Super8 Quake engine

qbism Super8 is a gritty software-rendering 3D engine on a GPL Quake source code chassis. Experience meta-nostalgic 8-bit graphics with unexpected modern features, like support for epic Big Maps. The project started as a fork of Makaqu 1.3 and later added enhancements from many other sources… plus a few unique features of it’s own.

Super8 was developed in Windows 7 and occasionally tested in Linux under Wine. Windows 10, 8, XP, and Vista are reported to run it by users.

Download the latest and possibly final Super8:
Unzip into your quake folder.

Console commands and more info at

map: Scampie, Map Jam 6


YouTube playlist:

The latest readme:

qbism Super8 build 288

The goal of Super8 is to expand the capabilities of authentic 8-bit rendering to play contemporary Quake maps: epic environments, hundreds of monsters, crunchy pixelated graphics. The source code is forked from Makaqu with enhancements from other open source Quake engine projects, plus a few original ideas.

Super8 is developed in Windows 7 and is occasionally tested in Linux under Wine. Windows 10, 8, XP, and Vista are reported to run it by users.

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback on the test builds from the color-overhaul experiments leading up to now!

New in build 288
Individual water, slime, and lava transparency like other modern engines. Console variables: r_wateralpha, r_slimealpha, r_lavaalpha

More video modes available. In the video menu, modes are listed in descending resolution, with high-res modes first. The menu is still limited to 40 modes shown, however, actual available is increased to 200. To see other modes type vid_describemodes in the console. Set vid_mode manually in the console to set a mode that doesn't fit in the menu.

Other relatively recent stuff
more accurate color rendition.

r_saturation - cvar for map colored lighting intensity.

Set nativeaspect for all modes (including windowed modes now)

pixel doubling - for extra chunkiness (and render speed) automatically generate pixel-doubled option for compatible video modes. These resolutions are listed with an 'S' in the video mode menu.

Resolution support up to 4K, but not fully tested.

cl_beams_quakepositionhack - cvar to turn off automatic centering of lighting bolts. For mods that want an off-center bolt effect.

Automatic unvised map detection thanks to Mark V source. If water was created opaque (like classic Quake maps) transparency is turned off. BUT to 'fake it', toggle r_novis and sv_novis cvars to 1.

r_novis - make water and similar textures transparent on old 'unvised' maps.

sv_novis - don't cull any items serverside. Normally the server culls most items that are hidden behind walls or opaque liquids.

Add tab-completion to loadpalette and r_palette.

Cheats always allowed in single-player mode.

Other somewhat less recent stuff
Gigantic bsp2 map support.

Alpha and fence textures.

Added cl_bobmodel cvar for side-to-side view model motion. Try values from 1 to 7 for variations, 0 for off. Simplified code from engoo, attributed to Sajt .

vid_nativeaspect cvar: By default, super8 will guess the native aspect from the maximum detected resolution. But if it looks wrong, set it manually with vid_nativeaspect.

Plug a few save vulnerabilities. A game can’t be saved as ‘pak0.pak’ for example.

Added help text to cvars. Type “chase_active” in the console for an example.

Added ‘status bar scale’ to video setup menu.

Added help text to cvars. Only a few are done so far. Type “chase_active” in the console for an example.

Moved super8 files to /super8 mod directory to reduce clutter. The engine will sandwich super8 between id1 and any other mod in precidence. If you have a previous version installed, pak88.pak and command_history.txt can be deleted from id1 dir. The readme and gnu3.txt can be removed from the main dir.

Added colored lighting for original ID levels to pak88 for convenience, “THE MH UNOFFICIAL 2009 ID1 LIT FILE PACK”. Thanks to mh for the definitive lits!

Statusbar, menu, and centerprint text scale based on screen resolution and sbar_scale cvar. sbar_scale is a factor of screen size, 0.0 to 1.0

sv_cullentities cvar – Reduces network traffic and cheat potential by culling entities that player can’t see. On by default.

Play mp3 music with “music” console command. Also music_stop, music_pause, music_loop. It should also play ogg but that’s untested so far. Control music volume from audio menu or bgmvolume cvar. Naming examples: ‘track01.mp3′, ‘track10.ogg’. Put tracks in /id/music/ directory, or a /music folder in a mod directory.

Freeze physics except players with cvar sv_freezephysics = 1. Requires sv_nocheats = 1. Stop action in the middle of a battle and look around.

The pak88.pak adds 21 bent palettes from Amon26. Thanks! Set includes amon26_pal01.lmp through amon26_pal21.lmp. Set “r_palette = amon26_pal21.lmp” prior to map load, or also hit “restart” if it’s after map load.

List of models not to lerp, torches and the like: r_nolerp_list

Start and stop demo record any time during gameplay.
Pgup and Pgdn keys fastforward and rewind demo during playback.
Video can be captured any time during gameplay or demo playback, including fastforward and rewind. Added these binds to make it handy:
bind F7 capture_start
bind F8 capture_stop

Smooth fisheye warping: r_fishaccel cvar. It is the change to zoom velocity per frame. For the Tormentarium video on youtube, the following binds zoom during demo playback:

alias +fishin “r_fishaccel -1.0?
alias -fishin “r_fishaccel 0.0?
alias +fishout “r_fishaccel 1.0?
alias -fishout “r_fishaccel 0.0?
bind HOME +fishin
bind END +fishout

Real 8-bit software graphics… right up to the point where it must begrudgingly convert it’s output to the actual color depth of your modern display card.
Plays most modern epic Quake maps that require enhanced engine limits and extensions.
“Big map” support: increased map coordinates from short to long, higher map limits, modified protocol, etc.
Physics and movement fixes for a smoother experience.
Colored static and dynamic lights. Reads standard .lit lighting files.
Effects like scorch marks (stainmaps), fog, transparent water and particles, and skymaps.
Skyboxes: Can load skyboxes in pcx format, or tga with automatic conversion to 8-bit textures.
Fog: Reads fog info from maps with fog, or set with “fog” console command.
Unique colored lighting support that doesn’t slow down the engine. Adust color strength with with r_clintensity.
Load custom palettes. Generates colormap, alphamap and additivemap tables on-the-fly. Set a default custom palette with r_palette.
High-resolution, automatically detects available modes.
Modernized to play nice with weird laptop screen resolutions and Windows XP/ Vista/ 7.
Record demos directly to xvid, mp4, divx, or other avi-compatible formats. Produce HD video recording suitable for Youtube.
Demo fastforward and rewind. “pageup” and “pagedown” by default.
Start and stop demo recording any time during a game.
Start and stop video recording any time during a game or demo playback.
Handy console helpers like autocomplete with the TAB key, including command line completion and map name completion.
Enter ‘map *’ and TAB to list all maps.
Enhanced console scrollback.
Fisheye mode! [Optimize me!]
Interpolated (smooth) model animation and movement.
MOVETYPE_FOLLOW and MOVETYPE_BOUNCEMISSILE implemented, gives modders more features.
Many DP extensions supported including: drawonlytoclient, nodrawtoclient, exteriormodeltoclient, sv_modelflags_as_effects.
Fixed SV_TouchLinks and various other devious old bugs.
Search code for //qbism and see qbS8src/docs for more.

//Example binds for video capture start/stop, works any time during gameplay or demo playback!
bind F7 capture_start
bind F8 capture_stop

Code credits
Forked from Makaqu programmed by Manoel Kasimier
ToChriS Quake by Victor Luchitz
engoo by Leilei
enhanced WinQuake by Bengt Jardrup
FitzQuake Mark V port by Baker
joequake engine by Jozsef Szalontai
qrack engine coded by R00k
fteqw engine by Spike and FTE Team
FitzQuake coded by John Fitz
fisheye code from Aardappel
Fixes and cleanup by Levent
DarkPlaces engine by Lord Havoc
GoldQuake engine by Sajt
Tutorials by MH, Baker, Kryten ( and Fett, JTR (
Quake Standards Base reference