Have you ever wished that you could modify a level in a game you enjoyed playing? You know, maybe add or subtract a few things that would increase the games replay value. If you answered yes, than Quake is for you.
The best way I know of to start designing levels is to begin by redesigning existing ones. Quake has six DM levels that beg for alteration.
Now I am not saying you should copy the level exactly, as some people have done, instead use an existing level as a blueprint to assist you with easing the learning curve and then proceed to implement your design enhancements.
Quark is a great editor for allowing you to get a architectural view of a level.
Here is an example (65 KB). This is a screenshot of the topview of the Death32c level used for deathmatch play on Quakeworld that combines id's original DM2, DM4 and DM6 levels.
Another useful feature Quark has is its ability to pinpoint errors in the level your designing. Quark places a red dot on the location of a hole or leak so you can easily fix the problem.
This is far better than even Quake's use of a points file, which can become confusing as the white lines the points file generates tend to bounce off of every wall in your level.
Here is a screenshot (19 KB) of the lines created by typing "pointfile" at the console inside Quake.
Here is a screenshot (39 KB) of the "red dot" created by Quark.
Download Quark at their Web site.
Here is a text file explaining the addition of support for Hexen II level building.
Before you can design Hexen levels you will first need to download the H2 utilities.
Warning: The dumbshits that are currently running Activision into the ground have included a license agreement stating they "own" anything you build with their tools. Software companies are infamous for the lies included in these "agreements" and just because they "say it doesn't make it so".
The editor I am using is WorldCraft 2.1
I have used every editor available for designing Quake levels and WorldCraft is my favorite, especially now that the upgraded version has been released that adds Quake 2 and Hexen 2 support, as well as fixing the bugs that plagued earlier versions.
GameSpot has posted reviews of several editors and I was not surprised to learn that they also find WC to be the best of the bunch.
I have a couple of JPEG images of the level I am currently working on. I have brightened up the the JPEGS using Paint Shop Pro 4.14 for clearer viewing.
In the first JPEG the front walls of the level are hidden to provide a view of all the rooms and areas of the level and let me see how they connect. I have used different textures, since changed, for each portion of the level to help me differentiate them while configuring the overall level layout .
Level.jpg - This file is (67 KB).
The second and third JPEG's are views of two of the "still under construction" interior sections of the level.
Level1.jpg - This file is (39 KB).
Level3.jpg - This file is (95 KB).
This level will be used for deathmatch so it's important to constantly check how well your level flows to ensure multiple ways to access the same areas.
Each portion of the level was created in its own file. This is done to help keep the searching for leaks from becoming impossible.
After the level has had the old "VIS" treatment, I then paste them all into the main level . I then proceed to apply textures, entities etc.
It is a good idea to leave textures for last in case you need to move stuff around. WorldCraft supports texture lock, unless you need to rotate a brush, then it mangles it.
Checkout the links below for more info on WorldCraft
Worldcraft Home Site
Quake Editor's Reference Guide (WorldCraft Edition)