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How to make great Quake Deathmatch levels

First of all, the order to make the level in:

  1. Work on the map strucutre, adding teleporters, doors, etc.
  2. Add the deathmatch starts
  3. Add the items - health, ammo, etc.
  4. Add the lights & sounds
  5. Make sure it is run through at least normal light & quick vis

Try to start the level with a room, and then add passages onto that. The level should be tested & debugged at stages 1 and 4. Stage 2 is entered when you are happy wit the layout of the level. From stage 2 and onwards you should only need to run qbsp with the 'entities only' option - no light, vis, or (solid) map data will be changed.

If you want your level to look and play well, try to do the following:

  • Stick to one style (E.g. base, medieval) either through the whole level or for just one area in a multi-style level
  • Add some form of gantry to large rooms, to make the level more three-dimensional
  • Teleporters can enhance gameplay if they take you to a place which is impossible to walk to or would take a long time to get to
  • Try to have the level inter-linked like a maze - linear levels don't work well, even on single player maps
  • Traps, even as simple as a block moving round a room full of lava, can fool newcomers and add to the excitement and danger
  • Try to keep items in rooms, except for more rare and dangerous ones which could be hid down dark passages
  • Try to include at least one of every item in a level
  • Hide the powerups in the following order of hiddenness or hard-to-get-ness, where 1 is the easiest:
    1. Mega health
    2. Bio suit
    3. Quad damage
    4. Ring of shadows
    5. Pentagram of protection
  • In a level, you could have just one or two 'clusters' of health and ammo
  • Have the numbers of items and starts in proportion to the size of the level
  • Try to avoid fragmenting bits of the level as this can cause many compilation problems
  • Ignore some or all of this advice, but be yourself

How to easily make mazes (As featured in JDM13, JDM14 and JDM16)

[See, I told you this was old! - ed]

  1. Design the maze, (if at all), on squared paper
  2. Make 'modular' maze bits, the size of one square on the paper (perhaps 2 squares for ramps).
  3. Using cut & paste, make the maze

You can either add the lights in stage 2, or at the end (recommended).

The A-Z of Traps

(With a few silly ones)

A = Avalanche! N = shooting Nails
B = Big hairy thing (mirror)O = Opening floor
C = Crushing walls P = Pit of lava/slime
D = Dark rooms Q = falling Q's
E = Exploding boxes R = Roaring fires
F = False door S = "Slates"
G = Green stuff (From a scrag)T = Teleporting monsters/you
H = "Hot" rooms U = Underwater wind tunnels
I = thinking of another IdeaV = Very sharp things in a pit
J = Jumping demons W = Wind tunnel to lava/slime
K = Killer items X = a big X?
L = Lava balls Y = walls which run away from You
M = Moving blocks Z = sleeping Zombies


Make a trigger_multiple, which will activate a series of func_trains (the rocks)

Big hairy thing (mirror)

Er... pass

Crushing walls

Make a trigger_multiple, which will activate some doors:

    | |
   |DTD|  D = door
   |DTD|  T = trigger
    | |

Dark rooms

Use a trigger_once to turn the lights off as the player enters

Exploding boxes

Use func_explobox & func_explobox2. To make them explode on purpose, crush them or use a nail shooter.

False door

Use func_illusionary

Green stuff (from a scrag)

Well, you need a monster_wizard for that.

"Hot" rooms

Use trigger_hurt

Thinking of another Idea

Pick another letter and look it up :p

Jumping demons

You're meant to be able to use a trigger_monsterjump, so place a monster_demon1 ontop of it.

Killer items

Ha ha ha... Either make a box the same size and texture of the item you want, or just use the real thing (very nasty). Then place a very powerful trigger_hurt round it.

Lava balls

Use misc_fireball

Moving blocks

Use func_train

Shooting Nails

Either trap_shooter or trap_spikeshooter (for a triggerable one)

Opening floors

Use either just a func_door carved into the floor, or combine with a trigger_multiple (e.g. to make it open when you are half-way across)

      TT          T = trigger
-----DDDD------   D = door
    |LLLL|        L = lava

Pit of lava/slime

What do you think? Go work out how to make it yourself :p

One idea would be to put a thin (e.g. 8 units) layer of water ontop to fool unsuspecting players...

Falling Q's

Er... a big Q-shaped door, with a trigger underneath.

Roaring fires

Put a lot of "flame" lights in a small area, and a trigger_hurt over the floor.


Make a door/train in a long passage, and add some sort of trigger (if needed)

An incredibly bad drawing of the original Slate, which was a button triggered door.

Teleporting monsters/you

Use a trigger_teleport, stupid! (And, an optional trigger to get it going)

    +-------+   +-+  x = info_teleport_destination
    |   x   |   |M|  M = monster ontop of a trigger_teleport
    |       |   +-+  T = trigger_once
    |   T   |
    +--+ +--+
       | |

Underwater wind tunnels

Shove a trigger_push in. Very nasty if it pushes down!

Very sharp things in a pit

Shove a few spikes in a pit, and a trigger_hurt round them

Wind tunnel to lava/slime


      |e|          e = exit
    +-+ +--------+ L = lava
    |LL  <- <- <-| <- = wind
    +--------+ +-+ s = start

A big X?

Pick a trap and put it in the middle of a big X :p

Walls which run away from You


        + - - - + <-- position the wall moves back to

        |       |

        +-------+    t = trigger_teleport
      +-+   t   +-+  M = monster hiding in alcove
      |M| ^ ^ ^ |M|  = = 'false' teleporter to attract the player;
      +-+ | | | +-+      this should line up with the trigger_teleport
        |       |        once the false wall (func_door) has moved.

Sleeping Zombies

Use a trigger_once to "wake up" some zombies when you enter their crypt... (Place them in some pits ontop of some doors, so that when you enter the doors will rise and reveal the zombies)

Page last modified 03/03/2005