Data Storage Security

Data Storage Security

Oct. 2005 // Quake 4: Campaign

The three towers in Quake 4's final act were actually among the oldest levels in the game, but needed a focused effort from the entire design team to be brought up to final quality. In addition to some small support work on the second Data Processing level, my main assignment out of the six levels was a final lighting pass on what would become Data Storage Security.

Fellow designer Corey Peters had been assigned the main Data Storage level and just completed his own lighting pass. My first instinct was to emulate his settings for consistency, but our lead designer instead recommended that I not limit myself to any lighting style already found in the game.

To play up the 'out of commission' feel for the first pass through the level, I picked a deep yellowish base tone highlighted with spinning red emergency lights and flashing yellow accent lights on the floor. To further ground the level's colors, I added a thin yellow ground fog to simulate haze illuminated by the floor lights, and also gave every piece of glass a subtle dark yellow tint that pulled off quite nicely with the glass' normal map and cubemap.

After players activate the TSD system, hundreds of entities needed to either be toggled or cross-faded to the new "powered on" style. The base lighting for each area was handled by building a poor man's array out of entities, fading out the yellow tones and then fading in the new blue lights. Other objects such as the ground fog, glass tubes, and ground accent lights needed to be left in place, and were handled by a color crossfade (with shader assistance by Roger Cordes). With power restored to the strange caskets on the walls, players were introduced to the ethereal Iron Maidens and an intense battle to escape.

© id Software

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Level by Mike Renner
Lighting by Andrew Weldon