A nickname becomes a player's calling card in the Quake community. Most of the high profile members of the community are known almost exclusively by their "nicks." New players should give some thought to their nickname before joining a server. If you plan on playing on the same servers continuously, your nickname will help people to identify you.

There are some common mistakes made in selecting a nickname:

Player: You haven't selected a nickname yet, have you? Hit the escape key to reveal the five main options available in regular Quake. Select "Multiplayer" and then select "setup". Enter your name and be sure to "accept changes." A name can also be entered through a configuration file by including the "name [your name here]" command. If you are using QuakeWorld, go to "player profile" in QSpy and enter your name.

Unconnected: This means you have tried unsuccessfully to change your name. Under normal circumstances, Quake will not allow you to leave any blank spaces in your name. So, "Dead Meat" will appear as unconnected. However, "Dead_Meat" will show correctly.

Unknown: You are attempting to play QuakeWorld with a name composed entirely of characters beyond numbers and letters. See the discussion of "Funny names" below.

In addition to these practical concerns, I would encourage new players to also apply common sense when selecting a name. You will want to have this nick for a while, and many players will not appreciate nicknames that are openly racist, homophobic, or sexist. You also want to be able to prove your skill before selecting a name that praises your abilities.

Funny Names

Quake utilizes characters beyond the standard characters that can be typed into the multi-player menu. All of the characters used in Quake are in the ASCII format and most of these characters cannot be entered directly in the way described above. However, you will undoubtedly notice that many players have special symbols and colors added to their nicknames. They have added "High ASCII" characters. This is somewhat of a misnomer as some of these characters are numbered below the standard ASCII characters.

Creating these customized names used to be a challenge. Name Fun, by Demonstar, was the first program to assist players in using High ASCII characters for their names. The reademe file is helpful but using name fun requires you to make note of number inside of Quake and then create the name using a program like MS Dos Editor.

A couple of programs have been developed since Name Fun that make this process much easier. The The Online Quake Name Maker is a great, interactive site that will help you create names and animation sequences. A detailed help section will lead you through the entire process. The site was created by Ryan Lowe. Quake Name Editor is a windows-based program by Josh "tookycat" Straub for "creating those cool names in internet Quake with the colored/graphical characters...without having to type cryptic DOS alt-commands. This shareware program can be downloaded here.

Once you have created the name file, you must then be able to implement it. The easiest way to do this is to add a line to your configuration file that executed the file. For example, I have added "exec dakota.scr" to my config to accomplish this action. Some servers will not recognize High ASCII characters and will list your name as "unconnected." This can be resolved be either creating a .scr that first logs your name in standard characters and then changes it, or by binding the exec command to a key, thus allowing you to change your name once you are on the server.


Another interesting development in the use of Quake nicknames is "animations." Every once in a while you will see a player's name change and do strange things when the score is shown at the end of a level: this is an "animation." An animation is a sequence of name changes that appear to be a short animation when initiated. Just like a cartoon, a Quake animation is a series of graphics shown in sequence in rapid succession. Creating an animation can be time consuming, but the process is fairly simple. Once it is created, the animation must be manually initiated by the player at the end of the level. It can be used anytime, but the end of the level is the only time you are assured that other players will see it.

Please note that the first line is continuous, without any hard returns. As you can see, I have bound the "anim" sequence to the "e" key, but you can change this suit your configuration.

If you do not wish to do this yourself, joXonoX has created the Quake Name Animator, a DOS-based program that will aid you in creating an animation. This program can be downloaded here. Another good program for this purpose is the Quake Name Maker by Tony Browneller.

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This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,