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Quake Gameplay Potential...
Very interesting discussion in the GA thread, worthy of it's own discussion thread I think, for archive and research purposes.

There seem to be several viewpoints floating around, which I'll badly paraphrase...

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was (kill monsters find exit) and thus is boring and not really worth bothering with.

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was but that's it's appeal and it's still great fun.

Quake gameplay is the same as it always was and thus it needs to rely on mods and extra monsters and features to remain fresh and interesting.

Quake gameplay has evolved and improved enough (with or without those enhancements) to still remain worthwhile.

etc etc.

I don't think any of these perspectives can be shown to be right or wrong - mostly they seem to be the depth with which you look at gameplay and gaming in general. I.e. Quake gameplay might seem exactly the same as always when looked at on broad kill monster exit map terms, but looked at on narrower terms the refinement in monster placing, gameflow, surprises, balance etc etc that modern mappers have achieved could be seem as quite progressive.

I haven't argued much so far but as a big Quake fan I am interested in Quake gameplay, how it has progressed, and how far it can progress (with or without enhancements). Thus I think the ideas would be worth more exploration. More thoughts in a mo...
Possible Progression In Vanilla Quake Gameplay. 
This is my take on things:

I believe that there is still a lot of potential for mappers to be creative and innovative with Vanilla Quake (standard monsters, standard weapons, but with fixed engine limits etc), and that there is a lot more gameplay potential to be explored. This potential may of course require trial and error and result in varying degrees of fun (equally I believe there is an issue with creating the "perfect" Quake gameplay by continual refinement. The pure fun level of a few maps in recent years shows that possibility). Obviously it's not going to break free from the "kill monster exit map" genre but I think mappers can break free from basic Id-style gameplay.

Consider various factors that can be used in maps:

Monsters that vary from very weak to fairly powerful.

Monsters that are good at close combat or good at ranged combat.

Monsters that are more or less susceptible to different weapons.

Monster in-fighting.

Weapons of varying degrees of strength and range-effectiveness.

Weapons of three different degrees of self-damage.

A high damage power-up.

An invisibility power-up.

An extra-health power-up.

An invincibility power-up.

A protection against slime power-up.

(All with time limits)

Fluids of varying degrees of player damage.

Traps of varying degrees of player damage.

A lack of falling damage.

Moving platforms, teleporters, crushers, spike shooters, explosive barrels, etc etc.

Then consider combining these factors and/or creating more themed, more focused gameplay. Here's a few ideas to be chucked around....some have been done, some haven't.

Horde gameplay with lots of monsters.

Maps with only the most powerful monsters and most powerful weapons.

Horde maps with hard monsters but continual power-ups.

Low-power maps with light monsters but light weapons.

Low-power maps with hard monsters, light weapons, but tactical use of power-ups.

Maps with biosuits and lots of slime.

Zombies, explosive barrels, and no explosive weapons.

Maps that specifically encourage in-fighting.

A scenario that relies on combining 666, LG, and water.

A scenario that relies on luring monsters into traps.

Gameplay involving the ROS and plenty of stealth.

Gameplay more focused on traps and jumps than purely on shooting.

Etc etc. Obviously just some raw ideas, obviously not all would work, obviously refinement needed. But just as something off the top of my head... 
Aim, dodge - thats it mostly. Some primitive resource management (ammo health). Straightforward navigation (which is better than e4`s dark mazes imho)
I dont see many maps that have interesting gameplay setups. Visual side evolved much more than the gameplay. Many maps are even worse than IDs original cause run&gun is all they have to offer. I might have missed some later releases, but nothing has improved since Damaul6 or Koohoo gamplay-wise. Just bigger areas/more monsters placed without much thought(which gets boring really, if its the only type of gamplay there is). I played Quake to death (felt that about 5 years ago) so Im no longer excited about simple fighting mechanic (which is good, but so old and wellknown).

Ofcourse there are more unexplored possibilities even w/o any mods. Need to stop relying on hordes and put more thought and creativty into gameplay design. But its hard. 
Low-power Maps With Light Monsters But Light Weapons. 
A map with 15 grunts and the shotgun only. With no health and no additional shells. Each of the grunts having a good chance to hit the player once if he isn't carefull/quick (an ambush, a small dark maze, grunt on a moving platform etc). The player should to be at low health and scared at the end of the map.
I also thought of making the monster placement semi-random for the replay value. This should be possible with quoth. 
what i like the most in a Quake map is exploracion and speed gameplay! 
Attack on Fort Ratsack and The Katagean Redoubt were great examples of gameplay. There was nothing flash-bang about the content and there didn't need to be, for me.

I didn't think 'this is crap, why isn't there a new boss monster' or 'why aren't I figuring out a series of button puzzles, boring' or even 'no normalmapping?'.

Its back to the million shades of brown analogy, I like the game as it is, extra stuff is a nice bonus but not necessary for me to enjoy playing it. 
That Is Already Possible In Normal Quake 
I also thought of making the monster placement semi-random for the replay value. This should be possible with quoth. </>

You can set multiple teleport triggers on each monster entity, and randomize by using Fitzgibbon's patented shooter trigger randomizer, or make the teleporters trigger at different locations depending upon the route the player decides to take.
Good post. It raises useful questions:

Some primitive resource management (ammo health).

Can that be improved? Can the player be challenged for resource management in more interesting ways? Perhaps given ammo-monster suitability...

Straightforward navigation (which is better than e4`s dark mazes imho)

Can that be improved too? I.e. navigation which is challenging, without being too maze-like...

Many maps are even worse than IDs original cause run&gun is all they have to offer.

Really?? How are Id's better then? I.e. what do they offer beyond run&gun?

Just bigger areas/more monsters placed without much thought(which gets boring really, if its the only type of gamplay there is).

Bigger areas and more monsters has been a general trend. I'm not sure if people are placing monsters without too much thought, I have noticed some cunning monster usage (one recent trend has been to force the player into Vore arenas with no cover, thus breaking the "dodge around a corner" anti-Vore-ball trend, and forcing continual running). But if that's another area to be improved, it's worth considering, i.e. maximising both monster effectiveness and monster fun.

Need to stop relying on hordes and put more thought and creativty into gameplay design. But its hard.

I agree with the horde thing, it was something that was tried, it offered a bit more fun and a different gameplay feel, but is not the only solution and can get boring (although I still think it could be pushed to amusing excess - 100s of dogs, the Quad, and RL....but as part of a quality map). And yes I agree it's probably hard, but it needs people to try. I go back to Ijed with Warpspasm's monstrous stamina-fest....he was prepared to give something a go... 
Other Replies... 
Ankh: Exactly!! That's the sort of ideas that are needed. It might not work so well first go, but those sort of gameplay themes are the ones to explore, I think...

Trinca: Exploration and speed gameplay. Even those simple concepts could encourage people to make stronger themed gameplay. I.e. maps that demand more exploration (subject so some ppls' dislike of E4 mazes of course ;)), or maps that force even faster gameplay....more relentless monster usage, or time limits maybe...

Ijed: I agree, both great maps with great gameplay. As mentioned elsewhere, I was impressed with just how striking Ratsack's secret areas were, even using Id textures and monsters!! I do think, going back to my first post, gameplay might not have changed in broad terms, but it's been refined in the details... 
Semi-random monster spawns: I've had this idea in my mind for quite some time now and was going to implement it in my current wip-map (multiple teleport triggers for some of the monsters).

The stealth/Ankh thing is similar to something I once discussed with inertia (maybe also posted about it before?). Player with reduced health (trigger_hurt damaging him to 10 or something upon startup) and lowered ammo, in a map of armor- (/damage-) hacked monsters, having to sneak through and discover ways of getting past them without arrousing too much attention. Problem is thsz standard Quake is not very flexible when it comes to stealth/enemy detection.

I have vague plans on doing a map with rudimentary adventure elements by using scripted sequences (npc mission, activating triggers, blah, firing counter), but in the end, it would still rely on the same old mechanics for the most part.

I've also been thinking for quite some about one of the suggestions Shambler made once (small, excessively detailed map, each monster as an event) - the problem is that people know by heart how to deal with each monster, e.g. if a grunt (or any other monster) appears, regardless of how cinematic it may be, a regular player isn't surprised at all or even scared and doesn't expect it to be special, simply because he has had encountered every monster in every situation before and knows how to deal with it. Increasing the monsters' health (randomly) might make it a little more interesting, but still... And since the recent? trend seems to be bigger=better (see the reviews - few monsters=too easy=downgrading element), creating fresh gameplay situations becomes even harder. 
It Seems Like Most Of The Talk 
is about big very concrete gestures while I think it's more about the subtle ways of controlling the players mind. Things like pacing, different kinds of contrast (open spaces vs. closed quarters, horde combat vs. lone monsters, all out action vs. moments of ill boding silence) in both architecture and entity use. 
Another Good Trick To Pull 
I mean, challenging scenario for the player, is to put an easy to get quad just before you reach a rather snug area, and make it difficult to avoid receiving a rocket launcher in the area while being attacked. Such a trap can very from a mildly frustrating challenge to total evile depending upon how carefully you gauge the implementation.

Also, providing a difficult to get to walkway just above the jump range of a gang of hellspawns is another scenario that can lead to some tense drama because those buggers even after all these years can still be unpredictable.

The most satisfying part of game play design for me is finding ways to counter the player's expectations of how a common scenario should unfold. This is pretty much what bear is describing where it is mostly subtle things that generate interesting game play developed from tweaking the scenarios and keeping yourself open to possibilaties.

With ZerTM_HT, I originally had the exit teleporter in the little room behind the gold key door. I decided that was a bit boring and routine, and said to myself, there is a nice canal of lava running right underneath it, why don't we use it. 
Semi Random Spawning 
Is very cool, especially when playtesting / replaying.

Lazarus Q2 supported it very well.

What's this random spawn method in id1, specifically "patented shooter trigger randomizer"? 
Old Idea 
This is an old idea from another thread, but I'm not sure anyone has done it yet. Give the player a choice between two weapons and when the player picks one up, take the other away. I was implementing this along with route choices (circular connected areas you can enter from either direction) in a map I started last QExpo, but I haven't touched it in ages. 
i've definitely seen an old q1sp map with that idea; you started in front of two open cages, one with the SNG & one with the LG, with a trigger message saying 'choose wisely'. picking up one weapon would close the cage for the other one.

i cannot for the life of me remember which map it was though, for some reason i had tiddles in mind but just skimmed through all of his levels on TSQLR and couldn't see any reference to it. i can't even be 100% what style the map was in.. it was either metal or industrialesque base 
That's The One.. 
turns out i was wrong on mapper & style, heh.

just replayed it & realised it's actually a bad example, since if you choose the LG then you're fucked as there are no cells in the rest of the level, not to mention shitloads of nails & no regular nailgun! it's like the decision was already made for you. i managed to scrape through with 13 health & 3 shells (after fleeing from a few monsters & instigating as many infights as possible) 
make it difficult to avoid receiving a rocket launcher in the area while being attacked

And you start using a weakness in the UI to annoy the player. -> nono. 
He He 
What's this random spawn method in id1, specifically "patented shooter trigger randomizer"?

Before he was a site administrator, he was a world acclaimed author:

I'll put up a map demonstrating how to use this with random monster teleports later in the week. I'll likely use a small GPLed source map as an example just to make it a fun lesson. 
to turn the logic gate into a randomizer, you need to add a few elements, like setting func_trains in between the trigger and its target and have them set off and randomize the timing depending upon when the player reaches certain destinations. Stringing several of these triggers
in the players path can lead to highly unpredictable results. 
Controlable Randomness 
You can also use hacks with firing rockets to have a trigger that fires with a specified probability P. You need an info_notnull to target with

use W_FireRocket

Then directly north of this, place a func_wall with the following fields:

health 100 + 20 * P
takedamage 2
th_die SUB_UseTargets

Make the func_wall target what you want to randomly trigger or not.

How it works:
A rocket does contact damage uniformly between 100 and 120 damage, and so the setup is asking whether the rocket does enough damage to "kill" the func_wall in one hit. We choose the health of the func_wall so that it will die a proportion P of the time.
Warning! Do not trigger the same info_notnull twice, as the second rocket will certainly kill the func_wall if the first did not, so the event will be triggered.

Fun fact for the day
With an infinite sequence of coin tosses you can generate almost any random process, including Brownian motion! Sadly the edict limit renders quake inadequate at performing serious statistics in this way. 
Bad Idea 
make it difficult to avoid receiving a rocket launcher in the area while being attacked

I inadvertently did this in dazsp3, you would teleport to a new area and grab the rocket launcher instantly, while some dogs were attacking you, 9 times out of 10 the player would blow himself up or lose a fair amount of health.

Not fun! 
Controllable Randomness 
Interesting stuff! One thing though, in the fields:

health 100 + 20 * P
takedamage 2
th_die SUB_UseTargets

Isn't it actually (1-P)? If you put P equal to 0 in that example, it looks like the event will be triggered every time.

Also, maybe this could be logically extended to randomize between a set of triggers, I'm not sure. For example, you could set up 4 func walls like the one above, one with health 100, one with health 105, one with health 110 and one with health 115, in the same place and with the same target. Then you'd need some trick to find what the highest health func_wall killed was... maybe something with trigger_counters would do the trick. I'm just thinking out loud here, might need to think about it. 
You're absolutely right there, P is the probability of the event not being triggered, rather than being triggered. It's easier to get right when you're actually doing it that when you write it.

I don't think your plan for multiple func walls will work though, because only one of them will get the collision before the missile is removed. The others will get hit by the radius damage, but unfortunately that's a constant radius, so you can't randomise with it. You could have some further logic gate setup which only triggers if the func_wall event doesn't fire. I'm sure there's a good way to do it but I can't see it yet... 
Why? gameplay clichees like that are established elements, in many DM maps the LG is placed underwater etc. I think good old Quake still has lots of potential, even more so considering QC.
But looking at the mixed feelings the community has about maps/mods that *are* different (Quoth/Warpspasm etc.), maybe alot of players don�t want to advance; having the gameplay "down" also gives security.
Might be that Quake�s true 3D is also kinda hindering it�s advance in that regard, it seems many want to make great architecture and brushwork first, gameplay comes second (which is fine by me).
An idea I had was: what about something like HL�s Blast Pit, but with an unvulnerable shambler for the tentacle thing, players would have to dodge it while going from one area to the other, maybe to activate a big crusher.

Also, neg|ke�s idea with random spawning sounds interesting, Hexen had something like that to keep players on their toes while visiting already cleaned out areas. 
I inadvertently did this in dazsp3, you would teleport to a new area and grab the rocket launcher instantly, while some dogs were attacking you, 9 times out of 10 the player would blow himself up or lose a fair amount of health.

Not fun!

I intentionally did the same thing in Ariadat. There is a quad before a difficult room with a lot of niches and crannies and a rocket launcher that is hard to avoid in the middle of it and the quad is only really a semi secret. I put a knight coming out of the Quad secret room to draw the players attention to it. If you don't take the quad you actually have a higher probability of surviving. 
Logic gates then - I've already been using those after someone here mentioned them, (cheers metslime) but what I was thinking was a triggered event that always causes something to happen.

Now from reading the original example I see that firing four or so spikes at the same time with the gates dependant on the same fixed variables could be useful. So having a gate that when open blocks one of the others and when closed the opposite is viable.

Think I'll try experimenting with this, but have to watch the edict limits. 
I think the question is whether it is fair or not to the player to do that kind of thing, I think in your example HeadThump it is more acceptable as the player sees the Quad in the room and its therefore his/her fault if they pick it up and Quad-gib themselves :)

In dazsp3 you have a split second from teleporting to realise you have picked up the RL and see the dogs at point blank range, and then change weapon while resisting the urge to fire, which in my view is very unfair.

Maps shouldn't be tricking the player in this way, its cheap. Maps should really be trying to take the expectations of the player and turn them on their head in the interest of fun.

In my opinion :) 
Another Entity That Could Be Used To Interesting Effect... 
the shub teleporter. i don't think i've ever seen it used in a decent custom level yet there's loads of potential for it, either for puzzle type gameplay or teleporting to random locations.. or teleporting monsters to random locations for that matter 
Make Qw Maps 
seriously. I want the sp creativity coupled with the qw replayability and ultimate toughness.

And voodoochopstiks, finish traveler, it's practically ready as it is, it doesn't have to be elaborate to be beautiful when compared to most dm maps.

This was somewhat offtopic of course.

I suck at making gameplay and I suck at playing and mostly just hide behind the corner and fire nails. It's kinda hard to do good stuff in quake. Movement and dancing around is half the beauty in qw but in sp that kinda almost never works because of the way enemies are and the clunkier control and physics. Oh and death knights are boring SSG fodder that take ages to kill. 
Quite Understood 
Maps shouldn't be tricking the player in this way, its cheap. Maps should really be trying to take the expectations of the player and turn them on their head in the interest of fun.

Some of the best game play moments occur when you are tinkering around and you figure out how to make an impossible situation plausible. 
seriously. I want the sp creativity coupled with the qw replayability and ultimate toughness.
Where is the "ultimate toughness" with QW? I'd rather think it is way easier (bunnyhopping, weaponscripts, probably even simple textures...). 
You dont punish the player out of the blue. You only punish him for failing a game at the set rules. Such is the difference between annoying and challenging. (there go your hidden snipers, unseen traps and forced RLs - to the 'bad design' bin)

On a replayability issue - you have skill settings. Different entity sets on the different skill levels not only provide the variety in difficulty, but also allow for no less than 3 variants of how a map plays. You dont have to limit it to the monsters and resources, you can also change funcs and keys location (see e2m1) You can even make 3 different starts. Just make sure the players know that the map plays differently at different skill settings.
For some low-scale differences you can utilize the erratic nature of player movement and place small hidden triggers that randomize events (ie going on the left side of the walkway spawns a fiend, on the right - an ogre)
Monsters roaming on path_corners also add a degree of randomness.

Choice is quite an underrated tool in gamedesign. Giving player alternatives that affect the later events and how the game plays creates a good amount of involvment and replayability.
The earlier comparison of books and games forgot one very important thing - games being an interactive medium (as opposed to the totally fixed narrative of the books and movies) thus making it possible to create different experience depending on the player's decisions. So why not utilize this potential to the fullest by giving more choices and creating variable outcomes instead of tightly scripting all the events and clipping out all the possible alternatives. (is there anyone who havent heard me whine about CoD and such shit :)) 
Different Variants Of Gameplay Depending On Skill Settings 
Good idea. A lot work though. Roger Staines' ghost town map comes to mind. 
I Had An Idea Once: 
The player plays through a start map of some description, which automatically selects skill 0 before placing him in the main map; he plays through, before finishing. Just before finishing skill 1 is selected; the map plays through completely differently on skill 1 - player starts in a different place (possibly where he finished the last run) and finishes in a different place, and just before finishing skill 2 is selected;- ready for a different run again!

You could put a different map possibly between runs, the maps could interlock a bit.

Obviously the downside of doing this is that there is no skill selection... 
Isn't done much because of money in the mainstream and laziness in modding.

Why make something not everyone will see?

The multiple starts thing is interesting though - the same map with three different starts depending on difficulty is pretty neat.

Each of those specific areas could have a weapon in it, and weather you have to start with a crappy gun and go find a better one or vice-versa depends on your skill level.

But that's nothing new - I don't think starts can be removed but teleports definitely can. Pretty much what this thread is about - using the same old stuff in new ways. 
First, I don't think there is a problem.

Second, there are some possibilities that have barely been acknowledged:

- Quoth 2's coop features. Map plays radically different in coop. A coop server already exists, and more could be set up.

- Qonquer maps.

- Hub style maps - take several small/medium parts and use Quoth to construct a hub. I always liked this in Quake 2, even in Hexen 2 although it wasn't well done there. I know that there are people who hate this, though.

- Maps which are practically based on spawn-ins like Than's latest.

- Rocket Arena, Clan Arena, CTF, Fortress etc. maps. There aren't many good ones. Personally I'm collecting CTF textures for some time now, because I have this daydream of making a nice CTF map. :-)

HL's Blast Pit, but with an unvulnerable shambler for the tentacle thing, players would have to dodge it while going from one area to the other, maybe to activate a big crusher.

You could do that with Chthon, too. Gasp, a cool Chthon map. (Actually, thanks for the idea.) (Can be extended to Shub of course - think activating bridges etc so you can reach the final teleporter.)

- Race maps, two players race obstacle courses (not necessarily the same one) for the goal, and who reaches it first gets to dump the other in lava (etc). Around the courses, there could be buttons that activate traps etc. in the opponent's course.

The problem is, for the more interesting game modes, you are going to need multiple players and a server or splitscreen functionality. Singleplayer is naturally limited to kill monsters, find exit. The kill monsters part can be simple or really elaborate, or just weight-of-numbers, but it comes down to survival. The find exit part can contain some buttons, keys etc but how exciting can it get...

I'd like more puzzles, like in Tomb Raider, but sadly in Quake there is no way to flag $ITEM as a key or something. Not even to the small amount of Quake 2 (Tank Commander's head etc.) Remember the Lost Valley level where Lara has to collect cogs to activate some machinery which re-routes a river? (Note to self: Need to reinstall it.)

Quake is just lacking in that regard. It would have been rather easy to include the $KEY facility, including a simplistic inventory (Hexen, Quake2) or the possibility of stripping the player of all weapons, but it wasn't done. Nobody is interested in that kind of stuff. (I _did_ suggest it to the usual suspects.)

It's a run and gun game. Deal with it. 
Is in Nehahra. 
Picking Up Items 
Unless you're playing a coop map where people can die and respawn, there's no functional difference between picking up an item to activate some machinery and hitting a trigger where the item would be. It doesn't really add anything to the gameplay, only to the story. So you might as well stick to the mechanisms like buttons that already exist in quake, because it doesn't conflict with a player's expectations. 
The Player's Expectations 
are part of the "problem". Quake players expect "kill monsters, (press button||find key), find exit." It's based around monster killing acrobatics. Exercises.

TR's $KEY method allows for some depth, in addition to the monster killing. Picking up the items, collecting them and counting them in your backpack to see how many you got, carrying them to the machinery, applying them, seeing the machinery start turning... seeing the water has been rerouted... the whole level is based around that. Other cool TR levels are the cistern, where you have to flood the whole level to proceed, St. Francis' Folly, where you have to collect four keys which are all behind deadly traps (with mythological background, and rather breathtaking architecture/jumping puzzles), Midas' palace where you have to turn lead into gold, etc... sure, you could just substitute buttons in all those levels... but *ugh*... that's so loveless and mechanic. IMO those rather primitive $KEY substitutions, and the little stories around them, are the reason why lots more girls play TR than Quake. Just btw.

Pressing a button, "2 more to go", returning to the machinery, assuming it has turned... actually there would be no need for the machinery at all then, the buttons would just be tied to a door (and thus we have just another quake level)... return after pressing buttons, door has magically opened. Technically it's the same thing, but TR's method is so much richer and more satisfying.

It's not the same thing... plus it could be any item... buttons are rather limited. Plus there are some places or scenarios where buttons would look out of place.

Basically buttons hide the interesting part (there is assumedly some hidden machinery behind them) while collecting statuettes, cogs, gems, airstrike markers etc. and placing them in the corresponding receptacle (altar, machine, etc) create an immediate satisfaction. Plus there is the "collecting fetish" that humans seem to have - "Cool, I have five of them." Hence the typical adventurer theme. Find $MYSTIC_ITEM - well first, of course it's in pieces which you have to assemble, and gosh, it doesn't stop there, you can put it into $RECEPTACLE and the fucking pyramid explodes :-) Plus, the little statuettes etc. actually look nice. "Cool, I found an item I never saw before. I wonder what it's good for." As opposed to "ah, there's the silver key."

The problem with Nehahra is the required engines. Quoth, for example, runs in any Quake engine, even Dosquake. I would be much more willing to consider Nehahra if the protocol extension stuff was removed (Nehahra-lite?) 
Ofcourse Its Harder! 
Its hard to make anything good. it always takes more skill, effort and time.
Its only easy to make boxes with a dozen of ogres lined up to be circle-strafed to death (from boredom). We all know that making a good map is really hard.

Why make something not everyone will see?
to have any depth in your creation! Even in the movies you simply cant notice and grasp everything in the first run. And that makes it worth rewatching (or just watching with all attention and thinking about what you see) - cause such movies have depth.
Indeed, some designers might be so affraid that you could miss a cutscene or god forbid play the way he didnt intend that they ruin any immersion by clearly forcing you on a narrow pre-determined path in all your actions. (no you cant jump over this 1 meter high fence. no you cant use the rockets in other location, cause you cant take more than 3 from those botomless boxes. and now we`ll take all your weapons away. just because.)
but I digress

Lets see how it works in the case of our fave game, just a very simple example: you have a shotgun and shells. And thats it. fun eh? Add a nailgun with some nails - now there is a choice of weapons which adds variety.
See - there is an armor over lava - do you take a risk of going for it or proceed unprotected? You make decisions, just like in your life, and suddenly the game becomes a bit more than just a reflex test.

GB: hate to turn this into another mapping help thread but:
func_wall cog; trigger killtarget cog msg "you have picked up a cog, go install it"
then use that logic gate to spawn a cog model in a mechanism when you come close to it and have "picked" the cog prior to that.
nehahra lets you have anything as a 'key', custents have more trigger and targets types too. you can do alot more than it seems 
A Moment I Really Liked In Q2 
was when an airstrike marker was stolen. It was so simple. But it made the level cool: "Umm, the airstrike marker was stolen by a Gekk raiding party." And you go, "wtf, GEKK raiding party?!" I loved that. 
func_wall cog; trigger killtarget cog msg "you have picked up a cog, go install it"
then use that logic gate to spawn a cog model in a mechanism when you come close to it and have "picked" the cog prior to that.
nehahra lets you have anything as a 'key', custents have more trigger and targets types too. you can do alot more than it seems

obvious reply:

why does nobody do it then? 

It's about reality of time constraints when it comes to retail games. You barely have time these days to get the content in for the main path of the game, never mind spending time polishing and testing routes that most players will never see. 
Half-Life 1 
Half-Life 1.

Willem - Thats the very reason why I think Half-Life 1 was better than Half-Life 2 or its other sequels. Depth. 
How so? I played Half-Life to death and don't really have any memory of optional areas to explore. The game was extremely linear. 
It Was Linear 
but there were little areas which you could find throughout it which enriched the gameplay experience. Secret areas, little nooks and crannies... Stuff which was really well hidden in some cases, and you didn't need to find to progress through the game. It adds replayability.

Personally I'm looking forwrds to GTA4 :D I wander how thats gonna be.... 
But those are secrets. Quake has those. I think Speeds was talking entirely alternate paths. Those are the things devs don't have time for. 
Don't Have Time 
what devs? rockstar? bethesda? ubisoft? lionhead? bioware? or maybe 3d realms, they are sure short of time. plz
its a deliberate design decision 
Half Life 2 
HL2 also had secrets hidden off the main path, it was just like HL1 in that respect. They even had a cool device to let you know that it was a secret that you'd just found - they were all marked with the 'lambda' spraypaint logo. The first one of these was actually for a cache directly on the path the player had to take, but that was fair enough to teach you what the symbol meant. It also tied into the lambda symbol being the symbol of the resistance, which again I thought was neat. 
"what devs? rockstar? bethesda? ubisoft? lionhead? bioware? or maybe 3d realms, they are sure short of time. plz
its a deliberate design decision"

*waves* Me. I speak from experience. There is no time to waste on areas the player isn't almost guaranteed to see.

Gears of War had very few "off the beaten path" areas because of what I'm saying. You simply don't have time to build something that 5% of your players will actually see. 
I Tend To Believe Willem Here 
The larger the company involved the more likely they have to use financial instruments to fund a project while there is no profit to show for it. When you use debt, you have to prove to the backers of that debt that product is being created, hence the tight development cycle.

It is actually an advantage of independents who may have a small dedicated, at times even unpaid, staff where they can go about developing game play at a leisurely pace.

For instance, I don't know if anything will come up it, but I have been developing a companion to Mortisville, using its assets in a stand alone capacity with the Irrlicht engine. It is nothing more than a huge Venice like city with dozens of puzzles and non aggressive creatures that roam around it. No time constraints, no worries, I let it develop
by its own logic. 
I For One 
submit at least somewhat to that John Carmack school of game design (although not completely). Ie here's the shotgun, kill the monsters, push the buttons. Never bothered with Tomb Raider that much. Most players with some intelligence and experience from a few games recognize the attempts to dress up the game mechanic into something realistic as well, amusing and slightly annoying at best.

It's really common of course. Every game tries to have "variety". A training section. Plot interspersed with the action. Some of it works a bit but a big part of it is just dull.

You can play card games where there is no attempt to dress up the mechanic. It's plain artificial right there. After a little playing people learn to "feel" the game. They get good feeling when they pick up aces in poker - even when the aces don't represent anything from the real world.

Most of you probably get my point even though I didn't explicitly bring it out here, in one line maybe somehow like this: It's not necessary to have an externally plausible motivation to have a motivating game.

And what speeds said, decisions are what games are all about. If there are no decisions, then it's just routine. Freecell is a game that is very much based on decisions and it rocks. Civilization III has some decisions in the early part but mostly just routine, hence it doesn't rock so much. Some games, you do interesting decisions on the first or maybe second play time but then it's obvious always what to do in which situation and it's just boring. 
Willem thats the point of the whole argument - its not a waste to work on different ways of playing, siderooms and alternative ways. If your designers dont consider it and just rush out linear levels there is nothing good about it. To me its like saying 'we dont have a time to do lightpass, lets settle for minlight and some bloom - 80% of players cant tell a turd from a diamond anyway'. I listed all those companies (exept the obvious one) for their games, which have very large ammount of 'optional' content like sidequests etc. And it only makes those games better and more popular.
And Im not even proposing such scale of nonlinearity as, say Oblivion. Total freedom in unneeded in games. Just dont impose too many superficial limits and offer choice (and it will be roughly 50% players who see your extra content). GoW gives you an explicit choice of route in the very first level btw.

bambuz dont underestimate the importance of atmosphere and immersion - its one of the reasons people play games - and Quake has a good share of it 
GoW gives you a few choices either for (a) training purposes or (b) co-op. Nowhere else in the game is there a route that you may or may not go into that doesn't consist of a simple room or hallway.

There simply isn't time to build entire sections of levels on the off chance that someone might go exploring. In my experience, anyway. 
Generally the designers never get to make that decision.

I like adding alternate routes, especially if you add three or four but have the same four buttons / key / misc_whatevers that must be found in the level to open the big door to the next level.

My last project was very linear, but I opened up alot of routes as play progressed. I had to cut back a fair bit and block off some areas so the player wouldn't get lost or disorientated.

Anyhow, that sort of alternate path is good - even if the player only takes half the routes or (unlikely) one, they'll still replay to see everything if what they saw was good.

But a separate branch with no intermixing is bad. 
Spds Rocks & Mechanic Analysis 
I need to emphasize these:

Why make something not everyone will see?

to have any depth in your creation! Even in the movies you simply cant notice and grasp everything in the first run. And that makes it worth rewatching (or just watching with all attention and thinking about what you see) - cause such movies have depth.

and also:

dont underestimate the importance of atmosphere and immersion

Something that's bothering me is the apropriate 'level' to analyse gameplay mechanics. If you reduce it as much as you can, quake gameplay is just mouse & key movements (i ignore the thinking part here, which might be bad). DS games come to mind, where the game is something that has story etc. but the mechanics are as simple as 'click at the right spot'. I'm always unsure to what level i should reduce gameplay mechanics.

Maybe the correct way would be to abstract from the games' scenario as much as possible, and try to find the most common analogue example in the player's experience, e.g. reduce Q (or any other shooter, for that matter) to 'run around with guns/shoot enemies/evade/explore/etc.'. TombRaider would be 'jump/run/shoot enemies/solve simple puzzles'(?). 
If you reduce it as much as you can, quake gameplay is just mouse & key movements (i ignore the thinking part here, which might be bad)

And if you reduce a vagina down to its basics its just a flap of skin and some highly dense nerve endings and muscle groupings but that doesn't keep me from thinking about it nearly every hour of the day. 
I Think What Shambler 
is asking for is in this post is for us to come up with some fun variations on Quake game play, not academic dissertations that by their nature destroy the experience. 
"don't Have Time" 
Is a reality for most developers (except for maybe the very few filthy rich independents, 3drealms obviously have time to switch engines and start all over again at least a couple of times...) but it also has a lot to do with the masochistic choice of making games with focus on cutting edge graphics where a lot of time is spent on things with a very little impact on the overall game experience. 
You barely have time these days to get the content in for the main path of the game

If you barely have time, you're one of the lucky few. I don't even have time for that. 5 platforms, 6 months. Oh yeah. 
It's a bit like a gas isn't it... it will quickly expand to occupy all available space. Everyone's often overambitious in the planning phase (before they actually have to DO the work) and/or there's not enough time in the schedule allocated for re-work and delays.

At the same time, the publisher (who usually has you either by the balls or bent over the table) wants to squeeze as much out of you as they can to justify the expense (and to make a more impressive bullet list on the back of the box). 
Quake play would be more fun if there were some NPCs and missions in some of the mods.

Stages/goals/objectives would be nice.

Rescue someone from the monsters, etc. Some more takes than just Chthons where a setting requires something other than shooting it.

Quoth and Quoth2 really expanded upon monster variety and it sounds like it made a number of other chores much easier, but Quake still has mostly one dimensional mindless gameplay (unless a mapper does an exceptional job on requiring exploration).

Considering how easy it is making maps for Quake -- something that seems to be possibly universally unique to only Quake -- the best way to give it extra character or add an extra dimension to it would be to provide tools to add depth to the gameplay (i.e. find the evil wizard who lives in the castle, meet with the monk in the clock tower).

Hell in a Can and sgodrune are some examples of lightly heading into that direction. A little bit of Nehahra had some of that. Too bad the QuakeC work would be onerous. And Quake isn't well suited for dialog as-is. :(

A shame because making maps is rather easy, it is just that the end gameplay ends up being identical every time. 
Speeds... Alternatte Paths Etc 
I think Speeds is right to some extent though. It's not just time and budget considerations. I think it often is a deliberate design decision to steer away from non-linear designs. Ijed knows why:

I had to cut back a fair bit and block off some areas so the player wouldn't get lost or disorientated.

People think that they want non-linear maps and many options, but in reality what often happens when presented with those options is that they get lost or confused. Even if they don't get lost, I think many players feel the need to explore the entire level before they leave, to make sure they don't miss anything. Even in a well designed level, this may necessitate some backtracking or other 'dead' time.

Boredom and confusion are not things that a sensible designer wants to encourage or facilitate.

Naturally there are players that may prefer a more non-linear experience, but as we're all no doubt aware, in a retail game at least, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator. If non-linear map designs are going to potentially confuse a large chunk of your target audience, you're not going to put them in the game. Commercial reality! 
Fribbles, Alternative Paths 
if you design the alternatives in a way that the locations where choice happens are highlighted and the alternatives are styled in a way so they are easily recognisable, the player shouldn't get lost. And even if they are, the moment they get back to that alternative they should remember 'ah, that's where i came from'.

And if that doesn't help, well, you need a nice and shiny automap like descent, that adds another fun&skill factor to the game.

I'm replaying GTA (1) atm, and remembering and learning the map is part of the game. It might be a bit too hard, but it's still kind of fun. Also, exploration is way more fun if the environment is complex - ie. you get free 'fun', only by creating a world.

I don't think the majority of Q players has worse orientation skills than the average gta player. 
Qonquer-ish Idea: 
It would need custom progs, but I think a cool idea would be to have minions which you could take through a SP map. If you could issue commands like "stay here and defend yourself" and "follow me", you could have fun trying to keep minions alive through a map. Like a Barney type role.

Has that been done before? I know theres the cujo mod . . . 
A Few Paragraphs Not Related To Each Other 
It seems like this discussion can be split in to two groups, one that is wants to add a lot of stuff like NPC:s, more complex puzzles and what not which to me sounds like it's time to map for another game or at least make a PC/TC. The other talks more about how to use what's already in quake to better effect.

"Not having time" can be rewritten as "that's not what we're prioritizing".

in a retail game at least, you have to cater to the lowest common denominator.

You don't have to - there are markets you can target or you can structure your teams/projects so they don't have to sell a bazillion copies to break even. 
Alternate Paths 
That was done somewhat nicely in FarCry. In most outdoor levels, you could roam around the island and approach the enemies either directly or sneak into their camp from behind. On the other hand, there were no interesting details off those two paths. 
Nobody remembers the best Quake mod ever made?


Granted alot of people didn't like it because it was too difficult thanks to the new AI, despite nomonsters and skill settings, but that had all the tools there ready - soldiers you could take through a map with you, NPC's that would croak out information, NPC's just there to catch bullets, NPC's that were unfriendly or just plain enemies, enemies that could be friendly, misc_items to use to make whatever puzzle system you wanted, enemies that 'swam', Enemies that could hunt a player throughout a map and a pile of other features capable of making just about whatever you wanted.

The shame was it was never really used to its limits. The maps included tried, but the scope of what was there was too big, I think.

Hm. I feel a Nehahra project coming on, after I've finished my current one. 
that was a bit of an overreaction.

I was responding directly to your post, not insulting you:

Something that's bothering me is the apropriate 'level' to analyse gameplay mechanics.


I'm always unsure to what level i should reduce gameplay mechanics.

And I gave an answer to what the appropriate level it is that game mechanics should be analyzed, in essence, stating that if you reduce it to the mechanical level you will destroy the element that makes it fun. Let the programmer worry about the mechanics, it is up to the level designer to create a sustained illusion.

Apologies from me if that lent itself to a negative interpretation because I offered the opinion that steering towards academic matters can be destructive (just like they killed Jazz). 
what�s with all the whining in the Quake SP community about too difficult, too large, and so on. Maybe DooM has some sort of gfx envy or similar, but I�ve never heard such complaints about legendary (and ultrahard) wads like HR/AV or the recently released Deus Vult II. I don�t get it guys... 
Granted alot of people didn't like it because it was too difficult thanks to the new AI 
I Havent Played Through All Of Nehahra 
...infact I think I just scratched the surface, first couple of levels. I seemed to be spending most of the time watching the (very funny) cutscenes.


Does it have dudes which you could take through maps with you? I'll have to try and play it through again!

Sielwolf - People arent as hard as you and I ! 
Who is whining about too difficult? We're talking about map size and engine limits. 
i'd say 'frustrating' to be more specific. gameplay needs to be difficult to some extent in order to be worthwhile, but i think the downside to nehahra's gameplay was that you had to approach it differently to that of regular quake; if you treated the monsters the same as you normally would then you'd most likely get annihilated. you had to act more cautiously in order to get by, which i personally found frustrating (and i'm guessing others did too)

Headthump: comparing quake gameplay to a vagina is possibly the most beautiful analogy i've ever heard. 
Well One Thing We Can Be Sure Of... 
...there's a lot of cunts still playing it. 
Yeah Kinn 
...because Quake is for pussies 
Haw Haw 
was too difficult for me. I got stuck in that elevator downstairs push-them-crates level thingy.

There are good points. Atmosphere is sometimes important, choices are sometimes important, skill like aim is sometimes important... Exploration is a mix of the first two I'd say. Or maybe it's part of a "learning" and "understanding" experience. Hmm.

You can't really chop down this problem into neat bits now can you. :) 
As for npcs and dialogue in Quake, I think Nehahra took that about as far as you can before it starts getting really irritating, lucky for Nehahra it had a good story and Phil to keep me interested through the cut scenes and in game dialogue, but I can easily see how something not done as well would turn me off totally and go out of my way to skip past it. Quake at the end of the day is an FPS game in the same vein as doom, not Stalker. Its the reason I play it, I know that I can load up any q1sp and get some good fps action without any wishy-washy story getting in the way.

I think another issue here is that many of us (correct me if im wrong please) started playing quake in our teens when fast action was what we wanted, but as I have gotten older I want deeper game play and a good story to follow along with, but Quake still has that golden place in my heart, it doesn't need a story or deeper game play, it is perfect how it is. 
^^ Additional 
Environments that TELL a story on the other hand is something totally different, and I love to see this in levels!

Like in oblivion when your in some dark dungeon, and you walk into a dimly lit room to see blood on the walls a human skull on a small altar, it really adds a sense that the world is alive outside of your 90 degree view finder, and I think this could be explored a lot more in Quake maps, all the tools are there already, you have a creative mind and an editor, GO. make that nameless place feel lived in! 
The Key To Story 
telling is brevity. You get in, flash the camera,
and try to get the point across quickly. What Neg!ke did in ZerTM with the camera was awesome and fit the Quake feel like a love glove.

Nehahra's story bits went on entirely too long, even the glorious Seal of Nehahra (fantastic btw) could have used a lot of editing.

The Zerst�rer camera code is fantastic and it easy to set up in maps. I have a few example maps using it if anyone needs a look (I was going to send them to Neg!ke, but he figured it out on his own). 
QC Changed Gameplay 
I think adding elements from 2D-shooters (enemies with interesting bullet patterns) would be more favorable in quake than going the NPC fancy story direction. FPS Ikaruga mod anyone? 
yeah design new patterns to bring more tactics and variety into the aim/dodge gamepay

HeadThump the fundamental difference between a cunt and a gameplay is that you can change or create one yourself, and with the other you just have to bear 
You Have To Remember 
that humans are animals. We get joy out of some things just because we are kinda designed to feel like that.

So cunts or games that use our abilities like 3d navigation and killing monsters are stuff that makes us feel good. Or, straight men and lesbians at least.

The cat gets satisfaction of not only eating, but hunting and softening up the food. 
I�m still looking for a code for a camera. I made this new monster, and thought it good to make it function as a camera.

Once saw a mod, wherer the player could use some kind of robot to explore the level. It also could be killed at cost of the player's health.
The player could switch between selfvieuw and camera.
Forgot which mod it was.

I tried it with KasCam, but I couldn't fetch the camera to the model. I'll look to ZerTm. If you could send me the code I would apreciate. 
I didn't make any prog.dat changes with ZerTm, but I did make an example .map file for anyone who needed an example of setting it up.
Here you can grab it:

This one is really simple, as it does a spin around a shrine, there are two entity types that I didn't use that can add some depth to the cutscene, one allows the use of cvars and the other allows a synchronization of written messages. The Zerst�rer SDK shows how those entities can be added.

You'll notice the camera gets jerky when it starts going around the shrine. This can be improved by speeding the cam up.

The cutscene code (source code is also in the sdk) is well documented. However the implementation is dependent on functions in other files. One day I may clean this up and put the code in one file so it can be easily used in any mod, as is it is pretty sweet stuff. 
Looks Good 
Real nice use of camera movement.
I've had this idea like the malicemod, to make a cutscene of a large landscape with small parts with the outside of a map. Then this kind of camera could make a path moving through the landscape. 
Lazarus, Again 
I'm still wanting a consolidated mod based purely on mapside development, like Q2 Lazarus.

Someone who approaches coding in a purely mechanical way (and not like a monkey with a knife, as I do) and doesn't want to add new monsters or weapons.

Things like physics, camera cutscenes, weather, breakables, pushables, maybe even misc_actors.

Is the Lazarus website, although it looks like another nice piece of documentation that planetquake have fucked up. Suffice to say the entity list doubled (it was in the broken bar on the left) but things like monsters and weapons remained pretty much the same with a couple of extra flags.

The nice thing about it is almost nothing is active unless the mapper enables it, apart from the slightly improved AI (which was mainly involved with jumping and Z-axis aiming anyway). 
try pox quake essentials 
its extras (I think thats the full and the final version) 
Will Do 
I just played through Quake2: The Reckoning _twice_ (it's really good), and the main things that make it better (well let's say more interesting) than Quake1 from a singleplayer pov are:

- the hub layout, in which you first see one part of the map, and the rest later (they may be temporarily shielded from each other, like with a laser fence, and thus you have to find an alternate route.) You could argue that you can technically have that in a Q1 map, too, but it's just more convincing somehow with the hubs. Inside a single large map, the author will often hesitate to have too many different themes, plus you can't have so many different keys etc. whereas in Q2 you can have a progression like canyons - sewers - laboratory- freighter - refinery and lots of going back and forth between them.

- being based on objectives, instead of just "find the exit". If the player is a space soldier, this is the obvious thing to do. The easiest objectives are such as "disable red forcefields to exit". It's a given that you need the matching access key, and some button finding is required to get that. And that it is guarded - that's just assumed. In other words, giving the player a different goal in each map.

- the little stories which are attached to every objective, like the geek-stole-airstrikemarker thing which serves as an excuse for two entire sublevels; the bit where you get canned into a live food crate to infiltrate a freighter; the countless disable-strogg-device plots (with the maps built around the devices instead of dumping some computer into the map as decoration).

- the logical explanations for every button press (this opens Access Valve A, which is clearly marked, which you then use to open Access Valve B, etc, not just "uh, find 4 buttons" or "this nameless insignificant door opens elsewhere" like in Q1).

The technical differences are negligible, apart from rotating doors, forcefiels and the hub (plus keys) thing. A lot of this could be done in Quake, but isn't. The storytelling element is missing. It never existed in Q1 in the first place.

The Q2 guys built the maps around the plots: computers normally have a purpose or mark critical points (control room where you get a keycard for example.) Q1 maps are full of computers that do nothing. Machines give you power cubes (keys), or lower the water, or drill a passage. Most Q1 maps don't have machinery in them apart from doors and lifts. Satellite dishes move into position. You could have the same in medieval maps btw. Like Hexen2's ballistae, or catapults that smash a wall, dams that regulate the water level, plus you can use magic: statues, pentagrams, sacrifices. Or military tactics: Destroy war machines, blow up gunpowder, flood the fortress.

The "problem" is that the original Quake didn't do this. It was "find the exit" like Doom. Thus 95% of custom maps were the same. It's fine if you want it like that. If you want the option of having some background with your killing, you need a few technical means but not many. Most of those exist, but it would be desirable to have it in one place (pak) and that place doesn't need too many custom monsters or colored backpacks. This is where I agree with Ijed.

Clearly most people don't want to change anything though. Mappers typically build cool architecture, then put monsters in it, and 1% is overhead like buttons and keys. Quake is just very pure in that way, apparently any overhead (like objectives, inventories, cutscenes, hub structure) is considered bloat. It is pure movement and combat. Quakeworld is the logical pinnacle.

You could say that games like Q2 and TR are more grown up. Something like Quake and Doom (where the singleplayer is practically multiplayer with monsters and a few buttons) is just very streamlined and optimized towards adolescent males. It's like sports with a little eyecandy (to test your graphics card capabilities :-P). The only thing even simpler is "us versus them" as in Counterstrike. IMO Q1 is much closer to CS than to Tomb Raider. Q2, when pulled off well like in The Reckoning, is surprisingly close to TR, Hexen2, Resident Evil and all that stuff. 
Too True (and Very Well Explained) Gb 
Did you play my new map yet?
(It was built around a hub, and used a bit of what you're saying)
Probably why people said it was Quake2-ish! And not a single Quake2/Reckoning texture was used either!

I didn't play it through yet, because it ran quite slow for me and I was occupied with other things. But I will. I thought it looked Quake2 like because of the way you used large panel-style texes together with chunky pillars.

I just looked at the extras pack, and it has some useful things, but again the problem is that all those different quakec mods would have to be stripped to essentials and then combined. Personally I would like a handful of custom monsters in, like the centroid. But I'd have to make my own mod to have, say, centroids, cutscenes and breakables. It all exists, but the pieces are everywhere. Perhaps we should make a list of what we would like to see and present that to the inside3d guys. Maybe. 
Here is what I want, now code my mod. But don't expect me to map for your mod. That's gonna work!

I played OUM today, you will like it I think. 
Yeah, no, sorry; I did read your post on the thread, er, half forgot!!

I think its very true what you say though. The thing with Quake2 and 4 which annoys me (as I believe you may have said, pretty much) is that the player is unable to move quickly enough IMHO. I mean you can say it's a multiplayer thing, but I like running around frantically and shooting things! The combat it what does it for me! Call me old fashioned... 
I designed a large landscape to manouvre the camera through, and it works perfekt, I can make demo's of it.
But I move backwards! Is the steering of the camera that difficult or do I have to read more zerstorer manuals?

ijed: same thing I had with phantompholly, I used the mod for its exploding barrels and moving water. But I had to add the earthquake trigger.

Why not make something like inside3D? All parts of the qc code in a questioning forum.
Like you search something like earthquake and you can find it like: 
I Am 
That's kind of the thing I'm doing now; c+p the stuff I want into a progs dat. I'll probably continue with it after I finish each project, so new stuff will get added over time.

I've broken from traditionalism with a replaced weapon (axe) but I can't see anyone crying over that. 
good post, I think you are correct in how you draw the contrast between plot-driven objectives vs. the quake and doom style of more abstract gameplay. Mechanically they are the same, and it's really just window dressing that makes the difference between "plant an explosive charge on the anti-aircraft guns" in medal of honor and "press the button in the random room to open the door" in quake.

But, a couple of counter-points:

1. the heavily dressed-up objectives in quake2, moh, etc. are still fairly transparent. The biggest problem in a MoH type game is that the objectives are realistic and cool, but the mechanics around them, the ones that force you down the linear chain of events that the designer pre-scripted, are just annoying. Blowing up the AA-gun is a good plot device, but there's no reason that when you do that, suddenly a nearby explosion breaks a hole in a wall to allow you to continue -- and yet this is how they often end up being designed most of the time.

2. Quake and doom are abstract games, and the abstract objectives actually suit them well. To some extent, understanding too much about how the environment works or why it was built makes the world less mysterious. The push towards realism in level design may be cool for realistic games like sci-fi shooters, WWII games, etc, but in Quake it often makes the environments feel too literal.

Some exceptions -- most base maps can be fairly realistic and it works. Some medieval levels try to create realistic environments, and it works there too. But the cool thing about levels like The Wind Tunnels is that it is an alien, ancient, and only semi-comprehensible place that is not obvious in its purpose or inner workings. If you start explaining how it works, why the monsters are there, etc, you undermine the vagueness and inexplicability of the map's visual theme.

So I guess what i'm getting at is, in quake, you can go either direction, but I do not consider "realistic objectives" and "storyline" to be automatic improvements on any quake map. 
Random Comment 
You meet a dying soldier in the Wind Tunnels - he croaks out some random phrase "Those flying things . . . " then dies. Lying next to him is an SNG.

That's pretty much the limit of what I meant I would want for Quake storyline, unless you're talking a full film type treatment. For example Nehahra's epic; which I enjoyed allot but wasn't so fond of when some small pieces of it arrived in between levels - the change of pace kind of jarred.

It makes no difference if the player listens or even notices the dying guy, he makes no impact on the progression, but the thing he does (if noticed) is heighten the the confusion and fear of the player, and give a reason why a futuristic weapon is in the place. Unless the bad sampling makes him sound like Darth Vader.

It's details like this that can really make a map, or episode, or even game. Nobody will pick up on all of them, but the overall feeling of completeness and quality is just there.

Ok, room 5 finished, onto room 6.


Dying soldier room finished, onto the room dingy cryogenic room.

I always try and have some sort of story in my head about what the place is. Most times its never obvious in the end result, but I find it also helps me to build, because I have more fun.

The design style of Quake and Doom is basically throw monsters at the player while they go to a number of areas, hitting switches or pressing buttons, until they reach the exit. Which is all fine and good. But when a mapper or group of breaks this mould into storyline tangents well then the project takes on another dimension - 'more than just another map'.

Operation Urth Magik
Contract Revoked

Are the first that spring to mind. Varying qauntites of uninvasive storytelling that fit perfectly in the pace of the game, for me. 
Room Dingy Cryogenic Room 
Get in. 
You can imagine a scene which may spawn the idea for the level. Its how you manage to get it from your head into the level. And how much of what the player experiences comes from his/her imagination?

This is what I like about the abstract quality of Quake. The idea of monsters from other worlds/dimensions suddenly appearing. Where
did they come from? Where are their native environments? Or the creatures which have no origin, just pass from reality/dimension/world to reality/dimension/world for eternity.

Imagine how many places they could have been to?

Its like the idea of infinity. If there truly is such a thing as infinity then literally anything is possible. 
Like Lovecraft 
The vacuity and nihilsm draws the reader in, wanting to fill in the intentionally empty spaces. The history lesson embedded in At Mountains of Madness was one of my favourite bits of the whole.

Very craftily written, by intention or not. 
Just Checked Extras 
Very Good Read, Gb 
You didn't really cover things that I haven't put thought into, but you lay it out very clearly, and that makes it worth meditating on.

Sort of an inner mapper debate we have here; say that if we take it as a given that we are in the process of evolving the state of Quake mapping, so to speak, do we want to go the way of more pure game play, like the very mechanics oriented Metroid series, or do want to veer into more realistic or story oriented territory, like you would find in Half-Life, to give two excellent examples of very different game play approaches.

When I map for Quake, I find myself thinking about the story oriented approach, but I always end up with a more purist map in the end through refining game play. 
"but I always end up with a more purist map in the end through refining game play."

This is key, I think. I did mapping for Quake2 and tried to wrap a story around my level unit (called "Bad Seed"), but it always felt very tacked on and transparent.

Quake is about stripping away everything until you're left with the raw metal. It's about cool looking locations and minimal reasons for being there.

I don't want ALL games to be like that and I certainly like the story elements in modern games. But games from Quakes era don't really need them. 
Slave was never gonna be the peak of realism.
Run and gun! Bouncy bouncy!
The only modern game which I think comes close to Quake is UT3, which isnt really because its predominantly a multiplayer game. But it has the same sort of movement (fast) and similar combat in that respect, and also things like the layout and the fact that guns hover in mid-air before you pick them up. Although the mission statement is different.

But I think anything you can throw into a level which improves the immersion factor and captures the imagination of the player could be a good thing.

Quake is getting more realistic, with Quoth anyway - things like breakables and ladders are features of realism which have been added and can be used to make things *slightly* more realistic.

If you wanna talk about gameplay elements and Quake being surreal but having good combat then look at "Carved in Flesh" by Kona. Such a fantastic mod with fun fun fun gameplay. The set piece is fantastic, but very much surreal, but the monsters - you really get the feeling with that mod/map that you "never know what's coming round the next corner", because of the diversity of the monsters used in the map. But it's by no means realistic.

(one of my favorites for sure!) 
tried invein? 
The tack on objectives and scripted encounters often feel a little campy. But hey, if you think about it, games in total are a bit campy.
It's dancing on the line of getting the player to go with the flow and magic... And often being vague helps in this.

Quake could be a frantic experience where you just fight in a strange world and don't really have time to figure out how things work as you can just barely try and desperately push some buttons and try to make your way forward and survive. I find that these narrative elements like generator shutdowns etc kinda give the player too much control and can detract from the hopeless and mysterious atmosphere because of that... It's like when a horror flick loses the horror when the main character pulls his/her socks up and starts hunting the baddie.

Of course, quake is not just about the horror, it's about action too.
And there are a million ways to do things. And the monsters don't that much scare you anymore anyway as you've seen them a million times. And they're cartoony anyway.

What I'm trying to say perhaps that it could be a stylistic surreal cartoon instead of a b-movie trying to act as dramatic but ending up as camp. Cool places, monsters, cool and exhilarating gameplay moments and mechanics - but no campy plot.

You can see a lot of conflicting points in this post, it's just food for thought. 
Is It The QMB Engine... 
...that has a Sin City rendering mode?

(it is)

Just after all of that talk of horror flicks and stylistic surreal cartoons! 
Tacked On Objectives 
No, no, no.

If you do it at all, the plot has to come first. Like, "OK there is [device of doom] and player must take it out so we can send in troops." The device is preferrably big, inexplicable, and sitting in the center of the map in its own chamber. Then you build the map around that idea. Tagging it on never works. I'm playing Ground Zero atm and that (tagging on) is exactly what they did, and then they saw it was bad, and so they tossed more monsters in and those idiotic turrets. :-/ that's how it goes.

OUM btw is really good, but the story serves as a template more or less. It could go further, i.e. plot built into the map, with brushes actually. Visible. Blow-uppable preferably.

You guys will find this funny:

the guy tells it like it is. In the end, it's about what you like though.

Ijed: The plot variant of the dying guy with the nailgun would be the following:

"Ah... those flying things."

"Listen, you must carry out my orders."

"Find the [device of doom] and neutralize it, so they can send in the troops."

It doesn't need to be more elaborate. Then when you blow up [device of doom] you get:

"Mission accomplished."

"Join our troops in [place where the exit is]."

That's all I'm asking for... I'm glad Quoth brings a number of possible plot devices, like monsters dropping keys. Imagine you have located [device of doom] but there is a [door, forcefield]. It could also be en route to the exit, of course. On a timer, even.

"Some monster probably has the key."

"Try the barracks."

So now you have some rudimentary info about this place you're in. The knowns:

There is a [device of doom]
There are barracks
There is [place where the exit is]
There is a monster with a key
There is a dying comrade
Your troops are waiting to come in
Optionally, you're on a timer etc.

There are still enough unknowns to keep it mysterious. Imagine those were the only facts about some military operation known to the public. There would be an uproar. A scandal. Some b0rked up commando operation. The unknowns:

What is this place
Who is the enemy
Why is this all b0rked up
Who is responsible (in the end, only you)

So the knowns really don't take away from the mystery. Not even in Quake 2. You just know the enemy is called "strogg" and you're in a fucked up military operation because apparently they started a war. You don't know that much about it all, really. You just know the place is peppered with dead comrades.

With Quoth, to return to the example, the Quakeguy would find an area that he could identify with barracks, and some monster [probably a tougher one] would drop the key. You could substitute barracks with [$control_room] and the key could be placed in a little receptacle.

It's not much really, it just neatens it up. So yeah, the overhead would still be low.

The coolened-up variant would be "collect 5 [$key] all over the map to access [$device_of_doom]". Like in Day of the Lords, where Glassman used the runes for this purpose. They were only used to open the path to the exit, though, so any plot was still missing. Since he used stock id1, he could not use external models for the keys, either. Using the runes has the benefit of not needing an inventory, since they are displayed in the status bar. It would get old fast, though. Hence the need for $key. 
Actually, Even In Stock Quake 
he could not use external models for the keys, either.

You can have your models with a judicious use of brush models. I have been thinking about this sort of scenario for my next map: You put in an objective:

Quake (to player): When you kill the Hell Knight who betrayed me, bring me his decapitated head.

Action: Kill knight, Use a func_wall as a brush model for the decapitated head and set it to appear in the Hell Knight's Arena.

Action: Bring the head back to Quake's communique beacon. // Either kill a func_wall hiding the model, or the brush head model rises too quickly for the player to see it.

Quake (to player): You have done very well, grunt. Now I will ensure your death is quick and merciful. 
I started off in my above post trying to answer your well thought out one, and ended up rambling, as it goes.

Headthump, I did something similar to what you describe with a hub / Lazarus system in Quake2, the hub had a chapel to the war god, bringing back a commander head awarded you a (q2 savable) quad. Bringing back three heads got you a BFG. Shame I never finished it.

Also had an armoury where you collected the weapons - there were none in the maps. Completing more levels opened more caches in the armoury. 
I had this idea to develop a monster in the form of a basic 64x64 cube. It would been disguished as a stone and come alive and act as an endboss. By defeating it the same place it had been placed would become an new exit.
For so far I 've done well, although the lumpyness of the monster made me have my doubts. It took me quiet some time to construkt it. And now I have this wizz thing like...

Monster is in a separated place with the player. As the monster wakes it walks to the player leaving an open exit space, which is covered by a door after the monster spawns. The player attacks the monster untill it dies and opens the door to the exit.

Seems logical to target the door to the monster so it opens the door after its death. Point is that the monster is already targeted by a trigger_once in game to waken it.

So I targetted the door to 30 sec and then it opens. But sometimes the monster isn't killed yet and the player can escape.

Might have placed this on mapping help but as it is a monster using game potential (substituting a door, covered in stealth stand) it's here. 
The trigger targets the monster and the monster targets the door. I don't see the conflict there. 
Indeed, thats how I started. There's something more.

If I trigger the monster with the trigger_once it takes a delay of 4 sec Untill the monster gets out of the wall. So the same trigger I use for the monster I use for the door. This gives the monster time to move and the door (in fact the func_train) time to delay 4 sec.
Then it jumps up to the free coming space and waits 30sec.

But it has to move when the monster dies which is impredictable, The path_corner I can't trigger. So maybe a trigger_delay should work. 
fit very well in Q2 as the player has the role of a marine: soldiers do carry out orders. The original Quake was set in very open universe with all possibilities left open for interpretation; players could let run their phantasy free. One result is that you have far more fan-art, fan-stories etc. in Quake than in Q2.
Players are not and can�t be biased about that aspect, everyone is able to put in their own thoughts, and it all fits.

Personally, I�m always a little annoyed about �center screen messages� in newer Quake maps: they are taking away that aspect of �something undefined� away from me and kill my immersion, or even worse, mappers giving me too much personal input (smart comments or joking with the player).
Except for speedmaps :)
Though in the id maps, I can accept them on the other side(lol?), maybe because seeing that the concept was also quite new at the time in fps games. Otherwise, as someone who has played alot of Quake maps, I�d prefer them to be only there if absolutely necessary for gameplay, i.e. a warning that a bridge might break while standing above lava (indeed screwing with the player�s mind is gameplay).

Enter Half-life: players had to find out everything on their own, no preset objectives, no center messages, one could spend days in those maps and it�d be ok; that was a very clever move to give the game a significant amount of depth, while the gameplay was exactly like Q2.
If it weren�t for that and the immersive and well unfolded story, HL would have been just another Q2 clone.

My conclusion: in today�s developed gaming culture where alot of people play/have played fps games, objectives are ok to achieve a certain setting/theme/immersion, but are not neccessary, as nothing in terms of gameplay mechanic has changed since DooM/Quake. 
GB / Q2 Ground Zero 
learn to appreciate it: hardcore secrets, monsters and weapons. Those turrest are annoying, but it was a (succesful) attempt to give Q2�s gameplay more profile: player is no longer superman who bunnyhops through the maps with ten weapons and tons of ammo on his back (as it still was with Q2).

I see Q2 as id�s vision of a �quakey� reality fps at the time (I remember reading a quote by John Carmack where he stated he was slightly unsatisfied with players bouncing at 2000 mph through maps). Minimalistic, as is id�s style, but with everything it needs to make it believable:

- objectives: (see last post)

- very futuristic/techy/science-fiction sounds, one of the game�s best done aspects

- metallic, tank-like enemies; I had always the feeling to �wear down� monsters in Q2, and not gibbing/smearing them onto the walls like in Quake. That is a more soldier/tactical approach: defeat their defences, cover the flanks etc.

In default Q2, the Medics were too easy. Remember the Doom Archvile, and how much terror it could inflict on the mind of players ? GZ features several battles against the Medic Commanders that are similar: they teleport stuff in to no end, players are either quick or dead quickly. That is true quakyness imo.

And also the final boss: a badass that�s able to teleport in lower ranked minions; maybe nothing new, but well done and the increased challenge was quite fitting for a 2nd missionpack of a game. 
I don't want ALL games to be like that and I certainly like the story elements in modern games. But games from Quakes era don't really need them.

I don't feel you have to bash someone over the head with a story and mash it down their throat, as most modern games do, but that gameplay and enviroments can tell a deep story that the player can discover and claim 'their own'. I feel that approach is more rewarding to all parties, and completely within the scope of Quake, or any type of game.

A dead Quake Marine on the ground tells a potent story, especially if whatever killed him is right around the corner. After Biff released his recent SP map, I suggested to him that he could've up'd the 'storyline' a little if one of the crates you started near was opened on the side you start on, explaining how you may have snuck into the particular base. Placing monsters in a room all facing toward an altar of demonic power tells a story. All these sorts of small things build up, and add richness to the experiance without removing anything that makes Quake fundimentally enjoyable.

A great atmospheric effect can also tell story. Can't remember the map, and think it was likely an oversight of the mapper, but it started in a large empty room. and there was NO ambient sound. none. It increased the feeling of lonelyness in the map, and made it all the more suprising when all of a sudden monsters appeared. A commonly used atmospheric effect is blinking lights, but anything broken can be used to make the player question, if only in the back of their mind, 'I wonder how that happened?'

One of Portal's great story telling aspects is when all of a sudden the player finds themselves on their own after the game having basically shown them what to do thus far. That's not so hard as you may think, something as simple as following a sign on a wall pointing to where the silver key is, only for it to disappear (ala Vaults of Zim) or otherwise not be where it SHOULD be, and now the player must strike out on their own to get it.

In short, story doesn't need to be simply written in a .txt file as the explaination of the level, not does it have to be as heavy handed as a machinima with fancy explosions. But just the smallest details can tell big and powerful storys if used correctly and with style, and don't have to steal away any of the Quakeiness of Quake. 
I Think Unreal 
had a neat little device with the translator and the messages you got near dead bodies.

Sometimes they got too long and repetitive, but done right they added a fair bit without getting in the way of gameplay. 
Ok, but I didn't find the Quake2 enemies scary at all. The Gladiator was pretty vicious, but being basically the q2 Shambler he should have been. The rest were pretty low fear factor because of what you mention - wear em down until they keel over.

I know id tried to make a tactical element to the gameplay - gunners hiding behind those black and yellow barriers in the toxic refinery springs to mind - but they failed dismally when compared to, say, HL1. The soldiers would duck behind cover to throw grenades, run from threats, fire in bursts etc. They didn't need a high health (although they had, as well as stupid bulletproof parts of the model) because they were tactically enjoyable to kill. I think the biggest error Valve made there was needing a full 30 clip to drop a soldier, and the Xen grunts were just stupid in the amount of damage they could take.

Because id didn't have this kind of clever (node) Ai they instead just kept the same as Q1 but gave them more health. Made the whole thing a bit more drawn out.

If I'm hitting a Q2 boss tank (the big one) with a futuristic rocket launcher I'd expect it to die reasonably quickly, but with one false move it'd splatter me all over the walls. The model has two nubs on top of its tracks that look suspiciously like Warhammer 40,000 Rhino grenade launchers. I wonder if there was a chance missed there.

Scampie, that's pretty much what I was trying to get at before. 
Gimme Halo! 
I like the combat in Halo. Good balance of AI/Gameplay. The player could move at a reasonable speed, enemies died at appropriate times, they weren't too tough or soft, they weren't too stupid.

Shame, it wasn't as dark as other shooters. A wee bit immature for me... 
Wishes Dot Bsp Mother Fuckers

The map opens with a simple message.

"You sense danger everywhere."

It's non-linear, in a way that you feel like you're exploring, not lost, as you wander. There's ordinary buttons that do ordinary things, but the subtle mystery of what those buttons could be doing in this level you haven't seen the entirety of yet is enhanced by the centerprints that someone railed against so hard.

"A bridge has extended ..."

That did more to draw me forward and encourage me to explore and discover than any hackneyed dying quake dude with some hackneyed dying message for me that was meant to 'explain' my purpose.

The fun of Quake is the lack of explanation. The fun is in filling in the gaps with your imagination, like metl described. It's eerie and mysterious, because things don't all make sense.

Mexx7-9 had a 'story' that didn't try to override anything that made Quake what it is. Levels were still unexplained buttons and near-senseless architecture, but you were given an overall goal by the level end texts that gave you an umbrella of meaning. The level where you storm the Bishop's tower started with a tower rising above you, and was generally vertical in progression, but it didn't try to make any more sense than that. The rocket launchers weren't explained, the chainsaws weren't explained - that was just the eerie mythos.

There's plenty left to do with Quake, and making it more like Quake2 is decidedly not on the list.

Discrete choices aren't necessary when the absence of linearity has a purpose, which contributes to the design of the map instead of just being choice for the sake of choice. How about a map where Cthon moves? The whole map spans a lake of lava, with islands and pools and antechambers, and he wades through the lava following you, occasionally diving under and resurfacing to keep you from escaping. The entire level is a drawn out series of battles with him, as you scrounge enough cells for your lightning gun to do him in for good.

None of the encounters would be planned, and the map wouldn't be linear - there's just a lot of ground to cover, a lot of lava for him to manifest from, and a lot of monsters and mini-levels between you and each little battery cache. Something like the last level of Contract Revoked, without buttons. 
Ricky / Ijed 
The player could move at a reasonable speed

haha, crysis, halo what�s next ;) one of the reasons I deleted this abomination halfway through was the ridiculous low player speed, combined with the insufferable mickey-mouse sounds of some enemies.

Ok, but I didn't find the Quake2 enemies scary at all.

uh, where did I say i found them scary ? I just stated that the GZ missionpack was a worthy improvement over vanilla Q2.

I think the biggest error Valve made there was needing a full 30 clip to drop a soldier

indeed, an indication of bad design, all they did was adjust some numeric values because they couldn�t get their gameplay right or whatever. 
How about a map where Cthon moves?

Sssshhh! You're giving it all away...

I didn't really like the amount of ammo you need to drop a soldier or combine in the HL games. It's not too bad on normal, and at least grenades and shotgun blasts to the face generally take them out, but it wasn't particularly satisfying to shoot a guy wearing no headgear in the face 10 or so times before he would die.

One thing I hate about the Half-Life difficulty setting is that if you increase it the enemies get stronger, so this is even more of a problem. 
It's not like Half-Life(2) are the only games that suffer from that though, is it?
Stalker is shit for this. Assault rifle wielding 'zombies' that shoot with pinpoint accuracy, even on the lower skill settings, but take 3 shotgun shells at point blank range without flinching?
I mean most devs can't even spell playtesting. 
Quake is more realistic than Half-Life, after all. A shambler takes several double barrel shots to kill because a grizzly bear charging your ass takes several shots to kill, as Meriwether Lewis found out on that fateful trip.

A grunt and a dog go down with a single slug or two, and an enforcer who is more heavily armored takes a few more rounds than that to kill.

Then the fiend, being pretty much a leathery, perhaps eyeless, wolverine also takes many shots like the Shambler. This is due to a constant, likely arcane, adrenaline frenzy. 
Is There A More Fast Paced SP Shooter Than Quake? 
I doubt it. 
Fast Paced? 
Painkiller, Serious Sam, etc. Doesn't mean they're better by virtue of being fast paced.

P.S. A lot of interesting replies so far. And quite a few that have strayed away from Gameplay through to Story and Modifications ;) 
There was a nice map, from some speedmap package I think. Player inside a "bird-cage" (a _large_ one) was lowered to some kind of labirinth with fast moving blocks. Map was small, but it took me nice couple of minutes to figure out how to get out and then some more minutes to find the exit. I liked the idea and the scary part "is this the right way?" or "wtf? dead end? *gib*". 
Umm... it's worth to mention I think, one of my favorite maps in the past: The Well of Lost Souls. Good gameplay, few traps, great fight at the end and the start on some graveyard with "Abandon all hope".

And I like the buttons idea. It could be scary if you think about some machine, just standing there for 50 or 100 years, and it _just_ works when you start it. Like one said that there's a knight, standing behind a door. He's not from our world, he stands there for thousand years, covered with the dust, not even blinked once through all this time. But when you open this door, he's immediately ready to kill you. 
I Was 
Always annoyed by the axe - you're a game stereotype futuristic soldier hitting another with a fireaxe in a two-handed swing.

The only trouble you'd have after the first hit would be dislodging the thing from between his vertabrae - you wouldn't have to smack away at him two or three times.

Maybe the grunts are full of adrenaline or whatever, but it should't give them iron skin. 
HL Skill Levels.. 
it's been a while since i played HL1 so can't recall, but were the skill levels basically like HL2 where a higher skill just meant your weapons had less effect on the enemies & theirs had more on you?

i remember reading this before playing HL2 and went straight for easy skill. i fail to see how either dying more often or increased enemy HP add to the fun factor at all? had the differences been in quantity of monsters (like quake) or enemy AI then i'd want to try it on multiple skills, but as it stands i have no desire to replay it on anything other than easy

i can't say i remember having issues with enemy HP in HL1 so i'm guessing it was the same 

The Quake dudes axe doesn't look particularly sharp. 
i fail to see how either dying more often or increased enemy HP add to the fun factor at all?

of course it doesn�t, but it�s an easy way out, just changing some numbers. That way there�s no need to re-design something like writing different AI code for different skill settings.

It also makes the levels (and the whole game) seem to last longer, because players need longer to get through; that�s often needed because games get shorter and shorter, and most eye-candy engines of today can�t render levels with more than 3 rooms and 10 enemies.

The absense of these cheap tricks is what makes games like Quake stand the test of time. 
But it's still a lump of metal, or polygons.

At least it could be used to batter the enemies to death a bit better.

I agree with Romero in that the weapon balance of Q1 is crap, compared, say, to Doom.

There's almost no reason to use the SNG when you have a DBS - maybe when the map design breaks down and you're sniping an Ogre from range. Same for NG / SNG, but with even less utility.

The Doom Shotgun had a meatier punch and the DBS was a devastating weapon, offset by its very slow firing rate.

I'm not saying the Quake weapons should be Doomified, but they could be much better balanced to provoke tactical decisions. Which = fun. 
sielwolf: aint that the truth ;/

ijed: i'm working on rebalancing the weapons a tad for my episode.. the shotgun now has a tighter aim & does a little more damage. for the SNG i was considering making it scatter the nails a little, so the player has to choose between power & accuracy. the axe also does 2x the damage now & gibs zombies (thank you zer!)

i also thought about replacing the lightning gun with a low-end cell weapon, something like the gun the enforcer uses maybe 
That sounds good - pretty much what I have in mind for my own episode.

I haven't changed the weapons much as yet, apart from the axe (now Ogre chainsaw, gibs zombies). I've also tried to make a version of the Enforcer Blaster, but not to replace the LG, just to sit inbetween the SNG and GL as an extra weapon. 
In Fact 
Do you want to go onto the playtesters list?

I'll have a one map beta in the next couple of weeks. 
If You Change The Weapon Balance 
and the rest of the game stays pretty much unchanged you might want to change the visuals or sound of them to make the player aware that it's not business as usual 
bear makes an extremely important point. It was very hard to get some people to get this in a certain other game as there were multiple versions of the same weapon with the same graphic and name (except the other was capitalized) - and they had different behavior. 
it'd be cool if you could like cut the monster's hamstrings with the axe and have them move slower or something. or maybe it could just make them bleed for 25 damage every 2 seconds. give a chance to make them go into pain and also a decent amount of damage.

or like, in quoth, if the warhammer dazed monsters and made them move slower or increased the damage they recieved.

basically, anything to give an excuse to use melee weapons in the game.

doom chainsaw was kind of like that. it kept monsters in pain frames almost constantly, but was a little unpredictable because of the way it pulled you around and wasn't really an option with more than 2 monsters. 
Re: Axe 
Quick ideas to make the axe feel more useful - Monsters are more likely to go into pain frames when hit by the axe. Monsters receive triple damage from an axe hit if they're not in their running mode when initially struck.

The axe could make quicker successive strikes, up to 3 in a row, on a single target, or in a fan of 110 degrees, target up to 3 monsters to strike a single time, pausing briefly every few.

Not particularly Quakey, but it could make it more useful.

Also, holding attack when no monster is in melee range could have the player draw the axe up into an overhead strike for more damage, a la Morrowind (I loved doing that with the Last Rites). 
If You Could 
couple that hold fire for drawing a really good long two-handed log-splitter's overhead strike and a damage enhancer for non-alert monsters from the rear... (Think of the mapping potentials, for example coupled with invisibility!)

It gets complicated quickly though.

Btw chopping wood is one of the most therapeutic things ever. 
Good discussion. I wonder what will come of it.

Can't think of much more to say. 
Looks Like Another Double Post :-) 
And I like the buttons idea. It could be scary if you think about some machine, just standing there for 50 or 100 years, and it _just_ works when you start it. Like one said that there's a knight, standing behind a door. He's not from our world, he stands there for thousand years, covered with the dust, not even blinked once through all this time. But when you open this door, he's immediately ready to kill you.

This could work if the buttons gave the sound of some machinery turning etc, and/or if you could see part of it. Too many buttons have a line of "electrical" cable leading away from them, or just sit on some post like in Zer, and go "phhhht" when pressing. Well, I don't want to go there again.

I'd rather have doors "magically" opening (no buttons at all). This would go well with the "it's all inexplicable arcane forces at work" theory. If you're not supposed to know how stuff works, buttons are the worst thing you can do. :-P because it gives a super-simple explanation. ("it must be some machinery.")

Now if you indirectly admit the existence of machinery (buttons), think what a missed opportunity it is to not use that machinery to create atmosphere, by actually building it. 
There's the classic id texture of machinery that tended to be nearby any button operated door. Replacing it with some rotatings / chains / pistons embedded in the walls and floor.

Good idea. 
And He Completes The Triple... 
even keys are better than buttons that just go "phhhht".

For example in e1m2 there are 3 doors (4 if you count the exit, 5 if you count the fiend cell.)

One is a key door. Another two open magically. The exit opens magically (why is there even a door there...) and the fiend cell, which is not a player-route related door, does have a button which activates some floating blocks. At least. That's a bit thin, but it's enough. OK, it also moves the bars but they're right next to it.

The only other button extends the bridge, which is something I'm willing to assume a button could do. Especially since it's around the corner. A shootable trigger reveals the YA, which is rubbish but acceptable on the basis of being a game. (Human) Armor on some pedestal in the Quake world isn't very likely either.

Some secret doors (really moving walls) open by being shot (could be a breakable) and by approaching/magic. This is pretty much acceptable on the same basis as the YA thing: game gimmick.

Buttons that operate lifts are acceptable based on immediately interacting with something next to it, that obviously uses compressed air or whatever (sound.) The medieval lifts at least have the chain (?) sound, as do some doors. The press-style buttons don't fit them too well, levers would be better. So in this case, the lift _is_ the machinery and that's OK then. Buttons right next to their related door are rubbish on the other hand, at least in medieval maps, because they can open magically.

What I find hard to accept is that two buttons on opposite ends of the map just go "phhhht" and say "1 more to go..." and then some important door opens. This is a case where I'd personally like to see the thing that connects it all.

It works better in base maps, since we can assume there is electricity at work. But that's not so satisfying.

If you go "magic", you shouldn't use too many buttons at all IMO.

e1m3 has 3 doors that I can think of, 1 is a key door and 2 open magically. So that's in line with the "magic does it" approach. The button that opens the zombie closets below is a small miracle, though. Opening 4 doors would require quite some levers etc, and it being controlled from such a tiny button, with nothing else visible, is too much for me personally to believe.

well. I just find lonely buttons that do something on the other side of the room/map a bit hard to swallow. Except in base maps, where it's the more buttons, the merrier. 
I Love This 
And I like the buttons idea. It could be scary if you think about some machine, just standing there for 50 or 100 years, and it _just_ works when you start it. Like one said that there's a knight, standing behind a door. He's not from our world, he stands there for thousand years, covered with the dust, not even blinked once through all this time. But when you open this door, he's immediately ready to kill you.

I think this paragraph for me sums up Quake very well! Well done to the original author! 
I Think People Are Reading Too Much Into It 
id just removed the use button from quake to make it faster and more arcadey compared to doom (and wolfenstein) - it was pretty redundant anyway. :) 
Agree With The 'Bam 
That static discharge from the air to the ground
was not caused by the Gods being angry at you. 
Heres A Doable Idea: 
Wii remote mod. With the axe.

I know people have been modding/hacking to get wii remotes to work on a pc.... ?

I mean the potential is endless!!
I recon a lot of people wlll have access to a wii remote too :) 
Re: Wishes 
zomg, waayyy too hard. died twice before quitting, both before the five minute mark.
doesn't really feel like it's nonlinear because it's basically a one atrium map (as far as i got) and the options aren't really made obvious. the feeling was more.. well, i look around this corner, and there's some ogres, and then i'm practically forced to pursue that path because ammo is so sparse. no real choice at all :(

it also has fucked up d3 style teleporting monster right behind / in front of you places, and invisible teleporting places, and 'better don't fall into the lava while you balance over that beam while being followed by a death knight, and you only have 20 life left', oh, and don't forget the 'this jump looks like it's possible, but you won't make it, and there's slime below it in the dark and there will spawn several wizards while you frantically try to get out of that slime'. 
It's Not Without Its Quirks 
A lot of the bizarre nail traps the author claims were to alter bot navigation and keep them from always jumping into the slime, which I agree is rather dumb, and there are some cheap ambushes. What I like about it is the fact that, yes, it is a one atrium map, with a warren of unique side passages and spaces above you that you're continually unlocking and discovering ways into.

It's a concept I find myself wanting to explore - take what I thought was good about it and polish it, remove the gunk. What I'd aim for would be ways for the player to feel more and more sure of his navigation, having unlocked enough passages to essentially turn the map into a deathmatch level, except in a way that he still feels he needs to be ever on his guard. New caches of monster population can be left in unpredictable and not necessarily 'sensible' places, so that the player can't count on the assumption that an area is empty once it's empty, or on the equally predictable fill-the-last-room-once-the-player-has-found-they-key backtrack repopulation. 
Forgot to mention, he made it as a deathmatch map, hence the bot thing. I think as single player it actually works pretty well, and the deathmatch basis lends it a very unique sensibility a truly linear-minded single player mapper would never have discovered. 
that IS interesting.

The major issues that pop into my head are indeed:

1) choices need to be obvious (and deadends need to be kinda obvious, too e.g. his ssg deadend i didn't walk into at first because i decided to take another path, so i ended up not having the ssg the first try). This probably means emphasizing the doors to the alternatives with architecture and lighting, and it could in turn lead to interesting 'secret' paths that aren't emphasized, but not hidden in any other way.

2) the quake ammunition problem: in a lot of maps i find myself having just enough ammo + a dozen shots or so to finish all the enemies up to the next ammo pack (or i'm just using sg too much). This decourages peeking into alternative paths.

3) The gameplay/monster encounters should be 'predictable' from at least one corner ahead or so, so you can go back if you don't like the particular situation. If you had alternative routes in a d3 level, it wouldn't give you any advantage - you can't know what enemies will tele in before they're.. well, teleing in. E.g. in descent, there's often situations where you take a peek into a largish room, and find yourself up against a particularly tough robot (frmo that position!), so you look at the automap, see that the room's probably accessible from the other side and decide to go that way. Maybe it's just that: the fighting space needs to be predictable 
Nice idea with the Wii remote. There are some open projects to use the remote on standard PC. Like this one: (and many more I think ;)

Also, there's a _nice_ idea by Johnny Chung Lee - "Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the Wii Remote" - 
I Have 
a friend who tried the headtracking; he was 'very underwhelmed'. it looks perfect in the video because the camera is tracked perfectly and it's just a 2d image, but your eyes would need two seperate images. 
Dinosaur Mod. 
Did raptor have anything more than just a raptor against humans?

Why not make some other suitable dinosaurs, possibly Strog-style / Edie style dinosaurs with cool weapons attatched...

Er, I've never made an mdl in my life, or any other kind of model using a wireframe, let alone gone through the painfull process of cell-by-cell anuimation, but I could try.

Emergent Gameplay Quake 
now this idea wont leave me
What about an open-world with some semi-random events combined with quake combat gameplay? Huge world to explore, very replayable, with NPCs and emergent gameplay.
I`v been thinking along the lines of 'stalker quake'. I even built a sort of a 'technology prototype'.

Bur Im pretty scared of the ammount of work it would take to make, and the tech difficulties I will run into. And Im not a coder at all... 
Speeds - When Rmx Challenge Is Over 
Ill map for a project like that!
Put me to work
AguirRe quake sounds like a perfect platform for such a project!
I wouldnt want to trade off too much detail for scale - I imagine small winding valleys and gulleys, a bit like the first level of SOE, or even the start of Carved in Flesh, only on a bigger scale?

it uses q3 tech and nothing is defined 
....for president! 
You could extend that on a somewhat smaller scale by adding randomness to the regular game. Add a lot more traps and monster closets and such to your level but have them trigger randomly. That way the player would never quite know what to expect when playing through. 
Randomness != Emergence 
Simply adding random events to a system won't lead to any meaningful emergent behaviour. For things to get interesting, you need to get your system into a state that is on the edge between order and chaos. There already are games that feature emergent behaviour. Sim City is an example.

Read more: 
Oh sure, I wasn't saying that was a replacement for emergent behavior. Just that it was an interesting idea. 
It Goes Without Saying 
that this concept is only valid if you can guarantee that the level is interesting enough that your audience is going to want to play it more than once. 
Well I Just Like The Idea Of Making Large Worlds! 
The imagination boggles! 
Yeah Lets Not Use Big Trendy Buzzwords 
Im not going for any complex systems, 'living world' and 'fuzzy logic' - its just random numbers. ie the ogres wont simulate social life, hunt and wage a war on enforsers at the mood swings of their leader`s AI - there is just a probability of them wondering around and getting angry at anything in sight

but so far Im just dicking around with modelled terrain, hopefully getting it look as bad as rtcw/cod 
Agree With The Speeds 
You guys are not so bad but I have read through many forum sites where everyone who post write in such a way that it would be safe to assume Daniel Dennett taught them all to roll over and play fetch. 
it will probably be very hard to make the behaviour not either

-totally random
-converge to certain places or set behaviours

but it could be cool to prototype it. It's probably very sensitive to tuning, and you'd have to be able to simulate with the game code separately.

Does q3 support heightmaps? And if you put fog can you load additional areas during runtime so huge maps are possible? 
cant answer yet

no streamloading, terrain is a mesh
big anough, like stalker maps 
definately can make nice terrain, but not streamload. but, well level connections aren't so bad, as long as there's a lot of them. 
Weapon Rebalancing? 
(ijed) There's almost no reason to use the SNG when you have a DBS - maybe when the map design breaks down and you're sniping an Ogre from range. Same for NG / SNG, but with even less utility.

(rj) i'm working on rebalancing the weapons a tad for my episode.. the shotgun now has a tighter aim & does a little more damage. for the SNG i was considering making it scatter the nails a little, so the player has to choose between power & accuracy. the axe also does 2x the damage now & gibs zombies (thank you zer!)

Your fix will only end up exaggerating the problm that you are trying to fix. By making the SNG less reliable, and the shotgun more reliable, you give the player even less reason to use the SNG...

The SNG is a very tricky weapon to balance, and I think that part of the problem is the way that it is put into some maps. It often feels like it is arriving far earlier than I actually need it, and it only ends up making monsters a joke. The only time when it can be used without it being overkill is if you have several monsters that are attacking you, and would bring you down from a well protected 100h/150ya down to a very dead 0/0 before you can bring them down with other (weaker) weapons. And if the player is playing sensibly (by trying to stay alive and not rushing in head-first or trying to speedrun), then they should never be in that sort of position. It makes me wonder if the SNG is even worth putting into maps, or modifying to try to improve it. I don't think that there is any middle ground between it being "generally weaker than the SSG" and "overkill"... 
It makes me wonder if the SNG is even worth putting into maps

This statement worries me. Why?

The problem with basically all of the weapons below SNG is that they're all, well, quite shit. Before I continue, please understand that I'm talking about the "feel" and fun factor of the weapons more than their actual utility and effectiveness.

Axe: awesome in theory. Rubbish in practice given the absurdly weak damage and rather boring model. It's melee only, so I don't see why the damage wasn't higher (given the risk involved in using it).

Shotgun: In a word, pants. This is one of the shoddiest (heh heh) shotguns I've ever seen in any game. Crap model, weak sound, low damage, this one is so poor that it's essentially worthless (as a weapon to HAVE FUN with, again I'm not talking about actual usefulness).

SSG: This one is kind of fun simply because it is fairly effective (in single player, at least). However, compared to many (most) other video game SSG's, this one is pretty lame... it doesn't have any "oomph". It could use a beefier sound, and a bit more damage (even if that came at the cost of speed). Doom2 and Q2 shotguns were decent, what happened here?

Nailgun: The less said the better, really. Low rate of fire + weak damage + insubstantial/crap model = teh suck. At least the sound of the nails bouncing off the walls is cool... :)

SNG by comparison is the dog's bollocks! Awesome damage and ROF, sound is beefy and satisfying, and it has 4 barrels that spin around in a circle!?

Now obviously I understand that the weapons are meant to get progressively stronger as you obtain them, the problem is there's too big a jump between the "weak half" and the "strong half", and more to the point the lower ones feel gimped out because they're both less effective and less FUN to use (the feel just isn't there).

In conslusion... well... I actually don't have a point. I'm just complaining. 
No, You're Bang On 
In terms of feel and satisfaction, Quake's weapons were a step down from the awesomeness that was the Doom1/2 arsenal. Doom 2's DBS still holds its ground as one of the meatiest and most satisfying FPS weapons ever, although the DBS from the Doom 3 missionpack was a fairly decent tribute.

Quake 2 was a step in the right direction, as things got louder and beefier, but then Quake 3 dropped it right back down into soft plastic nerf gun territory. Pretty sad that the most significant feedback you got from the Quake 3 weapons was that little "beep" it did to tell you that you hit someone.

Doom 3 struck a largely underwhelming middle ground that probably veered mostly into toy gun territory, with a couple of exceptions. The shotgun felt chunky I guess, and the plasma gun felt like a plasma gun. Were there other guns? I dunno I didn't use them. 
Lower End 
I like those lower end weapons. I think the sounds and enemy reactions and deaths in Quake are good enough that there is enough of a payoff to use a ng or shotgun. Also, those weapons are pretty good at range and are essential when you don't have sng or rl.

By the way, I'm sure everybody here has a feel for how long to hold down fire before releasing it and watching the last nail finish off the ogre they were shooting by now. That's a pretty satisfying feeling too, and only available with the sng AND regular ng. 
Quake's low quality (in terms of khz) sound seems meatier somehow than the clear sound of modern games, and I think that helps the weapons feel better. Sure, the low end aren't as awesome as say a quad sng or rl, but I think they all shit on the feel of the q3 weapons and shouldn't be compared :)

Q2 SSG was niiice btw. Massively powerful close up and with a nice beefy firing sound. RL was pants though :( 
It Would Be Ok 
if the shotgun model and sound was a pistol cause that's what it really is gameplay wise and the double barrel was a regular shotgun.
Ok, then there's the ammo issue but anyway... 
i replaced my q1 SG/SSG sounds with the below modified quake 2 samples, if anyone's interested: 
Axe: shit. Next to useless. A joke.

Shotgun: Terrible (and annoying)
DBS: Good, one of the better weapons, but pales in comparison to the same thing in Doom and Q2
Nailgun: Good. I like the model, I like the slower speed of fire so you can actually see the projectiles. I enjoy spamming low level monsters with it.
SNG: Shit model, shit generally. I actually prefer the nailgun.
GL: Awesome
RL: Overpowered for SP, great for DM
LG: Good

Q2's arsenal was way better. I hated the hyperblaster, and the machine gun was gay, but other than that I thought it was well balanced. Q3's was even better I thought - sure they fucked up the GL HORRIBLY (it was still useful in Q2), but they did manage to balance the Q1 RL and the Q2 Railgun in one game. 
My Favourite Part About Quake's Axe 
is that they didn't even bother giving it an impact sound when you hit flesh. Genius. 
I'm Mostly With Tronyn 
the balanced weapon set is a GOOD thing.

I don't get what the problem with the sg is, though.sure it doesn't feel that 'right', but it's a nice weapon and very useful in places.

the q3 gl is, well, bouncy. a bit too random :( 
Got To Disagree 
That Q2 had a good weapon set. The DBS and RG were good, the rest was pretty pathetic in just about every department - audio, video and gameplay.

My current project replaces the axe with an ogre chainsaw, as I mentioned a while ago, but changing the other weapons isn't somthing I want to do just yet.

The weapon set could have been better done (I reckon its more to do with the balance of damage done verses the monsters) but if they're used well by the mapper then they're still good. 
Id Games 
have never really got the "slot 1" weapon right IMO.

Enough said about Quake's axe. In Q2 we had that stupid peashooter, but I'd have prefered a blunt melee weapon - a broken-off length of concrete rebar for example - to bludgeon things to death with up close.

Doom 3 dropped the ball even further with the utterly pointless "fists" - why the hell not just give the player a wrench? Half the zombies are carrying one. Shooting slow zombies with a pistol was shit, I'd have much prefered to have just wandered up to them and bashed their skulls in with a bit of rusty metal. Ok, we eventually got the chainsaw, but at that point in the game I had so much shotgun ammo that I never had a reason to use it. 
Oh come on, the Q2 Chaingun was freaking great, hand grenades were cool, rocket launcher was different but well balanced, the Q2 GL was good...

Yeah the only good melee weapon in their games is the Doom chainsaw. I don't understand why they always make the melee weapon such crap, it wouldn't unbalance the game to have a powerful melee weapon. 
has a nice slot 1 weapon imho. it needs skill and can be effective in certain situations. 
"Doom 3 dropped the ball even further with the utterly pointless "fists" - why the hell not just give the player a wrench? Half the zombies are carrying one. Shooting slow zombies with a pistol was shit, I'd have much prefered to have just wandered up to them and bashed their skulls in with a bit of rusty metal. Ok, we eventually got the chainsaw, but at that point in the game I had so much shotgun ammo that I never had a reason to use it."

Because it was Doom. :) You had fists in Doom1 and Doom2 so it follows... 
Pedantic Rant(s) 
Chaingun - too much flash, not enough bang, when compared to doom 1/2. The windup meant it could have done more damage or had a higher rate of fire, but it was normalised for some pussy reason.

Grenades - pretty good, but why are they still selectable when I have the GL? More importantly, why does my current weapon and item change to grenades when picking up new ones (from 0)?

Rocket Launcher just sounded and looked weak. Gameplay was alright.

I know these might sound like petty nit-picks but when its an FPS the first thing they should nail is the weapon loadout. The best weapon of the lot was definately the RG, a great evolution of the straight line weapon from Q1.

If you compare the standard q2 weapons with say, the Awakening set then there's no comparison. "What the hell were they thinking!?" was what a friend of mine said when we set up an Awakening LAN - talking about the original weapon loadout. 
I just don't see it. I hated Q2's clean/boring theme, even Q4 was more grisly/conventional id, but I really enjoyed the DM. Sure, Q3 topped it, but even now I am surprised by how enjoyable Q2DM is.

One thing which always strikes me as shitty is that they never really got monsters into Q3. Fighting monsters in Q3 would have been great. 
I Know 
The guys who made the only SP mod for Quake3 - The Dark Conjunction.

It wasn't too bad, lots of bugs in the monsters and strange behaviours, but it was basically three of them in a cupboard for six months. I remeber the explanations of how they made the npc's work. They had to sit them on top of invisible trains so they could move (!) with pathfinding having to be made from scratch as well since it's based on item placement in the original.

Apparantly the end boss had a bug in the final build where if you didn't dodge it couldn't hit you, so they had to wake the programmer up after no sleep for a few days.

It's a pretty stylish tc, but the monsters are irritating.

Also, SidRial (other q3 tc) doesn't count because it only had traps.

They're the same guys working on this but with a bigger team. 
While I respect the shitload of work they must have put both into that TC and to their current project, after checking out that site I have to say..

Holy Flinstones! 
Dark Conjunction is very :(((( 
Q2 Grenades 
they were rather nice in multiplayer because you could cook them and throw them so they would explode almost as soon as you let go, so you could catch people unawares and get them even if they dodged the grenade itself. 
But they did have monsters in q3. 
Dark Conjunction 
Does serve as a decent template for developing Single Player games and mods for the Q3A engine as the code is available for it, despite the aesthetic displeasure that game can give you.

The Dairyman site which is oriented towards single player game code is also worth checking out if you are into that sort of thing. 
Quake +DP 
is the best base for developing single player mods/games for the Q3A tech 
Z-aware Ogres 
And Zombies 
Got em.

Did think this thread was never really concluded.

Reading back I see that I kind of derailed it by mentioning TDC. Stand by what I say though - it was the only mod to put singleplayer into Q3, doesn't matter how fucked alot of it was, there was an SP game there.

Here's a breakdown of what I've got atm;

I have z aware ogres, I tried it for the zombies but then lost the code doing a rollback, I mean to replace it. Didn't make a big difference but they played more real. Ogres made a big difference. They can hit you no matter where you are, but they don't lead there shots. Always thought it was strange that they have this complicated weapon but don't know what gravity is.

The Hk now uses all his animations for various attacks on the same theme - same as in Travail, courtesy of Patrick Martin's code.

Grunts use a slide, similar to the scrag but floorbound.

New Monsters:

Axegrunt - stole the idea from concentric, but they're now just grunts instead of knights with a different skin. Easy to kill and don't do much damage, but when placed well they're about as dangerous as normal grunts, discounting long range grunt sniping.

Berserk Ogre - No GL, two chainsaws, so does damage more consistently in his anims. I upped the damage a bit because the fat git is a bit slow to be dangerous. Really he needs to surprise the player or be in hordes. A bit of variation, really.

Chainsaw replaces axe, basically a copy of the Ogre version, but it gibs zombies after three hits.

That's it for code changes. I've toyed with various ideas but don't want to just vomit creativity onto a piece of white paper. When there's a need in the maps I might try some other stuff.

Having said that, some of these ideas came from things I always wanted Quake to do - is there anything anyone here always wanted to see in Quake? Nothing brand new, just behaviours that weren't believable or seemed stupid.

Fiends getting stuck I can't really help, but if anyone has any advice on that then cool. 
I hate z-aware ogres. Just like strafing grunts. I like them a bit stupid. With puppy-eyes and clumsyness. It's a huge part of the attractivity of Quake for me. 
The Axe 
was for running around te levels slicing away to se how far you could get otherwise known as a
but ofcourse you use the shotgun for secrets and explodeboxes ...and scrags ofcourse

and personally the ng is the only wep i usually use for the game
cool sound
cool model/animations
cool effects 
So it probably won't be liked then. Ah well, thanks for feedback in any case. 
Thought a bit.


fair enough, but I don't like being able to ignore ogres because they're too stupid to aim at me.

Then strafing grunts thing is something I might remove, I need to send out the betas for gameplay feedback. When they're done, that is.


Sounds like you're talking about competition stuff there. That's fair enough, but I'm aiming for a more immersive sense of place than the original levels present in current FPS design.

Everyone's got their own style. In third party maps I like using the scrag groups to hurt each other before chucking a grenade into the cluster for some chunky gib rain. 
I hate z-aware ogres

it's crap the default behaviour can be exploited so easily, neutralizes completely their main strength.

The previous discussion about weapons I found quite interesting; at release time many were still playing with the keyboard only.

The question might be how to enhance them without turning Quake into Halo15 with crap like alt-fire etc.

Ijed: looking forward to your mod :) 
Distant Future 
But next build maybe a month. 
I Dig 
the double chain saw Ogre :) The Ogre replacement I'm working on has talons set on the pinky. I would show the concept art, but its only rough and functional and only exist for alignment purposes in Blender. 
Hell, I'll Show It Anyway ;) 
Quite as creative as yours (all I did was c+p the chainsaw and 'animate' it) but he's working, anyhow;

Are you think metal for the talons, Edie / Q2 style, or organic? 
Organic Composite 
Recall the alien weapons in System Shock 2 you could specialize in? The monsters in that game didn't really match the weapons in design temperament, but here I look at most of the monsters as extensions of weapon types.

Oh, and here is the Scag replacement :) 
A bit . . . Legend of Zelda - need to see it with a suitably evil and blood splatterd Quake skin. I know it's an early version but maybe make it a bit more emaciated and bony as well?

The SS2 organic weapon was it? Can't really remember. Or was it that crystal thing that you put together piece by piece? 
make it POINTIER! 
On That Scag 
give it some tallon claw tings on its hands with som barb-like thinngs stikking oot ...oh and make them bloody 
I Loled 
What about Quake DM? What features define that gameplay?

If you would want to translate that to a modern game, for instance, the new Id Tech 5. What would you need to make that gameplay feel like Quake DM? 
Ok, so I need to put him in a level with flashing coloured lights, then. 
DM Is Defined By 
The red armor and the rocket launcher. Mostly. 
One Possibilaty 
I've been thinking about is replacing the tenticle arms with needled fans of the Pan's Lybrinth like variety. Could be a good weapon to replace the spit attack too.

A bit . . . Legend of Zelda - need to see it with a suitably evil and blood splatterd Quake skin. I know it's an early version but maybe make it a bit more emaciated and bony as well?

I like the bony, emaciated idea, and it probably will look more so when I simplify the body a bit. I haven't played Zelda, but they were probably using Nagas too. They come from Hindu historical literature, I believe. 
It Was 
The wings that made me think that, but like I say its an easy parallel to make.

How are you thinking the attack - being spat, or thrown? 
The Fans Flutter Gently As She Hovers In Flight 
then she whips the fans forward for the attack as she hisses at you.

Lol Lun! Partying Ogre Style! 
Better than the Scrag's shoulder bullets thing. 
Ijed (hk Anims) 
I don't think that using the downward swing to fast its flame attack is very effective. I'd much prefer to see something else used there. Also, he has several sword movement anims while running, and some are similar to his magic anims, so maybe enabling him to run and shoot? 
I Vote... 
"NIET" to z-aware Ogres!! 
z-aware ogres PWN your arse and you know it XD 
Why Not 
make the ogre marksman z-aware, and visually differentiate them a bit, with a different colored jacket or something. They're the smart ones, then. 
make the ogre marksman z-aware, and visually differentiate them a bit, with a different colored jacket or something. They're the smart ones, then.

That's what we did with the quoth flak ogre. 
He works fairly well in that he becomes less predictable, but its not such a great change as z-aware ogres (although they stay in). Basically for his magic attacks he does a standard spread, vertical version and direct shot (straight line). His close combat attacks are expanded to use all anims as well, with slight differences in the when and how much damage factors, but mainly a visual difference.

What I should do is have him only use the vertical flame attack when the player is above or below him - z-aware hellknights anyone?

Allowing him to run and shoot is a pretty large gameplay change, I reckon.

I like Z-aware ogres - I now see the old ones as unfinished code. You get used to them. In base progs everone ignores the Ogres - normally you just let them get on with their thing on the upper levels, because their grenades are only dangerous if you're stood in the wrong place. When they actually aim at you you have to treat them as an active enemy instead of something to kill later on, in many cases when you're on the same vertical level as them.

The different skin solution seems a bit odd, tbh. If there's both types in a level it's more of a confusion for the player to adapt to the new ones - red ones aim at me, green ones aim at the horizon.

I'm not wanting an argument - this is the way I'm building my mod - but opinions are good. I can see there's going to be a problem with the Ogres . . . 
Idoono Guys 
smart ogres and dual chainsaw ogres sounds cool

also i like the axe but a chainsaw sounds cool to

but will the shamber have larger claws? like how he holds his hands up so his points are facing up, will the points reach to his mid arm...err .. elbow? 
Oops Posted Too Sonns 
sorry but i just wanna say im looking forwards to this mod a bit :) 
Quake DM 
While I agree with bambuz that Quake DM is largely defined by the RL and RA, keep in mind that it has a very unique movement set (bunny). 
Changes to the Shambler - not necessary, IMHO.

You'll have to wait quite a while. 
Quake On A Wii!!! 
Shambler Needs Eyes!!! 
What's the general opinion on Vomitii? 
Only The Most Underused 
monster in Quake mapping, other than the guardian from Dissolution of Eternity, both creatures get worse press than they deserve, and conversely the ogres are way overrated. 
Ogres are overused because they're fairly multifunctional, apart from the aforementioned aiming dumbness.

I never really played the expansions much, I always preferred the community stuff. Think I'll give them a look now though for resources / ideas. 
I Was Just Trying 
to move the discussion along with a little heresy . . . 
You Mean Spawn/tarbabies? 
A monster that leaps quickly and spastically at you, but also explodes fatally when you kill it, is pretty clearly a bad idea. It's telling that Romero's main intent when he came up with them was "this'll really fuck with the keyboarders!"

I'd do one or the other, but not both in one monster. The kamikazes in Serious Sam lent some nice tension without being overly cruel, even if the sequences they were in were pretty stiff shooting galleries, and the fast headcrabs in HL2 were also good without also killing you when you finally nailed one with the shotgun.

I forsee a revival of the original plan for the vomitus - a slow but deadly exploding monster that vomits out the small fast spawns that don't explode.

(Isn't 'tarbaby' kind of a racial pejorative?) 
I've revived a version of the Vomitus that gobs zombie gibs and bursts into damaging gibs when it dies - kind of like a polyp, but has a bigger splat if gibbed with a rocket.

It was originally supposed to create spawns? Bloody hell.

I like exploding tarbabies / spawn - although granted, for keyboarders they're probably not much fun.

The name Tarbaby - kind of like Goomba's.

And I reckon this thread is the place for heresey. 
Anyone know where I can get the source for Scourge of Armagon?

Spike Mines. 
There's a hipqc on quake's, but you have to search
meanwhile, here you are... 

Spawn (being well used these days)
Spike Mines


DOE Guardians (crappy, ugly, badly themed anti-Quake bollox)

Jury's still out:

Z-Axis Ogres or whatever the fuck they're called. 
Thanks Madfox 
I've downloaded the source now, but the qc that you looks to be the gremlin or fiend - odd.

The guardian - thats the egyptian enemy? always thought they were crap, tbh. And a bit gay.

The Vomitus and Zombies are also z-aware, though I'm thinking to cap their max throw distance so they hit the ceiling less. 
Hipqc: Unknown Format Or Damaged . . . 
How do I open the Resource.7 files? 
Ijed is packed with winrar. 
Not Really 
(Isn't 'tarbaby' kind of a racial pejorative?)

It comes from folk lore:'er_Rabbit

term refers to a type of trap which describes the hellspawn though they don't actually stick to you. The id guys were probably thinking of a bugs bunny version of this where the tarbaby was a lit piece of dynamite that the antogonist could not shake off once he grabbed it. Boom! 
It was winrar that reported the file as corrupt. 
used to be the enemy everybody hated. But, they can be used (and as shambler says, have been used) well, and they are great for causing panic.

Also, spike mines are simple and cool. 
Z-aware Zombies 
Sweet mother of christ when will this madness stop?!?!

Actually I think they'd be a lot better balanced as z-aware than the Ogres would... 
stop being a pussy and admit you only don't like z-awareness because you suck :p 
Monster AI 
Has anyone worked on making the monsters hunt in packs, or any sort of group behavior? 
yes, my homepage got overloaded.

Try again, it's right now. 
Will Try 
when I'm soberer

Inertia, like I'm always banging the drum for - lazarus q2.

They had damage groups. When an enemy gets hit by another it gets angry at it, damage groups meant that one group could get angry at a singular other enemy. It was meant so that a player couldn't snipe a group with the railgun without the others waking up.

Thanks for the link Madfox, I'll check try and integrate it tommorow, on hangover sunday. 
I think that making ogres z-aware shouldn't be the same thing as making them infallible, continuous dropshot lobbing monsters. Sometimes it looks a bit odd when they're actually firing down a flat long corridor and the regular shot would work fine, but they lob into the ceiling instead. What I would try is:

1. Have them check the intersection point of the regular shot trajectory with the ground level they are standing on (might have to go 1 unit below to deal with the edge case). If this is solid, then take a regular shot, and if it's non solid assume you need to lob. This is obviously a fairly crude decision process, but places it might break down like broken ground/uphill will only look as odd as it did before one way or the other.

2. Have the ogre decide the elevation in advance. Make a separate function that calculates elevation, and call it from say two attack frames before the grenade is fired(is that ogre_nail2 ?). Then store that elevation in an unused field on the ogre, and use the value when you fire. Of course, y-axis yaw should still be tracked accurately, that would be a penalty too far.

I'll admit I've not gone away to create and test an ogre like this, but I think it might help them feel less robotic in the way they aim. At the same time, it wouldn't revert back to the point of being safe from an ogre simply by putting a chasm between it and you. 
I should make them check for low-lying beams etc. since that's their foul-up atm. I've compensated by not placing Ogres in places where it's shown off, fairly crude, but it works.

Madfox, you posted DOE instead of SOA . . . no mines :(

I tried the older link and it gives me an error message in Dutch (?). 
alright, then I started searching on the game org.
Here's your part for DOE as well SOA qc.

I couldn't find your spike mine either, might be encapsulated in one of the other files. 
Got It 
Was in items, thanks again Madfox.

Now to integrate it. 
think the firs qc I offered was the real spike mine.

It has an substitutional qc as the gremlin, but then I realized it would only work in order with the whole qc script. 
Has anyone worked on making the monsters hunt in packs, or any sort of group behavior?

kell and i had several ideas about something like this but nothing ever came of it.

i'd love to see a boss that uses minions in some creative way.

i liked the guardian in d3 because it's sight depended on the seekers. i think something like this, but much more complex could be cool.

i'd also love to see bosses with phases, healing, interruptible abilities or something... 
The Custom Entities 
has the zombie master, but that is simply a creature that ports in zombies.

Over the past few weeks I have revisited Max Payne 2, and played Gears of War. After dealing with frustrating bosses I have to conclude one of Quake's strengths and an element that helps the game flow is the absence of serious boss monsters until the very end. There is Chthon, but he isn't that big of a deal to fight.

It has led me to redesign the hub scenario I am fiddling with because boss fights just stop everything in their tracks until the fight is resolved. It seems to me that better game flow can occur by allowing the player to work the boss fights around
his personal schedule of play.

How many people have dropped a game altogether because of the boredom and tedium of a boss fight? I would have likely stopped playing GoW but I called my nephew up to come over and fight it out for me. Not that I couldn't do it, I just despise repetition. I probably have a condition that is the exact opposite of obsessive compulsion whatever that may be :) 
...boredom and tedium of a boss fight...

I think you can make a non-boss climax just as boring, tedious, hard, or frustrating as any boss fight. I've played some giant horde endings to levels that i had to play through 3 or 4 times, and they're long, and tedious, too.

And surely if you can make a fun horde finale, you can make a fun boss fight.

I think quake would benefit by more good bosses. 
Episode 3 
should of had some sort of boss, due to it was the more metal theme

metal refering to the original map types

at least i think that was the episode

also i have z aware ores andzombies

where zombies are no a problem due to unintentional fast move ment making them hard to hit, strifing all round
the ogres on the other hand i have seen the beam problem where they will shoot it too high and hit a beam and bounce it on to them selves,
but when there health rech lower than 25 they start shooting and strifing round like crazy, all the monsters due that now, the draw backs i have ran into was the knight and the fish, the fish are fine now but the knight runs in to a problem where i had to give him a th_missile attack and now when hes far away hell start slashing, so i might try and make him fore some kind of spike :P 
I've Joined This Discussion A Little Late 
but I just saw HT's new Scrag and simply had to comment.

Quake's hordes should defy explanation. The scrag is scary because it flies without the aid of [big butterfly] wings, and doesn't have any arms. It's like a ghost.

Quake's anatomy should always be slightly questionable. 
Like Fiend and Shambler and Vores WITHOUT EYES.

The essence of Quake. 
Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss... 
I think quake would benefit by more good bosses.

I agree with this, but I feel there are some barriers which are difficult to overcome. The best bosses are designed with their environment in mind - the map and the boss as designed in tandem. So some sort of compilation mod containing 10-15 ready made bosses for quake isn't going to produce great results.

On the other hand, if a boss was made specifically for one map, then one benefit is uniqueness; the reward for reaching the end of the map is something you've never seen before. The problem of course is that you need to have co-operation between a modeller/animator/coder and a mapper. I wouldn't mind giving this a go though, if someone had a map in the early stages and an idea of a boss.

In terms of gameplay, there's one question I'd like to ask about making quake bosses. Typically when you face a boss in quake there's no reason not to just continually fire on them with your most powerful weapon. What ways are there to break up this pattern? 
Ways And Means. 
Firstly I pretty much loathe boss combats that are all based around some gimmick that involves not fighting the boss i.e. somehow know in advance that you have to destroy some arbitrary power crystal that looks like every other sodding part of the boss arena whilst getting pwnd by 200% damage projectiles and balancing on beams above lava. Fuck that shit homie.

Other options.

1. Boss manouverability / teleportation.

2. Other monsters present.

3. Varying boss vulnerability to weapons.

4. Necessity to use enviroment to help destroy boss (not total reliance).

5. Boss actually not very tough but very dangerous so tables have turned to survive rather than just shoot. 
Descent teleporting bosses have:

1. Boss manouverability / teleportation.
latter, kinda slow.
2. Other monsters present.
Some bosses even generate monsters.
3. Varying boss vulnerability to weapons.
Large invulnerable spots on the front. Sound is VERY important here though, descent has one default 'can't shoot this' sound all the time.
4. Necessity to use enviroment to help destroy boss (not total reliance).
Various goodies, missiles, invis, invulnerables in secret rooms around the boss room. This isn't what you meant though?

In descent it works kinda great, the bosses are the enemies you need to be most careful about, and they're fucking tough, but still managable, and very rewarding.

They're mostly very dangerous, but the levels don't just drop you in one giant room with em with no way to go, so you can see how you kill them best, etc. The room itself mostly has hiding places, etc. They're never just a box. 
I think quake would benefit by more good bosses.

I think Quake would benefit from nicer AI. Cleverer animation. Quality sound effects.
I know it's been done before, but it would be nice. 
Typically when you face a boss in quake there's no reason not to just continually fire on them with your most powerful weapon. What ways are there to break up this pattern?

Selective monster/weapon interaction maybe? like shamblers taking 1/2 damage from asplosions. Your boss could be immune to lightning, or nails could ricochet off of him. Stuff like that encourages a certain weapon set/play behavior without absolutely requiring special behavior X (like chthon).

You can also reduce the player's stores of ammo by throwing cannon fodder at him for a while. If players tend to have too many grenades before a boss fight because you overused ogres early on, just make him wade through a sea of zombies, for example. A pair of shamblers will encourage the player to burn his nails/cells pretty quick too. 
I like having to lure bosses in to specific areas of the environment to reveal their weakness, as long as it's logical [and therefore obvious] enough. Somebody earlier mentioned making a level that involves discharging the LG in the water with a pentagram, so perhaps a boss that you can lure in to the water would be good? Obviously you'd have to script it so that the pent doesn't become available until the boss is in the water [perhaps it smashes some bars that made it previously inaccessible].

I quite enjoyed the big dragon at the end of the Rogue Mission Pack. Gravity Belt + Large Open Space + Fire Breathing Dragon = FUN. Shame about all the lava.

The best boss monster I've ever come across in any game would have to be the three tentacles in a giant silo half way through HL1, but that sort of thing requires complexity that would just seem out of place in Quake's dimension. 
Boss Ai Huh 
well ever sence i have messed with the ai i came to a bug, but more like a feature where chantion moves around in his lava, his move ments are kinda creepy and somtimes he will move in your way if the path and get his hit box to stop you, then u r dead cos u cant get by him 
Quake would benefit from nicer AI
See Nehahra. Most people seem to dislike the new monster behavior because they want to play Quake like they're used to - predictable.

An unknown but potentially cool boss has just been discovered at Quaddicted: The Anaconda. Nothing too special in the end, but impressive wakeup animation.

Initially unkillable monsters roaming the levels or chasing the player should be used more often. As for bosses, some slight modifications to the standard ones might make for an interesting change already. Obstacle monsters like the HL silo tentacles or the Xen trees are nice, too. 
New Monster 
This afternoon I've been playing around with a new monster idea.

Monster Name: DreadGhast

When veteran deathknights have achieved all they can with the sword, they have been known to sever their own arms and legs in order to better hone their extra sensory powers. These 'DreadGhast' as they have become known by the few who have survived an encounter with one, have learned to levitate and are now capable of ten times the firepower they once were. Should you manage to bring one to the brink of death, then in one last vitriolic act he will erupt in a beautiful but deadly lightshow.

Attack1: The same fiery excretion as a DeathKnight, but more trails get fired in one shot. Can also fire whilst moving.
Attack2: Suicide bomb. DreadGhast only resorts to this when reduced to 1 HP. Body explodes, releasing a volley of above mentioned fiery trails in all directions.

Behavior: Floats around at slightly slower speeds than a scrag, but can take much more damage [three times that of a DeathKnight].

I've also used my very limited modeling knowledge to edit the DK model:

I'll work on a proper skin at some point too.

Any opinions on the general idea? 
Three times of a DK's health is a lot (750HP), I'd suggest giving him 450 (slightly more than the vore) or something. Also, getting an enemy down to 1HP doesn't happen very often, personally I'd rise that to 10% of his starting health (whatever you decide it to be).

Otherwise it's a fine idea. 
I thought I might be going a little bit wild with the HP. :P

Good idea about the 10%. Thanks for the feedback! 
I like Armagon a lot :) 
the model and idea are pretty cool, a floating torso seems pretty Quakey. Perhaps some particles moving around him. And part of his skin looking whiteish like the wizard. Lower part perhaps. 
give him a blood trail i guess, i think u can do that in qme 
Nice Discussion 
I'd like more bosses in Quake as well. I'll be making one for my pack, but not yet.

I reckon they should have the puzzle solving element of the original 2 and not be killable conventionally, but there's no need for such a behavior to be irritating. 
I've Seen This In A Few Flash Games 
but it could work in quake. People will often achieve snake/sandworm kind of things by having a bunch of segments that are all unconnected models but move in a line, with one following the next and a head at the end that drives the whole thing. 
but I just saw HT's new Scrag and simply had to comment.

Quake's hordes should defy explanation. The scrag is scary because it flies without the aid of [big butterfly] wings, and doesn't have any arms. It's like a ghost.

A few weeks back, I stripped the wings from the scrag/naga and now it has spiked fins on the sides. I salvaged those wings, and now they are fitted for a flying worm demon like you see in Zerst�rer, Might&Magic and Arx Fatalis.

However, in the past few weeks since my system has been healed, I have been playing the games and packs I've been forced to give up over the last several months, so QExpo may be calling things a little short.

Still would like to do the Minimal thing for it, though. A stand alone that has the bare minimal amount of media material -- sounds, models, maps, conchar, etc, to stand on its own.

A wild blue tangent, but many may not be aware of this -- there is a relatively easy way to produce your own sounds. Get the Audacity Audio editor and learn its basic functions. Produce a short abrupt, sound, either through vocalization or noise generation, and put it on one track. Find the sound you want to mimic and put it on another track. Stretch the first sound out to be relatively the same size as the first. There are tools in Audacity that allow you to 'shape' the sound, use them to shape the generated sound to match the acoustic pattern of the sound you are mimicking. You will likely need to use other processing tools to get an acceptable sound, but at this point you'll have a solid basis, and you can go ahead and erase the sound you are mimicking. You will likely also not get a perfect duplicate, but then again, that is not the aim.

You can find examples of sounds developed this way for a Quake3 style hand held Cuisinart on my Mortisville site, if you dig into the index file. 
HL1 Silo Tentacles 
I have disturbing yet fond memories of the fucking noise that thing made. 
Between bang and clang.

It was a bit crap in Xen and the desert where it was just tapping on the rocks / sand. 
That's an interesting sound hint. 
I Have An Idea!: 
How about a mapping scenario which would require some progs jiggery-pokery - a "migration"!

You could have (for example) a ravine/gorge environment with a constant supply of monsters (say feinds for example) running into the map at one end through - for example - a cave exit which is too high up for the player to reach.
The feinds would then run through the entire length for the map, probably following a series of path_corner type entites to an exit at the other end. The exit could be at the other side of a deep trench, the monsters having to go through a monster_jump entity so that they could reach an exit which the player wouldn't be able to.

The players mission could be to carry out a mission for another exit, fighting humans or other non-migratory beings with the constant trickle of feinds running through the map. The emphasis being on running.

Or it could be a survival mission, with little weaponry and other monsters placed around the map.

Migratory monsters would only attack if attacked, returning to the path after their attacker is killed (in the instance of infighting)

Is their any way of doing this without new progs, Quoth or otherwise. It wouldn't be too difficult using the info_multispawn so long as THREE things I guess:

1 - the monster will move towards the first path_corner when spawned.

2 - the monster will spawn RUNNING

3 - the monster will not attack thre player on sight.

Please help me obtain fruition! I would love to put something like this in me episode... 
Fucking cool idea, Ricky! I love the idea of having a trickle of fiends creeping up behind you at all times. Keeps you moving and keeps you on edge constantly. That would be a neat element in any map, really. Monsters that walk a very long path and are continually spawning to fill up their ranks if any are killed. Would add a lot of randomness to the level.

I did a bunch of that sort of thing in 'White Room' although it might not have been too apparent. I have wandering code that makes monsters wander around instead of waiting for you to show up. Every monster was in motion when you encountered it in 'White Room'. I think that sort of thing is a lot more interesting than the norm. 
sitting around thinking about stuff... imagine this:

boss monster with unspecified normal projectile and melee attacks.
boring, but here's the interesting part. The attacks do a fair amount of damage but decent armour (green or yellow) is provided (that respawns) along with lots of megahealths (that also respawn).
the respawn time is short enough that getting health isn't really a problem.
the boss, unfortunately, has a self heal that can only be stopped by using explosives on it as well as a special attack.
the special attack is a stacking effect that gradually reduces the amount of health the player gets when they pick up a health pack.
So, let's say it does the special attack every 15 seconds (it is NOT avoidable).
each 'stack' of the effect reduces health gains by 5% (additive).

this means that after 5 minutes, the player would not receive ANY health when picking up health packs.

the challenge would be the race to blow the shit out of the guy while stopping it from healing with explosives before you stop being able to get health. 
Just To Clarify: 
special attack goes like this:

you start the fight, a mega health gives you 100HP.

after 1 attack, you only get 95% health so a MH gives you 95HP.
after 2 attacks, you only get 90%.
3 = 85%
4 = 80% and so on and so forth. 
another interesting idea would be to make use of the side effect of picking up many different mega healths.

in case you aren't aware of it, each time you pick up a different MH, the 'tick down' effect is added, so if you pick up 2 mega healths, your health ticks down twice as fast. if you pick up 10 MHs, you health will drop very quickly back to 100.

imagine a shambler like lightning attack but with a longer 'charge up' time.
the attack only hits once, but hits for between 150 damage.

NO armour is provided and should be stripped away preferably with a lot of trash fights with lots of health but not much room to avoid damage before entering the fight with the boss.

basically, another arena fight but with mega healths placed evenly around on fairly long respawn timers. (say 30 seconds).

the trick is that you want to make sure you are topped up with more than 150 health at all times so that you don't get instantly killed if you don't dodge the attack. the problem is the more MHs you pick up, the faster your health ticks down, so eventually you'll be picking them up faster than they respawn. the only thing is that if your HP drops below 100, the tick down effect is cleared, so if you do get hit and you are over 150 hp, the health 'degredation' is cleared and you can slow down the rate you pick up MHs. 
then there's this:
i won't explain it right now, because i'm curious to see if anyone can figure out what's going on. o.o 
i welcome interesting boss fights. When designing them, you should be asking yourself what it means to the player -- what strategy is needed to win? Is it possible to figure out, and is it fun to actually do it? And does the boss really need to be that complicated to achieve that gameplay experience.

For example, your first boss takes 3 paragraphs to explain, and the resulting player strategy is just "blow the shit out of the guy, but save your rockets for use only when he's healing."

Okay, that sounds interesting but maybe a simpler boss design can provide the same strategy, and as a bonus will be easier for players to understand. For example, bosses in quake don't have visible health meters, so any healing effect won't be clear to players.

How about a group of like, 5-10 enemies, and if any of them are dead one of the other bosses will periodically attempt to ressurect any fallen comrades, and an explosion will interrupt the spell. Resurrection is visually very obvious (unlike healing) and the spell-casting effect could also be pretty obvious. The only thing that might be hard to guess is that explosions are necessary to stop the spell.

Now, you could communicate health if you had a series of like, 8-10 pain skins, each where the boss looks more damaged than the last. Then when he heals, there is a visible reversal of the damage. 
actually... i've been thinking of just making a sprite that looks like a health bar that hovers over a boss' head... o.o 
There was a "health bar above monster head" mod at Inside3D about 4 years ago. 
How About Using 
those skingroups that are being discussed in the modelling thread to implement damage skins? Possible? 
No, because they automatically animate - like a flip book. You can't control when each skin in the group shows up, other than controlling the timing of the frames. 
We were thinking of having pain skins, but there's multiple gameplay problems (no technical ones). It drags up locational damage and stuff counter to immersion. At least we're all used to not being able to blow a grunts arm off.

Shooting a Q2 enforcer in the legs to have his head vanish is still goofy.

Granted that's model changes, but the same applies to the Q2 pain skins. 
On The Other Hand 
Having a 'health crystal' lodged in the bosses forehead that changes colour is pretty straightforward, though more arcadey.

And nope, they only automatically animate if part of a skin group - they can also be separated into different groups in the same way as normal frames. 
I'd Say 
Quake 1's weapons are sufficiently lacking in finesse [no sniper rifles etc.] to get away with general blood spatter and changes in facial expression on the skins. Bullet holes would indeed be somewhat jarring though. 
Health Bar Crunch 
Is there anyway if incorporating a health bar as a gif in the HUD? Or, how about something like the flickering skull that appears in the upper corner when Quake is running s-l-o-w? The background could fill up slowly with blood as damage is dealt.

BTW, the Anubis-mummies in Hexen 2 would lose limbs and still cahse the player around. 
those would be engine modifications, sadly, and beyond the scope of what i would be willing to do. 
How about destroying a background environment as the boss dies (takes damage). So background cliffs would collapse the lower it's health got.

A similar idea, stolen right from Mario, is reducing the playable area the longer the fight goes on.

For Quake I always thought it'd be reducing the amount of cover. Tried it in warp for the end battle (compeltely different to what ended up) but the Vermis couldn't break stuff.

Back to the question at hand - I'm thinking something like the pack complete map of rapture, lava etc. but with the player pretty much shut in with the boss. Each time the boss reaches a health threshold a load of scenery collapses, until by the time they kill it the player is left looking at some impressive skybx and open area. Time for a cinematic cam? 
Not Quite A Boss Health Bar 
But in RQuake Team Coop, whenever you're fighting Shub or Chthon, the health remaining is centerprinted to all players. Maybe that could be done instead.

If you didn't want to display the actual numbers, then you could show a percentage, or even NetHack-style descriptions: "Shub Niggurath is barely scratched" etc... 
Is a bit invasive though. You know the final idea/plan for shub.

As to a classic boss being damaged visual / audio clues are always better I find.

Apart from in arcade.

A perfect Quake boss for me would vomit blood and limp whilst injured, or better yet, detroy the player's static defences. Pretty much what I was getting at above. 
a health bar at the top of the screen, or in the HUD, would seem to break immersion less than a bar over a bosses' head.

Or, taking inspiration from oldschool gaming... have the enemies get darker/more red as they take significant damage. Bosses change attack patterns and/or move faster when they get closer to death.

I've been having a resurgence of love for Super Metroid, and so I've been thinking about ways to incorporate that style of gameplay into Q1. That is to say, item-based non-linear progression. The multi-level hub system may remain out of reach, but I'm thinking about exploratory puzzle solving based on weapons you have. Like, door won't open unless you shoot explosives at it, or you have to shoot lightning down a tube to hit a switch. Too bad the environment suit can't be saved for later or made permanent (or can it? lol varia suit). 
A super-metroid style quake mod would be awesome. In a way that is what metroid prime is, but putting it on the PC so you can use WASD+mouse would be even cooler -- it would allow tougher combats, and more complicated secrets.

You could even split it into multiple levels with backtracking, since one of the cornerstones of the "metroidvania" genre is the respawning enemies. So no need to worry about saving level state (means your interactive objects like doors and bridges can't save state either, but remember: the point is to use weapons/items as gating factors, not doors and lifts.)

I guess you'd want SOME permanent changes across level loads, and you could use the serverflags variable to store them -- maybe 1 bit for each boss you want to stay dead, and then 1 bit for any other special one-time events or changes in the environment. 
Health Levels 
I always thought it would be nice to have something in the level which would give an indication of the health of the boss. Like if you had an array of statues overlooking the arena you fight in, and as you do damage to the boss, they shatter one by one. Or some kind of plinth that decends into lava as you do damage. Perhaps if the whole floor was to descend, it would add an additional challenge to the fight - sections become seperated by the lava as it falls.

The other advantage of that is that it's easy to accomplish in quake, where additions to the HUD are more difficult. I suppose the most important thing would be to make the connection explicit between the damage taken by the boss and the changing environment. Perhaps by making sure that the changes occur in delineated "steps", and that the boss goes into pain each time it happens. 
You know the final idea/plan for shub

Yeah. Lots of damage, and avoid everything that it shoots at you, while at the same time also trying to not die to everything else that's in her pit. Or fall into the lava. At least you respawn after you die... 
My Complicated Boss Battles 2c 
don't confuse quake with a puzzle game. It's not.

I, for example, have zero fun playing puzzle games. Everytime some random puzzle flash game comes along, it bores the fuck out of me. I don't want to figure out stuff the designer made up. Even games like Commando (1) feel the same: I just need to find out the exact sequence the designer made up to beat the game.

I never quite got the console boss fights, because in their stereotypical form they're just puzzles.

An example: had to refer to a walkthrough to find out how to kill the robots in bionic commando that are only vulnerable on their backs. I just couldn't figure it out. I tried any combination of weird fighting moves, tricking them into positions where I could use special moves, etc., but looking at their backs (or shooting at those) just didn't occur to me as plausible in the game world. Nothing else I had ever had to look behind before.

So be careful with them. Charon (?) had those quake buttons that you had already pressed dozens of during the game, and I'm not sure i ever completed shub before I know the secret. 
Saying Charon (who's a very good Q3 mapper) in place of Chthon tells me you're not as anal retentive to worry over these details. But at the same time you say you hate flash puzzle games is a bald faced lie. If you hated them, you wouldn't knew they existed.

Reamek Quake will never be a puzzle game. As much as I liked liked the metroid series, it'd never get to that state of bar battles either.

You fire enough rockets at the thing, it dies. I always like having weak points for the savvy (remember the shambler has, inverted) but health bars and so on aren't for me.

I try not to be an arsehole with RMQ's design, but there's still stuff that's been negotiated that I want to scrap over.

Fuck. Ignore this post. Fell off the wagon. 
A super-metroid style quake mod would be awesome. In a way that is what metroid prime is, but putting it on the PC so you can use WASD+mouse would be even cooler -- it would allow tougher combats, and more complicated secrets.

You could even split it into multiple levels with backtracking, since one of the cornerstones of the "metroidvania" genre is the respawning enemies. So no need to worry about saving level state (means your interactive objects like doors and bridges can't save state either, but remember: the point is to use weapons/items as gating factors, not doors and lifts.)

I guess you'd want SOME permanent changes across level loads, and you could use the serverflags variable to store them -- maybe 1 bit for each boss you want to stay dead, and then 1 bit for any other special one-time events or changes in the environment.

This sounds fucking awesome. You're making this, right? If it helps, I can bring you cups of tea and danish pastries while you work. Team player. 
Continued from

The map that is scheduled for the next RMQ demo has a pretty brutal multi-element trap at its core, as well as other gameplay novelties that are part of the environment. I didn't make any sketches, I just roughly knew where that trap would be and when I got there, I built that section around the trap. Same for the other, weirder element, which I can't disclose now :-P

I had this rough idea that an environmental hazard is in area X, while a certain form of movement is required through area Y, and some other obstacle might be in area Z. And I just built that while I did the blocking out. These things aren't actually hard to do if you're blocking out anyway. But I think a map should have 2 - 3 non-monster related / environmental challenges, some parts that require alternative forms of movement, plus a couple corners that are worth exploring. That should allow you to halve the monster count while keeping it interesting.

I hate to repeat it, but even without turning it into QuakeRaider, TR games are pretty good sources of inspiration when it comes to traps and non-monster challenges. Watch/hear this guy flip as he plays through the famous trap gauntlet in "The Great Wall":

It's just trap after trap after trap. You think you're through it, and then you turn around just to see another spiked wall come at you. You stop to calculate distance, but the floor starts crumbling. The secret pickup in the crushers is also a nice detail. This whole thing must have caused countless fatalities, without a single monster in there.

A collection of crusher based traps, and some moving blades/combination traps:

Most of the basic elements of these exist in Quake; they have to be built while laying out the level though. Of course Quakeguy is a lot less nimble than Lara; you can't duck, climb, balance, and whatever. hence the traps must be slightly dumbed down for Quake, but not much.

- Doors aka crushers

- small landing spots or thin columns

- nail shooters

- lava or other threat when falling

- rotating entities

- trigger_hurt

These can be combined to create more interesting traps. The basis of these TR style traps are usually crushers, danger of falling, having to land on small spots, and shooters. There are also the good old pendulum traps and rolling blades/boulders/whatever. I find these a bit boring, unless combined with shooters. That's because the player can just stand and wait for the right moment. However, by adding shooters, you can force them to think on their feet. If they stand and calculate for too long, their health gets spiked away. It helps if you can set the shooter's damage (easy to do if you use a custom progs).

Finally, you have breakaway floor with spikes underneath, or just lava. This can be done in Quake, too; there is a testmap in RMQ that does this. Naturally, you could just retract the floor like in e4m3. Best to combine this again with jumping through something that you have to time, because an added timing element makes the trap even more precarious than just taking away the floor. Most traps in Tomb Raider are combinations of something that requires timing (crushers, pendulum, blades) or skill (grappling, wallrunning), and something that reduces the time you have available (shooters, breaking floor, retracting ledge, application of physics). Make the way dangerous, and at the same time pull the floor away underneath them.

You can do these things in Quake, you just have to remember building them in the blocking out stage already. Although to a certain extent, you can use existing corridors as the base for a trap, like they say here:

Flak ogres / nail ogres, and other monsters, can be used in place of stationary nail shooters to make the whole thing less predictable and give the option to kill part of the trap to make it easier. It should be obvious that you can use monsters as part of traps or puzzles (like having to kill certain monsters to give you a chance at fighting others / pass a trap).

And so forth. These crusher based traps tend to work well (DOOM did that a lot, too), the crushers just need to be wide enough to counteract the Quakeguy's moving speed. Moving through a wide crusher takes longer than moving through a thin one, thus the crusher has a larger chance to hit. They can be staggered, of course, like in that first vid I posted above.

An element that can be nicely used against the player is that you can't stop immediately in Quake. There is still some movement after letting go of the keys. This makes it that much harder to land on a tiny spot without falling or sliding into the crusher...

It's pretty fun to design traps in Quake. 

Good point about traps in id1. Seems modern user-made maps are more difficult in general and have less traps.

My favourite trap of all time was the sequential nail shooter from Koohoo that fired in a circular spread until a few buttons were pressed.

All traps and puzzles in all games have a single goal - to make the player feel clever. That shooter from Koohoo made me feel clever because it was itself clever. Deactivating it wasn't, it just gave the time to figure out how it worked.

Simple but the quintessential Quake trap.

The most important thing about it was, I doubt anyone who played the map died from it, although every single one will have perceived it as being just as dangerous as the room with multiple Shambler spawns. 
Heh, I don't know func_ by heart exactly - old threads can be very hard to find. Shambler linked me here.

The idea is to make the trap at least as memorable as any monsters in the map, yeah.

And traps are just one option to break a map up a little, to give a different kind of challenge from the monster onslaught. 
creating a 'dazed' effect on the player by reducing 'sv_maxspeed', 'cl_yawspeed' and 'sensitivity' cvars...

or would that just be annoying? 
I Can See It Working 
for a very short amount of time. 10-15 seconds?

Or do you mean a permanent effect? 
If it corresponds to the map/gameplay, then it might work. If it's during a horde arena battle, then maybe not...

Same goes for a mangle'd teleporter. 
Can you make it feel like the player has lost his sense of balance and is leaning one way or the next, and the put that right before an area with giant machinery-type things that can squish the player? Might be really annoying, or really tense. 
In runequake there is a rune that gives you the ability to drug people and one of them makes the player's view shift all over, can't remember the command though and also sometimes the players view would be off centerd when the effects wear off.
Perhaps you can use the command for this? 
default 0, increased a little during intermissions. can go up to 100 (or more?) for some seriously nauseating effects! 
10-15 Seconds 
Is an incredibly long time, really.

Screwing with the players view is fun but tricky - if you get it wrong then people who suffer from motion sickness won't be able to play and lazy people won't want to. 
hahah wow, v_idlescale is insane at high levels.

anyway, i was only thinking maybe 3-4 seconds at the very most. v_idlescale might be fun to mess around with but i don't think i'd go over 20ish.

mostly the dazed effect is really just daze-- making the player feel sluggish. like when you get blasted by explosives in war fps games. 
Shambler Swipes... 
I was not aware of this feature... in FitzQuake it's more like walking on a boat in the open sea... I tried setting it at different value and indeed when it is higher than 20, it is almost impossible to play. I tried to play e1m1 with v_idlescale = 100... and I had to finish the game with the axe as it was impossible to shoot precisely...

It gives me an idea for my next project: black operation onto a boat in a open sea... (like Navy Seals intervention, or something equivalent).... hhhmmmmmm I have to investigate what could be done... 
I plan to use something like that to create a very short lived "drunk effect" in one of my maps.

Innocent Questions 
Did any Quake map to date make creative use of the following:

- Pushables (they're available since Scourge of Armagon)

- Physics (Gyro, ODE) (available for years)

- Rotating entities (not as simple doors or decoration, but as parts of the gameplay, be it as traps or as means to proceed through the map)

- Moving water (includes raising/lowering the water level, or using a current as a means of transport or a trap) (qc is available for years)


Why is this stuff available, but unused? It seems making the environment itself part of the gameplay has gone out of fashion? The three maps I played lately (Trinca's, Madfox', and neggers' unreleased) all rely on combat for over 90% of the gameplay.

Environmental stuff exists, why is it not being used?

Why is the environment not used to tell stories, either? All it does in most Quake maps is look cool.

As if there was a self imposed limit on creativity - "Quake needs no stories, and Quake is only about shooting." 
A lot of that is ... "extra stuff."

Pushables - I don't know how to make something pushable. I don't remember there being a func_pushable or somesuch.

Physics - had no idea, dunno what Gyro/ODE means.

Rotating entities - think one or two of necros' maps used these a lot. Negke's 768 map did as well (I think.) Probably others.

Moving water - had no idea water could move up and down. If it involves using qc, I don't want to futz with it. 
It does involve using qc. However, quite a few maps used their own progs.dat, like Marcher for example, and madfox' latest. Rotating entities are in Hipnotic and Quoth, pushables are in Hipnotic and Nehahra, moving water is in extras. All of those supply a progs.dat that's ready to be used I believe.

gyro is a set of qc files for Quake, allowing you to add physics to an object. It is very much plug and play. ODE is an open source physics engine, which for example darkplaces, and I believe FTE, have support for and is apparently very easy to use.

Rotation - I was looking for rotation directly as part of the gameplay, for example as a means of progression (like hopping from one moving gear to the next in a sort of clockwork etc). 
No Offense 
To mappers who don't use all the wonderful stuff that's lying around, but the reason is that monsters are easier.

Traps tend to get underused as well, even 'tricky' terrain, just because you have to test it a lot before it works right.

I remember that zigzag walkway in ProdigyXL that was over a slime pit - very simple, but effective. 
Source Of Power 
@gb ...

Has a story line to some degree. One of my favorite maps ...

In particular, it has an opening demo to tell it ...

Obviously the following Quake maps have a story line of some semblance:

1. Hell In A Can

2. Starship 1/2

3. ... I forgot the 3rd one. 
3rd One Was ... 
I remember that zigzag walkway in ProdigySE that was over a slime pit - very simple, but effective.

i think prodigyxl might take exception to people walking on him, especially over a slime pit :d 
Why is the environment not used to tell stories, either? All it does in most Quake maps is look cool

i'm not sure i follow, can you give an example of an environment being used to tell a story? 
What I mean is "forensic detail", like that doom3 level where "suffering" etc are scrawled on the wall in blood, or simply dead/injured marines, barricades made from crates, burning ruins, Quake 2 scenes where pods crashed through the roof, open books on tables or scattered on the floor, anything that gives the impression that some event occurred in the environment, or is still occurring. Malfunctioning doors, SOS messages that no one answers, bloody altars with gibs on them, machines with their parts scattered around (or simply running machines), parts of buildings damaged or collapsed as if an attack happened (or they rotted away), furniture and pottery giving the effect of some sort of life going on in the level that exists by itself, independent of the player.

Sure shamblers probably have no furniture, but grunts/enforcers might, dogs might have cages or kennels, prisoners might be held in cells, and ogres or knights might use stuff or have places where they live, camp, torture, cook, or whatever else it is they do. There is an ogre cook, after all (in Nehahra).

Some forklifts or jeeps in some garage go a long way to suggesting that the place normally has a life. You'd have to find equivalent things for the Netherworld, etc. Like the unholy altars. That can't be all, though. 
suggestions noted. it does seem easier to convey in modern/realistic settings, for sure.. maybe less so in your typical quakey blocky medieval/runic map

i think that's one thing much of quake was characterised by though; the mystery of why everything is just *there*, seemingly not functioning or having any real purpose other than providing a gauntlet to run the player through. that said i do think little details like altars can compliment that effect, providing there is still an air of mystery as to why they are there... 
The Last 22 Posts. 
Good and inspiring stuff. I like all these ideas in different ways. Kinda proves the potential is there! 
Just Refound Notes 
~Mario/Wario/Zelda inspired monster ideas

Monsters don't go after the player but stay in their area. Some might not even have attacks but they just block the player's progression.

Monster with a shield/forcefield in front of it that damages the player if touched. So it is only attackable from behind. Basic monster in many games.

Monster with a rotating armor of some kind that has a hole in just one place (maybe 1/8 of the circumference). The player can only damage the monster by shooting through that hole (or from above?).

I also wrote "spawn creeps around and explodes" but I have no idea what that was supposed to mean.

Another piece of paper I can throw away. :-)

Also I think some faked multi-part monster could work amazing as either level decoration or boss fight. Think tentacles reaching out of holes, a scrag swarm moving in a bird-like rollercoaster path (like the Boss dragon but sucking less) or someone carefully spawning monsters or throwing things at you (not in an open space like the usual "range-attack monster on top of pillar").

Generally Quake could use some stationary monsters. If you place then interestingly and keep in mind what weapons and how much ammo is around, they would not suck. 
Refound Is Not A Word And 
monster spawning monsters is not what I actually meant. Oops. 
kamikaze spawns, from behind? 
A Vore That Spawns Vorelings Perhaps? 
A Vore Queen!!! Wheres Kell.....
Also I think some faked multi-part monster could work amazing as either level decoration or boss fight.

i'd love to see a huge monster like this. ironically, there was a really cool boss in WoW called c'thun. it was huge and you only fought bits and pieces of it at a time and it could even swallow you temporarily so that you could damage it while you were in it's stomach. 
Tarbaby Hive 
Some time ago I played an unreleased Q1SP episode by Kaiser. One of the WIP monsters was a huge blob that spat tarbabies at the player. When killed, it exploded into more tarbabies. It think they were toned down versions, though.

Or imagine a swarm of mini-tarbabies that don't do much damage when they explode individually - firecracker-style. But if they cornered you, boom. 
The mini-tarbaby thing is cool. Shame models can't be scaled...

I can imagine miniature ones combining by touching during their random bouncing to become the regular size, then, later, larger ones that are heavier (slower) but make a louder boom.

Or maybe has to be broken by damage into smaller ones, that then go boom.

Tarbaby boss?

-> Shoggoth 
That posting had some eerie QMD-feel to it. 
Something Like 
i like the idea of small bits being able to combine into a fullsized one. it would be cool to combine the two ideas into one.

fullsized tarbaby that breaks into maybe 3 or 4 pieces. if you don't kill the small ones, they recombine into a fullsized tarbaby again.

you could add something like lightning damage would disperse it by fully vaporizing it without any pieces or something.

if you wanted to go further, you could make it immune to shotgun and nail damage (would need to communicate this somehow like zombies) and only rockets can break it. (the small ones would be killable by normal means). 
Oh Damn 
Necros I was going to suggest something like lightning stunning it, during which time you could safely kill it without it exploding or something like that. Stop stealing my ideas you warlock >:( 
something like lightning stunning it, during which time you could safely kill it without it exploding or something
ohh i also like this! players who are good shots could just ignore this mechanic and blow them away quickly, but others could opt at stunning them so they can destroy them at their leisure.

TOTALLY what i was thinking of too. i love that scene near the end where those little globules are skittering across the floor into a heap that keeps growing ominously. 
SleepwalkR - Just Warming Up. 
Stunning Tbabies / daddies - wobble on the spot animation + sparks?

I don't think it'd work too well for the LG though, since that's a constant high damage weapon. Maybe if it were only whilst 'held' by the electricity and another coop player blasted it then.

Completely different game though.

In a boss context it could be a type of trap - activating a current that runs through metal plates placed in the level, the player having to lure it onto them. Maybe even make the biggest version immune to normal damage, rockets, nails and so on just bouncing off.

Making it a regular monster feature would mean making it spawnflag enabled, so all maps with tarbabies wouldn't automatically start creating minibosses. 
i think that was more along the lines of 'stop jumping around, you mother fucker', but that could just be me. ^_^; 
I was thinking that for the bigger versions - the bigger they get, the heavier they are, so can't go flubbering around the place.

I'm also thinking of Voreling style hanging spawn, maybe a wall version as well, Aliens style. 
Hanging Spawn 
Yeah. It could hang on the ceiling and when the player gets near, 'drips' down (upside-down jump animation) like some sort of demolition ball and explodes when he touches it. 
I Was Thinking 
just to confuse the player - the pause before it starts leaping will be less predictable if they're stuck all over the place.

On the other hand, having them lie in wait and then drop on the player's head could be fun as well, nice living trap behaviour. 
I'm Reminded 
of the slime monster from Duke3d that would attach to your face and you'd have to shoot them off (or kick them off? I don't remember if you could do that or not.) 
Which Is A Better Skill Progression? 
let's say a boss fight has two methods to defeat it. the gimmick way and the shoot it dead way. the gimmick way is not immediately obvious and must be discovered. (like telefragging shub)

so, for this example, let's imagine if it was possible to defeat shub by either shooting her or telefragging her.

easy skill: it is easy to telefrag shub but shooting her is more difficult. shooting her might be considered one skill level higher.
hard skill: it is easy to telefrag shub and shooting her is very difficult, bordering on impossible.

in both scenarios, the fight is designed to be defeated via the gimmick but the penalty for not using the gimmick is worse in harder difficulties.

should the penalty for not using the gimmick then always be death so as to not fool the player into thinking they don't need to use a gimmick? or is it better to offer this choice in lower difficulties?

or perhaps makes the gimmick the scaling value instead of the shooting option?


easy: telefragging shub is simple but shooting her is very difficult.
hard: telefragging shub is difficult, and shooting her is the same difficulty as it was on easy (very difficult)

..and my batteries are running out so i'll just post this. :P 
Scaling sounds right. Easy: telefragging Shub is 'simple', shooting her is more diffcult. Hard: telefragging her is hard, shooting her is much more difficult.

Of course it depends on other factors as well. Like the environment and if/how the boss fights back.

I tried the scaling model in my coag3 tower fights. The monsters are intended to be killed through special tricks/gimmicks, but shooting them is also possible (at the cost of a large amount of ammo). It wasn't done in a very sophisticated way, however, in terms of balancing - still they do take more damage on harder skills - and properly getting the player to realize how to gimmickill them to begin with. 
Personally I wouldn't split it. Just give the player the single path to victory with a boss fight. It must be assumed that a boss fight is going to test the player on what they already know, but with the difficulty cranked up.

In this respect, I'd say the original id1 bosses are somewhat broken since they both require a trick.

If you allow a trick then it must be very clear what it produces. Either it kills the boss dead (and is the only way to kill it) or does massive damage saving the player some time plugging away conventionally.

The worst case scenario of having a trick that kills it or being allowed to plug away for ages is that a player might do the second one for what seems like ages, then accidentally come across the trick and feel cheated for wasting all that time shooting at the thing.

Time is the most important resource of the player and they get pissed if they feel like its been stolen. Same could be said of intricate labyrinths without any guiding factor pointing to the exit, or a seemingly unfair save system. 
Quake is first and foremost a shooter, so the reason I play and enjoy it is for the combat. A little exploration can be interesting, but it is ultimately about shooting things.

I half raised this in a different thread iirc. I think Quake�s core mechanics are better than Doom. Firstly it is less random. A Shambler will always hit you for the same amount. A Revenant missile can be anything from a light glance to most of your health. Quake�s monsters are also far more mobile, which makes them more interesting to fight individually, and Quake�s melee monsters are far more dangerous (even the Knight is more dangerous than a Demon because he has more range and can attack whilst moving). So this whining comes with a caveat. Whatever extras I say Doom has that Quake doesn�t, I still prefer Quake�s fundamentals.

Anyway, I think Quake has an issue with variety when compared to Doom. I�ve played a lot of Doom and a lot of mega wads (wads with a full 32 levels, usually community efforts) and such, and it did lead me to a few conclusions when I came back to playing Quake.

Quake�s downside is that it can�t stretch to as many combat forms as Doom:
> Quake doesn�t have the tech to include huge monster counts, so even if you did add a BFG style super weapon, you still couldn�t make proper zerg style game-play.
> It also doesn�t have a substantial standard weapon upgrade like the Doom Super shotgun, which instantly upgrades your ability to take on tougher monsters and thus allows the general count and toughness to increase together.
> The berserk power up and chainsaw mean that low ammunition or even purely melee based levels can really work in Doom. Putting together a level like this in Quake you quickly realise that it was a real step back in that regard. The fact that the axe has no decent hit sound when you hack at monsters is very off putting on its own, and the basic Quake shotgun isn�t exactly meaty in audio either.
> The fact that the most played Doom extras are community episodes means that levels have to feel like they are progressing in complexity and size. I think a lot of Doom wads go overboard with this, leading to the last ten levels all being huge and pretty dull. But downloading Quake maps it feels like 90% just have to leave you with a basic shotgun and maybe a nailgun or something for half the map, often leaving anything more powerful until right at the end.

I�d like to add that I think Quoth is great as it adds some great monsters in the area Quake is lacking (ie a sort of mid to high range). Mainly the Death Guard and Drole. So despite my general dislike of weapon mods, that�s what I�d like to see added to Quake. Not gimmick weapons, that weapons that expand the forms of combat you can create.

I think if you were looking into adding more than just expanding combat, you'd be looking at adding Heretic or Hexen style features like Inventory items and such. You'd also probably want a Use key :p

TL:DR -> add a new set of weapons and work on engine modding to support larger monster counts and expand the variety of combat available. 
What do you consider gimmicky weapons? I love it when some game company comes up with a 'new' weapon that behaves in a way I never thought of, or that allows me to do things I can't do in most other shooters. Bulletstorm is a good example of this, the weapons are a big part of why I'm excited for that game. 
You bring up some good points. What I like better about DOOM is that the overall speed is higher. In Quake, it takes NINE shotgun hits to kill an ogre, and still 4 to kill an enforcer. That's outrageous.

Quake is also very snipey because of the shotgun. You can snipe a Vore dead by wanking corners with the shotgun, while in DOOM, you'd blast said shotgun into the monster's face and move on. I prefer the latter.

Quake's weapons suck. The shotgun is boring, but effective, which makes you run around with a boring weapon a lot of the time. Often, the double barrel shotgun is given right at the start to make things more exciting. That's a band aid which doesn't solve the underlying problem. The axe sucks. The shotgun sucks. The nailgun sucks. Deathmatch is about grabbing the rocket launcher first. Why even have all those weapons?

The individual monster designs are more interesting in DOOM IMO. I'm not saying they work better, but things like the Archvile and Revenant are just pretty crazy. Far-out stuff. The monster lineup is bigger in DOOM / DOOM II, which makes for more variety. Also, Quake has no imp. DOOM's imp is a perfect low-level all-round cannon-fodder monster design; little hitpoints, melee attack, hurls fireballs, can be used in hordes, fits everywhere in the game. It's a great monster, much like a cannon-fodder version of Quake's hellknight. And the combination "imp + shotgun" is superb. Imp + shotgun made DOOM, and it beats anything Quake has to offer.

Quake is missing a lower-tier all-purpose melee/distance monster. Why they didn't give the Grunt a melee attack is a mystery to me. Then again, grunts don't have the general usefulness of the imp. Imps fit everywhere, the same can't be said of grunts. Plus, grunts don't die in one shot.

The pinky is almost as good a monster design as the imp; it's still relatively low HP, ubiquitous, and when I first played DOOM, pinkies were even scary because of their attack. The Spectre variety is genius.

Lost Souls clearly leave the Scrag in the dust, although the scrag is a nice monster (one of my favourite Quake monsters). DOOM has two other fliers though: the Cacodemon and the Pain Elemental. I'd say DOOM's air force outclasses Quake's.

I agree that some individual Quake monsters might be more interesting to fight, though. The fiend is the prime example. Ogres, vores, and shamblers are also fun. Hellknights are similar to imps, but have a lot more HP which can be both good and bad. The knight tries to be a pinky.

Quake doesn�t have the tech to include huge monster counts

This is incorrect. You can have 100 knights or 20 fiends coming at the player pretty easily. Especially with halfway modern graphics hardware and current engines.

I mostly agree with the rest. 
�This is incorrect. You can have 100 knights or 20 fiends coming at the player pretty easily. Especially with halfway modern graphics hardware and current engines. �

Well, I generally use Fitzquake, and I�m using a machine that can just about handle UT3 or crysis with everything turned down, and it easily chokes when you�re over a few dozen enemies. I�ve tried out fights with 40 odd death guards, and that fight is on the limit of playable. And this was just in a box, no detailing at all. 100 Knights might work, but Knights and Fiends are only melee. As soon as you add something with projectiles it quickly becomes unplayable. In a fast action game dropping a few frames is often more than enough to make it pretty frustrating to play, especially if you�re trying to make it challenging too :) Certainly something like Warp Spasm is to me pretty much unplayable toward the end as it�s just too big with too many monsters.
And example of what I have in mind:

The super shotgun in Quake certainly lacks oomph. But remember the Doom SSG is very slow firing, and still takes two shots for a Revenant, three for Arachnotrons, four for a Mancubus or Archvile. So the number of shots isn't too much of an issue to me as it delivers them quickly. I would rather have Doom's shotguns, but it would need an upgraded chaingun to go with it I feel, the chaingun is really boring to use after you get the SSG :E

�What do you consider gimmicky weapons?�

Well, examples would be proximity/trip mines (in both SP and MP), Spammy �excessive� mode stuff like cluster rockets or what have you, and the ever popular �Bouncing shots!� :)

At the end of the day I think there is a reason why not many more weapon types have really been added to shooters. The first very generations of shooters pretty much covered all the bases as far as functionality goes. You have to start thinking really hard to come up with something that would genuinely add much to gameplay, rather than just having some extra effect for the sake of having an extra effect. Proximity mines wouldn�t add much to Quake. A BFG style weapon probably would.
Imo :p 
That map is rather extreme. You're right, something like that might choke Quake. I was thinking of slightly more normal maps than that :-P

Although Tronyn's latest maps contained a fuckload of monsters, including things that shoot projectiles, at the same time. And running those maps wasn't the problem, surviving them was. :-P 
I agree with your comment about the Imp by the way gb. Quake has no light ranged attack beastie to fit into its medieval/hell areas.
Crossbow knights could work, but personally I'd go for some kind of modified Ogre type enemy. Deformed human.

Demons > Medieval stuff. Demons can be put anywhere and work. Knight is essentially the same as the Pinkie demon, but you can't put knights in base levels without people complaining!

Toss to a mod remake of Duke 3D, someone should do a current gen remake Doom II...I don't trust iD to do much good with Doom 4. Expecting them to just miss the point as with Doom 3 :( 
Crossbow knights are promising. Need a lot of tweakage though, and should ideally switch to the sword when in melee range, like the hellknight does.

A crossbow in melee doesn't make much sense, if you're wearing a huge ass sword.

The base variety of this would be a grunt that switches to axe for melee.

Both of those are harder to kill than imps, though. At least with vanilla Quake weapons. 
I Can See This A Bit Clearer Now 
I think the weaponswitch would have to be around about as fast as the player's. 
and should ideally switch to the sword when in melee range, like the hellknight does.

I think the weaponswitch would have to be around about as fast as the player's.

I suggested exactly this for our Crossbow Knights, guys, months ago :( 
I think it was one of those things that have floated around for a long time (I suggested that as well) but needed time to settle.

ijed: Yeah. 
I Know, Sorry 
...but I didn't get the why. 
How Can You Make Bosses Harder In Coop Mode? 
first, let's look at what makes bosses easier in coop mode.

1. There's that aggro juggling aspect present in standard quake progs where a monster will only attack it's last attacker, so two or more players firing at the same monster basically makes it freeze in place.

This kind of thing is easily fixed by implementing a basic timer that enforces a wait before shifting to another player.
You can get fancy and calculate the relative damage rates of each player or factor in visibility of the current player vs visibility other others, distance, % of time spent visible or whether the player is in front of the monster or not. probably even other things i never thought of.

2. Focus fire creating huge amounts of incoming DPS (damage per second). If all players are equipped with the SNG (a reasonable assumption considering they are fighting a boss), each player is pumping out 180DPS. With two players, that's 360DPS (more than a single player with the LG).
With four players, that's 720DPS. Imagine, if you will, a shambler with a measly 600HP. It would take less than a second to drop dead.
Bosses who are shootable will survive for extremely short amounts of time in coop.

This one is more difficult to solve.
In WoW (and i guess all mmos), this problem is solved by giving bosses ridiculous amounts of HP. Where players would have about 25-30k HP, boss HP numbered in the millions.
This, obviously, only works because those bosses are not designed to be killed by a single person.
In quake, this is not an option as we need to have a boss that is killable alone or with friends.

So... what options do we have to somehow increase a boss' uptime without making it a chore and bore to kill alone? 
One option to reduce the effects of focus fire is to artificially gate the encounter.

Chthon is one such. He is killed by a gimmick and the gimmick (electrodes) require a certain amount of time before they can be used again.

This is effective in making the boss have more uptime but at the expense of not rewarding players for playing in coop.

This does bring up a point in that players playing in coop mode are expecting... not a reward, exactly, but some kind of compensation for taking the time to play in a team, as opposed to just loading the map up alone.

A certain amount of quicker killing is then probably expected. 
In WoW (and i guess all mmos), this problem is solved by giving bosses ridiculous amounts of HP. Where players would have about 25-30k HP, boss HP numbered in the millions.
This, obviously, only works because those bosses are not designed to be killed by a single person.
In quake, this is not an option as we need to have a boss that is killable alone or with friends.

if (!teamplay) = 3000;
else = 6000; 
It seems to me that a reasonably 'boss-like' mechanism to make co-op damage less of a problem is to make the boss invulnerable for some or even most of the fight - with periods of vulnerability where the players can team up to do the required amount of damage to move to the next boss phase.

The periods when the boss is invulnerable are then mostly about staying alive against his more dangerous attacks. If the boss is also less dangerous during the times when he's vulnerable, then the increased damage rate would have the effect of intensifying the battle. You'd spend more time (relatively) fighting him in the dangerous passages than in the safer ones where you can harm him.

This still doesn't fix all the problems though, an extra player will still be a resource. Unless you do some kind of sniffing for coop players, the fight will be always be easier with two. 
One aspect of quake juggling is it's trivial to do, since any amount of damage will switch the boss's aggro. In a game like WoW the bosses have more complicated aggro rules and so juggling actually becomes a tactic which requires some attention. And usually the bosses (and player classes) are set up so that you really need to manage aggro.

Of course you want a boss that is still beatable in single player, so you can't create something that requires two players to survive.

One thing you could do is scale up his attacks instead of his health. So if you had three players, chthon could launch three missiles with a single swipe, and each missile would aim specifically towards one of the players. So effectively all players have the same frequency of missiles to dodge as if they were playing SP. 
chthon could launch three missiles with a single swipe, and each missile would aim specifically towards one of the players.

yes, this is more along the lines of thought that i was hoping to go for.
simply increasing health is a boring way to make a boss last longer.
otoh, this still doesn't really address the focus fire problem, because players are still capable of firing while dodging. unless this is some kind of overpowering attack that you have to hide completely from, like a doom bfg ball or something.

make the boss invulnerable for some or even most of the fight - with periods of vulnerability where the players can team up to do the required amount of damage to move to the next boss phase.

this would work, but making the boss completely invulnerable feels kind of heavy handed, especially if it only does this during coop play.

ideally, you'd want a mechanic that is the same in both sp and mp and yet somehow slows players down more in mp. 
Hit The Wrong Button. :P 
one thing that jumps out is a health leeching attack that hits everyone in a radius+LOS.

the more players present, the more healing it would receive. 
this would work, but making the boss completely invulnerable feels kind of heavy handed, especially if it only does this during coop play.

I totally imagined that this would apply to single player as well. It's a classic arcade boss set-up where you have to spend most of the time forcing the boss to expose its Achilles' Heel, then take advantage by doing some damage, before repeating until the fight is of the desired length.

An example which can be found in a fps and so relates well to quake is the end boss in Half Life: Opposing Force. The weak point is inside the creature's stomach. However, to get it exposed, you have to use mounted guns to blind it temporarily - and to reach the guns you have to use the grappling hook the game has trained you on. Once you hit both eyes the stomach opens and you can pop at it with whatever powerful weapons you have. After a short time the monster resets to being able to see with a closed stomach, and spawns a monster for you to fight while you start the sequence again.

The difficulty ramped up a little bit midway through the fight, as parts of the level collapsed, making it harder to get to the mounted guns safely. It was a nice touch, but it's a shame it couldn't have been explored a bit more. It also didn't communicate the need to shoot the stomach very well, I think I needed to look that part up after having shot the eyes successfully 5 times without making progress. 
Random Suggestion 
There is an old chestnut of a setup where a big bad monster is only vulnerable to their own attacks turned against them. This would certainly deal with the problem of coop focus-fire, but would it leave each player with too little to do?

Maybe if the boss's attacks are e.g. sometimes homing projectiles and sometimes bursts of direct fire attacks you'd be set. Everyone would be at risk and occupied by the latter, plus whoever has a homing attack target them has to try and turn it back on the big bad. 
ah ok, i see what you were going for. 
One Mechanic 
I like a lot is when enemies or bosses leave attacks on the floor, temporarily closing down the playfield. This could be combined with a directional weakpoint (say 25 degrees to the front) to make the boss playable in both SP and coop.

Delay timed scatter attacks aka airstrikes and area attacks work well as also since they don't necessarily aim at anyone.

My ideal is to change the mechanics as little as possible depending on the game mode - so more health or COOP only mechanics (Cthon with an extra button) are things I'd try and avoid. 
temporarily closing down the playfield

yeah, i like this too.

it's a mechanic that shows up often in WoW. ironically, it's usually regarded as the easiest mechanic in WoW.
still, it works very well in fast paced quake combat. 
Like cheap? I'm not a WOW player so don't know how it works very well.

To be honest I've seen it best used in the recent crop of 3D mario games - back to the arcade but with the third dimension allowing skillful players to avoid it.

I'm looking into atm for some Quake stuff, hopefully it'll work out well, but as always making pools of stuff as opposed to a map tat adapts to the boss (eg. sinking brushes) can be expensive in time (to do) and resources (to use). 
as in simple to do. there's a glowy thing on the floor, don't walk into it.

probably why it works well in quake. it's visually obvious with a straight forward penalty.

there's a few other mechanics i haven't tried yet like requiring the player to defeat 2 monsters at the same time, or they resurrect. or the opposite, 50% damage is transferred to another monster in a pair so they both die at once. 
Are you talking about more of a modified boss already in quake/quoth or like a ground-up boss? 
So It's Overused Then? 
And yeah, that should be good for Quake - most obvious being lava, which tells the player right away - don't touch it.

Reminds me of the trog ball attack - which would pull the player to its centre before fragging them. It was actually fairly easy to escape from, but the effect made any player pretty much kark it with panic, trying to get free.

For the clones - got another one that (when finished) will spawn mirror images of itself at reduced health an without all of its abilities. Not quite the same idea but thought I'd throw it out there. 
Or a powerful homing attack (e.g. Chthon ball) that requires the player it's aimed at to run/dodge and the others to shoot the missile in order to save their mate and be able to proceed the attack. 
neg: interesting, but i don't know how you could get it to work in both SP and MP.

if you provide an out in SP to avoid the chthon ball, other players in MP will just let you use the SP out. you'd have to specifically disallow the SP out in MP and then you've got a mechanic that behaves different, which is ok, but not great. :( 
I meant it more as an attack the boss uses only in coop mode. If that's possible.. 
oh yeah, the coding side of it is quite simple. you just check if a var 'coop' is set to 1.

mechanics that are different in sp and mp are ok, i guess. in WoW, you can opt to run a dungeon in a 'heroic mode' and bosses and mobs are significantly harder with different abilities. a fair comparison if you were doing alternate mechanics for q1sp/q1coop.

for me, that's more of a plan b. ideally, the mechanic should somehow scale with the players on it's own without requiring alternate abilities.

the key then, i would say, is focusing on the players and not the monster's attacks. or at the very least, giving it an attack like a chain lightning that is technically active in SP mode, but you would just never see it unless a monster was nearby. and then that might even be a viable strategy to take out extra monsters. 
just was thinking of this...

it might be interesting to give the player access to an infinite supply of quads and pents.

then have the boss have the ability to 'steal' the powerup off you and use it himself.

would be an interesting risk/reward where grabbing a quad would let you take him down real quickly, but at the risk of being on shotted.

pent would be more annoying though... it would just take longer to kill. 
That Was Done one of Tronyn's episodes I think...

You had to grab the pwoerups before the boss or he took you to pieces. 
no, the boss has the ability to absorb the powerup off of you. you would have the option to not pick up the item and take him out the long way, or risk picking it up and then have him absorb it a little later and one shot you.

of course, if you were amazing at dodging whatever attacks it had, then you'd be home free. 
If the boss had a homing attack, launched an attack at each player simultaneously and each hiding spaces was only big enough for one player, that would at least make things more stressful with more players? Might work? 
That's interesting. Maybe allow multiple quads - each one affects you both, so if you're very fast you can pick up all 6 (?) and one shot the boss - but one hit from him and you're splattered as well. 
might be cool, but i wouldn't want to change how the quad damage functions.

maybe make a new powerup that can have a cumulative effect and use that instead. 
i kind of like that. the thought of all those players scrambling for the same cover makes me smile. :P~~ 
I Wonder... 
what it would be like if a boss was balanced around it fighting another monster (or monsters) while it fought you?

say you made a gimmick monster like the one i talked about where you have to kill both at once or they return to full health. or even an anti-boss monster that has special abilities solely for fighting the boss.

a special aggro system would need to be written for the boss to handle this type of combat of course, and the 'helping' monsters would need a special ai as well, so they would go back to attacking the boss after being attacked by the player (so that one missed shot wouldn't mess up the whole thing).

then you could either weaken or remove the monster in coop without affecting the boss itself. if the helping monster was accomplishing a role, it would let you know what other players need to do in coop when it is not present. 
I'm 'working' on my own progs, and was thinking about implementing something like threat from WoW for coop. It obviously wouldn't be as complex (it's not complex to begin with, but I can't think of another adjective) as threat in WoW. Any thoughts? 
What A Coincidence 
that idea was already being discussed. I should have read before posting. 
i've done this for an unreleased coop mod.

it didn't function exactly like WoW's threat, mostly in that it wasn't cumulative.

in WoW, threat is a number that always goes up.
in quake, this doesn't make much sense because multiple players aren't going to engage a monster all at once, one may start and another player may join in later.

so you need a system that will allow for random players jumping in, yet it can't be too finicky such that a player can fire just one shotgun blast and pull aggro off another player who's been firing nails for the last 6 seconds.

what i ended up doing was having threat decay over time based on a few factors such as distance to the player, time since the monster was last able to attack and visibility of the player.
monsters with melee had special modifiers for melee range so that if you walked near a melee monster who was fighting another player at range, he would change to you. 
I've played with this sort of thing but haven't yet arrived at an adequate 'anger' meter for monsters. I was trying to use it for scaling attacks and combining too few variables.

Health (being low on), attacks received recently and skill level. This could be applied to each player, or even all potential targets to define not only the attack used and its relative strength, but who to attack.

Means rewriting a large part of ai.qc though.

I can imagine a finished version allowing the coder (or mapper in the case of our NPC's) a personality profile that would control its fighting style.

Probably overkill, but it would allow for more complex behaviours, like retreating. 
I was thinking of doing this: if the player gets within a certain viewing distance, the monster gets aggro'd by the player. That would give the player some threat, lets say +1, with the player starting with 0. Then if the player starts attacking the player, add some more threat, +x. If the player doesn't attack, and runs away, the monster does what they do now, and if they can't catch the player, they go 'home' and reset threat to 0.

If you have multiple monsters, they can pull each other, attacking whoever has the most threat. I'll think this over more tomorrow. 
i came to the conclusion that it's really not necessary.

first of all, most monsters never live long enough for threat to matter.

second, since there are no classes (and thus, no tanks vs dps) there's really no need to worry about who is being attacked.

the only important thing is to create an intelligent system to prevent ping ponging monsters when being attacked by more than 1 player.

after that, a simple secondary targetting system to spice things up every once in a while is all that's needed.

the only place where i'd see a true aggro system being worth it is for a boss fight. in that case, you should be designing the boss around the aggro system, and not the other way around. 
I forgot to mention that I was mainly thinking about bosses when I wrote my previous post. I know I said 'monster' a lot, but I was thinking of bosses. 
Long Post On Quake Shotguns. 
i wanted to mention because there was some talk a while ago regarding quake's shotguns and how they suck.

there's a pretty serious bug with all shotgun type attacks involving the method id uses to combine all the individual pellet damage calls into one big call.

in case you're wondering, this is what id did: (heh)

when a shotgun is fired, a loop runs where it traces each shotgun pellet.
however, instead of dealing damage each time in the loop, the progs starts up a counter (which is always reset when a new shotgun shot is fired).
each time it compares the target it hit last time with the new one. if the target is the same, then it just adds the damage to the counter and moves on. if it hit a different target (your shotgun blast hit two targets), then it dumps the current damage into the old target and starts a new count with the new target.
this keeps going until all pellets are accounted for.
note that, because shotgun spread is random, it's actually possible for pellets to hit two targets in such a way that each pellet is forced to dump damage individually anyway.

anyway, the bug is that there is no check to see if the current target is going to die from the next pellet.
what this means in game is that, if there are two grunts, one in the back at full HP and one in front of that one with 1 HP, even if you blast the nearly dead grunt with the SSG, all the pellets will hit that grunt and none at all will hit the grunt behind it.

this has the effect of giving the SSG the ability to gib enemies, but at the same time, seriously nerfs the damage that it can cause.

in doom, you can line up 3 or even 4 zombies and take them ALL out with a single SSG shot. in quake, you can even take out 2. :(

so yeah, while the quake SSG *is* indeed weak, this bug further gimps the weapon by not allowing pellets to pass through dead targets.

this is also why mods that have included more powerful shotguns still feel weak. even if you made a 20barrel shotgun, a single monster with 1 HP would stop all pellets.
note that the riot controller from zerstorer sort of got around this problem by delivering two separate shots.

the fix is actually really easy, and it bothers me that id didn't notice it. it does require creating a new helper get function.

here's the original code:

void(entity hit, float damage) AddMultiDamage =
if (!hit)

if (hit != multi_ent)
ApplyMultiDamage ();
multi_damage = damage;
multi_ent = hit;
multi_damage = multi_damage + damage;

note the last else statement. this is what we need to change.
first we need to make a new function to find the effective health of a target:

float(entity e) getEffectiveHealth =
return + (e.armortype * e.armorvalue);

this function takes into account any armor the target has and translates that into health.

now, we change the last else statement from this:
multi_damage = multi_damage + damage;

to this:

multi_damage = multi_damage + damage;

if (multi_damage > getEffectiveHealth(multi_ent)) //this hit would kill the current multi_ent. apply the damage now and start a new count.
ApplyMultiDamage ();
multi_damage = 0; //reset accumulation count.
multi_ent = world;

now, instead of just continuing to add damage to the multi_damage counter, first is checks if the current damage pool + the incoming damage would kill the target, if true, then it goes ahead and does the damage and then resets the counter and the entity container so the next time addMultiDamage is called, it will start a new tally. note that this does mean it will cause a dummy ApplyMultiDamage with 0 damage on the world, but there's a check in T_Damage that will stop that call right away before it causes any trouble.

the only unfortunate side effect is that you don't sometimes gib low health targets. but the plus is that the SSG is now a little more effective.
note: quadded SSG shots still do gib zombies. 
This could be real improvement to add this code part ! Let's think about put this in Quoth 3 ;) 
Nicely Thought Out 
Our SSG is more Q2 in style (slower firing, heavier damage, wider spread), but that bug got past us as well.

Railgun style shotguns were considered, but abandoned.

Seems like we missed an important piece of the puzzle. 
> in doom, you can line up 3 or even 4 zombies and take them ALL out with a single SSG shot.

That is just overpowered, IMO. The result is that you'll rarely use another weapon anymore.

Regarding the 'bug', hmm, needs some testing I guess. 
But when this is done well it makes the weapon very satisfying to use.

The shotgun in L4D1 for example was great, the power being offset by its slow reloading.

Shame they consoled all the weapons for L4D2. 
Missing Something 
This was brought to my attention today; however, the more I look at the code, the more I'm sure that it doesn't do what you want it to do.

The mess that is the shotgun code originally does this: For each pellet in turn, if the pellet didn't hit the same thing as the previous pellet, the previous thing hit gets all of its damage applied to it now.

This ensures that all of the damage goes to the right victims, but often in small chunks instead of a larger chunk. Which means that enemies that should (in theory) gib sometimes won't.

This can be demonstrated by lining up a quad SSG shot at 2 zombies standing right next to each other, and aiming directly between them. 38% of the time, neither will gib. (It needs 4 pellets in a row landing on the same target, to do the 60 damage needed to gib).

Assuming no changes elsewhere to the code, all your code will do is apply the damage needed to kill before processing the other pellets. Which will prevent that monster from accumulating enough damage to be gibbed, as the check to gib only happens when the monster takes lethal damage (and after that, Killed(), which calls .th_die sets .takedamage to DAMAGE_NO). Meaning that they won't gib unless the damage from that pellet is enough to take them below gib health.

What it won't do, is prevent all future pellets in this attack from hitting it. They still will. At least, not without changes elsewhere...

If you want future pellets to hit whatever is behind, you need to have the monsters become SOLID_NOT in their .th_die functions.

If you want Doom-style damage passthrough of the remain damage within a pellet (Doom does this for all bullet attacks, and the shotguns fire multiple bullets), then it's a little more complicated, but having the pellet traceline after every point of damage almost gets you there.

If you want future pellets to not be aimed at that monster, it's much more complicated. You're on your own on this one, because of the potential for runaway loops.

If you weren't trying to do any of that, then what were you trying to do?

Also, your implementation of getEffectiveHealth() is incorrect, as it doesn't account for health running out before armor does. Not an issue for most monsters, of course... 
It could be that getEffectiveHealth could account for zombies and make it so that their effective health was considered to the level which would gib them rather than kill them - a special case. The function would need to consider armor correctly as you say, so returns false if either armor+health> damage or health*(1-armortype)>damage (this may have an off by one bug if the rounding is not done correctly, not bothered to work that through). Also in Quoth there's the case of the 50% damage reducing shields - you can see why the decision gets delegated to a function.

None of this fixes the existing zombie bug. The way to do that would be to have each entity accumulate damage on fields, and add a new field like .chain to create a linked list of everything that took damage from the shotgun shells processed so far. Then until something passes the effective health test, you just accumulate things in the linked list. Finally, you work through the whole list applying damage which wasn't taken. Now your only problem is that monsters often aren't non-solid in the first frame of their death sequence... 
this is not quite correct w/regards to zombies. zombies don't actually have a gib check. their pain function is what resets their health, not their death function.

since the method i used will apply damage if they are about to die, they will get gibbed because th_pain() is called later in the t_damage function than killed() is.

Assuming no changes elsewhere to the code, all your code will do is apply the damage needed to kill before processing the other pellets. Which will prevent that monster from accumulating enough damage to be gibbed, as the check to gib only happens when the monster takes lethal damage (and after that, Killed(), which calls .th_die sets .takedamage to DAMAGE_NO). Meaning that they won't gib unless the damage from that pellet is enough to take them below gib health.

is true. i've implemented this code change into a large mod with extensive changes, one of which being a self.solid = SOLID_NOT right in the killed() function. this is what actually makes it work. the multidamage change only makes it possible to work. 
Sorry, A Little Tired And I Missed This. 
thinking a little more. i can see what you are saying about zombies. if two zombies were hit in such a way they the damage ping ponged back and forth between the two always at sub 60 damage levels, then you're quite right in that they would never gib.

it might be worth trying to implement preach's much smarted linked list method to only consider damage after every random pellet has been traced.
a cheaper lamer way to do it would be to created a few more temp var pairs of entity and float pairs a shotgun could hit a max of like 5 or 6 targets before bugging out. 
rewrote the thing to use linked entity lists.

hopefully a better programmer than i will be able to tell if i have royally screwed up (it seems to work ok in quake though...)

float(entity e) getEffectiveHealth =
return + e.shieldValue + (e.armortype * e.armorvalue);

entity multi_ent;
.entity multiDamage_nextNode;

void() ClearMultiDamage =
multi_ent = spawn();

void() ApplyMultiDamage =
local entity node;

node = multi_ent;
if (node.dmg > 0) //hasn't already been used up
T_Damage(node.enemy, self, self, node.dmg); //apply all accumulated damage
node.think = SUB_Remove;
node.nextthink = time; //next frame
node = node.multiDamage_nextNode;

multi_ent = world; //break this link just to be safe.

entity(entity e) multiDamage_getNode =
local entity node, newNode;

node = multi_ent;
if (node.enemy == e) //this node already exists
return node;

if (node.multiDamage_nextNode) //there is a next one
node = node.multiDamage_nextNode;
else //this is the last in the chain
newNode = spawn();
newNode.enemy = e;
node.multiDamage_nextNode = newNode;

return newNode;

return world;

void(entity hit, float damage) AddMultiDamage =
local entity node;

node = multiDamage_getNode(hit);
node.dmg = node.dmg + damage;

if (node.dmg > getEffectiveHealth(node.enemy))
T_Damage(node.enemy, self, self, node.dmg); //do the damage
node.dmg = 0; //this node's damage is consumed
Self.solid = SOLID_NOT Right In The Killed() Function 
I was wondering about this, as it tangentially relates to the shotgun problem. How long does it normally take for a dead monster to become non-solid? Because, I'm pretty sure I've seen the second shot of a riot controller uselessly hit a corpse as it's in the process of falling down. (grey particles instead of red give it away) 
quad posting, sorry.

the previous post is still reliant on the SOLID_NOT in killed() to work correctly. 
Thank God 
grahf broke up my posting string. of course, now i'm starting a new one as i cross-posted with him. :P

in answer: setting non-solid is done in a very weird and inconsistent manner. usually it is set on the second or third frame in the monster animation. for fish, it's terrible. stock fish have their nonsolid setting like near the end of the animation. it's why end.bsp you can actually start to choke when swimming through that little underwater tunnel because the fish take so long to become nonsolid, so you can't move past them. :P

i was wondering though... does changing solid setting that could potentially be in a touch function (like when a missile hits a monster, instead of shotgun tracelines) be bad?
fitzquake and other engines have fixes to most of these types of problems but is it possibly a crash waiting to happen? 
Re: #422 
Zombies actually gibbing at 0 health, and having their health reset by .th_pain is the only reason why they gib, and the reason why they are the only monster that gibs... 
And Just One More Post For My Other Replies... 
thinking a little more. i can see what you are saying about zombies. if two zombies were hit in such a way they the damage ping ponged back and forth between the two always at sub 60 damage levels, then you're quite right in that they would never gib.

Yes. With the example I stated, it's 14 coinflips without getting 4 in a row the same (which is how I was able to calculate it).

I was wondering about this, as it tangentially relates to the shotgun problem. How long does it normally take for a dead monster to become non-solid?

Most monsters become SOLID_NOT in the 3rd frame of their death sequence. The Riot Controller fires its second volley 0.3 seconds after the first. Fish don't go solid for nearly 2 seconds in unmodified progs.dat, as necros mentioned.

Killed() isn't the correct place to set SOLID_NOT, as non-monsters use that function as well. In the monsters' .th_die function is the best place, if that is desired.

i was wondering though... does changing solid setting that could potentially be in a touch function (like when a missile hits a monster, instead of shotgun tracelines) be bad?

Killed() sets .touch to SUB_Null so it can't touch anything else. This mostly stops dead fiends and dogs from doing damage when leaping, once their dead. I don't think there's a potential crash issue, as touches have all been calculated before they are processed.

As for your code snippet: What it looks like you're trying to do, is use the linked list of nodes to track which entities are hit, and how much damage each entity needs to take, and then once all of thed pellets have been processed, do the damage in turn. A solution that works as long as you don't have a shotgun being fired because of a .th_die function. (This is why exploboxes were broken when setting each other off, as T_RadiusDamage() uses findradius(), which creates a linked list of entities that are close enough, and exploboxes explode in their death function. The well known fix is to make the explosion happen next frame.)

However, I'm not entirely sure what your code actually does... 
If your Killed() function checks for FL_MONSTER before making them SOLID_NOT, then you're probably safe. 
> in doom, you can line up 3 or even 4 zombies and take them ALL out with a single SSG shot.

That is just overpowered, IMO. The result is that you'll rarely use another weapon anymore.

i don't see why that's overpowered... zombies are the weakest monster (two, sometimes three pistol bullets to kill) and doom's SSG spread is huge. if you're further than ~192 units away, half your pellets will miss a standard sized monster (ie: not fat or huge ones).

i think if you were fighting a closely clumped up horde of zombies, the ssg could probably take out a dozen or so.

at the same time, it's very slow firing and requires nearly melee range. using the RL or plasma rifle is nearly always more desirable.

plasma rifle has insane throughput and RL's is nearly as high (but with the added bonus of splash damage). 
What Is The Essence Of 'Quake' 
I noticed this reading comments on the Remake Quake demo and other releases. People would say that it is or isn't proper Quake. I myself are building a level that certainly doesn't play like a typical iD style Quake level, and I started pondering exactly what it is that makes a level classic Quake style. Is it about exploration, being more non-linear? Key hunts? Something about architecture?

So, I thought I'd ask you chaps what your thoughts are, and perhaps more importantly, post example custom levels that you think really got to the heart of 'Quakeiness', and what you look for usually in custom levels. 
I'm A Conservative Prick 
post example custom levels that you think really got to the heart of 'Quakeiness'

czg03, most of Terra and Warp Spasm (specifically warpc) all accomplish a feeling of a journey through a monolithic, oppressive, hostile location, built for a purpose which yet remains unknown for the end explorer.

After some thought I thought of many more I could list, like lunsp1, or starkmon, or Trinca's latest, and figured that an interconnected layout definitely helps click things forever in a Quakey way... it may be simply because that's what the original maps did, though.

You may find this thread interesting: 
ta for the thread link, I didn't notice that one :E

So its not necessarily about being somewhat non-linear, more that classic Quake levels always feel like one big place that you fully explore, and that this exploration leads you back to original areas but at different positions. Compared to the more modern approach of a long corridor of different locations.

Something like Painkiller's Docks are a big environment that you go through in a zig-zag pattern, but you never return to an area you've previously been to. So I suppose that's it mainly :E 
A reasonable summing up, but for me the ultimate Quake level(s) are those inside Insomnia. In terms of level path you go through loops, continually returning to previous areas, but coming from different directions, until you complete it.

The best map for it was Push Underground (Underworld reference?) since the central canyon is visited minimum four or five times, but never gets boring or confusing in terms of layout.

It's sad to see modern games relying on the lineal path, just because it doesn't take any thought. 
Played Rome1 Fun... Kinda 
Not even THAT hard except spawns that deal 100 dmg. I should rant on that later. I have a demo but its paused near the last ~third of map (

Also why does it look broken in DP? 
Lol I Was Falling Asleep 
The post was obviously meant to be in Roman Wilderness Of Pain thread 
Quake levels actually are largely linear, often with a dedicated start area that you don't see ever again (lost entrance to dismal oubliette anybody?) and the single overarching goal of finding the exit.

There are typically loops or hub areas (e2m6 is a good example) that connect different parts or branches of a level, and as was said the player does the loops through that part, often for keys or buttons that open the next loop.

Then there also often is a dedicated linear end area.

e1m1 is a perfect example for a very linear Quake map, with a couple optional loops only explored for secrets, and a few dead ends (nailgun room). No one would argue it isn't Quake though.

e1m2 actually also is largely linear, in a circle shaped layout, again with a dedicated start and end section, and a couple optional loops again typically for secrets. The main diversion is that you can enter the main circle from both ends. Clever.

e1m3 is very linear apart from the large loop for the gold key (which in itself is also pretty linear) and a few (small) optional loops and dead ends.

In all 3 maps there is a very obvious and pretty linear main route, augmented by loops and dead ends which are actually often optional to explore.

Yet, many people like episode 1 and some say it is very Quakey. 
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