The Zen of Quake

7 Aug, 2020, updated 14 Aug, 2020 sgcp quake

Obviously Slipgate Chokepoint has me thinking about Quake quite a lot. I’ve ripped the NIN soundtrack off my original Quake 1 CD that I bought for the Amiga 1200 that I owned. Fun fact, it could run Quake at about 9-20fps depending on the mod I loaded. I’ve installed a bunch of different Quake engines, and hi-res texture packs, then thrown them all out again, for something updated but unmodified.

And I’ve been having a load of fun. These are my musings on how and why I was having fun.

A flying monster

Lesson 1: Doors are just doors

This is about 5s into E1M4 and I’d already learned a lesson. Doors in Quake either open when you try them, or they’re locked, so maybe don’t roll to open them unless it’s interesting. Reasons to roll?

Okay it’s probably not much of a lesson for other people!

Lesson 2: Verticality

Verticality in Quake 1 was really important to id. Look back at that first pic. You’re shooting the targets to drop that ceiling on the enemy and then run down the spiral staircase. Very much not your father’s Doom.

It probably doesn’t matter so much for an RPG but I want to make sure I’m getting more levels and walkways into my rooms. I didn’t take a screenshot of them, but there’s a motif of an enemy that can’t reach you, on a distant platform, plinth, or walkway.

Lesson 3: Movement


If you don’t circle-strafe this ogre, you’re going to have a bad time. By contrast, Stay Frosty and SGCP don’t really have that movement mechanic, although there is the Stunt Die.

Technically this is for attack bonuses, but I’ve started using it for defensive bonuses, so “I run in shooting and then slide for defensive cover”.

This is before move-and-cover war games of the 00s…

Lesson 4: Interesting environments

A death knight attacks the player

Yeah another obvious one, but… I just don’t remember to put interesting things in rooms and maybe if I write it down all the time it might sink in. Like water.

A random pool:


A grenade explosion fills the screen

Here endeth the lesson.

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