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 Focal Point   Source Page File Size: 7.98Mb
Focal Beam Cross Beam Rocket Ledge Corner View
FFA Item Layout Long range view Up or under? 1v1 Item Layout

 Worlds apart
The map started out life as an experiment to see if was possible to link together a portal sky and the ground space of a level seamlessly. Both domains are often treated as separate entities in maps and I felt it was worthwhile exercise to see if it was possible to create a visual link between the two that was not obvious where one stops and the other continues.

The first experimental map featured one cylinder model on the ground and a second one in the portal sky. The models required various amounts of tweaking with scale and placement but eventually they locked together and the illusion was complete.

With the aid of additional textures and various degrees of alpha transparency, the edges of each cylinder were blended together. On the ground additional cylinders were setup to make the light effect brighter and more detailed next to the player.
Skyportal connection

Swirling Clouds The rest of the sky portal was made up of several cloud layers stacked on top of each other and then setup to rotate slowly around the centre of the beam like a vortex. Each cloud layer was fine tuned with additional fade and glow effects to create more depth.

The beam was made up of several particle like textures that flowed up both cylinders and then alpha faded into the clouds. Eventually a pulse effect was added that had to be painstakingly synchronized across both cylinders with unique shaders.

Powerful items and weapons often have their actual locations marked so that everyone knows where they will appear in a level. The style of the floor markings can range from an obvious light fixture cut into the ground, to a simple set of scratches or a burn mark.

The idea behind the cog was to create a floor marking that could be moved around and work with any ground texture. The surface was animated so that it would be noticeable up close and the vertical glow was added so that it is recognisable from a distance.
Cog marks the spot

Rising Air The original Quake3 jump pad had a certain style that everyone recognises and expects to work in a certain way. There was often no particle clue to the direction but usually just a simple rapidly expanding circle to represent a push effect.

The new design takes the original flat shape and raises it up from the ground so that it stands out from its surroundings. The surface is still animated so that it is noticeable up close but an upward particle stream effect is added so that the function is visually intuitive.

The map is made from simple textures with no detail and just hard black lines. The detail comes from the architectural shapes, the concave walls braced by chunky support pillars, the inverted fat columns and the high wall guardians with glowing lights for eyes and long curved noses.

All these structures are saturated with a mixture of pastel yellow and intense blue lighting which creates a vivid alien landscape punctured by various sky windows of strong bleached white light.
Long Shot

Focal Base The base of the focal beam is a structure supported by two long arms connected to stout columns and a central thick ring perched above a platform of swirling energy, pulsating up towards a vortex of clouds far above.

The area is the intersection of three different heights and hopefully the meeting place of heavy weapons and long range fire fights. The architecture is designed in steep angled layers and should feel like the base of some alien machine, distorting the clouds above.

 Map Information
Map TypeFFA 4-8 players, 1v1 / TDM
LayoutSmall map with fast and frantic gameplay
Item Layout FFA1xYA,1xRA,1xRL,1xLG,1xGL,1xPG,1xSG,1xQuad/Haste
Item Layout 1v12xYA,2xRL,1xLG,1xPG,1xSG,1xMH
Bot FileOptimized with fixaas to 5 clusters
Development3 weeks, final version - 25 (1AY)
TexturesInspired by Evil Lair Template texture set
SkyboxPhoto sourced by me
SoundsWind sounds by marauder

- ID for creating Quake 3 Arena. Even after 10 years the game is still amazing to map for.
- Thanks PJW for being there with awesome gameplay and support feedback.
- Thank you AEon for helping me fix the countless technical problems and gameplay testing.
- Thanks PatH and V1¦3 for some amazing ideas and support.

 Version History
1.ay (My own version - FOCAL_P132)
+ Added 1v1/TDM item layout using game type keys (only works for 1.32 point release)
- Reduced light map scale on selective architecture to prevent IOQ3 light map bug
- Removed competition sponsor advertising as it is not needed anymore
+ Added more texture detail to level, darker wall panels and spawn decals
+ Cut up more brushwork/patches to prevent tjunc sparklies (Competition version - FOCAL_FINAL)
* Fixed light bleeding issues near +50H, horrible surface hack
+ Raised up ramps by YA platform by 8units, should be easier to jump up
- When loaded in IOQ3, map hits max_lightmap warning, not fixable at present
+ Cut up more brushwork/patches to prevent tjunc sparklies
* Fixed AMD logo not been drawn correctly (bottom text was missing)
* Extended all nodrop JP brushes to prevent mid wall item drops
* Fixed some light bleeding issues, 2 still remain near +50H :(
* Destination entity for JP next to quad has been shifted over
+ Cut up more brushwork/patches to prevent tjunc sparklies

+ Made map compatible with Quake 3 point release 1.16n
- Removed 1v1/TDM item layouts, multiple item configs not possible with 1.16n
- Simplified the quantity of textures due to 1.16n shader limits
- reduced the resolution of large overlay images on decals
* Merged all sponsor images into one mega image because of 1.16n limitations
* Move around sponsor images (IN GAME) to reduce stretch and pixelation
* Swapped the PG and GL around, ammo remains the same (1 box each)
+ Fixed visual hole at the side of the RL ledge staircase
+ Added more surfaces to the top of the RL ledge for RJ reasons
* Converted corner geometry to models and fixed light map errors
+ Added more player clip, GL corridor, back of RL ledge, above SG
+ Fixed various tjunc patch/brushwork sparklies around level
+ Created a new gfx shader for the base of focal beam
* Moved +50H to the upper balcony around corner from PG
+ Added +5 per second health bonus to FFA mode for the laser beam
- Removed 2 player spawn locations, 1 near RL and other near SG
* Converted spawn point in RA room to bot only
* Changed Power FFA spawn to Quad/Haste (Spawn ratio 2/1)
* re-created all JP to land player at top correctly
* Aggressive player clipping around all JP locations
+ 1v1/TDM item layout - 2x YA/RL combo, MH, LG, SG and PG only
+ Added more bot clipping and fix to make bots do second RL area jump
+ Switched out some wall panels for dark versions to add more contrast
+ Reduced all portal sky textures in resolution (video card memory issues)
+ Added all sponsor adverts around level (using greyscale vers mostly)
+ Second pass to lighting, removed all black areas and smoothed out edges
* Fixed lower portal sky models not been seen correctly around map
+ Tested bot follow mode in TDM game type to all locations of map
* Moved some ammo and health out of the LG room to beam upper platform
* Shifted some of the player spawns around and deleted 2 in the RA room
* Tweaked the bot roam entities for the RA area (lower values)
* Converted some light fixtures into models for light map reasons
+ Created bot file via fixaas q3map2 system (5 clusters)
* Tested item layout; 5 weapon, 2 armour, Quad/Regen powerup's
* Replaced the small room YA with a RA instead, (possible balance issues)
* Finished laser room architecture from concept image (in my head)
+ Sealed top map architecture to reduce amount of light leaks
+ Finished custom artwork (various floor markers and extra panels)
+ Fine tuned performance with Hint brushes, whole map < 12k rspeeds
+ Linked lower sky portal models to various parts of the map
+ Setup 16 player spawn points, spread out around the level
+ Created player spawn markers to help prevent telefrags
+ Added nodrop to jump pads to prevent bot yoyo item problems
+ Heavily clipped areas around jump pads to prevent bounce back
+ Tested architectural style concept, curved wall space with heavy wall supports
+ Created basic texture set (high resolution - 512 min)
+ Tested lighting textures with a blue/green/gold colour palette
+ Found a way to create solid shader decals for item markers
+ Designed a unique jump pad model that shows visually the push force direction
+ Setup the skybox portal system, tested the map -> sky model connection
+ Fine tuned the sky portal model placement, grrr hours of tweaking!
+ Created all skybox texture assets from my own photo sources
+ Sketched out a basic layout with the laser beam room being the central feature

Architectural Concepts -
The Bridge Crane -
Florentine Library -
Shape and Form -
Single Player Maps -
Edge of Forever -
Freeport Docks -
Midnight Stalker -
Backsteingotik -
The Ivory Tower -
The Horde of Zendar -
Metal Monstrosity -
Castle Kaahoo -
One Thousand Cuts -
Fallen From Grace -
Single Player Mods -
In the Shadows -
Arcane Dimensions -
AD Only Maps -
Arcane Adamantine -
Arcane Monstrosity -
Firetop Mountain -
Forgotten Sepulcher -
Grendels' Blade -
Nyarlathoteps Castle -
Obsessive Bricks -
Ogre Fortress (e2m2) -
Slipgate Conundrum -
Tenacious Tentacle -
The City of Zendar -
Multi Player Maps -
Focal Point (QuakeLive) -
Pyramid of the Magician -
Mystic Gemini -
Si'Metrik -
Chiroptera -
Indie Games -
Flipper -
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