Senior Multiplayer Designer
Mar. 2006 // Quake 4: Deathmatch
As work wound down on Quake 4's single player, many of our designers started doodling various MP map ideas during downtime between bugs and new builds. One of my early drafts featured a long narrow accelerator pad to a floating quad damage overlooked by a railgun platform. When the call came for maps for the post-release map pack, that draft became Q4DM10.
I was inspired thematically by the final lighting pass to the Medlabs level in the single player game. I loved the idea of a tighter interior level in that style, using the (relatively) clean and very bright second-pass Medlabs textures to aid visibility.
The level's layout started as just two very simple ideas, the first being the rail/quad overlook, and the second being an outer loop that ramped up from the lowest level all the way to the top. With the first draft of the rail platform and accelerator pad in place, I began working on the loop that would link the two, and eventually become the grenade launcher area. While cramped, the area features great drop-down, over/under, and end-around ambush opportunities, and I consider it among my strongest deathmatch layout elements.
The opposite atrium, while still fun, lacks some of the excitement of its counterpart. I attempted to create a larger more open atrium, but the fun of the grenade launcher area came from its tight quarters and brutal weapon loadout. The nailgun and yellow armor are valuable assets, but the area would have benefited greatly from a set of tighter connections both in gameplay and visually, as the very horizontal Medlabs walls don't hold up as well stacked vertically.
Among the last additions to the level were the sets of blue pipes that curve into the ground. These were ramp-clipped to provide ramp-jump shortcut opportunities, but in hindsight their shape doesn't provide the expectation of that movement mechanic. The idea would have been better executed either as it was in Q4DM11 or by better integrating a slope instead of a curve into the surrounding geometry.
Outpatient was released in March 2006 with Quake 4 1.1/1.2.
© id Software