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Skeleton Crew

Q4DM11 - Shipped in Quake 4 on March 27th, 2006

After working on Q4DM11, the last thing I wanted to do was have to make another map with the vertically challenged Commandship textures, but Andrew Weldon was nice enough to start one shortly before going off and having a baby, leaving it to me, the last remaining Quake4 designer, to finish. Much to my comfort, I managed to eke out some creatively perpendicular texturing, as well as lighting and performance I'm both proud of, prompting Andrew to muse "I make the maps, and he makes them pretty."

The layout was born on a snowy November night while I was having dinner. When I came back Andrew had already fleshed out all three main rooms and the twisty stairs running between them and wasn't sure how to connect the rest of it. I started suggesting things pretty much off the cuff, and in thirty seconds we'd duplicated the side hallway to the bottom, connected this to this and that to that, put a teleporter from here to there, and arrived at the layout that eventually shipped nearly unchanged.

He had already established the banana-yellow jump chutes when I took over, which I tried to expand into the usual array of chiclet-sized accent lights I put in every map. For some reason, I couldn't find a system of placement or even a color (after temporarily overriding the yellow pads with other fruit flavors) that looked right, forcing me to actually do something new. That something became a theme of opposing cool and warm grays, to throw the moonish spacelight into relief with incandescent ship's lights. It gave a strong impression that the players are on the "night shift," which fits the name nicely. The map is even gloomier than Tremors was, with lower lightcounts to boot, but thanks to the bright Commandship textures visibility remains good.

This map originally had two more jumppads leading up to the YA platform, which hosted the RL instead. It made for a great item layout, but the only flaw was that the RL platform became a camping spot and a meatgrinder while the rest of the map was ignored.

Responsibility: Lighting and performance adjusts. Construction, layout, and item placement shared with Andrew Weldon.

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