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Ludonarrative Dissonance

Lun3_20B1 - Released for Quake 3 on January 23rd, 2011

While I was busy focusing on another Q3DM project, eternal comrade in arms KungFuSquirrel shattered my concentration by encouraging me to enter a contest he was helping to organize in the Mapcore level design forum to see who could build the best level (of any gametype) out of just 20 convex brushes. This was my hasty entry.

My approach was to embrace a visual style that would let me get away with as much as possible, and sparth-style pure-brushwork geo-comp was the natural choice. Sky brushes were also free according to the contest rules, so a space map was also a natural choice. (There were a hell of a lot of space maps in this contest.) This allowed me to throw caution to the wind, stretching and skewing brushes wherever I needed them to reach in the name of forming loops and abutting platforms of different altitudes into unified spaces. I treated the design essentially as I would a speedmap - lay brushes quickly without getting too attached to them or overthinking their purpose, and if they wound up being wrong later they could be deleted and replaced then.

I took advantage of per-pass clamped texture coordinates in Q3's shader system to create positionable teleporter and jumppad overlays without splitting or duplicating any brushes, helping me save the full 20 for application to layout and structure. (With one left over, I 3-point-clipped a dodecahedron floating overhead, just to be cheeky.)

I wanted to do something a little more visually special than just solid chunky blobs of geometry, though, so I dialed all the tones to eggshell white and scanned a series of little pencil drawings of circles and rectangles to style the overlays after NPRQuake (always a personal favorite). Those small touches on otherwise blank forms demonstrate the real possibility to be had in an entire map textured in a SketchQuake style (or an entire game).

Gameplay evaluation was largely done by eye, eliminating any paths that stretched too far without offering a navigation choice and generally placing powerful items so that none of them were too close to each other. Live testing was minimal and involved no humans, yet I somehow placed first in the "Best Gameplay" category nevertheless.


Play It

  • Brushes: 20! Plus 9 sky, 10 trigger, a fog and a nodrop, all of which don't count towards the contest total.
  • Modes: Deathmatch
  • Players: 2-4
  • Filesize: 2.8MB

Local Download (.map source included)