Re: Quake map distribution: speed vs. legality

Alex R. Moon (
Sat, 20 Apr 1996 01:26:00 -0500 (EST)

Message-Id: <>
From: (Alex R. Moon)
Subject: Re: Quake map distribution: speed vs. legality
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 01:26:00 -0500 (EST)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Uffe Friis Lichtenberg" at Apr 20, 96 01:28:07 am

Uffe Friis Lichtenberg wrote:
> As I see it destributing a .bsp file does not necessarily infringe ids
> copyright, unless you include some of their textures. So what we need is
> to destribute a .bsp file without ids textures, that only needs to be
> preprocessed before use (ie. copy missing textures from id1.pak).
> I remember Carmack stating that all entries beginning with "_"
> (underscore) will be ignored by the quake engine. Therefore we could
> transport the texture information in such entries (or am I wrong?).

That was in reference to the .MAP files. I presume he meant that all entries
beginning with '_' would be filtered out by the qbsp/light/vis tools and not
show up in the .BSP file at all.

> Something _really_ smart would be to have the distributed .bsp file be a
> valid .bsp file, ready for play. Only before being preprocessed all
> surfaces would have the same texture! And this texture could simply be
> black with the inscription: "Don't play this level before running
> smartutil.exe on it..." or something similar!
> This way newbies could download their Quake levels, play them, and _not_
> have to ask in newsgroups or on IRC why the levels never work!
> (Cool: self-documenting and all ;)

I think the most compatible/efficient way to do this would be to fully compile
the BSP tree, but instead of having the full MIP texture data for copyrighted
textures, it would just have the texture name and either a 0x0 texture (no
texture data) or a dummy self-documenting texture like you describe above.
Then the end-user compiling utility would just go searching through that
user's other BSP files (or a WAD or whatever) for a texture with the same name
as a dummy texture in the target BSP. Viola, a complete level.

Alex R. Moon                | "A university is what a college become when the          |  faculty loses interest in students."   |                                     -- John Cardi