Shambler Box (February 2019, Trenchbroom)

Designer

Tiny puzzle map for Quake. Core combat elements are retooled into puzzle challenges. It was a fun challenge to create alternatives to Quake's standard lock-and-keys, replacing them with things like powerups that tests player skill. It demonstrates what an odd beast Quake is. The map can be downloaded here.

Something I wish I could have fixed is respawning powerups until they're properly used, as it's easy to lock yourself if you don't know what to do--although it never happened in any of my playtesting. Lastly despite the hint text, the crosshairs on the floor and the giant arrow pointing upwards most players didn't figure out that the final trial was to rocket jump. But a teacher who hadn't played Quake in 20-someodd years could tell right away. Gameplay from a bygone era, I suppose.

The Shambler statues are inspired by a similar puzzle in Thief: The Dark Project. I haven't seen it done since, and it really had playtesters sweating.

© 2020 by Ian Colquhoun.

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