News Design Artwork Photos Articles
 Backsteingotik (Q1SP)   Information File Size: 5.39Mb
Skill Selection Central Hub Silver Surprise Final Rune

 Background Information
One of my favourite maps of Quake is E3M5 "the Wind Tunnels", a very dark metallic pipe infested underground area flooded with water. The map is famous for having a very unique game play mechanic, the use of wind to transport the player around the map.

Unfortunately the original map did not have any kind of unique architectural style and is largely flat metal walls and pipes. With no shapes to play with I decided to take the idea of E3M5 and push it in a new direction. Gone are the cold wet metal walls sunken in pits of water and in its place are towering monolithic brick structures soaked in hot yellow lighting!

I have always been a great fan of brick architecture and especially German Gothic brick designs like this gorgeous example in Budapest. When designing the map Backsteingotik I wanted it to feel tall, to have brick walls stretching upwards into darkness and the structures to feel like they could support the world. This is monolithic Gothic, there are no curved archways, no round windows, just simple timeless shapes and mountains of bricks!

I have always been fascinated by symmetrical design and how it is used in medieval buildings to inspire balance and tranquillity with beautifully mirrored lines. Symmetry is often avoided in games because of its predictable patterns, but players often repeat tasks in games and using symmetry is a good way to show players how to discover new locations based on previous experience.

The central area of the map is symmetrical, but the sides are unique. There are design elements in the middle of the map that are in mirrored locations, but they lead to different places. The idea is if the player finds one symmetrical design element they will be able to use that knowledge to find the opposite and discover more places to explore.

Often maps use teleporters to solve logistical design problems because no player wants to travel back through large empty spaces. During the early design phase of this map there was a lot of teleporters moving the player back to the center. Eventually I realized, this map theme is about wind, not instant transportation. By removing all the teleporters the player no longer feels disjointed when travelling around and is given a more consistent theme and continuous experience.

One of the most rewarding traits of Quake maps (especially ID) is that the player is given choices where they can go and how they tackle each encounter. This map is taking a much more open approach to level flow and the player can rocket/grenade jump to both silver and gold keys, the silver side of the map on hard skill can be completely skipped and the gold side has plenty of alternative routes with special areas for flanking the enemies.

The original design for the map was 100% red brick in all directions. This was the reason for the name, Gothic red brick, but this turned the map into an endless sea of red with no landmarks for navigation. Something had to be done and the easiest thing to do was paint each side (SK/GK) with a different brick colour. The SK side became blue/grey and the GK side is gold/green. This is not exactly the vision I wanted but it does fix the flow and that is more important.

This map is designed with no teleporters, if the player can see a location high up above, there is a good chance there is a wind tunnel/lift leading there!

The textures are based on existing Quake assets and have been mixed up and re-arranged to suit the tall Gothic brick style. The visual language uses red buttons to represent shootable objects, demon faces to hint at secrets and large Quake symbol for touch functions. Any item or floor area which triggers a subsequent event is clearly marked with flickering yellow runes. Any items with green runes painted on the floor underneath can respawn again.

The lighting was designed to be soft and warm with strong yellow lights mixed with low blue lights for high upper areas. The map has a wispy fog setting on the worldspawn and the lighting is designed to work with this low fog (wispy white) value. It is highly recommended to use an engine that understands the fog settings on the worldspawn.

The map contains ten secrets which range from button finding to player movement (jumping) skills. No secret requires rocket/grenade jumping to be reached and the mechanism to operate the secret is always within close proximity to the entrance. The secret stash is mostly about giving the player weapons early, but all of these can be found by natural progression as well. All skill levels were tested without the use of any secret stash.

 Skill Levels
EASY Is designed for sightseeing and relaxed gameplay. There are no shortages of ammo/health and no need to use any environmental traps.

NORMAL Is designed to be a challenge with upgraded monster types and just the right amount of ammo. There are no need to rely on any environmental traps or secrets.

HARD Is designed to be a tough, unforgiving in places and will require the player to conserve ammo and use monster infighting. It is recommended to use all environmental traps where possible.

HARD + This is unlocked when playing on hard skill and allows the player to complete the GK side first. It is designed for players who want a challenge and don't want access to powerful weapons (SNG/RL) There is a warning message before selecting this.

The front of the map features a skill selection system like the start map with three platforms for easy, normal, hard skill and a nightmare skill entrance for players who want a challenge. Once the skill has been selected the map will restart and everything should be setup correctly.

Each skill level has different monsters types, in different positions and can be played progressively for a different experience of the map. All weapons, ammo and health are the same on all skill levels. It is assumed the player will be more frugal with ammo/health consumption on higher difficulty settings.

 To crush or to create cover?
In two of the rooms (GK side, final) there are several floor/ceiling crushers which are button operated. They are designed with a dual purpose (crush and cover) and give the player a choice. They can either make the fight easier by crushing enemies or creating cover to hide behind from long range enemy attacks.

The first crusher room (GK side) is setup to show the player that there are two states (one is lowered into the floor) to the crushers. The flow of the room is setup as a figure of eight allowing the player an escape route through the middle.

Several flow designs can be achieved with the crushers because they are individually button operated. The player can either open the room up to allow for enemies to be killed easily with RL/GL damage or restrict the line of sight for long range enemies (shambler/shalrath) and create player cover.

The crusher system is designed to change the state of the room as the fight progresses. It is about giving the player a choice, wide open space or loads of cover. This is something the player can either use or ignore, the choice is theirs.

-Create a new folder called "backstein" in your Quake folder
-Copy the Zip file into the new folder
-Extract the contents of the zip file
-Create a shortcut to your preferred Quake engine
-Add the following to the command line:
 -heapsize 64000 -game backstein +map backstein
-Run shortcut and make sure map loads
-The first part of the map is a skill selection area
-Remember to record a demo once you start the map!
-The map was designed and tested to work with the following engines:
 Mark V -
 FitzQuake 0.85 -

 Map Information
Map TypeSP (Single Player) only
DifficultEasy 192, Normal 224, Hard 256 - Monsters
Developmenttwo months
TexturesMostly by ID Software, with lots of additional detail textures by me
SourceMap and texture WAD included in the PAK file

-ID software for creating Quake
-Additional map feedback and testing by negke and necros
-BSP Compilers (txqbsp,vis,light) by Bengt Jardrup
-Coloured light and LIT support by MH
-newskip by John Fitzgibbons (hides skip textures)
-TexMex 3.4 by Mike Jackman (good for organizing textures)
-AdQuedit 1.3 by Hicks Goldrush (perfect for pak files)

Architectural Concepts -
The Bridge Crane -
Florentine Library -
Shape and Form -
Single Player Maps -
Edge of Forever -
Freeport Docks -
Midnight Stalker -
Backsteingotik -
The Ivory Tower -
The Horde of Zendar -
Metal Monstrosity -
Castle Kaahoo -
One Thousand Cuts -
Fallen From Grace -
Single Player Mods -
In the Shadows -
Arcane Dimensions -
AD Only Maps -
Arcane Adamantine -
Arcane Monstrosity -
Firetop Mountain -
Forgotten Sepulcher -
Grendels' Blade -
Nyarlathoteps Castle -
Obsessive Bricks -
Ogre Fortress (e2m2) -
Slipgate Conundrum -
Tenacious Tentacle -
The City of Zendar -
Multi Player Maps -
Focal Point (QuakeLive) -
Pyramid of the Magician -
Mystic Gemini -
Si'Metrik -
Chiroptera -
Indie Games -
Flipper -
Firefox This site has been cobbled together by Simon O'Callaghan
Contact Information: Simon O'Callaghan
All content is Copyright © 2000-2019
Hosted by ApisNetwork