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Wednesday, November 7, 2001
The Railgun Project Preserved
6:00 AM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

If you play computer games, you've heard of id Software's seminal first-person shooters, and if you're a regular reader of IMG, you know that every one of them has come to the Mac.

You probably also know that each of id's shooters, from Wolfenstein 3D and Doom to Quake III Arena, has spawned its own universe of third-party modifications (or "mods"). This phenomenon has been responsible in no small way for the continuing popularity of the entire Quake series, whose games were all designed with such customization in mind.

While Quake and Quake III both offer mod authors a cross-platform Quake Virtual Machine (QVM) in the game engine, insuring that any mod developed for the QVM will run on any platform, Quake II does not, forcing mod authors to compile and test a platform-specific shared library for each operating system they wish to support.

Unsurprisingly, most Quake II mod authors have been hobbyists who don't have the resources or know-how to support multiple platforms and thus release their mods only for Windows.

In the Mac world, such lack of support is sometimes called a "third-party opportunity," and in 1999 and 2000, it was Gerard Ryan's Railgun Project that rose to the challenge:

This is what the Railgun Project is all about; we want to use the source code of MacQuake II (provided courtesy of Logicware and id Software) to recompile mods so that they work on the Macintosh.
The Railgun Project went on during its life to convert a large number of popular Quake II mods to the Mac, including, among others:
Action Quake

Catch the Chicken

Eraser Bot


Freeze Tag


Holy Wars

License to Kill Bot


Loki's Minions CTF

Night Hunters



Terror Quake

Weapons Factory
Alas, when the web site hosting Railgun disappeared some time ago, the Mac gaming community's sole source of Quake II mods went with it. After a long absence from the Internet, however, the Railgun Project has found a new home over the past few months with our friends at MacGamer.

While the Project is no longer active, the preservation of its work is an important contribution to the Mac gaming community, and not only for its historical value. (Quake II is consistently one of the most popular shooters on GameRanger, the Macintosh multiplayer online gaming service.)

Check out the Railgun Project at the link below to bring new dimensions to your Quake II gaming experience.

The Railgun Project

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