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Screenshot of retrojam1
Author:ericw, mfx, Scampie, Skacky, sock
Title:Retro Jam 1 - Medieval/Castle Theme (629af370186742d988126890e4365694)
Filesize:10802 Kilobytes
Release date:23.11.2014
Additional Links: Func_MsgboardQuakeOne
Type:Partial conversion
BSP: ✔ • PAK: ✔ • PROGS.DAT: ✘ • Custom Models/Sounds: ✔

Walkthrough demos:
Painfully inept derpfest, but with all secrets found
As above, but with Skacky's fixed map
As above, but with Scampie's map
Pacifist nightmare funrun
Keep forgetting to set protocol to "15". All secrets found; magically survived.
Nightmare Max Playthrought

Files in the ZIP archive
Files in the ZIP archive:
File Size Date
docs/retrojam_skacky.txt2 KB23.11.2014
pak0.pak40915 KB23.11.2014
pak1.pak267 KB23.11.2014
retrojam1_readme.txt3 KB23.11.2014
source/retrojam1_ericw.map403 KB23.11.2014
source/retrojam1_mfx.map752 KB23.11.2014
source/retrojam1_scampie.map142 KB23.11.2014
source/retrojam1_skacky.map1427 KB23.11.2014
source/retrojam1_sock.map1442 KB23.11.2014

Retro Jam 1 - Medieval/Castle Theme

Impromptu map jam following a "retro" medieval/castle theme: five small maps by ericw, mfx, Scampie, Skacky and sock. It comes with optional medieval-style item models, and the map sources are included.

Note: A rebalanced version of mfx's map is available here, and a fixed version of Skacky's map is available here. An expanded and polished standalone version of Sock's map is available here.

Tags: medieval, castle, small, fog, source, skybox, traps, mapjam

Editor's Rating: Excellent
User Rating:
4.1/5 with 47 ratings
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Icantthinkofanickname Registered 24 November 2014, 14:59

--Warning: very verbose comment and very slight spoilers to follow--

Of all the map jams so far, this pack is most consistent in quality: while the other three all include maps ranging from beginner-ish through clearly incomplete to really impressive, these maps are all fairly good, without being mind-blowing (keeping in mind what high standards the contributers to this pack have set for themselves). I suspect this has a lot to do with a stricter time limit than in the previous jams (in that respect, this seems to be a lot closer to what speedmapping events have become in later years).

I find it odd that this was organized in a way that completely bypassed Func_Msgboard. I am sure this took many mappers by surprise and effectively excluded many potential contributers (of course it is ultimately the prerogative of mappers to map and cooperate however they see fit, and I suppose the most important thing is that people are creating content, but it does strike me as an unfortunate decision).

The title of the pack suggests that the overarching theme was old-school, id-style gameplay and visuals (again, it would have been nice if there were a set of guidelines on Func_Msgboard). The retro theme does come across in the liberal use of traps in most of the maps (something of which we do not see nearly enough in my opinion), and the size/monster count, which stays more or less within id limits. With the partial exception of Scampie's map, though, these do not really look that old-school, with their skyboxes, fog, semi-transparent windows, sophisticated brushwork and sock's custom pickup items. In fact, visually, this looks more like “Quake the way sock did”. I personally do like sock's custom pickups, but I am not convinced they were the best choice for a “retro” theme (and yes, I know it is easy enough to play the pack without them, but I prefer to play maps as the author(s) intended, and judge them accordingly).

As for the maps themselves:

ericw's map is not as much fun as his recent Zerstörer-themed map, but still makes for an enjoyable quick round of Quake. Except for one misaligned inner door texture (the kind of thing that is probably easily overlooked in an editor, and so is understandable given the time constraints), this map looks good and plays well. The secret could have been a bit more challenging to find, though, and it is a pity there is only one.

Somewhat surprisingly, given that mfx is widely considered the second coming of czg (or whatever words of admiration you find most appropriate), I found his map to be the least enjoyable, mainly due to its being incredibly stingy with ammo. Even having found all the secrets (which are easy to find, yet still very gratifying), I had to rush past the last Shambler since I had zero ammunition and very little health left, having just axed the penultimate Shambler to death with the help of a Quad Damage. Speaking of which -- this is one of those maps that seem to assume everyone can do the Shambler dance. That might be fine on hard skill, but fighting Shambler after Shambler with little to no cover and the aforementioned limited ammunition is a bit rough for skill 1.

Still, this is unsurprisingly lovely to look at, and makes great use of traps. The floating-crates-in-slime-hopping-sequence (which seems to pay homage to the 3d-platformer nature of many of the original id levels) is something I absolutely love in theory, but in practice I found it hugely annoying as I kept derping into the slime. It would have been nice to have an alternative route open up once you have traversed the crates once. As with mfx's map from the Zerstörer jam, it would be nice to see a revised version of this.

Scampie's map may be the most modestly sized in the pack, but it also does the best job of evoking the feel of the original game. It is a lovely compact love letter to Quake, and the only truly qtwid (as opposed to qtwsd) entry (if you ignore the custom pickup items).

Skacky's map is really good, but has some weird bug (at least one my system) which makes it impossible to load saved games.* This means that you have finish it in one sitting, leading (at least in my case) to risk-averse gameplay and really detracting from what otherwise seemed to be a wonderful map -- and is perhaps part of the reason why I did not find any of the secrets.

Sock's map, though not particularly retro, is the best of the bunch, with fun gameplay, good visuals and sock's signature mix of relatively obvious and not-so-obvious secrets. It may not be in the same league as most of his other releases, but, as is the case with most of the mappers in this pack, he does set a very high standard for himself.

*It gives me this error: Mod_LoadTexinfo: 8 texture(s) missing from BSP file Host_Error: ED_ParseEntity: EOF without closing brace

Breezeep Registered 24 November 2014, 21:27

Are you using the latest version of quakespasm?

skacky Registered 24 November 2014, 22:05

He'll get the message no matter what, I dun goof'd with the map name.

_mfx_ Guest 24 November 2014, 22:05

Breezeep dont mind skacky has it fixed already. The braces in the mapname worldspawn field were causing this.

And here is a fixed version of my map: Now with enough ammo and health..

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 24 November 2014, 22:05

I am, but I don't think that really matters anyway: Skacky has since explained that the issue is caused by the use of brackets in the worldspawn message (i.e. the name of the map as displayed when you play it and as used to store and load savegames).

I guess since this pack includes the map sources, one could change the worldspawn message and recompile the map oneself (provided that one has at least a basic understanding of Quake map editing and compiling). Unfortunately I do not currently have any Quake editor or compilers installed, but perhaps Skacky will release an updated version...

Thanks for wanting to help!

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 24 November 2014, 22:06

Holy simultaneous post, Batman!

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 24 November 2014, 22:12

Thanks for the updated version, mfx!

Skacky, would you mind linking to the fixed version of your map here? I would love to revisit it at a more relaxed tempo and look for those secrets...

MikeTaylor Registered 24 November 2014, 23:49

In Sock's map, I found six of seven secrets (and all kills). The one I missed was the nailgun near the start. Anyone care to give me a hint?

Oilspiller Guest 24 November 2014, 23:53


Mike you have to jump to the button from the torch. First you must jump on the torch. Its tricky but rewarding...

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 25 November 2014, 0:28

Uploaded an (embarrassingly inept) demo of sock's map that shows you where and how to find all 7 secrets (well, there's one I do not manage to do the "proper" way, but I do show what you're supposed to do).

MikeTaylor Registered 25 November 2014, 9:15

Thanks, Oilspiller. BTW., two of the secrets I <i>did</i> get, I got by rocket-jumping, which I don't think can be the right way. I'll replay this map some time soon, see if I can find the proper solutions before watching Icantthinkofanickname's video.

sock Registered 25 November 2014, 12:24

I find it odd that this was organized in a way that completely bypassed Func_Msgboard. I am sure this took many mappers by surprise and effectively excluded many potential contributers (of course it is ultimately the prerogative of mappers to map and cooperate however they see fit, and I suppose the most important thing is that people are creating content, but it does strike me as an unfortunate decision).

I am convinced Quake players love a good conspiracy theory but this is not the case. I spoke to MFX privately about a map idea based on a reference image (yes both our maps have similar architecture) and I thought it would be cool to ask ANYONE on twitter if they wanted to join. Twitter is not exclusive club and anyone can sign up, follow and talk to people. How people communicate and organize things is changing, forums are not the only way to do thing anymore.

I am surprised so many people enjoyed the jumping secrets in my map. The NG/GL secret did make me grin when the floor panel opened and I could drop down. The doors by the YA are broken because they should of opened normally and not be locked to the very end. Also the secrets do not require any GL/RL jumping, just very precise jumping skills.

If anyone is interested I did post a video on my youtube channel showing the first day of construction in the editor. I started with a 2d floor plan for the lower area, but decided it would be better to design the layout in 3d in an editor. The construction was accelerated by the use of a reference image, I highly recommend this for speed mapping.

skacky Registered 25 November 2014, 12:31

Here's a fixed version of my map:

Unzip in your retrojam1 directory.

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 26 November 2014, 1:16

Thanks for the fixed map, skacky. Having played through it a couple of times now, I really appreciate its non-linearity -- I accidentally ended up taking a slightly different route each time I played the map, and it made a considerable difference to the way things played out. The secrets are all reasonable but very rewarding to find; I am now convinced I missed them the first time around because not being able to save made me paranoid and twitchy. Overall it is very pretty and great fun, closely rivaling sock's map (which I still like every so slightly more) as my favourite in the pack.

I am yet to play mfx's rebalanced map, though...

And thank you for your response, sock.

Yhe1 Guest 26 November 2014, 5:12

I can't dl mfx's fixed version

otto Guest 26 November 2014, 5:19


Yhe1 Guest 26 November 2014, 5:45

got it, thanks. Underscore between single and player

MikeTaylor Registered 28 November 2014, 20:34

I've played through this mini-jam and enjoyed it, though of course it's not quite the same kind of beast as the three "official" jams. I am replaying now, and will comment on each map as I finish it.

The Foetid Grotto (retrojam1_ericw) is an underwhelming start to the pack. (I tend to play in alphabetical order.) It's pretty and enjoyable, but I suppose having recently been spoiled by such absurdly huge and beautiful maps as Something Wicked and Telefragged, a relatively humble map like this suffers a bit in comparison. I felt like I was just getting into it when it finished. Very nice, but in the end not really substantial enough to live long in the memory. 3/5.

MikeTaylor Registered 29 November 2014, 13:20

I replayed Arlyeh Center for Heart Diseases (retro_mfx2, the rebalanced version). Lovely work, and plays well. The secrets are crucial -- I don't know how I could have managed without the quad before the first shambler or the rocket-launcher near the end. If I were being overly critical, I might say that too much of the map feels cramped, especially after having begun in such a lovely wide-open space. 4/5.

MikeTaylor Registered 29 November 2014, 14:41

Replayed A Little Taste (retrojam1_scampie) -- the most accurately named map in the history of Quake. With just 12 monsters on hard/nightmare, it's barely begun before it's over. Nice while it lasts, and the crusher trap is an enjoyable surprise, but I can't really give more then 2/5.

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 30 November 2014, 21:45

Mfx's rebalanced map and Skacky's fixed map now have Quaddicted entries of their own; added the relevant links to the description above.

Vkni Guest 2 December 2014, 7:23

These maps are really nice and they are made in such a short period of time. Of course Jam1/2 are much more polished.

However, if we compose together jam1/2/3 + RRP + retrojam1 we would get smth like 4 Quake 1's. ;-) With exceptional quality, superior to that of original Quake. And the last fact - these packs were made during 4 month period.

Gudrun Guest 2 December 2014, 19:18

Its a pleasure to see the old and id textures being polished and extended to make such beautiful and inspiring maps. Hats off!

MikeTaylor Registered 3 December 2014, 0:50

I replayed Dysnystaxis (...A Chance Meeting With Somnus) (retrojam1_skacky_b). I admire it tremendously, especially for a map made in so short a time, but I find it hard to love it. It may just be chance, but it seems to me that I've played a lot of maps recently that are way harder at the start than from the midpoint on, and this one was another example. I never found a truly good way to handle the problem of taking an elevator up to a room full of tough monsters while armed only with shotguns. Once I'd hacked my way through that part, the rest was very easy in comparison. Beautiful brushwork, but the gameplay doesn't do it for me, so 3/5.

MikeTaylor Registered 4 December 2014, 21:42

I replayed Castle of the Fallen (retorjam_sock), and found it my joint favourite, along with mfx's offering. I like the way that there are multiple options for getting through the main area, and the proliferation of secrets.

Bizarrely, though, this time I only found five secrets -- and one of those was the nailgun that I missed at the start last time through. So somehow, I forgot (and failed to rediscover) two secrets.

Minor criticism: after pressing the button to open the exit gate, it felt slightly lame to them walk unmolested through the exit. I expected at the very least a shambler materialisation!

Anyway, 4/5 stars for this map, and that leads me to an aggregate score of four stars for the pack as a whole. Not so long ago, it would have been five stars -- but the three "proper" jams, and especially the Rubicon Rumble Pack, have raised the bar considerably.

unbirthday Registered 16 December 2014, 5:56

ericw: Nice pacing, and very quake-like. It seems that it's not sure whether to be an abstract or a real map. An hybred?

mfx: Overall design is very original and works well in quake. Detail is fantastic, with some very nice architectural details in front of the mansion. Nice traps and I loved the transparent windows on the top floor. Unfortunately I didn't really enjoy the pacing at all. Too many monsters in tight spots, too many deaths, not anything like enough ammo/items. Too many freakin' shamblers!

scampie: My favourite. It has an almost a bauhausian minimalism to it, much like the original quake maps, It has the right ratio of monsters to area and therefore pacing was spot on. The lighting is phenomenal. Honestly, I just looove that glow from the lava. The only problem is what others noticed - It's too damn short!

skaky: I think skaky's is the best looking in terms of lighting, detailing, architecture and overall design. Almost orgasmic, yet not quite retro. It was a difficult map, and I couldn't finish it because of that bug, which I know is fixed now. It also needs more items or less monsters (less monsters and more puzzles is preferable in my opinion).

sock: I think this map is the best in terms of gameplay - It isn't too hard nor too easy, and item distribution is about right.

When you lads do the rare puzzle or trap, I find it enthralling. Please do more puzzle based maps! I think just throwing endless monsters at the player can get boring. The minimalism of scampie, with the design/detail of skaky, with the pacing of sock/ericw, with the colour coordination of czg, with the architecture of mfx but a more mechanism/puzzle based map, would be just heaven for me personally. Not being selfish or anything <3

Overall, this particular pack finally made me make an account and do a short review - so it must've done something to me. (I'm still creaming over Honey by CZG to be honest).

mmm Registered 5 July 2015, 11:55

A couple of maps were a bit too difficult for my taste (ericw and mfx), a couple of others required searching for some nearby trick to comfortably get through the hard parts but overall a good collection.

bhlaab Registered 23 July 2019, 8:27

Sock's map is the only one I really enjoyed.

zin Registered 29 March 2020, 9:20

my run of sock's map

env/gfx 24 January 2021, 18:31

Original version of mfx's map too hard. Were these Retro Jam maps meant to be played independently or were you supposed to load the next one with the goodies from the last one (changelevel)?

[This comment had to be restored. See this thread for context. This means that there might be problems with its formatting or content missing. The information if the user posted while being logged in was not restored. -Spirit]

Alex Ros Registered 8 January 2022, 14:44

Really cool jam. Recommended to everyone. All maps are top notch, I do not want to choose 1 best

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