Beta version of the editor supports the following games: Half-Life, Quake, Quake II, Quake III, Gunman Chronicles. Some insignificant functions are missing, e.g. prefab system. Besides that the editor is fully functional and is ready to create full-fledged game levels.
You have to unpack game archives (pak-files) using one of popular programs, e.g. PakExplorer. Quake III archives (pk3-files) can be unpacked with a popular archiver WinZip or WinRAR. Unfortunately the current version is not capable of loading packed textures, although it can load packed models and sprites.
MAP is the only format most compilers are familiar with. Despite its standard suffix, the format slightly differs between different games. Although plugins do their best to detect format version and read only the necessary data, sometimes they fail. That is why you should import MAP files using the game configuration they were saved in. Besides the formats of games not supported at this moment could also be read erroneously. Please note that sometimes there will be no errors on importing the MAP using the incompatible configuration, but some information will be lost. For example, this occurs on importing a Quake II MAP as a Half-Life level.
Configuration files are usually located in the directory you installed J.A.C.K. into. However if the editor was installed into the system directory (e.g. "Program Files"), it can lack for write access rights. In this case the configuration files are located in the "My Documents/JACK" directory (or, "/home/username/Documents/JACK" under Linux).
Editor uses NAS (Network Audio System) for sound playback. You have to install necessary packages (for example, "#apt-get install nas nas-bin" in Debian/Ubuntu) an enable OSS emulation (execute "$modprobe snd_pcm_oss"). You'd better add snd_pcm_oss module to automatically loaded ones, so you won't have to run the command each time you reboot. After these operations sound should magically appear.
Despite the similarity of suffixes, these formats are fundamentally different. JMF is a native format of the editor; all the information that is to be saved, is stored into the JMF, and no plugins are required to deal with it. RMF is a proprietary rich map format designed for Worldcraft/Valve Hammer Editor; since is structure is known, J.A.C.K. supports it within a Half-Life plugin. Both formats are available for import and export, however it is recommended to use JMF to store your map sources. RMF format doesn't support some peculiar J.A.C.K. features, e.g. multiple VisGroups per object. Use the RMF format to transfer you map from J.A.C.K. to VHE. Besides the RMF can be utilized as a backup format.
In Quake, animation frames are switched manually in the game logic code. You can select any frame for editing purposes by altering a "sequence" keyvalue. Animation groups (e.g. flame) and rotating items should be animated correctly.
At present the compilers distributed with the editor do not support multiple WAD files. To solve the problem, either place all textures into a single WAD file, or use third-party MAP-220 compatible compilers.
Q3map compiler is an original map compiler for Quake III: Arena, it is present in the package only for compatibility reasons. It is recommended to use an improved, community-developed q3map2 compiler, which is also present in the packet. Please note that both compilers were modified to maintain editor's export format compatibility.
The editor supports a standard Quake III shader format, but some shaders were developed for earlier versions of the engine. You may ignore there warnings as the engine does. The warning "no appropriate stages for vertex coloring mode" means that the editor failed to select a shader stage to apply selection color to. Such surfaces will not be highlit in a red color when selected in shader animation mode.