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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!

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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  (60 - 70 of 109)
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, 12:34am 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
numbersix Nov 11 2012, 12:53pm says:

When the bots are done testing the Castle, I'll release it.
I've got one bug to squish in the code, and then I'm coding the Archons.
The first official "update" release will likely be in a couple weeks and add Archon playability.
(Yes, you will finally be able to play chaos mod: Archon as an Archon of Chaos or Order.)

Latest code update:
Version [ 1.0.3 alpha ] on 11.11.12

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Nov 27 2012, 12:58pm replied:

"the Castle" is officially done, I just need time in my busy life to verify the package and upload it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Nov 14 2012, 4:42pm replied:

The castle is finally running in a continuous test. Not really problems with the map, but code bugs in the alpha that had to be fixed. Either the code crashed or x-windows crashed on the last 6 tests or so. Release should be soon.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Nov 5 2012, 5:55pm says:

"the Castle" is done...just needs a bit of play testing.
For the latest bug updates check the forum.
"progs.dat" link, updated almost daily:

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Oct 29 2012, 12:24pm says:

First fix update is out - just code fixes for now.
download - | list -
Check the list if you want to know what was fixed.
Got a list of bugs, then I'll be working on monsters.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Oct 28 2012, 4:21am says:

Release is in the wild, waiting for an admin to approve it.
Then you can try the alpha!
Woo. About time too.
Oh, it probably only runs on darkplaces. I tried and it kept crashing.
I cant even run glquake (nothing to do with the mod.)
Already found some minor bugs, but no show stoppers.
(And it is called a "Chaos mod", so you'll never quite be sure if its a bug or a "feature". Heh heh.)

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Oct 28 2012, 12:04pm replied:

Alpha is now approved. Somebody must really like it.
Now you can check back periodically for bug updates.

+1 vote     reply to comment
numbersix Oct 25 2012, 12:49am says:

I have a release package built.
Its big - 135Mb. (I know, not big by todays standards, but big for a quake one mod.)
I just want to take a look a couple items (ok, ok, 4 [at the moment] to be precise) before I upload. It___wont___be___long!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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