Quake II engine

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Quake II engine
A screenshot of Quake II
Developer(s) id Software, (John Carmack, John Cash, and Brian Hook)
Initial release December 9, 1997; 18 years ago (1997-12-09)
Stable release
3.21 / December 22, 2001; 14 years ago (2001-12-22)
Development status Discontinued
Written in C, x86 assembly (software rendering)
Operating system Windows, Mac OS 8, Linux
Platform PC, PowerPC Macintosh, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Amiga
Type Game engine
License GNU General Public License
Website www.idsoftware.com/business/idtech2/

The Quake II engine, later dubbed id Tech 2,[1] is a game engine developed by id Software for use in their 1997 first-person shooter Quake II.[2] It is the successor to the Quake engine. Since its release, the Quake II engine has been licensed for use in several other games.[3]

One of the engine's most notable features was out-of-the-box support for hardware-accelerated graphics, specifically OpenGL, along with the traditional software renderer.[3] Another interesting feature was the subdivision of some of the components into dynamic-link libraries. This allowed both software and OpenGL renderers, which were selected by loading and unloading separate libraries. Libraries were also used for the game logic, for two reasons:[citation needed]

  • id could release the source code to allow modifications while keeping the remainder of the engine proprietary.
  • Since they were compiled for specific platforms, instead of an interpreter, they could run faster than Quake's solution, which was to run the game logic (QuakeC) in a limited interpreter.

The level format, as with previous id Software engines, used binary space partitioning. The level environments were lit using lightmaps, a method in which light data for each surface is precalculated (this time, via a radiosity method) and stored as an image, which is then used to determine the lighting intensity each 3D model should receive, but not its direction.[citation needed]

id Software released the source code on 22 December 2001 under the terms of the GNU General Public License.[4]

Games using the Quake II engine[edit]

Games using a proprietary license[edit]

Games based on the GPL source release[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Carmack [ID_AA_Carmack] (2016-02-25). "@viciarg it was retroactively named, don't put much importance on it" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  2. ^ Grant, Christopher (2011-08-09). "id Software looking to shorten dev cycles, stop building new engines for every game". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on 2011-08-28. 
  3. ^ a b "Technology Licensing: id Tech 2". Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2008. 
  4. ^ DiBona, Chris (2011-12-22). "Quake 2 Source Code Released Under the GPL". Slashdot. Retrieved 2016-09-04. 

External links[edit]