"Conquer" - an endless mode for 'Quake'

I have recently played the https://www.quaddicted.com/reviews/func_mapjam5.html, which is based on a mod, named “Conquer” “Qonquer”]. The mod, brings an endless mode to ‘Quake’ gameplay, along with certain suitable gameplay tweaks.

The maps featured in the jam, are of excellent quality, even though, due to enemy rooster being rather dumb, the complex layout - more characteristic to deathmatch arenas - I did not find particularly fitting in some cases; the “Conquer” maps, seem like needing to be plain.

The mod itself, could use some finetuning, particularly in order to make the gameplay progress, feel more dynamic; albeit - for what the experience was, it made me think. Enemies coming in waves, is a tested and proven idea, but then - what if to swap the endless formula, with something actually more purpose-driven? What kind of purpose, could there be in ‘Quake’? Perhaps something economy-driven.

Before I get to my doubts regarding the economy in ‘Quake’ or the lack of it, let me paint a noetic picture of what do I imagine for mechanical framework of reference. The thing, is not a novel idea - I saw it already, for example, in a game, called ‘Mindustry’ [open source hybrid tower defense factory micromanagement].

You see, enemies come in waves and the protagonist, enters the arena, in order to win resources. Once every fixed amount of waves, the exit passage opens, allowing the protagonist to leave and pick up whatever he has won. If the protagonist chooses to stay for another set of waves, the amount of resources available to win, becomes multiplied, but so becomes increased the difficulty level of combat. In case the protagonist perishes in combat - he is left with either only a symbolic reward or with nothing at all.

Why not be able to leave after each wave selectively? The reason, is intuitive to tell - it is the thrill of gamble.

The immediate drawback, is easy to spot: the case of grind; which will make the mod, unattractive to those seeking more directed and compact kind of ‘Quake’ experience.

For the economy - as already mentioned, in ‘Quake’, there is no actual economy; which would involve universal symbolic representation of available goods, combined with trade system. Simultaneously, another question should probably be answered: even if we had “money” in ‘Quake’, what would be purchasable? That brings another issue to the picture, namely: in ‘Quake’, there is nothing really to purchase in-game, except for mandatory health, ammo and armor; rendering the whole notion of winning resources, tautological, since exactly these mentioned resources, would become exploited in the arena combat.

Clearly, there needs to be something outside of the mentioned trio, attractive enough to grind for, in order for the system, to work. What would that be? Hard to tell, really. Crucial items, like keys - allowing to progress in mainline story - already make for a slippery option, since the arena, ought to be exclusively an optional solution; made to boost the amount of resources for things helpful, but not mandatory. In fact, the game, should be doable without heavy involvement in the arena; perhaps it should be doable, without any arena involvement altogether.

Maybe weapons, could do the difference; artifacts, due to their temporality, make for poor commodity.

For the health, ammo and armor - the arena, should always provide sufficient amount of these within own microcosmos, which itself, could be a form of reward; if to survive the first set of waves, at least - that is.

Well, I give you an idea for a flying skateboard, you come up with the technology.

EDIT:

To avoid creating opportunities for recursive gameplay patterns, every arena, should be accessible only once.

It’s infinity and aimlessness that is why I don’t like this jam. Its gameplay is more similar to Q3, but it also has a finish. Despite the visually great maps, some of which are masterpiece. Modern mappers, competently using the capabilities of the mod (AD or Copper, etc.), create magnificent mini-arenas in their maps, which fit perfectly and diversify the gameplay, but, as you have successfully noticed, victory in the arena is always rewarded in one way or another. Waves are more dynamic and much more interesting. In addition there is one little gem that I very like – a map elegantly used arena style created without any mods – Charmhood by Kona.

I understand; some people like such “infinite” purpose, regardless. Myself, I like when things have a clear beginning and a clear end; this helps me setup my level of expectations. If I did see the beginning, but I did not see the end, then I have seen only half the thing - hard to evaluate, right?

You mean, ‘Quake 3’ has a finish? I did not play ‘Quake 3’, therefore, cannot argue; but I did play ‘Xonotic’ a bit.

Aye, maps in the jam, visually, are outstanding.

For a gameplay mechanic, yes they are. I especially liked how - in terms of the jam - they were involved with environmental progress.

Then I must play it, if you recommend it.

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