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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?  - "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
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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  (40 - 50 of 109)
Mv.c9 Sep 17 2013, 1:16am says:

Do you think you can make this fully independent? like an indie game? instead of a mod?

+2 votes     reply to comment
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
numbersix Sep 16 2013, 8:45pm says:

Work is progressing on the spell system targeting method. Good so far.
Still have worries about the global 32768 limit - it floors me that the compiler counts local variables as globals. wtf. seriously.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Sep 14 2013, 3:25pm says:

A bit of monster eye candy from the sample room. Samples dont attack, they just look pretty.

These are already in the mod, but I have plans to fix some up.
Things are coming along nicely with the HUD. I have to make an enhanced display mode and then I'm going to add in Archon magic.
If that goes well 1.0.5 alpha can be released soon.

Then I'm going to do a big re-code to clean things up a bit.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Sep 14 2013, 3:30pm replied: - monster images for today

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Sep 7 2013, 7:26pm says:

I'm back and working on the code.
New screencaps will post as I make them.
The Archon morph needs a spell system that uses archon points.
That will also likely require a new targeting system.

And I need to research csqc - seems like it can do some cool HUD stuff and the like.
When I get the Archon looking half decent, I'll also get some video.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Aug 13 2013, 2:28am says:

So close to giving you guys a playable Archon in this mod.
Vacation is calling though...can you hear it?
Palm trees, sand, No, thats where I am.
Mountains, streams, cool air. Yes.
Regular updates will resume in about 3 weeks.
Then I'll bang out some amazing code.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Aug 9 2013, 11:20am says:

Leapt off the logic gorge and switched to the fteqcc compiler. It took some code change effort, but it works. And the compiler / progs footprint is smaller - fteqcc seems to have more slick.

But...Chaos mod (mark II) codename "Archon"...has...a...playable...Archon!
Things seem different though - from the mark I code.
And I'm not sure if its the new darkplaces or something fteqcc did or something I changed. Have to run some tests before I release the 1.0.5a update.
Plus I'll be out of town for a month on a much deserved vacation.
And I dont think I'll take this production setup either.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Aug 10 2013, 2:43am replied:

Part of the difference seems to be the new dp engine.
Some dynamic items (runes, cubes, ammo) no longer bounce from the spawn point, while crates still do.
Got a request in to LordHavoc about this. Will put the results in the work log.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Aug 7 2013, 4:34am says:

The initial 1.0.5 alpha Chaos ARCHON is done. I ripped most of it from the original chaos mod mkI, so much of it needs changed. Doesnt matter. Blew the engines mind.
Host_Error: server CALL outside the program
QuakeC crash report for server:
s173285: ADDRESS self (=entity 1), movetarget (=.movetarget)
s173286: CALL0
: NewCarriedPath : statement 1
: set_initBotLevel : statement 62
: PutClientInServer : statement 0
Client "_-=* Number Six" dropped

That code has NEVER failed and nothing in the new code *should* affect that.
I think its the unsigned short deal I fixed in the compiler. Fsck.
This might be one for .qc forums, or tutorial...but I think it might be time to port over the fteqcc. That compiler does things differently and it might be more workable.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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