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Video Game: Cube
aka: Cube Engine
Cube is an open source First-Person Shooter game engine developed entirely by Wouter van Oortmerssen. The first fully-featured version, with both multiplayer and "kill them all" singleplayer, was released in 2002.

Despite being based on both Quake and Doom in terms of gameplay, the engine was fundamentally different. It divided each map into a grid of cubes, which could be solid (a wall) or open (with a "floor height" and a "ceiling height"). This meant that map design was fairly limited, but because of the engine's limitations, map building - which, for most engines, can take up to ten minutes running numerous external utilities - could be done in realtime, allowing anyone the ability to design maps in-game. This was seen as the engine's big selling point, along with the fact that, being open source, it could be easily modded.

Wouter, still not satisfied, eventually released a new engine, Cube 2, in 2004. The game that came with it, Sauerbraten, is based on the same gameplay as its predecessor, with all the same weapons, game modes, and so on. However, the new engine added support for a nauseating amount of new features, including a ton of graphical effects, but most notably, it replaced the old map system with a vastly improved engine based on cuboid octrees instead of heightmaps. In layman's terms, that means that maps can still be edited in-game, but nearly all of the restrictions present in the old engine are gone.

The "Trooper Edition," update to Sauerbraten turned all of the dials Up to Eleven and added an obscene amount of new content, including New and Improved models for all of the weapons and a chainsaw.

Both games can be found here.

Completely unrelated to the movie of the same name.


The games provide examples of:

  • Bottomless Magazines: You may run out of ammo, but you never have to reload.
  • Chainsaw Good: As mentioned, the new melee weapon in the Trooper Edition. (The old one was a basic punch.)
  • Cherry Tapping: The instagib modes encourage this, giving you a rifle with infinite ammo... and your melee weapon, which also kills in one hit. (This is a subversion, though, since the rifle has a long cooldown time, making the melee weapon a practical choice in certain situations.)
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The enemy team is always red, your team is always blue.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: It's not necessarily even that, as there's no timer for respawning in the instagib modes. On a busy server you could get killed three times within a second - no big deal.* Emergency Weapon: The melee weapon (fist in Cube, chainsaw in Sauerbraten) acts as one most of the time. In Sauerbraten, your pistol acts as one as well, since you get ammo for it practically everywhere.
  • Game Mod: A few. The most popular by far is AssaultCube.
  • Genre Throwback: The author specifically said he wanted to bring back Quake-style deathmatches.
  • Gratuitous German: The game is named after a kind of German pickled roast beef. This is because the original programmer Wouter van Oortmerssen is quite fond of naming stuff after food. He also goes by the nickname aardappel (which means potato in Dutch)
  • Level Editor: It's the most famous feature of both games. Basic premise: the map is divided by a grid; you can select any area of it (save for walls in Cube) and edit its height and add various stuff like ammo, enemies, map models, triggers, lights... and it's even easier than it actually sounds.
  • Loads And Loads Of Levels: The last official package of Cube includes more than 130 maps, including singleplayer ones! Something that any Unreal Tournament game wouldn't boast with. Although that's justified, since the maps were created by various fan authors AND considering all the ease of the level editor.
  • Telefrag
  • One-Hit Kill: Indirectly; see below.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Any of the instagib modes. Everyone has only one hit point, and everyone gets a rifle with infinite ammo.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: The Ogros, which are smaller than ogres but just as fat and stupid. And not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Playable Menu: Or, go away until the pause menu disappears out of your sight. Yes, this is the only known first-person shooter so far to have a real-time floating-on-the-level options/level select menu.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: SLUDGE in one of the mods for Cube is a basic attempt at this.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Four-barreled shotgun, anyone?
  • Rocket Jump: In addition to traditional rocket jumping, you can also get a good boost by firing the rifle straight down.
    • There originally was a whole testing polygon for this.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Guns are pretty no-nonsense, though not realistic. Characters are goofy. Environments range from gritty scifi to a cartoonish pirate ship to whatever you can think up. Ultimately it leans on the silly side.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Playable character Captain Cannon's physique.
  • Word Beefy Title: Sauerbraten.

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alternative title(s): Sauerbraten; Cube Engine
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