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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  (50 - 60 of 107)
numbersix Jul 14 2013, 10:54am says:

The package builder for the update release is done. Simply a matter of finishing off the "list" and testing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Jul 16 2013, 12:45pm replied:

Changed my mind about this. I really want an Archon available in the alpha test, so I'm coding that up before 1.0.5a is out. Means maybe a 2 week delay.

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Jul 2 2013, 1:57am says:

Current Version [ 1.0.5 alpha ]

It contains all the coolness listed in the previous december comments.
Sadly is too buggy to release.

And we are talking both minor concerns and some server crash.
Got some video I need to go through. Will be releasing that in the next couple weeks.
Stay tuned, the new version will come out.

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Mar 11 2013, 10:59pm says:

This project still lives. Just other stuff going on.
Thought the faithfull might want to know.

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Jun 29 2013, 12:36pm replied:

Posting some screens in lead of the update release.
Just have to run some tests and see if there are any serious bugs...

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Dec 27 2012, 3:30am says:

I have an update release almost ready.
2 stumbling blocks - 2 bugs - a possible bad one & a confirmed silly one,
and no time to work on it for a week.
Going to start working on the files for the release and decide what to do about the bugs.

Added features:
2 new sizes of tripod aliens for alien infestation mode.
Plague of scourge (centroids)...and I mean plague.
Larger monsters with a super extra mad mode:
Ogre, Scourge, and Demon
Lots of mod for the super monsters (few or no pain frames, poss. self healing, etc.)
Some bug fixes for existing bugs.

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Feb 15 2013, 9:44am replied:

its funny how a week can turn into 2 months...

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Dec 4 2012, 12:33am says:

Castle is done...just need to test the package and upload it.
Unfortunately I've got the weird combination of a bad tooth, serious painkillers and a nasty fever I got as soon as I took the painkillers. Ugh. Cant wait for the fever dreams - I always use them for source material!

Cant do a code update right now. Its up to version [ 1.0.5 alpha ] - but I've done a ton of modeling. An update release package will have to be built.

Things are coming along just great. While I'm looking for inspiration for the Archon spell casting system, I've been giving single player a big upgrade.

What can you expect?

New boss styled "super" monsters - Vore, Ogre, Demon, Tarbaby, Lavabomb.
(And you will likely need serious help with the Super Demon)
They are much larger, have more health, new attacks, and other abilities.
You will need a couple runes to fight these off, or a serious weapon like a BFG. (Or both - these monsters are not weak...)

Of all the super monster abilities, some of them (ogre, and demon) can get SUPER MAD! No pain frames and self healing. I'll let you know how nasty they are when I have a chance to play test them.

Multi grenade ogre from Ritual.
A Hexen 2 imp - he is a pretty cool flyer - and is friends with gremlins.
2 larger sizes of alien infestation "tri" leg jumpers.
2 smaller size centroids - babies that will ride on moms back, and a medium size that will follow mom around. And I'm planning a "Super" Centroid...with 6 dual nailgun arms!

Monster generators (a la Gauntlet)
Those puppies will crank out new monsters until they are killed.

Along with generators, many monsters can be configured (either by map load or randomly) to move faster or slower. This is wicked cool. This is a Gauntlet 2 feature, and I'm planning on the shoot a "poison" potion or food to slow monsters down in a given radius for a short period of time.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Dec 4 2012, 12:53am replied:

Almost forgot - Army grunt and Enforcer have also got some weapon enhancements.

The grunt can fire nails, super shot gun, (weak) rockets, and throw a possible grenade or two when he has the shot guns.

Enforcers can have (slightly better than the grunt) rockets, lightning, reflecting laser bolts, super shot gun or a Railgun! (yes that is one bad *** enforcer - he taps you with that railgun beam, and you better have some armor and health or runes.)

+2 votes     reply to comment
numbersix Dec 4 2012, 12:34am replied:

I realize at this point that a re-play through of the quake 1 SP levels with the new monsters (while imminently fun) simply will not do. I'm going to have to crank some serious single player mapping.

Lucky - I have some ideas kicking around. Once the mod hits a functional beta, I'll start working on the SP maps.
(Why is it anything I type when I have a fever is 3 times longer than without?)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Oct 27, 2012
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