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Okay things have been a bit too quiet here on The Floor for the past few days. It is not who I can blame, but what I can blame. Seems I am having more issues with wonderful Windows 98se. I have been attempting to install Windows 2000 Professional. Who knows when this will all come about, as I have been sitting in front of this damn box all day. And what has gotten resolved? Nothing! So, if the updates are few and far between, you know the reason.

While at QuakeCon 2000 last year, we were introduced to a program by Discreet called gMax. for a shot of gMax, check out this shot which was posted at Polycount. “The screen is of the “Hades” game pack. This is not an official game pack from ID, instead this is a game pack that a small team (including myself ) are developing internally (here at Discreet) to show how a game pack is made (using Q3A as our test), and to also prove that the game doesn’t need to fit into any certain guidelines to use gmax. The Hades pack proves this: We’ve implemented Brushes as a primitive in gmax, thus you can use any of gmax’s tools on brushes and polygons alike! , says Mike O’Rourke [aka fritzthecat], product designer. You can read the full thread, here. Enjoy!

More tomorrow, as this system is just too unstable at the moment. There will also be a new 6th Floor Poll. I had planned on a larger update, but this will have to do for today. By the way, Urban Terror build_7 kicks ass! Thanks for you understanding and patience.

Carnage Absolute by Jef “Poopy” Shockley

04-02-01: Carnage Absolute
by Jef “Poopy” Shockley

Another relatively new map debuts as Quake 2 Level of the Week here at PlanetQuake. Released in January of this year, comes the level, Carnage Absolute by Jef “Poopy” Shockley, who is quite a talented level designer with previous Quake 2 experience and numerous levels to his credit . Jef attempts to bring a sense of “reality” to the Quake 2 engine in Carnage Absolute. This is “something I think is missing in most of the Q2 maps out there today, with the exception of AQ2 maps” says Jef. But this level is far superior to in all aspects to that of Action Quake 2. Keep reading, maybe you will agree this level has that “real world” feel to it.

It is rather well known that layout and game flow are the most important factors when it comes designing a successful level. Carnage Absolute provides an astounding layout which offers gamers one of the most balanced levels I have had the pleasure of being fragged in. The design allows for a fast and furious pace, which gamers must remain on the trigger around every corner and up every lift. There is no time to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures of looking out the window. Like the bombed out city laying in rubble, you too will find yourself dead.

Carnage Absolute features an “extensive use of the Kingpin texture set for that “warm-n-fuzzy” feel as ya get a rocket up yer butt” says Jef. Those textures only begin to scratch the surface. Many professional quality textures are common throughout this industrial warehouse setting. The predominating texture which seem to tie the map together is a two tone red brick and concrete texture found in nearly every area of this level. Mix in alternating wall coverings and floors, along with unique signage and rusted in industrial equipment and you have the makings of a superbly textured level. In all my dealings with real world environments, it can be a challenge to use textures which can coexist and mesh together in a given environment successfully.Carnage Absolute is a testament to that.

Ambience plays a big role in an environment, this is no more true than creating or recreating a real world setting. Lighting really accentuates what is good [which is nearly everything] in Carnage Absolute. Darkened corners and dank hallways are aglow with a moderate amount or light which helps to balance out the level. The main atrium, with its vaulted ceiling is rather well lit, though the use of white flood type likes which draw attention to the high level of detail used to create this setting. The level becomes a living breathing entity as based on the assortment of sounds which are heard. Be it the low, continuous rumbling or the buzzing of fluorescent lights, sounds create a unique ambience, most of which is not evident when in the heat of battle.

In the test playing I did, a few things became evident. First, the main, multi-leveled atrium seemed to attract the most attention, which some of the outer hallways remained a bit quieter, nonetheless, the level really did provide solid game play. No tricks or secrets in Carnage Absolute just a straight forward level, which gives any Quaker what they are in search of, a high quality, well design map. One final item of note from the readme.txt dealt with lower end machines possibly seeing a performance decrease, as some areas are a bit more poly intensive, to achieve a higher level of detail. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter. I would put this level up against some of those “old school” levels. Definitely make room for Carnage Absolute in your Quake 2 directory.

– Download: jef2dm3t.zip
– Author: Jef “Poopy” Shockley

Level of the Week Comments? Mail Oswald.