Demonwench: Hey hey hey, y'all! Welcome to the PQ Mailbag! I've been in an especially perky mood all week. The grad school I wanted to attend has come to its senses and has decided that I can grace themselves with my prescence. So I'm feeling incredibly nice. Y'all will have to forgive me, it won't happen again. So y'all will just have to sit back and enjoy the novelty for this 'bag. A cry for custom maps was the subject of this weeks'Rants n' Raves. Good idea? Bad idea? What did you think?
Pappy-R: I'll ship DW a bit more congrats on the school issue here, that's just great! Now that we have a happy dancing Demonwench, what are we to do? That's right, reader Mail!
From: Major Kickass
Subject: Factory Rant N' Rave response
Hello everyone! Before I proceed with my comments, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards all of you at Planet Quake for doing a great job of bringing the awesome Quake-goodness to us. Kudos to all and please keep up the excellent work!
Now, on to my comment... to me, in my humble opinion, there are a lot of great mappers out there. Some are established and some are just starting. The tools in which to fab maps are somewhat difficult to grasp, but with a little time and patience, anyone with tenacity can do it. The learning curve is different with each person, so a little understanding should be given to those who want to come out of their shell and produce a map for the first time. I speak from experience when I say the following...the first thing every mapper does is check out what everyone else is doing. Their own ideas are born shortly thereafter. The problem...transferring it to a quality map that is rich in detail, gameplay, focus, item placement and framerates; low on r-speeds. It's a tough job. (That's where my difficulty lies.) Some mappers throw a level together, compile it and don't give the slightest thought on what people think. Some have an excellent knack for ideas and follow through with an excellent level. Shaders, textures, layout and originality are all part of the game...the game of mapping. The factory rant has some merit to it, although the Quake series revolves around that theme. It's natural. It's commonplace. There are a lot of maps to be created utilizing those same shaders and textures that will be awesome. The factory theme will never die, nor should it by any means. I agree that more maps should be blessed with originality and quality, however, the factory theme is okay with me. In fact, I love it. I would like to see different themes though, just for the sake of being original. Mapping is an art form. A form of expression that shouldn't be suppressed. The time will come when id will finish DOOM III and this process will start all over again. Until then, let nature take it's course with mappers. They will produce in the end...just be patient.
Demonwench: If I'm watching people play, I notice the maps and details. If I'm the one playing, I'm studying the layout of the map, I don't tend to notice details. If the map plays well, I like it. If it doesn't play well, I don't. I don't really care what the map looks like as long as it plays well.
Pappy-R:I think I made my views on this quite plain in the original article, but I'll offer Major Kickass a hearty "sing it to the mountain tops" for the letter.
From: Grampappy Joe
Subject: RnR: Gimpy Maps
Hello dashing duo,
All I have to say to lyta about having too many factory or castle maps is... Action Quake 2. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah, talk about wide variety of maps, there's canyons, cliffs, dams, full cities, temples, ancient ruins, trains, beaches, etc. etc. etc. etc. Being oldschool, I'm a lot more into quake 2 than q3a. That and I don't feel like buying a better 3d card. (Savage 4 r0x0rs)
Demonwench: Hehehe. Well, Lyta, you heard the man. Try it, you may like it.
Pappy-R:I'm gonna have to drop this one and back away. I usually cringe at the sight of realistic map in a Quake engine game.
From: Revrend Poe
Subject: Rants and Raves feedback
Yes I agree that factory type maps have been done to death, but I have never made a map myself, and I don't quite have the gall to demand different style maps from people who work their butts off to make their map.
If you don't like the current trend in mapping, then by all means download an editor and start mapping some of these great ideas. You will at least get an appriciation for how much work goes into makeing even an easy map, and who knows, maybe you'll come up with something truly great and original. But untill then, keep your mouth shut.
You know the whole biblical thing, people in glass houses shouldn't shoot Rail guns.
Demonwench: Hehehe. There ya go! Try it yerself and see how it works for ya. Maybe you can have fun wi' it or maybe you'll bomb and get a whole new appreciation for those people who do make thier own maps.
Pappy-R: /me is off searching veried translations of the bible for a "Rail" reference.
Subject: re: factory map r'n'r
As a gamer, I like seeing originally themed maps, and seeing what sort of crazy stuff people can come up with.
However, as a mapper, I know that most of the suggestions Lyta_79 are extremely difficult or impossible. A true forest is completely out of the question. The quake 3 engine is simply not built to handle that sort of map. The utter lack of vis blocking that a stand of trees provides (in terms of the game engine) makes this not really feasible. On the other hand, I have seen some screenshots of a map (that will be CTF, I believe) that has a lot of vegetation and greenery in it. It's more like a jungle than a forest though - you cant really stray off the beaten path much.
Old West is doable to the extent that it's been done in half-life (like that map with the moving train in counterstrike - forget the name) You couldn't go any more interesting or open than that. And you'd be wise to not have much more detail, either. Even in q3.
A mall is really not feasible. Actually go to a mall, and think of how big it is, then look at the walls, the tiles on the floor, the escalators, the hand rails, the shopfronts... There is an enormous amount of structural detail in a mall. If someone did a map of a mall, it would either run like a slideshow, or appear very flat and dull. Malls really don't lend themselves to deathmatch very well, either. At least none I've ever seen.
The other problem with doing a truly unique theme like this, is you not only need to be a highly skilled mapper, but you need to be a higly skilled texture artist as well. This is the big obstacle. Texture making, for those who aren't *really* good at it, takes an incredible amount of time. Most mappers feel that they shouldn't really bother, when there are literally thousands of perfectly good tech- or warehouse-themed textures already out there.
Demonwench: Good point. The amount of details are phenomenal in real life. Transferring everything to a puter game will take a lot of doing. Besides, isn't the point of games is to have fun and forget the world for a bit?
Pappy-R:I'll have to agree that the thought of a forest map when I was doing the Rants n'Raves feature made me take a step back. I just can't see it happening. Trees along a map border for effect is one thing, but an actual forest in Q3? *shudder*
Subject: Factory Levels
There are some mappers out there that make levels just for recognition. But most are making maps straight from their mind. So what if its a factory level? Who is any one to say if my creativity is good enough for them? If you don't like the level then don't play it. And maps people download/play are mostly personal preference. I happen to like factory type levels. Don't criticize the map makers because they are not making levels that you like, find levels you do or make your own and let the people that do like them play.
Demonwench: An excellent point. Don't complain about the people who make the maps. Just find something you do like and play it.
Pappy-R:I agree kevin, I still find the occasional gothis or factory level that can make me go "yum", so I guess I'm not themed out yet. With a lot of things, not just games, there's still room to do it up right, and the good ones stand right out.
Demonwench: And it's me being nice! Come on in to the second page, y'all!
Next: Goodness, lots of it.