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Lighting gothic style levels effectively can be done in three realistic ways and one unrealistic ways. First the unrealistic and easy way:

Light that comes from nowhere

This is pretty self explanatory, as in the above picture you place a light with no obvious source this lights the level and since most players don't care what lights their path you will mostly get away with it. However rooms with no windows and lights are usually quite dark, in fact you normally can't see anything in them, so this method is quite unrealistic.

The more realistic ways are:

1.) Skies
2.) Lava
3.) Flames and Torches


If you make your level open roofed or outdoors then you level can be easily lit up, for an example check out the Temple of Hate.

Using skies in this manner allows you to place unrealistic light sources since they will give the simple effect of daylight hitting an indoor area, but remember to place windows to the outside world. Which brings me on to the next topic, using windows.

If you don't want an open topped level or an outdoor map then simply border your room with windows which will show the sky or use a skylight or two. If you are sensible you can do this without using an environment box to save on compile time, and heres how... (you may want to look at the pointy arches tutorial afterwards to make gothic style arched windows)

Firstly take the wall section that needs a window and make a hole in it of the appropriate size. Now make a brush that is bigger than the hole is wide and tall and place it behind the 'window hole'. Give this a sky texture and make sure that it leaves no leaks in the map. Give the window a basic border and your done. After reading about pointy arches you may want to make a window like this one:

Note: Placing a light source in front of the window will light up the wall that the window is on and also help give the area a nicer ambient sort of daylight. On the other hand, not placing a light source gives a much more atmospheric effect, the light streaming through the window and casting shadows.


Lava glows red, if you plan to remake the House of Chthon then this is definitely useful, just fill the lava area and q3 does the glowing itself. However, lava can also be placed under damaged floors so that the glow can seep through cracks and holes. Remember that lava can also change the strategy of a level, you could make a level based around a bridge over a lava river, also remember that lava kills.

In one q3 level, I can't remember what it is called, there is some red glow coming from the floor. I will now demonstrate how to create this effect buy building a small example map.

Firstly create a room, or goto the room in your map which ever, and make the floor lava by applying one of the textures from the 'liquids' set. Make sure that this floor is lower than the standard for your level. Now place the real floor above this and make it match the others in the level or whatever. This is the basis of making the lava lit area.

Note: If you want people to be able to fall into the lava you must seal it off at the sides and bottom. If you are reading this then you should be fairly competent with q3r so use your common sense.

Now we will make the cracks, I would use CSG Subtract as it saves some effort in creating the glow effect. Assuming that you will use CSG Subtract, make a brush the shape of the crack and as tall as your glow effect will be. Give this brush the texture sfx/beam_red and give the top and bottom of the brush the common/nodraw texture. This brush will be our glow effect, move the texture so that it is in the correct position and then use the brush to CSG Subtract the cracks. Place a red or orange light source just above the crack to enhance the glow (about light 75 is good). Voila, a crack that glows from lava! Make some more untill you're happy and you should end up with something like this (minus the light sources if you don't want an over powering glow):

I used triangles 'cos I'm lazy so this doesn't look to good but if you but triangles together or use more complex brushes you can create thinner and more complex cracks. When compliled my cracks looked like this:

This effect can easily expanded and the glow effect is not compulsory so try some lava flows or pools in your levels to add a nice warm daemonic glow!

Note: Using this effect in a well lit area may produce garish red beams spouting out from the ground, this looks hideous and is ill advised. Also I know how pants my cracks look up there, that's 'cos they are random triangles.

Flames and Torches

Firstly the best 'torch' model available for gothic maps is this one:

You can sit a flame on top of it quite nicely, with no problems. So, how do we make that flame? Well the answer is to use a very old trick... a cross shape of two animated sprites.

Firstly place the above model against the wall, place an orangey light in front of it and place a couple of brushes in a cross shape on top of the torch. The brushes will make the flame. Firstly give the brushes the common/nodraw texture then give one large side on each brush one of the sfx/flame textures (make sure it is the first of the animation). Fiddle with the textures to get them into the right place and hey presto a torch. There are other models that can suitably hold flames so experiment. Also there are blue and green flames, chemical burning for industrial style levels.

Well that's just about it. Go forth and make a myriad of unfinished gothic style maps, but, with wonderful lighting effects.


Happy Mapping

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Gothic levels were common in Quake but there were none in Quake 2.

This is one of the many reasons that Quake 2 is less popular amongst Quake and Q3A fans.




























CSG Subtract is useful here





That shot came from Gothic Revival. Sorry!















CSG Subtract is useful here