Real curve (left) vs. fake curve (middle).
Lighting is smooth on the left one (patch mesh) while the right one (brushes) looks broken. This is the kind of improvement you can expect from the new format. Also notice how the coloured light actually mixes with the colour of the textures; the big pipe to the right is originally bright blue but appears violet because of the red light. This kind of stuff simply doesn’t happen in the Quake 1 format.
Also, we have textures.
The conversion process requires some re-scaling and re-aligning of textures, as well as going over the lights and recreating things like spotlights that are done slightly different in Q3. There will be some overall rebalancing of the lights as I go along, but that’s standard fare – I do that all the time anyway. Estimated time required for converting a map to the new format is “a couple days”. That’s very acceptable.
There are some bumps in the road, which was to be expected. Among the things b0rked are rotating entities, pushables, ladders and func_water. Those last two were always broken in FTE and Darkplaces, but are fixable. Not sure what is up with pushables. The problem with rotating entities has to do with setting the origin; Q3map2 uses a different method. It might be as simple as using origin brushes – we’ll see how that goes along with the existing QC.
I have a feeling that the benefits will far outweigh the problems, though.
To be honest I’m amazed that not more people from the Q1 mapping community do this. IMHO it’s a no-brainer.
The FTE engine is very good. It provides an extensive feature set, including experimental stuff such as six degrees of freedom, while still outperforming some other engines. I don’t expect the hardware requirements to increase much. There won’t be fully dynamic world lighting for instance. The Fbsp lightmaps have a nice, smooth goodness to them. There might be some (mostly shadowless) rtlights mixed in and perhaps some deluxemapping, but I don’t want the “shiny” effect of Doom 3. I’m aiming for a somewhat minimalistic but still detailed appearance comparable to Source games.