Archon ---> Quake. You heard right, elements of the 80's micro game archon extrapolated into the Quake universe. Get ready for a wild ride.                               (free stuff | no warranty | see disclaimer.txt | blah blah blah.)

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Lava puddles Screens from last server test Screens from last server test
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: What is in a map?

0 comments by numbersix on Jun 23rd, 2014

Maps have been with games for a long time.

If you consider the playfield of pong a representation a ping pong table - technically that is a map.

We have come a long way - many games now come with a map.

What is a map? - "A map is a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes."

fig 1 - "Wizard's Crown"

This is from one of my favorite commodore 64 games - "Wizard's Crown".
Not the largest map - but it was very exciting. Exploring new areas. Discovering treasures. Fighting evil things. And the map area descriptions included a ton of detail.

What impressed me was how open it was. You could literally travel anywhere on that map!

Many games of the time, from graphic to text adventures, arcade blasters, any game with a map had hard limits. No matter what might be about you were trapped in your area.

That seems to have mostly stuck with FPS games. From wolf 3D all the way to some current games.
You enter, follow the path you are led on to the conclusion. Get weapons, keys, kill bad guys, etc.
Only in recent years have open map games come about.

Quake and its derivatives seem to be stuck in the old days. Dont get me wrong - some of those maps are awesome. However, you still have just whats in that map, no more.

I remember the first time I played doom. And found the secret door to the outer courtyard on Hangar "e1m1" - I wanted to explore out there. Sort of disappointing to discover all you saw from the window was all you got.

One day I got into map editing for a doom II project. I found out why the maps were that way. Such is the nature of the editor, map format and engine. The entire creation and display process was limited on purpose due to the difficulties of rendering large open spaces on the hardware of the day.

So we were left with an illusion of space. Until now. Todays hardware is an age ahead of yesteryears. If you were a gear head back in the day, what our systems can do now blows the mind.

Still there is a challenge: can there possibly be an open adventure quake game?

It is a sticky wicket to be sure.

fig 2 - test map

When I came up with the original chaos mod it was little more than a play mechanic (morphing into monsters) and some rough story ideas. I have had to discover everything else along the way.

Original map ideas:

Realms of Chaos (mk1 guesses)

  • Lower reaches
  • Upper reaches
  • Too Dark Park - graveyard
  • Fire swamp - you get one guess
  • Ruby's demise - gem of Wishmaster fame
  • Main hall (middle hell?)
  • Eastern Anarchy
  • M (Master?)

Why guesses? A hard drive crash around '04 eliminated some data.

Several times I've had the idea to work an adventure type game into the single player. I've set it aside every time.

My biggest foe is a component of the quake engine - qbsp. In order to use a pentium 100 platform to display a complex polygon world, the progenitors of quake chose to pre-compile a bsp; pre-lit with a visibility matrix to limit total displayed objects. The map is built of "brushes" in an editor. Those brushes are compiled into a bsp file with collision hulls for solid surfaces. That file has lighting data compiled, and visibility positioning calculated as well.

I have had a great amount of help from my quake engine derivative of choice - Darkplaces.
It has some great features - 32 bit color override, tons of lighting tricks, its fast - really a great engine...
But, could it overcome the bsp bound nature of quake 1 mapping?

I have a dream of an adventure game. I will not let it go.

fig 3 - exploring around a bit

Archon map ideas:

  • Quaesitor Thaumaturge - "You will die in our care. The method is left to you..."
  • Remorhaz Bane - "If you freeze, the faster Remorhaz will eat you..."
  • Vortex Litharge - "Dont slip, you might fall..."
  • Adepts Lament - "Leave hope behind, despair is your cibation here..."
  • Archon Radix - "Plan carefully, your next move is your last..."
  • Grimlock - "Affording you a fine selection of graves for your final destination tonight..."
  • Occlument Augury - "Portents indicate your immediate demise - the temple will show the path..."
  • Spectre Vitriol - "Your soul will be purified by fire, unfortunately your body will not survive..."
  • Killmoulis Arcana - "Once bright and airy, this forest is a death trap..."

I have made some interesting discoveries recently while coding.

You can use the ammo box method (a bsp map with just the box and lights) to compile map "chunks."
Those chunks can be loaded as entities and set to SOLID_BSP. They are mostly just like map brushes.
So I have a floor and walls.

I'm still stuck building in a giant box if I want a sky right?
Heh heh. I found out as long as darkplaces has a big enough bit of sky brush anywhere - the loadsky will load and display a complete skybox!

I coded up a dynamic mapper and had a walk around.
I know it doesnt look like much yet. I only used 512 x 512 generic ruins chunks.
There are some minor glitches - but it freaking works.

So, new game plan - Chaos mod: Archon single player is NOT going to be a q1 rehash with better monsters, gfx, etc.

It is going to be some wicked awesome quake-hack adventure!

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Downloads RSS Feed Latest Downloads
Archon 1.1 (beta)

Archon 1.1 (beta)

Dec 25, 2013 Patch 3 comments

Beta release! Play Chaos mod: Archon - become an Archon, rule the Quake universe with your mystic powers. Refer to text files, site images and video for...

the Castle

the Castle

Dec 12, 2012 Multiplayer Map 5 comments

Ariochs Castle. Where the gods of Chaos live and play. A clan map project that finally sees the glorious light of release it deserves.

Archon 1.0 (alpha)

Archon 1.0 (alpha)

Oct 28, 2012 Full Version 1 comment

Alpha release = painkeep cube, morphic cube, crates, runes, regman quad-barrel dwarfcutter, quantum tunnel apparatus, super gravity well, chaos teleport...

Visage Nightclub

Visage Nightclub

May 10, 2011 Multiplayer Map 6 comments

"I'm the seed in your head...if you're good then you'll dream. If you're good...if you're bad. K...K...K...K...Killer" As always - check your guns at...

Chaos Heaven (release 2)

Chaos Heaven (release 2)

Apr 20, 2011 Multiplayer Map 1 comment

Chaos Heaven (Visit Arioch!) - A new symbol rotates serenely atop a sacred altar. Power grid flows away in all directions to deathmatch goodness. Weapons...

The Bad Place (remix)

The Bad Place (remix)

Oct 19, 2008 Multiplayer Map 0 comments

Have you ever wondered how all the lava gets into quake maps? Now find out! A quake one remix of the venerable dm4 based on a port I did of the map to...

Post comment Comments  (20 - 30 of 112)
numbersix Creator
numbersix Jan 13 2014, 6:45pm says:

Been taking a break after the release...lots of other stuff to do.
The next step will be further testing and a couple maps that are nearly there.

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 27 2013, 3:15am says:

First gameplay tutorial is done:
The next tutorial will be on using Archon spells to do stuff.

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 25 2013, 2:01am says:

Merry Christmas!

(Yes, though awaiting an auth...)

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 25 2013, 5:40pm replied:

Authorized - an official christmas present release for all watchers!

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 24 2013, 8:57pm says:

The release is ready...just a quick test.
Going to upload it for a christmas gift to all of you.
Then I realized it wont likely be authed for days. dur.
BTW - the server has hit 1000000 seconds and is running solid.

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 18 2013, 6:43pm says:

Single player configs are done...just need a run test and a package test.
then it can be released. And the test server is still running solid. I've lost track of how many days its been up...693700 seconds. LOL

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 14 2013, 12:38am says:

Been busy christmas shopping and such...but -
Server has been up 283000 seconds. I think the bugs are fixed.
Just want to test run singleplayer, see what modes come up.
Build and test a release package...then you all can have it.
Two days maybe.
There is going to be a map pack update, but I think that will be a couple months down the road.

+1 vote   reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 5 2013, 2:32pm replied:

So, your comment is back.
And the next release of the 1.1 beta is waiting on a server crashing bug.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Terra1993 Dec 7 2013, 10:33am replied:

okqy thanks and sorry^^

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Creator
numbersix Dec 5 2013, 2:20pm replied:

Already released -- Date - Released Oct 27, 2012

summary: elements of the 80's micro game archon extrapolated into the Quake universe
visual feature set link:
first feature set:

The current iteration is a deathmatch mod. With singleplayer enhancements.
The premise in the beta will be simple - collect enough power nodules to morph into other forms. The ultimate form to obtain is that of Archon.
After that...well that is for the final release, I'm still working on what to do with the Archons.
My original idea was to recreate the 80's game on the server once there are 2 Archons to fight each other. That might change.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Quake Icon
Windows, Mac, Linux, DOS
Developed By
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Released Oct 27, 2012
Mod Watch
Track this mod
Community Rating



3 votes submitted.

You Say


Ratings closed.

First Person Shooter
Single & Multiplayer
Embed Buttons

Promote Chaos Archon on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the HTML code provided (more).

Chaos Archon Chaos Archon
Chaos Archon
2,013 of 22,635
Last Update
2 days ago
24 members