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The Gameplay Is What This Map Is All About 
Some feedback (possible spoilers):

Played through a sizeable chunk of the map but got stuck at the big fight in that arena-like area with the silver key door, where you fight several waves of monsters. I'd still like to finish, but I can write what I thought so far (before I forget what I think).

The "moving planes" gimmick is really nice, and it's effectively introduced at the beginning of the map, in a relatively simple space, before things get more complex.

The secrets are fun; I've found 6 out of 9 so far. I really like the way they utilise the main mechanic of the map, although I was in pretty much every instance surprised that I had found a secret, as I thought I was just going where the map directed me. But that might just be because of my play style; I like exploration-heavy gameplay.

I find that the map can get pretty confusing and disorientating fast. This might partly be intentional, but I think it would still help if the player can get their bearings more easily. That would arguably also make the unconventional means of traversing the map (i.e. by means of the shifting planes) more impressive: "Oh, I'm here now!" instead of "err, am I somewhere else or back in the same spot?". I would suggest using the detail pass not just for visual polish, but also visually to differentiate the various areas more.

I have two things to say about the arena/horde/wave fight where I'm currently stuck:

The first thing, which is probably a matter of preference/play style, is that I really don't like it. It's too hard and it seems to go on forever, and it's the kind of thing that's been done to death. The rest of the map was so interesting; to have to plough through yet another cliched over-the-top fight was a real let-down. It doesn't make use of the unique mechanic either -- it's just a bog standard wave fight. I don't know, if nothing else, maybe tone it down and shorten it somewhat, at least for normal and easy? I realise other players might have the exact opposite opinion, though.

The second thing is about the messages, and it applies if if you disregard my criticism above. I'm guessing each wave --or at least certain monsters in each wave-- trigger the start of the next wave. That in and of itself is not a bad way of doing things, but the messages to the player ("there are more to go", "only x more to go", "sequence completed") are a bad idea in this instance. What happens in practice is that you're in the middle of this chaotic battle, where you're killing monsters left and right -- and since this is Quake, they're killing one another too, in which case the player does not see any messages. And then seemingly at random, you see these messages: "only three more to go"; "sequence completed"; "there are more to go"; "sequence completed", etc. But there is no clear objective and no sequence to complete that the player is aware of, so it all just comes across as random gibberish.

Overall, though, this is the start of a really great map, I think. I hope some other people give you feedback too and I am excited to see the final version. No demo, sorry. I always get stage fright when recording demos and then can't play as I normally would. 
...continued (more spoilers):

Ok, I got impatient and just godmoded through that fight. Hmm, I guess that was the end -- except for then having to jump over platforms over an instakill void to then be surprised by spawns. I didn't mind the platform jumping, but those spawns just add insult to injury.

So yeah, a really annoying end to an otherwise really engaging map.

That reminds me: there is a staircase that would lead up to the blue key-door arena, were it not for a doorway that's blocked by vertical bars. And that staircase has pockets of instakill void on either side. This is also a bad idea I think. It looks more like a potential secret area shrouded in darkness (in fact, I jumped in on purpose and then of course died) -- which would be more interesting and less annoying than those two pockets of instant death.

To reiterate, overall this is really great. There are just certain things that detract from the experience in my opinion.

I noclipped around after I finished and saw that there are some areas I missed completely -- presumably connected to the secrets I missed, or maybe just optional extra areas. I'm tempted to play again and try and uncover the entire map, but part of me wants to wait for the final version so as not to spoil it for myself. 
This is an incredible concept. How long has building this map taken you so far?

I haven't finished playing it yet, but like former_total_newbie, I wanted to write this down before I forget.

The whole map feels like I'm inside a giant mechanical puzzle, trying to find the right sequence of switches to move on to the next area.

Is this going to be a void map? I'm curious, because at this point you don't die in the beginning if you fall off the edge into blackness.

The initial view at the beginning is rather unremarkable. I'm sure you intend to add more visuals to represent it as the outside of the complex/fortress/puzzle.

I really enjoy the feel of the level. Despite the texture set being familiar, this level gives Quake a new and somewhat unrecognizable impression during play.

My favorite part so far is of course trying to fit into the openings of the falling platforms. One thing that would be cool to see, and I don't know if this is possible, is to create divisions in the platforms depending on which opening you choose to fit though, since some of the plats have more than one way to get through. This could maybe lead the player through a completely different route through the level than if he were to choose a different opening to squeeze through. Not sure if I am conveying this accurately.

Overall a great map so far, and one that I feel would get even less-than-avid players back into Quake to try it out. Awesome work! 
Shifting Planes Of Existence 
The gameplay is cool. The map corridors are boring, though. For this kind of stuff, I would expect more "weirdness" in the geometry and details. It's not "out of this world" enough (i.e Lovecraftian).

Maybe darker ? 
Three Barrels 
Now in 3D!

Anyway, that's it for sneak peek stuff until the demo is out; I don't want to spoil all the cool stuff. Keep your eyes peeled q1/q2 2018... 
Thanks For The Feedback 
I'm so grateful for all the great feedback I have received so far.

I agree that the ending is pretty weak atm. I'll probably replace the final arena with some kind of puzzle section.
I'm already in the process of addressing most of the other issues you mentioned.

The earliest saved version I can find is from September (it was initially meant to be a submission for Jam 9).
I get what you're saying about the openings in the platforms leading to different paths (and I think I know how to implement such a feature) but I think it's sadly beyond the scope of this project. 
I know this probably won't sway your decision, but I loved the sprite weapons.... maybe it's a bit anachronistic but I love the character they can add to the screen, really charming when done well.

That said, your overall aesthetic is really consistent and good so I'm sure you'll put all the pieces together nicely. Look forward to the demo! 
Woo hoo. Cannot wait. Your hard work is going to pay off. 
@starbuck - I loved the sprites too and thanks :D Looks like Ion Maiden will deliver big time for those of us needing a sprite fix.

@dumptuck - thank you, sir. 
I Lied A Little 
coachgun test animation

thought I'd go ahead and share this last thing because the gun has already been spoiled and it's a personal milestone, so I'm all giddy. Anims are in rough form atm, especially the initial pickup. all sounds can be ignored too (they're just carryovers from the sprite version).

Wow. in actual (3D) viewmodel. functioning. in the game. :D :D :D 
Dig It 
again: cannot wait

can you talk a bit about the lighting. It's subtle but perfectly creepy and dark. Is that ericw's tools or DP? 
Haven't commented on any of killpixel's work but it's all magnificent. Really, really good models and animations, can't wait to see it all in action, and eventually play it myself. 
really nice ammo-loaded indicator, it's really subtle yet effective

also really like the fading (heat?) on the side of the barrel. It's a nice touch. 
Still Shugging Along... 
Bored of having boring flat walls? Nothing some fancy new flat screen TVs cannot fix!

Having trouble finding your silver key? Just add some subtle lighting fixtures where you put it! 
The lighting is looking great!

One little suggestion: use angle and softangle on those spot lights to soften up the edges

From erics tools docs:

"angle" "n"

Specifies the angle in degrees for a spotlight cone. Default 40.

"_softangle" "n"

Specifies the angle in degrees for an inner spotlight cone (must be less than the "angle" cone. Creates a softer transition between the full brightness of the inner cone to the edge of the outer cone. Default 0 (disabled). 
Thanks for liking the lighting - I think getting that aspect right is usually effort well spent :-)

I usually happen to like high-contrast spotlights. For instance, I'm quite happy with those:

In-game, these high-contrast cones nearly have a "volumetric" feel to them that depends on sharply defined edges.

In some places the spotlights struggle with lightmap resolution, though - I shall certainly try _softangle there to avoid an overly jagged look there - so thanks for the suggestion! 
It's really coming together. Great work and really smart additions. 
Yeah, this is getting markedly better with every iteration.

I was wondering when we were getting another update on the Dreadbase of Dread.

Thanks for those comparison shots you posted last time, by the way; those were really nice. Please don't delete them, and maybe you could do something similar again? 
@dumptruck - It's Q3map2 :D That test map is relatively dark. The outside portion where I have the enemy models is supposed be the dark of evening. The game itself has creepy lighting but is overall fairly well lit. Think quake's third episode. All the weapons, enemies, items, keyed doors, switches, and POIs have some sort of glowing bit to help mitigate the negative impact of moody lighting.

@lpowell - thanks, I can't wait for you to play it either.

@shambler - yeah, I'm pleased with the ammo indicators. They're a no-brainer in retrospect, but when I made the sprite version of the gun I was dissatisfied with the busy symbol on the back that was right in your face though it didn't have a purpose. Not sure why it didn't occur to me then... 
@dumptruck_ds And @former_total_newbie 
Thanks :-)

I'll try to have some nice comparisons with previous iterations of the map. In worst case I can just always include the old .bsp and .lit files for the curious to explore :) 
Dreadful Beta3 
Hi there,

here is another iteration of The Dreaded Dreadbase of Dread:

And some comparison shots:





Personally, I think that emotion is what makes us truly human, which is why I extended the exit area to present an emotional feat to the player: You'll encounter a beloved old friend! To ensure I don't spoil things, here's a screenshot that I processed to keep the surprise intact:

(the new exit area is still rather raw, but should still be a nice improvement over just running into the exit trigger)

There are other tweaks (e.g. regarding entity placement) that are hard to show on screenshots - I recommend experiencing things in-game ;-) 
BETA: New Version Of Shifting Planes 
The biggest change between this version (a2) and the previous is the removal of the final battle. Instead, I have added a sequence more akin to the one with the falling ceiling platforms. Besides that, there are a number of other small changes which hopefully improves navigation through the map.
Still no artpass, but I do have some ideas I'm excited to implement in the next (and hopefully last) version.

New Screens:


(Includes movplan_a2.bsp and .lit. Requires Qouth) 
RE: Dreadful Beta3 
Recorded a demo yesterday:

Otherwise, I don't have much else to add. It was a fun and frantic map.

I got the following error in the console: "Host_error: Cannot find maps/excavation.bsp". I don't know if it's related to your map tho.

I like how you can find the secrets using the sound from the teleporters (that's how I found the second secret). Found the third one after the recording by noclipping, and I kind of think it would be more interesting if it was a twist on the shootable secret wall formula like the second secret (e.g. the top of a generator is a secret wall), instead of being a repetition of the first secret. 
Thanks for the demo and for testing in FTE :-)

It's good to know you perceived things as "fun" and "frantic" - in the end what matters is that things are enjoyable.

I see that the Shambler fight just doesn't work out as planned. Instead of chasing the player around (to make it more difficult for the player to hide behind one of the pillars), the additional enemies tend to get into an infight with the Shambler, which actually makes things easier for the player.

Yeah, I'm not very creative regarding hiding the secrets. I want to be consistent (so the trained eye can spot them without axing every single wall) and not overly random. I'll see if I can remix the formula a bit for the third secret, so things don't get boring.

The error message at the end of the level is normal - this map was/is intended as part of a short stand-alone (not depending on Quake assets) single player campaign with the silly name "Zernichter" ( Basically you'd fight your way through a base (base1) up to the surface, where you'd find an excavation site (excavation.bsp - not nearly finished) uncovering a gateway into a demonic realm. There (in a hell-themed third map) you'd try to stop the demonic invasion.

Short and stupid story arch, but of manageable scope. I'm slowly progressing through getting the maps together, releasing them for Quake first. Then I may package them as free/libre stand-alone game (perhaps extending the arch a bit), but currently the liberally licensed assets I can use are of... limited... quality, so that would require a team-effort, e.g., with someone who can create models :-) 
Dreadful Feedback 
Played through this one, as opposed to just noclipping around. Somewhat sleep-deprived, so I hope I'm able to make sense.

Spoilers may follow!

The good:

+ Pipes! The decorative pipes add a lot. Overall the map has improved aesthetically.

+ The final area with the lift is nice; makes me curious as to where it leads. Pity there's no secret under the lift, though.

+ Found two secret areas (MH and Quad Damage). Really liked both of them, although the Quad Damage area in particular felt a bit empty. Maybe spawn some zombies when the Quad is picked up, which the player has to kill before returning to the main map? It would add bit of extra gameplay as reward for finding the secret (which would be especially welcome for players who -like me- find the secret after having cleared the rest of the map).

+ I know it's not new, but I really like that descending lift with the ogres etc.

The bad/ugly (not particular to this latest iteration, but things I don't think I mentioned before):

- Not too crazy about the coloured lighting, though I'm not sure what exactly it is I don't like. Maybe there are too many different colours competing for attention in the same space (red, blue and white lights in close proximity or in the same room), and/or maybe the colours are too saturated.

Generally I'm not a fan of obvious/in your face coloured lighting; for me it works best when it's so subtle that it just feels a little more realistic, without the player's necessarily even realising that the lights are not white.

- Don't like the use of death knights. In my opinion, knights and death knights do not belong in base/tech maps, just as grunts and enforcers don't fit medieval/temple/etc. maps -- unless the map justifies it somehow, e.g. there's a portal/slipgate, and as you draw near, the "wrong" monsters start spawning in.

Haven't played the new Shifting Planes beta yet -- sorry, Spipper! 
Thanks for your comments!

I can certainly dial back on the coloured lighting a bit. I guess that the "computer room" is one of the areas where things may be "too much" (there's red, yellow, green and blue light in there). For the yellow lights (for instance in the gold key room) I might reduce the saturation a bit to reduce the Quake 2 feel.

I understand your dislike for death knights in base maps. For some reason (and I'm not exactly sure why) they blend much less natural into a non-fantasy environment. Ogres are fine IMO (they're fantasy-tech hybrids anyway), Scrags/Wizads are okay IMO (twisted wanderers of dimensions) and Fiends and Shamblers are "monster wildlife" that could just as well shamble on somewhere in Siberia ;-)

Perhaps "knight" has such strong cultural connotation with "medieval" and/or "fantasy" that they just don't blend well with industrial/base settings, while the Lovecraftian creatures are not quite as tied to a specific setting (I could easily see Ogres, Shamblers and Fiends doing evil evilness in steel mill along 1980ies Heavy Metal tunes - Knights not so much). 
Less Elevator, More Stairs 
I took the liberty of replacing the first elevator the player encounters with an arrangement of stairs.

Yes, I know, this is less comfortable than simply pushing buttons - but I'm sure Quake Guy won't mind the physical exercise. It also allows for some actual gameplay being put on several different height levels.

Not very polished yet, but an early glimpse: 
New Zombie Model 
Slowly Moving Forward With The Artpass 
New screenshot:

Old for comparison:

This is going to take a while. 
Very nice. Loving it. 
Spipper is displaying the power of multiple iterations of the same scene. Its an amazing thing watching a space transform like this. Keep it up!

If you havent already, join us in our Discord channel! 
Spipper: nice!

Chillo: he looks very happy. Knees look a bit knobby for my liking but cool other than that. 
New Skill Selection Map 
That looks really good! 
Looks pretty snazzy, the soft fog and warm sky/lighting give it a neat look without feeling arid. Is the bright blue water supposed to stand out that much, though? Assuming it's water, I mean. 
Looking great! 
OTP, Spud, Mfx 

The blue water is not exactly intended - it just happens to be the one water texture I currently have (I avoid non-free textures in hopes of going stand-alone sometimes in the future).

Whipping up a more muddled water texture shouldn't be a major problem, though. 
"Those outdoor shots looks great, and surprisingly similar to Turok:
almost, but better :) 
Heh, that's indeed a nice visual coincidence - I think I'll try to sneak in a reference to Turok into the map. 
My Approach To Churning Out Terrain Fast 
First: lay out all floors and walls as "quadsoup":

Second: Start pushing vertices around until things look "organic":

Overview after approx. three hours of messing in TrenchBroom:

The big sky brush marks the +/-4096 limit of unmodified Quake network protocol. I'm expect I'll have to switch to BSP2 before this map is done. 
Brushwork Terrain Tutorials 
Thanks for posting that, SavageX. I've been playing around with natural terrain recently, also mainly using the TB vertex tool, but I haven't settled into a method that works for me yet -- though broadly speaking, I try to do more or less what you have done here. In my experience so far, however, it's tempting to go overboard and end up with an unwieldy mess of overly complex brushwork (something which you seem to have avoided).

Every so often I see people recommending this terrain tutorial by Sock. As I recall, Adib used it when mapping for the Fire & Brimstone jam. The thing is, though, I can't really make much sense of it -- or perhaps I'm missing something?

To me it doesn't really look like a tutorial at all. Instead, it starts with what looks like some sort of historical overview of terrain in brush-based engines in general, and then it moves on to a fairly technical discussion of something called DotProduct2 and some stuff that seems specific to the Quake 3 engine and Radiant. I really have trouble picking out the parts that are relevant/helpful to Quake mapping in a different editor than the Radiant family. Or is there a tutorial buried in there somewhere, and have I just never found the right link to click? 
the dotproduct2 stuff is 'just' q3map2 autogenerating per-vertex alpha values based upon the similarity of the vertex normal and some specified unit vector. And then squaring it (hence the '2').
(dot(A,B) == cos(anglebetweenAandB)*length(A)*length(B)), or in other words, given unit vectors, dotproduct gives 1 when they are equal, 0 when perpendicular, and -1 when opposing, so its quite handy when doing geometry stuff. squaring it biases it towards 0 in a non-linear way, so you don't need such vertical cliffs)
combined with a shader that performs alpha blending according to said vertex alphas, this gives different textures appearing based upon how flat that part of the map is meant to be.
manually doing all that stuff would take excessive amounts of effort...

its worth noting that its all q3map2/q3bsp-specific and doesn't apply at all to q1bsp (which completely lacks vertex alpha values... and shaders). 
Yeah, Sock's tutorial is certainly covering a lot of things that only apply to Quake 3 (or compatible engines).

I cannot claim to be an authoritative source regarding Quake editing - I'm not a veteran mapper and have yet to properly release a single (!) Quake map (apart from the betas in this thread). I try to adhere to following rules:

- Most vertices I only displace on one axis. So if I want to push the rock surface in, I'll grab a vertex and just push that one in exactly according to one axis. I try to make sure my brushes keep quite some volume (no strangely flimsy brushes), which is why I start with 128x128x128 cubes. I can push those around without

- I try to keep all vertices on-grid. I certainly make sure all vertices are on integer positions.

- be gentle on the floor, don't go as crazy on vertex editing as on rock faces. A few hills and ramps usually work fine, but if you go overboard you can run into collision issues, like players getting stuck on random edges (for Quake 2 and 3 the collision system works quite differently and seems to be overall more robust).

I uploaded an example map with sources over at - perhaps that's useful for you. However, again, I might do things horribly wrong although they appear to be working fine for me for now ;-) 
I've been using FraQuake to generate fractal geometry for my Xmas Jam map. (cavewalls) You'll need to run it in a 16bit compatible OS. I'm probably going overboard with the number of polys but you can dial it in to your hearts content. It's a multi-step process. Create a map in the application and then copy and paste what you need from the output. (It adds monsters randomly FYI) I use TB2's CSG merge to weld faces together to create borders. Then add _phong 1 to make the lighting pretty. I'm having fun and I think it looks groovy

this is the only screenshot I have access to ATM but it illustrates the fractals well 
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