We received a number of suggestions for changes from the community and observed a number of shortcomings in the way the awards were run last year.
This year I’ve enlisted Dumptruck_DS, Ionous, and Aphasia to help me (Shamblernaut) run the awards. Hopefully this will result in a better experience for everybody. With their help we’ve changed the following things:
Some categories have had their names changed to fall in line with more modern awards.
We’ve added categories to reward multiplayer maps and map packs.
More judges will be on board to assist with judging multiplayer maps.
Some categories have had their definitions tweaked to become less rigid.
The nominations phase of the awards has been removed in favor of including all maps released in the eligibility period.
The judges will categorise and short-list the maps for the public to vote upon.
Two public servers will be available for players to play through the shortlisted QuakeWorld Team Fortress and deathmatch maps.
All the category winners will ultimately be decided by the public, with the exception of the “Jurors choice award” and “Outstanding contribution to the Quake community”.
2017 saw a number of new arrivals to the Quake mapping scene.
We even saw a number of mappers produce multiple maps, Redfield and Danzadan each made 3 maps, Dumptruck_DS released 5 maps, and Muk0r released 6 maps.
But the biggest map releaser for 2017 was Naitelveni with 9 maps released!
However quantity isn’t necessarily better than quality and all together we saw a total of 27 new mappers!
Here are some of the highlights:
Bloodshot with Tombs of Tehuti
What a shame that this map wasn’t nominated for the awards. Tombs of Tehuti is a trap filled Egyptian pyramid, filled with all manner of beasts. The combat and the trap design is great and the geometry is beautiful. If I have any criticism of this map it would be the very saturated coloured lighting, but of course that is my personal preference “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
Tombs of Tehuti is part of the RetroJam 6 pack, you can download it from Quaddicted.
Danzadan with Wesir Complex
Danzadan brings us this neat little Egyptian gem. Did I say neat? I meant it, whereas the usual foray into Egyptian themed maps is to grimey and sandy, Danzadan presents us with a more clean look, a well maintained temple of Wesir. It’s a nice change, Danzadan also gives us some nice outdoor areas and some nice large combat areas that often go missing in Egyptian style maps.
Wesir Complex is also part of the RetroJam 6 pack. Download it here.
Flesh420 with Simplistic Evil
Simplisitic evil is pure gameplay and solid no-nonsense geometry. The map isn’t overly detailed, there are no big set pieces for the player to look at and be distracted by or say “wow”. There are monsters hiding behind most corners and gameplay is tricky but rewarding. The secrets are rewarding to find too. I hope that we get some more maps from Flesh420 in the future if this is the calibre of his work.
Do you like puzzles and combat? Spipper brings us oodles of both with his very pretty map Shifting Planes of Existence. There is lots of moving geometry, places to get ambushed, places to get stuck and fun to be had. Go check it out!
Shifting Planes of Existence is available from Quaddicted
YukiRaven with Temple of Azathoth
YukiRaven brushes us up this great runic style map. Combat in this map is excellent, and with the exception of a few monster AI issues and some missing clip brushes is an awesome map to play. Go treat yourself to it.
Temple of Azathoth is available for download at Quaddicted
Hi, thanks for agreeing to be part of this process. I’d like to ask a few questions so that people can get to know you a little better.
So you burst onto the Quake mapping scene in 2017 with a flurry of releases, what drew you to Quake mapping as opposed to developing for other games?
Quake was actually the first game I ever attempted to map for using QuArK in 2003ish. It was well beyond my comprehension and lasted about…20 minutes of fiddling in editor. Years later I got into Counter Strike and used Hammer on and off for years with some success, but no releases. I had always kept my eyes on Quake and played quite a bit of Quake Live. During that time I saw a post from Daz on /r/quake where he shared the first release of TrenchBroom. It sat on my hard drive from 2013 until 2016. 😀 First time using it was a bit confusing as I lacked any experience in a 3D only space. I was pretty used to Hammers 2D views but 3D only editing was something that really interested me and after dumping a big chunk of my freetime into it, I was hooked.
You’ve mentioned in the past that you’re quite into street art and graffiti and have posted some of your work in the various Quake forums. From an outsider’s perspective these seem like wildly different hobbies, have you noticed any crossover in skills from street art to mapping or game development?
Theres a lot of structure to building a map just like there is in painting a piece. Id say most of the crossovers are on the art side of things, as obvious as that sounds.
I’ve noticed that most of your releases have been from map jams or community projects, rather than solo releases. Is there something about that format that inspires more than your own releases?
“Scope creep” tends to kill most of my solo maps pretty quick. Jams, particularly speedmaps, are great because the chance for scope creep is relatively low given the short timeframe. Another issue is that my Quake level design knowledge and brushwork skills are still evolving so I tend to enter a headspace of “this isnt good enough anymore” and start new projects. So, jams do me well because the “rules” provide me with a broad enough set of criteria to keep my ideas confined to something doable within that time frame, without running into new design or brushwork methods.
You’ve also posted a bunch of gamedev screenshots for platformers you’ve been working on. Is there any possibility we’ll see a release of a game based on this tech? What does the future hold for Muk0r?
I’d love to get some sort of 2D side scroller shoot-em-up released at some time. Right now IRL is taking over and once things are sorted out here, I’ll dive back into the shooter. Im quite new to scripting and still have lots to learn. Lately, it has been hard to find a 2-4 hour period of time where I can sit down and focus on learning without some sort of distraction popping up.
Thanks for being part of the awards, it’s been great having you on board.
Ayy no problem. It was fun and I appreciate you putting this all together for us.
Joshua. I’d like to start off by saying thank you for being a part of this process. It’s been good to have your positivity and helpfulness on board.
Thank you that is very kind of you to say!
I’d like to start by asking how things have been since the release of your game Delver? Do you have any plans for another commercial game? Or are you going to stick to contract work for now?
Upfront let me say I am very proud of what my partner Chad Cuddigan and I managed to accomplish with Delver. It was a five years of working weekends and evenings, leaning things the hard way, and building something we wanted to play ourselves.
Releasing a by itself is a crazy and stressful ordeal. It just so happened that my second child was born four days after Delver released, so life right now is happening at an ever increasing rate.
I would love to do another commercial game of my own, but right now contract work is what is keeping the lights on and food on the table.
You’ve made some terrific tools over the last few years for Quake, a map importer for Blender, a bunch of file format conversion tools as well as a pak file mounter. I also noticed you were working on a quick prefab mapping tool for Quake. Are you planning on making more tools for Quake in the future, if so what are you interested in making?
Thank you! My work started as a way to bring Mdl files into Blender. Then it was reading Mdl files and Bsp files in a more general sense. Then it was read and write support for those files. Now it is full read and write support for all the vanilla Quake file formats. So I have this API for working with Quake files and I can create new tools in just a matter of hours.
Lately I’ve just been listening to what the community is talking about and I see if I can solve pain points in Quake content development. If you have a good idea for a tool, talk to me!
One of the tools you made was an animated gif to sprite conversion tool. My curiosity is killing me, is there any chance you might bring over some of the delver assets and make a quake-meets-delver mod?
Haha. I hadn’t seriously considered it. But I have entertained the idea of recreating Quake in Delver…
You often stream your work on your projects, during these streams it was great to see your skills with painting and modelling programs. What got you interested in pixelart and modelling? Did you study formally or did you learn for a particular project?
I streamed Delver development every Sunday for over 18 months! After that was over, I just kept doing it. For me it’s a great way to work with the folks that will be using what I create.
I started doing pixel art back when it was the standard for video game art. I still enjoy making it and from a production standpoint it is still beautiful and time effective to produce.
By trade I am a software engineer. When I was enrolling in university I was torn between art and programming. I figured that programming was a more reliable way to pay my bills, but I never stopped making art.
Why did you choose Quake over other games to produce tools and content for? Is there something in particular about Quake that you’re attracted to.
Quake was the first game I ever made custom content for and it’s always had a special place in my heart. It’s dark, lonely, and otherworldly vibe still resonates with me even twenty some years later. It also sits in a place of technical complexity where content is still relatively easy to make for it.
Again thanks for being part of this process, thank you for your hard work.
Hi Khreathor, thanks for agreeing to be a judge for the awards.
One of the things I’ve noticed during the process of selecting the Judges is that there is a massive variety of skills in the Quake community. I noticed that while you have only a couple of maps published, you’re always creating things, modelling or coding, or helping out newcomers when they need assistance. What makes you interested in creating peripheral content, rather than mapping?
Well… Mapping is hard… Even if you master all the tools, it’s not easy to create good maps. It requires a lot of planning and constant adjustments, because it’s a main rig that holds whole experience you try to deliver. If you play my maps you’ll see they are mostly based on gimmicks, hacks or experimental stuff. That’s what I’m interested in. Solving problems and creating interesting or funny content.
Another thing is… I’m not good at mapping. It’s easier for me to write code or create models, because that’s what I did for ages as a hobby and professionally.
You and I worked together on the heavily delayed (in hiatus) episode jam. You’ve created a mod that has arisen from the ashes from that, and in that mod I’ve seen many of your ideas come to fruition. What would be your wishlist for things that you’d like to see in Quake in the future?
More interesting mods with new enemies!
When it comes to maps, we have quite a nice turnout. It would be cool to see more people doing mods and content too.
It strikes me that somebody with your skillset could be working on any game, new or old, why have you chosen Quake as your medium of choice? What should we be expecting from you in the near future?
For me Quake is a perfect sandbox, all-in-one toy for big boys (and girls). You can easily build maps, make 3D models, code and then connect all those things in one “environment”. It’s a lot of fun, especially with modern tools. In engines like Unreal/Unity you have no limits, you can build whatever you imagine, that’s why modern engines are boring… Quake enforces boundaries on you. To create stuff you initially planned, you have to adjust your ideas and solve problems. That’s why I love it.
This year you’ll see more models from me for sure. One of them is rigged and animated! New monster? Maybe… 😉
I would also like to try making a total conversion for Quake, basically a new game. Nothing too complex, just some small game I can gradually expand.
I just want to say a big thank you for your assistance with my projects, and thank you for your time with the Quake Awards.
As I mentioned in the shortlist post, we had a plethora of nominations. in total we had 116 nominations across all the categories, most of which were eligible. The competition was significant and hats off to the judges who shortlisted for being able to condense the very competitive field into a small shortlist of maps. Of course there are always those that the judges loved but couldn’t justify having them in the final shortlist. The following are a few of those maps.
Best Vanilla Map
Temple of Quake by Esrael
Esrael has constructed an interesting vanilla inspired runic map. Esrael notes in his readme that it exceeds vanilla limits, however by using the command r_maxsurfs and r_maxedges, it is possible to fix the display problems in vanilla engines. Temple of quake has some very interesting game play mechanics, at once stage even requiring the player to find a “hidden” button to progress. Esrael has included some truly interesting traps, and some very tricky monster encounters.
While it could be argued that the coloured lights (only view-able in expanded engines) are a little too saturated, they do add to the atmosphere. There is some interesting geometry in this map, small surface details that make this temple feel otherworldly. The map isn’t too difficult, there are a couple of interesting encounters that a casual player will want to have a fair stack of armour and health, but overall the game play is fair and fun.
Skacky exhibits a truly grand scale in his Contract Revoked themed other-worldly library. The map sees the player navigating through red carpeted hallways filled with the usual Quake mythos monsters, as well as the few that the mod Quoth brings to the table. Make no mistake that this is no easy map, with 188 monster on easy, 236 on normal skill, and 266 on hard, you’ll have to have your wits about you for this one. The map also has 20 secrets, so for those of you who like to chase every thing down a map has to offer, this is map is definitely for you. The map itself is beautiful, while the argument could be made that some of the hallways could be a bit “samey”, the likeness of some of the hallways adds to the maze-like nature of the structure. The building exteriors themselves are a thing to behold, it is a shame that the player can see them from so few places, because they really deserve more limelight in this map.
You can download Skacky’s map from via the mapjam 9 pack at Quaddicted, it requires Quoth 2.2 and an expanded limits engine.
Best Map Visuals
Across the tattered Amyclaean by ORL
Ter Shibboleth maps are all fascinating visually and Across the tattered Amyclaean is no exception. All of the Ter Shibboleth maps are giant with bold themes, this maps theme is that of a giant Western style mining town. While the Ter Shibboleth maps don’t have a heap of intricate detail, it is least noticeable in this map. The giant sand dunes and rock faces don’t require a heap of fine brushwork and probably add to the “realism” of the map. It is difficult to make the geometry match the player size because of the physical size of the player model and the view (camera) location. ORL has done a great job in making the buildings feel the correct size in this map.
It’s certainly strange to see the Quake monsters wandering around in this environment, I almost wish the monsters had some custom skins or models to match the environment. However, that doesn’t in the least take away from the achievement here. While the geometry itself doesn’t have tiny details, some of the details that have been included are visible in the screenshots below, grass tufts, saguaro cactus, barrels, distant canyons and telegraph lines. Lastly the skybox is an interesting change from your standard affair. A “usual” skybox would look out of place.
A truly fascinating and unique Quake experience.
You can download Ter Shibboleth (the pack that contains this map) at Quaddicted. Please note that an engine that requires protocol 999 is required.
Consciousness Outpost by Pulsar
From one mouth into another. The player exists the mouth of a monster as they enter the level. There is nowhere for them to go except forward toward a giant building, but there is no path. Pulsar presents the player with a beautiful orange vista with a strange alien outpost vibe. The outpost consists of a number of buildings on floating structures / islands. The player navigates across these islands, defeating enemies in order to access the main outpost building. Rather than the bulk of the combat being located in the main building, it is located at the interestingly crafted ramparts and bailey before the castle (outpost) proper. At one point a magical barrier will prevent the player from progressing until they’ve killed the required enemies. Even this field has had colours chosen to match the theme of the map. Finally, the player is presented with another mouth, much like the one they’d come from, dare you enter it?
The competition was stiff in the best visuals category and this map was probably not far off being included. A visually stunning map. Great job Pulsar.
You can download this map (via the map jam 9 pack) at Quaddicted. Please note this map requires Quoth 2.2.
Best Oddball Map
Cloudy with a Chance of Gibs by Bloughsburgh
Occasionally a map comes along that is so dynamic that no screenshot can truly do it justice. Cloudy with a Chance of Gibs is one such map. This map constantly has dynamic moving entities, whether it is the spinning meat grinders, waterfalls of blood, or spraying giblets. Bloughsburgh has upped the gore levels in this map to almost comical levels. The player navigates through pools of blood, interesting ambushes, a variety of both vanilla and quoth monsters, all while trying not to get ground into mincemeat by, um… meat-grinders. This map is well worth a play. It is constructed excellently, has fun gameplay and a wild theme. Not for the squeamish.
You can download this map (via the map jam 9 pack) at Quaddicted. Please note this map requires Quoth 2.2.
Wenl Mine by Megaman
Megaman’s Wenl Mine is an interesting remix of a Descent 2 level to Quake. Descent 2 was a spaceship combat game that boasted 6 degrees of freedom movement, maps also had no (technically speaking micro) gravity, so the player was able to freewheel around orienting themselves in any way as they navigated the tight dungeon levels that awaited them. The restrictions that Megaman faced using Quake with its seems to have led to some very interesting design decisions, naturally the player is only oriented on the floor, and can’t walk on the walls or ceiling, but can take lifts to get to locations, or use stairs, etc.
The original map source has allowed Megaman to have some terrific ambush areas that a mapper making a traditional map might overlook. One such example is a slow moving lift near the end (pictured below), with a tricky ambush setup and buttons to press as the lift rises. This map isn’t a walk in the park, be prepared for a challenge if you’re playing on harder difficulties, you may even want to skip some enemies to save on ammo.
There is also a strange exit portal which is true to location of the original map, but somewhat easy to miss. This map is truly an interesting experience and deserves an honourable mention for it’s novelty and the care and polish that megaman has taken to make this map what it is.
Negke has made a fun experience with Egyptgington, there are some very interesting things going on with this map. Custom items, custom monsters, destroyable geometry, all in vanilla Quake. When looking at the essence of the game play this map, it would be easy to write it off as a button find map, but that doesn’t really do the map justice. The map has buttons to find and unlock areas throughout the map, but each area is different from the last, offering a different and unique monster encounter from the last. The other game play element that is rewarding is finding the secrets, Negke has only placed 5 secrets (unless there are unmarked secrets that I didn’t find) but each are fun to find. The geometry in the map is well crafted, you’ll find yourself jumping from area to area wondering if you can get to places in the “unofficial route” (hint, you probably can’t Negke’s seen through such shenanigans). In one instance the player might do some tricky jumping to apparently land on a platform, only to fall into completely different area (this was intended gameplay but it was a surprise). The map is tricky, but not too punishing for an experienced player. The only truly difficult fight might be the final one, but I won’t spoil it because it’s great.
You can download Negke’s Egyptgington via Quaddicted.
Hey ArrCee, thanks for taking the time to be part of the awards.
As I’m sure you’re aware I’ve been interviewing the other judges of the awards so that people can get to know you a little better… and now it’s finally your turn.
I took the liberty to have a little dig into your quake maps on quaddicted before deciding to interview you. Your first map, for mapjam 1, had a really bold theme and really out-there geometry. Despite its lack of polish, I think it’s a terrific first map. What was the inspiration behind the bold choices in that map? Was there any reason in particular for the hiatus before releasing your second map?
Well thanks, I appreciate it! I think as most first time mappers find, their ambitions are high but their talents are not quite there yet. I really had a grand idea of the map starting in some kind of a city setting and then moving into the sewers where the monsters would be inhabiting and causing trouble. You can sort of see this idea in that map but obviously since it was a map jam, we had a limited amount of time and of course I was pretty new to mapping, so the idea did not pan out as I had planned. Honestly, the hiatus between maps was just me waiting for a map jam that felt right for me to continue trying to build Quake maps. I thought that Qonquer was a fun mod and I wanted to try my hand at actually making a map for a mod.
You run a youtube channel where you stream and release videos about all things gaming, with a particular, or should I say peculiar, focus on Quake. What made you decide on Quake as a focus, and why the name The Quake Grave?
The idea of The Quake Grave came as sort of a revisiting of Quake. I used to love playing Quake multiplayer in the 90’s and wondered, what are people up to with it today? Upon revisiting the scene, to my surprise, I found that the single player side of things was still very active! This was exciting because I was so into multiplayer back then that I barely touched the original Quake episodes! I was a noob (I still am in many ways) when it came to the single player side of things, but it was really exciting to explore and discover this whole other side of Quake!
I knew that I wanted to cover games on a Youtube channel and at the time, I saw very few Quake videos, besides people playing the normal episodes. So the formation of The Quake Grave was the idea that Quake has all of these old maps right? There are hundreds available to play. Why not dig into the past and see what I missed? All the while, viewers can laugh at how crappy I am at the game. It actually started as a show called “Lame at the Quake” or something of that nature and I would say “This is lame at the Quake because that is what I am!”
Over a couple of episodes though I started to take it a bit more seriously and changed the name to The Quake Grave because it’s all about digging up the past of this game we all love and enjoying it, warts and all. I love to play and stream many different games but The Quake Grave is definitely my baby and I love the community it has garnered over the years.
Obviously through The Quake Grave you’ve been able to play a whole raft of custom maps and content for Quake, is there a particular style of gameplay or theme that you keep being drawn to?
This is sort of a “beating around the bush” answer but the thing I like most about Quake and the community is that everyone has a different design style. I love watching everyone’s talent and style evolve through their maps, it’s actually really magical in a way because there are some mappers who were brand new just a few years ago and now they’re making some really great stuff. I’m drawn to watching everyone get better at this and I’m proud to be a part of the community to see it happen!
Aside from gaming, is there anything else that you’re passionate about that you’d like to share with us?
I do actually design card games and board games in my free time (though I guess that’s a form of gaming, huh?). I actually have a card game out in the wild called Colossal Blob (colossalblob.com) where you play cards to become the biggest blob in the universe! As of now, I’m working on my next game, but I will release more details on that when it becomes more of a real thing.
As far as non gaming stuff goes, I do actually enjoy gardening and building things. As much as I love games and doing graphics and what not on the computer, I do tend to feel a burn out every now and then. As silly as it may sound, I find pruning my plants, watering them and transplanting them as they grow to be very therapeutic.
And finally, what does the future hold for you and your channel?
Well, recently I just revamped the GGRC part of the channel (the part that covers anything other than Quake) with a new art style that I think is fun and exciting. For those who may not have caught The Quake Grave in a while, it’s a live streaming show now, so you can hang out with me and many other Quakers while we delve into new and old maps together. But as I’ve told many people on and off of the show, if you keep watching, then I’ll keep providing Quake goodness.
As was mentioned in the shortlist post, there really weren’t enough nominations for this category in order to do justice to any of the nominees. So, rather than have an explicit competition I decided to highlight the eligible nominees instead.
Quake Ghosts by JP LeBreton modifies Quake, removing monsters and weapons and allowing the player to travel the world created by the guys at id in complete serenity. Except the player is now subjected to an eerie soundtrack by Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). The Ghosts soundtrack takes many twists and turns, and JPL has matched up the songs beautifully to the maps. Below is a sample of one of the tracks (track 5) from Quake Ghosts.
Dumptruck’s map jam 9 music starts with an eerie hollow drone, it slowly bends pitch and wavers in volume, slowly increasing to incorporate mechanical creaks and thudding drums. It is hard not to imagine somebody scraping at a door or noises on the wind. This map feels very inspired by lovecraftian madness. About half way through the track the seemingly random tapping and drumming becomes progressively louder, eventually quieting to an even louder drone sound. The track eventually tapers off and fades out in a manner which is perfect for a looping video game track.
HexenMapper presents us with this track for the start map of QUMP. The music starts off quite similar to Dumptruck’s track, with a droning sound (albeit higher pitched) but quickly incorporates some oscillating deep synths and whispers to the track. This track, like Dumptruck’s gathers in intensity to a small crescendo, then quickly fading off as the track ends. Although HexenMapper’s track is shorter, it offers a slightly more broad listening experience than Dumptruck’s, and while one gets the impression that Dumptruck’s track is supposed to purely blend into the map, HexenMapper’s track, while still being ambient-industrial in nature, offers a more “foreground” experience.
Of the three community made tracks, Mugwump’s track is by far the most dire. It is quite discordant in nature, while the other two tracks seem to adhere to a “traditional” ambient-industrial / horror track, Mugwump slowly builds his track using samples that seem off time, but slowly converge into a coherent piece. The track slowly builds to a stark end. While perhaps not so good for a looping game track it is certainly more overtly “horror” and perhaps more “musical” than the other tracks.
Monsters / Sounds / Models:
The Boil, from The Forgotten Sepulcher is a walking proximity mine filled with meat. Modelled by Ijed (originally for Remake Quake)*, and coded by Sock for his AD_Sepulcher map, the boil is either pinned to walls or floors, acting as a proximity mine, or wanders around slowly and quietly waiting for an unsuspecting player to wander too near them.
*Editors note, thank you to both the community member and Sock who informed me that the model was made by Ijed, the post above has been changed to reflect this fact.
While apparently living (or maybe undead), the Boils appear to have greenish rotting flesh, occasionally they’ll ooze some blood or squirt out some meat. The creepiest part about these monsters, and most players won’t get close enough to notice this, is that they’re covered in tiny little faces, as if they’ve been consuming heads and storing the faces until it’s time to explode.
Paradise Sickness by Redfield was nominated for it’s models and sounds. While all the models included in the map were breakables, the sounds included movie sounds (the map had lots of Indiana Jones references), and a few environmental sounds. The true genius of this map is that so much of the content that the map was nominated for was made with internal map models, not external models.
Yes, we had somebody nominate a poem.
Skacky’s map jam 9 map included this little homage to H.P. Lovecraft.
Poem is obfuscated as it is part of a secret, you can select the text to reveal spoiler.
Hey Ionous, thanks for agreeing to being a judge for the awards.
I’d like to ask you a few questions for the site so that the public can get to know you a little better.
I noticed on Quaddicted that you have maps dating back to 2005 and (I assume) before that on other sites. That’s a fair while in the Quake community. What got you interested in mapping for Quake?
In 1996 I went to a friend’s house, and they had just bought Quake. I had never seen anything like it before; the dark, arcane atmosphere, the strange, nightmarish creatures and the pounding Nine Inch Nails soundtrack all spoke to my sensibilities. I bought it myself soon after and played it obsessively. Unsurprisingly, I wanted more. I would search every electronics store I could, trying to unearth more Quake arcana. This ranged from the wonderful (Quake Mission Pack No.1) to the positively dreadful (Q2, Q!Zone). I even found a program that let you make your own levels!
Making my own levels was something I wanted to do as soon as I started playing Quake, but the barrier to entry seemed insurmountably tall. Wasn’t this art restricted to the professionals? I figured the means to design them were company secrets. So, it was with great excitement that I booted up Deathmatch Maker. And even greater disappointment when I discovered how terrible an editor it was. The final straw was not being able to align simple shapes on the grid. I gave up on mapping as a lost cause.
Fast forward to late 2001, when I finally got an internet connection. Looking up Quake, I found PlanetQuake, and on that day they happened to be promoting a level called ‘Halls of the Shambler God’ (an Iikka Keranen classic). That’s where I discovered that there were actually people releasing maps independently. Reading the text files included in the hundreds of maps I hastened to download (with blazing 56k modem speed), I saw that most people were certainly NOT using Deathmatch Maker. I tried a few of the different editors, but Worldcraft spoke to me most clearly. Within days I was making mediocre, terrible maps, which have all fortunately been lost to the sands of time.
I often make a joke at your expense about circular design in your maps. Maps like your xmas jam map, dm4 jam and your most recent “Luna in the Silver Sands” map, all feature this round or cyclical feature. At the risk of furthering this stereotype, what do you like best about using this approach? Or have I just stumbled across a coincidence in your mapping style.
Most of my maps start as brushwork experiments, playing around with shapes until a larger form begins to emerge. I often playing around with circles because it creates a visually complex shape while reducing to simple geometric ratios (1/2, 2/1), which allows the designer to increase detail levels while maintaining the working grid (a must for my meticulous crafting style). That these experiments sometimes blossom into full maps is usually not planned, but always a pleasant surprise.
I’ve noticed that you’re quite fond of crafting narratives for your work, if there were no barriers to storytelling in Quake, what story would you most like to tell / craft for it?
Quake and writing have been two of my foremost hobbies throughout the years. Newer mods, such as Arcane Dimensions, easily lend themselves to epistolary format, which align nicely with the Lovecraftian roots of Quake itself. My grand, shining, grandiose nature of what a narrative-driven map could be is actually at my fingertips now. More than that…cannot be revealed.
What have you got on the boil at the moment, can we have a hint as to what you’re working on?
A great many things, all in various stages of completion.
A Zerstorer episode, incorporating a remix of my jam3 map (which current stands at about 20k brushes). I had hoped to have this done for the 20th anniversary of Zerstorer. Now I’m aiming for the 25th.
Single player remixes of the ID DM maps, for Arcane Dimensions. The DM5 version was released as part of the Arcane Dimensions mod. Four other maps are in progress. Of course, none are close to completion.
A full version of the Knave map I released as part of Map Jam 9. Lot of work left, as I have to rebuild areas I rushed through on the initial build.
A map for the Underwater Jam. Real-life responsibilities and events have conspired against making it very far, but I like the idea, and even if I don’t finish in time, I hope to release it on its own.