Senior Multiplayer Designer
Q4DM11: Skeleton Crew
Mar. 2006 // Quake 4: Deathmatch
As with Q4DM10, DM11 began with a single idea, in this case the windowed corridor containing the grenade launcher and its surrounding jump pads and adjacent overlooking platform. From there, I moved inward to construct the large central platform and surrounding connections. A little over-the-shoulder design from Tremors cohort Matthew Breit helped flesh out what would become the south railgun corridor and a couple other lingering bits on the west side of the map, at which point we had a winner.
The level layout remained mostly unchanged, but the original item layout for this level was considerably different, featuring the rocket launcher atop the central platform, additional armor, and a complete lack of the railgun. In testing, however, the rocket launcher position (plus a couple extra jump pads - one from the lowest level near the final rocket launcher position, and one from the final shotgun position) turned the area into a bloodbath, leading to its replacement by a single armor piece. id appreciated the attempt to go rail-less, but requested that we re-add it. This was the right call, as the rail made for extra excitement in the long outer corridors, particularly with the overlook from the nailgun room down the rail corridor.
My wife was pregnant through much of Quake crunch and was finally due the first week of December, just as map pack work was wrapping up. With my son's imminent birth, I piled together my vacation, paternal leave, and holiday break to take all of December off, leaving the final pass on the level to Mr. Breit. He also took care of a few lingering issues, including a visual pass to the nailgun room and an excellent layout tweak in removing the back jump pad up to the armor platform, replacing it with an open hole that dropped down into the shotgun hallway.
Matt was also kind enough to fit in one last request from me as I was enjoying my newly-expanded family - changing the various ship ID decals throughout the level to read "RCW-121605" - the initials and birth date of my son.
Skeleton Crew was included in the final Quake 4 1.1/1.2 patch in March 2006. You can see more of this level at lunaran.com
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