qbism Super8 Quake engine

Super8 is a Quake software-rendering client that can play almost all maps and mods that you might find on quaddicted.com. (I only know of two gargantuan maps that it will drop polygons on.)   The goal of Super8 is to play both old and new maps.  The engine expands the capabilities of authentic crunchy 8-bit rendering to play contemporary creations: epic environments, hundreds of monsters, fog, and colored-lighting. The source code is forked from Makaqu with enhancements from other open source Quake engine projects, plus a few original ideas.

Latest release and code:  https://github.com/qbism/super8

Discussion:  https://qbism.com  I also usually respond on insideqc, quakeone, and func_msg.


Update 1:  New video


Update 2:  A couple of screenshots

This shot of Arcane Dimensions map “Crucial”  by Maik Franz Xaver shows some of the features:

  • Fog.  AFAIK, this particular dithering method is unique.
  • Transparency
  • Extended map limits.
  • Scalable minimal HUD (although the classic HUD is still an option).
  • Skybox loaded directly from original TGA texture and converted to 8-bit on-the-fly.


The engine recently went through a “color overhaul”.  I was not concerned with color accuracy up to that point, but color was starting to look bad even to me on newer maps with fog, dramatic lighting, and high detail.  Dialing the colors back to normal gave a nice side-effect of improving color blending.  Fog and colored lighting are dithered (slightly randomized) to reduce harsh artifact edges.  We’re only dealing with 256 colors.  Below is a 2X enlargement of part of a screenshot that shows the desired effect – enough noise to hide lighting and fog boundaries, but not enough to destroy geometry detail.  The yellow streak is a transparent security laser in the foreground:



Shot from Locust in August! by Hrimfaxi, to be found in the Rubicon Rumble Pack.  Fullbrights shining through glass:



Update 3:  Another vid-



Plans for the expo-

Release a few action videos of classic mods or maps I’m finally getting around to playing. [done!]

Release an updated list of console commands.  [Boring, but done!]
Read it here: qbism Super8 Console Commands, Variables and Command Line Parameters

Release new palettes.  I wrote that somewhere, but didn’t happen.  [A small bugfix release is pending… maybe then.]

Make a nice home page [later…]


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.

New in the latest release, Build 282
Changes in this release: FIXES!
Fix EF_ROTATE in demos (rotating pickup items)
Fix nolerp list
Fix crosshair location in menu
Set nativeaspect for all modes (including windowed modes now)
Let lava be transparent? Heck yes.

Other relatively recent stuff
more accurate color rendition.

r_saturation – cvar for map colored lighting intensity.

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.

Improved overlapping transparencies – It will usually be possible to see translucent water through a translucent window, for example.

automatic unvised map detection (slightly glitchy) – 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.

Fixed dedicated server (I hope).

Add tab-completion to loadpalette and r_palette.

Cheats always allowed in single-player mode.


  1. Yeah I’m one of those people who, “occasionally” test in wine. I don’t use it every time, but I do use it and so far I’ve never had an issue in wine under Linux. As far as current, up to date software engines Super8 is my favorite.

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