Can’t go much more detailed with a Quake map, because the grid size has a lower limit of 1. That’s one of the first things I would change if there was an RMQ map editor and map format. You can go below 1 unit in Doom 3 for example, but original Quake uses a fixed ratio of 1 unit = 1 pixel (while D3 uses 2 units = 1 pixel) which apparently makes it pretty hard to get rid of this limit.
There is more detail like this in the map, for example I copied over most details from e1m2rq (ladders, benches, tables, banners, drapes) and stole Sock’s bookshelves (I created a few different shapes though). I also reduced the diameter of most iron bars in the map (there are tons of them) and simultaneously raised their polycount. This means the vertex count of the map has gone through the roof; over 110,000 vertices (old BSP limit was 64K) and the BSP file (e1m3rq.bsp) is 35 MB (fastvised and -lit). To my knowledge, this makes it the biggest Quake 1 map ever.
It also makes it the map most in need of detail brushes. I know MH is still working on those – it will remove a burden when that is finally done and working. On the other hand, I noticed that most of these very detailed structures don’t create any shadows to speak of. And this, in turn, is probably due to the very low lightmap resolution of this game.
With the stairs, notice there’s a candle right beside it, and there should be intricate shadows, but they’re totally missing. Lightmap resolution too low. Instead there is a lighting bug near the bottom of the staircase. Argh!
So these are pretty much the absolute limits of the Quake 1 map, BSP and lightmap formats.
Most of these detail structures can be treated like props and just reused wherever they fit. A lot of this remains to be done still; many “props” are still standing where they’ve been built and await their use elsewhere (even across maps – I find the more props you build, the easier it becomes to detail new areas). On top of the detail brushwork, I’m going to sprinkle the mapmodels, most of which gnounc has created for us; urns, books, sarcophagi, boats, lanterns, candles, even plates and bottles. He made a lot more than that, but not everything fits the necropolis theme.
I think I’ll change the colour of those large floor tiles to something more terracotta-like in order to better define the floor and lead the player, too.