(2/23/21: Been diving into my old Somnolescent room for funsies again. More survive! Nicer ones survive! Have added to this page a bunch as a result. Good times.)

As of the end of 2020, I've released five Quake maps, but I've started many, many others. Some of them never got past the "doodling in the editor" phase, while others had a relatively high concept! Lofty ambitions that I'd never fulfill, ultimately. Indeed, not one of these maps ever got finished—and probably never will. Whether I got sidetracked, lost the files, or just didn't have the inspiration, these are all well in the dustbin at this point.

I thought nearly all these maps lost at one point. Thanks to a recent Discord excavation project through all the DMs and servers I've shared over the years (...the ones I didn't delete), however, I've been able to pull a ton of screenshots back from extinction, complete with dates for when I worked on them! As such, I wanna display them and reminisce and all that good stuff.

What you see here is about all I finished, so consider this exhaustive. Beyond that, enjoy a surprisingly busy year of Cammy history...

My very first Quake map

  • Editor used: J.A.C.K.
  • Build time: August 9, 2017
My very first Quake Map

Now, Quake actually wasn't my first brush with a brush-based engine; that was the Source engine. (I actually still have my first map for that too, amazingly—hallway.vmf dates back to May 2013!) Originally, I was working on an enhanced port of the id1 maps to Garry's Mod and only ever got as far as the shareware episode and the deathmatch levels. These ports weren't particularly great or accurate, and I got pretty tired of trying to work around id's quirks. At some point, I realized just straight up mapping for Quake would be more fun.

This was pretty much just the default "J.A.C.K. box" base they give you when you start a new level with some textures picked out by me, and then I added some flame boxes, a light, and a rocket launcher. Just fooling around.

"Crypt" (proto-"Temple")

  • Editor used: J.A.C.K.
  • Build time: August 10-14, 2017
The inside of the crypt "Castle facade" A spawn (perhaps the first appearance for Temple's branching paths?)

This was the first level I built from scratch. Here's where I started playing with monsters, some neat, recessed lighting and shadows, and actually trying to make these brush things look like something. Trying being the operative keyword.

If you're wondering why the lighting looks so bland, I wasn't actually using a source port yet! I just set up J.A.C.K. with Steam's copy of GLQuake, which was a rushed, buggy port of Quake id released after John Carmack's bad experience writing vQuake for Rendition's Vérité chipset. He was so steamed, he forgot to make overbright lighting work. (In short, lightmaps in Quake can max out at 200% brightness—GLQuake will only render up to 100% brightness. Thus, most of the lighting will be middling and flat.)

Most OpenGL source ports since have fixed overbrights, certainly anything FitzQuake-derived. I switched to Quakespasm a day or two afterwards and scrapped this for "Temple of the Strange", which was based on a similar idea of pyramids, caves, and crypts, at least at first.

Episode A

This was my first really big project with Quake. I guess I figured a single level was beneath me and my big ideas, so Episode A was born. People in the scene get pissy if you name your episodes like sequels to the base four (see: DOPA), and I wasn't interested in following them up anyway. The idea was to run parallel to them; an id-like experience, exploring all the vanilla concepts I felt people had forgotten. I also wanted to build each level with a different editor, perhaps as a tribute to people's hard work or just as a way to fulfill my own masochistic desires.

Four of those levels got compiled: two iterations of a start map, the first level (idbase), the fourth(?) level (runic), and the secret level (elder).

EAM1 (alas, name escapes me...)

  • Editor used: J.A.C.K.
  • Build time: December 21, 2017-April 27, 2018 (in two attempts)
Level spawn An early attempt at the main room How the main room panned out in the end

Naturally, my id-like episode had to start with idbase. I went with red idbase and pipes you swim through in not at all a weird attempt to copy E4M1, definitely...either way, this was sorta like DOPA's E5M2, where you have power up sections of the base in order to continue. Of course, you do that by swimming through the sewage system of the base and out of a few shattered tanks, then press buttons to get everything back online. I wanted the pipes to encourage the player to explore, but I ran out of ideas for stuff for them to explore before I could build them.

A glitchy Sony monitor prop
Glitchy glitchy.

This level actually contains my first two attempts at making textures from scratch! Quake didn't have much in the way of "prop" textures by default, and I wanted some more in the way of "base" stuff. In total, I built a blinking power button (which I still think looks pretty ace, even glowing in the dark) and a security monitor, also glowing and glitchy with static to boot. Think it was based on a real Sony monitor, but I can't remember which one a Sony PVM-8045Q. (The monitor texture was actually built for MXDM1 below, for what it's worth.)

Security monitors The first room you have to swim into to power up the base Pipe network

After some attempts at adding off-limits areas for decorative purposes (for "depth" reasons and to make the base seem bigger), this one got dropped. I did return to it briefly after I retooled Episode A into more of a cut Quake content mod (you can see id's unused boots model in the shot below, which I implemented as jump boots in QuakeC, and there was code for a proper healing pool too), but I never finished any of it, and the boots and code are now lost, most likely.

(Not that it's cut content, but just for posterity, I was intending to implement an extra gun in Episode A as well, a "superacid cannister" launcher, which was like a grenade launcher except that it did a bit of damage on impact (like glass shattering) and then ate away at the health of anything within the splash radius (like acid melting your skin off slowly). Was meant to be more of a defensive "retreat" weapon, I suppose. This one didn't even have code, let alone a model, but hey...ideas.)

One shot of the rebuilt EAM1

EAM4

  • Editor used: J.A.C.K.
  • Build time: January 15, 2018-January 17, 2018
Part of spawn

This one didn't originally start as an Episode A level, but after I got a little into it, it seemed to fit the bill as the episode's runic level. The gameplay theme I would've played with was wind tunnels (something I'd then toy with in "The Drop"), but what you see in these two shots is all you get. Don't even think I had much in the way of encounters.

A little catwalk area that was supposed to drop open E1M7-style

I can't say I wasn't an unattractive mapper, but man, building something that looks nice and then giving up on it before there's actually a level to speak of was such a recurring theme with me.

EAMS (the original "Kuras Stronghold")

  • Editor used: Worldcraft 1.6
  • Build time: April 27, 2018-April 30, 2018
The entrance cavern A hidden side building with a red armor Some hallway somewhere

I went over this one in the postmortem for "Arrogant Erratum" as the map concept carried over there, but here's a few more shots of it. I do have a fondness for the warm color palette, but the brushwork was unworkable thanks to Worldcraft's preview window having the worst FOV and me misjudging all the distances. Still, lovely that more of it survives than initially thought.

On the actual concept itself, I'm pretty happy that I was eventually able to make better on it, and happy that NewHouse was so willing to indulge me on tying my furry fantasy nonsense from yesteryear into Blue's story. The "Dreamscape", as "Arrogant" is titled in Blue, is another Calelira concept, that of a higher layer of existence both the dead and living can access through their dreams and memories, and indeed, how Ranger crosses over into Calelira for a brief moment and ultimately into the world of the Golden King.

EASTART

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: Roughly February 28, 2018 for the first attempt, roughly May 23, 2018 for the second
The earlier idbase eastart

Neither of these two attempts are really notable, as they're just start map sketches and nothing of them survive. My first attempt was a base to tie into the first level of Episode A, with a focus on player agency (that pretentious-as-sin "your choices matter!" nonsense every indie game pretends to care about). I'll let me from three years ago (literally three years ago in a few days) explain, and you can also have a taste of the caliber of friends I used to keep:

[12:27 PM] Cammy: so i'm trying to emphasize "agency" with episode a
[12:27 PM] Cammy: that's the whole point of it
[12:27 PM] Cammy: here's the spawn area and your first taste of that
[12:28 PM] Cammy: the elevator is directly ahead, but if you take it, you won't be able to play on nightmare
[12:28 PM] Cammy: you'll need to go down the stairs [2021 note: to the far right in the screenshot] to trigger the passageway with the gold keycard
[12:28 PM] Cammy: and the gold keycard door behind spawn leads into the nightmare wing
[12:28 PM] prengle: Clever
[12:29 PM] prengle: But I'm that kid who types in skill 3
[12:29 PM] Cammy: sure you do
[12:29 PM] Cammy: but some of us are cut
[12:29 PM] prengle: It's natural beauty
[12:31 PM] Cammy: anyway i like big spawn maps and i want this to be a bit explorey

Said base was immediately abandoned for DM4Jam, same day.

The later terracotta eastart

The second attempt was instead meant to emphasize the more magical aspect of it, plus some of the custom QuakeC I was toying with. This eastart was a big terracotta tower where you'd have to climb up and do a lot of jumps to get to the higher difficulties. Mostly, I mention it because it was the first time I implemented the floating boxes that'd later make up one half of "The Kuras Stronghold" floating gauntlet. They were inspired by the Harry Potter PS1 games, believe it or not; surprised no one else used them first.

MXDM1

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: December 26, 2017-January 8, 2018
Wasn't much of a level, but man, I still love the look of it One of the hallways The center area, compiled

My first run-in with TrenchBroom! Yes, before this, I was a dedicated Worldcraft boy (or Worldcraft-like, really), but Windows 10 needed a reinstall and I wanted to map for Quake, and TrenchBroom runs on Mac, so I used that. I remember being really confused for a bit, but after I got used to it? Oh my God, I loved it. It's just a super intuitive, slick, modern editor, and no surprises, I've yet to look back.

Another hallway, leading up to a staircase with a (working!) slipgate Some of the Q2 crates sitting on one of the upper levels And the slipgate that other one was connected to in a big box room

This really wasn't much of a DM level, so while I did finish it, I never released it. It was a mapping exercise, by and large. The most relevant, interesting stuff is what you see in the galleries. There was a ton of inspiration taken from DOPA's base levels, as well as Quake II's large, open, sci-fi bases (and the crates were literally cribbed from said game). Beyond that, it was kind of just a big loop with some extra hallways connecting things. Not enough heightplay for my tastes. Very pretty with the colored lighting though!

This is another one that lives on as an illustration in a VDU guide, namely "Features of Modern Quake Source Ports" (look under the "Alpha-masked textures" section).

Quake: Update

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: January 26, 2018-June 19, 2018 (on and off)
Spawn, relit DM2, relit DM3, redetailed and relit

This one was a curious little detour. If you know anything about how Quake was put together, you'll know that QuakeEd was a legendarily terrible, clunky editor that Romero and friends only somehow managed to get used to. (It was also the first of its kind, in fairness.) As a result, and with polycounts that needed to stay below 400, detail and texture alignment wasn't really a focus. At the time, running the game in software at 320x200, it was barely an issue. With higher resolutions nowadays, it's a bit more noticeable.

In late January 2018, I decided I really hated how DM3 looked and decided to revamp it. No fooling with the layout, just fixing texture alignment errors and relighting it with more modern tools. I actually cut this one up into a video comparison with the original DM3, complete with a really shitty song I put together to soundtrack it. Emboldened, I set out to overhaul the entire game like that, complete with nicer-looking ammo pickups. This only got as far as the start map, E1M1, and a few of the deathmatch levels.

E1M1 spawn, cleaned up DM6, redetailed and relit E1M1 courtyard, cleaned up

This one, while neat, was also not to be. I didn't shift any of the room dimensions, and the base levels suffered from me trying to squish a lot of detailed textures into a small space, especially in the DM3 restoration. E1M1 went a bit better thanks to the seamless wall textures, and I'm sure the medieval and runic levels would've gone even better.

A comparison between the original DM5 and my relit DM5

Here's a little comparison I did at the time of my updated DM5 versus the original. I'm not sure if I would've kept the changed sky, looking back, so no worries about that. There's also some additional trim to make it look a little less blocky, but your guess is as good as mine if you can see it. Mostly, it was a relighting job.

"Duststorms"

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: May 4-June 12, 2018
The tombyard in the editor The tombyard in-game Inside the tomb

This one was just one of my map scraps, not intended for much of anything. I love the desert textures and I wanted to use them. I still think this one looks pretty great with the very dusty and suffocating orange fog and the imposingness of it, but I abandoned it after building an inside room of the tomb.

"Lost Kamelot"

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: May 15, 2018
Kamelot spawn Hallway overlooking the courtyard Some really nice detailing in the courtyard (and blockouts all around it, natch)

Another map scrap, but I wasn't alone on this one! I built it while I was over at a friend's house, showing him how TrenchBroom works. We took turns on it. Think I intended it to be a de_chateau style romp through an old castle and the surrounding gardens.

Out of all the levels on this page, this is the one I'd probably complete (yes, I still have the file!) if I had to pick one. I still think it looks fucking awesome.

Shrink

As you can tell, I wasn't exactly great at finishing anything I started. "Shrink" was the tentative name for my other episode project, intended as a series of bite-sized levels; one WAD, one gimmick the level was designed around, like trains or teleporters, ~20 enemies, and about five minutes in length each. Naturally, I only ever made one map for it.

shrink1 ("Waste")

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: June 21-30, 2018
The tombyard in the editor The tombyard in-game Inside the tomb

I was still in love with Rubicon textures after "Fluoroantimonic", and I wanted to build a weird urban exploration type of level with them. Like everything else here, I only got as far as a few hallways, but at least this one did have some enemy encounters thrown in. The gimmick here was meant to be a crane the player had to send back and forth through a box processing area to progress.

The layout of "Waste"

This one's also noteworthy because part of it made it into "Arrogant"! Each of the levels was meant to have a single key meant for progression and another for secrets, and a room with a mari on a monitor was the secret in that level (me signing my name basically). As a little tribute to the annoying and loud kid I used to be in the scene, I hid that room verbatim in "Arrogant".

"Brick by Bloody Brick"

  • Editor used: TrenchBroom
  • Build time: September 2-October 4, 2018
Spawn, looking dusty The hallway past spawn More floating boxes

This was the last level I built for the game pre-"Arrogant". Although "Shrink" was now abandoned, I was still trying to build levels that focused on a singular gameplay mechanic, in this case, again, floating boxes. I actually remember using the WAD for the then-recent SM186, just because I still love terracotta.

And yeah, atmosphere-wise, this one was on point! It's just too bad I ended up getting sick of hating people and people hating me and retiring from the game outright before I could do much with it. Again, I do still have the map scrap and the WAD, so while I doubt it'll ever get finished, it is still possible...

Some surviving footage of "Brick by Bloody Brick" in action! Direct link if the video embed doesn't work.
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