How far from completion is Ep. 1?
Let’s do a map-by-map review. It consists of 7 levels, as opposed to the original’s 8, because Chthon’s house has been merged with the Door to Chthon. There is one additional, fully original, base map, but I might drop it because it’s not as good as e1m1rq.
The original’s secret level, Ziggurat Vertigo, is relocated to the end in order to lend some weight to the episode’s runic/metal portion (two consecutive metal maps instead of one regular / one hidden). That’s about it for the changes.
e1m1rq – Slipgate Labs
Layout completion: 40%, most of the rest is already planned in detail, currently worked on
e1m2rq – House of the Crimson Blades
Layout completion: 80-85%, currently on holdup due to BSP format limits
e1m3rq – Necrophilia
Layout completion: 80-85%, some redesigning is planned for the near future
Layout completion: 20-30%
Layout completion: 20%
e1m6rq – Doors of Delusion
Layout completion: 90-95%, already released in Demo 2, some redesigning is scheduled
Layout completion: 10%, concept exists for boss fight
This puts the overall completion of Episode 1 (based purely on the layout, not factoring in assets etc) at roughly 50%.
Time spent so far: 3.5 years (the project started in July 2007, but I restarted the maps I had been working on – e1m1 and e1m2 – from scratch in the beginning of 2008). I got a lot faster over the course of the project though (almost exponentially), due to increasing experience as a level designer, so I estimate only a further 2 years minimum to get Episode 1 layout complete.
That’s not too bad.
The main technical requirements that must be met are:
1. BSP format extension (clipnodes etc)
2. Completion of RMQ rotating entities (func_train most notably) and compiler support.
IQM support has been implemented in RMQe, so I predict mostly smooth sailing with assets and animation. Among the animations needed are the boss (Chthon), the player model (Quakegirl) and some monsters and other small stuff.
The rendering performance of RMQe is absolutely exceptional; it runs some outrageously large outdoor areas (intentionally not pictured above) at a constantly high framerate, even unvised and with the entire map boxed.
We will need CSQC support (or something equivalent) if we intend to go through with our plans for HUD, inventory and certain visual/aural player feedback mechanisms (multiplayer game modes come to mind), but this isn’t Episode 1 specific.
Some AI changes are still outstanding, such as the use of waypoints, possibly group behaviour and various small improvements, but these seem to be doable.
Voice acting still needs to be done for the player characters, and some texture artwork is also needed. I believe this will come together in time though.
It would be interesting to generate similar statistics for the rest of RMQ, of course.
Anyway, 50% completion smells like success. When I think back to 2007, it looked like a very steep hill to climb. Now it looks like some of the hill is going to be pulverized.