Id Tech 3

Id Tech 3

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Id Tech 3

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id Tech 3 is a game engine developed by id Software for Quake III Arena and has been used in many games under the Quake III Arena engine and Quake III: Team Arena engine branding. During its time, it competed with the Unreal engine; both engines were widely licensed.

id Tech 3 is a substantial improvement from the Quake engine and id Tech 2. Although id Tech 3 was derived from the id Tech 2, a large portion of code was new or re-written. It was succeeded by id Tech 4, which was derived from id Tech 3.

At QuakeCon 2005, John Carmack announced that the Quake III source code would be released under the GNU General Public License (version 2), and it was released on August 19, 2005. The code can be downloaded from id's ftp site.

Engine features


Unlike most other game engines released at the time—including its primary competitor, Unreal Tournament, id Tech 3 requires an OpenGL-compliant graphics accelerator to run. The engine does not include a software renderer.

id Tech 3 introduced spline-based curved surfaces in addition to planar volumes, which are responsible for many of the surfaces present within the game.


The graphical technology of the game is based tightly around a "shader" system where the appearance of many surfaces can be defined in text files referred to as "shader scripts." Shaders are described and rendered as several layers, each layer contains a texture, a "blend...
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