Quake III Arena

Quake III Arena

Infobox VG
title = Quake III Arena

caption = North American boxart
developer = id Software
publisher = Activision (Windows)
Sega (Dreamcast)
Virgin Interactive (Playstation 2, Linux)
Activision/Valve Corporation (Steam)
designer = Graeme Devine
series = Quake series
engine = id Tech 3
version = 1.32c (2006-05-08)
released = NA December 2 1999 (Windows), December 7 1999 (Linux), 2000 (Dreamcast), 2008 (Xbox Live Arcade) 2007 (Steam)
genre = First-person shooter
modes = Single player, multiplayer
ratings = ELSPA: 15+
ESRB: M (Mature)
SELL: 16+
USK: 18+
VET/SFB: 15+
platforms = PC (Linux/Windows), IRIX, Macintosh, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, source ports to additional platforms, Xbox Live Arcade
media = CD, Steam
requirements = 3D graphics accelerator with full OpenGL support, Pentium II 233 MHz or AMD 350 MHz K6-2 processor or Athlon processor, 64 MB RAM, 8 MB video card, 500 MB of free hard drive space, 100% DirectX 3.0 or higher compatible sound card, CD-ROM drive (600 kB/s sustained transfer rate)
input =

"Quake III Arena" or "Quake 3", abbreviated as "Q3A" or "Q3", is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer and video game released on December 2, 1999. The game was developed by id Software and featured music composed by Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly. "Quake III Arena" is the third in the series and differs from previous games in the series by excluding a traditional single-player element and focusing on multi-player action. The single-player is instead played against computer controlled bots in a similar style to "Unreal Tournament".

"Q3A's" aim is to frag (kill) enemy players and score points based on the game mode's objective such as capturing the enemy flag. When a player's health points reach zero, that player's avatar is fragged; in the majority of modes the player can then respawn and continue playing, health restored, but without previously gathered weapons and power-ups. Games end when a player or team reaches a score or time-limit. Game modes include deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and tournament.

Notable features of "Quake 3" include the minimalist design, lacking rarely used items and features, the extensive customizability of player settings such as field of view, texture detail and enemy model, and advanced movement features such as strafe-jumping that give more speed with greater skill in contrast to the digital, all or nothing design of many computer games.

An expansion pack titled "Quake III: Team Arena" was released in December 2000 by id Software. It focused on team gameplay through new game modes and new weapons, items, and player models."Team Arena" was, however, criticized as its additions were long overdue and had already been implemented by fan modifications. A few years later "Quake III: Gold" was released, including the original "Quake III Arena" and the "Team Arena" expansion packs bundled together.

On August 19, 2005, id Software released the complete source code for "Quake III Arena" under the GNU General Public License, [cite web |url=http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/20/1329236&tid=112|title=Quake 3: Arena Source GPL'ed) |work=Slashdot |accessdate=2008-06-23 |date=2005-08-20] as they have for most of their prior engines. This does not make the entire game GPL, however, as the textures and other data were not released. A project called OpenArena addresses this issue, creating open content and bundling it with the engine as a standalone "Quake 3" release.


During early March 1999, ATI leaked the internal hardware vendor (IHV) copy of the game. [cite web |url=http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=386|title=Quake III Arena IHV Test Leaked) |work=Blue's News |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=1999-03-01] This was a functional version of the engine with a textured level and working guns. The IHV contained all the weapons that would make it into the final game although most were not fully modelled; a chainsaw and grappling hook were also in the IHV but did not make it into the final release. Many of the sounds that would make it into the final release were also included.

After the IHV fiasco id Software released a beta of "Quake III" called Q3Test on April 24, 1999. Q3Test started with version 1.05 and included three levels that would be included in the final release: dm7, dm17, and q3tourney2. Id software continued to update Q3Test up until version 1.11. [cite web |url=http://rr.pc.ign.com/rrview/pc/quake_iii_arena/010794/46709/|title=A Review of Q3 after the fact) |work=IGN |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2006-07-14]

Other versions


"Quake III Arena" was released for the Sega Dreamcast (ported by Raster Productions and released by Sega) in 2000 and featured 4 player online play versus Dreamcast and PC gamers. It is often considered one of the best PC to console ports of its time due to its smooth frame rate and online play. [cite web |url=http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/drm/quake3arena|title=Quake 3 Arena Dreamcast) |work=Metacritic |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2008-08-12] There are a few dedicated servers running Dreamcast maps that players can connect to if they use patch version 1.16n. [cite web |url=http://www.quake3world.com/maps/maps/dcmappack.doc|title=Quake 3 Arena: Dreamcast Map-pack Installation and Play Instructions) |work=Quake3World |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2004-06-01]

PlayStation 2

"Quake III Revolution" was released for the Sony PlayStation 2 (ported by Gremlin Interactive and released by Virgin Interactive) in 2001, featuring several elements adopted from "Team Arena", along with a more mission-based single-player mode. It features split-screen multiplayer for up to 4 players, but lacks online play and mouse support. Gamerankings.com rated the release at 83%. [cite web |url=http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/468044.asp?q=Quake%203|title=Quake 3 Revolution - PS2) |work=Gamerankings.com |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2001-03-26]

Xbox 360

"Quake III: Team Arena" was revealed in a ESRB listing for the Xbox 360. The title is being developed by Pi Studios. [cite web
title=ESRB leaks 'Quake III: Team Arena' for Xbox 360 (XBLA?)

"Quake III Arena" for the 360 was officially announced by id at QuakeCon 2007. [cite web |url=http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=80817|title=Quake Arena coming to XBLA) |work=Eurogamer.net |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2007-08-04] The title will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and will be jointly developed by id and Pi Studios.

Quake Live

Quake Zero was announced at QuakeCon on August 3, 2007 and will be an updated version of Quake 3 Arena, distributed by free download, run in a browser window and supported by built-in advertising content. [ [http://wire.ggl.com/2007/08/22/quakecon-2007-john-carmack-keynote-video/ GGL Wire ? QuakeCon 2007: John Carmack keynote video ] ] On February 20, 2008 id announced that Quake Zero would be launched as Quake Live. [ [http://www.joystiq.com/2008/02/20/gdc08-quake-zero-becomes-quake-live/ GDC08: Quake Zero becomes Quake Live] ]

Quake Arena DS

Quake Arena DS was announced at QuakeCon on August 4, 2007. John Carmack announced the game and said that touch screen controls would not be implemented as much as in "Metroid Prime Hunters", for example. He stated that he would like all shooting in the game to be controlled with the D-pad instead of the Touch Screen. [cite web |url=http://news.spong.com/article/13380/John_Carmack_Talks_Nintendo_Quake_Arena?cb=63|title=John Carmack Talks Nintendo Quake Arena) |work=Spong.com |accessdate=2008-08-12 |date=2007-08-06]



Unlike most other games released at the time - including its primary competitor, Unreal Tournament, "Quake 3" requires an OpenGL-compliant graphics accelerator and does not include a software renderer. The graphical technology of the game is based tightly around a "shader" system where the appearance of many surfaces can be defined in text files referred to as "shader scripts." Shaders are described and rendered as several layers, each layer contains a texture, a "blend mode" which determines how to superimpose it over the previous layer and texture orientation modes such as environment mapping, scrolling, and rotation. These features can readily be seen within the game with many bright and active surfaces in each map and even on character models. The shader system goes beyond just visual appearance, also defining the contents of volumes (e.g. a water volume is defined by applying a water shader to its surfaces), light emission and which sound to play when a volume is trodden upon.cite web | url = http://www.qeradiant.com/manual/Q3AShader_Manual/ch01/pg1_1.htm | title = Quake III Arena Shader Manual | pages = 1 | accessdate = 2006-10-01 | author = Paul Jaquays, Brian Hook]

"Quake 3" also introduced spline-based curved surfaces in addition to planar volumes, which are responsible for many of the surfaces present within the game.cite web | url = http://www.qeradiant.com/manual/Q3AShader_Manual/ch05/pg5_1.htm | title = Quake III Arena Shader Manual | accessdate = 2006-10-01 | pages = 5 | author = Paul Jaquays, Brian Hook]

The original version of "Quake 3" provided support for models animated using vertex animation with attachment tags (known as the .md3 format), allowing models to maintain separate torso and leg animations and hold weapons. "Quake 3" is one of the first games where the third-person model is able to look up and down and around as the head, torso and legs are separate.Fact|date=February 2007

In-game videos all use a proprietary format called "RoQ", which was originally created by Graeme Devine, the designer of "Quake 3", for the game "The 11th Hour". Internally RoQ uses vector quantization to encode video and DPCM to encode audio. While the format itself is proprietary it was successfully reverse-engineered in 2001,cite web | url = http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~timf/videocodec/idroq.txt | title = Id Software's .RoQ Video File Format | accessdate = 2006-10-01 | author = Tim Ferguson | year = 2001] and the actual RoQ decoder is present in the "Quake 3" source code release. RoQ has seen little use outside games based on the "Quake 3" or "Doom 3" engines, but is supported by several video players (such as MPlayer) and a handful of third-party encoders exist.

Other visual features include volumetric fog, mirrors, portals, decals, and wave-form vertex distortion.


"Quake 3"'s sound system outputs to two channels using a looping output buffer, mixed from 96 tracks with stereo spatialization and Doppler effect. All of the sound mixing is done within the engine, which can create problems for licensees hoping to implement EAX or surround sound support.Fact|date=February 2007 Several popular effects such as echoes are also absent.

A major flaw of the sound system is that the mixer isn't given its own thread, so if the game stalls for too long (particularly while navigating the menus or connecting to a server), the small output buffer will begin to loop, a very noticeable artifact. This problem was also present in the "Doom 3", "Quake", and "Quake II" engines.Fact|date=February 2007


"Quake 3" uses a "snapshot" system to relay information about game "frames" to the client over UDP. The server updates object interaction at a fixed rate independent of the rate clients update the server with their actions and then attempts to send the state of all objects at that moment (the current server frame) to each client. The server attempts to omit as much information as possible about each frame, relaying only differences from the last frame the client confirmed as received (Delta encoding). All data packets are compressed by Huffman coding with static pre-calculated frequency data to reduce bandwidth use even further.cite web | url = http://trac.bookofhook.com/bookofhook/trac.cgi/wiki/Quake3Networking | title = Book of Hook: The Quake3 Networking Model | accessdate = 2006-10-01]

"Quake 3" also integrated a relatively elaborate cheat-protection system called "pure server." Any client connecting to a pure server automatically has pure mode enabled, and while pure mode is enabled only files within data packs can be accessed. Clients are disconnected if their data packs fail one of several integrity checks. The cgame.qvm file, with its high potential for cheat-related modification, is subject to additional integrity checks.Fact|date=February 2007 Developers must manually deactivate pure server to test maps or mods that are not in data packs using the .pk3 file format. Later versions supplemented pure server with PunkBuster support, though all the hooks to it are absent from the source code release because PunkBuster is closed source software and including support for it in the source code release would have caused any redistributors/reusers of the code to violate the GPL. [cite web|url=http://ioquake3.org/?page=help|title = Ioquake3 Help Page| accessdate = 2007-02-17]

Virtual machine

"Quake 3" uses a virtual machine to control object behavior on the server, effects and prediction on the client and the user interface. This presents many advantages as mod authors do not need to worry about crashing the entire game with bad code, clients could show more advanced effects and game menus than was possible in "Quake II" and the user interface for mods was entirely customizable.

Virtual machine files are developed in ANSI C, using LCC to compile them to a 32-bit RISC pseudo-assembly format. A tool called "q3asm" then converts them to QVM files, which are multi-segmented files consisting of static data and instructions based on a reduced set of the input opcodes. Unless operations which require a specific endianness are used, a QVM file will run the same on any platform supported by "Quake 3."

The Virtual machine also contained bytecode compilers for the x86 and PowerPC architectures, executing QVM instructions as native code instead of via an interpreter.



"Q3A" comes with several gameplay modes:
* Free for All (FFA) – Classic deathmatch, where each player competes against the rest for the highest score.

* Team Deathmatch (TDM) - Team deathmatch, usually two teams of four compete for the highest team frag total.

* Tournament (1v1) - A deathmatch between two players, usually ending after a set time.

* Capture the Flag (CTF) - Team-based, played on symmetrical maps where teams have to recover the enemy flag from the opponents' base while retaining their own.

Single player

Unlike its predecessors, "Q3A" does not have a plot-based single-player campaign. Instead, it simulates the multiplayer experience with computer controlled players known as bots (see "Bots" below).

The game's story is brief - 'the greatest warriors of all time fight for the amusement of a race called the Vadrigar in the Arena Eternal.' Continuity with prior games in the "Quake series" and even "Doom" is maintained by the inclusion of player models related to those earlier games as well as biographical information included on characters in the manual,cite book | last = Connors | first = William W. | authorlink = | coauthors = Rivera, Mike; Orzel, Sylvia | title = Quake 3 Arena Manual | format = HTML] a familiar mixture of gothic and technological map architecture and specific equipment; for example, the Quad Damage power-up, the infamous rocket launcher and the BFG super-weapon.

In "Quake III Arena" the player progresses through tiers of maps, combating different bot characters that increase in difficulty from Crash, at Tier 0, to Xaero at Tier 7. While deathmatch maps are designed for up to 16 players, tournament maps are designed for duels between 2 players and in the single-player game could be considered as 'boss battles'.

The weapons are balanced by role, with each weapon having advantages in certain situations such as at long-range or fired around a corner; the BFG is an exception to this as a super-weapon. Weapon balance was achieved by examining earlier games in the series, "Quake" and "Quake II" as well as extensive play testing with well-known players such as Thresh. In the first "Quake" the rocket launcher was so effective that it dominated entire deathmatchesFact|date=February 2007 while the rocket launcher in "Quake II" so weak that it was sometimes ignored.Fact|date=October 2007 The rocket launcher in "Quake III" is effective but not overpowered, allowing it to be countered in many situations.Fact|date=October 2007

Weapons appear as level items, spawning at regular intervals in set locations on the map. If a player dies all their weapons are lost and they receive the spawn weapons for the current map, usually the gauntlet and machine gun. Players also drop the weapon they were using when killed, which other players can then pick up.


"Quake III Arena" was specifically designed for multiplayer, the game allows players whose computers are connected by a network or to the internet, to play against each other in real time. It uses a client-server architecture that requires all players' clients to connect to a server. Q3A's focus on multiplayer gameplay spawned a lively community, similar to "Quakeworld", that is active to this day.


Like its predecessors, "Quake" and "Quake II", "Quake III Arena" can be heavily modified, allowing the engine to be used for many different games. Mods range from small gameplay adjustments like "Rocket Arena 3" and "Orange Smoothie Productions" to total conversions such as "Smokin' Guns" and "DeFRaG". The source code's release has allowed total conversion mods such as "Tremulous", "World of Padman" and "Urban Terror" to evolve into standalone free games. Other mods like "Weapons Factory Arena" have moved to more modern commercial engines. "Challenge ProMode Arena" became the primary competitive mod for "Quake III" since the Cyberathlete Professional League announced CPMA as its basis for competition. CPMA includes alternative gameplays, including air-control, rebalanced weapons, instant weapon switching and additional jumping techniques.


"Quake III Arena" features an advanced AI with five difficulty levels which can accommodate both a beginner and an advanced player, though they usually do not pose a challenge to high-tier or competitive players.

Each bot has its own, often humorous, 'personality', expressed as scripted lines that are triggered to simulate real player chat. If the player were to type certain phrases the bots may respond, typing "You bore me" might cause one of the bots to reply "You should have been here 3 hours ago!". Each bot has a number of alternative lines to reduce the repetition of bot chatter.

The Gladiator bots from "Quake II" were ported to "Quake III" and incorporated into the game by its creator - Mr. Elusive. [ [http://members.cox.net/randar/review.html http://members.cox.net/randar/review.html] "Members.cox.net" ] Bot chat lines were written by R. A. Salvatore, Seven Swords and Steve Winter.Cite web
title=Quake III Arena Credits
] Xaero, the hardest opponent in the game, was based on the Gladiator bot Zero.Fact|date=February 2007

Competitive play

"Quake III Arena"'s multiplayer-focused development lead to it developing a large community of competitive players and like its predecessors it was used extensively in professional electronic sports tournaments.

In competitive "Quake III Arena" there are two distinct gameplays, often referred to as 'rulesets', the out-of-the-box "Quake III Arena" game, also known as vanilla "Quake 3" (VQ3), and the CPM ruleset of the "Challenge Pro Mode Arena" mod.

On July 26 2006, "Challenge Pro Mode Arena" with VQ3 gameplay was chosen by Cyberathlete Professional League as the mod of choice for their tournament, making it the standard competitive mod for "Quake III Arena". Previously, "Orange Smoothie Productions" was the most widely used tournament mod. [Cite web
title=CPL Chooses CPMA Mod, VQ3 Ruleset

Competitions and leagues

* Cyberathlete Amateur League
* Cyberathlete Professional League
* Electronic Sports World Cup
* QuakeCon
* World Cyber Games

"Note: Some of these events no longer support Quake 3."

See also

* Quake (series)
* id Tech 3
* Johnathan "fatal1ty" Wendel – professional gamer, who successfully competed in "Quake 3" tournaments
* OpenArena – free clone with "Quake 3" engine


External links

* [http://www.quake3arena.com/ Official game homepage]

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