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This is the place to post screenshots of your upcoming masterpiece and get criticism, or just have people implore you to finish it. You should also use this thread to post beta versions of your maps.

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Thanks m8

Thanks a lot for the kind words. I'm really glad that you thought it felt like sock's style because that's exactly what I was shooting for.

I had initially planned for a lot more monsters but once I started adding them in, it felt like I didn't really allocate enough space for combat. Big open spaces and long lines of sight also made it hard to add monsters since that kind of forced me to teleport most of them in. 
this is vanilla? 
Got it, Looking forward to seeing it in action.

Did you convert any other chasm models? 
Yeah I forgot to include installation instructions in the readme, I just typed it up really quickly without thinking. Regular id1. 
Congrats on an excellent first map, here's a Playthrough for you. I'd say aside from some minor clipping, there's little reason not to release it outright IMO. 
Thanks a lot for the compliments and for the video. It's really rewarding to watch other people play through my maps.

Regarding the clipping, I had a really hard time blocking off that roof that you tried jumping onto without making it look really ugly. I actually added that wooden bar and a drape on the other side of the tower in order to try and discourage it but you were determined to try and get on there, understandably so - I'd have tried doing it myself.

Your play style is really interesting. You were really conservative with ammo, opting to use the axe on occasion. You also went in head first in the library and I got a little worried when you dropped down to 5 health.

I got a kick out of your in game comments and I appreciate you taking the time to write them while playing. I was keeping my fingers crossed that you'd find the lower library secret with the books. You actually found the hardest book by accident and you came so very close to finding the final one. Three of the books are illuminated and you happened to stumble upon the one that was barely visible. I was still glad that you persisted for a while and tried hard to find that last book.

Thanks for the feedback and for playing through. I might take a few minutes to fix some of the known bugs and then release it properly due to the encouragement. 
It would be really a shame not to release that great map, with its bugs fixing.

Don't stop maping dude, you have talent. 
Regarding the books, I think it would be best to illuminate them all consistently to ensure the player finds them IF he is looking for them. I actually noticed the relief before I noticed the spotlight on them. I thought it was a well done secret but I didn't want to spend much more time on it. Regarding the clipping, the faraway cave was a cool intermission screen, but seeing it from the player's perspective was obviously tempting to try going after! 
Thanks Barnak. I'll be mapping more in the future when I get some more time. It's a lot of fun.

jcr, the book you hit accidentally actually is illuminated but there's a nearby flame that kind of obscures it and it's hard to make it any brighter than it already is. I actually thought that the other 3 books were way too obvious, which is why I didn't do much about making the fourth book stand out too much against the torch light. You brushed up against the surface of almost every single book case except for the one with the final book. The biggest issue I noticed with that secret is that you thought one of the books might have been on the upper level.

Anyhow, that was supposed to be the hardest secret so I wanted the player to work for it. As for the cave, I remember RC playing breezeep's Mayan jam map and appreciating some unreachable details like distant trees, so that's kind of what I going for with the cave. It was also a shoutout to Orl's Ter Shib maps with how he had some details and storytelling elements in the far distance. In retrospect, I'd redesign the entire layout to ensure that the player wouldn't be in any position to even try and jump on top of the roof. 
I echo what everyone else is saying in that for an unfinished map, it looks and plays extremely well. I really enjoyed it, and I am flattered that it was a shout out to Ter Shibboleth.

If this map is what you consider to be unfinished, I can only imagine a finished map of yours will be amazing.

First run demo, hard skill:

Terrific work Poorchop! 
Skill 2 Demo 
Super Solid First Release 
got cocky in first run, will record 2nd run and send soon 
See post #15792. 
What a great map! Keep mapping please. I know you are busy but don't stop mapping. 
Thanks Everyone 
Thanks a lot Orl, ww, Drew, and dumptruck.

Orl, I'm honored that you played the map since Ter Shib was a big inspiration. Thanks for taking the time to record and send the demo. Watching it made me realize that I never closed off the library entrance after the player gets the gold key, which allows them to bypass the final shambler. Hopefully I'll eventually get around to making the shib3 inspired map that I initially had in mind before I made this one.

Thanks as well for the demo, ww. Your playing was really good and you're the first person to get the rocket launcher. You also have a keen eye because I think that you were the first to notice the secret books before accidentally bumping into one of them. The same book eluded both you and jcr and I was really hoping that you'd find it.

dumptruck, thanks for taking the time to check this out. It wouldn't have been possible without your help. Your videos were an invaluable resource and I always had them up alongside Trenchbroom as I was doing this. As fun as Trenchbroom is to use, I wouldn't have attempted this if not for your tutorials. I'll definitely map more in the future. 
Thanks - those are the types of comments that make the time involved worth it! 
I said it before and I'll say it again, I'm excited to hear you planning on building a map inspired by shib3. Heck I think the far east Asian setup would make a great theme for a speedmap pack, but that's not up to me to decide. 
Got A Trailer And Demo For A Quake Based Dreamcast Game I'm Making! 
Hey there! I'm making a Dreamcast game using the Quake engine and thought you guys might want to take a look at what I got so far! I have a trailer and a demo that I update with new gameplay and fixes every so often.
Check it out!
Here's the trailer

Here's the demo: 
I Was 
trolled appropriately. 
For Poorchop 
Want to reiterate - very strong debut material! 1st demo sober and cocky, dies poorly. next two demoes quite high so hopefully not too frustrating to watch 
420 blaze it fam 
glad to see you're still working on this and making progress 
My 2nd map :

Screenshots :

Download : 
Getting Some Maps Finished Up, Need Feedbacks 
Hey guys, looking for feedback for my map, it started off as a map for the copper jam, which evolved into an e2m5 remix, which evolved into the beast that it currently is.

Only one skill at the moment, there is a bit of detail to be added to some areas, and there is a lot of clip brushes to add.

Any playthrough demos would be awesome. Thanks in advance :)


If I had a lampoon fish, how would I make it glow in the dark?

I first tought fullbrights would do the trick,
but in complete darkness there's no light to reflekt. 
Fullbrights work in complete darkness 
Then at least the trick works.
I wondered how it look in a dark cave. 
It looks kind of like the Angler Fish from Rayman Legends, and it would light the way in the dark.

Also there is a trick you can use to keep the environment dark, but light up your models: Since the model adopts the light value of the floor, you can make the floor a func_illusionary (with clip/skip brushes for collision). Beneath the func_illusionary place a func_group brush with _minlight set on it.

This method will allow you to keep the environment very dark, but also light up your models. I used this trick to light up my seahorses and mermaid splash in this dark cave of water: 
For my clear understanding,
I made a map with the lampoonfish, but in dark I see no sign of fullbrights.
So I made a tex brush of quakepal to see if the lower range would glow in the dark, but they don't.
Do I have my settings wrong?

r_fullbright 1
r_fullbright 0

Sounds interesting, Redfield. Also a bit complicated, I remember I had to do such a thing to make the startrek model have a good lightning. 
some models in quake have a glowing attribute, like the lasers from Enforcers (newmis.effects = EF_DIMLIGHT;). Maybe you can copy that attribute and adapt it to your fish code, this way he will really glow in the dark, it doesn't matter the skin color. 
Thanks, Tribal. That could work, I was thinking of the moving_light code also. But after working with new models for so long deleting fullbright's, I just can'you see why they won'the appear now as in the example. 
Madfox: do you seen fullbrights on models created by other people?

If not, make sure gl_fullbrights is 1 
It works as soon as I made a subdirectory.
It seems my TmpQuark has got a bit diluted. 
Quark Is Best 
Madfox, Keep on! 
I remember how I got this idea. I lowered the triangles untill qmle could load it. My texturing is bad, when I had a good UV skin file I spent a week and now the midle ridge is meshed up.

A bit dark, but that's what this baracuda needs. 
New Multiplayer Map 
I have created small multiplayer map for duel.
Anyone would like to take a look on it and let me know what might be improved?



Thanks folks 
I didn't play a match but I did load it up and looked around.

Things I liked:

I has a very solid old school feed to it.
Very nice lighting overall. The shadows from the skylights look great.
Looks like a fun layout for a duel map for sure.
You have some nice brushwork, particularly the Red Amor area.


Some of the areas are a bit bland looking. And monochromatic. Try a darker floor color in different areas maybe? You also may want to add some simple trim here and there. Or add some accents like torches or light fixtures. This would help to differentiate the areas.

There's an area with a pool of water and room behind the bars it is very dark. Might be a good area for a secret or a strobing or pulsing light. Right now it's just dark.

I would consider one more connection between your play areas. The layout seems like a loop and maybe you could add one passageway somewhere to open up the flow a bit.

Overall you have a very nice level - keep mapping! 
I forgot something important in my last post. Use -soft and -extra4 when you light your map. You have a lot of "jaggy" shadows at the moment in your map. These settings will look way better.

More info here: 
Played against the Reaperbot and had a lot of fun. It can improve on the looks for sure. I'm not talking about brush sculpting, only common sense design like: door frames, variation of color and light/dark on the textures, etc.

I frequently got stuck on teleport frames. Also, I couldn't see a point in that water volume. Am I missing something? 
Follow Up 
Hi guys,
thanks for comments so far!!!!
Yeah, I've needed it. Answers to you comments are below.

I admit maps is not finished yet.
- Teleportes stuck me frequently when I am playing. I plan to correct it. I will move it into wall
- Some areas are "bland looking", I have paused work on on great look and testing playability.
- I am plannig to retuxturize it. Maybe I will give up for brick texture and try dm4 texture.
- I am planning to add frames and details at the end.

Regarding dark area, there was passage to the GL room but I have close it. It was not used when we have played with my friend.

Water... My plan was to use it to set up trap to kill player who dominates at the moment (it is all about keeping red armor). So you could jump into water and discharge :)
Aparently no one has used it so far when playing. It might be removed.

I have to admin i have got various comments on the level.
First. my own opinion is that level is bit small for duel, as you can run around level within few seconds (yes, strafe jumping!). Then I got feeedback that level is to big and is better for FFA. And another, that it shuld be more open map, not so many corridors as in maze :)

At the end I think each plays differently and expect different motions, like more shooting, more sniffing and setting traps.

Anyway, thanks again for feedback and yes, I am going to continues mapping as this gives me fun! 
I Always Wanted To Make A Map Inspired By The Giant's Causeway 
So I wrote a script to generate arbitrarily-sized stepped terrain from a height map. 
Ooh! Can you do hexagons? 
Could use OBJ2MAP to do that 
That's very cool. Feel free to share! 
Happy to share, but I wrote the script in Mathematica which is not the most mainstream of languages! 
Mathematica Rules! 
Hey Ubiq, I'm a Mathematica user too!

Mma is the best math package out there, and fuck Maple.

I didn't tried your code though. 
Loving This 
That Looks Ace. 
That's a Doom map? The verticality is strong with this one. 
New Map, Need Advice 
Hi guys,
I've been working on my first map for 6 weeks and it's almost ready for release but I'm not sure about the ammo/health distribution and number of monsters. If anyone wants to test it and let me know if it's too easy/hard I'd really appreciate it. Also, any general criticism or advice is always welcome, as it will help me plan future maps better.

I intended to just test some ideas and learn the basics of TrenchBroom (thanks dumptruck for the great tutorials) but it got out of hand very quickly so I combined it all into a playable level. There are some puzzle experiments which I decided to leave in, but I made them easy to avoid frustration.

I limited myself to just using start.wad, so there isn't much texture variety, but I tried to compensate with geometry

The map is based on an ancient Dwarven Forge, infested with monsters. There's a small back story in the readme.txt

map & screenshots here: 
Sir, More Monsters In Nightmare Mode! 
I didn't tested the map yet, but I feel it is for sissies again.

In nightmare mode, there should be 500 monsters, at the very least. 
I Agree 
People play Nightmare because they want a real challenge, so I'll add plenty of pain for the release.
For now, I'd just like to get it balanced for Normal/Hard and then I can remove some for Easy and add loads for Nightmare. 
The zombie/underground area was the highlight for me. The blue areas felt a bit cramped and the strong enemies made it challenging. I noticed bumping into the geometry in certain areas, see the demos. Check out my comments in the demos as well. It was fun and well designed. Great job!

Thanks for checking it out, glad you enjoyed it!

How do I access those dem files? 
Figured It Out 
Thanks jcr for the great demos, and your kind words. I'll definitely take note of your suggestions, I need to tidy up those door edge textures, I keep forgetting because they're not visible in the editor :) 
City Of Lights 
City Lights 
Looks pretty chilling! Excellent work! 
Well God Damn. 
just watched that 3 times... looks fucking cool, keep it up! 
Well That's A Bit Bonkers!! 
Looks interesting to say the least. 
Friend: So they're finally getting used to your weirdness in mapping?

Me: They have no choice. 
LOL True Dat. 
Looks awesome. I like the alleys, and yeah
Also impressive texture usage.
My eyes nearly fell off, as is expected i guess.
Cannot wait to play this. 
The Big Skeleton's Eyes Fell Out As Well 
Also its a bit hard to spot but the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the distance. And its not just a background decoration either, its part of the map from the bottom all the way to the top. 
Digs09 Test 
Hi all!

Need testers

Map require Quoth2.2 and engine with increase limits, support bsp2 and transparent sprites. In my arsenal only quakespasm can work with this map.


I tried your map. It's a nice one, but it needs MUCH more monsters in nightmare mode. Only 139 monsters on such a large map? Come on, it needs at least 1000 arses to fuck.

The ascending scales are not working. I had to noclip to move on.

The zombie pictures from the shooting plants game are funny. Not very Quacky though.

The last part before exit wasn't working. No monsters at all in that place (with all the broken bricks walls). I had to noclip to exit the level. 
You did not play correctly. The map must be run under the mod Quoth2.2

This is what I did. Quoth 2.2 here.

I placed the sounds and progs folders directly into the Quoth folder, and they appear to not be recognized. 
Maybe you forget to make the right start?

quakespasm -game quoth 
Of course, I did this. Here's my exact start command :

-hipnotic -game quoth +skill 3 -heapsize 480000 -zone 4096 -sndspeed 44100 -fsaa 2

Using the 0.92.2 Spike version of QuakeSpasm, under OS X.

I'll retry your map to see what happens... 
-game quoth

-hipnotic -game quoth

It's just -quoth, and has been for many years. 
What is hipnotic again? I'll never remember what it's doing. 
Rotations, I Believe? 
Hipnotic was the studio that developed Mission Pack 1.

Also, I think you don't need the heapsize/zone stuff anymore in QS/QSS, and you should upgrade to latest version 0.93.1. 
The -hipnotic switch was required to enable the modified status bar that was introduced in Mission Pack 1 and is also used in Quoth. Newer ports like Quakespasm have a -quoth switch that does it automatically. 
Not your typical digs map... but I dig it nonetheless. Assuming the final arena is still being worked on, I thought the rest of the map was quite polished and good to go. The layout can be a bit confusing and the silver key door is tricky to find - I think I stumbled upon it accidentally. Otherwise nice map, especially the underground sections, and the secrets kicked my ass, 1/4. 
Played through the map on skill 1, 2/4 secrets found.

The map is very good-looking and plays very well. I liked especially the underground areas, as i'm not a big fan of open spaces.
All areas are well connected, so i never got lost as it happens usually when i play maps this large.
Good art style too, you can really feel the horror atmosphere playing through every area.
Pace was good, and i never found myself struggling too much for ammos. I like the way you put the right amount of them over the map.

I din't like too much the paintings from plants vs zombies, as i think tributes to other games should be put in some secret areas, and not all over the place. I felt like they were a bit taking away that horror feel (that i loved) from the map.
Some areas of the map felt like they were supposed to be important, with good detail and interesting design (that area under the bridge for example) but then i found they were useless. Maybe that's just because i didn't found the secrets, who knows! 
Ascending Scales 
I don't understand what is happening with the ascending scales. I can't use them wathever what I'm doing (walking, running on it, jumping, ...). I tried the default QS 0.93.0 and the Spike version.

Something seems fishy here.

I agree about the zombie cartoons. They feel goofy in Quake. Maybe some monsters porn instead ? 
I can explain what they do on the walls. This map was made at the request of my son. He is 12 years old. Therefore, there are such awkward things on the map. I myself understand that they are not written off in the overall design, but still decided to leave them 
Wow, you're a super-dad dude!

My dad is 81 years and would never make Quake maps for me :-( 
impressive stuff, very blood-like. I like that you're using tronyn's mod, not enough people use it tbh 
Mirror Effect 
When downloading AfterQuake I saw a screenshot of a mirrored player.
Is this effect obtainable in AfterQuke, or is it a sidecase effect of DarkPlaces that creates this mirror? 
that's FTE's r_telestyle 3 setting. 
Thanks for info, Spike!

Or should I say, blame me for not reading the manual. 
Dear friends, a.k.a fucking morons.
Please learn to upload your files to the right folder instead of cluttering the main page with your shit, forcing people to scoll down endlessly for the login button.
I'm Probably Guilty Of This 
Any way of just moving the files? I know it would break some hyperlinks but the files would still be retained 
Delete Them All 
quake skill 3 with respawning monsters and items/powerups is it ok thing ?

and skill 2 behaves as skill 3 
Also Neg Can Press The ‘end’ Key? 
I'm late on this one, but I finally got around to playing it and I just love it! Of course whenever I see a map that isn't the conventional Quake theme of castle or base gets my attention. (Not that that's a bad thing) You did a stellar job of creating a farmhouse, at least that's what I think it is. Everything looks good from the decrepit interiors and the windows letting you see the inside, to the vegetation outside. My only suggestion would have been to make the spinning part of the windmill more visible to the player throughout the map, as I think it makes an excellent set piece.

As far as gameplay, it wasn't too bad on hard skill. Almost died at the end but I always have trouble with those gugs.

I think you did an excellent job with this one, certainly well enough to be fully released.

First run demo, hard skill: 
Thanks a lot! I already thought that no one would record a demo for me. I liked that you managed to pass the map from the first time. The last hall is difficult for me, but I think it should be so. 

As for the mill ... Her blades and so big. And they have no physical collision with objects. I calculated its length so that it was not noticeable.

For the release, I will add a few monsters on a hard level, otherwise it is not much different from the normal level. And the last room due to the large delays between the waves of monsters will be a little easier.

I am also glad that the map is like. In the coming days I will post a release 
hi, here's my attempt to beat the map on skill 3

lasted 'til the gugs

reminded me of hexen2/blood combo 
Thank you very much for the game. When you killed the vorelings, I also thought about monster_jump. In the release I will add it. Thanks again! 
Inspired By Lunaran 
@digs (if It's Possible) 
i would advise you to increase the secret count on your map, for a such big map the number of the secrets is to low 
Too Low 
Tempel Of Doom-Beta; Testing 
Hallo friends. six months have been gone till I started with mapping for quake. Now I think this thing is going for finish.
Right now I'm checking out the failures in compiling.

I would ask you guys now for help.
Are there bugs? Graphic problems? or other issues.
Please tell me!

best wishes

My Thoughts On Temple Of Doom 
An interesting map you have in the making here, GunSgtHighway. :) I like its oldschool looks. It's really rough around the edges, but there are elements that are nicely detailed, like individual decorations and I like the brushwork in the cave areas, especially in the Shambler/Scrag room.

One thing about the map's filename: It's called tod.bsp, but there is already a map called tod in Quaddicted, Tower of Death, so when I tried to extract your map to my maps directory, it was trying overwrite the older tod map. You might want to change your map's filename. People often name their maps after themselves, like in my case I could name my map esrael01.bsp, for example.

To spare the older map from being overwritten, I renamed your map files to and recorded a demo of my playthrough in Quakespasm. You can download my demo from the link below:

You may have to rename your own tod.bsp and tod.lit to GSH_tod.bsp and GSH_tod.lit, so my demo would work on your computer.

Most of my comments are in the demo, but my main gripes about the map would be the low difficulty and the lack of guidance. Combat could be made more difficult by adding more tough monsters like ogres, fiends and scrags. The map is mostly populated by lowly grunts and knights, which makes the map quite easy. I'd also recommend mixing monsters together. You could combine Scrags to attack from above while other monsters keep you occupied below.

I couldn't also find the Thunderbolt anywhere, even though you added cells in the map. Is it hidden in some secret? If it is, you could also add secret markers in the map.

The biggest problem would be the lack of guidance. Doors aren't marked with the symbols of the corresponding keys, especially the gold key door I found completely by accident.

All in all, it's clearly a beginner map with its flaws, but it was really interesting to explore. I was really interested to see what I was going to see in the next room. I'm looking forward to seeing the map finished and your future maps! :) 
Thanks for your thoughts on the map Esrael. I will rename it and rethink the guidance and monsters. Will take a week or more.

A stupid question. How can I open the demofile? :D 
Instructions For Playing Demos 
1. Place the dem file to your id1 folder
2. Start up your Quake engine
3. Open the console and type

playdemo <demoname>

That's it! :) In this case you'd type

playdemo tod_esrael01

If it doesn't work, rename your map files to GSH_tod.bsp and GSH_tod.lit, because that's what I renamed them to when I extracted your files to my maps directory. 
Ok. I Finaly got it. :)
Yes you're definitly right with the guidance. Will place the keylogos on the doors and maybe some signs on the way too. The clipping is a big thing too. Hmm a little of work to do. :) 
Almost There! 
If you want to fix the clipping issues without affecting the looks of the map, you can prevent the player from going to forbidden places with invisible walls. Just make a brush with the clip texture.

Glad I could help you out by testing the map. It's easy to become blind to flaws when creating stuff, so having someone else inspect your creations with a set of fresh eyes can be really beneficial.

Anyway, don't give up! Doing the final touches to a map can be tedious, but reaching the point where you're happy with the end result can be very rewarding! 
Baddies Keep Coming.., 
Made a new ogre model (with some glitches) bow_ogre
Hoo boy, like the concept but the QME jitters are strong with this one. 
With a glitch, I know.

I use a bone model to animate and it measures normal lengths (1m70). The Quake models are in this standard just 40cm.
When converting from this scale a lot of adjustments get lost, because the modelgrid is 512x512. Importing a giant in Qmle and scaling down is not the way to do it.

I'm convering down the bone-model, as it produces finer details in the movements. 
QME Jitters 
errrmm...aka "fundamental unavoidable artifact when using the mdl model format, irrespective of tools" jitters you mean?

I've often banged on about a hypothetical "mdl2" format that just uses higher precision for vert coords. This is what I'm going on about. 
512x512 Grid 
Adjusting the bone model had a better result.
Still it's hard to make the right movement with the shoulders. There are two cubes in the upper arm that have a wicked connection.
High Precision 
I've often banged on about a hypothetical "mdl2" format that just uses higher precision for vert coords. This is what I'm going on about.

Something backwards compatible would be nice, what I'm picturing is:

[standard binary for an MDL]
[extra double-precision frame data]

The idea would be MDL standard, just with 16 bit precision instead of 8 bit on each coordinate. The most compact way of doing that is to treat the standard frame data as containing the upper 8 bits of the coordinate. Then the double-precision part is a second chunk, the same size as the normal frame data, but the vertex coordinates in this chunk are used in the lower bytes instead.

I suppose it would be healthier to add a small header between the two chunks, so further extensions could be added.

[standard binary for an MDL]
[extension 1 header]
[extra double-precision frame data]
[extension 2 header]
[shader language]
[extension 3 header]
[hidden bitcoin miner]
[extension 4 header]
[interpolation rules]

The header could be quite minimal, just a value to indicate what type of extension is coming up, then the size of the extension data. That way engines could skip the extensions they don't recognise and keep going. Existing engines wouldn't even look for the extensions, there would just be a bunch of junk at the end of the file they don't look at (this is how Extended-BSP format worked).

May be worth also adding a value that can be set in the standard MDL header to signal to compatible engines that there are extensions to look for. Otherwise any junk at the end of the file might be misinterpreted as an extension (and I think QME used to write bonus stuff to the end of files). 
How would an extension not cause a file read error? 
File Reading 
The header of the MDL file tells you how many of each repeating element the file contains (skins, triangles, frames). Based on the rest of the data in the header (vertex count, skin dimensions) you can pretty much predict exactly how much data you need to read for each one (animation groups complicate this a bit but you can read them one at a time).

This scheme relies on the loading code running loops of the lengths specified in the header, reading elements from the file until the correct count is reached. At that point, it just stops reading the file - in a normal mdl file that happens to be the end of the data anyway, but if there's more data it's just discarded*. This is known to work OK in the base engines because QME used to tag additional data on the end without making the .mdl file unreadable.

* There is the possibility that a source-port engine rewrote its mdl loading code, and by doing so made an error of excess data at the file-end. The QME files might mean the issue was already caught. Otherwise this engine would not be compatible with extended-mdl files until fixed. I'd say this is unlikely in practice, and would be easy to patch. 
Sometimes You Have To Be Awkward 
When it comes to getting people to support new formats, you need both a carrot and a stick.

carrot: higher precision coords.
stick: an annoying message appears until its actually supported properly.

Without the stick its just something that can be put off for another day if anyone ever uses the format, and if no engines support it then noone will ever bother using the bulkier format that tools cannot even write. Think of it simply as a constant reminder that action is needed.
Without the carrot its just an annoying format that has no reason to exist.
So by designing your extended format to have no stick, you ensure that there's no reason for anyone to ever support the format, and thus that there's no reason to ever write it either. Never underestimate how lazy engine devs can be...

Another thing is that the reason to use mdl is qme. remove qme (because it cannot write the format) and you remove the reason for people to stick with such an ancient obtuse format too. Just use MD3 or something, QSS is such a minor upgrade. (ignoring bugs new to qss,) The only reason not to is if you're targetting vanilla, in which case any hidden extensions are pointless anyway.

Additionally, if you're trying to make it easy for engines to support then just add a new alternative type of framegroup - one that's 16bit instead (the stick being that engines that don't recognise it will glitch out weirdly putting the blame on the engine). Nothing drives adoption better than users constantly reporting horrendous glitches.
That way there's no need to go backwards or anything, its just a struct/datatype change (with the old stuff being padded where its read).

Either way, you still need tools. You already explicitly mentioned QME's additional data - part of that additional data being 16bit data. Find out+document the format of that existing additional data and you not only have a tool that can already write your extended mdls (one that people already seem to be using for some reason), but you also grandfather in all those models that were already (unintentionally) distributed with that data. Still needs a stick though.

Or just provide both an mdl and an md3 and throw in a little qc to select formats based upon the engine's supported formats (hurrah for in-game messages recommending users switch to another engine until a feature is implemented properly).
Or just use md3 exclusively and ignore anyone using an engine that STILL doesn't support that. Yes, it sucks for vanilla but in fairness its been a while since I(and presumably most people) ran quake in dos/dosbox. 
Respectfully Disagree 
People have had 15 years to say "I'm using MD3 and you just need to switch engines", but nobody does that. Nearly all the engine additions that have been actually adopted (skyboxes, fog, coloured lights) succeeded because they were backwards compatible.

It's not about being able to still play it in dosquake, it's about being able to play it in any engine. That's pretty important if you want to keep all the players who don't pay much attention to engine developments, or who value the stability of engines with slow release cycles. Writing off a percentage of an already small audience seems unwise.

Nobody's ever tried to make backwards compatible enhancement to the .mdl format, I'd like to see if it works. Maybe it won't catch on, but the nice part is that it won't matter - because any content that experiments with it will also be forwards-compatible with future engines if it turns out to be a dead end. 
I'd like to see if I can make it work 
I agree that the model that seems to succeed is where there is an acceptable fallback for engines that don't support that feature, such as entity alpha, skyboxes, fog, fence textures, lit files, external textures, etc. In all those cases the content is mostly still playable in a vanilla engine.

There are exceptions: aguirre's extended bsp limits, and the bsp2 format are two cases where there is no fallback and it still caught on and became accepted. I was going to add protocol 666 to this list, but this is not something forced on people by a map or mod, so users still have a choice of protocols that provide the raised limits. 
protocol 999 
Large Bsps 
I agree that extended BSP limits are the rare exception that tests the rule (and this is coming from someone who usually doesn't bother playing maps in bsp2 format). To my mind the key difference there is that it's about breaking limits more than visual enhancement, and there's no obvious way you can do that in a backwards-compatible way. 
Just To Complicate Things 
I always figured the reason to do a 16-bit mdl format is so you can make monsters that would otherwise look like total trash in mdl. The thought of having a large chunk (most?) of your audience just seeing the trash version anyway because of backwards compat will probably make you design the model in a conservative way to minimise this, which itself weakens the reason for doing 16-bit in the first place, so eh I ‘unno. 
For The Record I Still Like Preach’s Take On The Idea 
It seems elegant despite my above misgivings 
wouldn't it be simple to code into the engine a search for a md3(or md2) version of the same model name? So much like the high def textures for those who want to use them.

It would mean that so long as the person modelling had released a lower poly version of the mdl too it would be available and wouldn't break vanilla compatibility. 
you could fall back to an existing entity in the pak. If I make a new monster md3 but the engine doesn't support it, fallback to an Ogre. Have that fallback mdl definable by the mapper. 
^^^^ that's stupid 
I still don't see how it would be possible to do the amazing effects (outside of full fledged particles a'la Maya or Blender) that Preach manages to pull off with the mdl format. I'm still at a loss on how to make polygons dissappear into themselves. 
Zero Scale 
The trick is that you take each particle, and on the frames where you want it to be invisible you apply a scaling transformation with scale factor 0 (typing the value numerically is the surest way to do it). There are variations on this, like on some models I only apply the transformation on one axis, so that the particle collapses into a line rather than a point. But it's all about scaling - it's the easiest way to ensure that all the vertices align so the polygon disappears. 
I Had No Idea... 
and this is coming from someone who usually doesn't bother playing maps in bsp2 format

This is heartbreaking. 
I Wonder 
Is there anything that would bring cause for a bsp3? 
Tris/verts Weights 
I have now made an arc_ogre, but I am faced with the problem that my splines are converted into four on each clip node when converted. The result is that a q1 model with relative weight triangles is converted to two triangles in each square. I can only save them in squares, which are converted to two triangles.
If I import this to qmle, the ratio of internal triangles has almost doubled.

Would this make much difference to a model with only half of verts / tris? As long as it stays below 1000tris / 2000verts, it should make little difference. 
Sepulcher allegedly came close to hitting the upper limits, and also it did something that required a change in Quakespasm, but I don't remember what.

The 3DRealms game has some gigantic maps, but IIRC they don't use their own map format.

I suspect Bal will be the first one to break bsp2 ;-) but at that point, adopting q3bsp would probably happen first. 
Tri Limit 
Although strictly speaking some engines (e.g. unmodified GLQuake) do have a limit of 1000 triangles, the original software engines allowed 2000 triangles, and pretty much every custom engine at least restored the limit to that level. So you're probably OK to exceed 1000 if you need to. 
In my case it is not the tri limit, but the question if I should simplify a working model with relative high counts into one with less for benifit of better performance.
It's quiet a lot of work doing this in Qmle. 
Screenshots, Please! 
Pictures, screen captures, screenshots, views of work in progress, ... come on, make us get an hard on, Quake style! 
Trying to adjust maps by the hand of the first screenshots, with no dynamic light.
Sorry for the low resolution, old quake school.

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