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0 comments by simonoc on Aug 24th, 2014

I was always told by my family that 'trouble comes in threes' and my latest experimental Quake maps seem to be proving that point. It all started back in March when my Dark Souls 2 Marathon was in full swing. I was busy falling off ledges, dying to tag team boss fights and rolling my eyes as 'special' scripted monsters were one shot killing me. After a month of shouting at my TV and smashing my controller into the ground, I was ready to get back to mapping.

It is never easy mashing together different game play styles and hoping something sticks. I wanted to play with the Dark Souls 2 mechanics, I wanted to fear falling, have route choices and most of all, I wanted my actions to have consequences. I knew taking some of these game play ideas and forcing them into Quake was going to be frustrating for some people, but I wanted to see if Dark Souls 2 game play mechanics are portable.

After the release of The Horde of Zendar many people said it was my best work to date and that unfortunately means people expect more of the same. There is only one direction you can go once you have climbed a mountain and that is down. With the experience of Dark Souls 2 fresh in my mind I knew this was my chance to do some experimenting and see if the Quake community shared my enthusiasm or would be reserved with their feedback instead.

Metal Monstrosity - Metal Spires

Metal Monstrosity was an experiment about the fear of falling. The map had limited floor space, unforgiving AI and a deadly flailing arms dance with gravity when you try too many leaps of faith. The map was loved for its look and style, but was down voted back to the stone age. Unfortunately hardly anyone left comments saying why, but I suspect the combination of Quake player speed, small floor footprint and the lack of safety railings was just too much.

Castle Kaahoo - Front Facade

Castle of Kaahoo was a quick speedmap experiment about route choices using large amounts of monolithic bricks, a sprinkle of vertical player progression experiments and a giant festering bucket of swamp water.

The front facade of the castle was designed to be a visual wow moment first followed by a gentle introduction to combat. The greatest mistake for any map designer is to overwhelm the player at the beginning, it is easy to forget that the player is new to the environment and the map designer knows every detail.

One Thousand Cuts - Skill Area

One Thousand Cuts was an experiment about consequences and how the players actions could affect their choices. This was the least liked of all three maps and probably the worst match for Quake gameplay because it restricted exploration and compartmentalized the level. The player also had no satisfaction of completion at the end of the map and often felt like something was missing.

Projectile Experiment

One of the things I really love about Quake is the use of projectile weapons and how the player (with skill) can dodge all kinds of damage without the need of the clumsy modern day equivalent 'hide behind cover' mechanic all of the time. Allowing the player the ability to dodge really plays to the strength of FPS and rewards players who learn to keep moving around.

The Quake shotgun is an instant hitscan weapon with a crazy long range and minimal amount of bullet spread that is so good it is often used as a sniper rifle. I have always wondered what it would be like to fire the shotgun with actual projectiles and after a little bit of QC scripting I got to see a cloud of buckshot hit multiple targets in game and it was powerful. The shotgun felt like a new weapon, maybe it was seeing the kinetic energy of so many projectiles hit multiple targets at once, not sure exactly, but the damage output was not changed.

The Quake Grunt uses the shotgun and in large packs they can be annoying because the weapon is instantaneous and does not give any obvious hint of what direction it is fired from. I have often wondered what it would be like to see enemies firing a projectile shotgun and I was surprised it looked so good.

New Projectile Squad

I setup a Quoth like squad of enemy units using all projectile weapons, lowered their health bars, allowed damage to accumulate past zero and the double barrel shotgun up close just became an instant gib making machine that made me grin from ear to ear!

With my new found love of the Quake shotgun and double barrel gib-a-nator I thought it was about time the ammo boxes got a proper visual upgrade. With lots of extra model / skin details, a removeable lid that could be posed in different positions and a randomly spawning rotation angle, the box of shells just screamed for the players attention.

New Ammo Pickup - Shells

Unfortunately this projectile experiment was pushed to the back burners as other projects needed my time and attention. It certainly was surprising to see how much different a typical hitscan weapon can feel like when it is converted to projectiles instead.

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Post comment Comments
numbersix Jun 26 2013, 4:17pm says: Online

Welcome to the quake c forum - thanks for joining!

I thought: "wow, that map looks good..." And the style looks familiar, so I went to your website. And then was like "Oh, right."

Love pom, long time q3 favorite DM map.
My darkplaces q1 mod fully supports q3 maps, and pom is my jump pad test map.
Sadly jump pads still dont work, I currently cheat with teleports.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing Apr 2 2012, 6:53am says: Online

I like the textures and how you apply different lighting situations. These are impressive results, because of the clarity of your vision and flawless execution. You seem to like colorful, so I'd stick with the medieval theme(s) or something slightly cartoony.

I'm currently Concept Artist for Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. I'm not sure if we need texture artists and mappers (it's a small team), but I would recommend you, if you chose to apply. Gj!

+1 vote     reply to comment
simonoc Apr 2 2012, 12:21pm replied:

Thanks, yeah I love brightly coloured stuff. I spent too many years making WW2 stuff and grey/brown environments.

+1 vote     reply to comment
JigsawPieces Mar 28 2012, 2:28pm says:

Wow, your stuff looks really good. It's cool that you explained the process of making your textures and where you got them from.

+1 vote     reply to comment
simonoc Mar 29 2012, 5:45pm replied:

Cool thanks, there is more waffle on my website if you are curious. Most of my stuff you can download (website links) and use in your own projects.

+1 vote     reply to comment
iQew Mar 22 2012, 5:57am says:

Hey, welcome to ModDB :) Great 3D work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
simonoc Mar 25 2012, 4:31pm replied:

Thanks :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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