Thursday, 2 May 2019

Mapping portfolio.

 Just because Cardo asked for it. Chronological order:

Shamsp1: Crown Of Thorns
Simple open canyons + blue castle map.

Shamsp2: Warmth Of A Dying Sun
Squarish / rounded open desert temple map.

SM186_sham: Terrabase
Small mountain-top base outpost speedmap.

Shamsp3: Age Of The No Penis Mapper
Genitalia-themed medieval cave / castle semi-speedmap.

AD_DM2rmx_sham: Acidophilous
Copper / slime / industrial single player DM2 remix AD map

SM189_sham: The Dig
Small inverted / suspended base / temple speedmap.

Xmasjam2_sham: Chapel Perilous
Small but labyrinthine medieval chapel / castle / fantasy AD map

AD_Shamsp4: Annihilith Of Abhorration
Large scale industrial horror Zerstorer themed brutal AD map

SM193_sham: Incongrous Proportions
Simple white giant tower speedmap.

AD_Shamsp5: Symphony Of Steel
Small curvily-detailed cyber-gothic AD map.

For more information / waffling / video playthroughs, see previous blog posts or TEAMShambler Youtube


Mappenings.....part 10?!

I've happily slowed down a lot on the mapping front, but I still have had enough inspiration to make one full map: AD_Shamsp5 - Symphony Of Steel. This map is a combination of old inspiration (a 20 year old sketched idea of a curvy/blocky map in stecki's textures), a classic stolen layout (I realised that the "layout" of the 20 year old sketch was a 2D mess of arbitrary box rooms, so "borrowed" a layout from elsewhere ;)), and current determination to make a map that is more refined and polished - which I actually think worked! This is my 10th map overall and I think it's a good celebration.

Func_msgboard thread:

I got some nice feedback from rather respectable Quake veterans too:

SleepwalkR of Trenchbroom fame:
[19:44] SleepwalkR: your latest map looks great btw
[19:45] SleepwalkR: hope I'll find the time to play it soon
[19:51] SleepwalkR: heck I'll play it now
[20:29] SleepwalkR: it's fun, and it looks great
[20:29] SleepwalkR: found 7/8 secrets

Kinn of Marcher Lord / Bastion fame:
Seal Of Approval
#2 posted by Kinn on 2019/04/23 23:08:37
Can confirm this is a very cool map, with a really nice visual theme, and nice elegant architectural motifs. Gameplay is balanced - was very tight on ammo on a couple of occasions, but squeaked through with some light cheesing as opportunities arose.

Sock of Arcane Dimensions fame:
Have not played #quake AD in a while and found the perfect map appetizer, Symphony Of Steel by Shambler. Gorgeous visual style combined with a nice meaty sized game play slice!
Shambler has certainly got better over the last year and this map has a lovely brushwork style which is tastefully done. I played skill 1 and felt it was fair and a good balance. I've got no idea where any of the secrets are yet, I still not worked out his secret patterns!

Which is nice. Obviously I don't do it for the acclaim but equally I like it when people appreciate what I've done and in particular "get" the concept. OTOH one thing people often didn't get in this were the secrets (apart from Sleepy, GGWP), maybe they were a bit tricky this time, but anyway have a walkthrough video showing all the secrets combined with some waffle about the map...

....and yeah, an indepth analysis of the bonus DLC map too.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Painting interlude.

Quick and simple and inspired by Electric Eve on Twitch painting SQUIGS :)

Sunday, 6 January 2019


....related to the mapping process not the end result:


+ Clear aesthetic style from the start.
+ Details that can be applied fairly universally.
+ Decent prefabs.

- Having to make a terrain mash
- Not planning interior layout / detailing
- Starting with overly simple 2-D layout.


+ Very clear, replicatable design style.
+ Lots of harmonious prefabs, very easy to populate / detail map
+ Planning a reasonably complex layout that needed little change.
+ Inspiring theme / textures easy to work with.
+ Easy general trim textures

- A few areas of getting trim to work at different heights.
- Not making pre-fabs func_detail / illusionary initially.


+ Sticking to a fairly simple / small design.
+ Having a decent theme / hook to keep inspired.

- Using rotated corridors.
- Awkward window section in corridor cross.


+ Adding side areas afterwards, easy way to increase size / gameplay.
+ Starting as a speedmap so not getting too carried away with complexity.

- Having to make a terrain mash
- Faffy lift / switch combinations, didn't get working smoothly.


+ Having a reasonably clear colour / texture theme from the start.
+ Having an easily functional layout.

- Basing a map exactly on an existing .map file
- Making prefab details that were difficult to fit together or fit into the map designs
- Having a fairly ugly main wall texture.


+ Starting in plenty of time with lots of time to refine details.
+ Doing a lot of sketching to get back on track.

- Trying to fit in a really awkward layout in the space allocated.
- Not making complex prefabs fully func_detailed / illusioned first.
- Having intially over-ambitious / unvisualised ideas.


+ Having a good gimmick for a speedmap.
+ Sticking to inspiring textures out of a large selection.

- Some tricky lighting.


+ Having some neat design hooks to give me confidence / interest.
+ Decent "detail" / "gimmick" pre-fabs.
+ Fairly decent theme that was fairly inspiring to work with.

- Choosing a relentlessly difficult trim texture.
- Having large areas angled to 45' and filling with rotated stuff.
- Having to make a terrain mash
- Making some fairly difficult / obtuse pre-fab details (glass pipes, light cones)

So, common factors:

Good / easy:

Strong theme
Good layout early on
Lots of prefabs / applicable details
Easy to use textures

Bad / hard:

Struggling to fit a layout in to a certain area
Making loads of terrain mash
Hard to use / over-complex textures
Not finalising pre-fabs before use
Not planning details / layout

Saturday, 29 December 2018

More mappenings.

Crikey. I've been laying down a lot of brushes and not a lot of paint layers. So here's a catch up:

Shamsp3: "Age Of The No Penis Mapper"

Standard ID map inspired by veteran Quake coder Baker talking massive amounts of horseshit in this thread - just read his first post and you'll see what I mean. I made this map in his honour and he's not been seen since.

Video (also includes SM187 runthrough):

AD_DM2rmx_sham: "Acidophilous"

AD (Arcane Dimensions Quake mod) remix of the classic ID deathmatch map "Claustrophobolous". Inspired by prolific Quake promoter, videographer and chat channel magnate Dumptruck who was musing on the lack of AD maps and that DM2 was his favourite ID DM map, shortly before suggesting I leave his chat channel for too much swearing. I completed the map anyway. Based exactly on the DM2 map source which was a giant pain in the arse to do.

Xmasjam2_sham: "Chapel Perilous"

AD map for the 2018 Xmas Jam which restricts maps to having a 1024^3 unit playable area (i.e. quite a small box by Quake standards). This was a giant pain in the arse to get the layout working with my intention of having a labyrinthine progression that would feel a lot bigger than the map restriction, but once that was done I really enjoyed polishing it up and it's definitely my equal favourite along with Shamsp2.


SM189_sham: "The Dig"

Doom-textured speedmap that was a lot of fun to make and was part of a necessary break and refreshment while struggling with AD_Shamsp4. I'm chuffed with this one and people liked the funky gimmick.

AD_Shamsp4: "Annihilith Of Abhorration"

AD map with an industrial horror theme and Zerstorer textures. It was supposed to be for the Halloween Jam but I had serious mappers block and it took ages to get going. Another pain in the arse with the angulation I chose (the layout is two deathmatch sketches mashed together), but once again good fun to tweak it, and get some riotuous gameplay on the go.

That makes a total of 8 maps in 6 months. Not bad. I might take it easy for a bit, I certainly want to stick to much smaller, but more polished maps.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Mappenings Part 1

So I made a thing. The box turned into a box with b0rked terrain which turned into caves and canyons with b0rked terrain and a castle in the middle but was pretty cool for a first map overall:

Download and discussion:

Playthrough for non-Quakers

The minor exhuberation of doing that thing turned into attempting another thing, which worked a lot better and I'm rather chuffed with:

Download and discussion:

Playthrough for non-Quakers:

And finally for now, a smaller thing. I got an early whiff of a "Terracotta" themed speedmapping session, had a look at Quake's terracotta texture selection, realised there were a lot of terracotta-coloured base textures, and did my own thing, in just a couple of days. Fun to do something smaller and quicker!

Download and discussion for whole pack:

Thursday, 5 July 2018


Not quite sure what will happen but something might:

Sketching ideas from, errrr, 20 years ago??

 Thanks to dumptruck's tutorials , I made a box, and then another box.

A bit of fannying about...

 ....and I made a slightly better box. A fair amount going on here with skybox, fog, undulating and phonged rocks and ground terrain, coloured lighting, multiple lights in the pillars to get a glow and surround lighting, a proper spawn point out of a blocked off cave, etc.

 More sketching ideas....

Next plans include making some detail / structural prefabs to get a consistent theme, then see if I can block out a layout roughly similar to my original idea. And, errr, learn Trenchbroom at the same time...

OTOH, bitches....