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Base And Enemy Knights 
@Shambler. I disagree, they can work together, as long as the mapper creates the right context.

I don't see why user created levels have to stick to any rules or themes used in the original Quake. I prefer to see mappers not limit themselves to specific texture sets or styles. 
Use Tech Knight Models! 
from Operation Urth Majic

Gotta keep Shambler happy. 
base enemy and knights together = totally unacceptable.

Is Wrong. 
It's literally right there.

There's more precedent in the original game for mixing Grunts and Knights than putting Knights in runic. 
That's Part Of A Mistaken Mishmash Under The Guise Of Quake Having... 
...a coherent story. We have now transcended that with stronger thematic adherence. 
Double Dafuq. 
There was nothing mistaken about the monster order of appearance once the final episodic structure was settled. 
Dis Gon Be Gud 
The grunts are just possessed by the entity known as "quake" in the story, so there is no reason why this entity wouldn't just mix his new recruits up with his old knight fellas without sparing a second thought.

What shums is alluding to is a question of personal taste, of no more validity than an objection to certain texture combinations.

The Hipnotic mission pack did a lot more of this if I recall. 
The Hipnotic mission pack did a lot more of this if I recall.

Yep and there's nothing wrong with it if you justify it with a Slipgate pad as otp alluded to. 
Custom Levels Are Just That, Custom 
Zerstorer if I recall correctly did this?, as did a few good maps in the 90s. I don't remember anyone caring back then, and in the Doom modding community, there aren't such rules. It is as kinn said, just preference masquerading as a rule.

Personally, I like when authors follow their own style and do something original, and don't stick to a predefined iD style. lpowells screens look great, and the style seems to work. 
I Do Get Where He's Coming From 
Base and Medieval enemies can be used together, but there needs to a reason why. A portal within a research lab where hell knights are coming through makes perfect sense. 
Thanks for the comments everyone. @dumptruck_ds, thanks for the comment about the lighting; getting the right Quakey contrast is something I really need to work on. 
It's detrimental to gameplay (enemy variety) to refuse to use base enemies in otherworldy settings for "thematic reasons". But even thematically it doesn't make logical sense. Why can Ranger travel through the slipgates, but the grunts can't? Is there an anti-grunt forcefield? It's perfectly reasonable to imagine grunts traveling through slipgates to act as backup. 
It's detrimental to gameplay (enemy variety) to refuse to use base enemies

If it's the mapper's choice to not use base enemies, then it ain't detrimental to jack shit, mr anonymous.

Let's try not to confuse "what mapper wants to do" with "what people are telling mapper to do". 
@lpowell, Lighting 
@lpowell I was just going to add to dumptruck_ds's comment about the lighting. At the moment from the screen shots, you can see the light spheres around obvious light sources (especially in the 3rd screen shot), but there isn't much to break the lighting up or give it a different flow and direction. It looks good now, but it would look better if you thought more about lighting in terms of how the architecture would cast shadows on itself, how light might flow from area to area, how light might flow out of a brighter area into a darker larger area (for example, having light spill out of a doorway or hallway). Let the architecture shape the lighting more. Doing this also increases the visual detail. 
For Those Not On Discord 
I have been farting around in trenchbroom recently (it's been a while)...

I've been pottering away at it, though it's slow going now that Outer Worlds has been released. 
Ouch ! 
Fifth, that kind of fart would tear a butthole to shreds but what a visual stun ! Such a beautiful spiky-curvy shaped menace. Love it. Can't wait ! 
butthole shreds ahoy 
Any People Up For Playtesting? 
I'm looking for playtesters for my first map in Quake! I have tested it a bit with people inexperienced with the game, but I'd love to hear what you guys think. Mostly looking for some absolutely brutal feedback.


I have here a skill 1 demo for you (i usually play 2 but i have not played in a few years ...).

About your map i like the original style, the interconnectivity and exploration, and variety on looks and rooms. You are going into the right direction.

On the things to get better:
- Lighting is dull, while low contrast lighting is nice i think you have gone too far in that direction. The good part of it is that it hides secrets a lot better.
- In general it feels like the scale is a bit small and it is easy to get stuck on columns, but as the map is easy at least on skill 1 it poses no problem.
- Those two silver key doors at the beginning should not be marked for, as they open without a key later, which can be misleading.
- You may want to add a silver or gold key texture like in id maps to make it obvious for everyone they are for that. It can lead to misunderstanding and people getting lost.
- That ring of shadows probably needs to count as a secret.
- Those crates you saw me looking on while on top of them need the textures to be aligned, but it also seems that all of them have the wrong size compared with the texture they use.
- You should probably put a non invisible wall on top of that rooftop or any other mechanic.
- Theres too many green armours, even for skill 1, but better too much than too few.
- You will probably receive complains here because the map is non-linear, but i do think you should pay no attention to them.
- You probably saw how those enemies telefragged themselves at the end ... 
@lpowell @FifthElephant @oprel, And A Little Of My Own Work 
@lpowell I like those screenshots, they look nice. Good lighting and QUAKE style brush architecture.
@FifthElephant - I love heavy, dark, metal, spikey stuff! When I see something like this I know it is not friendly world but evil unknown dimension.
@oprel Good architecture on screenshots, as Cocerello said maybe the lighting is a little to flat in some place but generally looks for good work.

After 10 years pause in QUAKE maps I back and play around with architectures and light. If you like see, here are my playgrounds: 
Interesting Stuff AA 
Seems like you're doing a lot of experimenting with brushes. I'd recommend also recommend experimenting with layouts and monster placement too, make blockouts and then use your brush experiments to detail up the map afterwards. 
I am loving these. Keep going! 
AZure AGony 
Great looking stuff! 
@FifthElephant @dumptruck_ds @mfx 
Oh, thank you very much for good words! I remember very well quad shadow from original QUAKE map "Gloom keep" it's still impresive look. I redesinged the quad shape, it's not perfect, but keeps grid and looks not bad. 
interesting stuff again, feels like a cross between Q1 Episode 4 and Quake 3. 
Lords Of Chaos - Beta Version 
A beta version of Lords of Chaos is available for those who are willing to playtest it for me.

I request that anyone who downloads the file not distribute it. I also request that ONLY those who are going to play this for testing purposes, download and test it. If you just want to have a look, wait until the final version please. It won't be far away.

The level is almost done. All that is left to do, is fine tuning of the gameplay, which may depend on feedback, and some more tuning of the lighting.

This requires a port with BSP2 support.

This level is on the larger side (about 340 enemies and a play time of 45 minutes to an hour). It is quite non-linear (though you shouldn't be able to skip sections), requires a little bit of exploration and planning. Ammo and health aren't always placed in front of you, and you may have to choose between looking for more ammo and looking for a fight.

In the level, you have to summon and kill seven Chaos Lords. As each Chaos Lord falls, more of the level opens up. But they aren't summoned right where you are standing, you have to hunt them down!

The link is here.


Please read the included text file.

@BoraxMan Just A Few Things... 
Why is there a "pak0.pak" file IN the "pak0.pak" file!?

Also there's a "config.cfg" file in your "pak0.pak" file, which should never be there.

I'm continuing on... 
Cool! I'll give this a spin and let you know how I get on. 
I'll Fix The PAK 
Thanks damange_inc for pointing that out. Explains why the file is so large!

That probably has to do with a utility I'm testing to create PAK files. I'll have to modify it so it doesn't include the files its creating as part of the files to add.

The 'config.cfg' shouldn't be there. I'll fix the PAK when I next can. 
PAK File Fixed 
Ive re-uploaded with a fixed PAK file. It should no longer have the config.cfg and other superfluous files.

Redownload using the same link I gave in the original announcement of the beta. 
Looking forward to playing this and seeing what you did with progs_dump. 
@BoraxMan A Few Moar Things! 
I've no idea how many CL's I've defeated... might be cool to create a "shrine" where as you defeat them heads are placed so the player can always tell how many? Or have the player "aquire" the heads and have to go place them?

Also I might be stuck? The level is pretty much cleared, 300/"about 340" and my only option is to grenade jump to a "gold key", upon doing that I hear a CL appear but working my way to him and killing him does not do much and doesn't really feel like this was the intended way.

I even noclipped out of desperation. 
The exit needs better protection ;) Unless ofc that was your intention :-P 
A new version of pd_ is coming with custom keys and some updates to breakables.

Not sure of a timeline, but likely a couple of weeks at the most. Not sure if this would have an impact on this project. Seeing how big it is I won't have time to play it until Tuesday at the earliest. I'll definitely record demos of this. 

I actually thought of a mechanic where you have to bring their heads to an altar, but it might appear weird to have their heads there, because it still appears on the model which is supposed to be now decapitated. Also, its less about just getting all 7 and more about finding the relevant one to destroy, to progress. I could add some QC code and a new model...

I tried to balance the complexity of the 'puzzle solving' with simplicity in layout so the only real backtracking is in seeking the CLs. Not sure yet whether I succeeded, and maybe the sequence of events you need to complete is too convoluted and its too onerous on the player.

Did you find the 2nd silver key, and 2nd silver key door? They aren't far from each other, both in areas just off that room you get to at the end of the corridor which was originally blocked by the ball of flesh. Once you hit the switch in the 2nd silver key room, the 7th CL appears nearby and the door which leads to the gold key (at the end of the long bridge) opens up when he is killed.

From there, you can finally complete the task mentioned in the message at the exit gate. Any additional beasties which just appear from here on in are now only there to give you a hard time and are not involved in the gameplay setup ;)

I'll better protect the exit gate...

Last thing, which I realized I DO need to change, past the gold key door, you find a grave. Destroy the grave. That needs to be more obvious. 
Brace yourself, because I've uploaded my first-run demos, totalling over two-and-a-half hours of gameplay, here. All demos are on Hard skill and are Protocol 666 (QuakeSpasm default).

However, before I was able to play the map, I had to work around a show-stopping issue which I haven't encountered before. When I tried to start the map with QuakeSpasm, the engine would immediately crash, without giving an error message and with nothing useful in the log file. By a process of elimination, I worked out that the crash was being caused by the skybox. In the .bsp file, the "sky" field of the worldspawn entity is as follows:

"sky" "skybox_purple_chaos/purple_chaos_"

I had a quick look at the engine source code, and long story short, it appears that a "sky" string more than 31 characters long will cause a buffer overflow (which may or may not cause the engine to crash, depending on platform). The "sky" string in this case is 33 characters.

I haven't 100% confirmed this because I'm not set up to build QuakeSpasm from source right now, but it looks to me like that's what's going on.

To work around the issue, I moved the "purple_chaos_*.tga" files up a level (out of "env/skybox_purple_chaos" into "env") and updated the "sky" string to just "purple_chaos_". That made it short enough to avoid the crash, and I could play the map!

## locbeta_iw1.dem

This was my first attempt. I finished after about five minutes by accidentally going into the exit portal early. I guess this is the same thing damage_inc was getting at above.

## locbeta_iw2.dem

This was my second attempt. I died after about five minutes.

## locbeta_iw3.dem

This was my third attempt. This time I finished the map by collecting the rune and unlocking the exit, ending with 315/342 kills and 5/7 secrets in 94:51 (!!!) minutes. However, this still wasn't a "proper" run because I failed to find (I think) two of the Chaos Lords.

This run went off the rails somewhere in the middle. It seems like I did an accidental sequence-break by jumping through a window and falling down into an area I wasn't supposed to be able to reach at that time, skipping the fifth Chaos Lord. I guessed what I'd done, and after a while I backtracked so I could attempt to play the level "properly".

However, after I went back, I couldn't find the fifth Chaos Lord, so I couldn't kill him to remove the bars protecting one of the silver keys. I haven't re-watched this demo in full, but in retrospect, what I guess happened is that I failed to find the button which I now know "summons" the fifth Lord. However, during the run, I didn't understand that there was a button that I was supposed to find. What I thought had happened was that I'd somehow broken the map by doing that sequence-break! In the end, I salvaged the situation by grenade-jumping to the gold key (it sounds like damage_inc had the same idea) and then played "properly" from there.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell from the demo that I struggled massively with progression in this map; it might even be that I struggled more with progression in this map than any other Q1SP I've played. Even after I pushed a button or killed a Chaos Lord, I often felt like I didn't know where I was supposed to go next. I ended up wandering around a lot. I tried to include comments in the demo as I went along: hopefully that'll give you an idea what was going through my head.

## locbeta_iw4.dem

This was my fourth attempt, and the first time I managed to complete the map "properly", ending with 340/342 kills and 5/7 secrets in 67:03 minutes.

TBH, it was an *enormous* map: I've typed a lot, but there's a lot more that could be said in terms of feedback. While hunting out the last two secrets, I also found more bugs which aren't in the demos. I could do with going over the map again and putting together a list. I'll aim to do that sometime in the next few days when I have time.

In the meantime, hope the above comments and the demos are helpful! 
Thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated. I admit the map is much larger than originally intended, and perhaps it should have been two levels. I might either have to simplify the flow, put more information, or divide the level into two parts.

As for Quakespasm, it didn't crash for me. I'm using Linux, so perhaps this issue doesn't affect the Linux client?

I'll check out the demos tonight. 
My Experience Is Almost Identical To IW's 
But I will add a few points.

I'm on Win7/Quakespasm and didn't have any issues with the skybox, odd.

The first flesh wall to come down should have the player LOOKING at the wall...
Maybe a bit more visual effects too?

The first button you press is like generic "some bars somewhere bars have been released"!
Maybe say "The fiends from hell have been released", so the player knows exactly what is going on?
Also, I can kill the fiends at the start?

Normal Difficulty

By the time I had 47 baddies slain I was just about out of ammo and health. Then I seemed to recover and have it happen again... several times. It's a huge map and this will be hard for every player so, maybe it was just me.

After killing the Seventh CL... seems odd I have to kill more! I didn't really like that.

I think I "missed" the second silver door cuz 1) I'm bad at that in Quake and 2) the torches kind of cover up the silver key symbols.

I would say that you should make any important door/pedestal/switch a bit more memorable than usual as both the distance and time a player can get away from such needed progression mechanisms is quite far.

Anyways, none of this is correct, just my observations.

Overall very interesting and a monumental effort for such scale of a map. GG's 
Should it be split into two levels? Or is the size OK as long as the progression is smooth and there is no stalling due to getting confused?
I don't want it to feel like a chore or to get boring, or to take that long!
The uneven ammo is something I did in DK Shrine as well, as an attempt to create periodic tension.

I definitely think more guidance for the player is warranted here. 
I'm recording some demo's, we'll see how long it takes for a second playthru. 
@iw Demos 

I watched the first three demos. The level "broke" when you jumped out of that window from the upper level where the two vores are, down. That needs to be blocked off. It was an oversight to not think that the player would just jump out. Once upstairs in the "lightning room" area and adjacent areas, everything happens there until you get the Silver Key. You were correct when you said you used the wrong key on the wrong door.

But because you went out of that window, you went off the path, and then got "lost", that is, wandering around the level trying to figure out where to go, when really, you didn't need to move far from that window at all. 
@Borax Man 
I'm pretty sure that iw's point about texture name is valid. Current sky texture name has fixed size (32) and is copied using strcpy from a buffer of an unbound size (value of "sky" key). Whether this problem occurs or not is not bound to what platform you're on but rather how lucky you are. Layout of data in memory isn't necessarily the same from machine to machine (or even between OS restarts) and if you overrun a buffer, you may get lucky and overwrite nothing important. Of you may overwrite some super important state and application crashes. The fact that this happened to one of 5-ish people who played this map so far indicates that this will be hit by other people once you release the map. 
@Borax Man Demos Of Second Playthru On Normal 
Don't know if want these or not but here they are: Demos

Time was ofc shorter but still lengthy, coming in at almost 2 hours(117:35).

As far as should it be broken up into multiple levels... hrmmm... I don't know, time is time. If a player can't play this for the total time then it will be a several sessions playthru regardless.

Anyways, hth's 
Hehe Here I Go 
Excited for that one JCR! I really enjoyed the previous jumpbooty thing you released. 
I expected I would have had time to revisit the map before now, but I've had a busier week than anticipated. I should be able to replay it this weekend and come back to you with those remaining bits of feedback. Apologies for the delay.

About the sky path issue: I usually use Linux myself, however I was testing on an OSX box when I encountered the problem (using the 0.93.1 SDL2 binary from the QuakeSpasm web site).

What Thulsa said above is very much what I was thinking: it looks like the buffer overflow will occur regardless of platform (it involves the skybox_name array in gl_sky.c), but because this is a low-level problem, what actually happens next would depend on various low-level things, which will presumably be different for different players running the engine on different platforms.

In addition to Thulsa's examples, another factor is that different compilers may or may not emit additional machine code to try and automatically detect buffer overflows (depending on the options they're run with). I suspect that this might be what's going on with the OSX client, because I noticed that it keels over with SIGABRT instead of the usual SIGSEGV; however, like I said before, I just haven't had the chance to look into this in detail.

BoraxMan, I should emphasize that I'm not saying this is a bug in your map. Assuming what I've said is correct, it's a bug in the engine; however, it's the sort of bug I guess mappers will want to work around.

A very similar issue affecting other maps is the crash-on-save bug I talked about in this post. Like this issue, the save bug doesn't cause the engine to die immediately for all players on all platforms; however, it evidently has that effect in a lot of cases (judging by the number of comments about this on map pages on Quaddicted). 
OK, I've played through locbeta again, on skill 3 this time. I recorded a bunch of very short demos showing specific bugs, which I've uploaded here. While recording these, I couldn't recall exactly which bugs were visible in my previous demos and which weren't, and when in doubt, I thought it was best to risk recording the same thing again, so there's likely some duplication.

I think the demos will be self-explanatory, so, here's some more general feedback about the map:

I liked the following:

* It has a strong, consistent theme. I liked the feeling of wandering through this sprawling otherworldly nightmare-palace where everything was menacing and malevolent at all times.

* I especially liked that there are creepy side-areas in various places which the player can see into but can't enter. Like the yellow-lit room with the Shambler corpse. I'm a big fan of levels including environmental details for no other reason than to be creepy and build atmosphere.

* The "hallucination" sequence (I'm not sure what to call it) actually spooked me on my first playthrough! I think that was because it was so unexpected.

* The hugeness of the map, when it starts opening out, is impressive in its own right.

* The scale of the environment and the lack of repetition in the design reminded me of things like WarpSpasm and various huge Tronyn maps.

I don't think the large size of the map is a bad thing in of itself. But I obviously found the layout and progression pretty difficult, and I think the large size of the map probably exacerbated that.

I've been trying to put my finger on why I found the layout/progression difficult. I don't think it's one thing, but a combination of several different things:

* At any one time there are a lot of different barriers (bars, force fields, key doors, etc.) which I have to try and remember so I can find my way back to them once I've found the thing that opens them.

* Some important barriers are not on the main path and are easy to overlook. An example is the gold key door: it's a long-term objective that the player will have to return to later, but it's in a side-area the player can easily miss.

* In some cases I found the means of opening a barrier without having encountered the barrier itself (leading to a feeling of "so where do I go now?").

* Even when replaying, I found it easy to forget which number Lord I was up to (which is obviously important because the hint messages refer to them by number). I also found it easy to forget whether I was supposed to be hunting for a Lord at any given time.

Even though I don't think the size is the problem, if you're in a mind to split the map in two, I guess that might mitigate the above issues?

I can't help thinking I would have enjoyed the map more if I didn't have to hunt for the Lords after summoning them. When trying to find them, I just felt like I was wandering aimlessly.

About the ammo situation: I found the ammo shortage at the start a bit irritating, especially as the player is confronted with gangs of bullet-spongey Fiends and Ogres right off the bat. I would have preferred a more "normal" ammo balance at the start. From about the halfway point, the ammo balance seemed to have become more normal anyway. (Disclaimer: I've only played on skill 2 and 3.)

But apart from those things, I definitely enjoyed the map. Whether you decide to split it into two maps or not, I'd be curious to play the next version to see how it's evolved. 
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