
C. Using skill settings with .pak levels that start straight away.
A few .pak levels might start the level automatically from the DOS prompt/shortcut, without going to the console/menu, which means the level will start at the default Medium skill. To start such levels with a different skill, add a "+skill x" command to the level's shortcut, or use these lines for a DOS prompt:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>glquake -game foldername +skill x
where "x" is 0 - 3, choosing Easy - Nightmare respectively.
D. Making sure your configuration works with all maps.
Sometimes .pak levels come with configurations that ignore or overwrite your autoexec.cfg or config.cfg files. To avoid this, copy your config.cfg and autoexec.cfg files into the new folder. Zerstörer is particularly bad at this, so play around with .cfgs and see what is the best for you.
E. This level is just too damn hard to complete:
While it is rare for an extremely hard level to be worth recommending, it's possible that some players may get stuck and frustrated on otherwise good levels due to the difficulty and lack of skill settings. However, there is a cunning option to make such levels easier to complete: Start Quake as a coop server, and then just play on your own. This means that when you die, you will respawn at the start of the level, BUT the level will be partially completed until the point you died, where your pack will be waiting. Since you get more ammo and health this way, it can make things slightly easier than using quicksaves. To start a level in coop mode, do the following:
A. Go to the "MultiPlayer" menu in Quake, choose "New Game".
B. Choose "IPX" from the next menu.
C. Choose "OK" in the next menu.
D. In the final menu, set "Game Type" to "Cooperative", and select the skill you want.
E. Then start on any map, and use the console to play the map you want, as normal.
Thanks to Killes for this rather cunning trick.
F. There's no exit, and the level can't be finished.
There are a few levels that don't have an exit, or are just deathmatch levels with monsters added. If that is the case, then just kill all the monsters and then quit - that's it!! All good levels I can think of have an exit, so hunt around carefully and check your monster kills before quitting.
G. The level gives some weird error message.
See below: There are a few levels that don't work, or don't work in GLQuake. A few of these problems can be solved, but some can't. If you find a problem that is not covered here, then please contact me, and tell me what the problem is.

4. How to solve specific errors with levels:
A. "GL_LoadTexture: cache mismatch" GLQuake error.
This error means a level will not work in GLQuake - it occurs when a map author has used some custom textures with the same names as normal Quake textures. So when the level loads in some Quake maps that contain those textures (usually the Start map, or the maps that the 3 Quake demos play on), then you will not be able to play the custom level due to the texture names clashing. The solution is to start Quake with the following command line:
c:\>cd quake
c:\quake>glquake +map mapname
Where "mapname" is the name of the map that gives the error message. This should go straight to the map, without loading any other maps first, so the name clash won't occur. Note that if you have a command in your autoexec.cfg such as "map start", to avoid having the demos come up, then you must delete that command before using the above command line.
Note: If this error will occur if you try to play the levels Ikspq1,2,3,4 in GLQuake using the Ikguns patch. The problem is that one of the sprite files in the patch doesn't work in GLQuake. To solve this, you need this replacement s_plasma.spr file. Download that and place it in the Progs folder in the IKguns folder, replacing the old s_plasma.spr file (which should be 5.42 k in size).
B. "Couldn't spawn server maps/mapname.bsp" console error.
This occurs in DOS Quake where the .bsp name is longer than 8 characters. DOS Quake can't use maps with names longer than 8 characters, so you need to rename the map to something shorter, and load it with the new map name.
C. "No spawn function for:" error (repeated at the console).
The level requires a mission pack to work - the map is trying, and failing, to spawn entities from the mission pack. There are a few good maps that make use of the Scourge of Armagon mission pack or Zerstorer episode. To play these, the .bsp must be placed within a 'maps' folder with the SoA/Zer folders, and not within the Id1 folder.
D. "ED_Alloc: no free edicts" error.
I'm not entirely sure what this means, but I think it means that the level is so full of *stuff* (monsters, entities, switches and keys, weapons, health etc etc), that there simply is no room to fit a player in. The solution I've found is to play on a lower skill level, which means there are less monsters, so a player can be fitted in.
E. "Hunk_Alloc: failed on XXX bytes" error.
Where "XXX" could be various numbers. Again I'm not entirely sure what this means, but the cause seems to be not having enough RAM in use. To solve it, simply follow the instructions in FAQ 3. A. above, to start Quake with more RAM.
F. "Cache_tryalloc: XXXXXXX is greater then free hunk"
Where "XXXXXXX" could be various numbers. I haven't encountered this personally but it seems to be another error that can be solved by starting Quake with more RAM - follow the instructions in FAQ 3. A. above.
G. "AllocBlock: full" GLQuake error.
You're screwed!! I've encountered this on 2 Quake levels so far, and despite asking repeatedly around the net, no-one has been able to help or explain it. You'll just have to play the level in software mode. If by any chance you do find out how to solve this, please email me.