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.)

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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?

En.wikipedia.org  - "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!

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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  (30 - 40 of 108)
numbersix
numbersix Nov 22 2013, 2:19am says:

Code is coming along nicely. Its time to build a release package for beta 1.1 and start some serious play testing. Release could really be any day now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Nov 16 2013, 11:33pm says:

Almost there. Once I have scores on the new HUD working...
I'll take a look at the standing bug list to see if there are any easy fixes...
Then (if not) - beta release party!
Bots playing by themselves is running real solid right now.
I'll play them a bit prior to release.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Nov 9 2013, 10:56am says:

Working towards the beta release. Couple bugs to fix.
Started topping off the docs.
Nearly there. Its like running a coder marathon.
Now, I just need some kind of contest between the Archons for the final release.
Maybe some new maps to play on.
The more Cthulhu-esque single player enhancement will be the next big deal.
Might be a couple side mods after the beta - Pk 3.0. and something I'm thinking of calling "Weapon System Six". All the weapons I have for quake in one massive set.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Nov 5 2013, 1:23pm says:

Todays big decision:

the next release will be Beta 1.1
(as long as I can fix some bugs...)

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Nov 2 2013, 9:46pm says:

Woo, a bit behind on progress updates in the forums...how did that happen.
Oh yeah, had to go back to work. Well, money is nice for some things.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Oct 28 2013, 5:18pm says:

the Trials & Tribulations of a developer:
- fix a ton of bugs
- realize it ALL has to be tested

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Oct 6 2013, 1:16am says:

Legacy archon spells are pretty much done.
Bonus - the Order Archon is also playable now. Woo hoo!

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Sep 27 2013, 11:20am says:

Code goes very well. Legacy dev code is out (mostly) making for a cleaner build.
Much of the original console print status is now in the client side HUD.
Many spells work now. Soon the original planned spells will be done.
Its time to lets the bots run for a time. See how the do.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Sep 17 2013, 11:10am says:

The first spell is working:
Exchange - swap two non power point pieces with a teleport
Might have to code up a special teleport. The regular code in triggers has a few issues doing this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix
numbersix Sep 17 2013, 11:07am replied:

I'd have to rip the guts out of it. Practically have to start over.
And I've been at this for 3 years. 2 years went into building the code set its based on. And 5 for the original chaos mod.

Before I can release a beta I've got to do a major recode.
I'd be better off taking my unique code and items and just making an arbitrary game. Which I plan on doing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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