Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. QuakeC Language

3. Builtin functions

4. Defines

5. Entities

6. Global variables
7. Model pragma
8. Network protocol
9. Network Builtin functions
10. Tips & tricks
11. Basic Types
12. Compilation of Quake-C
13. Execution of Quake-C
14. Examples

1. Introduction

1.1 What is QuakeC?

QuakeC is a language similar to C.
QuakeC can be compiled with qcc (Quake C compiler) to produce progs.dat, a file that Quake can load at startup. In that file, Quake searches the engines for various things in the Quake World.
Monsters, players, buttons, weapons are the target of QuakeC, you cannot modify levels or graphics that you can modify with a external editor.
Major part of this document are copyright by Olivier Montanuy . All the informations contained in this document are related to Quake-C, a language developed by and for Id Software, so all those informations are copyright (c) 1996, Id Software.
To compile and use all the code you must have qcc.tar.gz take it from Id Software. You can edit and then compile with qccdos (the compiler) all the .qc files. You can rewrote all AI of the monster or create new entities.
I have only converted, corrected and added some stuff.

1.2 Contributions

Olivier Montanuy is the real compiler of this document, it was first rearranged to a TXT version by Francesco Ferrara. Many thanks to Olivier and Francesco.
For those who wants to, you can download the text version (zipped 28 Ko).

2. QuakeC Language - Basic constructs


// followed by comments, until the next line.
/* enclose a block comments */

Those comments are the same as in C++ (and many C languages).

2.2 Names

Names of variable, field, or function have a maximum size of 64 characters, must begin with A-Z,a-z, or _, and can continue with those characters or 0-9.

2.3 New types

You cannot define new types from the existing ones. In particular, you cannot define new structures, new objects, and you cannot affect a new name to a type (as does typedef in C).

These restrictions make Quake-C compare unfavourably even to Basic, and sure it's about time the Id Software guys hired someone that already wrote a compiler.

You can add only fields to the most important type in QuakeC entity.

2.4 Definition of variables

    type variable1, variable2;
    float   a,b;
Where type is one of the pre-defined simple types.
You can also affect default values to variables, for instance :
    type variable1 = value;
    float a = 2;
Scoping of variables : There are two levels of scoping. By default all variables are global : they can be accessed by any functions, and they are shared by all the functions (and all the clients of a given network server, of course).

But inside the functions, by using the keyword local just before the declaration of a variable, you can make this variable visible only the function itself (i.e. it will be allocated on the stack).

Note that parameters of functions are treated like local variables : they are only visible to the function, but they can be modified.

2.5 Definitions of constants

Any global variable that is initialized by setting a value to it, is actually assumed to be a constant.

Since a constant is in fact represented by immediate values, you should NEVER attempt to modify a constant by giving it another value. Otherwise the program might have unpredicable results.

The constants are not saved to game files. Only regular variables are.

2.6 Definitions of functions

The general structure of a function definition is :
    type (type param1, typeparam2, ... ) function =
       ... code ...
Don't forget the ";" after the brackets.

Here are some examples :
    void()      think = {...};
    entity()    FindTarget = {...};
    void(vector destination, float speed, void() callback)      SUB_CalcMove = {...};

2.7 Function declaration

If you want to use a function before defining it, you must declare it, otherwise the Quake-C compiler will not be able to use it.

The general structure of a function declaration is:
    type (type param1, typeparam2, ... ) function;

2.8 Definition of a frame function

Frame functions (also called States) are special functions made for convenience. They are meant to facilitate the definition of animation frames, by making them more readable.

Here is an example :
    void() framename = [$framenum, nextthink] { ...code...};
It is strictly equivalent to :
    void() framename =
       self.frame= $framenum;  // the model frame to displayed
       self.nextthink = time + 0.1;   // next frame happens in 1/10 of second
       self.think = nextthink; // the function to call at the next frame

2.9 Conditional construct

    if( expression )

2.10 Loop construct

    while( expression )
    }while( expression )

2.11 Function calls

Call a function :
    function_name ( parameter1, parameter2,... )
The cannot be more than 8 parameters.

Return a value :
    return( expression )

2.12 Logical operations

     !   // logical not
     &&  // logical and
     ||  // logical or
Take care that in if() conditional expressions containing two or more logical clauses, all the clauses will be evaluated before the condition test (like in Basic, and unlike C).

That means that if one part of your condition is not always valid or defined, you had better decompose your if() into two successive if(). It should also make it faster.

2.13 Comparisons

     <=    <      >=     >  
     ==  // equal, beware at the double = like in C.
     !=  // not equal, like in C.

2.14 Operations on floats or integers

     *  /  -  +
Use parenthesis to remove ambiguities.

2.15 Bitwise operations

    &   // bitwise and
    |   // bitwise or
These operators treat floats like integers, so they are usually meant to be used with values made of bit masks.

3. Builtin functions

These are the built-in functions of Quake C. Since they are hard-coded in C, they cannot be redefined, but they are very fast.

3.1 Basic math functions

QuakeC code
Function: anglemod

        float anglemod (float angle)
Returns angle in degree, modulo 360.
Function: rint
        float rint(float val)
Returns val, rounded up to the closest integer value.
Function: floor

        float floor(float val)
Returns val, rounded up to the integer below (like the equivalent function in C).
Function: ceil

        float ceil(float val)
Returns val, rounded up to the integer above (like the equivalent function in C).
Function: fabs

        float fabs(float val)
Returns absolute value of val (like the equivalent function in C).
Function: random
        float random()
Returns a random floating point number between 0.0 and 1.0.
Function: ftos

        string ftos(float value)
Float to string: converts value to string.

3.2 Basic vector maths

QuakeC code
Function: normalize

        vector normalize(vector v)
Returns a vector of length 1. Gives the vector colinear to v, but of length 1. This can be useful for calculation of distance along an axis.
Function: vlen

        float vlen(vector v)
Returns the length of vector v (never < 0).
Function: vectoyaw

        float vectoyaw(vector v)
Returns and angle in degree. Vector to yaw : calculates the yaw angle (bearing) corresponding to a given 3D direction v.
Function: vectoangles

        vector vectoangles(vector v)
returns vector 'pitch yaw 0 '
Vector to angles : calculates the pitch angle (aiming) and yaw angle (bearing) corresponding to a given 3D direction v.
Function: vtos

        string vtos(vector v)
Vector to String : print a vector, as a string.
Function: makevectors

        void makevectors(vector angles)
        angle = 'pitch yaw 0'
Calculate the vectors pointing forward, right and up, according to the provided angles. Returns result in the global variables :
        vector  v_forward;  // points forward
        vector  v_up;       // points up
        vector  v_right;    // points toward the right

3.3 Sound emission

QuakeC code
Function: sound

        void sound (entity source, 
        float channel, string sample, 
        float volume, float attenuation)
source = entity emiting the sound (ex: self)
channel = channel to use for sound
sample = name of the sample WAV file (ex: "ogre/ogdrag.wav")
volume = 0.0 for low volume, 1.0 for maximum volume
attenuation= attenuation of sound
The entity emits a sound, on one of it's 8 channels.
Function: ambientsound

        void ambientsound(vector 
        position, string sample, float 
        volume, float attenuation)
position = position, in 3D space, inside the level sample = name of the sample WAV file (ex: "ogre/ogdrag.wav")
volume = 0.0 for low volume, 1.0 for maximum volume
attenuation = attenuation of sound
An ambient sound is emited, from the given position.

3.4 Entity management

QuakeC code
Function: spawn

        entity spawn ()
Returns an empty entity.
Create a new entity, totally empty. You can manually set every field, or just set the origin and call one of the existing entity setup functions.
Function: remove

        void remove (entity e)
Removes entity e from the world (R.I.P.).
Function: makestatic

        void makestatic (entity e)
Make an entity static to the world, by sending a broadcast message to the network. The entity is then removed from the list of dynamic entities in the world, and it cannot be deleted (until the level ends).
Function: nextent

        entity nextent(entity e)
Returns entity that is just after e in the entity list.
Useful to browse the list of entities, because it skips the undefined ones.
Function: find

        entity find (entity start, 
        .string field, string match)
start = begining of list to search (world, for the begining of list)
field = entity field that must be examined (ex: targetname)
match = value that must be matched (ex:
Returns the entity found, or world if no entity was found.
Searches the server entity list beginning at start, looking for an entity that has entity.field = match.
Example : find the first player entity
         e = find( world, classname, "player");
Take care that field is a name of an entity field, without dot, and without quotes.
Function: findradius

        entity findradius (vector 
        origin, float radius)
origin = origin of sphere
radius = radius of sphere
Returns a chain of entities that have their origins within a spherical area. The entity returned is e, and the next in the chain is e.chain, until e==FALSE. Typical usage: find and harm the victims of an explosion.
Example :
          e = findradius( origin, radius)
            T_Damage(e, ... ) // Let God sort his ones!
            e = e.chain
Function: setmodel

        void setmodel (entity e, 
        string model)
e = entity whose model is to be set
model = name of the model (ex: "progs/soldier.mdl")
Changes the model associated to an entity. This model should also be declared by precache_model. Please set e.movetype and e.solid first.
Function: lightstyle

        void lightstyle(float style, 
        string value)
style = index of the light style, from 0 to 63.
value = (ex: "abcdefghijklmlkjihgfedcb")
Modifies a given light style. The light style is used to create cyclic lighting effects, like torches or teleporter lighting. There are 64 light tyles, from 0 to 63. If style is not strictly comprised in these values, the game may crash. Styles 32-62 are assigned by the light program for switchable lights. Value is a set of characters, whose ascii value indicates a light level, from "a" (0) to "z" (30).

3.5 Move Entities

QuakeC code
Function: ChangeYaw

        void ChangeYaw()
Change the horizontal orientation of self. Turns towards self.ideal_yaw at self.yaw_speed, and sets the global variable current_yaw.
Called every 0.1 sec by monsters.
Function: walkmove

        float walkmove(float yaw, 
        float dist)
Returns TRUE or FALSE.
Moves self in the given direction.
Returns FALSE if could not move (used to detect blocked monsters).
Function: droptofloor

        float droptofloor()
Returns TRUE or FALSE.
Drops self to the floor, if the floor is less than -256 coordinates below. Returns TRUE if landed on floor. Mainly used to spawn items or walking monsters on the floor.
Function: setorigin

        void setorigin (entity e, 
        vector position)
e = entity to be moved
position = new position for the entity
Move an entity to a given location. That function is to be used when spawning an entity or when teleporting it. This is the only valid way to move an object without using the physics of the world (setting velocity and waiting). DO NOT change directly e.origin, otherwise internal links would be screwed, and entity clipping would be messed up.
Function: setsize

        void setsize (entity e, 
        vector min, vector max)
e = entity whose bounding box is to be set
min = minimum, for bounding box (ex: VEC_HULL2_MIN)
max = maximum, for bounding box (ex: VEC_HULL2_MAX)
Set the size of the entity bounding box, relative to the entity origin. The size box is rotated by the current angle.
Function: movetogoal

        void movetogoal (float step)
Move self toward it's goal.
Used for monsters.

3.6 Fights and Shots

QuakeC code
Function: aim

        vector aim(entity e, 
        float missilespeed)
Returns a vector along which the entity e can shoot.
Usually, e is a player, and the vector returned is calculated by auto-aiming to the closest enemy entity.
Function: particle

        void particle(vector origin, 
        vector dir, float color, 
        float count)
origin = initial position
dir = initial direction
color = color index (73,75...)
count = time to live, in seconds .Create a particle effect (small dot that flies away).
color = 0 for chunk
color = 75 for yellow
color = 73 for blood red
color = 225 for entity damage
Function: checkclient

        entity checkclient()
Returns client (or object that has a client enemy) that would be a valid target. If there are more than one valid options, they are cycled each frame.
If (self.origin + self.viewofs) is not in the PVS of the target, 0 (false) is returned.

3.7 Collision checking

QuakeC code
Function: traceline

        traceline (vector v1, 
        vector v2, float nomonsters, 
        entity forent)
v1= start of line
v2= end of line
nomonster= if TRUE, then see through other monsters, else FALSE.
forent= ignore this entity, it's owner, and it's owned entities. if forent = world, then ignore no entity.
Trace a line of sight, possibly ignoring monsters, and possibly ignoring the entity forent (usually, forent = self). This function is used very often, tracing and shot targeting. Traces are blocked by bounding boxes and exact bsp entities. Returns the results in the global variables :
        float trace_allsolid;
          // never used
        float trace_startsolid;
          // never used
        float trace_fraction;
          // fraction (percent) of the line 
          //    that was traced, before
          // an obstacle was hit. Equal to 1 
          //    if no obstacle were found.
        vector trace_endpos; 
          // point where line ended or met an 
          //    obstacle.
        vector trace_plane_normal;
          // direction vector of trace (?)
        float  trace_plane_dist;  
          // distance to impact along direction 
          //    vector (?)
        entity trace_ent;      
          // entity hit by the line
        float  trace_inopen;
          // boolean, true if line went through 
          //    non-water area.
        float  trace_inwater;
          // boolean, true if line went through 
          //    water area.
Function: checkpos

        scalar checkpos (entity e, 
        vector position)
Returns true if the given entity can move to the given position from it's current position by walking or rolling.
Function: checkbottom

        float checkbottom(entity e)
e = entity that is to be checked
Return TRUE or FALSE.
Returns TRUE if on the ground. Used only for jumping monster, that need to jump randomly not to get hung up (or whatever it actually means).
Function: pointcontents

        float pointcontents(vector pos) 
Returns the contents of the area situated at position pos.
Used to know if an area is in water, in slime or in lava.
Makes use of the BSP tree, and is supposed to be very fast.

3.8 Server related functions

QuakeC code
Function: changelevel

        void changelevel (string mapname)
Warp to the game map named mapname. Actually executes the console command "changelevel" + mapname, so if you want to alias it...
Function: setspawnparms

        void setspawnparms (entity client)
Restore the original spawn parameters of a client entity.
Doesn't work if client is not a player.
Function: stuffcmd

        stuffcmd (entity client, 
        string text)
client = player that is to receive the command
text = text of the command, ended by \n (newline).
Send a command to a given player, as if it had been typed on the player's console. Don't forget the \n (newline) at the end, otherwise your command will not be executed, and will stand still on the console window.
Examples :
        stuffcmd(self, "bf\n");
          // create a flash of 
          //    light on the screen.
        stuffcmd(self, "name Buddy\n"); 
          // name the player Buddy.
Mostly used to send the command bf, that creates a flash of light on the client's screen.

3.9 Print messages

QuakeC code
Function: bprint

        void bprint (string text)
text = text of the message
Broadcast a message to all players on the current server.
Function: centerprint

        void centerprint( entity client, 
        string text)
client = player that is to receive the message
text = text of the message
Sends a message to a specific player, and print it centered.
Function: sprint

        void sprint (entity client, 
        string text)
client = player that is to receive the message
text = text of the message
Sends a message to a player.

3.10 Console

QuakeC code
Function: localcmd

        void localcmd (string text)
text = text of the command, ended by \n (newline).
Execute a command on the server, as if it had been typed on the server's console.
Examples :
        // restart the level
   localcmd("teamplay 1\n");   
        // set deathmatch mode to teamplay
        // poor server...
Function: dprint

        void dprint (string text)
text = text of the message
Prints a message to the server console.
Function: cvar

        float cvar (string variable)
variable = see console variables
Returns the value of a console variable.
Function: cvar_set

        float cvar_set (string variable, 
        string value)
variable = see console variables
Sets the value of a console variable.

3.11 Debugging

QuakeC code
Function: eprint

        void eprint (entity e)
e = entity to print
Print details about a given entity (for debug purposes).
Function: coredump

        void coredump()
Print all entities
Function: traceon

        void traceon()
Start tracing functions, end them with traceoff()
Function: traceoff

        void traceoff()
End traces started by traceon()
Function: break

        void break()
Exit the programs. Never used?
Function: error

        void error (string text)
Print an error message.
Function: objerror

        void objerror (string text)
Print an error message related to object self.

3.12 Precaching files

Those functions are used to declare models, sounds and stuff, before the PAK file is built. Just follow this rule : whenever one of your functions makes use of a file that's not defined in Quake, precache this file in a function that will be called by worldspawn(). Then, the QCC compiler can automatically include in the PAK file all the files that you really need to run your programs.
And when the level starts running, those precache orders will be executed, so as to attribute a fixed table index to all those files. DO NOT USE those functions in code that will be called after worldspawn() was called. As a matter of fact, that could bomb Quake (restarting the level, without crashing the game).
Files can only be precached in spawn functions.

QuakeC code
Function: precache_file

        void precache_file(string file)
file = name of the file to include in PAK file.
Does nothing during game play.
Use precache_file2 for registered Quake.
Function: precache_model

        void precache_model(string file)
file = name of the MDL or BSP file to include in PAK file.
Does nothing during game play. Must be used in a model's spawn function, to declare the model file. Use precache_model2 for registered Quake.
Function: precache_sound

        void precache_sound(string file)
file = name of the WAV file to include in PAK file.
Does nothing during game play. Must be used in a model's spawn function, to declare the sound files. Use precache_sound2 for registered Quake.

4. Defines

4.1 Values : temporary entities

Information copied from the DEM specifications
// point entity is a small point like entity.
 0    TE_SPIKE           unknown
 1    TE_SUPERSPIKE      superspike hits (spike traps)
 2    TE_GUNSHOT         hit on the wall (Axe, Shotgun)
 3    TE_EXPLOSION       grenade/missile explosion
 4    TE_TAREXPLOSION    explosion of a tarbaby
 7    TE_WIZSPIKE        wizard's hit
 8    TE_KNIGHTSPIKE     hell knight's shot hit
10    TE_LAVASPLASH      Chthon awakes and falls dead
11    TE_TELEPORT        teleport end
// large entity is a 2 dimensional entity.
 5    TE_LIGHTNING1      flash of the Shambler
 6    TE_LIGHTNING2      flash of the Thunderbolt
 9    TE_LIGHTNING3      flash in e1m7 to kill Chthon

4.2 Values : Sound Channel of entities

CHAN_AUTO = 0;   // Create a new sound
CHAN_WEAPON = 1; // Replace entitie's weapon noise
CHAN_VOICE = 2;  // Replace entitie's voice
CHAN_ITEM = 3;   // Replace entitie's item noise
CHAN_BODY = 4;   // Replace entitie's body noise 
Those values are meant to be used with the function sound.

4.3 Values : Sound Attenuation

ATTN_NONE = 0;    // full volume everywhere in the leve
ATTN_NORM = 1;    // normal
ATTN_IDLE = 2;    // [FIXME]
Those values are meant to be used with the functions sound and ambientsound.

4.4 Values : Contents of level areas

CONTENT_EMPTY = -1;   // Empty area
CONTENT_SOLID = -2;   // Totally solid area (rock)   
CONTENT_WATER = -3;   // Pool of water
CONTENT_SLIME = -4;   // Pool of slime
CONTENT_LAVA = -5;    // Lava
CONTENT_SKY = -6;     // Sky

4.5 Values : Entity light effects

EF_BRIGHTFIELD = 1;  // Glowing field of dots

4.6 Values : Existing Items

IT_AXE = 4096;
IT_SHELLS = 256;
IT_NAILS = 512;
IT_ROCKETS = 1024;
IT_CELLS = 2048;
IT_ARMOR1 = 8192;
IT_ARMOR2 = 16384;
IT_ARMOR3 = 32768;
IT_KEY1 = 131072;
IT_KEY2 = 262144;
IT_SUIT = 2097152;
IT_QUAD = 4194304;

4.7 Values : Behavior of solid objects

SOLID_NOT = 0;                 // no interaction with other objects
                               // inactive triggers
SOLID_TRIGGER = 1;             // touch on edge, but not blocking
                               // active triggers, pickable items 
                               // (.MDL models, like armors)
SOLID_BBOX = 2;                // touch on edge, block
                               // pickable items (.BSP models, like ammo box)
                               // grenade, missiles
SOLID_SLIDEBOX = 3;            // touch on edge, but not an onground
                               // most monsters
SOLID_BSP = 4;                 // bsp clip, touch on edge, block
                               // buttons, platforms, doors, missiles

4.8 Values : Type of movements

MOVETYPE_NONE = 0;             // never moves
MOVETYPE_WALK = 3;             // Walking players only
MOVETYPE_STEP = 4;             // Walking monster
MOVETYPE_FLY = 5;              // Hovering Flight 
                               // meant for flying monsters (and players)
MOVETYPE_TOSS = 6;             // Balistic flight 
                               // meant for gibs and the like
MOVETYPE_PUSH = 7;             // Not blocked by the world, push and crush 
                               // meant for doors, spikes and crusing platforms
MOVETYPE_NOCLIP = 8;           // Not blocked by the world
MOVETYPE_FLYMISSILE = 9;       // like fly, but size enlarged against monsters
                               // meant for rockets
MOVETYPE_BOUNCE = 10;          // bounce off walls
MOVETYPE_BOUNCEMISSILE = 11    // bounce off walls, but size enlarged against monsters
                               // meant for grenades

4.9 Values : Entity can take solid damages

DAMAGE_NO = 0;                 // Can't be damaged
DAMAGE_YES = 1;                // Grenades don't explode when touching entity
DAMAGE_AIM = 2;                // Grenades explode when touching entity
Most damageable entities have DAMAGE_AIM, so that when they chew on a grenade, it explodes. If you make an entity DAMAGE_YES, the grenades will bounce off it.

4.10 Values : Entity dead flag

DEAD_NO = 0;                   // still living
DEAD_DYING = 1;                // dying (helpless)
DEAD_DEAD = 2;                 // really dead
DEAD_RESPAWNABLE = 3;          // dead, but can respawn

4.11 Values : Spawnflags

The spawn flags are bit fields, whose interpretation depend on the concerned entity. There is quite a bit of a hack, that could cause unexpected bugs in the Quake C code.
  DOOR_START_OPEN = 1;         // allow entity to be lighted in 
                               //    closed position
  SPAWN_CRUCIFIED= 1;          // for zombie
  PLAT_LOW_TRIGGER = 1;        // for func_plat
  SPAWNFLAG_SUPERSPIKE = 1;    // for spike shooter
  SECRET_OPEN_ONCE = 1;        // secret door, stays open
  PUSH_ONCE = 1;
  WEAPON_SHOTGUN = 1;          // weapon, shotgun
  H_ROTTEN = 1;                // health, rotten (5-10 points)
  WEAPON_BIG2 = 1;             // items 
  START_OFF = 1;               // light, is off at start.
  SILENT = 2;
  SPAWNFLAG_LASER = 2;         // for spike shooter
  SECRET_1ST_LEFT = 2;         // secret door, 1st move is left of arrow
  WEAPON_ROCKET = 2;           // weapon, rocket
  H_MEGA = 2;                  // health, mega (100 points)
  SECRET_1ST_DOWN = 4;         // secret door, 1st move is down from arrow
  WEAPON_SPIKES = 4;           // weapon, nailgun
  SECRET_NO_SHOOT = 8;         // secret door, only opened by trigger
  WEAPON_BIG = 8;              // weapon, super model
  SECRET_YES_SHOOT = 16;       // secret door, shootable even if targeted

5. Entities

Part of this information is derived from the DEM file specs 1.0.2 by Uwe Girlich.

In Quake, monsters, players, items, and the level itself are all entities. There are three kind of entities, and you will all encounter them in Quake-C code.

Types of entities

Static entities

A static entity doesn't interact with the rest of the game. These are flames (progs/flame.mdl), lights, illusionary objects, and the like. It is never be necessary to reference such an entity, so they don't get an entity reference number.

A static entity will be created by the function :
(it causes a spawnstatic message to be sent to every client).
A static entity cannot be removed, once created.

The maximum number of static entities is 127.

Temporary entities

A temporary entity is a short life time entity. For instance, Quake uses these entities for hits on the wall (point-like entities) or for the Thunderbolt flash (line-like entities), gun shots, and anything that is not supposed to last more than one frame.

A temporary entity will be created by sending a valid temporary entity message.
A temporary entity doesn't need to be removed, it disappears by itself.

Dynamic entities

A dynamic entity is anything which changes its behaviour or its appearance. These are ammunition boxes, spinning armors, player models and the like.

A dynamic entity will be created by the sequence :
        entity = spawn();
        setmodel( entity, "progs/entity.mdl" );
        setsize( entity, vector_min, vector_max);      
        setorigin( entity, position );      
It will have to be removed by the function :
        remove( entity );
The maximum number of dynamic entities is 449.

Definition of entity fields

These are the fields that are available in the entity objects (like self, other). Beware that this is not true object oriented programming : there is no protection when accessing those fields, and no guaranty on the validity of values. So if you put garbage there you will probably crash the game.

You can add custom fields (for instance, to store the ammo count of a new weapon you created) but those fields must not be situated among thoses that are common between Quake-C and Quake.exe. Otherwise, Quake.exe would have to be re-compiled. So those fields must be situated after the fake variable called end_sys_fields, in the field definitions.

Fields shared between Quake.exe and Quake-C.

These fields describe the most common entity fields. They are shared between the C code of Quake.exe, and the Quake-C code of PROGS.DAT.

Some of the fields are managed by the C code : you can read their value, but YOU SHOULD NEVER MODIFY THEIR VALUE DIRECTLY (there are special built-in functions for that).

Technical data
        entity  chain;            // next entity, in a chain list of entities
        float   ltime;            // local time for entity
        float   teleport_time;    // to avoid backing up
        float   spawnflags;       // see possible values.
Appearance of entity
        float   modelindex;       // index of model, in the precached list
        string  classname;        // spawn function
        string  model;
The name of the file that contains the entity model.
        float   frame;
This is the index of the currently displayed model frame. Frames must be defined by a $frame construct in the model file, and manipulated in the code as $xxx (where xxx is the name of the frame).
        float   skin;
This is the index of the model skin currently displayed. If your model has more than one skin defined, then this value indicates the skin in use. You can change it freely, as long as it remains in a valid range. For instance, it's used by the armor model to show the yellow, red or green skin.
        float   effects;
This is a flag that defines the special light effects that the entity is subject to. This can supposedly be used to make an entity glow, or to create a glowing field of dots around it.

Position in 3D
        vector  origin;     // position of model
                            //  origin_x, origin_y, origin_z
        vector  mins;       // bounding box extents reletive to origin
                            //  mins_x, mins_y, mins_z
        vector  maxs;       // bounding box extents reletive to origin
                            //  maxs_x, maxs_y, maxs_z
        vector  size;       // maxs - mins
                            //  size_x,size_y,size_z
        vector  absmin;     // origin + mins and maxs
                            //  absmin_x absmin_y absmin_z
        vector  absmax;     // origin + mins and maxs
                            //  absmax_x absmax_y absmax_z
        vector  oldorigin;  // old position
        vector  angles;     // = 'pitch_angle yaw_angle flip_angle'
Quirks: setting the angles on a player entity doesn't work.

Situation of the entity
        float   waterlevel;     // 0 = not in water, 1 = feet, 
                                //    2 = waist, 3 = eyes
        float   watertype;      // a content value
        entity  groundentity;   // indicates that the entity
                                //    moves on the ground
Since groundentity is used nowhere in progs, it's meaning is just a wild guess from a similar field in messages.

Movement in 3D
        vector  velocity;       // = 'speed_x, speed_y, speed_z'
        vector  avelocity;      // = 'pitch_speed yaw_speed 0', 
                                //    angle velocity
        vector  punchangle;     // temp angle adjust from damage 
                                //    or recoil
        float   movetype;       // type of movement
        float   yaw_speed;      // rotation speed
        float   solid;          // tell if entity can block the 
                                //    movements.

Monster's Behavior
        entity  goalentity;     // Monster's movetarget or enemy
        float   ideal_yaw;      // Monster's ideal direction, on paths
        float   yaw_speed;      // Monster's yaw speed.
        string  target;         // Target of a monster 
        string  targetname;     // name of the target

Automatic Behavior
        float   nextthink;      // next time when entity must act
        void()  think;          // function invoked when entity 
                                //    must act
        void()  touch;          // function invoked if entity is 
        void()  use;            // function invoked if entity is 
                                //    used
        void()  blocked;        // function for doors or plats, 
                                //    called when can't push

        // ### RWA, addition ###
        entity  other;          // entity that triggered event on 
                                //    'self'

        vector  movedir;        // mostly for doors, but also used 
                                //    for waterjump
        string  message;        // trigger messages
        float   sounds;         // either a cd track number or sound 
                                //    number
        string  noise;          // sound played on entity noise 
                                //    channel 1
        string  noise1;         // ...
        string  noise2;
        string  noise3;
Information by Abducted :
When you want an entity to do something specific, after a certain delay (exploding, disapearing, or the like...), you set next thing to that delay (in seconds), and set think to the function to execute.

Information by Greg Lewis :
It seems that the touch function is called before the field is checked, so you can set this type in the touch function, and it will immediatly be taken into account.

Player/Monster stats and damage status
        float   deadflag;       // tells if an entity is dead.
        float   health;         // health level
        float   max_health;     // players maximum health is 
                                //    stored here
        float   takedamage;     // indicates if entity can be 
                                //    damaged
        float   dmg_take;       // damage is accumulated through 
                                //    a frame. and sent as one single
        float   dmg_save;       // message, so the super shotgun 
                                //    doesn't generate huge messages
        entity  dmg_inflictor;  // entity that inflicted the damage 
                                //    (player, monster, missile, door)

Player inventory
        float   items;          // bit flags
        float   armortype;      // fraction of damage absorbed by armor
        float   armorvalue;     // armor level
        float   weapon;         // one of the IT_SHOTGUN, etc flags
        string  weaponmodel;    // entity model for weapon
        float   weaponframe;    // frame for weapon model
        float   currentammo;    // ammo for current weapon
        float   ammo_shells;    // remaining shells
        float   ammo_nails;     // remaining nails
        float   ammo_rockets;   // remaining rockets and grenades
        float   ammo_cells;     // remaining lightning bolts
        float   impulse;        // weapon changes
When set to 0, the player's weapon doesn't change. When different from zero, this field is interpreted by the Quake-C
impulse command as a request to change weapon (see ImpulseCommand).

Player Fight
        entity  owner;          // Entity that owns this one (missiles, 
                                //    bubbles are owned by the player)
        entity  enemy;          // personal enemy (only for monster entities)
        float   button0;        // fire
        float   button1;        // use
        float   button2;        // jump

        vector  view_ofs;       // position of player eye, relative to origin

        float   fixangle;       // set to 1 if you want angles to change now
        vector  v_angle;        // view or targeting angle for players
        float   idealpitch;     // calculated pitch angle for lookup up slopes
        entity  aiment;         // aimed antity?

        float   frags;          // number of frags
        string  netname;        // name, in network play
        float   colormap;       // colors of shirt and pants
        float   team;           // team number
        float   flags;          // ?

Fields used only by Quake-C (User defined)
These entity fields are used only by Quake-C programs, and are never referenced by the C code of Quake.exe. So you can do whatever you want with the values, so long as it's compatible with what other Quake-C modules do.

If the fields defined here are not suitable for you, you can define new fields, by adding them at the end of the defintion of fields. As a matter of fact, the number of fields in an entity (hence the size of all the instances of entity objects) is determined by Quake-C: in the PROGS.DAT header, a value named entityfields indicates to Quake.exe the size of the entity object.

Beware however that the more field you add, the more each entity will suck memory. Add just one float (4 bytes) and it will take, in memory, 4 bytes time the number of entity.

The best is to share fields between distinct classes of entities, by reusing the same position for another kind of field. If the Quake C Compiler was a real object-oriented compiler, that would be done very safely by single-inheritance (multiple-inheritance would be a deadly mistake). You will also notice that id software has made quite a lousy usage of most of the fields, defining much more than were actually needed, since they are only used by a few entities.

World fields
        string wad;              // name of WAD file 
                                 //    with misc graphics  
        string map;              // name of the map being 
                                 //    played
        float  worldtype;        // see below
worldtype is 0 for a medieval setting, 1 for metal, and 2 for a base setting.
These fields might soon become global variables, so don't rely too much on them.

Quake Ed fields
        string killtarget;
        float light_lev;         // not used by game, but 
                                 //    parsed by light util
        float style;

Monster Behaviour
Those functions are called when these specific events happen :
        void() th_stand;         // when stands iddle
        void() th_walk;          // when is walking
        void() th_run;           // when is running
        void() th_missile;       // when a missile comes
        void() th_melee;         // when fighting in melee
        void() th_die;           // when dies

        void(entity attacker, float damage) th_pain;
That function is executed when the monster takes a certain amount of damage from an attacker (a player, or another monster). Will usually cause the monster to turn against the attacker.

Monster state variables
        entity oldenemy;               // mad at this player before 
                                       //    taking damage
        float  speed;            
        float  lefty;            
        float  search_time;      
        float  attack_state;     

        float   pausetime;
        entity  movetarget;

        Player Only

        float   walkframe;
        float   attack_finished;
        float   pain_finished;         // time when pain sound 
                                       //    is finished
        float   invincible_finished;
        float   invisible_finished;
        float   super_damage_finished;
        float   radsuit_finished;
        float   invincible_time;       // time when player cease 
                                       //    to be invincible
        float   invincible_sound;
        float   invisible_time;        // time when player cease 
                                       //    to be invisible
        float   invisible_sound;
        float   super_time;            // time when quad shot expires?
        float   super_sound;
        float   rad_time;
        float   fly_sound;
        float   axhitme;               // TRUE if hit by axe
        float   show_hostile;          // set to time+0.2 whenever a 
                                       //    client fires a weapon or 
                                       //    takes damage.  Used to alert.
                                       // monsters that otherwise would 
                                       //    let the player go
        float   jump_flag;             // player jump flag
        float   swim_flag;             // player swimming sound flag
        float   air_finished;          // when time > air_finished, start 
                                       //    drowning
        float   bubble_count;          // keeps track of the number of bubbles
        string  deathtype;             // keeps track of how the player died

Object stuff
        string  mdl;            // model name?
        vector  mangle;         // angle at start. 'pitch roll yaw'
        vector  oldorigin;      // only used by secret door
        float   t_length;
        float   t_width;

        vector  dest;
        vector  dest1;
        vector  dest2;
        float   wait;           // time from firing to restarting
        float   delay;          // time from activation to firing
        entity  trigger_field;  // door's trigger entity
        string  noise4;
        float   aflag;
        float   dmg;            // damage done by door when hit

        float   cnt;            // counter
        void()  think1;
        vector  finaldest;
        vector  finalangle;
        // triggers
        float   count;          // for counting triggers
        // plats / doors / buttons
        float   lip;
        float   state;
        vector  pos1;
        vector  pos2;           // top and bottom positions
        float   height;
        // sounds 
        float   waitmin;
        float   waitmax;
        float   distance;
        float   volume;

6. Global variables

These variables are accessible in every functions.
Quake C function are not supposed to modify them directly.
Variable : world
the server's world object, which holds all global state for the server, like the deathmatch flags and the body ques.

Variable : time
  float time;               // in seconds
The current game time, a floating point value in seconds. Note that because the entities in the world are simulated sequentially, time is NOT strictly increasing. An impact late in one entity's time slice may set time higher than the think function of the next entity. The difference is limited to 0.1 seconds.

Variable : frametime
  float frametime;           // in seconds
No idea what this can be. Used only when jumping in water.

Variable : self
 entity self;
The entity that is subject to the current function.

Variable : other
 entity other;
The object concerned by an impact, not used for thinks.

Variable : force_retouch
  float force_retouch;  // counter
Force all entities to touch triggers next frame. this is needed because non-moving things don't normally scan for triggers, and when a trigger is created (like a teleport trigger), it needs to catch everything.
It is decremented each frame, so it is usually set to 2 to guarantee everything is touched.

Variable : mapname
  string mapname;
Name of the level map currently being played, like "start".

Variable : deathmatch
  float deathmatch;  // a boolean value, 0 or 1
True if playing deathmatch.

Variable : coop
  float coop;  // a boolean value, 0 or 1
True if playing cooperative.

Variable : teamplay
  float teamplay;  // a boolean value, 0 or 1
True if playing by teams.

Variable : serverflags
  float serverflags;  // bit fields
Propagated from level to level, and used to keep track of the completed episodes. If serverflag & ( 1 << e) is true, then episode e was already completed. Generally equal to player.spawnflags & 15.

Variable : total_secrets
  float total_secrets;  // counter
Number of secrets found by the players. Affected only by trigger_secret.

Variable : found_secrets
  float found_secrets;  // counter
Number of secrets found.

Variable : total_monsters
  float total_monsters;  // counter
Total number of monsters that were spawned, since the begining of the level.

Variable : killed_monsters
  float killed_monsters;  // counter
Store the total number of monsters killed.

Variable : parm1...parm16
  float parm1; // items bit flag (IT_SHOTGUN | IT_AXE )
  float parm2; // health
  float parm3; // armorvalue
  float parm4, parm5, parm6, parm7; // ammo
  float parm8; // weapon 
  float parm9; // armortype*100
  float parm10, parm11, parm12, parm13, parm14, parm15, parm16;
Those parameters seem to be a bit of hack. They are used when a client connects. Spawnparms are used to encode information about clients across server level changes.

Functions that are mandatory in Quake-C

These functions must be defined in Quake C, since they are invoked by Quake under certain conditions.
        void main();
Only used for testing progs.

        void StartFrame();
Called at the start of each frame.

Behavior of players
        void PlayerPreThink();
Called with self=player, for every frame, before physics are run.
        void PlayerPostThink();
Called with self=player, for every frame, after physics are run.

Management of network game clients
        void ClientKill();
Called when a player suicides.
        void ClientConnect();
Called when a player connects to a server, but also, for every player, when a new level starts. It is used to announces the new player to every other players.
        void PutClientInServer();
Call after setting the parm1... parm16.
        void ClientDisconnect();
Called when a player disconnects from a server Announce that the player has left the game.
        void SetNewParms();
Called when a client first connects to a server. Sets parm1...parm16 so that they can be saved off for restarts.
        void SetChangeParms();
Call to set parms for self so they can?

7. Model pragma

(Derived from informations published by Steve Tietze)

Here are a few definitions that are commonly found in the Quake-C code defining the behavior of animated models (monsters, players, etc...).

Most of this information is not interpreted by the Quake-C compiler, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models.
Model name
        $modelname name
name is the name of the model file defining the object.
ex: $name armor

        $cd dir
Specify the directory where your model file (.MDL) is located.
ex: $cd /evil/models/armor

Special animation flags
        $flags  rotation
This field is not interpreted by Quake-C, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models.
Rotation of the object.
ex: $flags 8
Possible values for the flags : 8, the object keeps rotating, like armors.
Other values are not known yet.

        $origin x y z
This field is not interpreted by Quake-C, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models. Location of the object within the bounding box, in the quake editor.
ex: $origin 0 0 8

Scale factor
        $scale number
This field is not interpreted by Quake-C, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models. Number comes from the texmake number that is generated.
You can use different values if you want.
ex: $scale 4

        $base  object
This field is not interpreted by Quake-C, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models. Object is the name of a model file, that will be used as a kind of starting position, for animation.

Skin file
        $skin  skinfile
This field is not interpreted by Quake-C, but it's useful for the program modelgen that generates the models. Skinfile is the name (without extension) of the .lbm file that defines the skin of the object, as generated by the program texmake.

Frame definitions
        $frame  frame1 frame2 ...
This defines several animation frames of the object.
For every animation frame defined, you must also define a Quake-C function, that will be called during this animation frame. For instance :
        $frame walk1 walk2 walk3 walk4
        void() man_walk1 = [ $walk1, man_walk2 ] { ... some code ... };
        void() man_walk2 = [ $walk2, man_walk3 ] { ... some code ... };
        void() man_walk3 = [ $walk3, man_walk4 ] { ... some code ... };
        void() man_walk4 = [ $walk4, man_walk1 ] { ... some code ... };
In the brackets, the first parameter defines the name of the frame (as found in the model file), and the second parameter defined the function that is to be executed in the next frame (by setting the value of self.nextthink).

Most of these functions do nothing special, but some can be very complex (for instance, the functions that are called when the monster tries to see a player).

8. Network protocol

Quake-C is not supposed to handle a lot of network messages, since most are already handled in C.

However, builtin functions have not been built for every kind of messages in the Quake protocol, so you migth end-up composing protocol messages in Quake-C. I highly recommend that you build a single function to handle a given message type, because the structure of those messages might change, and then all your code would have to be checked for bugs.

By that way,
Id Software didn't even bothered to write a function to generate temporary entites, though they keep using this message. It's still a long way to ISO 9001, I'm afraid.

Definitions related to protocol messages

Values : How messages are sent
        MSG_BROADCAST = 0;  // unreliable message, sent to all
        MSG_ONE = 1;       // reliable message, sent to msg_entity
        MSG_ALL = 2;       // reliable message, sent to all
        MSG_INIT = 3;   // write to the init string
Use unreliable (but fast) messages, when it's of no importance that a client misses the message.
Examples : sound, explosions, monster deaths, taunts....
Use reliable messages when it's very important that every client sees the message, or a game incoherency might happen.
Examples : shots, player deaths, door moves, game ends ... and CD track changes!.

Values: Type of message
These are some of message types defined in the Quake network protocol.
        SVC_SETVIEWPORT = 5;
        SVC_SETANGLES = 10;
        SVC_TEMPENTITY = 23;
        SVC_FOUNDSECRET = 28;
        SVC_INTERMISSION = 30;
        SVC_FINALE = 31;
        SVC_CDTRACK = 32;
        SVC_SELLSCREEN = 33;
        SVC_UPDATE = 128;

Some message structures

Here are some of the messages defined in the Quake network protocol.
Beware, the structure of those messages might change in future version (Satan forbids!).

Message : Set View Position
        msg_entity = player
        WriteByte (MSG_ONE, SVC_SETVIEWPORT);
        WriteEntity( MSG_ONE, camera);
This message is meant for a single client player. It sets the view position to the position of the entity camera.

Message : Set View Angles
        msg_entity = player
        WriteAngle( MSG_ONE, camera.angles_x); 
        WriteAngle( MSG_ONE, camera.angles_y);
        WriteAngle( MSG_ONE, camera.angles_z);
This message is meant for a single client player. It set the orientation of it's view to the same orientation than the entity camera.

Message : Temporary Entity
        WriteByte (MSG_BROADCAST, entityname);
        WriteCoord (MSG_BROADCAST, origin_x);
        WriteCoord (MSG_BROADCAST, origin_y);
        WriteCoord (MSG_BROADCAST, origin_z);
Message : Set CD Track
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, SVC_CDTRACK);
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, val1);        // CD start track
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, val2);        // CD end track
Message : Final Message
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, SVC_FINALE);
        WriteString (MSG_ALL, "any text you like\n");
Message : Sell Screen
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, SVC_SELLSCREEN);
Shows the infamous sell screen (like you needed it to understand).

Message : Inter Mission
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, SVC_INTERMISSION);
Shows the inter mission camera view.

Message : Killed Monster
Increase by one the count of killed monsters, as available to the client. Can be displayed with showscores.

Message : Found Secrets
        WriteByte (MSG_ALL, SVC_FOUNDSECRET);
Increase by one the count of secrets founds.

Message: Update Entity
This message has a rather complex structure. I already generated some valid update messages, but since the message structure seems highly susceptible to change in the next versions of Quake, I would recommend that you never use such messages : as a matter of fact, Quake itslef is very capable of generating all the required messages... unless you start creating deathmatch cameras or the like.

9. Network Builtin functions

Beware : when generating messages, you had better respect the format of the existing messages. Otherwise the game clients might not be able to interpret them (and will likely crash).

The functions below all write to clients (players connected via the network, or the local player).

Global variable for network messages

Variable : msg_entity
        entity  msg_entity;
If you want to send a message to just one entity e, then set msg_entity= e and send the message with flag MSG_ONE, instead of MSG_ALL.
Never used. Maybe it doesn't even work.

Builtin functions for composing network messages

Function : WriteByte

void WriteByte(float to, float value)

         to = see messages

Function : WriteChar

void WriteChar(float to, float value)

         to = see messages

Function : WriteShort

void WriteShort(float to, float value)

         to = see messages

Function : WriteLong

void WriteLong(float to, float value)

         to = see messages

Function : WriteCoord

void WriteCoord(float to, float value)

         to = see messages

Function : WriteAngle

void WriteAngle(float to, float value)

         to = see messages
This function writes a single byte, that represents 256*(angle/380).

Function : WriteString

void WriteString(float to, string value)

         to = see messages
This function writes a string, terminated by \0 (the null character in C).

Function : WriteEntity

void WriteEntity(float to, entity value)

         to = see messages
This function writes an entity reference, taking two bytes.

10. Tips & tricks

Here are some characteristics of Quake-C that you had better be aware of.
The names of variable and functions must be unique.
The names of functions, variables and fields must be unique. For instance, you cannot define a variable with the same name as a field. However, local variables can be defined more than once (they had better!).

Composition of function is not supported
Since all the functions use a single parameter marshaling area, and a single global variable to store their reture result, you should NEVER try to call a function within another function call.
Example : printing the coordinate of entity self
    sprintf(self, vtos( self.origin ));
will fail miserably (sending the message somewhere in hell), so it should be replaced by :
    text = vtos( self.origin );
    sprintf(self, text);
Unfortunately, this also applies to operators :
   sum = anglestovec( 45) + anglestovec( 90);
will fail an should be replaced by :
   sum = anglestovec( 45);
   sum = sum + anglestovec( 90);
Actually, Quake-C is rather lame as a compiler, and you will probably make hundred of little mistakes like that, that the compiler will not warn you of. But remember Quake-C was built for "performance", not ease of use. And also that it wasn't designed by people from the MIT. Remember also that you got it for free... you can always get gcc (the Gnu C Compiler) for the same price ;-)

You cannot initialise variable with default values.
If you give a default value to a quake-C variable, this variable will be considered as a constant. And since the value of constants is not supposed to change, your program may not work properly after that.

Coordinates are relative to the world.
All the geometry (coordinate positions, directions, angles) are relative to the world. They are never relative to a given object. To know the direction an object is facing, you have to require calculation of the v_front vector (respectively v_right and v_up for the right, and the top).

Frequently Asked Questions about Quake-C

How do I change the viewpoint?
You would like that a given player sees through the eyes of another entity. This commonly happens at the end of the level (all players see through a camera), or when the player head is severed (gibbed), or when a player is invisible (he only exists as his eyes).

But the example above work by changing the player entity, and what you want is probably just to see through a camera (Duke3D) or a missile (Descent).

This operation is known in the Quake network protocol as a setview message. But nowhere it's defined in Quake-C, and there's no function to change the view port. So the solution is to encode a set view port message, followed by a set view angles message (to take the orientation of the camera).

This works fine, except that if, for some reason, the entity you are using as a camera was not previously declared to the client, then the view port will be set to '0 0 0', which is usually somewhere in the void.

How do I teleport a player into another server
A trick by Steven Lang ([email protected])
    // In the slipgate touch function
    // other = entity that touched
    if(other.classname == "player")
      stuffcmd(other, "connect server.address\n");  // send command
When the slipgate is touched, the entity jumps to another server.

Trouble : the player stats and weapons won't be preserved, and the player would be dumped to the console if the other server was full or not available.
That's why John Carmack, will rewrite the code of Quake.exe to implement his Quake World proposal, and advanced server with all kinds of goodies... permission lists, ability to block an IP, etc. (info from quake-c list).

How do I manipulate strings in Quake-C ?
Well, you can have any kind of strings, as long as they cannot be changed.

"In Ford we trust" (Brave New World).

Mind you, pr_comp.c, defines only operations = == != on strings.

How to read string variables, or text messages ?
Well, if you know, tell, that would make a nice addition to this specs.

How do I move an entity in Quake-C ?
You have better not touch it's position, else some stuff in the C code might not be valid anymore. So you call the setposition() built-in function.

How to change the velocity of an entity (make it bounce off walls) ?
Information by Greg Lewis.
It seems that an entity's velocity can't be changed in the Touch function of the entity.
Making the calculations there will be of no use. So just set entity .movetype to MOVETYPE_BOUNCE, entity.nextthink to 0.1 (to let it bounce off), and set entity.think to the name of a function that, when called 0.1 second later, will set entity.velocity to the right direction.

How to calculate the direction a player is facing?
Assuming the player is self, the entity field self.angles contains the orientation angles of the player (as set by moving the mouse).

Then the function makeverctors( self.angles) will calculate three vectors, that point in the direction the player is facing, but also to the right of the player (strafing direction) and to the direction the player is standing.

Note that those vectors are normalised to 1, so if you want to know what lays 100 units in front of the player, use self.origin + 100 * facing.

How to send a message to a client when he logs in ?
It has been noticed that using a sprint() in function ClientConnect just plain doesn't send any message at all. Maybe the client is not ready to receive messages at this point.

Doug Keenan has reported he could send such a text message by putting the sprint() close to the begining of the ClientConnect function. It doesn't work at the end, apparently.

Writing Quake-C code

Here are some suggestions that you should really consider when writing Quake-C code. Well, there are no obligations, but that would make life simpler for others when they read your code (and thus for you when you read theirs).

I assume here that you want to develop code that others can re-use, or that can be mixed seamlessly with codes written by others.

(If you are reinventing the whole world all by yourself, you hardly need any help or counsels. By the way, the first command is +light).

1. Please put comments in your code
Of course, the real gurus don't need comments. They understand raw Quake-C, even compiled. They can even imagine all the parts of your code before they read them. Even before you write them. But actually, they seldom read your code. Only normal people do.

2. Please tag the begining and end of your modifications, if you are fixing a code from someone else
Also put a date, and put a reason for the fix.
Example :
           // Patch by Nezu The Unworthy  8/3/96 
           // Gimme a chance to win a deathmatch
           if( != "nezu")
             self.frag = self.frag - 10;
           // Patch End
3. Creating new elements
Each time you create a new function, a new variable or a new field, please give it a name that will not conflict with function or variable defined by others.
A rather sure way to do this is to prefix every name with some abvreviated module name, or you initials, or whatever rare combination of three or four letter.
Example :
         void() NTU_think =  // Nezu The Unworthy starts thinking
   = 1;   // turn red and boil
4. Implementing new functions
Each time you implement some set of related functions, you should create a new Quake-C module, and give it a name different from the existing ones.
Please do not use one of the module names used by Id Software, this would be confusing. Try to be original, else we might end-up with two hundred modules called impulse.qc.

5. When you want to distribute some modified Quake-C programs :
Include a file_id.diz file explaining in 5 lines what your patch does, and where it should be stored in the archives (this file is to be read by system administrators).
Include a readme.txt file explaining in details what your patch does, how it does it, and what common files you had to modify.
Include the .qc modules that you created from scratch.
For the modules you modified, please let them pass through the utilities diff (see below), so that the original file can be patched the utility patch. Even if it has been modified since. Do not distribute modified .qc modules. Future versions of Quake will contain different code, and all your work would then be lost.

6. Compile and distribute
You should compile and distribute a version of your code, as a single PROGS.DAT file, to be used by those who just wanna have fun. Don't forget them, they largely overnumber the people who directly deal with Quake-C.

7. Upload your Quake-C patches to the primary quake ftp site at
Maybe if it's good enough it will also appear in the Quake-C code repository.

Using Diff and Patch

Information by Jeff Epler

You can find a DOS version of diff and patch on all the major ftp archives, for instance Simtelnet (mirrored at

For a Win32 (Windows95 and NT) version, see and

The full documentation for diff and patch is available on, but here are some shortened instructions :

To make a diff :

To patch with a diff :

11. Basic Types

Simple Types

Type : void
An empty result, mostly used for definition of procedures (i.e. functions that return no result at all).

Type : float
A floating point value.

Floats are also used to store booleans (TRUE, FALSE) or integer values linke counters, or bit flags.
    Valid syntax: 12  1.6   0.5   -100  
    Invalid syntax: .5
A parsing ambiguity is present with negative constants. "a-5" will be parsed as "a", then "-5", causing an error. Separate the - from the digits with a space "a - 5" to get the proper behavior.

Type : vector
A vector, made of 3 float coordinates.
Used to represent positions or directions in 3D space.
Valid syntax : '0 0 0' or '20.5 -10 0.00001'

Note the simple quotes around the vector. Do not use double quotes, they are reserved for strings.

If you declare a vector foobar, then you can access it's x, y and z fields with : foobar_x, foobar_y, foobar_z.

Type : string
Represents a character string.
Used to indicate file names, or messages to be broadcast to players.
Valid syntax: "maps/jrwiz1.bsp" or "ouch!\n".
Use \n for newline.

Type : entity
The reference of an entity in the game, like things, players, monsters.
For instance, this is the type of the entities self and other.

The entity type is a structured type, made of fields.
A description of each field is available.

Field types

Countrary to the other types, the entity type is a reference to an instance of a structured object, that contains many informations of totally different kinds.

To access all these informations conveniently, they are stored as fields of the entity object, and each field is given a name and a type, that makes it distinct of the others.

Some of the fields do not store value, but instead they store the function to be executed in certain conditions. They are called the methods that can be aplied to the object.

If Quake-C was an object oriented programming language, those method functions and would be distinguished from the other fields. And, above all, you would be able to create new object types, with their own fields.

As Quake-C stands currently, all the field definitions are definitions of entity fields. So anywhere in your code you could add definition of new fields, and the compiler would interpret them as an extension of the entity definition.

Here are all the possible definitions of entity fields, with their types :
Reserved field types (beware of the hack!)

In the first file read by the Quake-C compiler, defs.qc, there must be a definition for the entity fields, and world fields. This definition is hard coded. You had better not touch it, or you will have to recompile Quake itself.

The globals are defined before the special definition void end_sys_globals;. The entity fields are defined before the special definition void end_sys_fields;.

It's not important if you don't understand the nonsense above. It's an ugly hack. Just don't modify defs.qc before those two tags, and you won't be in trouble.

12. Compilation of Quake-C

The language is strongly typed and there are no casts.

Source files are processed sequentially without dumping any state, so if a defs file is the first one processed, the definitions will be available to all other files.

Error recovery during compilation is minimal. It will skip to the next global definition, so you will never see more than one error at a time in a given function. All compilation aborts after ten error messages.

Names can be defined multiple times until they are defined with an initialization, allowing functions to be prototyped before their definition.
    // in headers
    void()      MyFunction;             // the prototype
    // later
    void()      MyFunction =            // the initialization
    { dprint ("we're here\n"); };
Beware of the Quake-C compiler

13. Execution of Quake-C

Code execution is initiated by C code in quake from two main places : the timed think routines for periodic control, and the touch function when two objects impact each other.

Execution is also caused by a few uncommon events, like the addition of a new client to an existing server.

There is a runnaway counter that stops a program if 100000 statements are executed, assuming it is in an infinite loop.

It is acceptable to change the system set global variables. This is usually done to pose as another entity by changing self and calling a function.

The interpretation is fairly efficient, but it is still over an order of magnitude slower than compiled C code. All time consuming operations should be made into built in functions.

A profile counter is kept for each function, and incremented for each interpreted instruction inside that function. The "profile" console command in Quake will dump out the top 10 functions, then clear all the counters. The "profile all" command will dump sorted stats for every function that has been executed.

14. Examples

These are examples taken from the QuakeC patch archives. Two of them are made by Ferrara.

14.1 Looping between all monster

float() Pet_FindTarget =
	local entity	client;
	local float	r;
        local entity head, selected;
	local float dist;

        dist = 10000;
	selected = world;
	head = findradius(self.origin, 10000);
		if( ( > 1) && (head != self) && (head != self.owner))
			if ( (trace_fraction >= 1) && (vlen(head.origin - self.origin) < dist) 
                                && (head.owner != self.owner))
				selected = head;
				dist = vlen(head.origin - self.origin);
		head = head.chain;
	if (selected != world)
		sprint (self.owner,"Pet attacking -> ");
		if (selected.classname == "player")
			sprint (self.owner,selected.netname);
			sprint (selected,self.owner.netname);
			sprint (selected," sent one of his minions after you!\n");
			sprint (self.owner,selected.classname);
		sprint (self.owner,"\n");
                self.enemy = selected;
                FoundTarget ();

                return TRUE;

    if (self.goalentity != self.owner)
        self.goalentity = self.owner;
        self.think = self.th_run;
    self.ideal_yaw = vectoyaw(self.owner.origin - self.origin);
    self.nextthink = time+0.1;
    return FALSE;

14.2 Creating a new entity

void(entity myself) ActivateHolo =
	local entity	newholo;

	newholo = spawn();
	newholo.solid = SOLID_NOT;
	newholo.movetype = MOVETYPE_NOCLIP;
	newholo.origin = myself.origin;
	newholo.angles = myself.angles;
	newholo.colormap = myself.colormap;
	setmodel (newholo, "progs/player.mdl");
	newholo.classname = "holo";
	newholo.nextthink = time + 8;	
	newholo.think = RemoveHolo;
	myself.currentammo = myself.ammo_cells = myself.ammo_cells - 10;
	myself.items = myself.items | IT_HOLO;
	stuffcmd (newholo.owner, "bf\n");
	sprint(newholo.owner,"holograph activated\n");

14.3 Setting point of view

void(entity me, entity camera) NezuSetViewPoint =
  // Set view point
  msg_entity = me;                         // target of message
  WriteEntity (MSG_ONE, camera);           // view port
  // Also set angles, otherwise it feels strange
  // NezuSetViewAngle(me, camera.angles);
  WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, camera.angles_x);    // tilt 
  WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, camera.angles_y);    // yaw
  WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, camera.angles_z);    // flip

14.4 Teleporting

void() Teleport_to_bomb =
	local entity oldself,bdest;

	bdest.origin = self.telebomb.origin + '0 0 27';

	// Blow up the bomb...

	// Teleport to the bomb's old location

	if( <= 0)  {

	// Recreating the "teleport_touch" function here, once again

	spawn_tfog (bdest.origin);

	spawn_tfog (bdest.origin);
	spawn_tdeath (bdest.origin,self);

	setorigin (self,bdest.origin);
	self.teleport_time = time + 1;  // Longer teleport recovery time
	self.flags = self.flags - self.flags & FL_ONGROUND;


14.5 Throwing your eyes

        if (self.impulse == 254)
                local vector v;
                eyes = spawn();  
                setmodel (eyes,"progs/eyes.mdl");
                eyes.movetype = MOVETYPE_BOUNCE;
                eyes.solid = SOLID_BBOX;
                eyes.effects = eyes.effects | EF_DIMLIGHT;
                msg_entity = self;                         
                WriteByte (MSG_ONE, SVC_SETVIEWPORT);    
                WriteEntity (MSG_ONE, eyes);           
                WriteByte (MSG_ONE, SVC_SETVIEWANGLES);  
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, self.angles_x);    
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, self.angles_y);    
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, self.angles_z);    
                makevectors (self.v_angle);

                if (self.v_angle_x)
	                eyes.velocity = v_forward*600 + v_up * 200 + crandom()*v_right*10 + crandom()*v_up*10;
	                eyes.velocity = aim(self, 10000);
                        eyes.velocity = eyes.velocity * 600;
                        eyes.velocity_z = 200;

                eyes.avelocity = '300 300 300';

                eyes.angles = vectoangles(eyes.velocity);
                setsize (eyes, '-3 -3 -3', '3 3 3');       
                setorigin (eyes, self.origin);
        if (self.impulse == 253)
                local vector v;

                msg_entity = self;                         
                WriteByte (MSG_ONE, SVC_SETVIEWPORT);    
                WriteEntity (MSG_ONE, self);           
                WriteByte (MSG_ONE, SVC_SETVIEWANGLES);  
                v = vectoangles(eyes.origin - self.origin);
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, v_x);    
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, v_y);    
                WriteAngle(MSG_ONE, v_z);

14.6 Radar

if (cvar("temp1")==1)
   local entity head,selected;
   local float min,dist;

   if (radar_time==0) radar_time=time;
      if (time>=radar_time) 
         head = findradius(self.origin,1000);
         selected = world;

         while (head)
            dist = vlen(self.origin - head.origin);
            if( ( > 1) && (head != self) && (head != self.owner) && (dist<min) )
            head = head.chain;
         sound (selected, CHAN_AUTO, "radar.wav", 1, ATTN_NORM);
         radar_time = min / 600;
         radar_time = radar_time + time;

return top.