Fitter, happier?

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.

Ouch.

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4 responses to “Fitter, happier?

  • =peg=

    “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.”
    — gb

    Personally, I’ve been thinking (in the back of my head) of remaking all the quake content and combine it all in a kit like unity3d… This route makes more sense to me.. but then again.. will it still be quake?

    (some good tutorials for unity)

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    Good idea, however there would be copyright problems if you remade all of the Quake content for some third party engine.

    Great thing about Quake is that it has very variable artwork and models already available, and all of that can be edited and modified.

    We might be able to get around the wall of limits this time, still. But the more walls we need to get around, the more complex the whole thing gets, and the more assumptions we have to make, and the thinner the ice gets in regard to how many people will support us.

    RMQ is meant to work as a toolkit btw.

  • noPt

    Even if you actually do try to improve things, you better improve the right ones, have the right name or standing, suck up to the right people, or be ignored / treated second rate.

    • kneedeepinthedoomed

      True enough, I guess.

      It was interesting to read this post from 4 years ago, I realize I saw the writing on the wall in 2011 but only quit the project one year later. I have too much pain tolerance sometimes.

      I’m happier now than I was at the time, though, so that’s a good thing.

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