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Traps - Discuss
what's the best type of pure trap in the general opinion - i mean ones that don't necessarily include monster ambushes but 'real' mechanical traps. Some of the ones in the original game could be pretty lethal one hit kills, but they're the type that everyone hates. I used to make very complex systems of triggers and crushers and spikes and so on, but have found recently myself making crappy lava pits instead which ultimately detract from the gameplay.

What's the best trap you've seen in Q1, or any other game for that matter? For me it's the corridor in the original game (ep4 elder god shrine) that slides across revealing a lava pit - you can either sprint forward and die or retreat and then cross as the pit closes again. Its a basic concept but forces the player to think and react to the environment more intelligently.

other examples of great traps - ?
Salvation 
salv.bsp (Salvation) by Charlie Wiederhold probably is "the" Quake map with traps. I love the map, many hate it. You should save after each trap/room. I just played it again and died about 10 times. But it is fun. The level also is a "puzzle" level, especially at the beginning you are totally stuck until you get an idea and can proceed.

salv.bsp is in wieder.zip
http://www.quaddicted.com/wieder (neg!ke wrote that description I think)
direct link: http://www.quaddicted.com/filebase/wieder.zip (something 3MB-ish)

Traps can be good but the player should not be surprised by them in a bad way. For example dying without a clue what would happen. A good trap is visible and avoidable with decent playing skill. 
Forgot To Add 
You don't actually need MP1: SoA to play salv.bsp. The only thing from that missionpack is the hammer you get just at the end = useless. I always play it in unmodded Quake. 
 
forces the player to think and react to the environment more intelligently.

For me, this is the key.

A good trap, or ambush or any kind of gameplay scenario, should present the player with options and consequences. I wrote about this way back in the How Hard Is Too Hard thread.
The ideal you want to achieve is to put the player in a state where they have to 'think on their feet'. This means giving them something to actually think about, time to think about it and time to act. You then have to predict how the player may or may not respond and incorporate those responses into the design, putting appropriate limitations on all of the above. Some of those limitations are to prevent the player responding in ways that render the whole trap pointless. Some may also be to the player's benefit by removing superfluous, possibly confusing information.

Taking your e4m3 example: in that trap, the floor moves slowly enough that the player has time to comprehend the hazard, but not enough time to stop and ponder. One of the things they will understand is that in a very short time the floor will have completely retracted, dumping them inescapably in the lava. But they also understand they have that short timelimit in which to evade - activation of the trap is like lighting a fuse or pressing a stopwatch. Then there are two very strong, though not equally, clear options in response: rush forward to apparent safety, or backtrack to known safety.
Finally, the consequences of that trap are limited to only one negative outcome, but it's big enough ( the biggest in fact, i.e. death ) that no other consequences are needed.

All of these elements are made clear to the player by greatly limiting what else is around. The corridor does not have any footholds, so even before the player has activated the moving floor, the option to evade by jumping to a narrow ledge is cleanly omitted from their options. Lava is a major, well established element of the gameplay, so the consequences of inactivity are made extremely clear in fractions of a second.
The corridor is also very well lit, which removes the stress of uncertainty from the player: everything they need to know is immediately visible so they don't waste time peering into shadows for an escape.

An alternative in this trap might have been to replace the lava with slime and build small steps leading out of it at the far end. This would have made the consequences less negative, but also added more information that the player would have to learn and take advantage of within the timelimit of the trap. Whether or not these differences would have made the trap more or less fun is the sort of decision you as the mapper have to make.

Summary

Good traps have:
a timelimit, time in which to assess and time in which to respond
limited options as to how to respond to the trap
limited consequences if those responses are not used
all of the above communicated to the player in ways that are consistent with what has been established in the game already

Bad traps have:
no way to know what the hazard is before the consequences are experienced
consequences that are disproportionate to what is required to avoid them
confusing information

It's almost certain that exceptions can be cited, but as with all rules of design: you have to understand them before you can break them beneficially. 
 
other examples of great traps?

In e1m3, the descending roof trap where the NG is. This is very easily avoided of course, because there is only one response and it is plastered in front of the player's eyes even before the trap is sprung. The reason for this is that it is what Valve might, in their commentary nodes, call a tutorial combat. That is, the purpose is not to put the player at genuine risk of harm, but to train them to understand that this sort of trap may be encountered later in the game, and the sort of responses ( shoot a flashing switch ) that they can expect to find.
It is an example of what I refer to above as "establish in the game already."

This is played off towards the end of the level with what is actually a feint. The second descending roof is not actually a trap, and the player is in no danger. But immediately upon the trap being sprung, they don't know that. For a few frantic moments, the player can be expected to look around desperately for yet another shootable switch.

That this actually doesn't constitute a trap does not make it inconsistent with what I have outlined; the second descending roof springs when the player is locked inescapably from the bottom of the shaft ( safely limiting possible responses ), there is very little to confuse the player as to what is happening ( the bottom of the shaft lacks any monsters, impenetrable shadows, jutting architecture etc. ) and what is visible actually clues the player into the gag - the slots into which the two roof halves will ultimately part are clearly visible long before it descends to head height.
And the type of trap is, as I say, established earlier for the player. 
I Quite Like. 
Trapped secrets (in whatever game). 
Ooh... 
good thread, and good comments so far. 
Just Played Through Salv 
interesting, mainly because it breaks all the rules. If some of them were toned down slightly then it would've been much better - i used a rocket jump to cross the lava near the end and get the feeling i missed something there. also the crushers moved a it too quickly to be genuinely fun. but a neat little map overall. 
Prey 
had some neat "traps". I use the term traps loosely because generally when you flip the gravity of a room the corridor you entered the room from becomes a yawning chasm of death! its a shame the dev team didn't explore this a little more, but it did feel very organic and not at all like "Oh this is a trap segment of the level that I must overcome in order to proceed".

I feel I must mention Ravenholm in HL2 for traps too, mainly because you can turn them against the enemy with very satisfying results, again this feels very organic as you have a choice of avoiding the trap or using it to your advantage.

I think generally speaking the gaming "traps" are evolving into a far more complex mechanic.

1) Early platform games (prince of persia etc), Trap = insta death.

2) Doom/Quake/Duke etc. Trap = avoidable but usally high damage or death.

3) half-life/deus ex/etc. Avoidable traps that can be manipulated by the player for better or worse.

4) Current generation, Traps can be avoided/moved/used against attackers/ reconfigured in some way. *PHYSICS*

5) Next gen, who knows :) 
5) Next Gen 
Falling into a "trap" will actually increase your health and kill your enemies, because all games will cater to the lowest common denominator, who get all confused and angry when a game "beats" them.




/only joking

/(well nearly joking) 
Hmm... 
Prince of Persia was actually ahead of its time, becuase it was the game I remember where the bad guys obeyed the same rules that the good guys did. And you could definitely use traps against bad guys -- the spike pits, and metal guillotine things would both kill a bad guy if you could force him into it using your sword skills (when they blocked your swing, it pushed them back a little bit.)

Actually Prince of Persia and Wolf3D and Doom all impressed me with this. Bad guys got killed by the same stuff as good guys, including traps, friendly fire, etc. They also left dead bodies in place rather than fading them out like other games I'd played. I wouldn't call this "realism" so much as a more interally consistent game world. 
 
becuase it was the game I remember...

becuase it was the first game I remember... 
Aye 
i really like traps that can kill enemies - in the early original levels, maybe ep1 or 2 there's a big spike that you can gib an ogre with if you're canny - great fun. I've got a few that hurt enemies; blastertraps that fire the length of the corridor, but its almost impossible to kill em with this. I've also got quite a few sections where you can lure fiends + spawns into jumping into the void, not too complex but i've ended up putting more fiends in the outside parts just to take advantage of this.

i also remember the bit in ravenholm where you climb on top of one of the car / crusher traps when it rises in order to progress - a bit like zelda the ocarina of time in the shadow temple.

one idea i had was to create land mines that the enemy could trigger if they blundered over the top of em or the player could trigger by shooting. Would be cool but pretty complex to set up, probably with a number of switches nested inside each other plus a few relays.

informing the player of how you world works through traps is a good idea too - an example of this with the landmines might be having racks of inactive ones at the start of the level, followed by the first active one being triggered by a monster - but not injuring the player, the ones after that being the 'real' traps. i'm working in qouth so maybe its here that i can use the info_bomb (not sure on the name) or else the notnull explosion hack.

metslime - because ;) 
Prince Of Persia. 
I also remember being impressed by the traps in the original PoP. Namely the fact that you could walk slowly through the spikes to avoid being damaged by them. Obviously this would be kind of hard to do with trigger_hurt etc. etc.

It would seem to me that the next obvious 'generation' of traps will be ones that the player actually designs and constructs themselves from scratch.

I found Ravenholm incredibly contrived -- I know the presence of the traps was explained, but it still felt to me like more of a physics showcase than anything else, and that really ruined the immersion for me. 
 
Ravenholm incredibly contrived

well, for me it was a distraction from the fiction of the game becuase it felt like some Tim Burton movie set, while the rest of the game was realistic-ish industrial sites. 
Than. 
I like your generationisation there ;). 
Than? Daz! 
I get you two confused, sorry! 
0.02 $ 
The difficulty of traps should be proportional to the diffulty in the rest of the map. I have played countless levels(not only in Quake) that were very unbalanced in that respect(easy map and unsurvivable traps=annoying as hell).

One thing I like about the id levels are the (almost) always present spike shooters and crushers etc., they often give a map an organic and morbid(?) feel, hard to describe,a defining point of Quake�s unique mood for me. 
A Good Trap... 
.. is a trap where you die... At least the first time you play the map, after the first try, you must be able to survive by self-improvement... 
 
i remenber a map that had many W E T Y and u need to discovery the name to pass or fall in lava but i dont remenber the name of .bsp :\ but i remenber was very cool and i�m sure is in quaddicted filebase... 
Man 
yeah those W E T Y's are awesome 
 
Lunaran for not been english man

s�o letras!

understand?

guess not

p.s-> fuck u...

p.s2->are all raven guys assholes? 
Yeah Lunaran Really Ripped Into You There Trinca 
Jesus Christ. 
 
i think he and scampie should maried... :| 
Trinca 
Just calm down :) We don't really take things too seriously here or in #terrafusion. No one hates you, we're all friends here :) 
 
Blitz i�m everybody friend!!! but Scampie and Lunaran is not first time they act like jurks and i�m not idiot! and i dont have they age... i like to play but i dont like stupid people!

and those two already had many bad stuff...

my English might be bad but at least in much better then your Portuguese and Spanish for sure! 
Well, I Hate You All Without Exception 
y yo conosco un poco de castellano, pero no tanto y ahora hace un alto posicion.

la titulo de este mensaje es una broma.

heheheh 
Ijed... And "flamers" ... 
Calla-te conio...

I agree with Blitz, it is not the place for a flaming session, even if you really hate somebody... Just ignore those you consider as morrons..

So let's continue to discuss about trap ingame...

As example, and IMHO, the ultimate trap is the last teleporter in Doom2, or was it Ultimate Flesh consumed pack ? I don't remember exactly... o_O ... Anyway, at the end, the player is teleported in a small area full of monsters... and there's no way to survive, except cheating... I tried many times with BFG9000, etc... but it was impossible to survive without iddqd...
I guess there are many ways to make good trap.. 
Sorry, 
but what is a WETY? I don't get it. 
Funny You Should Mention That 
it was when you finished the game on . . . easy? i've made a map for my current project that's called 'the bitch ending' the same thing, basicly. its only when they beat it on easy and they don't miss out on any levels apart from an ending map (no monsters, incompletable) so i can't see it irritating anyone.

one thing i'm exploring is having leaping creatures, typically fiends, jumping in from windows and from out of holes in the ground (lots of trigger_monsterjumps) and this seems to be a pretty cool trap since they rarely react quick enough to kill you instantly even when the trigger throws them straight in your face, it takes a second or two before they'll even take a swing.

also, i said at the end of my previous post that i was joking in the title :) (which is why i put anti-flame as the icon!)

and showing off that i've got some pidgen spanish

ahora si yo callate 
But . . . 
what's conio?
-and WETY? 
Ijed 
He entendido... no te preoccupas... no tenia intencio de te molerstar...

Oh, and for completion, a conio is quite equivalent to an "asshole"... while i know it is not the corerect translation... Oh, please note I was joking, and that I understood ijed was joking as well..... :P ..

And concerning WETY... errr... is it this stuff you are refering to ?? http://www.freshnsoft.com/products-wety.html

doh ! 
Trap Themed Level 
Anyone who has played through Wheel of Time will remember a multi-map journey through the bowels of the white tower. What made this fun was the variety of traps and the need to solve puzzles, be observent and move slowly and use ter angreals (small one-time use specific spell thingys) to progress. There were no live enemies - your environment was the enemy. I think it was an excellent, fun and atmospheric implementation of traps in-game. The traps ranged in lethality from some damage to insta-kill. The explanation for the traps is that they were needed to protect treasure (or something valuable) in the cellars and that only those in charge of the tower knew how to navigate safely through. 
Trapeze Artists 
JPL - Do you mean the ending of Episode 1 in the original Doom? It has a hurt sector that ignores God mode (in fact, disabling it). However before you die it triggers the epilogue text.

I am fine with traps being lethal as long as there is a cue to them (an audible click, lights turning on, or just that strip of ground being a bit bloody). Another way to demonstrate is to have monsters trip them before the player (a zombie wandering onto a pressure plate).

My reason for support of the more lethal traps is simply that it appeals to my sense of victory/loss, rather than my conservatism. Lethal traps, if they get me, I have been "beaten" by the map. The designer is the victor. Whereas traps that just do moderate damage more of annoy me because I like to have full health and when I have armor, get a bit obsessive with it not being damaged in any way. Nice clean armor, just got it, dont hurt it!
With lethal traps, I am in danger, with more minor ones, I am being prodded by the new guy in class.

As for specific traps I enjoy... I enjoy the ambush of the fake exit in Doom, I think it is Halls of the Damned, e2m6 - it takes that image of hope for every gamer and transforms it into dread, complete with a cue which though it warns the player, plunges them into brief confusion before the knee-jerk "shoot the moving thing!" moment returns.

I enjoyed the variety of crushers in Doom/2 you can lure enemies into as well as long as you successfully avoid them...

Rise of the Triad has so many traps it is difficult to mention just one... Flame jets, the spinning blades, pitfalls, boulders, moving walls, the game is a dictionary of traps and secrets.

The Build engine games seemed to put more emphasis on naturalistic traps rather than ones layed out for the player... buildings collapsing and navigating through large machinery was the standard work order here - aside from the laser trip bombs in Duke3d. I shudder to think of how much more evil Blood could have been if they employed a similar method with proximity detonators used against the player. Blood does however have the ubiquitious paranoia of gargoyle statues, most of them are fine... but sometimes they change.

Quake puts the traps usually right before you... in e2m3, e4m2, e4m3 you can see the instruments of pain readily at hand, waiting. It simply tells the player to "Wait, dont assume, tread lightly in this world" - and if they dont, they generally lose 30 to 60 health suddenly - but you can use such against monsters as well. However the most theatrical of the traps are seen in the demo loop - the crushers in e1m3 which this thread has thoroughly covered, but also the bloody spiked wall in the Door to Chthon. You step in and it is obvious pain awaits you - the hallway is smeared with blood, and then the wall moves. Of course id being id, there is a secret behind it.

The missionpacks offer even more in the ways of traps... everyone remembers feeling a bit like Indiana Jones in Scourge of Armagon, not just for the rolling boulder, but also moments like the floor tiles which drop off into lava later in the game. Dissolution of Eternity offers plenty of straightforward traps... the whoosh of swinging guillotines cutting through air and ogre alike... the buzz of the groundsaws... and the electrodes randomly spewing lightning. Nevermind all the falling rock in r2m2.

We need more traps, just as long as the player isnt 100% ambushed with them. 
Well 
speaking of traps.. Hm i always loved traps and environment interaction in games/maps. But i think that there's a lack of traps in most of quake maps (both custom and id). Most of mappers don't think they are nessesary imho. As for me, i always place at least one trap in my maps (usualy more). maybe someone remembers my monsterfree map.
http://pulsar.quaddicted.com/maps/monfree.zip

posting from mobile, my fingers are dying 
Portal 
Talking of the evolution of traps in FPS games, I assume you've all seen the Portal trailer on Steam...?

There's a hole in the sky
Through which things can fly


maybe someone remembers my monsterfree map

Yes indeed. 
Heh 
i'm actually more excited about portal that HL EP2... :P 
Trinca 
I like you just fine, and if I've ever been a jerk to you it's no more than I'm typically a jerk to anyone. You just never specified what WETY meant. 
Yes, I'm One Too. 
p.s2->are all raven guys assholes?

Every single male working here is a complete and total asshole.

The females are okay though.

Still...what the fuck is WETA? Anyone? 
W E T Y 
...them too. 
:\ Sorry Then Lun, But I Didnt Like Some Atitudes U Had In #tf... 
let me explain then!!!

there are lots of boxes with func_door with and each box got a word and u need to know the puzzle or the func_door active and u fall into the lava... like this

R E N R R
E E T U I
E R T Y L

so u need to jump to L then U then N to have a safe way... the other words make u fall in lava... 
So ... 
... W E T Y refers to a floor of lettered tiles like at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Sounds cool.

I really enjoyed Salv. The traps were gruesome and required a combination of agility and consideration to get past, but they weren't so complex that they ruined the flow of the game. Afterall, Quake should be a fairly fast paced game, so you don't want to die too many times as a result of traps, but you do want to be kept on edge by the knowledge that something potentially more lethal than a Shambler might be waiting round the corner. 
 
yes Text_Fish like this (indiana Jones)!!! but i dont remenber name of map :\ going to try to find this weekend in my data base :| will take some hours 
Doom Ep1 
that's what i meant before and what inspired me to make a 'bitch ending' it was great because it made fun of the player, but still left progression open - ultra violence. i'm taking alot of ideas from doom, including a twist on the end of ep1 with the giant star arena, but with fiends (only; no infighting >:))

the letters thing sound a good idea - in salv there's the bit where you jump across pillars with the lights telling you which ones aren't safe - sounds similar.

the traps in the original were very brutal, but the whole environment screamed TRAP! with blood on the walls or a huge spiked plate of metal (yep, great trap in door to cthon, maybe trap of the game) or whatever, but its always very obvious that pain is nearby, the only ones not marked so well were pretty harmless and just meant to keep the player on thier toes - like the spike trap in shub's pit. 
Ah, Okay. 
Thanks for the clarification. 
Pjw... 
...weta is a New Zealand pet. Although apparently they have varieties in South Africa as well.

http://weta.boarsnest.net/ 
Wow. 
Eek, Pat. Eek. 
Rolled up, very elegant.

Unrolled, makes my skin move around as if it wants to climb off.

Seeing photos of the horrid cephalopods that still walk this earth make me leery about eating things like crab and lobster, because I think about their close neighbors on the biological ugly tree and wonder if crab meat isn't just an amalgam of yellow gooey insect flesh. 
Lun 
cephalopods = squid and octopi
crustaceans = crabs, lobster, wood lice etc.
arthropods = crustaceans + insects + arachnids
arthropods != cephalopods 
Creepy Fucking Thingapods With More Legs Than Me 
how's that?

wait, this is the traps thread? WTF are we talking about this for? 
Haha, Someone Fell For My Derailment Trap! 
...yeah. 
Awesome Trqap 
even better that the one in Beneath A Distant Sun
where you get stuck in the alien eggs while another player comes up and frags your ass! 
 
Creepy Fucking Thingapods With More Legs Than Me
how's that?


Not bad, but it lacks a certain scientific quality. Maybe we should ask Anwulf what the latin is for "fucking creepy"


WTF are we talking about this for?

Because of the antlions from HL2? They're certainly arthropodic. Not so creepy, but they do scitter up out of the beach if you so much as look at the ground too hard. Physics objects are the only way to progress over some parts, which is the sort of close interactivity that's a welcome development from Q1 era traps that was mentioend earlier.
However, the basic formula still applies to make it a good trap: good warning, consequences that are not too harsh because of the amount of work the player has to invest to progress safely. Those consequences are also relative to how badly the player fucks up, given that the length of time spent on the sand corelates to the number of antlions that will accumulate. And the method of progression - physics jiggery - leaves some flexibility in the player's options.
Much of this works because of the premise that is established on the back - chitinous and exoskeletal that it is - of the antlion concept: they can burrow, scitter, fly and swarm because they are creepy and arthropodic.

I guess you could argue that the antlion-beach scenario is less a trap and more an obstacle, which might be an interesting argument to explore further: what's the difference between the two?
But that chapter in HL2 is called "sandtraps" after all ;)


...and we're back on topic!

Haha, Someone Fell For My Derailment Trap!

No, I anticipated it and dodged to safety.
Can I have a health pack now? 
A Map With Traps 
This is a sort of speedmap, enjoy.

http://www.filecloud.com/files/file.php?user_file_id=282559

When you are descending try to take in as much detail as you can about the maze. It is possible to not die on the first attempt :) . Also you are safe next to walls with runes. 
 
ooh wel i died few times :) nice level!!!

why didn�t u sent to neg|ke for nect speedmap seccion? 
 
Thanks for playing! I actually dropped into the speed mapping channel on Saturday, there was nobody there :/ . Feel free to include it in this pack though. 
 
come to irc quakenet #terrafusion u map very good nice map ;) 
Pypain 
Very creative map you got there. But I just could not beat it. I kept panicking after every corner, thinking im gonna get crushed.

Good effort. Keep it up. 
Effective 
Omus - good job there, nice looking and differently fun to play. after a few deaths, while lowering i charted a path and then saved at every Safe Haven

ended with 30 health and nothing in my inventory

id like to see such things integrated into a more serious rounded singleplayer map =) 
Pypain 
Awesome, and really quite scary I thought! I'd also like to see it turned in to something more, as once you get out of the maze and go downstairs it's a bit of a dissapointing end. 
Cool 
just played through - nice idea, i especially like the pyramid theme, even though its kind of obscured by the theme of player gibs :).

I'd also like to see this as an expanded version - though i'd suggest making the blocks a little slower . . . 
Yeah... 
pypain was cool. Short, but it was a speedmap after all. 
An Idea 
just noted that traps is the next speedmapping session theme and remembered something from the "teaching old progs.dat new tricks" thread about weaponstripping the player so they had no weapons (preach was the poster) might be a cool idea for making a map without monsters if you don�t even have your trusty shotgun . . . would seem worrying to play quake without even that as defence. 
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