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 Metal Monstrosity (Q1SP)   Information File Size: 12.1Mb
Split Level Metal Spires Metal Dish Simple Start

 How to install and run this map
This map is designed to ONLY work with the Quoth v2.x MOD for Quake. If Quoth is not installed correctly the map will have various monsters and items missing and cannot be completed.

  Installation in standalone folder

-Create a new folder called 'metmon' in your Quake folder
-Copy the file (metmon1d.zip) 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 metmon -quoth +map metmon
 
-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!
 

  Installation using Quoth v2.2 Launcher

-Create a new folder called 'metmon' in your Quake folder
-Copy the file (metmon1d.zip) into the new folder
-Extract the contents of the zip file
-Rename the file 'pak0.pak' to 'metmon.pak'
-Copy the 'metmon.pak' file to the quoth directory
 
-Make sure the file 'launcher.bat' exists in the quoth directory
-Drag and Drop the new 'metmon.pak' file onto the launcher.bat icon
search google with 'how to drag and drop files' if stuck
 

  Additional notes

-The map was designed and tested to work with the following engines:
 QuakeSpasm - http://celephais.net/board/view_thread.php?id=60452
 FitzQuake 0.85 - http://www.celephais.net/fitzquake/


 Background Information
After releasing 'The Horde of Zendar' I decided I wanted to go back to my original Quake project 'In the Shadows' and try to finish it. The past couple of months I have been busy adding new features and taking the project in a much needed stealth direction.

Recently a mapper called mfx released a Quake map called 'Kleins Bottle' and it was a beautiful skybox map full of strange architectural shapes floating high above the clouds. Feeling inspired I wanted to create my own Quake skybox map and I knew there was a long weekend coming up soon, which would be the perfect opportunity to play around in the editor.

The initial layout was a haphazard collection of small platforms winding their way around several small towers of metal. The platforms were arranged close enough to jump between and they offered the benefit of multiple routes in lots of different directions.

I did not want to use medieval monsters this time around and thought it would be a nice change to try a tech/base theme instead. Unfortunately Quake lacks a good collection of base enemies, but there is a mod called Quoth which does attempt to fill in the gaps with many new AI units.

I downloaded the latest version of Quoth and created a small series of test maps to explore the new features and various base monsters. The new AI units sadly have excessive health bars, dangerous projectile attacks, but they do have good range attacks which might suit my maps disjointed environment.

The primary focus of any skybox map is the skybox, its something that should be visible from as many angles as possible and be a constant reminder that one wrong misstep and the player will be falling to their death.

Recently I have been playing around with the latest version of Terragen creating simple cloudy landscapes bathed in moonlight. One of my favourite Quake skies is the purple clouds which is the perfect colour choice for creating classic Quake elder world landscapes. Probably the most time was spent trying to get the fog to match, so that it feels bright and purple all at the same time!

As more platforms and routes were added the overall structure was beginning to take shape, but it still needed a believable mechanic for why it was floating. The quake runic metal texture set has some lovely glowing runes which are often used for teleporters. If the map structure was perched on top of clumps of runic cubes then maybe the players might think that the runes are the logical source of the power keeping the structure afloat.

As the mass of cubic runes supporting the base of the structure grew upwards it felt like it was merging with the central structure and taking over. This gave me the idea of the runes bursting out from various parts of the structure like they were an infectious power source. This became a visual language to hint at where buttons were and how everything is connected.

The original idea for the structure was to have a large radio telescope like dish at the top, a natural progression goal for the player to climb towards. I imagined the structure was a large teleportation tower sent by an elder race to observe other worlds. The lift shaft up to the dish is also the perfect key objective!

As the structure grew under the shadow of the metal dish the upper parts were beginning to look similar. I decided to try the lower runic detail on the top of the structure and it created a lovely silhouette against the skybox. At first the cubes and spires pointed upwards but on some structures I made them spill out over the edge and slip down again, like the runes were organic and alive.

For a long time I had solid bridges connecting all of the various platforms of the structure together. The downside to this approach was less opportunities to see the skybox and feel the space below. In my original Quoth test map I played around with force-fields and wondered what they would be like if the player/AI could walk on them, instead of just acting as barriers.

Eventually I found the right combination of entities, lights and special textures to create the illusion of laser walk ways and they did feel good to play with. It never got old flicking a switch and seeing AI drop to their death. This also solved the skybox visibility problem and nicely added a strange tech vibe to the structure to match the AI units.

The final battle was to be on the dish at the top of the map and I wanted the fight be the usual multi wave affair. I setup the waves to be spawned in at various points around the arena, but it felt weird there was no reason for the teleporting effects. One of the cool features of Quoth is the ability to generate lightning strikes and it seemed a perfect way to setup the AI.

I spent a while creating a huge brushwork sphere and then connecting all the AI spawns via lightning strikes from the sphere to the floor. The system looked so cool that I extended it to randomly strike the ground while the final battle was in progress. It created a nice side effect of players and AI being hit and sometimes being comically killed during the battle.

After playing with the original Quake entity set for so long, I sort of know where items should go and how to balance the monsters against player resources. The new Quoth AI are typically mid range monsters (due to excessive health) and there is a tipping point where certain weapons just dominate them.

Initially the map had all the weapons and once the player got the SNG/RL/LG it was game over for all of the AI. I did not want to add high end monsters like Drole and Shambler's to balance the high end weapon fire power, but I wanted to stick with various combinations of low to mid monsters instead which is why the available player weapon set is limited.

One Quoth tech style monster that has gained notoriety amount the Quake community is the flying monster called Bob. It fires a large burst of plasma, moves very quickly and has awesome fear inducing idle sounds. I wanted the player to hear the idle sounds long before they know where they were.

Initially I setup a couple of Bob's on very long 90 degree turn patrols underneath and above the structure and this produced some amazing random encounters. With the map having so much sky space the Bob AI units really excel at inducing fear and loathing in this map.

Probably the greatest disappointment is the lack of good secrets in this map. There are plenty of areas to explore, but nothing really satisfying to find. The map has a lovely Swiss cheese layout with loads of opportunity to explore but this does nothing for traditional secret locations. The secrets in this map fall into one category, ledge hunting.

As much as I have enjoyed playing with the Quoth MOD and entities I can't help but feel that the MOD goes against the spirit of the Quake community. The source QC is not freely available (even on request) and that means you are limited to what the MOD can offer and nothing else. I know plenty of people from the community have asked about the source files and have always received the same reply, a stone cold wall of silence.

With so much of the map exposed to the skybox the vis and portal information is completely missing. You can pretty much see everything all of the time. The r_speed/wpoly counts are extremely high, thou not as high as the map 'something wicked' by Tronyn. So if any machine can handle that map they can certainly handle this one too!

After a while of creating this map I stopped worrying about r_speed/wpoly counts and just added detail where I thought it be cool to see. There are no special hint surfaces or any real mapping effort to reduce the poly count in this map. If you got a modern day pc, you should be fine!

With such a limited amount of floor space available and lots of vertical space to explore it was difficult to find locations for the AI to exist and not trip over each other. Each group of AI are setup to wake up in small clumps so that the pacing is controlled as much as possible by the player.

There are a couple of locations where triggers will fill up the floor space behind the player with more enemies. I know this can be a sensitive issue for most players but there was little choice and the map would be far too empty otherwise. The back spawning triggers are spaced far apart and only re-populate areas far behind the player.


 Map Information
Map TypeSP (Single Player) only
DifficultEasy 60, Normal 84, Hard 101 - Monsters
DevelopmentThree weeks
SkyboxMoonrise was created with Terragen 3 by me
TexturesSome by Kell, some by ID and the rest remixed by me
SourceMap and texture WAD included in the PAK file


 Credits
-ID software for creating Quake
-Additional map feedback and testing by Daz, Negke and Spirit
-BSP/VIS Compilers - TYRUTILS v0.14 by Kevin Shanahan
-Light Compiler by Bengt Jardrup
-Coloured light and LIT support by MH
-TexMex 3.4 by Mike Jackman (good for organizing textures)
-AdQuedit 1.3 by Hicks Goldrush (perfect for pak files)


Mememe
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