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Hexen 2 As A Quake Mod
Inspired a bit by Arcane Dimensions, I was wondering how neat it would be if people were interested in a doing the odd Hexen 2 level. Of course it has hardly the appeal or popularity of Quake, so the engine projects are probably getting less attention than Quake's, so it's perhaps not attractive to map for, even as a one-off.

But then I wondered, how far from base Quake was base Hexen 2? Could, hypothetically, Hexen 2 be "rebased" as a straight Quake mod, perhaps with some small extensions to the Q engines (some of which might already have been done)?

If that were the case, would a Hexen 2 map jam or just some random occasional maps be interesting?

(currently slogging through hexen 1: deathkings)
Basically structure is the same, but I'm afraid Hexen2 has a modified version of Quake engine. You can't just load it as a mod, but it should be easy to convert it.
Anyway what's the point of doing this? :) 
I think I need to stop doing re-makes! :P 
It Would Require A Lot Of Engine Changes I Think 
I imagine that there is a metric arseload of little things that add up to it being a lot of work.

Off the top of my head, one big difference is that H2 is hub-based, like Quake 2, and getting all that persistant-state-across-multiple-maps stuff working in Quake would be a ballache.

Another thing is that I believe H2's entity thinks happen 20 times a second, rather than Quake's 10. That's gonna cause issues I imagine. 
Hexen 2 has a lot of extra gamecode using extra engine builtins. It would be a large project needing a lot of programming from different people.

I have an unfinished Hexen 2 map that got shelved because it broke the extremely low clipnodes limit. It wasn't clear to me while mapping that H2 has a much lower limit than Quake. When I learned the reason for the problem, I lost interest in continuing because what's the point if the map can only be 1/4th the size of a Quake map. There is the hub system but that still is very limiting.

Eric's tools and Spike's engine now support BSP2 for Hexen 2, which makes it theoretically possible to continue, but tbh I don't want to rely on FTEQW exclusively for this. If Hammer of Thyrion got BSP2 support, then maybe. But when I spoke to Ozkan Sezer about BSP2 a few years back, he didn't exactly seem thrilled by the idea.

There is also little interest in Hexen 2 maps. I've also seen a lot of dislike for the H2 monster lineup, and that's partly understandable - the skull wizard seems everyone's favourite but archer knights are really pretty boring. And I'm not a fan of the Aztec and Egyptian stuff myself. And the key items are hardcoded IIRC so it's not trivial to make your own unless you want to hack the gamecode.

There's also no good editor for Hexen 2. It's possible to use Radiant but you have to manually convert the .map files. and IIRC there is no real .def file. Divining the entity names and keys from 20 year old internet pages or from the code is annoying.

I don't think porting the entire Hexen 2 to the Quake engine would be a worthwhile project. It would be a giant pointless slog. Also some of the interesting monsters are in the expansion, so you'd have to port even more.

Not to mention legal issues of course. Similar problems to porting entire chunks of Doom etc. to a Quake mod. While no one might immediately sue you, it's still not exactly clean. 
You can't just load it as a mod, but it should be easy to convert it.

I didn't think it would work OOTB but it's encouraging that you think it might be easy/possible to convert it.

Anyway what's the point of doing this? :)

Fun! Hexen 2 (much like Heretic and Hexen before it) always felt to me like some great ideas, themes, and possibilities, hampered by reality, deadlines, and in H2's case, a really boring-looking first hub that puts off people before they've even started. But there are a lot of gameplay elements, combinations thereof might be fun to explore in more depth.

Off the top of my head, one big difference is that H2 is hub-based, like Quake 2, and getting all that persistant-state-across-multiple-maps stuff working in Quake would be a ballache.

I've no idea how H2 implemented hubs, but if it happened to be not-incompatible with the normal quake way of doing things, that might even be a nice engine feature for quake mappers.

On a related note, do quake engine maintainers simply resist adding features, or is there any coordination for how feature support works across engines? The situation in the Doom community (I'm more familiar with) is a mess.

Another thing is that I believe H2's entity thinks happen 20 times a second, rather than Quake's 10. That's gonna cause issues I imagine.

If you're right then yes, that could be a problem. 
Despite differences in the quake engine such as string processing, destructible brushes, game menu with different options, etc. I don't think the other minor things would be much impediment. HUD can be done with CSQC and graphics can be modded as desired. One thing that could be a concern though would be hub levels with data persistence.
But is this all really worth the trouble of implementing?

As for the mapping to H2 subject, it's not hard at all. Use trenchbroom(v2) + compiling tools at
Build your map, compile and run. And if you're using FTE, there are a lot of other stuff you can use to speed up your dev process. 
You Can Always Do Your Hexen II Mod For Quake 
cutting off all the extra stuff Quake engine doesn't have...
Would be like making a strife mod for doom engine. Limited but fun nevertheless. 
Trenchbroom 2 has H2 support now? That's good news. Stupidly low limits, hardcoded stuff and lackluster monster lineup are still an issue for H2 mapping though. 
Doesn't JackHamme Support Hexen 2? 
Up, That Too. Despite Being A Pain To Make It Work... 
To be honest, this is a massive amount of work for a project that is technically illegal to do anyway.

However, the idea of making a robust system for having a persistant game-state that transcends map changes - for quake - has been very high on my wishlist for a while, and is currently motivating my push to finally do some big-boy programming, so that I can get that shizzle up and running for my purposes, if no-one beats me to it.

(caveat - as with anything I say I might be working on, don't hold your breath). 
How hard would it be to modify HoT qbsp's bsp output format? I would need to know bsp and bsp2 limits and format specs so i could try something... 
FTE supports the Hexen 2 hub system, so that could perhaps be ported.

/waits for Spike to chime in 
Also @ Kinn 
don't hit me, but RemakeQuake contains two testmaps (with source) that demonstrate working hub system in Quake with persistent entities etc. Thanks to Spike IIRC 
Cheers, I might have a gander at the sauce when I get time. 
TB2, which is currently in closed Alpha with a public Beta imminent, supports Hexen 2. 
regarding bsp2, its fairly simple really, just change the 4-byte magic, then change all the shorts to either 32bit ints or floats (depending on whether they're indexes or coords).
doing it in such a way that you do not break bsp29 is the challenge.
you'll probably also need to increase some of the bsp limits, if they're still hardcoded somewhere.

Its also worth noting that ericw's qbsp can compile either quake or hexen2 format .maps as hexen2 bsps. this means that you can map for hexen2 in any quake map editor you want (ignoring possible palette issues, and easy ent definitions).

Regarding porting hexen2 to quake, ignoring the legal issues, I'm not sure that there's much point.
Practically speaking, most nq engines are basically crippleware. In order to get hexen2 working, you'd still need a load of extensions - starting with tracebox. You'd also need lots of particle stuff too, and yes, a hud.
Realistically the only new engine that it'd run okay on would be DP, and even then all the things you'd have changed (like particles and the hub system) would result in it just feeling wrong.
It might be an interesting undertaking for someone, but I don't see it as a practical one as it'll probably always feel a bit crippled.

The issues I can think of, in no particular order(and with hints on what fte can cushion), are header(which is what enables the h2 builtins+writebytes), extra builtins(yay for extensions - you might need to use builtin number 0 in the interim), extra networked fields (drawflags, with its abslight and scale origins being the most annoying), the whole writebyte nightmare (sv_csqcdebug 1 should help diagnose stuff a little), particle effects (good luck getting those looking faithful without engine code), the hud (yay csqc!), you'll need to reskin player models or just ditch colormaps entirely too, the mission pack adds a new mdl format too. 
Pushing Boulders 
I was wondering how neat it would be if people were interested in a doing the odd Hexen 2 level.

This is going to be a huge uphill battle because of several factors; Engine, editor, compiler, mapping talent and eventually audience!

At the root of any flourishing game community is coders; they essentially extend the (existing) engine limits and compiler tools. On this front you have spike with the FTE engine and eric with his compiler toolset. You can certainly compile a map and run it with FTE and Hexen2 resources, the issue I see with making H2 maps is that the original engine limits are just not fun to work with anymore and seriously need to be upgraded and modernized!

I am sure you can certainly create a map with plenty of different editors but the technical hurdle is the def/fgd entity file. This is the real nuts and bolts of how a map is created, without one there is no easy map creation process. Someone would have to create/find and validate an entity file. This can involve a crazy amount of work, especially as it requires a good knowledge of how the entity actually works in engine.

Who plays H2 anymore? Is there really an audience for this? No one wants to spend hours, days or weeks making something and then find no one is going to play it and give feedback!

The final issue is you need level designers that are going to push the original game design in interesting directions. There needs to be designers with proper experience of what H2 does and a good idea of what it does not do. There is no point in just creating generic H2 maps which mirror content that already exists in the game. You will ultimately want level design that is fresh and different and sits well within the existing game world. That kind of knowledge and understanding takes time to discover. 
Legal Issues 
Thanks all for a really interesting discussion. One point I wanted to pick up on

> To be honest, this is a massive amount of work for a project that is technically illegal to do anyway.

I'm not sure where the concern about legality comes in. Unless I'm mistaken, the only bits of hexen2 not released under the GPL are the asset (pak0.pak contents) and the soundtrack (redbook audio); the engine is GPL2 and the progs.dat sources were released that way too. So there's no impediment to mixing those h2 bits and quake engine sources. The problem is if one needed to modify the hexen2 assets in any way as part of this hypothetical cut-and-shut job. But enlighten me if I'm missing a nuance. 
I'm pretty sure that Hexen 2 has a proper source port so I don't think you'll run into engine limits and stuff. If I remember rightly Hexen 2 did have a lot of harsh limits and that's why the levels are carved up into smaller chunks than usual. 
Harsh Limits 
They are because H2 uses a lot more clipping hulls right? 
Not sure exactly what it was but I thought it was linked to entities or something? But the maps being chopped up and hub based was a work-around I believe. 
aye, hexen2 has 5 hulls using clipnodes instead of 2, so you burn through them much faster.

its actually possible to get fte to accept maps with no clipnodes at all (brush collisions!), but bsp2 is more mainstream, albeit less awesome. 
I just wonder why not use uHexen2 or other Hexen engine? 
You can get the update version HeXeN II from | Stay Tuned We Have A Lot Planned! 
The author of Anvil of Thyron, Dan, once replied to some request - that he was planning substantial new things for AoT. 
@jon - Quit Talking And Get To Work Already 
The problem is if one needed to modify the hexen2 assets in any way as part of this hypothetical cut-and-shut job. But enlighten me if I'm missing a nuance.

Why not just get started on it then?

Put in some hard work over the weekend cutting and pasting the h2 model format into your Quake engine of choice --- you should have this done in no time flat.

Tell the user to supply their own Hexen 2 data.

If you put some effort into it, any "cut and shut job" shouldn't take much more than 48 hours. 
> (currently slogging through hexen 1: deathkings)

Did anyone ever finish Deathkings ? It was a shocker. I wasted days getting half-way before i realised it probably wouldnt get any better and pulled the pin. 
I never played Hexen, but I did finish the shareware version of Heretic. I bought Hexen 2 at some point, but I don't remember getting very far the first time I played it. I gave it another try a few years ago but only made it to "King's Court" before losing interest. 
What Baker Said, But For Everyone =) 
I suppose that if ppl got stuff done, other ppl would get excited. Doom and Quake communities are driven by stuff that got done (arcane dimensions, brutal doom, {{insert cool mod name here}}). I already have a version of the Blender MDL exporter using the Hexen II palette. I'm also planning to build some tools (that are actually useful) for H2 dev besides trying to modify HoT's tools.
I like H2 very much and i would love to see more work with it. I think Q1 community lacks some ideas present in H2 to extend it's mods features even further. 
Just Do It! 
if ppl got stuff done, other ppl would get excited
Very true, if you want to do a project like this, then do it! Obviously its going to be tough, but that should not put you off the task.

Here is something I used to convert H2 models to Quake palette using QME! Unzip the contents of this zip file in the directory with the H2 MDL file. Start up QME program and load the MDL. QME will show the H2 model in a Quake Palette. Screenshot the skin window and cut and paste to an indexed PCX/BMP file.

This is not a perfect conversion and you will probably need to tone down the brightness (quake stuff is about 35-50% darker) but it is a great starting point. This is what I did for AD! 
Portal of Praevus, a fine cherry on the HexenII pie. Really a good game! Shooting sheap over the ledge! First bowshooters, yeah.

I'm not so with knowhow & engines, but it felt very Quakey from the begin. And not that dark screen palette. Got stuck halfway the castle, but couldn't leave it alone untill the end. 
Portal of Praevus is pretty decent.

My advice to someone wanting to make a Hexen 2 style mod for Quake would be to use AD as a starting point because it really does have a lot of great stuff in there.
The biggest challenge would be to create a new more medieval weapon/magic system! I feel like Quake would have been a more interesting game if it didn't bother with the base themed stuff at all. 
Thanks Again 
Thanks again to all for lots of useful data.

Quit Talking And Get To Work Already

This read a little bit to me like "put up or shut up". The reason I posted was to establish a bunch of things: 1) is this possible? It would appear that it probably is, mostly, kinda. 2) will it be hard? It seems it will be very hard. 3) will anyone be interested? That's less clear.

It would have been a waste of time for me to sit down and try to do this without having explored those questions, and the expertise of the people on this board was key in doing so.

...use AD...The biggest challenge would be to create a new more medieval weapon/magic system! I feel like Quake would have been a more interesting game if it didn't bother with the base themed stuff at all.

That is pretty much the conclusion I came to when thinking about it this morning. It would probably be easier/more practical to make a Hexen-inspired mod based on top of Quake, or in particular AD, that achieved the things I would be interested in achieving, than to try to work with Hexen 2 stuffs. For those who suggested just making a straight H2 map on top of Hammer; HoT is a great port but I have this gut feeling that it's a permanent niche/dead end because of how less popular H2 is to Quake in terms of exposure, feedback, motivation, etc.; as well as the other tooling problems people have pointed out.

That said, it would be neat to try and build hub support on top of a Quake engine. I've got a bunch of coding projects on the go at the moment (e.g. some wadc improvements and some chocolate-doom stuff) so it goes to the back of my queue.

deathkings, praevus...

Deathkings is pretty crap. I'm in the second hub and I might not persevere much further. I never really got into Praevus but I should give it a proper spin I suppose. I still have my boxed copy. 
Dark Chocolate 
This read a little bit to me like "put up or shut up"
I don't think anyone here means it quiet like that! I think its more like, the idea sounds cool, try it and if any problems just ask!

I've got a bunch of coding projects on the go at the moment, some chocolate-doom stuff
Wow nice! Are you the author of chocolate-doom? 
Cool Mod Idea 
I definitely want to see some quake medieval/dark fantasy magic mod. Still i don't know if, depending on the feature set, is worth it to code into quake instead of HexenII, since map limits and other stuff in H2 can be solved fairly easy.
As for the "do something or shut up" mindset, that is not what I intended to say at all. I'm just saying that when stuff get done, everyone gets more excited to do even more, e.g. Brutal Doom brought so many people back do Doom modding it is ridiculous!

As for my contribution so far, here's Blender Hexen II exporter (adapted from Quake's MDL exporter...) 
there is much more hexen2 gurus -> 
Hey all, I saw this thread in my webtraffic. I'm one of the admins of I'm seriously glad that you guys found this :)

This weekend I am hoping to do some serious overhaul on the site and finish building the forums. We would love to see mod talk like this on the forums as we're planning on gearing the site towards a one-stop hub for dev and modding! We are also planning on getting some hardware to have server uptime @ 100%. If anyone is down to play a few rounds this weekend, we'll all be nearby! 
Not The Principal Author 
I'm not the main guy behind chocolate-doom, that's my friend Simon, who has been running it for about 10 years. I just got involved last year, first to implement sfx pitch shifting, then to work on getting the floppy disk to flickr in the bottom-right corner, now I'm doing a bunch of mostly porting work for SDL1 to SDL2 which is not quite as exciting but needs doing to enable other exciting things. Some of the stuff other people are doing is really insane, like emulating old doom behaviours that relied on memory overflows and the way DOS laid out memory for demo playback.

Is that/are you in any way related to the old hexenworld? That guy Phoebus was one of the first community people I interacted with, back in 1997-ish. Coincidentally he later ran which was a bit controversial in the Doom community and eventually packed up his toys and disappeared... 
Nope We're Completely Different 
No we are not affiliated with the old hexenworld in any way. We are rather a community to officially support hexen2/hexenworld and will always remain online, we're not going anywhere :) The realm of multiplayer for hexen2 has been very poor since the early 2000s. It works but up until a few weeks ago very few people have been able to play online without having to configure anything special. Now we have multiple servers running across the globe that everyone has access to. That's probably been one of the most valuable features birthed in all of this. I'm really hoping to see things grow in the next few months but time will tell. We still have a ton of work to do. 
I'm doing a bunch of mostly porting work for SDL1 to SDL2 which is not quite as exciting but needs doing to enable other exciting things

It's the stuff any good engine author has to do but no end-user ever actually appreciates. 
Why Reinvent The Wheel? 
Wasn't there a quake mod called Future vs Fantasy or something?

Maybe contact the author and ask for the source code, might be easier to use existing magic code than write it from scratch. 
The QuakeC isn't the hard bit. 
I'm aware of that... I was a little late to the party and should have refered to the post numbers. I was replying to posts 33 and 34. 
I'm not so sure if the Hexen 2 gamecode is really GPL.

Did Raven ever release it as such? 
Hexen2 Src 
<quote>I'm not so sure if the Hexen 2 gamecode is really GPL. Did Raven ever release it as such? </quote>

Yes... mostly. The original source dump contained a restrictive EULA style license in a .doc file and the GPL2 in "gnu.txt". Contrast this to the original heretic/hexen1 source which was just the EULA, but was later relicensed to the GPL after a community campaign.

I think we choose to interpret the release of the h2 source as "intended to be GPL", which IMHO is fine, because there has been no complaint from the rights holders in the 14 years since they released it. 
I believe there would be larger map-making community, if not for the mentioned obstacles, which are ridiculous limits and unfinished AI. Of course not as big as Quake, but at the same level as old Heretic/Hexen. I have an entire large hub unfinished, sitting on my drive, and so as I read, I am not the only one. We talked through this several times at, but my hope, though still existing, that I will ever be able to finish my maps is tiny. 
I compiled my map as a Hexen 2 BSP2 format yesterday with help from Eric. So far it runs only in FTE of course. I'd love uhexen2 to get BSP2 support and to raise a few limits here and there as well. FTE is nice but depending on one engine isn't so awesome for something like this.

You use -hexen2 -bsp2 as command line arguments to Eric's version of tyrutils. Pretty simple. And these tools accept Quake format .map files so you can use any editor. 
Good To Know, Is The Compatbility 100%? 
With the Eric's tyrutils and H2 i mean.... 
If someone wants to use some of this, go ahead. 
On The Subject Of Hexen II Mapping.. 
Figured I'd just chime in on the topic of Hexen II level editing, but it's pretty straight forward to use Hammer and Jackhammer for it as well. (My personal setup these days is Ultimate Quake Engine and Jackhammer.)

A few years back I went on a Hexen binge and rebuilt the wads and FDG to try to be as complete as possible. This was due to finding out that previously released packages were missing a lot of content. I also converted the models into a format usable by these editors for the 3D views, and created a converter that switches the Version 220 map files into the old format so that they can be compiled with any of the tools out there.

UQE Hexen II:

If anyone is interested in mapping, I'd be happy to hear from them!
OldDoodle1 OldDoodle2 
Ah, That Was You... 
I used those Hexen II models and FGD as a base to plug into TrenchBroom 2 for mapping.

Although I don't think I ever finished that 100%..

**scratches head** 
BTW Nice Doodles! 
If anyone is interested in mapping, I'd be happy to hear from them!
OldDoodle1 OldDoodle2
Thanks for the links. Those tutorials and files are quite useful.

By the way, the file for Quake 2 you have there on the webpage of the MapConv is missing the .fgd it says it has. 
If You Need A FGD For H2 
Trenchbroom has a proxy one which has most of the stuff implemented. I also have this:!iBtEBCRL
It's TB's plus added models 
Does it still have the unique feature of applying lighting to torch flames and other objects that are supposed to be fullbright?

As I recall, it also doesn't support overbright lighting, which is especially disappointing in the light of the fact that it ditched the software renderer. 
BTW Kalango 
If you want to share files with people you will need to give them your encryption key. 
Err.. Meant To Say Decryption! 
Should've Been Public 
Hey, If You Wanna Play HeXeN II ONLINE ! DM TDM CTF CO-OP I Guess Even 
Hey, if you wanna play HeXeN II ONLINE ! DM TDM CTF CO-OP i guess even siege exist.
leave your ip here on this site and join other Servers !
there is a lot

Hexen 2 : 20 Year Anniversary Edition is also aviable there.
it has a lot FIXED stuff so it may can help you in the future.
i hope so

Tell your friends about it so com can grow faster !!!
and yeah i dont like hamachi !!!

in Hexen World you can save the ip were you have joined.
so you dont have to write it everytime again.
the same like in Quake II Adressbook !!!

and here a Quake 2 Server list: 
Free HeXeN II 
^^^^^ Is That Legit Or Spam? 
I'll Tell You In... 
a few after i finish downloading it. I have Hexen II legally, but I'm curious at 500MB who knows. 
Its Real. 
It may not be legal, but it's legit. Someone zipped up there H2 directory with a bunch of mods. 
Are They Any Good? 
I have mixed feelings about community updates. 
Its Legal 
HeXeNWorld.Org is the Official Home for HeXeN II and its Abandonware ! 
It's still being sold. How is it abandonware?

Official how? 
It's Not Legal 
.. Nor is it abandon ware. 
On The Subject Of Hexen II Mapping.. 
Thanks for the heads up about the missing Quake 2 file. It looks like I named the link incorrectly on the index page, that should now be corrected.

I'm glad that the updated definitions have seen some use, I fondly remember days of testing the entity keys and models. (I think TB uses a version of these?) The first map doodle was a Meso map I had spent time on a number of years back but hadn't continued. It would be interesting to do a collaboration sometime to either complete that, or work on different Hexen project. 
I'd be curious to know what was added in that 500M behemoth. There's also "The Ultimate patch for the Steam version of Hexen 2 (64-bit)" on that site, 200-ish MB .exe. All Windows-only I guess (no use for me right now, I am on a Mac)

I think I've come to agree with Sock that since the Quake community is more vibrant and Quake engines more sophisticated (and maintained), there's more chance of a good Hexen-style Level or Mod homage for Quake than a revival of H2 itself. 
Are there any Quake engines that support hubs? 
Fteqw supports hexen 2 even 
An Alternative To Hubs 
The size of some AD maps is larger than entire hubs in Hexen 2... 
if your only concern is the size of the maps, then just apply my bsp2 patch for markv(iirc) to some hexen2 engine, a tool already exist to compile the maps so that half of the work is already done.

support for OSX is ALWAYS going to be a pain (at least until there's a viable cross compiler that doesn't violate any licenses) - that's true whether its a modified hexen2 engine or a quake engine modified to have a hexen2 hud.

frankly the biggest issue with hexen2 mapping/modding is with the small number of people who actually own hexen2, AND still have it installed. The only real way around that is to recreate half of hexen2's content from scratch (and no, grabbing stuff from AD etc is NOT a viable solution). 
HoT Showerd Interest In Implementing Bsp2 
As for stuff like CSQC i have my doubts. But if you want to map i don't see limitations and since H2 is really cheap on steam.
The problem with H2 and FTE is lack of polish in some things, other than that is pretty fine for mapping and modding. 
Didn't Koth Have... 
...some sort of hub system? 
Lost Chapters 
Is an example although not exactly Hexen hub. With info_mapgates and session index numbers you could have things be triggered depending on change_level triggers. 
Fteqw Runs Hexen 2 Nicely. 
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