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Quake released as open-source

9.12.1999 - Blob

id has open-sourced the Quake 1 Source Code under the General Public License also Known as GPL. This includes WinQuake, GLQuake, QuakeWorld, and GLQuakeWorld. You can download it from id's ftp-server. Here's the q1source.txt that it's distributed with the package:

This is the complete source code for winquake, glquake, quakeworld, and

The projects have been tested with visual C++ 6.0, but masm is also required
to build the assembly language files. It is possible to change a #define and
build with only C code, but the software rendering versions lose almost half
its speed. The OpenGL versions will not be effected very much. The
gas2masm tool was created to allow us to use the same source for the dos,
linux, and windows versions, but I don't really recommend anyone mess
with the asm code.

The original dos version of Quake should also be buildable from these
sources, but we didn't bother trying.

The code is all licensed under the terms of the GPL (gnu public license).
You should read the entire license, but the gist of it is that you can do
anything you want with the code, including sell your new version. The catch
is that if you distribute new binary versions, you are required to make the
entire source code available for free to everyone.

Our previous code releases have been under licenses that preclude
commercial exploitation, but have no clause forcing sharing of source code.
There have been some unfortunate losses to the community as a result of
mod teams keeping their sources closed (and sometimes losing them). If
you are going to publicly release modified versions of this code, you must
also make source code available. I would encourage teams to even go a step
farther and investigate using public CVS servers for development where

The primary intent of this release is for entertainment and educational
purposes, but the GPL does allow commercial exploitation if you obey the
full license. If you want to do something commercial and you just can't bear
to have your source changes released, we could still negotiate a separate
license agreement (for $$$), but I would encourage you to just live with the

All of the Quake data files remain copyrighted and licensed under the
original terms, so you cannot redistribute data from the original game, but if
you do a true total conversion, you can create a standalone game based on
this code.

I will see about having the license changed on the shareware episode of
quake to allow it to be duplicated more freely (for linux distributions, for
example), but I can't give a timeframe for it. You can still download one of
the original quake demos and use that data with the code, but there are
restrictions on the redistribution of the demo data.

If you never actually bought a complete version of Quake, you might want
to rummage around in a local software bargain bin for one of the originals,
or perhaps find a copy of the "Quake: the offering" boxed set with both
mission packs.

Thanks to Dave "Zoid" Kirsh and Robert Duffy for doing the grunt work of
building this release.

John Carmack
Id Software

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