With Quake, it’s quite obvious that as soon as one limit is overcome (with much aah-ing and ooh-ing) the next one will soon be hit. hmap2 still doesn’t compile this map, although I reported the bug and sent the map file, so my rotation is broken. I cannot actually test this map, because no engine will run it, not even AguirRe’s despite its promises of increased limits, nor Darkplaces, which puts a dent in my productivity and my motivation.
I’m totally dependant on other people to fix things in the technology, which is just a horribly bad feeling. If there are problems with the fixing, and there are always problems in my experience, then I can just trash this map, or I’ll have to release it in a heavily “cut” version that I won’t be happy with, and 4 years of work have been in vain.
It is never good to depend completely on “tech persons” to prepare the foundation for your work, especially if this includes work that hasn’t been done before, like changes to the BSP format itself. This ties into one of the fundamental problems of the Quake community: There are practically no people left that can maintain the tools, as in, the map compilers, the map format, the map editors, and so forth. There is no more Bengt Jardrup, and no one else has picked up his mantle.
Add to this the notoriously divided community. It is insanely hard to get a few people on the same line in this community. Half of them will just laugh, and the rest is too busy with their own pet peeves and their own limited hackery to care about the big picture. The prevailing mindset is, “it works for me”.
I don’t know if I’m the only one to fully realize what this means. Quake’s tools (and formats) are unmaintained. This means we are stuck with the old ones, and making some hacks to them from time to time. And that, in turn, means that it is very hard to evolve (I’m sure some people love this fact, since CHANGE IS BAD and all that).
A game without actively maintained tools is a dead game, no matter how many new players or mappers or modders it attracts (not many, in the case of Quake). The tools determine what kind of new content can be created, and the tools are an absolute bottleneck for innovation.
I can basically see the writing on the wall, at the moment, unfortunately.
In theory, it would be better to go find a technology that provides most of the things I would take for granted these days, and use that, instead of hoping and waiting for some of these things to get added to Quake. I don’t know. Cryengine? UDK? idtech4? None of those are well suited to making something like RMQ though.
Before I hit this last technological wall, I was making cool stuff, like the grass, terrain etc, and I was really motivated to finish it for QExpo. And now we didn’t even manage to get a booth together.