User critiques of Ritual Applications.

Download Ritual Application: Salv and Timebomb for Quake 1: Scourge of Armagon. You don’t need Scourge to play them, but a few items are missing if you don’t.

My very first attempt to get into the industry was applying to 3D Realms in one of their contests for a position on Prey in early 1997. At the time I was accomplished with the build engine but had never used the Quake engine. I learned it and built a map in about a week (skipping many classes as a result). Naturally this map wasn’t very good, but I felt confident I could do it so I tried again later and was one of the 3 finalists for a spot at 3D Realms on Prey. During this time I was working on the add-ons for Sunstorm Interactive and still very active in the mod community. I’m providing these maps for download purely for historical reasons, though they weren’t very good even at that time. One map, the one that got me into the final 3, is lost to the hard drive sands unfortunately. This is disappointing to me as I still remember it fondly.

One of my friends sent my second 3DR map to Ritual without me knowing… and they wound up contacting me asking to see more. They wanted something that showed a “functional place with a story” so I started hard on a new map that became Timebomb.bsp. There was enough in the map that they were willing to bring me on site for an interview, but in the mean time they wanted me to create another map that showed scripting and puzzles/traps. This became salv.bsp and is one of my favorite maps I’ve built.

– Timebomb (timebomb.bsp)

Timebomb was the first time I started to get my Quake legs, but I still had a long way to go before I felt truly comfortable building in it. I did start to enjoy the minor scripting abilities and put it to use with the ending sequence where the player kicks off a missile launch and must escape before it turns back around and blows up the facility.

The scale is all out of whack (chairs are too large), the texturing is sloppy, and the geometry is a mish mash. However what it did show in the couple of weeks of work that were available for it… was I could use the geometry to build things differently than in the original game, and use the triggers/scripting to do more than id originally intended. This was the first 3D map where I felt I could do it professionally with more practice… and practice is what I did. The next round was a solid step forward with salv.bsp.

– Salvation (salv.bsp)

This is a very difficult map to play… but it was meant to cram as much scripting and puzzles or traps as possible into a tight space so it could be easily reviewed by the Ritual level designers. They also wanted me to try a different visual style, but also improve on the visuals compared to Timebomb.bsp. I feel I succeeded on both counts.

The only thing I would really do to this map is go back and tone down some of the timing puzzles to be more player friendly, and give the player better cues for the rather unconventional puzzles (such as jumping into the lit up faces for a teleporter). The txt file included gives you clues, but it could be made more approachable. It was primarily meant to show technical capability and had one focus tester… me. 

I like the premise of every puzzle and trap in this map and was pleased to find a discussion online about traps where my map was being discussed.