QuakeC is an interpreted language developed in 1996 by John Carmack of id Software to program parts of the computer game Quake. Using QuakeC, a programmer is able to customize Quake to great extents by adding weapons, changing game logic and physics, and programming complex scenarios. It can be used to control many aspects of the game itself, such as parts of the AI, triggers, or changes in the level. The Quake engine was the only game engine to use QuakeC. Following engines used DLL game modules for customization written in C and C++ from idtech 4 on.
The QuakeC source to the original id Software Quake game logic was published in 1996 and used as the basis for modifications like capture the flag and others. QuakeC source code is compiled using a tool called qcc into a bytecode kept in a file called progs.dat. The programmers of Quake modifications could then publish their progs.dat bytecode without revealing their source code. Most Quake mods were published this way.
QuakeC allowed the Quake engine to dominate the direction of the first-person shooter genre. Thanks to Carmack's idea of extending computer game life by adding unlimited expandability (extensibility already played a big role in Doom), an enormous Internet community of gamers and programmers alike has arisen and many modern multiplayer games are extensible in some form.
The syntax of QuakeC is based on that of the C programming language, explaining its name, but it does not support the implementation of new types, structures, arrays, or any kind of referencing other than the "entity" type (which is always a reference). QuakeC also suffers from the fact that many built-in functions (functions prototyped in the QuakeC code but actually defined within the game engine and written in C) return strings in a temporary string buffer, which can only hold one string at any given time. In other words, a construct such as
will fail because the second call to ftos (which converts a floating-point value to a string) overwrites the string returned by the first call before SomeFunction can do something with it. Other prominent examples of these quirks include the fact that QuakeC does not contain any string handling functions or file handling functions, which were simply not needed by the original game.
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