Tech overview

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Revision as of 19:29, 16 April 2013 by Velociostrich (Talk | contribs) (What engine do we use?: Add some other Q3-based games to the list)

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This page provides an overview of the engine to give artists a basic understanding of how the engine works, with an emphasis of how the engine's capabilities affects their workflow.

General information

What engine do we use?

Unvanquished uses the Daemon engine, which is a fork of OpenWolf, which is a fork of ET:XreaL, which is in turn a fork of XreaL, which is in turn a fork of ioQuake3, which is in turn a fork of Quake 3. While you do not need to know all this, the important thing to take away is that if you find information about any of these engines, the same information probably also applies here.

The following games also use a Quake 3 derived engine for which mod tools are available:

  • Call of Duty
  • Call of Duty: United Offensive
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix
  • Tremulous
  • Urban Terror
  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

As such, information on these games may apply here as well.

It is important to note that in inheriting from XreaL, our engine has a modern rendering architecture. While not all features of this architecture are stable or fully implemented, you should keep this in mind when creating content. Polygon counts and texture sizes, for example, may be larger than if you were creating content for Quake 3.

How does the engine load data?

Data is stored in pk3 files, directories with a .pk3dir extension, or ordinary directories.

This is discussed in the Packaging game data page.


What model formats are supported?

The Daemon engine currently only supports the following:

Format Introduced in Supported techniques Exporter availability
Title Year
MD3 Quake 3 1999 Per-frame vertex animation
  • Milkshape 3d
  • Blender 2.4 or newer
PSK Unreal Tournament 2003 (Unreal Engine 2)1 2002 Bones with vertex weights
  • Maya2
  • 3ds Max2
  • SoftImage
MDC Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory 2003 Unsure Unsure
MD5 Doom 3 2004 Bones with vertex weights
  • Maya
  • 3ds Max
  • Blender 2.4 or newer
  1. Actually, America's Army 1.0 was the first title to be released using this format, as it used Unreal Engine 2 as well; it was released in June of that year, and Unreal Tournament 2003 in October.
  2. With the ActorX plugin.
  3. With a plugin provided by SoftImage.

However, we recommend that you use the MD5 format at this time.

Support for the IQM format has been planned, also see this.

Note that mappers may use other formats for static models, such as the ASE (ASCII Scene Export, not to be confused with Adobe's .ase format) and Wavefront Obj formats. A complete listing is available on the mapping page.

How do I get a model into the game?

Please see the exporting guide.

What sound formats are supported?

Sound file locations are dependent on the type of sound that is being added to the game. Some of these sounds are fixed whereas others are set by configuration files. Please see the Music and sounds page for more information.


What texture formats are supported?

Please see the Texture creation page for more information.