Hi, I’m new to Quake. I’m an old geezer, I was in my twenties when Quake came out but it somehow passed me by. Now I’m catching up on nearly 27 years of progress and what I’ve seen is amazing: Dwell, Alkaline, Arcane Dimensions to name just three goregous looking projects, plus of course literally thousands of standalone maps. Thank you to this amazing community!
I’d love to get into mapping for Quake. I did some Doom and Duke 3D mapping back in the day. And I’ve tinkered with other more obscure games for years. I’m now learning Quake mapping with Trenchbroom, and learning about how mods work.
Anyway, the point of this post is to ask a perhaps strange question: Do Quake players only expect Quake gameplay?
It turns out that I’m not a very good Quake player. I don’t have the reactions I used to. Even on Easy, some of the community projects are too frantic and I end up noclipping and god-moding my way out…
But I love being in these amazing locations and spaces that have been created. The atmosphere and architecture is so evocative and awe inspiring. I would love to make environments like this, in a kind of explorer adventure with very little Quake style combat, sort of a walking simulator / puzzle adventure with cool locations and lore to discover. More focus on visuals, ambience, environmental storytelling, and minimal combat with naturalistic enemies.
However, without normal Quake gameplay, I suspect most Quake players wouldn’t want to play it?
I’m just wondering what the player audience thinks of a project like this and if it would appeal?
Both classic Doom and Quake communities are rather combat-centric, and have been for a while. That said, I believe one should make what one enjoys, and wants to see more of. Personally, I find nonstop action tiresome.
AD had a few maps with a prominent secret-hunting element to them, so maybe not all is lost.
There’s been projects with an exploration focus (for example, the Explore Jams) so there is some demand for it.
Personally, the reason I come back to Quake, or for that matter, Doom, is because I think these games are still the best combat-focused FPS games out there, and I am interested in seeing level designers push that aspect of the games to the limit (or in the case of Doom, my limit, since the skill ceiling for that game is way higher than my own skill level). A map whose combat/encounter design is too easy or otherwise isn’t compelling isn’t likely to hold my interest.
It’s not that I dislike games with exploration/atmosphere focus. I used to play a lot of survival horror games, and I’ve played many fan missions for the first two Thief games (a stealth game, missions for which generally have a strong exploration and storytelling component). I’ve even played my share of “pure” exploration/art games. Point being that different games fill different roles for me, and when I look for custom content for a given game it will generally be content that plays to the game’s strengths. There are exceptions (A.L.T. for Doom II is awesome, for example) but they are, well, exceptions.
Now I certainly don’t speak for all members of the Quake community, but depending on the answers you get, it may be fair to ask yourself: is the project I want to create likely to get many players IF it takes the form of a Quake level/mod? Would it work better as a project for a different game, say Thief, or something else? It may turn out the answer to the first question is “yes” after all, I’m not sure, but it’s worth considering.
Thanks, yes I agree, and it’s one of the motivations for dong this project (which is actually a very old idea I was originally going to write as a series of novels!) Even without an audience, it’s something I’ll still undertake because the fun for me is in the act of creation.
Thanks for your considered explanation, that was very helpful.
I’m an old gamer and the Thief series is one of my favourites. Loved the atmosphere in those. I also recently found the Dark Mod which I’m conflicted about starting: it looks so good, if I start, I’ll never create my own stuff!
But yes, you’re right, a different engine/audience would likely make more sense if I want actual players. The two main reasons that make Quake attractive though are it’s relatively easy mapping / low barrier to entry, and the awesome modern interpretations of the low-fi aesthetic (eg, Makkon’s beautiful textures). I’ve tinkered with Unity but it will take too long to learn it well enough to produce anything good, and even then it would have a different aesthetic. Plus the creation and/or sourcing of appropriate content is a whole different ball-game.
Quake mapping is quicker and easier overall, and it’s much easier for me to work with the old school lofi resources, especially pixel based textures – I have a lot of experience there. And there’s just something about seeing beautiful pixel textures in a modern source port with great lighting and atmosphere. (I’m playing Dwell Part 2 right now and the levels are jaw-droppingly beautiful.)
I would still do this project for my own enjoyment even without an audience. Who knows, maybe I’ll just release it as some kind of interactive art experiment… Other modders could always add gameplay to it if they wanted.
I think this is a very relevant question. Similar, one could ask: do ‘Doom’ players expect only ‘Doom’ gameplay? Talking about classic ‘Doom’ example here. When it comes to ‘Doom’ the answer is clearly negative and plenty of mods have proven that. In fact, traditional “boom” ‘Doom’ appears nearly hibernated nowadays. What we have instead is ‘GZdoom’ (is it pronounced cheesy doom?) that is more similar to ‘Duke Nukem 3D’ and the ‘Build’ engine rather than anything the early ‘iD’ did. Nonetheless, only the notion that it derives from the classic ‘Doom’ is shocking enough, but I am not into details of all this to tell whether anything genuinely ‘Doom’ is left in there. With ‘Quake’ it is perhaps a bit different - I think the case is not even whether we want it or not, the question is whether we have seen anything substantially different and convincing at all.
I just clicked randomly on three wad threads on Doomworld. The port requirements were as follows: Boom, limit-removing, GZDoom. It’s been like that for many years.
There’s more than one community for Doom, just like there’s more than one community for Quake. For Quake, there’s this roughly homogenous community centered around Fitzquake derivatives that prefers sticking to basics and pushing them to the limit. Last time I checked, there was also a hub for modding where Darkplaces was appreciated.
With Doom, you have Doomworld for exploration of core mechanics, and GZDoom has its own crowd interested in advanced modding that tries to make the game into something other than itself.
A while ago, there was also an isolated group enamored with Doomsday, but I don’t know if it’s still around.
This is a bit of a simplification, but I haven’t been involved for years. There’s also a caveat of classic format works often being of “slaughtermap” variety, which is arguably not classic Doom at all, but a new thing altogether, albeit relying on largely unmodified mechanics to give it a familiar structure.
Thanks for clarification and sorry for giving opinion on things I really have no idea about - nonetheless, if I was to not talk about stuff I did not yet figure out thoroughly, I would probably need to save my rants for a day after the doomsday call.
I made some Doom and Doom 2 levels a couple of years ago, and I deliberately made them in the ‘old school’ style. The levels may or may not run on “vanilla” DOS doom, didn’t take into account hard limits, but I prefer that style. GzDoom has some great mods, but it can be hard to keep track of it all.
Same for Quake. I don’t mind Arcane Dimensions and other modifications, but my preference is for something closer to the original style. Slaughtermaps are rarely enjoyable for me. Levels which enhance the atmosphere, have great details are welcome. I think it is possible to enhance Quake and change it, without really detracting from it. A focus on movement, moody atmospheres, good amount of action with variable gameplay (ie, not always quiet, not always full throttle). Dwell 2.2 is a good recent example of something which provided a novel, unique experience, yet still Quakey.