Downward Spiral

This is the final area of map01 being blocked out. A properly lit spiral, and properly lit walls / terrain made from patch meshes. Sounds simple? No, my friend, because THIS IS SPAR… I mean Quake.

Here’s how I started out. Making spirals from brushes is possible but much too painful for my taste. I’m using q3bsp, so let’s see if I can do it with patch meshes. Right on, some trial and error gives me a spiral with top and sides made from patches with apparently equal subdivision count.

Looks good, you would think. Oh the luxury of patch meshes!

Only after compiling, there are suddenly gaps where no gaps were before. Apparently the compiler somehow reduced the subdivisions on the sides but kept the top the same! And this is where the level designer lets out a pained “duuuuh”. This is where it starts to get interesting, and even arcane. Bet you never know all the pain we go through when you finally play some level. What the fuck, my friends, is happening here? It looked perfect in Radiant, but it’s like the old dollar bill on a string – it’s tucked away before you can grasp it, and the compiler lets out a cruel laugh.

Some googling was done, and I find out that adding an obscure command line parameter (-patchmeta) makes it all line up perfectly (after a time consuming compile). But wait, what’s with the weird shadows on the walls? There is nothing there that would make these shadows! Duuuhhhh… At this point I considered to turn the entire damn structure into a static mesh and beat at it with the sledgehammer and ultimate problem solver (?) that is Blender. Shortly before I actually do that, I get help by Obsidian from quake3world.com. He suggests using 4 smaller patch meshes per level of the spiral to form the outer wall. OK, so I give it one last chance and chop the walls into pieces:

At this point it’s not really very user friendly or simple anymore. But it ends up doing the trick (after another excessive compile, during which I read the rest of “The Fellowship of the Ring”, relaxing my back ) – the result is the topmost screenshot in this post. So that did it – for this time.

Anyway, what I’m going to do is indeed go and turn it all into static meshes. I’m going to create the entire area in Blender and assemble it in Radiant. Damn it… I’m going to do that to a lot of things. Stay tuned for static mesh onslaught. This time I mean it.

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