|All of this is
taken from a survey done sometime around July/August if I
remember correct. Although this is based on Quake since
it's the only playable/modifiable true 3D-shooter as of
today, all the ideas are valid for every other 3D
First of all I'd like to thank all of you (16) that took
your time to answer these questions. Even though we
didn't get near as many replies as we were hoping for (50
or so) we'll give you what facts we got.
The quotes included are all taken from the replies.
Most people felt that sniping was part of
the game and couldn't be designed away. Camping is not
the same thing as sniping, where sniping takes some skill
and camping is based on plain luck and bad level design.
One of sixteen thought that special sniping locations
should be designed, others promoting sniping felt that
snipers find places to snipe from anyway. Only one reply
was specifically anti-sniper. "Another player
should not be upset because he can't find the sniper,
this is war..."
A majority of the replies didn't want
traps as part of the game, mostly because traps doesn't
award frags to a player. Those who wanted traps wanted
them to be designed as an obstacle when trying to get a
powerful powerup or weapon. Narrow ledges above lava and
such. "... the idea is to fight the players, not
the map itself."
This one is the hardest and
the easiest to sum up; a well balanced mix of the both.
Hmm... If I'm to extract anything from the replies to
this question it's that most wanted a somewhat lit level,
at least where the fighting takes place. Dark places is
justifiable if not overdone. Almost no one wanted
blinking/pulsating lights (only because of the slowdown
in the engine). "... DM isn't really much fun if
you can't ever see who you're shooting at."
Nobody wanted big water areas. Water was
ok if it fit into the look of the level itself or was
used as a way of making it harder to get to the goodies.
The major opinion was that it slows down game play. "The
occasional pool of water that cleverly connects two rooms
might be alright."
Give me the rocket launcher! Only one out
of sixteen felt that the RL was a bit to powerful in a DM
level but admitted that it could be included if made hard
to get to. Almost everyone wanted more than one RL,
spread out through the level. Another few felt that all
weapons should be represented more than once. This was
linked with how big the level was though, with a bigger
level needing more weapons of course. The majority of the
replies wanted all weapons at least on
one location. Those who uses the double barrel shotgun
should be able to play the level even though I as the
designer don't like that particular weapon. "2
RL's would be nice, levels with only one RL are pretty
or the sewers
Another hard one to pinpoint an answer
to. Again everyone wanted a healthy mix of both, not to
cramped though. Some felt that arenas made it to easy to
just fire an RL into any group of people and rack up the
frags. If designing big areas, one would have to make
sure that there's enough obstacles to promote some
skills. The element of chasing another player down dark,
winding corridors was appreciated by some but they felt
that most of the time it boiled down to using the RL to
clean out these corridors without to much effort...
"Give the player some room to maneuver for Christ's
Very target specific. To satisfy both 1
on 1, LAN, Clan and Quakeworld battles is almost
impossible. Design for a specific group and stick to it.
"This is an intended-audience question."
Out of the way from snipers, not to far
away from some minor upgrade (weapon or armor) and not
directly in the heat of the battle. "If it's a
crowded level, you would want to get stuff ASAP before
Once again we see two camps, one feeling
that the environmental should be close to reality, thus
making the player more immersed in the surroundings. The
other side feels that a DM level should be designed for
DM, even if it makes for some non-realistic designs.
Everyone agreed on the fact that textures did
matter. No matter how intelligent a level was designed,
if its ugly, no one will play it. A coherent theme is
very important, let it be space stations or medieval
castles. Stick to it! Some pointed out the importance of
using Quake's true 3D capabilities and the importance of
designing in all directions. Don't overdo with doors that
has to be opened or things sticking out from the walls,
DM is about action. "Finally, good texture
placement just looks good."
Very dependant on level size, most felt
that the really good stuff should be either very hard to
get to or not included. A Quad is only useful if the
other players has a way of getting on a somewhat equal
level, say with a RL. If to many powerups are stored to
close together or to close to respawn points the balance
is lost. A lot felt that the Red Armor was to powerful as
well as the Pentagram. Ring of Invisibility was another
one that was to be used sparingly. Some felt that to much
health was bad for gameplay and lead to people running
away to heal up as soon as they got hit. "Quad
is great when you have it, but sucks when your on the
it all up
Woah... I don't know if I can do it
neatly. Even though we only got 16 replies, most of them
were very enthusiastic, spanning several
pages when printed, making it hard to summarize things. I
was hoping on giving you some statistics but because of
the nature of the replies it's almost impossible to turn
them into numbers. If anyone is interested in seeing
these replies, let
me know and I'll forward them to you.
As mentioned, I'll see if I get the time designing a
level with these suggestions implemented. If not, rest
assured that I will use them in any of my other coming