Cave Quake II: The Bat Cave or the Fear Cave?

Cave Quake II: The Bat Cave or the Fear Cave?

CAVE QUAKE II is an adaptation of the popular PC game Quake2 for the CAVE, the world’s best virtual reality platform! The demo is not a true Quake2 client, but it is quite playable and shows how compelling a game becomes with life-sized stereo graphics! It also demonstrates the advantages of head-tracked perspective. If you want to look down, look down! If you want to crouch, crouch! You can peek around corners simply by moving your head! The input device (called a wand) is also tracked. From your perspective, the gun appears where the wand is and has the correct orientation. All you do is point where you want to shoot and press a button!

The Cave Guide:

Here’s a little bit about how it was done:

I improved the pfQuake2 loaders by Rick Weyrauch and made them work with the pfCAVE library. As a result, I had the geometry and animations for the levels and the monsters. I then wrote the actual CAVE game engine from scratch. This involved implementing user navigation, collision detection, gravity, ai for the monsters, gun-fire, synchronized sound effects, networking for deathmatch, etc. Basically, the loaders gave me the geometry from the PC game, but I had to add behavior to the geometry and implement user interaction. The CAVE’s head-tracked perspective made for some interesting implementation challenges not found in regular game programming. In addition, the CAVE is a multiprocessor system which brings up other programming issues related to shared memory, synchronization, etc.

Questions/comments? Send me an email: paul.rajlich /at/ to popular belief, there is no such a thing as too much email. :-)

Digital Camera Pics taken by Bill Sherman and Albert Khakshour

Pics of me playing in the CAVE. The CAVE is a million dollar projection-based VR system that provides real-time head-tracked perspective with a large field of view, interactive control, and stereo display. It’s a 10x10x10 foot “cube” with images projected onto 3 walls and the floor.

From my perspective, the gun appears where the wand is (in my right hand). The graphics are life-sized and stereo!  Note: these pics do not do the CAVE justice. All I can say is that you have to see it! The first time I saw the CAVE back in ’96, it floored me! I’ve been in love ever since…

Berserk coming after me.  When you are in the CAVE wearing your glasses and a berserk swings at you, his arm comes way out at you! It’s hard not to flinch. :-)

Me battling the huge tank monster.  There’s something to be said for seeing this guy life-sized. :-)

NCSA CAVE with the lights on. Our CAVE is the second oldest in the world, so the physical setup is rather clumsy. However, we have a brand new machine to run it, so the performance is good. The machine (SGI Onyx2 realityMonster) has twelve processors and four $100,000 graphics cards!


Video still. For more check out this YouTube video:

Illustration: Here’s a nice rendering of our CAVE by Yasmin Khan. I added the Berserk. :-)

Visitors to the Quake II Cave

Over the last couple of years, I have shown CAVE QUAKE II to a lot of people. If you are ever in this area (central Illinois) and you want a demo, let me know.

Here are a few of the people that have seen it:

Mike Kulas and Volition Inc. – the makers of Descent: FreeSpace.

Ed Boon – creator of Mortal Kombat.

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn saw it!

Tomlinson Holman – mr. THX .

Steven Lisberger – director of Tron.

Mike Abrash – developer of Quake!

Big CAVE Shootout Night: Ars Electronica 2001

“Get armed and ready!” One night long, “QUAKE II” in the CAVE at Ars Electronica Center. Source: Sabine Starmayr

GameSpot’s Cave Quake II Q and A, by Bruce Geryk and Dan Maronn


Many people once believed that virtual reality would become the ultimate gaming platform. Players would immerse themselves in a life-sized, fully 3D environment, where they could interact with other people and objects, and initiate realistic games. And many have imagined using Star Trek’s holodeck – a place where crew members enter a simulation to engage Klingons in hand-to-hand combat training or play all kinds of sports. Recently, an X-Files episode called “First-Person Shooter” featured a VR-game storyline complete with an action game’s big-barreled guns, tanks, and plenty of shooting. In the episode, Mulder became trapped with digital foes until Scully rescued him with… a machine gun. Although these images of virtual reality pervade our pop culture, the implementation of VR is still the stuff of dreams. However, that is not to say that engineers shouldn’t try to pursue the ultimate, despite prohibitive costs. Computer and game technologies – specifically stunning 3D-accelerated graphics – have greatly and rapidly improved. Thus, the possibility that developers may be able to port popular computer games to a fledgling virtual-reality platform is not so distant.

The research into virtual environments has already begun. For example, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently built a facility called the Beckman Institute to house and encourage interdisciplinary research. When high-tech and science collide, it’s often hard to predict the result. One of the virtual-environment projects in development at this new facility is nothing less than the world’s most powerful gaming platform. Curious about the state of VR gaming, GameSpot talked with Paul Rajlich, a research programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, which occupies space in the Beckman Institute. Rajlich took the computing power at his disposal and in his spare time ported a virtual-reality version of Quake II to this system.

GameSpot: What is the NCSA?

Paul Rajlich: The NCSA is the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. It’s an NSF (National Science Foundation)-funded center affiliated with the University of Illinois. We run one of the largest academic supercomputers and provide cycles for researchers around the world. In addition to maintaining the hardware and trying out new experimental architectures, a large part of NCSA’s mission is developing applications. These applications allow users to make efficient use of our facilities. The application that NCSA is probably best known for is Mosaic. Mosaic was the first Web browser.

GS: What do you do?

PR: I’m a research programmer for the Visualization and Virtual Environments team at NCSA. My job is to help scientists understand their data. A lot of these simulations that run on the supercomputers generate enormous amounts of data. The only way to be able to comprehend the data is to visualize it. This means that the data is mapped, or transformed, to graphics. How this is done is a whole field in and of itself, called “visualization.” You have to choose appropriate representations that allow you to see what you are looking for in your data. One form of visualization that everybody is familiar with are the weather visualizations on TV newscasts.

GS: So what exactly is the CAVE? What can it do?

PR: Luckily, I get to develop my applications with the best graphics platform in the world! Since the supercomputers generate so much data, I use a graphics supercomputer to visualize it. The CAVE is a million-dollar, state-of-the-art virtual-reality system. Imagine a room where the walls are display surfaces, including the floor beneath your feet. Everywhere you look there are high-resolution graphics. You wear LCD stereo shutter glasses that make the graphical objects appear all around you. It’s similar to a 3D IMAX movie except that it’s not a movie. It is completely interactive and responds to you in real time.

Not only do you have stereo graphics, you also have head-tracked perspective. This means that the system knows exactly where your head is and in which direction you are looking. It draws the virtual world from your perspective in real time. This means that you can interact with the graphics just like you interact with the real world. You don’t have to press keys to move your viewpoint around like in a regular 3D computer application. You can use your natural movements. If you want to look under something, look under it. If you want to look around something, look around it. The ability to move your head and change perspective is what really makes the CAVE virtual reality rather than just large, stereo graphics.

Head-tracked perspective also gives you a depth cue called motion parallax. Studies have shown that motion parallax is more important for depth perception than stereo. In fact, a significant portion of the general population – 20 percent, I believe – cannot even fuse stereogram images. You use motion parallax every day. When you move your head, objects that are close to you move more in your visual field than objects farther away.

GS: That sounds like a very high-powered system. How much does it cost?

PR: A CAVE costs more than a million dollars. Our CAVE is powered by an SGI Onyx2 RealityMonster. This is a top-of-the-line graphics supercomputer. Ours has 12 processors, 9GB of RAM, and four InfiniteReality2 graphics cards that cost $100,000 each. Imagine a graphics card bigger than your PC’s motherboard. SGI is a pioneer in hardware-accelerated graphics. You may not have heard of it because its hardware is so expensive and is mostly used for movie special effects and high-end systems like the CAVE. However, SGI developed a lot of the hardware and software that have enabled 3D graphics for PCs – for instance, OpenGL. Most of the inexpensive PC graphics cards have drivers that accelerate a subset of OpenGL, primarily the parts needed for gaming. SGI machines are really the only machines that implement all of OpenGL correctly. They are great to work with, especially since there are no driver issues to worry about. The systems are built around OpenGL.

Although the CAVE is powered by an SGI machine, the CAVE itself was developed at the Electronic Visualization Lab (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. That’s where the first CAVE was built. We at NCSA have the second oldest CAVE. There are now more than 40 CAVEs worldwide.

Now, let me tell you: The pictures in this interview don’t do the CAVE justice. You have to see it for yourself to believe it. The first time I saw the CAVE was in 1996, and it floored me. I’ve been in love ever since.

GS: I assume this wasn’t all built just for games. How is the CAVE used normally?

PR: As I mentioned earlier, we primarily use the CAVE for scientific visualization. Typically, the scenario is that a research scientist has generated a huge amount of data with a supercomputer run and now wants to interpret that data. Members of our group will help that scientist look at the data in the CAVE. We write a custom application for the scientist that lets the scientist interactively explore the data through graphics.

A couple of other uses of the CAVE are virtual prototyping and architectural walkabouts. Imagine that you are designing a car. Rather than building a full-scale model, which is very expensive, you can look at the car in the CAVE. You can literally walk around it in a circle and see it from all sides. You can even go inside and see the view from the driver’s seat. Architectural walkabouts are similar. Imagine that you are an architect. Rather than build a small-scale model of your building, why not walk through it in the CAVE and see it as it will look life-size before it is ever built. One of the great things about virtual reality is that, since it is virtual, you can easily change the scale. You can become a giant, or you can become a mouse. You can explore the universe, or you can go inside an atom.

GS: How did you get the idea to re-create a computer game for the CAVE?

PR: The first thing that I thought when I saw the CAVE was, this is the ultimate gaming platform! I knew somebody had to do it, so why not me? Really, there are several reasons why I decided to do it. Today’s games have very rich environments. We CAVE developers don’t have the resources or the time to develop the same level of artwork for our CAVE applications. I knew that if I took one of the rich worlds from a game, it would really show off the potential of the CAVE. Also, I knew that if I re-created a PC game, then it would be a familiar environment. People who would come to visit would see something that they have seen before, but from a brand-new perspective. It would show them the potential of VR.

GS: Why choose Quake II?

PR: The first CAVE program that I made was actually CAVE Doom. I wrote it as a grad student. It was a semester project for a VR class. In the end, the user could walk though the Doom levels from the first episode. I did add monsters and a rocket launcher. However, since these objects were actually sprites in the real game, I had to make my own 3D models for them. As you can imagine, they looked really cheesy. Hey, I’m a programmer, not a modeler!

After the CAVE DOOM project, I worked as a research assistant. Then I graduated and became a full-time staffer at NCSA. The CAVE Doom demo was popular, and I showed it to a lot of people. Then my younger brother Luke came to visit. His reaction was, “This is cool! But Quake would be better!” I agreed.

GS: How did you do it?

PR: I wrote the game engine using Performer, which is an SGI scenegraph API built on top of OpenGL. There were two main reasons for doing this. First, I wanted to learn Performer. Second, Rick Weyrauch from Paradigm Simulation had already done some work loading Quake II files into the Performer format.

I took his loaders, improved them, and made them work with the CAVE library. The CAVE library allows you to develop CAVE applications more easily. With the loaders I was able to load Quake II models and look at them in the CAVE.

Next, I started working on the game engine. Essentially, I had taken the data from the real game, but I wrote the game engine from scratch. The reason why I did this is that the interaction in the CAVE is fundamentally different than a regular game interface. Even if I had the real engine to work with, much of it would probably have to be rewritten for the CAVE. For instance, in CAVE QUAKE II, you can point the gun independently of where you are looking at, much like in real life.

The resulting CAVE demo is not a real Quake II client. Nevertheless, it shows what Quake II would look like in the CAVE. It demonstrates the advantages of a head-tracked perspective. If you want to look down, look down. If you want to crouch, crouch. You can peek around corners just by moving your head. The input device, which is called a “wand,” is also tracked. From your perspective, the gun appears where the wand is and has the correct orientation. All you have to do is point where you want to shoot and press a button.

GS: How long did programming take?

PR: It took me about three months in my free time to get the basic engine running. However, I’ve been adding more and more features to the engine ever since. Now you can play either single-player or one-on-one deathmatch against [someone in] another CAVE.

GS: How was it different than regular game programming?

PR: In some ways, CAVE programming is similar to regular game programming. The graphics part of it is the same as a regular 3D game. The only difference is that instead of rendering one view per frame, you render eight large views that are set according to the tracker information. This is part of the reason why you need serious graphics power. Both of your eyes are drawing four walls (eight views) – that and each wall runs at full resolution, 1280 by 1024.

However, there are some implementation challenges that you won’t find in regular game programming. For example, the head-tracked perspective makes collision detection interesting. If there is an object in the middle of the CAVE, like a wall for instance, you cannot physically prevent the user from walking through the object. It isn’t real. Instead, as the user walks forward toward the object, you push the whole virtual world away from the user. Therefore, the object remains in front of the user. Think about it.

Also, the CAVE is a multiprocessor system, which brings up a bunch of other programming issues related to shared memory and synchronization.

GS: Who in the game industry has come to see CAVE Quake II, and what did they think?

PR: I’ve had the chance to show the demo to many people, including gaming legends like Mike Kulas (of Descent fame and president of Volition), Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat), and Mike Abrash (Quake I). Their reaction was very positive. I remember that Ed Boon was kneeling down close to a virtual ledge. He accidentally fell off, and it scared him. He fell over on the floor and was laughing. Mike Kulas came back two more times. Once, he brought his entire company, Volition, with him to see it. He came again when I showed it to Abrash.

In general, everybody loves it. Most of the CAVE sites in the world are running the demo. There’s something to be said for seeing the monsters from Quake II life-size. A tank monster is a lot more intimidating when he is standing right in front of you, and your head is barely above his waist!

The deathmatch is awesome! Imagine a rocket that flies right into your face. It’s hard not to flinch. I’ve seen older people trying to dodge bullets – it’s pretty funny….

GS: Does John Carmack know about CAVE Quake II?

I’m pretty sure he knows about it, but I haven’t heard from him. Both Kulas and Abrash are friends of his, but I don’t know if they have told him about it or not. I do know that there have been a number of page requests to my site from id Software, and I have exchanged e-mails with Paul Steed.

GS: Have you done any other game-related VR stuff with the CAVE?

PR: Yes. Mike Kulas was so impressed that he gave me some material from an early version of Volition’s upcoming RPG Summoner. I spent a couple of days making a simple CAVE program that allows you to walk through a level from the game. The level is called Wolong. It is an Asian village and shows off some of the great artwork that is going into this game. Some of the artists from Volition came to see it awhile back and had fun with it.

GS: What can VR do for gaming? What can gaming do for VR?

PR: Virtual Reality is an interdisciplinary field. It combines hardware, software, as well as human-factor studies and the psychology of human perception. I believe that VR research can provide the technology and insight to help make games become more immersive and real.

At the same time, gaming can greatly help VR. It can help generate content for VR. Right now, who (other than myself) wants to develop games for a platform that can only be used in a few locations around the world? As I mentioned before, those of us who develop applications for VR usually don’t have the resources or the time to create worlds that are as compelling as the worlds seen in today’s games.

GS: This all sounds like something I’d want in my house someday. When will VR become affordable? When will gaming and VR come together?

PR: In order for gaming and VR to come together, VR is going to have to become a lot cheaper and more robust. I don’t think that is too far away. Basically, here at NCSA, we pay millions of dollars just to be a few years ahead of the technology curve. Essentially, we are able to see the future. As William Gibson said, “The future is here… it just isn’t evenly distributed.”

Specifically, I think that a CAVE-like system for entertainment can be a lot cheaper even today. For the work I do for NCSA, where I am dealing with a lot of data, and I need lots of computing power, lots of input-output bandwidth, and the ability to render massive amounts of geometry, I need an SGI Onyx2. Hardware-geometry acceleration has just arrived on the PC scene. Give a GeForce 256 a million triangles to draw and watch it die. However, for gaming applications, the emphasis is on texturing. The newest PC graphics cards can already compete with the high-end SGI boards when it comes to filling.

So, I think that a reasonable CAVE-like system for gaming is not that far away. In fact, I’m involved in a start-up called VisBox, which is looking into this sort of thing. That is all I’m going to say right now, but you can expect more to come in the future. Virtual Reality Check  by Andrew Freiburghouse, 04.02.01

Up close and personal with the world’s best head trip.

I creep along the yellow stone floors of a deserted castle, clutching a huge gun. An eight-foot steel-fisted villain slams into me, knocking my head off. Startled, I have the sensation of falling, of dropping dead-but I’m not scared or deceived. In fact, I smile.

With my 3D glasses and a joystick for a gun, I’m stepping gingerly inside a 10-by-10-by-9-foot cube called a CAVE (for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment). A supercomputer hums in the background. Call it the world’s most expensive video game.

At about $1 million apiece, a well-equipped CAVE is no playground. Some 60 to 75 CAVE-like environments have been built, most of them at labs like GM, for car design, or Sandia National Laboratories, for a counterterrorist training program.

“As it stands now, VR [virtual reality] is more or less a practical field of study,” says Paul Rajlich, who heads Visbox, a VR startup. “A company wants to design a product quicker or cheaper, a scientist wants to see a molecule in 3D, things like that.”

As a graduate student, Rajlich was interested in combining virtual reality with the rich graphics of computer games. He designed CAVE Quake II in his spare time at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. CAVE Quake II, which has been installed in about 30 CAVEs, is considered by many people to be the world’s best virtual reality game.

Eventually, experts say we’ll have true virtual reality, like the stuff in the movies. “It’s not a matter of if but when,” explains Linda Jacobson, virtual reality evangelist at SGI, the company that makes the Onyx2 CAVE supercomputer. Haptic feedback suits, she says, someday may be able to convey feelings like heat, cold, and pain to the human body. The Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington and companies such as Microvision are developing retinal display technology that flashes images directly onto the eye.

With CAVE Quake II, you get a glimpse of what lies ahead. Rajlich believes today’s high-end virtual reality will become less expensive and available to most people in five to 10 years.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Computer Science Newsletter, Spring 1999

Paul Rajlich: Wow–It’s QUAKE in VR!

Paul Rajlich, BS’95, MS’98, is the son of two computer scientists. His father, Vaclav, worked for the Research Institute for Mathematical Machines in Prague. His mother worked at Metroproject on one of the earliest computers in Czechoslovakia, where she did finite-element analysis of the heat dissipated by the Prague subway. Rajlich’s family escaped to the U.S. from the communist regime when Paul was a child, settling in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Vaclav is now a computer science professor at Wayne State University. So, computers were always around the Rajlich household.

Paul Rajlich wrote his first programs—games—in Basic, for the TI99/4A, a 450 bps machine that used audio cassette tapes to store data. In junior high school, he wrote a game called Lasertron for the IBM PC, which he has reincarnated in Java. More than 50,000 people have downloaded it from his home page during the last year, and it won the Editor’s Choice award from, a Web site for kids.

Rajlich came to Illinois on the strength of its computer science programs and stayed for both BS and MS degrees. As a grad student, Rajlich took CS 497, a course in virtual environments taught by Polly Baker, head of the visualization and virtual environments team and associate director of NCSA. This was the class that introduced him to the CAVE™, and Rajlich wrote CAVE DOOM as his class project. Rajlich wrote his thesis, “An Object Oriented Approach to Developing Visualization Tools Portable Across Desktop and Virtual Environments,” while working for Baker as a research assistant. Because CAVE applications are usually developed specifically for the CAVE and because they are not easily transferred, Rajlich designed a tool whose objects could be shared by both the CAVE and desktop.

After earning his MS, Rajlich joined Baker’s group as a research programmer, where he is currently helping the Radio Astronomy Imaging Group visualize its data. In the spring, he will be working on RiverWeb. A consortium, including NCSA, will use advanced computer technology in museum exhibits devoted to the Mississippi River’s physical and biological systems.

One of the things Rajlich likes about working for NCSA is the freedom to go in other directions in his spare time. (Indeed, this is how Mosaic was born.) This freedom led to Rajlich’s current claim to fame: CAVE QUAKE II—an compelling adaptation for the CAVE of the popular combat-action game Quake. (Quake is the phenomenally successful computer game, written by id Software’s John Carmack and Michael Abrash, that followed Doom.)

You can download CAVE QUAKE II from Paul’s home page, but you’ll need a CAVE in which to play it! Rajlich lives in Urbana with his wife, Cynthia, BS Kinesiology’96, and their son Michael Jacob, born in October 1998.

In his words, here’s the story of Rajlich and CAVE QUAKE II:

My youngest brother Luke came to visit, and I showed him the CAVE and my CAVE DOOM. His reaction was “Wow! This is cool. But Quake would be better!” Around the same time, Rick Weyrauch from Paradigm Simulation Inc. had done some work loading data from the Quake II formats into an SGI-friendly format (Performer). He had done the tedious job of interpreting the Quake II specification, and I saw a wonderful opportunity. I took his loaders, improved them, and made them work with the CAVE library. This allowed me to load Quake II geometry into the CAVE.

Next, I started working on the game engine from scratch. This included implementing user navigation, collision detection, gravity, gunfire, AI for the monsters, synchronized sound effects, etc. Basically, the loaders gave me the geometry from the PC game, but I had to add behavior to the geometry and implement user interaction. The resulting demo is not a true Quake II client, but it is quite playable and shows how cool Quake II would look in the CAVE. It demonstrates the advantages of head-tracked perspective. If you want to look down, look down. If you want to crouch, crouch. You can even get on the floor and peek around corners. The input device (called a wand) is also tracked. From your perspective, the gun appears where the wand is and has the correct orientation. All you do is point where you want to shoot and press a button.

CAVE QUAKE II is a very popular CAVE demo and it’s great for showing off CAVE technology. You show people a familiar environment but from a brand new perspective. I’ve distributed copies to CAVE sites around the world, including the Center for Parallel Computers in Sweden, which recently built the first six-wall CAVE.

Right now, there are 20 or so full-blown CAVEs in the world. In addition, there are as many as 80 lower end systems called ImmersaDesks that run the same software. However, the Idesks are not as immersive, so it’s not quite the same experience. If current PC graphics card trends continue, then CAVE-like technology will become much cheaper in the next several years. About 75 percent of the cost of the CAVE is the computer that runs it. Our CAVE is powered by a SGI Onyx2 that has four $100,000 InfiniteReality graphics cards. When the technology becomes significantly cheaper, then hopefully gaming and VR will come together. I’d really like to be a part of it and see it happen.

What is the CAVE?

The CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) is a projection-based virtual reality system that provides real-time, head-tracked perspective with a large angle of view, interactive control, and stereo display. It’s a 10x10x9 foot “cube” with images projected onto three walls and the floor. The stereo effect is achieved using LCD shutter glasses that are synchronized with the graphics. The head tracking is achieved with an Ascension Flock of Birds electromagnetic, six-degree-of-freedom tracking system. The tracker senses a tethered electromagnetic sensor that is mounted on the user’s glasses. A second electromagnetic sensor is attached to a device called the wand. The wand is the primary input device and can be thought of as a 3D equivalent of a mouse. The CAVE allows multiple people to share a high-resolution, immersive experience. It was designed to overcome many of the limitations associated with single-user Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). HMDs make use of small screens that move with the viewer, close to the viewer’s eyes. With these systems, small tracking errors become much more significant than with the large, fixed screens found in a CAVE. In addition, the small screens are at a much lower resolution. The CAVE was developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It premiered at the SIGGRAPH ’92 conference.



1) Edit run script to reflect the base directory of CAVE QUAKE II on your system.

2) For audio, edit .aud file in src/AUD to reflect the base directory.

3) For audio, run vss version 3.1 (vss version 2.2 can also be used)

New for version 5.2:


1) Support for compiling with newer versions of Performer

New for version 5.1:


1) Source code is provided

2) Compiles with both CAVElib ( and BOXlib (

3) Compiles under IRIX and Linux

4) Deathmatch code removed – the networking was based on the original version of CAVERNsoft which would be hard to find let alone compile.

New for version 5.0:


1) Support for door, platform, and rotating models. These make the maps a lot more interesting. In previous versions of CAVE QUAKE II, doors were removed and platforms did not move.

2) Collision detection is rock solid now.

3) Improved performance

New for version 4.3:


1) Ability to load custom maps. Put any Quake2 map in src/maps and name it custom.bsp (or make a soft link). In the run script, set the third commandline argument to 6. Uncomment the line with PFNFYLEVEL in it. This will let you know if any textures are missing when the map loads. If textures are missing, copy them to the appropriate directories (e1u1, e1u2, …)

2) Added the Id deathmatch maps q2dm1 (The Edge) and q2dm8 (Warehouse) to the distribution. You can try one of these by setting the third commandline argument to 6.

2) Included Performer font with distribution. Before, systems without Performer wouldn’t show stats since the font couldn’t be loaded.

New for version 4.2:


1) Improved rendering of transparent objects. Water looks better and now there are windows!

2) Added visual pain cue. Screens flash red when you are hit. This is especially useful if you are running without audio. To disable: setenv CAVE_QUAKE_VPAIN off

3) Minor bug fix. Before, it was possible to get duplication of health and armor items.

4) Made it so that when you are in deathmatch mode, one of the players cannot go on to another level.

5) Less text output. Note: if CAVE QUAKE II is installed on your system and individual users want to customize their settings, they should copy the run script to their home directory and edit it.

New for version 4.1:


1) Fixed a deathmatch networking flaw. Before, if one system was significantly faster than the other it introduced some bad gameplay effects. Thanks to Kevin Curry for the deathmatch that revealed this problem. :)

2) Made it easier to start deathmatch. As soon as the second player connects the game automatically goes into deathmatch mode.

3) Reset button works properly in deathmatch now.

4) CAVE QUAKE II now cleans up its CAVERNsoft threads even if it exits abnormally. Thanks to Stuart Levy for the tip.

5) Added a navigation scheme for those that do not have a joystick on their wand. To enable this scheme, add this line to your run script: setenv CAVE_QUAKE_JOYSTICK off Navigation speed is based on the distance of the wand from your body. Rotation is based on wand orientation. When using this scheme, the regular navigation choice during the intro will be ignored.

New for version 4.0:


1) Reduced sound distortion. This used to happen frequently when many monsters were attacking you at once.

2) I’ve modified weapon damage, firing rates, and projectile speeds based on official Quake2 stats.

3) Added audio chat tool. The tool is based on CAVERNsoft and runs seperately from CAVE QUAKE II. Part of the reason is that I’m concerned about audio feedback. You may need to use a headset microphone. If you want to test it out, look in the chat directory. To run between two machines “foo” and “slop”, type “runChat” on foo and “runChat foo” on slop. Make sure that both your input and output sample rates are the same as your vss2.2 server (usually 32kHz). Thanks to Jason Leigh and Nikita Sawant for this tool!

4) Added armor and health items! Health packs add 25 health points up to a maximum of 100 points. Armor adds 50 armor points up to a max of 100 points. When you have armor, 60% of damage is taken by the armor until it is depleted.

5) Respawn pads. Only used during deathmatch. Makes deathmatch a lot more interesting. When you die you reappear elsewhere in the level.

6) Implemented strafing. To Strafe, roll wand left or right past 30 degrees. Strafing allows you to move laterally while keeping your gun pointed at your opponent. This is key in deathmatch… Note: strafing speed ramps between 30 to 60 degrees. After 60 degrees, speed is at its max. To disable strafing, add this line to your run script(s): setenv CAVE_QUAKE_STRAFE off

7) You can now choose among 4 different characters to represent yourself in deathmatch. The character that you see during the intro is you. Press right button to switch between the different characters. In single-player mode, the only effect will be that different sound files are used.

8) Animated weapons. I got a lot of crap from people about the weapon not moving with the character during the intro. This also applies to your opponent during deathmatch.

9) Reset button. This was suggested by several people. If you find yourself in a bad situation :), hold all 3 wand buttons and you will go to the beginning of the current level. You can also use the ‘r’ key on the keyboard.

New for version 3.2:


1) Balanced the weapons by replacing the blaster with a hyper-blaster.

2) Brightened stats and improved frag counter.

3) Added two different ways to “salute” your opponent during deathmatch. For a “military” salute, bring the wand close to your glasses. For a rather rude salute, do the same while holding down the middle wand button.

4) Changed the “rotate by wand orientation” form of navigation. You rotate only when you are moving. This allows you to stand still and shoot off center without rotating.

5) Added two extra, 3rd party maps. These maps are numbered 4 and 5. They are primarily intended for deathmatch but they can also be used in single-player mode. Map 4 is a wide open area and map 5 is a more confined space. Both maps are less detailed than the 3 base maps and so there’s better performance. Neither is connected to any other map, so to get to one of these maps, you must specify it on the commandline. NOTE: for deathmatch, make sure you and your opponent are on the same map!

New for version 3.1:


Thanks CAVE QUAKE II 3.0 users for your feedback. The new features are:

1) Found a way to brighten the maps without washing out the detail by applying a gamma correction to the textures but leaving the lightmaps alone. Makes a huge difference! You can vary the gamma correction using a commandline argument.

2) Improved collision detection.

3) Deathmatch improvements including audio cue to signal that somebody has connected to you for DM and a frag counter. Frag counter displays when you die. Also, opponent’s gun is no longer completely independent of his body. He faces the direction in which he is shooting for a more realistic look. Before, he could appear to be looking away but have his gun pointing at you.

New for version 3.0:


Uses CAVERNsoft 2.3 (sproc version) for deathmatch. No more pthread problems! If you still have problems or want to disable deathmatch alltogether, add this line to the run scripts: setenv CAVE_QUAKE_DM off Uses CAVE Library Version 2.6g with NCSA extensions. These extensions include support for the SpaceTec Space Orb. This is useful if you do not have a CAVE wand or similar input device. The Space Orb is a 6 DOF game controller that costs only about $40! Go here for more information:

To enable the Space Orb you will need to edit your CAVE config file. If you want to use it simply as a replacement for the wand (and put a tracker sensor on it), add the following lines: wand spaceorb controllerport /dev/ttyd2 controllerbaud 9600 If you want to use the spaceOrb as both a wand and tracker, add these lines as well: trackertype spaceorb trackerport /dev/ttyd2 trackerbaud 9600 sixDOFmode 196 sixdofrotsensitivity 24.2 sixdoftranssensitivity 20. sixdofvalsensitivity 1.2 serialtracking y Using the spaceOrb for tracking can be very useful with the CAVE simulator.

Projectiles! As a result there are two new weapons: the blaster and the rocket launcher. Machine gun and shotgun bullets are still invisible because they move so fast. Improved monster behavior including a couple of suprises for those that have played earlier versions of CAVE QUAKE II. Overall, it’s definitely a more intense experience!



Start CAVE QUAKE II on one machine and connect to it from another machine. For instance, if you have two machines foo and slop, you can type “run” or “run_static” on foo and then type “run foo” or “run_static foo” on slop. Deathmatch can be stopped at any time by pressing ‘q’ and restarted by pressing ‘d’. If restarting does not work then that means that the other client probably went down for some reason. Note: if you get completely lost, either kill yourself with the rocket launcher to respawn elsewhere or use the reset button (‘r’ on keyboard or hold all three buttons at once). IMPORTANT: Deathmatch assumes that players are on the same map. If not, it won’t make much sense…



When playing, you may occasionally get stuck in some area where you can’t get out. Holding down button2 with your other hand will let you go through walls. Click button2 to switch guns. Right now there is a blaster, a rocket launcher, a machine gun and a shotgun. There are two forms of navigation: rotate by joystick and rotate by wand orientation. When rotating by joystick, point the wand in the direction you want to go and push forward on the joystick. Push left or right on the joystick to reorient the CAVE. When rotating by wand orientation, you should always face the front wall otherwise you will spin around in circles. Generally, rotating by joystick is better in the CAVE and rotating by wand orientation is better with an Idesk or InfinityWall. Lifts do not move. Walk towards the back of the lift and you will be instantly transported to the top of the lift. This doesn’t work in reverse, so just jump down to the bottom. Certain lifts will take you between maps.

When theme music starts playing, this means that a new map is loading. To turn off the theme music, add this line to your run scripts: setenv CAVE_QUAKE_THEME off I sometimes do this. I then run vss2.2 at a sample rate of 44.1kHz: vss2.2 -srate 44100 & and play different music using an mp3 player. In fact, you can find most of the Quake2 music on the web in mp3 format.

Doors have been removed from the maps. A closed door is most likely a door to the next map. Get close to the door and you will go to that map. For fun, instead of just killing the monsters, let them chase you around. The best way is to walk backwards so that they are in front of you. For instance, you can get them to jump out the window in the first map! One of the best things about the CAVE demo verses the game is that the gun follows the wand. Hold it straight out in front of you to see the gun better. You can even “roll” the gun.



This demo is still under development. Check back with me often! Enjoy! -Paul

One thought on “Cave Quake II: The Bat Cave or the Fear Cave?

  1. Pingback: Cave Quake II the Original First Person Shooter in VR – Donde Quake 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.