Quakespasm questions

Hi everyone

I have been using DarkPlaces for quite some time out of habit and just recently started using Quakespasm, for its better custom map compatibility and thanks to the recommendations on this site.

I have never been interested in the more flashy capabilities of DP, but I do find its extensive user interface very helpful, whereas Quakespasm’s functionality seems to be lot more hidden. Also, when playing custom maps with DP one becomes used to seeing certain weird behaviour, but Quakespasm seems to have some issues of its own. So I have a few questions (some of them probably stupid, but hey, what the hell) and decided to post them here, as other recent Quakespasm converts may find the answers useful too.

  1. On my setup, Quakespasm does not play the stock Quake demos upon startup (whereas DP does). Not that I need those demos, but is this a known issue? And is it going to become an issue later with some custom maps?

  2. Water seems to be hit and miss. In newer maps there are no problems as far as I can tell, but specifically in czg07, water looks pretty terrible. Entering r_oldwater 0 in the console (thanks to a suggestion somewhere on the internet) makes it look a little better, but when I try to change the wateralpha settings, I get these weird HOM effects. Am I doing something wrong here?

  3. On the subject of water, is there a way of modifying underwater visuals to make them less bright? Whenever I am underwater in a given map, the standard light-brown haze that obscures visibility is unpleasantly bright. My game brightness is already at minimum, and the rest of the map displays fine. This is particularly problematic in maps like apsp2, where you spend a lot of time underwater.

  4. Is there any way of displaying framerate and date/time while playing? This is one feature of DP I really like.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

  1. As far as I know, QuakeSpasm does not play demos defined in quake.rc file by default (just checked to be sure). You can overcome this issue by adding -fitz option to your QuakeSpasm shortcut, this reverts many handles to their FitzQuake defaults, thus also re-enabling the startdemos. Startdemos are purely cosmetical. It will not affect your custom maps in any way.

  2. That’s easy. A map needs to compiled in a specific way by its author to support transparent water. If it hasn’t been done so, and you have r_wateralpha set anything lower than 1 in your config, the water looks borked (czg07 does not support it). Whenever you see water like that, the only thing you can do (other than recompiling the map) is to set r_wateralpha to 1, so that it displays correctly (but you have to settle with non-transparent water for that map). Of course, most of the newer maps are compiled so that they support transparent water, thus it’s normal that you don’t see such anomaly when playing them.

Here’s a handy alias for single button, on the fly enabling / disabling of transparent water - put it in your autoexec and change F1 as you see fit:

alias trans1 “echo Transparency -OFF-; bf; r_wateralpha 1; bind F1 trans2”
alias trans2 “echo Transparency -ON-; bf; r_wateralpha 0.4; bind F1 trans1”
bind “F1” “trans1”

  1. I don’t know if there’s any easy solution to that. I remember some engines offering an option to disable the underwater tinting but it looks like QuakeSpasm does not. Someone might be better informed than me though.

  2. For framerate: scr_showfps 1. For clock: scr_clock 1. Though the latter seems to be changed. It used to display the system time in two different flavors. But now it only displays your time in the current map.

Hope this helps.

Thank you very much, erc.

I actually do not miss the demos at all; if they do not play by design, then that’s perfectly fine by me.

Answer (2) makes sense. I suppose what took me by surprise somewhat is that when wateralpha is set lower than 1 in DarkPlaces, water still displays fine in maps that do not support transparency – the water does not become transparent, of course, but it looks fine, with no weird effects.

It seems that DP and QS handle water very differently, though (you can see this when looking at teleporters too). Is there a reason for this? Can you or anyone else perhaps shed some more light on this?

Again, thank you very much for your extensive reply.

You can avoid water glitches with r_novis 1, but it can drop down fps.

…and (3) gl_polyblend 0 makes water clean as air.

Thank you very much, Scrama.

I tried gl_polyblend 0 and you were not exaggerating – it literally makes the water clear as air, which is great for visibility, but kind of ruins the sense of realism in a given map. Is there perhaps any in-between solution? I compared the same map in DP and QS again, and it seems the tinting is just less severe in DP … but it seems gl_polyblend can be set to 0 or 1, with nothing in between.

Searching for more information on gl_polyblend (after reading your answer and trying it out), I came across a quakeone.com forum discussion about Qrack, where someone mentions v_contentblend, which can be set to several values ranging from 0.1 to 0.99, thus regulating the level of underwater opacity in Qrack. That sounds exactly like the kind of thing I am looking for. I’ve tried it in Quakespasm, but the command is not supported.

But perhaps there is a different command that does exactly this. So: can someone tell me, is it possible to regulate underwater opacity in Quakespasm?

Once again, thank you for the answers so far, erc and Scrama.

  1. Another thing I have noticed is that switching between weapons using the mousewheel is a lot more sluggish and/or erratic in QS than in DP, at least while moving around. Sometimes the mousewheel seems to do nothing, and then it suddenly switches rapidly – making it very hard to switch efficiently during combat. Does anyone know why this happens? Is there a setting I should change?

For quakespasm try gl_cshiftpercent (0 - 100), it controls how much the view is altered when hurt, in water or having powerups.

Thank you very much, LeopolD. I’ll certainly give that a try later.

Do you perhaps know what the default gl_cshiftpercent value in Quakespasm is?

[quote=Icantthinkofanickname]Thank you very much, LeopolD. I’ll certainly give that a try later.

Do you perhaps know what the default gl_cshiftpercent value in Quakespasm is?[/quote]

Default should be 100.
Good values are between 25-50, the effect remains but is not as brutal.

Great! Thanks so much, LeopolD – that is exactly what I was looking for.

Does anyone have any tips/information regarding the sluggish mousewheel weapon-switch in QS (post #7 above)?

Another (potentially stupid) question:

  1. In some maps, I experience significant framerate drops in Quakespasm (e.g. from 60fps down to 30fps), as opposed to running the same map in DarkPlaces (where fps stay near 60).

Is there any way to remedy this? I read somewhere that memory allocation is automated in DP, but not in QS – could this be the reason for the difference in performance, namely that QS has too little memory allocated to it? Should one always start QS with a higher heapsize specified? If so, what number? Or could it be a different issue altogether?

Thanks in advance, and thanks again for your help so far, erc, Scrama and LeopolD.

Which maps, what hardware, any special settings?

Heapsize is not ever related to FPS from what I know. It leads to crashing if insufficient. I’d suggest always using 64000 (or maybe 128000).

Thanks for the quick response, Spirit.

Hardware & OS: Intel Core i3 @2.30 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Xubuntu 12.04.

I don’t think I have any settings that would qualify as “special”. The only things I’ve changed from the default would be gl_texturemode “gl_nearest_mipmap_linear”, gl_cshiftpercent “42”, enabled alwaysrun, crosshair & mouselook, upped mouse speed, changed keyboard settings to standard WASD layout – pretty standard stuff, almost exactly the same as I have in DarkPlaces, where it has not affected map speed. I’ve basically got things set up so that DP and QS are almost visually indistinguishable. I haven’t tampered with “novis” at all (I’ve read in a different thread that that can cause slowdown).

I would need to check again to see which maps in particular are affected, but most recently I’ve noticed it on mfxsp6, which I had just started playing, but then gave up for the time being because it ran so poorly (in DarkPlaces the framerate is smooth, but the skybox doesn’t display properly. D’oh!).

Oh, and thank you for the information re: heapsize; I’ll try running with the numbers you suggested and see if it makes a difference.

Err, that would be this thread:

[quote=Spirit]Heapsize is not ever related to FPS from what I know.[/quote]I recall playing some maps without increasing the heap size made the engine (fitz 0.85 at the time) stutter a lot, along with the “loading” icon popping up.

Thanks for the additional info, onetruepurple.

I tried mfxsp6 with -heapsize 128000, but sadly it didn’t make any noticeable difference to the framerate drops.

r_dynamic 0 if that exists or maybe gl_flashblend 1? Intel chips have some difficulties with dynamic lights in standard Quake engines or something like that.

I’ll try that later. Thanks, Spirit.