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kinker31

Quake Level Building: What's Your Advice?

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I've been starting to play a bit more of Quake recently, and somewhere around the time I actually managed to actually get around to finishing the first and second episodes of the base game, I decided to get myself more acquainted with TrenchBroom, one of the more modern editors for Quake 1. So far, I've been learning quite a bit about the brush and point-entity system, and I'm quite happy about that!

 

That being said, I'm relatively new to the whole "Quake Map Creation" thing, and so far I've been using much of the rules of thumb I've been using for making Doom levels, loosely based around John Romero's guidelines for building Doom levels, adjusting for Quake's more limited texture palette and more advanced way of making levels every now and them.

 

All of this being said, if any of you have tried out making a Quake map for yourself, is there any pitfalls, good advice, and or good things to know I should know about?

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I've been learning Quake mapping for a few years now.  I'm by no means a pro, but I do at least feel somewhat comfortable with the engine and editor these days.  My advice:

 

1. Use ericw-tools for qbsp/light/vis.  They're newer and support some nice things.  http://ericwa.github.io/ericw-tools/

 

2. Something I learned the hard way is that monsters don't like to walk on clip brushes.  So if you're adding them to cover a grated floor and make it smooth to travel over, don't do this:

Spoiler

bad.jpg.ba82c46a67bacdc21f911a1638e3577c.jpg

 

Give them a texture named SKIP (make a wad with a dummy texture named that if you don't have one) and assign them a func_wall or func_detail_wall.  Then monsters will go over them.  This will need the qbsp from ericw-tools I think, however.

3. Dumptruck_ds has some nice tutorials for TrenchBroom.  I should probably go through more than the "Taking screenshots" and "Easy Arches" ones... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gONePWocbqA&list=PLgDKRPte5Y0AZ_K_PZbWbgBAEt5xf74aE


4. Quake mapping (at least for me) seems to go a lot smoother when I really force myself to detail things last, especially compared to Doom.  Learn to box out/greybox a map, or at least large sections, first and it'll go easier.  (*cough* use my Oops! All Greyboxes! Doom project to practice greyboxing >_> *cough shameless plug cough*)

5. Group things and treat them as prefabs.  It makes life a lot easier.  Also learn to use the layers option in TrenchBroom.  This is something I'm learning to use now and wow does it make it easier to visualize things when I can, for example, turn off the ceilings.

6. I dunno if this is a good way or not, but I've been finding it easier to layout an area in the top-down view first.  I layout the floor, shape it, then go into the 3D mode for almost everything else.  Helps me focus more on layout than "box area" I'm finding.

EDIT: Oh yeah, this reference image for light settings is amazing if you use ericw-tools:
 

Spoiler

quake-light-settings.jpg.2734faf270e545ba6ab5871953190b15.jpg

 

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I don't know how TrenchBroom does stuff, but in NetRadiant I found myself being much more productive once I learnt how the clipping tool worked.

 

My only other advice is to really think about lighting, Quake's texture palette may be limited but Quake's lighting can be so much better than vanilla Doom.  Good lighting can turn an ordinary looking map into a great looking map, so spend some time on it.

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