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Here we go.... ? $comment_count ?>
Before I get started, let me take a moment to thank Hoony. First, for thinking out loud in his article "Where are all the mappers?" Second, for his decision to set up Challenge.World.Maps in direct response to your positive feedback generated by that article.

"What we have here is....failure to communicate".
As I first read Hoony's piece, that well known line of dialogue from an old flick rolled around in the back of my mind like an ambient sound loop each time I encountered a statement like:

since the "hardcore" players ignored his custom maps for years while playing the default id set (DM2, DM4 and DM6) he had little inclination to help them out now.


in Quake3 we're left with our bland rooms where clipping brushes abound, turning entire levels into the game equivalent of a rubber room. I want my boxes back. I want my ladders back. I want my strangely shaped pillars and other such things.

From where I sit the solution seems fairly simple, open lines of communication. The sad fact is I see these two groups looking at each other across a line in the sand. Nobody wants to take that first step. On one side our leering mapper might see our competitive gamer as a junk food eatin', Jolt Cola swillin' bundle of writhing nerves who would be happy as a pig in shit dueling in a single room fullbright map with a floor drain in the middle. Jumping to the other side, our competitive gamer might hold the opinion that mappers are trendy fops who prance around all the live long day with a pink handled screwdriver tucked in their back pockets stopping occasionally between sniffing bicycle seats to discuss the relative merits of caulk brushes. OK, so it ain't all that, but there does seem to be an air of mutual misunderstanding.

What's this all about then?
The concept is simple. We want to combine the unique talents of our community's competitive gamers and freelance mappers. The goal is to produce first quality maps for competitive league play, Pro tournament play and eventually maps designed specifically for Challenge Pro Mode. We'll do this in a closed format that works like this: Pair a mapper(s) with a volunteer team of competitive players. The player/mapper team will decide upon a basic concept for a 1-0-1 or 2-0-2 map (we're also looking at the possibility of working in a CTF mapper/player unit in the future). Closed playtesting will be conducted on interval builds, much as mappers always do it. Between builds we'll keep you informed of our progress with news posts on this section and perhaps a screenshot here and there. Once the beta map is deemed "gold", it will be made available to competitive leagues and the gaming public.

Who died and left you in charge?
I won't insult you by suggesting that having run Ramshackle for 2 years qualifies me as an expert on mapping. More correctly, I believe the experience allows me a somewhat unique perspective on and understanding of the freelance mapper's trade and the basic needs of players. I'll use what I've learned as a reviewer and beta tester to help reach our goal. At some point in the near future I will reassume the mantle of the dreaded map reviewer, in addition to my other duties, to select and dissect promising competition oriented pieces.

Who's gonna lay the brushes?
First, I did a bit of snooping around to see if there was any buzz amongst the competitive gamers....which existing custom maps, if any, would they consider for use in organized tournaments or league play. Then, I thought about mappers who had experience making maps for competition or whose maps had been used in competitions. Having only about a week to put this together I came up with a short list: ztn and jude. They have both since joined the project.

How can I get involved?
What we want from you is feedback. Whether you're a competitive gamer, a casual player or a mapper, it makes no difference. You're ideas, comments and criticisms (constructive, mind you) are always welcome. Right now we'll be focused on getting our first maps rolling. However, there are still positions to be filled folks (read: we could use a few more mappers), as we are also intent on producing maps designed specifically for Challenge Pro Mode.

Would you use my maps?
At this point we will spend all of our time concentrating on in-house maps for competitions and maps for Challenge Pro Mode. Once we get things off to a solid start our intent is to set up a sub-section here that will act as a review area to assist those seeking maps for competitive play. When the time comes we'll make an announcement here and begin taking map submissions so keep your wetware peeled.

Let's get down to the rat killin' then....
To get the ball rolling I thought it might be helpful to open some sort of dialogue. For the purpose of this dialogue I asked ztn "What makes Q1DM4 a classic map?" Here's what he had to say:

The Bad Place - Or DM4, also known as "(your name here) visits the Volcano God". The good ol' days of rocket battles and kamikaze-runs to get out of the MegaHealth room. If you were lucky enough, and caught your opponent scratching his ass, you could come out of the trap alive and get some frags along the way. If you've ever played Quake1 deathmatch, you know what I'm talking about.
They just don't make maps like this anymore - Sad but true. DM4 is everything but a well-balanced map, yet when I look back at the early days of Q1, I see myself playing this particular map. I can say with all honesty that "The Bad Place" is one of my all-time favorite professional DM maps. It might sound like I'm talking about my first love here, but that's not the case. E1M5 was my first love actually, that's because I got the retail Q1 months after the release. Anyway, I've read a lot of criticism about DM4, and have also played an "enhanced" version of that map which featured, besides a more balanced item layout, an additional teleporter to provide an alternate way out of the MegaHealth room. Good. Everything looks ok on paper, we have a politically correct weapon placement, no more dead ends, a few extra health packs here and there and so on. But when playing it, there was something missing. The new map felt like...a new map. Here's what I'm getting at...making a *fun* map is like making a good bar-b-q. You don't use just meat, you need to add pepper, salt and other ingredients, which separately will taste like chicken gourmet made by a Swahilian warrior, but when used in correct proportion, they will only add to the flavor of the end product. Sure I'm talking about a FFA oriented map here, 1-on-1 maps are a different story altogether. More on that later. Mind you, I'm not saying an unbalanced map is a good thing, no, I'm saying that some imbalance will add to the fun factor. And the game is about having fun, something that some of today's mappers seem to forget occasionally. Here I go again praising DM4, but it's a perfect example how a *fun* map should be done within the bounds of the engine.
Hot boiling lava! Oh, the pain! - Another thing that has taken a beating from players, but let's see if you can remember this: you are standing on the middle deck of the main area in DM4, you know, where the Grenade Launcher and Lightning Gun are located. Suddenly you hear that sharp thud as someone lands on his feet, followed by the sound of a weapon being picked up and then the metallic sound of picking up armor. If you have ever played DM4, you *know* where your opponent is now, and what his next move will be. You'll set an ambush near the Grenade Launcher and wait for the other player to appear at the teleporter destination below on the bridge over the lava. But, instead of blowing the unaware opponent to small gibblets, you are going to have some fun at his expense. When the poor sod finally appears, you send a rocket *behind* him to pushing him into the lava. If you think that's fun, wait to see what he types. Some new additions to your vocabulary. There's also a way out of the lava. It needs a bit of practice, but it can be done. You just have to have a Rocket Launcher, and a fairly good level of health and armor. Point your back to the bridge and face down while taking your hot bath. Now swim backwards while firing a rocket at the bottom of the lava pool, the blast will propel you out of the lava. When done properly, you'll be out in fairly good condition to collect some health and a payback. Try doing that in some modern maps without any lava. So again, lava can be fun, when used properly and in good taste.
Undocumented features - Now this is something that really adds to a map. The latest trend seems to be that everything must be clipped away to prevent players from getting places where they "shouldn't be." Who says where they should or shouldn't be? DM4 doesn't use clip brushes at all, yet it's still a very playable map. There are places, which should be clipped, allowing more smooth movement, but not everything! A player should be able to explore beyond the boundaries set by the author, which is another spice I like adding to the soup. There are many such places in DM4, which I'm sure American McGee didn't think of when he built the map. Some places are only accessible and/or usable through the anomalies of the player code. For example, you can slide slowly down the wall in the Yellow Armor room, just above the Red Armor room to prevent other players from hearing the distinguishing thud when landing on the floor. Another well-known trick is to strafe jump from the far corner of the upper deck to the Quad Damage. All these features are there because the author didn't *prevent* players from exploiting them, and again, in this case it adds to the fun factor.
D(r)ead-end - The dreaded dead-end room with a MegaHealth and Rocket Launcher combo. In duel play, it's best to avoid going there. But in FFA, a dead-end room can be fun, and puts player's skills to the test. In DM4, you can sit there quietly and heal your wounds while listening to what others are doing. Since audio clues are a very important factor in DM4, you know the moment to stick your head out and get away. Better yet, get out with a couple of frags. Heroic, isn't it?
Teleporter mayhem - I remember reading somewhere that John Carmack stated "teleporters only confuse players". Hell, that might be true if you're the type who gets lost in his bathroom. But not real men...and me of course. DM4, regardless of its small size, features 5 teleporters, some of them being two-way types. That's quite a number, considering most modern and larger maps feature only one or two teleporters, if any. Teleporters in DM4 play a very important role providing a way to kill multiple players at once, or confusing your opponents 'til their hair turns gray. Some say telefragging is annoying, and I have to agree to some extent. In DM4 the upper room, where you start in the single player mode, is quite lethal when packed. With 8 or more players you can get a kill or two for sure when teleporting there. You can also get telefragged before entering the teleport yourself. This, of course, always happens when you have full armor, 200 health (back then, the health and armor didn't wear off), 100 rockets, and you're just about to force someone to donate his left kidney. What a waste. So it's a matter of tastes (not the kidney, the teleporters) whether you like the crisscrossing teleporter action or not. I think it was fun when I wasn't in the most aggressive mode. I swear I once saw a guy telefrag 4 players at the same time...down on the lava bridge. An enormous spray of blood and guts erupted and man was it sweet. I believe I even have it somewhere on demo.
ndahadpsjep - Those are my thoughts on DM4. Since then, many good maps have been released which provide more balanced flow and better visuals. You'll notice that I left the visual aspect completely out here. That doesn't mean it's not important, but compared with today's shiny and glittering maps, DM4 is able to hold its own due to the fun factor. I'd say DM4 is "aesthetically pleasing", not overdone, and not too bland either. The layout is simple, yet interesting. In fact, you can see echoes of the DM4 layout in my most recent maps. Look carefully, they are there. For example, "Recycler's" central area...does it look familiar? How about "Bad Blood's" lava atrium? Those are my interpretations of a successful formula. Making a map is easy, making it play well, is tough. Making a classic is pure chance. Intentionally throwing in some imbalance and leaving the player more freedom to choose his path, the chance can be multiplied. Sterile maps play, well, sterile.

Since ztn was on a roll I asked him to list the essential ingredients for a great 1-0-1 map. Here's what he said:

  • Balance - In a 1-on-1 map, everything should be balanced from weapon layout to the architecture. Yet, there should be some slight imbalance thrown in. Whether that would be an extra item, a powerup or a place to camp, that's up to the author to decide. Tipping the scales in this manner is the driving force of the action.
  • Reward the player - There sould be a place that the player will contiune to visit...around which the game flow revolves. Here's another aspect: reward the skillful player. Make some items more quickly accessible using an advanced method like strafe or rockect jumping. Never make a significant item accessed only in that way. Everybody deserves a chance.
  • Keep the player in constant fear - Hard to accomplish but always a very effective device. I'm not talking about creating artificial threats like falling into a void or making death-traps. That sould be left for single player maps. The player must fear being ambushed by the other player. Look at it like this, create an architectural feature that telgraphs fear on one hand but looks simply harmless on the other. A quick example is the tunnel to the RA in Painkiller. What will you get on the other end -- RA or a rocket in your ear?
  • Every area should have a distinct purpose - Don't add empty rooms to pad the looks of a map. Keep it economical and keep the rooms stocked.
  • Space Planning - Places for vertical action and places for two-dimensional action. Some prefer the daughter, some prefer her mother.
  • Avoid very powerful items and weapons - The easiest way to keep one player from dominating the other.
  • Exposure - Force players to expose themselves when some items are needed. Power has a price.
  • Force players to jump - In the air, you are more exposed and more vulnerable.
  • Avoid death-traps - Traps might work in FFA, but not in duel.
  • Comfortable size - That should be self-explanatory, nobody wants to play duel in large maps running around on an endless bug hunt.
  • Avoid unlit areas - Or if you really need some dark areas to emphasize your architecture, at least light the floor. General rule of thumb: always keep the floor lit.
  • Audio clues - Always make areas sound differently according to player's interaction.
  • Rote - Make the surroundings interesting and easy to memorize. You should get the hang of a layout in one or two runs thru the map.

OK players, you've seen the classic DM4 from a mapper's perspective. You've also been given a peek at what a mapper feels is essential to produce a solid, playable, competitive map. Now we take the next step. Let's see if there really is a disparity of viewpoints between players and mappers. What do you think makes Q1DM4 a classic map? What do you consider essential ingredients for a great 1-0-1 map? We want to know. It's as easy as mashing the comments link.

Way to go Hoons and Barratus !
Comment by on 07:00, Friday, 28 April 2000
I asure you that CHWD maps will be with out doubt successful. I cant be the only one gettin bored of the id maps.

Lookin forward to some sic maps :)

Comment by on 07:17, Friday, 28 April 2000
I think what makes DM4 so good is -
1. Hard to master - If you've never played DM4 before and you play a good Quake 1 player on it - you'll get owned - you'll spend most of the time respawning and going for lava dips >:-]. - But - because it's challenging it feels great when you learn how to play it. Once you can do all the rocket mumps and moves it feels like you're flowing through the level laying waste to your opponent :P.
2. It's fast and brutal - Dm4 isn't for wusses. If you're not up to it you'll get owned. It's dangerous :). That's why it's fun :).
3. Cool moves to master - there's heaps of cool moves possible on this map - and they're useful - not just for show. Positional advantage on this map is worth more than armour and health. It's worth the 50 health for a rocket jump so you can get in to a better position than you're opponent.
4. Level control - Do you run the armours and megahealth or do you keep a positional advantage and stay up above the LG? It's a big advantage having the height advantage in this map. If you chase an opponent down into the megahealth - even if you frag him - he might respawn at the red armour, rocket jump up to the top of the level and trap you.
5. Ownage - Watch a demo like Kane vs Cata - Pure ownage. Kane is/was the master of DM4 - at his best he's a machine on dm4. He totally dominates his opponent. He just flows from one move to the next. - That's what I like about DM4 the most - when everything clicks into place it feels great to play - it becomes reflex - you hear your opponent go through a tele and a rocket is already on it's way. :P

Bit over dramatic I know but - that's what's missing from Quake 3 >:-P.

Comment by on 09:07, Friday, 28 April 2000

good idea to start a page like this, but is it only for duel maps? There is also a need for good TeamDM maps.


Map Flavors
Comment by on 10:07, Friday, 28 April 2000
Our focus at the outset will be duel maps due to their size and it should be easier to attract the required number of beta test players. We do have definate plans to make TeamDM maps as well. At some point in the future I'd like to see us try our hand at CTF maps. Of course that will depend on the mappers we can attract and a demand for CTF pieces from the competitive community.


Map Flavors
Comment by on 10:07, Friday, 28 April 2000
Our focus at the outset will be duel maps due to their size and it should be easier to attract the required number of beta test players. We do have definate plans to make TeamDM maps as well. At some point in the future I'd like to see us try our hand at CTF maps. Of course that will depend on the mappers we can attract and a demand for CTF pieces from the competitive community.


Comment by on 11:23, Friday, 28 April 2000
Hey, Reaps - do you know where I could pick up a demo of Kane on dm4?

essential ingredients
Comment by on 16:47, Friday, 28 April 2000
These are some general guidelines for making duel maps which I thought up this afternoon..

*The magic numbers for armors are 2 or 3. Never more than 1 RA. Any more than 3 armors and things get kind of ridiculous. If you have only 1 armor on your map, then you have q3tourney4. (as shitty a map as there ever were)

*Please lay off the Megahealth. :) If the map is pretty balanced, Mega serves as a good way for one player to gain a significant advantage over the other, but in some cases (like q3dm13 for instance) it can become completely overpowering.

*Easy on the shards and stims (5h spheres). Dont go nuts and leave strings of 5 of them all over the map. Try to make each group of shards/stims a different number. I/E one with 3, one with 4, one with 2, etc.. This way they serve as sound cues, and sound cues are a *good thing*.

*1 RL at least, 2 RL's if you truly must. Never more than 1 LG!

*Most advanced players prefer the LG to the Plasma (unless your name is a|lantern) so please use it more often. :) )

*Please limit the amount of health lying around. Try to stay away from using the 50h packs. Limiting the amount of health lying around is a good way to make sure that the player who is not in control, will have a way back in the game.

*Remember the GL! Players generally prefer non-curved surfaces because curved surfaces suck for bouncing grenades off!

*Interconnect your rooms in as many ways as you can possibly think of. The more ways the better.

*Use doors in places for sound cues.

*Please use teleporters instead of jump pads. Teleporters are goooooooooood. Jump pads generally just suck. If there's a situation where you ABSOLUTELY MUST PUT A JUMP PAD, please use a very fast elevator instead!

*Please do not throw ammo all over the place. You dont want the controlling player worrying about his rocket supply too much, but you DO want it to take awhile to build up enough ammo to use, say, the LG exclusively for a bit.

*Do not underestimate the power of the shotgun! In the hands of a skilled player, it is FEARSOME. Therefore it should not neccesarily be the easiest gun to get!

*Please make the powerful weapons DIFFICULT to get. This means, put them in places that make you vulnerable if you make the choice to go for a really nice gun. For instance, the Railgun hidden off in the water on Q2DM1, or the RL down in the hole on Q2DM1. Never make a good weapon *really* easy to get, like for instance the Railgun on Q3Tourney4.

*Whatever you do, DO NOT MODEL YOUR MAPS AFTER Q3 MAPS. The Q3 maps are the biggest STEAMING PILE OF SHITE as far as gameplay is concerned. Sure, they look pretty, but how many times are professional gamers actually gonna run through a map with all the eye candy on? Typically ZERO!

*team abuse
*truegamers staff

To Zangief - Click on the Staynes link to the left :]
Comment by on 18:51, Friday, 28 April 2000
Then do a search for Kane. Check out some of the TGI demos - There should be a link to TGI on Staynes.

Comment by on 19:50, Friday, 28 April 2000
as reaps said, dm4 has 3 main unbalancing factors which make the map such a good play. the positional advantage which probably is the best of the 3 to choose most of the time. then ra/rl room and the mh/rl room. both rooms are traps if your opponent is taking positional advantage but they are also your only real source for a strong counter attack. dm4's most damaging stock is tucked away from the center room so to really make use of this you usually need to have visited power points 2 or 3 first. so we have 2 large imbalances playing off one another, ra/rl( or mh/rl) vs positional advantage etc. of course you dont always have to play by the rules and thats what makes it really interesting =D

ps - gl with the mapping teams =) hope it works out and we get some exciting maps for competitions.

Comment by on 20:47, Friday, 28 April 2000
Since when was DM4 the end all of maps , I thought it was pretty poor. I was by in no way a master of it, mainly because I didn't like it, I'll throw in some ideas of why it was bad :)

Spawns, Half the times you would spawn in a place where you had more or less no chance of surviving. This is something that is horible. Every frag should be earned in someway, not just by firing a rocket at a spawn, getting 1 frag you earned could be turned into quite a few just by good luck.

On the other hand you had some real nice spawns, Like the RA/RL one, if those 2 had spawned you could go through teleporter rocket jump up and have and advantage over the other person not cause of you smarts but from pure luck.

I dont really see how the dead ends helped. They made for some real poor and slow games, Kane vs Lakerman at TGi.. one of them got stuck in the rl/mega and nothing happend for 5 minutes till the one not trapped very nicly went in and killed him. If that happens, the player who had the advantage now has the disadvantage, there stuck down the bottom while the person could have got the lg or rl (if dmm 3 was on)..

Of course this is not always true , but it was far from the perfect map, DM6 was imho a much better map. Spawn raping was kept down quite a lot and tactics were VERY important. No one REALLY got much of an advantage off the 1st spawn cos of the mega/ga/rl and ra/rl spawns. Had great flow and was a real good map.

[CQ]Violator on DM4
Comment by on 21:18, Friday, 28 April 2000
...from an email...
The fact that DM4 is NOT ballanced, is what makes it so perfect. If you don't have control over the mainroom, especially top floor, you got nothing. Control is everything in a map like DM4, because you have the opportunity to get a possitional advantage over your foe, that is, if you control the main room. Furthermore, the shaft, of course being the
best weapon in Quake, is only to be found in the main-room. But eventually, you will run out of ammo, and you will have to leave the main room in order to get a descent armour, more ammo... This leaves the opponent an opportunity to take control over the main room. The red and yellow armour beeing situated outside the main room, along with all the rocket launchers, also gives the opponent an opportunity to simply barge into the main room, hence gaining control. Thereby leaving us with two ways of playing DM4 - with or without brains - making it a suitable map for everyone... even those imbecile Q2 players.. ;-) This goes to show the importance of inbalance.

Of course the arcitecture and item placement is a stroke of genius. Remember the time when you were a newbie, you heard a lot of sounds, but never really did pay attention to them. After a while, you started recognizing the different sounds and combination of sounds, and as an experienced player, you were able to figure out the position of your opponent at any given time. This goes for many maps, but I'd say DM4
really excels at it... The reason being as follows: Viewed from above (in a level editor, or in spectator mode in QW), DM4 is in a kind split into 4 parts, whereas the main room is in the centre of the whole lot, and the other rooms surround the main room. On one side you will find the YA/RA room, Tele/Sshotgun on another... This, along with uniqe
entity combinations in every room, makes it very easy to distinguish between sounds coming from the right and those coming from the left, and even what your enemy is doing. Now, that was the listening and tactics bit.

But the way DM4 is constructed also makes for fast gameplay (in many ways I'd might add). If you got your enemy on the run, you are never more than 2 seconds away. By speedjumping, strafejumping, bunnyjumping or even performing your everyday RLjump, you can always hunt your foe down. Of course bunnyjumping and such also plays a major role in DM4... just to survive when you find yourself in times of trouble. (I guess all QWers know what I'm talking about, but I'll include a little demo of me showing off the most common moves anyways...).

DM4 is not all about aim. Without brains and speed, you will never beat players like Kane and Lakerman. This is, as we all know, what's essentially wrong with Q3A maps. They don't require any brains at all. Just aim. Q3DM17 for example. Need I say more...


DM4 for now, perhaps DM6 next
Comment by on 00:01, Saturday, 29 April 2000
Pilot: interesting points, however I don't think we're claiming that DM4 was "the end of all maps". What we're saying is that it was one of the undisputed "classics".

DM4 came to be the "quintessential" map for any 1on1 tournament, especially in EU during the TGi period and after. I'd say it became regarded as some sort of "true test of skill" or something like that. DM6, it seemed to me, seemed to be regarded as the "strategists" map, more for those who preferred a more "thinking" gameplay. DM6 almost seemed like the "connoiseurs" map. We will probably be looking at DM6 next, but for now the focus is on DM4.

The "flaws" you identify on DM4 - namely the spawns and the deadend at MH, are interesting. I think nearly all of the DM4 fans would say the spawns were a vital part of what made this map so exciting. No matter who you were, you might have to deal with a situation where you were getting raped and had to regain control of the map. Once you have control, you could have a "run" and show off your speed and flow, and some fancy moves. On DM4 an expert player could really get into the "zone", perhaps more than in any other map. Whichever, you knew you were in for a bruising fight and no matter how good you were, it was always possible for a better player to humble you.

In regards to the MH room, I wonder if the experts like Kane and LakermaN would regard that as a flaw in the map's design. It seems to me that you may have a point there - it's the one area where the game can stall. On the other hand, it also played a vital role in enabling a player to get a RL and "hide out" for a bit. You could force your opponent to "break their flow" and "stop their run". The only way to get you was to come in and kill you, and you might be lucky enough to get the coveted "RA spawn", in which case you had a chance to turn the tables.

VG on DM4
Comment by on 00:21, Saturday, 29 April 2000
...from an email... (VG is an AU Quake player who has played the game since the beginning)
Dm4 seems to have become the standard map for qw one on one over the years, which is interesting as it was the map that iD software hated the most out of the dm maps and almost didnt make it into the final cut. Dm4 has long been my favourite map since when i started playing quake. It is the most action packed map and this is what quake is about. Constant frantic action. Maps like dm4 dont work as well in quake2/3 because of the changed physics and slower gameplay. Dm4 is all about doing these crazy jumps around the stairs whilst doing flick rocket shots while your oponent tries to stick u to the celling with the shaft.

The map is well balanced too, with the most powerful items in areas that going into gets you into trouble, which is the way it should be. You shouldnt be able to get a rl or
ra for free, you have to fight your way out once you grab it. The only criticism one can have of the map is the spawn raping, but thats just quake really and can happen on
any map. Of course, dm4 spawn raping has become an art in itself, and an art worth your learning.

Comment by on 05:44, Saturday, 29 April 2000

Comment by on 06:20, Saturday, 29 April 2000
Since most of the peeps here seem to be former Q1 players, I'll just comment a bit on the Q2 map Match1. Match1 was made by id specifically for 1on1 play, and was released in a patch later than the regular q2dmx maps.
If you load up the map you will instantly notice the resemblance with dm4, however, there are a few differences.
The RA and RL is placed in a room just behind the main area, and it only takes a few seconds to leave your position, go grab them, and return to your positional advantage. Coupled with the slower gameplay of Q2 that doesn't really leave time for the opponent to take over control. Besides Match1 is more about armor, and not positioning, to gain control of the map, you will have to lure your opponent away from the RA/RL, which is made easier by an exellent system of teleproters.
Match1 also has a deathtrap which looks almost identical to the one on dm4. It contains a RL + extra ammo, MH and YA (ie. slightly more powerful than the trap in dm4). Also, it's a lot easier to escape from the trap due to three things: The slower and less bouncy rockets in Q2, the opening to the trap is wider, and the bridge over the lava splits into two paths that both lead to safety (if you turn left on dm4 you'll be staring at the wall).
Some people hate match1, other people love it. As you may have guessed, I'm one of the latter. The fast gameplay, the teleporters, and the shortcuts makes this my favorite Q2 1on1 map.
I hope this will give you some ideas as to how you can preserve the fast gameplay of dm4 without making a direct conversion. By making it easier to escape from the deathtrap, we can avoid games like laker vs. kane on dm4 at TGi, and collecting the goodies in the trap can give you a chance to make a comeback.

Dead ends
Comment by on 06:30, Saturday, 29 April 2000
Pilot: You dont need a dead end to make the game a complete stand still. Just watch Xenon and Wombat in frag3, totall balance can be just as bad.

Comment by on 16:19, Saturday, 29 April 2000
While Match1 for Quake 2 might be based on DM4 - it is a good example of how small differences can affect the gameplay HEAPS. What sux about Match1 is that the Red Armour and rocket launcher ar just sitting in that room on top of the level. There is NO risk involved in getting them at all. Also there is no time taken to go fetch the armour if you are in control. On DM4 however, you have to go down into a cramped room, drop down get the rocket and red armour and either rocket jump back up or go through the tele and end up at the bottom of the map. The player trying to gain control has the opportunity to try to trap the other player with grenades/rockets or whatever. It's a risk. On Match1 the guy in control can just camp up top with a rail and every thirty seconds just stroll 2 steps - pack up again and stroll back and continue to camp. Sorry - I think Match1 is a disaster :[.

Comment by on 19:07, Saturday, 29 April 2000
I think it's quite funny seeing people say that it's the imbalance in DM4 that makes it cool.. while the imbalance in Q3TOURNEY4 is what makes it crap. Naturally, if you suck at a map, you'll think that the map sucks.. but if you're good at it, you'll love the map.

Also, I don't think there is ANY formula to make a good duel map. A good duel map is primarily a matter of luck - what works in one map, sucks in the other.

Putting weapons in hard to reach places is crap, it's the mark of a newbie mapper (no offense to anyone). Players only get annoyed by having go to great lengths to get them. The trick is to put the ARMOR/MEGA etc in places that involve an element of risk or predictability so the losing player is able to get that good weapon easily enough, and have half a chance of beating the player who has scored the "goodies" like the RA.

Making a map easy to dominate stinks therefore it's important that both players have an equal chance at getting an item like MEGA if one player has the RA. Total ownage is boring.. control with an element of risk is great.

Comment by on 20:06, Saturday, 29 April 2000
..."imbalance" is not as much of a singular thing as you seem to be implying. T4's problem is quite simply that it's an open map where it is the easiest thing in the world to get the RG. With some rather predictable consequences for the gameplay. If you want to call that "imbalance", okee doke... but don't be surprised that some people think of that particular "imbalance" as a bad thing, while some other completely different characteristic (which might also be labelled "imbalance") could be a good thing.

Comment by on 21:42, Saturday, 29 April 2000
if the railgun was on the ground level say in the building how much of a shift would that make to gameplay? would players still camp the RA level since its still a major height advantage? would it stop the player who is controlling the map from denying their opponent so easily from a good weapon since the railgun is not only away from the RA but also at a positional disadvantage meaning the player in control would be less likely to give up their hold on the RA for it (they have a suply of slugs on the 3rd level anyway). would their opponent be less a victim of the jump pad syndrome since the dont need to get to the 3rd level, or 2nd for that matter to obtain the more desirable weapon? or would it create railgun standoffs ground level vs 3rd level? the need to control the RA is still there for the player on the ground level. would it allow for even easier spawn raping by giving a good player basically lots of railgun ammo at the ground level to run around and dominate? (altho the number of spawnspots is pretty evenly spread over the 3 levels arent they?)


map-editor - another pimp...
Comment by on 03:01, Sunday, 30 April 2000
architecture is only half a map. i know this now. you can have the greatest architecture in the world, with all the snazzy twists & jumps and advanced moves to learn... and you can take that architecture and completely fuck it with a dodgey item layout.

i look constantly at Q1 DM1. that map absolutely rocks in layout, there are lots of jumps and cool moves you can pull off... and there is both, close/cramped combat as well as open area fighting and height advantages that compare to DM4... but still the map isn't much fun to play... no RL... no Shaft... no SNG... no RA... what were they thinking?

a lot of people know of the TMP maps, ID maps re-released with a different item layout... but why should we have to download 58 meg of replacement maps because ID couldn't get the layout right?

enough of that crap... PM can do better...

re: deadstar
Comment by on 04:38, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Deadstar, you say that "putting weapons in hard to reach places is crap" and "making a map easy to dominate stinks" and it would seem you're directing these comments at DM4 (correct me pls if I'm mistaken).

In DM4, some of the weapons are in hard to reach places, and yet DM4 is one of the absolutely most popular 1on1 maps (with *expert players*). To get a RL, either you go into the MH dead end or you get the RA/RL, in which case to get back out you must either tele to the lower level (appearing on a narrow pathway next to lava in plain sight of your opponent) or fight your way out of the narrow passageway leading to YA. Your opponent can be watching all three exit points from the upper level - particularly the overhanging ledge next to the Quad box.

There is one weapon which is relatively easy to get on DM4 however, which is also essential - the LG. DM4 is as much about shafting as it is about RL work.

DM4 is also relatively easy to dominate, even when players are evenly matched. Get one frag and you can extend it into a run of frags - in fact you simply *must* extend it into a run because your opponent sure as hell will be trying to do this to you. When players are unevenly matched, DM4 can produce very unbalanced scores. Total ownage can even happen to otherwise skilled players, if they play someone who is a master of DM4 (eg Reload vs Lakerman, Xenon).

Despite all this, DM4 was and still is enormously popular with competitive players, particularly in Europe, Australasia and South Africa. Maybe DM4 is less fun for FFA, or for inexperienced players, or for a newbie playing an expert. But for two experts, DM4 is a simply awesome map.

Hard to reach wepons
Comment by on 09:05, Sunday, 30 April 2000
And how about the railgun on q2dm1 ? Probably the hardest to reach weapon on any id map. Still it was essential if you wanted to secure your control of the map. Getting to the weapon was risky, but the reward if you got it could easily be a total lockdown of the map.
I can't help thinking that T4 could be a far better map if the railgun was harder to get. Perhaps if you had to dive into the slime to get it ;]

Cant think of a title
Comment by on 10:20, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Hoony - expert players always love maps that they can rape the f*ck out of their opponents on - doesn't always make it a good map.

NC - the railgun is easy to get on q2dm1 - you just let your opponent fetch it for ya then mow him down as he tries to get out :)

re: Witz
Comment by on 16:54, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Witz - granted, no singular factor *always* makes a map a "good" map. There are a lot of factors that come into play.

However, it is pretty clear that (assuming other factors are present) a map designed in such a way that a player --> using extraordinary skills <-- can get a "run of frags" is VERY good for competitive 1on1.

DM4 seemed to become regarded as the ultimate proving ground for experts. Why? I would suggest because it offered a gameplay where quick wits, and extraordinary talent in moving around the lava pit without falling in (while shafting your opponent to the rafters, blasting at them with the RL, or unloading a carpet of grendades) could win you a string of points. These points were a significant reward - clear evidence of your skills.

DM4 had consequences - even a skilled player could get humbled severely. This made it a map that garnered respect. To master it, you had to pay your dues. You had to learn DM4 and practice it. Getting good on DM4 was not easy, and did not come cheaply.

The question is, what are those "other factors"? I would say that an important one is that there must be "ways to get back control".

I would say that if the LG wasn't so easily accessible DM4 wouldn't have worked as well. There are many instances in which the respawned player gets a LG and challenges back for control.

One thing we simply cannot say is that DM4 is a "bad" map for 1on1 - the evidence for the contrary is too strong - it comes from the expert gamers and from tournament history:

- It was one of the most popular maps for 1on1
- Expert players never complained about it (it wasn't regarded as the best from a bad bunch)
- It was used in pretty much EVERY high-profile event
- Good DM4 players were accorded the greatest respect from their peers
- DM4 demos were treasured because they were so exciting

You may not like DM4, I may not like DM4 (that's right, I preferred DM6 and could never find time to practice DM4) but guys like you and me are not the ones mappers should be listening to when mappers are designing for *expert* players and competitive 1on1.

Something about DM4 "worked like magic" and I think it's important to try and understand what that was.

Comment by on 18:30, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Just wanted to add that the fact that a DM4-style map is good for competitive 1on1 doesn't mean that the DM4-style is the *only* good design. Nor does it mean that the same design principles would work with vanilla Q3A physics (they might work with promode).

and re what witz zaid about Q2DM1 - "the railgun is easy to get on q2dm1 - you just let your opponent fetch it for ya then mow him down as he tries to get out :)"

Surely it was meant only as a joke :). What if you've just been railed by your opponent, are you then going to wait for your opponent (who already has one) to fetch you a railgun? And how easy to get was it for the guy you "mowed down" when he emerged with it?

Q2DM1 demonstrates, once again, that making certain primary items hard to get *can be* a successful design principle. That doesn't mean it's the *only* good design principle (look at DM6's RL/RA), but maps like DM4 and Q2DM1 provide mappers with good design clues.

I look forward to the discussion turning to Q2DM1 at some stage in the future. For now, DM4 is a good example to work with.

but then again...
Comment by on 18:37, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Thinking about the RL/RA on DM6, maybe it *was* hard to get at.

Although the DM6 RL and RA are in the open, in plain view, the whole point of that map was for each player to try to control that area and prevent the opponent from "retaking RA".

Therefore, the RL/RA area was "hard to get at", even though the items were out in the open. Hmm we should stick to DM4 for now, but maybe this "hard to get at" design principle has a LOT to do with why certain maps are more fun for competitive 1on1.

What are the "hard to get at" points on Q3T4, Q3DM13 and Q3T2?

Playing hard to get?
Comment by on 20:28, Sunday, 30 April 2000
There are basicly two different ways of being hard to get. The railgun on q2dm1 is hard to get due to the fact that you have to move pretty far to get it (+ of course your opponent will be waiting for you). Whereas the RA/RL on dm6 is hard to get because the architecture of the map makes it easy to defend. My point is that some items can be hard to get because they may take a long time to fetch or the way back and forth is troublesome, while others are hard to get because your opponent is camping them.

"What are the "hard to get at" points on Q3T4, Q3DM13 and Q3T2?"
Q3T4: RA, if your opponent is camping it.
Q3DM13: RA as you are very exposed to rockets from above and RL because its out in the open, and you risk being knocked into the lava + perhaps LG as you have to leave your positional advantage to get it.
Q3T2: none I can think of

item placement
Comment by on 20:47, Sunday, 30 April 2000
Hoony: I was referring to Q3's mapping "rules" regarding weapon/item placement.. I guess I wasn't very clear about that ;)

I guess it still applies to any other game.. with your DM4 LG point as a good example. If all good weapons were hard to get, there's no way the map would've been as popular as it was. Even though one player may be dominating the armor/RL on that map, the loser still has half a chance if he's good with the shaft/GL. Watching a close game where a good player has the chance to come-back is alot more exciting than watching a total raping.

I guess a better way of describing where to put good weapons is not to make them "hard to get to" but rather "risky" to get to. If they're in the middle of all the action, then you're risking yourself to get at them.. therefore providing a challenge to the player (which is hopefully fun as well). Still, I would opt to make the weapons not too difficult to reach while making armor/items a bigger risk, but that's just my 2cents.

What I think..
Comment by on 11:31, Tuesday, 02 May 2000
The bigest pleasure I got out of DM4 was the ownage, running and raping your openent. That was the bigest reward for taking over the map. The other great pleasure was being hunted down for 4 or 5 minutes, and turning over the situation, complet reversal on one mistake from the oponent. That is one the the great sides of the QW duel maps. Ownage and Reversal.

One other VERY good thing about DM4, was the multiple ways of holding the map. You could go in that map, and play against someone that had a totaly diferent view on howto play it, and not one strategie REALLY dominated. You could time weapons (cycle weapons), deny Armors by staying at one specific area (main room, on the stairs near Quad for example), you could go all out be extremly agressiv, you could ambush.. etc. Just look in these comments, you can tell that very few people here played the map the same way. My opinion is that the best players knew how to play all the strats, and how to counter them.

Speaking of masters, I WOULD like to point out, that in the end, some demos of DM4 were quite boring... I wasnt entralled by Kane trowing grenades down to MH for 5 mins.. The dead end wasnt such a hot spot, and does kill the rhytm of games. Imagine Wombat in DM4 with a 2 frag advantge..

And that leads me to dead spots. In a map, they should try to avoid as much a possible places where you can stand still with no intention of fighting. If you have the upper edge, you should be going all out hunting down your oponent, and if your an the other end of the gun, you should be trying the force the other guys to make a mistake, and take over the map (ya easer said then done..). This is of course theory of map making. O course, all of this is very general. Just one last thing.. what worked with QW or Q2, will probably not work with q3. Since the game play is so different, we have to recreate the sensations, not imitate them.. i dont find any of the dm4 convertions fun...

I agree
Comment by on 01:07, Wednesday, 03 May 2000
Quake 2 and 3 DM4 conversions suck - dunno why - but even if it's a good conversion I would rather go play that map in Quake :). Doesn't work with the different gameplay.
The nearest map for me in Quake 3 is Ztn3dm2, even though it is nothing like DM4 - it's a conrol map where holding the high ground is important - and it works well with pro -mode. :) Plus some of the moves and rocket jumps feel cool to pull off. It actually has as much armour as q3dm13 and yet it doesn't hurt the map. If anything it's just right. The armours have risk ionvolved in getting - and so does the rocket.

About helping with design...
Comment by on 01:17, Wednesday, 03 May 2000
I dont know if this would work. I think many of the good players with some skills using the mapeditor could start designing some 1on1 maps this could help the "real" mappers getting ideas.

I mean making a level with nothing more than the rooms and ramps and the weapons where they should be, no eyecandy or anything useless, no curves, no nothing except the basic structures. These maps could then be released here so that everyone could playtest them and give feedback. IMHO this could help the mappers alot in getting ideas and such.

2 new 1v1 maps... pro style
Comment by on 13:21, Wednesday, 17 May 2000
First off I figured out how to make maps without footstep sounds... For the style of map I was making that was very necessary.

My intention from the beginning was to make maps that pro- gamers would be happy with. And a lot of the comments on this page really helped the design of these 2 maps.... lots of teleporters, armor in dangerous places...

So I've got this far but I really want some pro comments on these maps before i do a general release..

2 new 1v1 maps... pro style
Comment by on 13:21, Wednesday, 17 May 2000
First off I figured out how to make maps without footstep sounds... For the style of map I was making that was very necessary.

My intention from the beginning was to make maps that pro- gamers would be happy with. And a lot of the comments on this page really helped the design of these 2 maps.... lots of teleporters, armor in dangerous places...

So I've got this far but I really want some pro comments on these maps before i do a general release..

Comment by on 10:47, Saturday, 07 April 2001

Comment by on 21:53, Thursday, 20 September 2001

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