Temple Invasion Progress Journal
This was a solo project in which I created a singleplayer map for Quake called Temple Invasion.
Tools Used: TrenchBroom
Temple Invasion is a singleplayer campaign level for Quake. The idea behind the level was to create a map that feels like the player is invading a temple-like structure that has some secrets along with the enemies. The lava is meant to invoke a theme of hellish environment. The level is meant to have dangers from both enemies and the environment. True to the original Quake I included secret areas that rewarded players with powerful gear/weapons; these areas are meant to be secret and high risk but high reward.
April 21st, 2020 - Project Ideas
I had a really hard time coming up with the map I wanted to make. I couldn't seem to come up with any ideas that I liked so I decided to play a bunch of levels of Quake again and do some google searches for ideas. For the most part though I came up starved of ideas. The idea of Temple Invasion finally came to me after I stopped searching for ideas and just decided to play some Counter Strike for a bit. I was playing a custom zombie escape map and it sparked some great ideas for me.
April 22nd, 2020 - Map Update
I really liked the idea of making a map based around a temple and lava. Originally my idea came from a zombie escape map from Counter Strike and I really loved the idea of meshing some of those concepts with Quake. I felt like a hellish temple would be perfect for a single player match in Quake. I also really liked the idea of making some very high-risk high reward spots such as adding items that require some tricky jumps in order to get with failure meaning you end up in lava. Of course, every temple level needs to end with some sort of alter.
April 28th, 2020 - Greybox
The idea behind my map is essentially that of a temple which means I wanted it to feel at times very large and grand while at other times very claustrophobic. I wanted to make the map play pretty straight forward; no guessing about where you needed to go but enough choices and options that it gives the player some freedom in how they approach it.
The entrance area to the temple is supposed to be essentially situated in the side of a mountain with a bit of a lava moat and walls for defense.
One of the claustrophobic sections of the map intended to literally give you no room to dodge. It feels even more enclosed after coming from such an open area.
I like the idea of adding secrets to get better items much like they did in the original quake but I also didn't want to make those secrets too difficult. Adding an open secret with a bit of a jump platformer was a way of saying this is over here and you can get it but it might hurt you in doing so. The idea of high risk, high reward.
And of course, after just a narrow area you come out to a grand hall which makes it feel even larger. I really like the idea of making the environment dangerous but at the same time this isn't meant to be a platformer so I tried to make the jump easy despite being on somewhat narrow platforms. I think this was the biggest challenge for me; to create a sort of jump platform puzzle without being too difficult yet still interesting. I've always really enjoyed jump puzzles in various game but as such I also tend to be pretty good at them so something that is easy for me isn't probably easy for most players.
Lastly, no temple would be complete without some kind of grand alter room which is also the perfect place for a boss.
April 30th, 2020 - Greybox Walkthrough
April 30th, 2020 - Player Feedback
I had several people play test from both the game design department and from outside of it. Overall, they liked the concept for a first pass but my most common complaint was that the outside area felt too flat. It didn't feel like a natural environment with a temple entrance sticking out of it. I'll be addressing this issue later on by using the vertex tool to make the outside environment more natural looking instead of just being flat.
May 5th, 2020 - Enemies & Map Tweaks
I wanted to add some more secret areas to the map without overdoing it so finding the right balance was a bit tricky. There needed to be enough that for everything I wanted but not too much that it felt like half of the level was a secret. I addressed this by leaving in and counting the two open secrets that are a bit of a jump platformer for some of the items. This made them feel sort of like a bonus without being too much of a secret either.
Another issue I had right out of the gate is when some mobs got triggered, they would trigger other mobs. I still had a couple of cases where that happened, but I managed to narrow it down by clustering enemies in groups rather than staggering them around everywhere. This impacted the feel a bit and required me to make a few adjustments later in the level such as the addition of side walls at the pillars as show in the picture below.
May 9th, 2020 - Framing
A big part of my map design was framing the areas and openings for the most visually compelling narrative. I really love the idea of coming out of a narrow passage and seeing this nice giant hallway you need to transverse and giving you a feel for how big this place could be. Based on some of my player feedback I seem to be doing a pretty good job at it but they did say since I make almost everything framing that it might start to lose its effect in a longer game as they would come to expect it.
May 10th, 2020 - Triggers Walkthrough
May 12th, 2020 - Finalizing
Finalizing the map design and layout. I wanted to make the level essentially feel like a temple with old columns that aren't quite stable or smooth, perhaps even falling down. Of course, lava is a must for any temple. A temple is a nice mix of grand areas and very narrow and tight places so I did my best to use those narrow corridors to lead out to the grand places and frame the rooms.