Quake-like game made with JavaScript takes up just 13KB of storage

screenshot of Q1K3
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

When Quake was released in 1996, its minimum requirements were a 75 MHz Intel Pentium processor, 8MB RAM with DOS (or 16MB if you used a Windows 95 PC), and 80MB of available storage. However, Dominic Szablewski has recreated the game in JavaScript for an online competition, producing an executable that is a mere 13KB.

The slimmed-down game, called Q1K3, is hosted on JS13K games — an annual HTML5 and JavaScript game development competition launched in 2012. As you might guess, the competition features a 13KB limit, meaning you can create any game that you want, as long as it fits within this size constraint. Q1K3 was published in 2021, and featured two levels, five different enemies, three weapons, and thirty different textures.

While it doesn’t have the polish of the original Quake game, the Q1K3 browser game delivered about 50% of the fun at 16% of the file size. What’s amazing is how the creator managed to add the lighting effects (no ray tracing here, though), textures, and even the sound effects and music, without using so much space. The in-game enemies also do not have pathfinding, according to the creator, but they still deliver a challenge to players.

Q1K3 machine gun

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The website’s experts had several good things to say about Q1K3. Programmer Ania Kubow said, “There is a lot happening in this game in terms of amount of enemies, weapons and in general level development. I am impressed to see a form of enemy AI being implemented also. Very impressive for 13KB!” Game developer Christer Kaitila also added, “epic and amazing, fun and smooth, fast and polished, completely impressive and wonderfully playable! this is some serious tech, some amazing graphics and music, and it is even complete with particles and gibs, healthpacks and enemy AI w LOS and dynamic lighting around the shots! it even has the dog!!!!!!”

You could spend hours and hours going through the two levels, and the game presents a serious challenge to hardcore gamers who want to go back into nostalgia. Too bad that the game is only designed for desktop: its small size makes it the perfect candidate for mobile gaming and would introduce a new generation to the Quake masterpiece — perhaps it could even lead players to try the Quake Original Remaster.

Szablewski, also known as Phoboslab, joined JS13K in 2018, 2019, and 2021. He submitted Q1K3 in 2021, but he hasn’t joined the competition since then. We hope he can spare the time and effort to get back into the challenge and create more creative games. But we’re also linking the game’s code on GitHub to inspire others to join the competition, too. If you want to give it a try, you can play Q1K3 here.

Freelance News Writer
  • stonecarver
    I jumped on and played a few minutes, Kinda crude looking but that's how it was back than.

    I forgot the mindless fun quake was. Cool
    Reply
  • usertests
    80MB of available storage.
    an executable that is a mere 13KB
    While it doesn’t have the polish of the original Quake game, the Q1K3 browser game delivered about 50% of the fun at 16% of the file size.
    13 KB is 0.01625% of 80 MB.
    Reply
  • dam4nn
    usertests said:
    13 KB is 0.01625% of 80 MB.
    Available storage and the size of Quake are two completely different things.
    Reply
  • usertests
    dam4nn said:
    Available storage and the size of Quake are two completely different things.
    Yeah, well the calculation the author did is clearly 13/80 = ~16%, so take it up with them.
    Reply
  • Aleax23805
    I don't think this is the only article that this same author proved that they have a hard time with math, particularly where it comes to percentages. I believe I called them out on it about the Steam hardware survey article just a few hours ago.
    Reply