Exit Interview - Quake Speed Mapping 220 Prototype Jam 3

When I saw this jam announced in the Quake Mapping discord I knew I had to put something together. Immediately I had visions of lobbies, sofas, and elevators. Months ago goofing around on bass and guitar with a loop station, I recorded an elevator music jam which would be absolutely perfect an office themed level. Track looping, I got to work...

Download and Play

You can download the entire jam including this map on slipseer.com:

Download SM 220 Prototype Jam 3

Quake 25: Slime Factory

In celebration of 25 years of Quake (1996), I decided to make a spookin'-ass Quake level of my own. Years ago I played with WorldCraft (later Hammer) making my own Half-Life levels, and although I never produced anything worth playing back then, that ancient knowledge proved useful.

Hammer is strongly tied up in the Valve ecosystem now, even more than it was back then. Poking around the Quake community, it's clear that everyone is now using TrenchBroom. And wow, I sure recommend that you do, too. The 'Broom makes it simple to shape complex brushes in a way I could never before. Instead of a series of carefully crafted carving operations, painstakingly positioned within your three standard orthographic projection views, one can essentially just draw the shape in 3D.

About the Map

You had just escaped one fortress, only to find yourself in the eerily quiet eye of the storm. Surrounded by castle walls on all sides, and the door from whence you came barred shut, you have no choice but to proceed along the dilapidated boardwalk over caustic slime lake and search on for your way out.

... and where is all that slime coming from? Something is very wrong with this green pond. The answers may reveal themselves to you with time.

This being essentially my first ever Quake map, I wanted to keep it simple. The textures are all either from the WAD used by the "start" map (Quake's episode and difficulty menu level), or some gently modified/hue shifted variant created by me. I built the ominous island structure first, and the rest of the level sprang up organically around it.

If you are feeling brave, venture into Krak's Slime Factory. Let me know if you play it (@krakissi).

(p.s.: The armor you can see from the island is quite attainable, and requires nothing more than a skilled jump.)

Download and Play

You have two options for downloading. If you already have QuakeSpasm, Mark V, or some other modern Quake engine installed, download this file which includes the playable map, as well as the source files so that you can open it up in TrenchBroom yourself. Place the BSP and LIT files in your Quake directory under id1\maps\. Launch the game, open the console with ~, and type "map krak_slimefact".


If you do not have a Quake engine installed and are running Windows, download this version instead which includes QuakeSpasm and the map files. This download also includes a "Krak.bat" file which you can double-click to launch directly into the level.


New Mapper Showcase

The man himself, dumptruck_ds, featured me and my little map in his ongoing "New Mapper Showcase" series on YouTube. If he weren't making videos on Quake mapping I wouldn't have made this map. It's an honor!

KrakJack: A "Fermigamo"

You have possibly heard of NaNoWriMo, a yearly November challenge for writers to author a novel in just 30 days. Completely ignoring the expansion of the acronym, I decided I would make a NaNoGaMo... a complete game in the month of November!

My NaNoGaMo idea was simple... a text-only telnet MMO, set in some remote space station. Players connect and interact with the station, and although they cannot see other players, they can see things that have been done by other players (receive mail, graffiti, position of objects, etc). It's essentially a museum game (less charitably termed a walking simulator), where you log in to hang out. The nature of telnet is such that sound is essentially impossible, and so the working title was Quiet Space.

Writing a novel is hard. Making a complete game is hard, too. I did not complete my NaNoGaMo. My ambition was too large. I had to aim smaller... and what's smaller than a nanogamo? A Picogamo! I wanted my game to be portable to at least Windows and Linux, and so I set to work creating a game engine in C++ with SDL. Almost immediately this got completely out of control, as I realized I could probably write a software 3D renderer on top of SDL's 2D-only graphics. The project is on-going and has stretched well beyond its humble beginnings. Which is to say, I did not complete my Picogamo in a month, either.

Ok, ok, I had to reel it in. Ignore the 3D renderer, just make a simple 2D game, a Fermigamo (following the natural order of Pico, Fermi, Bagel), and that's what this post is actually about. I chose a ridiculously small resolution of 256x150, and decided to make a blackjack simulator. The graphics are cute, the sounds are bloopin', and you can download it now for free on itch.io.

Low-Res EGA Graphics Demo for DOS

I put together a little demo of DOS EGA graphics in the low-resolution 640x200 mode. It's a "playable" game of bouncing balls, where the player controls one ball that can kind of move. Check out the video:

If you want to try it yourself, or check out the source code, here's a ZIP with everything as it was in the video: GFX.zip. Note that you'll have to run the executable in DOSBox or actual DOS, and that the EGAVGA.BGI file included in the ZIP needs to be in the same directory. This file is some kind of Turbo-C++ specific graphics driver... BGI perhaps standing for "Borland Graphics Interface" or similar.