This engine is a good start! It runs much faster than WinQuake Mark V at 1280x720, and CD music seems to work better. However, it seems to have some completely game-breaking bugs--it won't load a video mode with a resolution higher than 1024 (so 1920x1080 causes a crash), and it crashes when it attempts to save on the first big map in Honey--but it will load saves made by WinQuake Mark V. I think it's worth pursuing.
As for herding cats, it seems like kind of a shame that nobody took after what the Doom community did--for the first year or so there were many ports that all went their own way, but then the biggest, most important team in Doom modding, TeamTNT built the port Boom with minimalist software graphics but loads and loads of editing features with a new map format, and the Doom community kind of collectively agreed that Boom would be the new standard for source port mapping and most other source ports adopted its map format (ZDoom has its own thing going with its advanced Hexen-based map format but is 100% Boom-compatible). Still better than the Wolf3D community fared though, where every single mod project had its own executable and no one released their source codes.
qbism Super8 is a gritty software-rendering 3D engine based on Makaqu and other GPL Quake source code.