Big Space Gun, by David M. Pochron — Friday, August 27, 1999

“It’s a big gun on an asteroid with an artificial gravity field. Don’t step off the edge of the gun platform or asteroid — you’ll fall into space and die. In addition to the gun, there is a large fusion core underneath the platform that powers the gun. The core room was cut entirely through the asteroid so you can see into open space from the bottom of the core. (Don’t fall into space there, either! :-) The gun is functional! Go to the control room and fire it up — fry your friends trying to get at the many items in the gun barrel! The [Big Space Gun] fires a particle beam which is used to cut up large enemy starships.”

Big Space Gun, by David M. Pochron — Author’s Notes

An older version of this map was my first experience with editing in Quake 2. The older version was an attempt to recreate the Big Gun as seen in the Quake 2 intro movie exactly. (I was disappointed with the Big Gun level in the actual game since it didn’t look anything like the intro movie Big Gun…Though I do enjoy deathmatching on it.) However, I kept running into the problem of the Quake 2 sky cube not being large enough to hold a full-scale version of that gun. Additionally, the inside of the Big Gun as seen in the intro isn’t very interesting to run around in. So I gave up on it and worked on other things during the past 18 months. Three weeks ago, I finally decided to give it another go, but this time I wouldn’t try to recreate the Big Gun as seen but instead create version that was interesting to run around in and also a bit smaller. Also, I knew there was no way to realistically make the ground extend as far as it appeared to in the intro movie, so I decided to change the setting for the gun completely and put it on a slowly rotating asteroid. This actually worked out great, since I was able to make it deadly to fall off the edge of the world. Therefore nothing from my original Big Gun attempt is in this map; I decided to get a fresh start as there wasn’t anything I could still make use of from my first attempt 18 months ago.

I had wanted to use the Phong shading capability of ArghRad, however ArghRad kept locking up my system right after the second pass completed. I instead used Geoffrey DeWan’s qrad3 tool as that also had the ArghRad- style sun feature but no Phong shading.

After playing the map with the gun in it’s raised position (30 degrees, in case you wanted to know), I realized that while the sheer terror of running around inside and on top of such a slippery slope is fun, it also might be frustrating to some players who simply want to deathmatch. Therefore, I started a modified version that has the gun in it’s down position. This one is easier to move around on, however, the sights aren’t quite as spectacular as the raised version.

If you can get into the groove between the red pipe and core wall just right, you can shimmy down the pipe and avoid taking falling damage!

As mentioned earlier, the gun can actually be fired! Anyone trying to get the bountiful items in the gun barrel will be disintegrated if they are caught inside there when the laser fires. Players have about 9 seconds from the time the first warning klaxon is heard to when they must be clear of the firing chamber.

These maps have some very large open areas, which means you’ll need a heftier system to handle them properly. You’ll need at least a 200 Mhz Pentium and a 3D accelerator card capable of at least Voodoo 1 speeds. Note that this is a true bare minimum – for experienced players, this still probably won’t be enough. On my 400Mhz PII TNT 2 (non-ultra) system, I get around 35 fps in the most complex areas of the maps. Forget about trying to play these maps in software rendering mode! The software renderer can’t handle all the polygons, and sections of the maps will start to disappear. 3D cards are so inexpensive now you owe it to yourself to pick one up if you’re still trying to play in software rendering mode.

In the raised version of Big Space Gun, the faster your computer the faster you’ll be able to climb the sloped ladders. This is due to an odd quirk of the Quake 2 physics engine. If you have a slow system, stay away from the sloped ladders and use the teleporters instead.

Be very careful when running around the edges of the asteroid! the sloped rock makes it easy to slip right off the edge into space! Heheheh. :-)

These maps (bigspacegunup.bsp, bigspacegundn.bsp) are copyrighted © 1999 by David M. Pochron. Download the maps here:

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