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Quake First Person Shooters (Games)

Textmode Quake 114

ScUmM_BoY writes "Someone had enough spare time to create Textmode Quake for Linux. It was the Link of the Day over at User Friedly, and the Web page includes some (blinding) screenshots. Keen!" I really don't know what to say. I am aghast. Update: 02/12 22:19 by michael : Okay, okay. So it was posted to Slashdot a year and half ago. It's still cool.
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Textmode Quake

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  • Actually, something like this can be quite useful.

    We're developing a research C compiler here and we use lots of programs for benchmarking and regression testing. Doom is one. One of the guys here hacked up a text mode Doom so it could more easily integrate with our regression testing environment (it's much easier to diff textual output :)).

    So no, actually this isn't always a waste of time. At least not if your building your own computer or something. :)


  • All the moderators can do is simply use one of their points to bring it down a point. The trouble is, every point you use to bring DOWN a comment is one less you can use to bring up a very insightful comment. I have taken the stance to only use my moderator points to make POSITIVE adjustments to scores as much as I can. This is in order to make sure the good comments get up to 2 or 3 and are seen by people reading at a higher level to avoid the idiotic trolls at -1, 0, and 1. So, basically the reason you see these trolls is they post TONS of this garbage. What is a moderator to do? Waste all 5 of his points on moderating 5 troll messages down or use them to moderate 5 good posts up leaving the trolls at AC default of 0? The trolls do it because they KNOW this is how the system works. They can post the same message over and over 100-200 times and we can either: a) ignore it, b) have all the moderators spend all their points to moderate them to -1. Personally I'd like to just see a "kill troll" button as a moderator that would immediately drop the post down to a -1 and would cause slashdot to ignore any attempts to post from that same IP for 30 minutes. It has a very big chance of being abused but it would be SO much better to just go down the page and hit a kill troll button and wipe out that message and the entire thread beneath it without wasting points that can be used on valuable posts. Meta-moderation would hopefully take care of abuses.
  • Yes, I know. I just need to show my love for aalib and Koules.
  • No, surely it wouldn't be possible to do something similar to converting graphics to ANSI text on-the-fly. Surely it wouldn't be possible to do exactly the same thing the aalib is doing -- the same library in fact that text-mode Quake is based on! It even says on the page itself -- BASED ON AALIB!! NO, OF COURSE IT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE! IT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE TO CREATE A LIBRARY LIKE THE ONE BY JAN HUBICKA AVAILABLE AT, THE LIBRARY MADE BY THE SAME MAN WHO MADE A CERTAIN GAME CALLED -- KOULES!! RING A BELL!*!L?!? OF COURSE IT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE TO CREATE A LIBRARY THAT "works on a terminal of any kind, [is] fast and portable, [and] gives to you standard API." OR ONE THAT "gives to your old hardware more power!" ONE THAT USES ANSI COLOURS TO PROPERLY SHADE THE GRAPHICS WHEN EQUIPPED WITH A CAPABLE TERMINAL?!

    Har har I'm just kiddin' ya; a library like that actually already exists.
  • Lynx/2.8.1pre.9 libwww-FM/2.14
    Why? This you?
  • by CrAlt ( 3208 )
    of my lame desktop?
    here []

    Here is a ASCII version of the guy you all know and love []

    And the photo i made it out of []

    The gimp plug-in is called AA. It can be found on And no those links are not in 80x25 :P

  • haha, supply us with the 24-bit jpeg of that please ;-) *just barely saw what that portrayed in 5x7 font maximized in 800x600...*
  • Please before submitting any stories search the slashdot database. I found an article that I remembered reading : l
    So please search the database for any previous mentions of the same stuff.
  • Please before submitting any stories search the slashdot database. I found an article that I remembered reading : So please search the database for any previous mentions of the same stuff. []
  • Please before submitting any stories search the slashdot database. I found an article named Quake for ttys -- Really! [] that I remembered reading. So please search the database for any previous mentions of the same stuff.
  • On the AA Project home page, there's a section on 'Software known to support AA'; and there, second on the list, is The GIMP. textmode GIMP! Waaahhh, that is so perverse. I greatly fear I shall have to play with this...

    I hate to burst your bubble, but the gimp supports aalib because it can render (save) images to ASCII art format, not because the program itself executes in text mode.

  • Jeezus....from the screenshots, it looks like looking into "The Matrix"...minus the tacky green terminal and how text went down instead of across. :)
  • If it's happening more often, the most likely reason is with a much larger volume of back-stories in /.'s history now than there was two years ago, it's that much easier to repeat a story. When you've only publishes a couple of hundred, it's easy to remember what's gone before: when you've reached several thousand, it's a little tougher.
  • Isnt there a Xserver for svgalib?
    If not, you could always use a combo of vncserver and the svgalib vnc client, then youre set. If youre (un)lucky you might get your X desktop in asci without writing a single line of code.
  • heh.. ummm
    well, if you'll read the original post, you'll notice that i wasn't talking about creating a realtime convert-all-graphics-to-text engine; i just pointed out such an engine (asciimac) was already out there for the mac and already open source, and i was speculating about how difficult it would be to adapt that one engine to send ANSI text over a telnet connection instead of drawing the text to the screen (follow the link and lookit the screenshots..). "possible" was altogether the wrong word..

    the post itself was not directly related to TTYQ3, it was just something i posted because TTYQ3 made it occur to me.. sorry. :)
  • uh oh.. just read back over what i'd posted and noticed a horrendous typo. too late.

    "patch all the quicktime traps".. that should have said "patch all the quickdraw traps".

    This doesn't really matter or effect the meaning of the post in the end, but i'm pretty sure if anyone catches the error i'll get flamed like hell.

    doesn't matter one way or the other, there's no way in hell i'd ever get around to writing anything that patched the quickdraw stuff anyway.. especially for the simple reason that there's no _use_ for an X client running off the mac os, since you can use VNC [].. (which is something i probably should have mentioned in the original post, or at least stressed i wasn't serious..)

    shoulda looked more carefully before i posted. i'm an idiot. please forgive me, i am tired..
  • Looks kind of like the scene where Neo realizes that he's the One and then stops the bullets and everything is rendered in 3d with characters running across it.

  • This has been around for a while.

    It's bitchy to get wokring, you need svgalib and libncurses3, 3, not 4, not 5, libncurses3, there's a package in debian for this, and there are rpms floating around.

    I've only gotten it working in black & white, very trippy, impresses people for an instant, then they're like, umm, that's stupid! You can't move or shoot or see well.

    We need more stupid, pointless, cool, hacks like this for linux

    --dave []

  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    example 1:

    example 2:

    See the diffrence?

    [ c h a d o k e r e ] []
  • 1) there is no source.

    Good god, does everything have to come with source nowadays (And, I'd have to say I'd be surprised if it actually didn't, what's the value in an proprietary ASCII based X server?)

    Even if there were no source, it doesn't really matter. If you really need an open source ASCII X server, why don't you write one yourself? This was simply done for fun, bitching about not providing the source for something no one needed is really lame.

    [ c h a d o k e r e ] []
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    Well, I don't know much about CSS, but you might be able to use the <a> tag (and yes you can do it without including a href=whatever) and then defineing a CSS spec for the <a> tag that says "color = white" or somthing like that (I don't know for sure, I've never messed with them myself.

    Check out the site for more information on CSS (cascading style sheets). It would save a lot of space in the file

    I can't stand HTML editors, I guess its beacuse I grew up on Plaintext... I tried using frontpage once for making an extremely simple page, and I got so frustraited that I ended up redoing the whole thing in text (You can see the results Here []. I ended up using like 3 levels of nested tables :P

    [ c h a d o k e r e ] []
  • I went to the story before, the last time it was posted, but this time there was somthing new:

    Paul Wilkins, who apparently has waaaay to much free time, has graciously donated two HTML "screenshots" of ttyquake which he created by hand. No, really. He typed in all those little characters while reading from jpeg screenshots I sent him. His mother must be so proud.

    Hrm... I wonder if this guy has ever heard of "OCR" software?

    [ c h a d o k e r e ] []
  • squake segfaults on me!!! I'm running a 2.2.x kernel on debian 2.2. anyone else plagued by this? I want texty quake, dammit!
  • The site claims that some guy typed in the text-only screen shots BY HAND! It's worth the view. God, I hope that those pictures weren't really typed by hand. Programming in binary would be more fun.
  • I almost believe that this is becoming a large problem (as not just this particular case, as some have already pointed out.)

    It seems to be happening more and more often, that the Slashdot news posters either post the same thing multiple times, or post something that is very old.

    Not to mention the horrible grammar and typos. I know that these guys are really l33t hackers, and as such, minor details like spelling and coherency really don't apply.

    But honestly. It makes Slashdot seem less professional.

    Oh well; just another day at slashdot :)
  • This thing's been on Happy Penguin [] for aeons now. Gotta love aalib, the library that makes it all possible.

    The sick thing is, aalib will work with an astonishing array of "real" apps. There's even a GIMP plugin, I hear, if you're just dying to make screenshots even a Lynxer can read.

  • This reminds me of the wacky dripping characters from The Matrix. Maybe the folks who designed that had played an earlier version of this... This has to be positively mind numbing when animated.
  • True, there was no moderation, and no need for moderation, but when I went back to the archived copy of the article, I found that every comment was basically "Whoah, that is cool, ". Wouldn't you agree that while the level of petrifying natalie portmanizing trolls has gone up, the intelligent posts have kept the balance pretty much even?
  • Hahahah!

    Don't give anybody any ideas, I think the old Infocome parser source is floating about out there somewhere. ;-)
  • You give the creators too much credit. Read the damn page. This textmode quake is nothing but the synthesis of two libraries, aalib and aavga, a wrapper for aalib that turns VGA commands to svgalib into commands for aalib, the character library. You can get the source for both from that page. The thing is nothing but a script file redirecting quake to use those libraries...



  • I think to truly embody the attitude and beliefs of the Open Source movement, this guys disclaimer really ought to be imported into the GPL as the default disclaimer. In case you didn't read, here it is:

    Well, don't come crying to me. Do you think I care if a useless, buggy hack for an unsupported port of a game on a free operating system doesn't work for you? Hah! Think again. Err, but if you, heh, fix anything I'd sure love to hear about it.

  • You give the creators too much credit. Read the damn page. This textmode quake is nothing but the synthesis of two libraries, aalib and aavga, a wrapper for aalib that turns VGA commands to svgalib into commands for aalib, the character library. You can get the source for both from that page. The thing is nothing but a script file redirecting quake to use those libraries...


  • sorry, replied to the wrong post ;)

    My previous reply should have been posted somewhere else, please completely ignore it.
  • Sorry, replied to wrong post ;)

  • Now, lets get a tourny going where everyone is playing this on 75 baud TTYs. You can eat lunch between screen redraws Please remember to bring your ear plugs (Chugga, Chugga, Chugga)
  • this is like the textmode Doom! and for Linux! oh joy! this shows that all those 1337 h4x0r d00dz are doing something constructive with their time (or something...). Now to get textmode Q3...
  • From my own experience, VNC on the Mac is much more buggy than VNC on other platforms. The Linux (Unix) server is almost perfect (just one minor modification makes it run GNOME or KDE); the Windows server works fine for most things (if you don't have it poll the whole screen (which is slow) (and sometimes even if you do) some text elements in some windows won't get updated right, but it is still quite useful), and the Mac server looked like a bad hack. Maybe that is just my experience, but it crashing on every connect just doesn't seem like reliability to me. AT&T probably has a new version (the direct link is VNC - Virtual Network Computing from AT&T Laboratories Cambridge [], courtesy of Google []; check out their logo for today!).

    VNC is really cool. It does not limit you to the X protocol, although the way the Unix server works is basically acting like an X server to X clients and a VNC server to VNC clients. This means it can work on OSes that have a closed window-update system, like Windows and Mac OS. It just polls windows for changes, if necessary, or updates windows when they receive a message, or whatever technique it wants (the two mentioned apply to the Windows server).Its advantages over an X server are that (1) the desktop is client-independant; you don't have to be running an OS on the client for which an X server has been written (there is a Java client!), and (2) for the Unix servers, if the client crashes or disconnects for any reason, the desktop stays as it was. An X server would dump all applications and you would lose your data, and (3) its compression rocks (better in many cases than GIF, and for a dynamic image!).

    Yes, with a fast enough (and low-latency) link, you can play remote Quake. But why bother? Get your own!


  • I think that it is one of the greatest human technological achievements, right up there with the shoehorn, highlighting tape, rubber toucans, and twisty ties... I just can't wait till there is a text-based linux port of Ultima Underworld!
  • Subject says it all.

  • Asciimac is quite cool, although a bit unstable (as most hacks written in a few hours are).

    I was watching TV in ascii the first time i tried Asciimac. It's actually quite viewable :)
  • I knew I had seen this before.

    As seen in Slashdot FAQ:

    Why didn't you post my story?
    On a normal day, we can get 150-200 article submissions. Typically we post 8 to 12 of them. Also, Since we post the first submission (unless we screw up- it happens occasionally) yours may have just been 2nd. Or 37th. Or else we posted it a few weeks ago and you're late. Or we may not just have found your article interesting enough. Either way, we've gotta reject 10 times more then we post, so please understand.

    I guess the guys at slashdot don't like this one anymore. Perhaps it should say that if you submit it again after waiting a while, one of the guys from the there-are-too-many-author's dept. will post it.

    Okay, here's the point:
    You know, I've been reading slashdot for quite a while now (about 2 years). This sorta thing never used to happen at all, what is it these days? I guess I can understand one or two occasional slip-ups, but it's definately beginning to be noticable.

    Relevant quote/saying/neat sig: As I said before, I never repeat myself!

  • thats great.. you had me cryin' !!!!


    "Any way you look at it, all the information that a person accumulates in a lifetime is just a drop in the bucket."

  • w0w d15 50 C00l dud3zzzz

    no really i tried this extension a while ago, it makes the system a bit slow but still works, and when u turn the ASCII effect on... wow so weird, i never seen ANYTHING like that before!!!

  • This is really cool, dont know why, but it just seems really cool!

    Incidentally, This is the preferred rendering option for S3 & ATI cards ;)
  • I just got my first geekbone after visiting the website.

    geekbone: (n.) a tech junky's involuntary aroused physical reaction to hardcore/extreme implementation of technology, science, electronics, etc.
  • This isn't new and has been around for about 1.5 years.
  • same thing happened to me so i dropped debian and went back to RH 6.0 so i could play good ol team fortress

    # iptables -A INPUT -s 0/0 -j DROP
  • Caverns of Despair
    You are in a maze of twisty, browish-grey passages, all alike.
    There is a ravenous fiend here.

    >kill fiend
    What do you want to kill the fiend with?

    >nail gun
    You do not have that weapon.

    The fiend leaps on you! You are torn apart by its sharp claws.

    **** You have died ****



  • I really do believe this is the reason i switched to linux, so i could run cool shit like this. call me crazy, but this stuff drives me wild. i remember, about two years ago formatting and partitioning my hard drive just to do this. cool code and people like this should and i hope always will exist.
  • Moderate me down if you will but why does this drivel get moderated up? Not, everything needs the source, and this site shouldn't reward those who bitch about not having it. the source is great, but this is just of the coolest geeky ideas ever, so don't complain.
  • But its still cool i guess. It uses AAlib that i guess makes it easy to just replace SVGAlib with. So you could have textmode-anything_that_uses_SVGAlib. There is also a cool demo on the AA lib page called "BB". Its worth a download.
  • I authored aavga (horrible hack), so it is me who is to blame for the keyboard input not working properly. As to it being linked against can just recompile it all yourself...I'm not even sure if that's what I linked it against. :) It only exists in black and white. you can add a bold attribute and make it go 8-bit if you compile aalib right (I again don't know how it's default compiled), but that doesn't add much. For some graphical improvement, has posted a message on the aalib mailing list saying improvement can be gained with random+dithering with a small patch.. If anyone wants, I can forward that email to them.
  • Yeah, that aalib stuff is great. I'm surprised someone noticed that this could be applied to almost anything with svgalib. caveats: aavga is a horrible hack and won't support the calls for many other programs (in other words, you'll find yourself adding to the library for every new program) linux doom is originally linked against libc4 svgalib so it can't be used with this hack
  • I want to clarify where credit is due: true ttyquake is just a distribution, but the fact of the matter is that aavga as I released it is very difficult to use and badly packaged. also, almost all of the work is in aalib. I don't think that it's fair to list aavga and aalib in the same sentence as similarly sized projects, aavga is a small piece of crappy code, and I'm rather embarrassed that so many people have seen it. The keyboard handling, espeically, could be done a thousand times better if I'd known people were gonna downlaod it.
  • there is source to aalib, and source to aavga. Both are mentioned on the ttyquake page though not available directly in teh ttyquake package. I think you're giving aavga too much is just an aalib wrapper to implement svgalib functionality, it certainly does not handle even a tiny subset of X, it's totally separate. If someone did write an X server that used aalib, that would be hella cool, though. :)
  • by dougman ( 908 )
    As someone who has worn out more modems than I care to admit over the last 15 years, I personally would admit getting a kick out of an ANSI BBS door port of Quake. On principle.

    The point being, while I love 3d grafx, and GUIs and all, and I'm no Luddite, I loved the increased stimulation of one's mind and sense of community that the "golden years" of text/ANSI based modeming carried. Sigh. Sorry. I apologize. Nostalgia mode OFF.

  • It kinda exists already. There's a GGI target for Mesa, and there's an AAlib target for GGI; by extension, there's an AAlib target for Quake3. :) It'll be really fscking slow unless you turn off texture filtering, though, and even then Q3 is quite unplayable (not that being in textmode would make it any easier).

    To turn off the filtering, BTW, you have to start up Q3, bring up the console, wait a billion years for the console to become visible, set the texture mode to GL_NEAREST, and wait a billion years again. It'd seem there's no way to keep Q3's texture filtering off by default unless they changed their mind since q3test 1.08 (even if you set the texture mode in the config, it'd revert to the default of bilinear, and there was no way to select anything less than bilinear in any GUI). Kind of annoying, since there ARE some cards out there with sufficient fillrate which don't implement filtering in hardware (the Riva 128 springs to mind), and just because it won't be quite as pretty on those cards doesn't mean they should be unsupported entirely... I mean, come ON, it probably takes more code to *disallow* them (by forcing at least bilinear filtering).

    Oops, heh, sorry about that. But anyway, yes, you can most likely do aalib rendering for Quake3 already, but it'll be [even more of] a pain to deal with.
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [].

  • That's nothin'. Check out my user info page. :) (And I've had that for a few days now.)

    Oh, and the original picture is hidden in my website [] (yes, that's the diplomat photo for the porcupine race I added to Civ:CTP during LokiHack).
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [].

  • Oh, I was under the impression (based on screenshots etc.) that the Riva128 didn't do bilinear, though the updated version (the 128ZX) did.
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [].
  • What? I don't even see the code. All I see is Blonde, Brunette, Redhead...

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • God, this brings back memories.

    Specifically: /09/04/1524236.shtml []

    I loved it both times! :)

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?


    Sorry. :(

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • there is, for the mac, an extention called Asciimac []. Basically what it does is take the mac os's display and render it in ASCII art in real time on the screen. It is somewhere between incredibly scary and amazing. It won a MacHack award a couple years ago and is somewhat open source.

    I wonder if it would be possible to rewrite it so that it sent text over an ANSI telnet connection instead of to the screen? hmm.

    i was actually wondering just now if it would be possible to hijack the mac's video drivers or patch all the quicktime traps or something in order to create an X client for the mac os.. but it would have never occured to me to do it with terminal emulation instead if i hadn't seen this.. :)
  • you're right about the posts, but then, look at the article - it's about a textmode quake, for god's sake.

  • No kidding...

    rereading that article, I am drawn back to the days when:

    -There was no moderation
    -There was no need for moderation

    and its kinda interesting that one guy said, "only on a friday could something like this be posted" and now, here it is on a friday when it was reposted!

  • Quake on an old LA120. Just in case you hate trees.
  • 1) there is no source.
    2) it doesn't work with quakeforge.
    3) and did i mention it: there is no source.
  • the intelligent posts have kept the balance pretty much even?

    go read a katz thread...
    those textmode screenshots made my eyes bleed, seriously, it was painful.
  • Slashdot
    Old News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters . . . Again.
  • Oh man baby... back when I was running my BBS, I told people this day was in the not so distant future... no one beleived me.. they called me mad, insane, crazy... ha! Ha ha! My genius is proved! All those hours of creating intricate BBS artwork with the ASCII character set vindicated! My day of glory has arrived! The future has arrived... we've come full circle... the cycle is copmlete... Muwah... muwah... muwahHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......
  • by cabbey ( 8697 ) on Friday February 11, 2000 @06:15PM (#1283294) Homepage
    the only thing that could possibly be more wrong than this is the advert flashing at the top of my /. window when I read it, for a linux asp server....
  • On the AA Project home page, there's a section on 'Software known to support AA'; and there, second on the list, is The GIMP []. textmode GIMP! Waaahhh, that is so perverse. I greatly fear I shall have to play with this...

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling