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In Memory of Jennell Allyn Jaquays
Sat Feb 3 01:56:33 UTC 2024

Early last January we were sadden to learn that former developer and activist Jennell Allyn Jaquays passed away, with her funeral concluding yesterday.

Jennell had a long career as an artist and video game developer, working on some of our favorite games such as a level designer for id Software working on Quake II & III as well as an artist on Age of Empires.

Her Dungeons & Dragon’s modules were famous, known for their pathbreaking or non-linera designs. In fact, her contributions were so influential that “Jaquaysing” has become a verb for a dungeon scenario with “myriad paths”. She was inducted into The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame in 2015.

Later in life she came out as a transgendered lesbian, spoke out about agin conversion therapy, was a freelance artist, and married other former video game developer, Burger Becky.

Along with her funeral, an obituary by the New York Times was written about her yesterday, we suggest you check it out here. Thanks to Blue’s News for the link.

We like to leave the last word to the dead, so here’s a short but fun interview with Jennell from Quakeidge back when she was working on Quake III. Her level design advice is still solid today. Rest in Peace.

Quakeidge: As we have discussed in the past about how to get started making maps for Q3a and to get ideas; is harder then it looks. At any rate, could you tell the Quake community how you start out making maps? (It helped me out a ton.)

Jennell: Start by deciding what the map will be used for. A free for all map needs to be substantially different than a Capture the Flag style team map. Draw a flow schematic of the map. This can be as complex as a Dungeons & Dragons style map on graph paper or nothing more that labeled boxes with arrows between them showing connectivity. If you have any ideas for special areas, or special relationships between areas, sketch them out and make as many notes as you can.

Next, do architectural studies. Design the look and style of the architecture and the texturing that will go on it. While you’re doing this, think how it will be illuminated and even plan for some dramatic lighting. Once you settle on an architectural style, build some sections of geometry in that style that can be fit together to make halls and doorways. Save them out a prefabs. You should build complicated structures only once and then save and reload them as needed.

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