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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...
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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. 
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