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1. Introduction

1.1 Recording and Playback

Recording a game in Quake is as easy as playing it: you need some console commands to do it well.

To create a single player DEM file start the game as usual and use the console command record name level [cdtrack]. This starts level with the currently selected skill and writes a record in name.dem. The recording will be written during all the play and this record file may grow unpredictable. Please make sure that you have some MB free disk space. To stop this recording use stop or even quit the whole game (quit). To play it back, use the commands playdemo name or timedemo name.

To create a multi player DEM file start a ``listen'' server (recording from a dedicated server doesn't work) and use again the record command. This starts the selected level and the player at the server is alone in this level. Now all the other clients can connect to the server as usual and play what they like (deathmatch or team). The recording lasts until the player at the listen server uses the disconnect, stop or quit command. The recording is from the point of view of the player at the listen server (client 1). The playback works as in the single player case.

1.2 Versions

The documentation covers the following versions of Quake:

MS-DOS Shareware 0.91
MS-DOS Shareware 0.92
MS-DOS Shareware 1.00
MS-DOS Shareware 1.01
LINUX 0.92
I could not find any important structural differences between these 5 versions. I actually write and check my documentation with LINUX and verify from time to time the MS-DOS recordings.

This documentation isn't complete yet. Much decoding work remains to do (when I find the registered version in the mail) but I think this version it will help a lot in the understanding of the DEM format.

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