Edwards Handy Gun Guide
1-March-97 version 1.2

Introduction [I]
Mailing List [M]

Weapon concepts [1.00]
Basic [1.01]
Hand to Hand [1.02]
Shotguns [1.03]
High Fire rate weapons [1.04]
Rockets [1.05]
BFGs [1.06]
Mines etc. [1.07]
Sniping Weapons [1.08]
Sentries/Turrets [1.09]
Magic [1.10]

Targeting & Detonating Systems [2.0.00]
Guidance systems [2.1.00]
P.O.V. (Point Of View) [2.1.01]
Laser [2.1.02]
Infrared/Heat [2.1.03]
Homing [2.1.04]
Radar [2.1.05]
Waypoints [2.1.06]
Inertia [2.1.07]
Detonating Systems [2.2.00]
Impact [2.2.01]
Time [2.2.02]
Remote Detonating [2.2.03]
Movement [2.2.04]

Ammunition [3.0.00]

Ammunition [3.1.00]
Bullets [3.1.01]
Buckshot [3.1.02]
Explosive [3.1.03]
Incendiary [3.1.04]
Tracer [3.1.05]
Nails/Slugs [3.1.06]
Payloads [3.2.00]
High Explosive [3.2.01]
Shrapnel [3.2.02]
Concussion [3.2.03]
Gas [3.2.04]
Flash [3.2.05]
Napalm [3.2.06]
Energy [3.3.00]
Lasers [3.3.01]

Ideas & Points [4.00]
Power points [4.01]
MIRVs [4.02]
Flares [4.03]
Grappling Hooks [4.04]
Jetpacks [4.05]
Weapons craping out [4.06]
Moving and firing [4.07]
Cameras/Alarms [4.08]

Unrealistic Weapons [5.00]
Lightning [5.01]
Sub-Atomic particles [5.02]
MASERs [5.03]
Antimatter [5.04]
Nuclear Fission & Fusion [5.05]
EMP [5.06]
Plasma [5.07]

Footnote [F]

Other [6.00]
Credits [6.01]
Websites [6.02]
Versions [6.03]
Legal [6.04]
Availability [6.05]


This Document is a guide to creating weapons for 3d games. It was when written after hearing
people moan about and playing with the unbalanced weapons in a Quake DM, I was amazed to find
that the coolio weapons found in Quake 2 were just as unbalanced in Quake 2 DM as Quake 1.
(actually the first thing I did about it was write QBlast) I've then written this as a guide
to creating balanced weapons specifically for DM with an eye on team and CTF type games.
Its a combination of realism & game design. In general, the format for something will be reality
first, then game play. I welcome all comments but _please_ note that this is a document of
_my_ opinions and knowledge. If you think something I've written is wrong, then write me a
polite email saying so. If it really bothers you then write your own guide. :-)
Of course if you have a section you think I should add or a section which you have your own
comments to add then email those to me as well. I may quote you directly or I may simply change
a few words around. I will not show email address if asked.
Many readers will note that I refer almost exclusively to the modern-world line up of id software
games, (Wolfenstein 3d, Doom, Doom 2, Quake, Quake 2) This is not out of spite for any of the
other excellent games I have seen. These are simply the games I am most familiar with.
If someone sees an excellent idea in one of these games which I have failed to mention, please
tell me about that too.

Edward Murrell
aka. Soleil-Raid

If someone wants to send me money, checks or anything else by snail-mail, my address is below:
Edward Murrell
9 Beaumont Court
New Zealand

[M]-------Mailing List
There is now a mailing list for the updates of Edwards Handy Gun Guide. As soon as I finish each
version I send an email to each person saying there is a new version at such and such an address.
If ANYONE wants to be on this, just send a small email to edward@spider.net.nz with the subject
"Add me to EHGG mailing list" with your email address in the message area.

[1.00]-------Weapon concepts

Basic & first weapons
The basic first weapon must have several properties.
1) It must be easily replenished
2) It must be adequate to enough for someone to defend themselves until they find
another weapon.
3) There must be no special effects on it such as area effect or explosion radius.
4) (This is psychological) It must be obvious to a newbie that it is a "beginners"
weapon, if this is not observed, players are quite likely to go in blasting and
not understand why they don't seem to be affecting other players, (ah la Quake,
"Oh! Cool! A Shotgun!" (Newbie sneaks up behind 3dGame-God) "HA HA, TAKE THAT!"
(BLAM.... BLAM BLAM.... BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM) "SHIT, DIE!, you son of a bitch!"
(Newbie rides 3dGame-Gods rocket.)

OK, does that cover the points? If not, read carefully. A basic weapon should be designed
to be a basic weapon, it shouldn't carry you far in a DM, but if some bastard DOES jump out
with some kind of BFG, you will be able to take cover and have a _chance_ of hitting back.
(maybe even killing them) On the other hand, it doesn't help to have newly spawned players
not even bothering with getting a new weapon cos the first one is so damn cool.

Ammo/damage ratio for a first weapon needs special consideration. If a basic gun needs to 5
rounds to kill a fully armored and healthy person and there's lots of ammo boxes around with
200 rounds in them the game isn't going to progress much, (imagine what's going to happen when
some bastard gets his hands on one of the higher weapons) There are several ways to tackle this.
One is to make it an energy weapon, a hand-to-hand weapon or just a good old pistol. If the
later option is chosen, the damage must be _lower_ per second than a hand-to-hand weapon,
(Reason? A hand-to-hand weapon requires getting up close and nasty, which means that the
player is likely to get blasted more often than not coming in. Hence, you have to make the
enemy pay even more for the damage done to you while you charge up to him.) A pistols ammo
should probably be compatible with a better weapon if it is feasible. (Good example: pistol
& chain-gun in Doom & Doom 2. Bad example: pistol and chain-gun in Duke 3d)

Hand to Hand
A Hand to Hand is generally an unpowered weapon that does not require ammunition (unless its a
magic weapon in which case, any rules can apply) and that requires getting up close and nasty
unless it has some special properties, (The Bioweapon in Team Fortress, The Vampire-axe in
QBlast or running into someone when you have the impact rune in Artifact Quake) it should be
a last resort weapon only.
Also, if you use a sword or whatever to test every wall for secrets after a while the damn thing
is going to break no matter how strong it is. All weapons can get damaged if they are not used
To take this a step farther, consider the Doom marine. Now here's a guy who can carry 7 heavy
weapons (at least a hundred pounds) and ammo, including 100 rockets (50 _without_ the backpack)
and run all over the place. He's a strong bastard, Shouldn't his punch be more dangerous?
Furthermore, if he is carrying all that weight, shouldn't he be slower than when he's not
loaded down?
More points to consider while designing a hand to hand weapon:
Range: It is important to consider the appropriateness of the range to the weapon being
displayed. A sword may have a reach of about a meter or so, but it is stupid for
a fist to be so.
Sound: Again: the appropriateness must be considered, for instance, a chainsaw is as noisy as
shit, and you should be able to hear it coming a long way off. but a fist should be
totally silent. A sword should at least be heard if someone accidentally slams it
into a wall.
Rate: A chainsaw cuts continuously. An axe is hard to swing up. Fists punch in a
one-two-pause-one-two-pause pattern. The point is, how fast does it move?

A shotgun is a large caliber weapon, Apart from that its not much different from a machine gun
or other bullet using weapons. The difference is in the ammunition. Shotguns can take a lot
more than the standard ball-bearing buckshot, here are some of the ones I have heard about:
Solid -Ouch, a bullet that's roughly 8 cm long and about 2.5 cm wide (12 gauge)
is going to do a lot to that pretty rib cage of yours.
Explosive -I've seen this in a game (Turok the Dinosaur Hunter) and in a Quake
Mod (Painkeep) but I'm not sure if this is realistically possible.
Slivers -Like the standard buckshot, but in lots of little metal slivers instead
of ball bearings. (SLICE!)
Shaped charge -Designed to cause maximum damage upon impact. I wouldn't recommend this,
since if its explosive, its going to be FAR too lethal since if such
a shell was designed right it should theoretically be able to go through
steel plate.
A thing people don't seem to understand is what shotguns are. They are, in dictionary terms,
A short range weapon designed to output large amounts of non-explosive fire power in short
In other words, they are designed as a one-shot = one-kill system so that you can fire then
run like shit.
They also have one hell of a kick, not overly huge, but enough that making a "auto-shotgun"
would require a stand and something to remove most of the recoil, which would remove their
effectiveness, since they are SHORT RANGE. I can't seem to say this enough, after about 25
meters a shotgun is going to be almost useless. In a game, you should also have two ammo
counters, one for your total shells, and one for the amount of shells currently loaded in the
gun. Team Fortress nearly got this right, but there was no way to tell (other than counting) the
number of rounds currently left in the gun.

High fire rate weapons
I (personally) define a high fire rate as anything which fire at over 5 rounds a second or a
weapon that automatically loads itself. These are anything that come under the following
Assault Rifles

-Assault Rifles
These are generally the sort of thing you will find in 3d games. An assault rifle is designed to
fire in a spread pattern. The magazine holder is designed to have clips slammed in with a lot of
force and not much accuracy. Quite a few new ones will also automatically drop the clip once
all the ammunition has been expended. In short, its designed for heated combat, where things
are likely to go to hell and the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether you put
that last clip in properly and if the damn is going to jam. They're designed to take lots of
abuse and last for ages. The rate of fire is generally less than 300 rpm.

Contrary to popular belief, (Blame Doom, Doom 2 & Quake 2 for this one) a chain-gun is NOT a
multi-barrel machine gun. A chain-gun is a gun that is or can be fed ammunition on a chain.
A multi-barrel machine gun is, surprise! a multi-barrel machine gun. Nothing more, nothing less.
This doesn't mean that MBMG isn't a chain-gun, it just means a chain-gun isn't necessarily a
MBMG..... (if you can follow my logic there) The only chain-gun I have HEARD of in reality
of having more than one barrel is on the Hind Helicopters. It's a 12.7 mm Soviet model so it's
probably pretty unique. Most chain-guns are have slower fire-rates than machine guns, and
rely on heavier, slower projectiles. They are generally mounted when fired.

You are unlikely to ever use a auto-cannon in your game or patch unless you are making a
Tank, Mech. or aircraft simulator. Auto-cannons fire large shells, not bullets, but Shells,
These are range from about 20 mm to 40 mm. These things are lethal, the avenger (the 35 mm
cannon mounted on the front of the A-10) fires shells the size of milk bottles at something
like 4700 rpm. (Quote from Daniel Strand) "During my military service we were shown a live
fire test of the Avenger, it ripped a Leopard 2 MBT to pieces, and the Leopards armor is about
1.2 meters in the front (4 feet) !"

Rocket Launchers in 3d games in the current forms are not realistic except in the odd tank or
Mech. simulator I've seen.
A Rocket Launcher was never designed to take out troops, rocket launchers are designed to destroy or disable
tanks, aircraft and the occasional bunker. A rocket launcher is NOT a troops weapon. It never was, it never
will be. A rocket is barely subsonic, it travels at around 200 m/s, a human can barely manage
12 m/s when sprinting. I have nothing against their existence, its just the way they're
implemented. A rocket Launcher is loaded and fired, ONE ROCKET AT A TIME.
That aside, I personally think that a 3d game without some sort of high speed explosive is
like a new years party without beer. (hey that is a personal trademark of me, Edward Murrell
© Copyright 1998, ok?) You almost have to have them. However, the current ones in Quake & Quake 2
suck big time right now. Bring back the one from Doom. Doom you may ask? What did Dooms Rocket
Launcher got that Quake & Quake 2s don't? OK, think back to those long nights of setting up
the modem or that f*****g network for those late night Deathmatches with your friends.....
Or to Episode 2 Mission 8..... Yes ol' Mr Cybie who didn't want to be friends.....
Anyone remember getting hit by his rockets? Usually, since you'd grabbed a 200 armor and one of
those blue soul spheres thingies that gave you 100% extra health you wouldn't die immediately.
But you usually would about half a second later. Why? Yes, because you COULDN'T SEE!
The screen would go bright red and your vision would be close to nothing. It also, if you
remember correctly, blew you half way across the map. What I want to know is why the hell, when
the rocket launcher in Doom was oh so perfect (except for firing just a teensy weensie little
bit too fast) did id software go and change it?!?!?!

Big Friggin Guns have long been a part of 3d games, almost every one has had them, almost none
have got them right. The question is, what makes a good BFG? One thing. Balance. The BFG in
Quake was not the Lightning gun, but the Rocket Launcher. Since it wasn't designed as a BFG it
and its ammo was dispersed around the levels without much worry that it was going to give
whoever picked it up a major advantage. In general these are big bastards of which eat ammo
like popcorn and tend to gib enemies in one shot. There are in general two types of BFGs.
Room clearers (Doom & Quake 2) and PKK guns (Point, Klick and Kill) (Duke 3d, Quake 1,
Zinderstat). I generally prefer room clearers for Single player but PKKs for Death Match & CTF.
Since in a DM the last thing you want is some bastard finding you trying to frag five other
players in a huge tow-to-toe battle decide that all your lives are worthless and get 5 easy
frags. (of course, if you want to make something like that, that's fine by me, just don't expect
me play it) I can't give any hints or facts on what a BFG is or looks like since I don't think
such things exist in reality. (if they do, I WANT ONE!)

Mines etc.
A mine is anything that has is not detonated or set off by conventional means (i.e. impact)
Pipebombs, grenades, laser trip mines and proximity mines all come under this heading.
The two most common methods of launching or setting up is via a launcher (probably using
compressed air) or by hand. The detonating system is of particular importance. If its a
proximity mine, what proximity is it using? If its air-disturbance, it should not be able
to distinguish between friend and foe. For this reason it will require a delay of few seconds
before it activates.

Sniping Weapons
A sniping weapon is a weapon that should kill a person with one shot, from long range.
Apart from recommending a long loading time, and an inability to move while holding the
sniping weapon "ready" I cannot recommend anything about what sort of weapon to make it.

In practice this is a little harder to actually do. Presumably the round is moves at
high velocity so for programming and lag reasons you don't want the round to actually "exist".
The snipers rifle in TF, from a gaming point of view, is a piece of shit. To aim correctly you
need to wait for the SERVER to tell you where you are pointing. This is the wrong way around.
On average I would estimate the player goes through around 50 aimings a second, (If you are
turning around 180 degrees, the player goes through 180 aimings). Most Internet servers update
at around 10 updates a second or less. To do precision aiming in a few seconds under these
conditions is almost impossible. (no that it ISN'T possible, I've been hit a quite a few times
by snipers on modem connections as a scout) The system I would recommend is that when the sniper
hits the fire key (or releases it, depending on the system) it sends the server a message saying
that it has fired a sniper round at such and such a vector. The server would then work out
if anyone had been hit and send the appropriate message around.

A turret is a immovable object that can be fired by a player with much more firepower than the
player could normally carry around on their own.
A sentry is the same as the above except that it fires of its own accord guided by AI or by
selecting targets selected by the operator/owner/builder.
That aside, how you build turrets/sentries depends on their firepower, size and complexity.
I'd expect that a turret that fires an autocannon would be prelocated by the map designer or
would need a team of about 5 engineers to build.
A sentry needs power to operate, if its big enough, it might have its own power system, however
if its one that can be assembled anywhere, presumably if its fairly small you will need a power
point of some kind or a generator, which could make things very interesting. It might be a lot
easier to take out that little diesel generator chugging away in the background with a well placed
grenade or machine gun burst instead of a full-scale assault on the turret/sentry it self.
However, a turret that is simply a high velocity machine gun with a large ammo supply is fairly
portable and could easily be carried all over the place.

This is a weird section since as far as I know magic doesn't exist. So I can only offer the same
advice as I did for BFGs: By all means use it, but what ever you do, Make it balanced!

[2.0.00]-------Targeting & detonating Systems

[2.1.00]-------Guidance systems

P.O.V. (Point Of View)
A Point Of View guidance system is usually found on a missile, these systems have the advantage
of being able to guide the missile directly to the desired target but leave the person guiding
the missile in a very vulnerable position. To overcome this problem in team games, I'd suggest
having one person fire and another person guide, if it was possible to do efficiently (from the
players point of view)

The way a laser guidance system operates will largely depend on whether a laser is guiding the
projectile or the weapon and its operator.
If the laser is been used to guide the projectile, Something will be required to shine on the
target, if the target moves, this could be overcome by using an operator on a laser designator,
(not necessarily the same person who fired the missile) A missile does not need to have the
laser constantly shining on the target to know where to hit. Once it has a vector to the target
it does not the laser anymore unless the target moves. It is all very well to have laser
designators and missile launchers but REMEMBER! A missile HAS to see the target before it can
lock on.
If a laser is being used to guide the weapon operator, much less programming is required.
Most games already have laser pointers built into the weapons in the form of a crosshair on the
screen. This, like it or not, is, or at least performs the function of a laser targeter. Visual
targeters require holding the scope up to your eye. A laser designator is the only way I know
of to accurately shoot from the hip. If you don't want this feature to be available unless the
weapon in question would in reality be capable of mounting such a thing, I suggest you disallow
it allow the use of it on the client.

An infrared or heat detection system does just that. It detects heat. What it does depends on
what you set it to do and how well you program it. A realistic missile programmed to go to the
hottest object it its vicinity will go after the sun, and any lava around. A player that has
just wound his gattling gun down from blasting off a couple of hundred rounds is also going to
present a much bigger heat signature than someone just sitting in a corner.
It will also not be able to look behind it self since its own engine will block out anything it
would normally be able to see.
Mines programmed to destruct when they read any heat signature higher than a set threshold (say
for example, 36 degrees centigrade) will certainly explode when someone fires a rocket or
laser past them.
There are two main things to consider when designing weapons guided by infrared tracking:
-Cone of visibility Does the missile (or whatever) see in every direction, or just
the way it points? If so, how wide is that cone, 180 degrees?
90? 45? setting it to 10 would make it very it easy to break
out of the missiles lock.
-What is it looking for? What is the target actually looking for? A specific heat
temperature? If so, an recently fired weapon could just happen
to have the right temperature for the system to lock on to,
likewise if the guidance system is looking for a particular
heat signature, the person could stick a couple of packs of
ice or heaters on himself and foil the detection system.

Anything that "homes" is an unfair weapon unless VERY well balanced with other weapons. The
Definition of a homing weapon is one that automatically tracks a player, through walls and
anything else that may normally impede detection. Weather it be tracking the exactly the right
angle to fire, or a missile that automatically goes round corners and obstacles and can't be
shaken, Homing is unfair and messes with the gameplay.

Radar stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging. By sending out radio waves and measuring how
much and when they get back it is possible to determine how reflective and how far away an
object is. Using smaller length radar waves it is possible to determine what the object is.
Contrary to popular belief, Radar does not go through solid rock, lead or other similar
materials. To fully understand the mechanics of radar, I suggest you read a book or talk
to a techy person who really understands the things. Such detail is beyond the scoop of this

A waypoint is a point in space. These can be logged into a missiles memory, (there aren't many
other applications for waypoints in a 3d game apart from player guidance) shown by flares
or any other detectable objects. Remember that if for instance flares are used, the missile will
fly towards the FIRST flare it sees.

Inertia guidance systems are basically the same as waypoints except that the waypoints are
hard-coded into the missiles memory, this means that missile is not going to deviate from its
course no matter what. (excluding impact with an previously unsighted object, like a player
for example :-) )

[2.2.00]-------Detonating Systems

Any projectile which explodes when touching an object uses a impact based detonating system.
This can be delayed or instant, delayed can be anything from a couple of seconds to whatever
you want. Personally this would be interesting. A rocket hits someone. They think however
fired missed since they didn't take much damage. He then walks back into his base. The rocket
then either detonated by a time limit or remote controls go off and wipes out any of his team
members who happen to be standing near him at the time.
The grenades in Quake, in my opinion are not a good example. They will bounce of walls and
other solid objects quite cheerfully, but if, while they are still in motion they hit a player
or enemy they explode! But when they are sitting on the floor and you run over them they don't!
Eh? What? Can someone please run that by me again. I don't quite understand the logic behind it.
If you explain that they have some sort of system which detects what is an enemy and isn't I'll
except that, but shouldn't there be some sort of system where you can fool them into going off

Time is the essence of an explosion. Obviously not a very good cliché but it serves to tell
what I am talking about. A time limited projectile comes in many forms. A destructive timer
is not the only use. A mine will almost certainly require one. Any mine that starts checking
its surroundings the second it is dropped is going to damage the owner. It is also useful in
time delayed projectiles. (see the above section on impact detonation devices)

Remote Detonating
If you are a big player you may have already seen the effects of remote detonating. In patches
and games such as Duke Nukem 3d, Team Fortress, QBlast and quite a few others. The general
method of destruction is the same for all, press the fire key to throw the projectiles (usually
named a "pipebomb" to the appropriate space, wait for some poor unsuspecting fool to walk along,
press the key and blow him to kingdom come. Yippee! Most remotely detonated devices I know of
disappear or blow up after a certain amount of time to keep the lag down.
Remote detonating is the main reason I want to see cameras (yes, like in Duke 3d) in Quake &
Quake 2. Why the hell hasn't anyone done this yet? (hmmm, QBlast is still in development at
this stage. :-) )

Movement is not the same as being detected by heat, radar or other means. It means movement,
which means that you can stand stock still next to something set off by this and nothing will
happen, Of course, standing stock still means no breathing or having your heart beat, you
may not want to make it this sensitive, so that it just sets off say when a rocket is coming in.
Anti-Missile batteries are a good example of what can be done with this. A detector with a high
threshold could sit round and automatically detect incoming missiles. (this would be important as
games develop and rockets and missiles start carrying things like gas and enough explosive power
to knock out parts of walls) Also remember that if you want to make this thing realistic it
would detect things like MBMGs spinning up. (hey Heavy Weapons dude, watch out for that
anti-missile battery :-) )



Everybody knows what a bullet is, but there seems to be some confusion as to what you should
see when one fires. The Machine gun and chain-gun in Quake 2 are not good representations of
what a bullet hitting should be. The best bullet firing weapon I have seen is, once again,
Dooms pistol and chain-gun. Each round is represented by a point. not a dirty great square
like in Quake 2. The other thing I'd love to see would be shell casings. I'd like to be able
to walk into a room, look around and go "Shit, there's been one hell of a fire fight here"

Buckshot is what almost every shotgun in every computer game since the dawn of time has fired.
Buckshot is usually little ball bearings. The optimum range on a shotgun firing buckshot from
my experiments with a twelve gauge comes to about 15 meters. This seems to be the best
combination of spread and stopping power.

Explosive ammunition is ammunition that explodes on impact (DUH) this is not quite as easy as it
seems, does it explode on the outside (actually create an explosion in the game) and create a
large hole or does it borrow then explode (lots of damage but no damage to others close by)
and if so, why? Does it have a timer? (if the round hits a wall, that is also going to create
an explosion) or does it explode when a certain pressure is reached (could accidentally detonate
in gun) The chief questions with explosive rounds are When? and Why?

A tracer round is a round with strips of phosphate on the side, when fired the friction from
the surrounding air heats up the phosphate and causes it to burn. If one of these hits anything
flammable it will probably burn. (this is how they took out the observation blimps in WW1)
Tracers don't work very well during the day but at night can give instant information on
where your bullets are going, where they are hitting, and where the other person is.
I personally don't think I've seen a decent game or mod except for Midnight CTF and flight sims
where tracers have been used.

A nail or slug is basically a piece of metal that is propelled by means other than the usual
chemical reaction. Air guns, rail guns and nail guns all come under this heading. The
projectile should come out in the same form as it went it. The damage of these projectiles
will varies depending on three aspects of its design.
-Weight Obviously a depleted uranium slug is going to do a lot more damage than
your average air rifle pellet mad of aluminum.
-Speed Speed affects things two fold, a super-sonic slug is going to generate
a lot more air resistance than a little air propelled pellet traveling
at under 50 m/s. A heated slug will also in effect "burn" through
-Shape This also effects the speed and air resistance of something. A cone
shape will slow down a lot faster but will do more damage on impact by
leaving a large hole on impact.


High Explosive
Almost every game has some sort of high explosive. I can't give much info on this since there
are so many goddamn types. However, in terms of gameplay, remember this. The more explosive
something is the larger its carrier will be. This means that field clearer rockets are going
to be huge and will take a long time to reload. Your ability to carry more than two or three of
these brutes will require an something along the lines of an anti-gravity sled or fork-lift.

Shrapnel is basically bits of metal flying round all over the place, for various reasons,
I don't recommend it for Internet play. (unless you happen to all be on ASDL or T1s) because
of the major Lag it is going to cause. Ever seen 200 bits flying AND bouncing all over the
place? Yuk. (LAAAAA....................AAAAAAG!) However, if you do have a T1 or satellite
or radiolink or some other expensive piece of shit (or just happen to play on your local LAN)
AND you have the computing power to deal with all that sort of stuff go ahead. By all means,
make my day, and while your about it, send me a copy, since I'll be very interested to see
how many people stuff it up.
Shrapnel is LOTS of little bits, this is the bit that people and designers just don't seem
to understand, by lots I mean about 200+ minimum.

If something is concussion, that usually means it send out shockwaves upon detonation.
Underwater this can rupture your ears, causing deafness and temporary loss of balance and
direction. The concussion grenades used by the medic and scout in Team Fortress are not
accurate of what the effects would really be.

The application of gas in 3d games seems to be a bit of a null point. Gases, in case you
haven't noticed, are gas, that means the rise into the air and get moved around by air currents.
What air currents, well how about the ones from the rocket explosion not long ago? Or maybe you
winding up that rotary cannon for burst or two? Even that running alone causes air currents, and
eventually the gas would drift over to your base and get you.
The reason that I recommend against using gas is the processing power needed for it. Think of it
this way, you have mod or game with your version of gas in them, now, some smart-ass at sometime
during a game realizes that if he sticks a gas-bomb next to a ventilation shaft or vacuum tube
or what ever, its gonna be sucked up and moved all the way to the destination free of charge
with no danger to himself. So he's smart, and you, also being smart realize that some
smart-ass is going to try and pull this sort of stunt. So you program it so that gas gets
sucked up and out the tube. But wait! how much of the gas? and what happens when it gets to the
other end? Well presumably there is some bloody huge air currents in that room so would you like
to tell me just where the hell its going to go?
Gas, in case you haven't worked out from that little rant, is a pain in the ass to institute.
Once it is released into the atmosphere, it is impossible to control or track ALL of it.
If you are dead set on having the damn stuff in your level, and think your smart enough to
program the fuzzy-logic in for the movement of it, I suggest you go to someone who knows about
the sort of gas used. Police and ex-army is probably your best bet. (I cannot guarantee how much
they will actually tell you though)

The heading of flash is used to describe a very quick bright light being shined in your eyes
without warning. (ever had a camera flash go off in your face without warning? Same sort of
thing except about a hundred times worse. If you are too close, it is quite likely that you
will be blinded for life.

Napalm, contrary to popular belief is NOT fire. It is a substance that causes burns and that
will not come off in water. I don't see anything wrong with having flame-throwers (at least,
not in games, reality is another matter) but would people please stop calling them
Napalm-bombers or some other sort of crap? Napalm is totally different kettle of fish, its a
chemical that react with the carbon found in living things to cause the sensation and effect
of fire. (remember, there are no flames) If you spread it all over the floor and someone
(wearing boots with some sort of natural sole like rubber or leather) steps in it, they are
going to be in deep shit. Any flames (in reality) that you see are secondary to the napalm
chemicals. What MAY happen is that something heats up enough to cause combustion.
(this quite often happens with vegetation)

This area of the guide was one of the worst to research. I had to go through a lot of Vietnam
books to find the effects of napalm. The thing to understand about Napalm is that there is
almost nothing you can do about it but wait for the stuff to burn itself out. Unlike fire
napalm DOES NOT come off in water. Remember that.


LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. I mention this since
lasers seem to be one of the most abused ideas in the history of gaming. Lasers always have
certain qualities that often seem to be missed.
-A laser beam travels at the speed of light.
-Lasers shots coming from the same emitter are all the same colour.
-Lasers do not necessarily fire in pulses.
-Lasers are not necessarily visible (at all)
-Lasers (except in special circumstances) cannot be seen side on.
-You cannot look straight down the barrel of laser. it is very likely that doing so will
blind you or cause retinal damage.
-Dispite what may you may heard or seen before, lasers are silent.
To see a laser side on the laser frequency must be in the visible light range. When you (in
reality) see a laser side on what you are really seeing is the _reflected_ light off something
in the air (be it smoke, fog, dust particles, water or rain). Lasers fire coherent light.
This means it moves in the same direction, with the same wave length and pulses at the same

| |
| ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
| Laser emitting device ~ ~ ~ ~ Laser beam~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
| ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
| |

Only if and when part of the laser hits some sort of particle (smoke, fog or similar) will you
be able to see the laser beam side on.
Lasers under water will work, and they will not work, they will work in the sense that the
laser will shine, but since the water is almost a solid wall to a laser, the beam will
terminate just outside the emitting point and cause MASSIVE heat build up if the laser was
meant to be able to hurt someone significantly with one shot. A laser dot will appear on
anything that reflects light, black will reflect it too. The only materials (inside a level)
that shouldn't reflect are space and sky. For gameplay reasons, it is probably best if you
allow the lasers to be seen from the side. You need the visual element for excitement "Shit,
that bloody thing nearly hit me" and for feedback with aiming.

[4.00]-------Ideas & Points
This section is a dump of all the coolio ideas which have crossed my path, these things, while
not belonging in any particular place are interesting enough that its a shame that nobody has
yet used them. Its also a place for those little things which nobody seems to think of, yet if
someone would only put it would make a game that much cooler or realistic. Some of the text
here is repeated in other sections.
This is one place that I think could really expand with reader input. Full credit will be
given so send those little ideas that have been ticking away in the back of your brain for a
while now to edward@spider.net.nz

Power points
In a base you will need to have power, there has to be some sort of method
of keeping those lights and doors running all day, so what's powering them? Presumably,
somewhere outside the level is a power plant supplying power. Now, why can't we plug in
our portable lasers into that and recharge? A lot faster, and possibly gives more
possibilities. (see the bit on sentry guns in section [1.09])

MIRVs are bombs or missiles that upon detonation, split into 2 or more little
bomblets. There's a MIRV launcher in QBlast, but other than that I haven't seen any other
mention of them except in Team Fortress.

A flare lights things up. I have seen these in a couple of places, but never
in wide spread use. Will someone please make the damn things? And make them balanced?
And use them in place where they would be useful?

Grappling Hooks
Hooks are cool sort of things, they
just need balancing a bit more. I think that if you could and swing across on one they would
make levels just the teensy bit more interesting.

A jetpack is wonderful thing, it allows you to
jet across levels with the greatest of ease, but where oh where have you ever seen a jetpack
apart from Duke 3d? I can't wait for a patch or game where the levels were specifically built
around these sort of things being around. One little thing though. If your running round with
this Hydrogen filled tank on your back, what do you thinks going to happen if someone hits
from behind?

Weapons craping out
Essentially, I think there should be some measure of realism (which might be
called randomness) in the weapons. Swords, for example, should break, especially after they've
been used to test every wall in the castle for secret doors. Likewise an assault rifle will
seize up and stop functioning after it overheats--they're really designed with bursts in mind,
not the emptying of the clips. So maybe there should be a damage chart for each weapon and after
a certain amount of use the player should lose the weapon. This would help a lot in single
player too, as presently once you've picked up all the weapons it isn't as interesting to get
replacements; another shotgun is just more ammo.

Moving and firing
This little thing occurred to me after watching a someone strafe backwards and
to the side and fire a rocket at me at the same time. (It was a Quad rocket, and I wasn't quite
quick enough) How the hell did he just do that? Rocket Launchers, in case you haven't noticed
have a hell of a kick. Firing one while running backwards is just a little unrealistic....

Cameras are cool. Why doesn't Quake and Quake 2
have them? better yet, how about little drones that fly round and can be positioned anywhere
but can be taken out with a couple of shots. It must be possible cause I've seen something like
it with P.O.V. rockets in QTank. Even if you don't use cameras. How about alarms, like the trip
beams found in the doorway of shops. That means someone doesn't have to constantly monitor them

[5.00]-------Unrealistic Weapons

OK, first of all, lighting is an atmospheric phenomena involving about 4 terajoules of energy.
A weapon called a lightning gun would be an electrical discharge weapon. Unfortunately, one
could not exist. Why? Electricity travels between two points. You know, stick a 9V battery on
your tongue and you have a mini thunderbolt. It just doesn't leap out for no reason and fry
someone. Maybe if you shot an electrode into them and then fired it...:-)

Sub-Atomic particles
These are a funny lot, basically they involve neutrons, protons, neutrons, positrons and eletrons.
As of yet I haven't actually been able to get some hard facts on these, but since I'm taking
chemistry this year, I might be able to work this out for myself. From what I know at the
moment, the only effects of being hit by these seem to be long term. (and by long term, I mean
at LEAST a week)

Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. MASERs are an inefficient
ammonia based liquid device and would never, ever be used for anything except communication.

Ok, Antimatter does not exist except in very special conditions like in a laboratory. Even when
it exists there, it has to be held in a magnetic field in almost absolute vacuum. If it isn't
the stuff will react with anything. Air, water, steel. When it reacts, that little piece of
matter & antimatter are going to disappear in a flash of energy (and light, but light is energy
anyway) and yes, there will be a thunderclap as the air fills the space left by the reaction.
If you want to say that your weapon is powered by antimatter, that's fine. But PLEASE, don't
say it sends out bits of antimatter unless its in space (because space is a vacuum) or I and
99.98% of the quake community will laugh at you.

Nuclear Fission & Fusion
These come in the unrealistic department not because of their impossibility or limitations
imposed by what the need to exist but by the size. from what I understand, the smallest nuclear
bomb you can make will totally destroy vaporize within 300 meters by heating it past 15000
degrees Kelvin. This shit is HOT. These are weapons of mass destruction designed to destroy
cities and kill half the population and render the other half infertile.
Now having read that, do you still want them?

An EMP is an Electro Magnetic Pulse. An EMP is a byproduct of a high-altitude nuclear
detonations that will ONLY destroy unshielded solid-state circuits in a localized area.
You simply cannot put enough chemical power into a grenade to generate one. You need a genuine
nuclear explosion. And you have to have a certain critical mass. A thin metal case would
provide adequate shielding from an EMP, provided there were no cords running into the
electronics from unshielded equipment.

Oh gods, this is a problem, since the plasma gun from Doom was such a kick-arse weapon. It was
perfectly balanced. It was like a close up rocket launcher except you couldn't see. It killed
almost anything within a second or two but ate ammo like popcorn. The ammo came in huge packs
but they were oh so far apart and often bloody hard to find. It rocked, and it was,
In My Humble Opinion, the greatest weapon ever to walk the surface of 3d gaming.
And it was wrong. The plasma gun could not exist. Understand this, plasma is atoms stripped of
their electrons. Like antimatter, it needs to kept in a vacuum with a magnetic field to stop it
from touching anything. What happens when it hits something is that the plasma, needing to have
stable shells and to balance its charge, tries to rip the electrons off the matter it is
touching. Since the plasma has no negative charge at all, this can be huge force and the plasma
in all likely-hood, will succeed, this means that that the matter it hit doesn't have enough
electrons to hold together with any other atoms it might be bonded to. They will fall apart.
or try and steal some electrons off other atoms nearby.
This is with ONE atom of plasma. You should already have an idea of how many atoms it takes just
to make a small piece of material half a centimeter cubed.

I don't think I can stress what I'm about to say enough, there is one simple point to master
while designing weapons. Balance. Balance. Can't say it enough. Belancebalencebalencebalence
Got it yet? It may be cool to have a gun which automatically shoots in exactly the right direction
from an almost limitless ammunition supply, but it will SUCK BIGTIME!!
(The only use I can think of for it is to use it to persuade players that are interrupting a clan
game or such that they don't REALLY want to stay) I must be able to kill someone who has the
"best weapon" with the smallest one. Not easily. But I still must be able to.


This a list of all the people who have helped me with the Guide in some way, I used to write
comments for every person, but this is now becoming a little impossible due to the sheer
volume of help (not that I'm complaining mind) that I have received.

Darren Murtha phish@fastrans.net
Marco Al marco@simplex.nl
Daniel Strand d_strand@hotmail.com
Chris Sandvick cjsandvi@apollogrp.edu
David Murrell davidmurrell@usa.net
Sam Ketner sketner@prodigy.net
Christopher Bolin cbolin@teleport.com
Crash crash@wli.net
Si Cruse si.cruse@csfp.co.uk
Martin Edelius martin.edelius@spirex.se
Caesar IIII caesar4@geocities.com
Greg Howell howellg@ihug.co.nz
Nick Dolezal ndolezal@iname.com
Nick del Pozo npozo@interact.net.au
John Munsch johnmunsch@hotmail.com
Christopher Wise christopher.wise@eng.monash.edu.au
Maurice Murrell cds@igrin.co.nz

Id software
-Makers of Doom & Quake (what can I say?)

3d Realms
-Makers of Duke Nukem 3d

-Home of Team Fortress

-Home of Capture The Flag

-Home of my popular (NOT) Quake mod

Evlove team home
-Home to the Painkeep Quake mod

Singe's Quake Mod Things
-Home of a lot of co-ool mods for Quake

Positron Beam
-Positron beam Quake mod

Proton Storm
-Proton Storm Quake mod

Artifact Quake home page
-Home of Artifact Quake

-Home of the hotest 3d news, posts news of new E.H.G.G. versions

Midnight CTF
-Midnight CTF homepage

-Quake mod featuring futeristic tanks

Gamer's Editorium
-Site dedicated to game design


v1.0 6-January-1998 First release. Posted to Bluesnews with much comment from the gamming
community. :-)

v1.1 27-January-1998 Fixed, added and edited. Posted once again to Bluesnews, List below.
Rehashed introduction
Rehashed index (twice)
Fixed mistakes in the Auto-cannons/Machine guns/Chain-guns section.
Fixed the LARGE mistakes I made about lasers.
Fixed the Painkeep page address
Added reality check section
Added versions section
Added credits section
Added Footnote
General typos (12)

v1.2 7-March-1998 After been hassled on many of the areas, the whole document was
rewritten from scratch and all content extensivly researched.
After this update I don't see any major rewrites like this one.
However, the Guide will still be kept up to date and new sections
added and updated.

This FAQ is to aid in informing the public about the designing weapons for 3d games and
modifications such as Quake and Doom. In no way should this promote your killing yourself,
killing others, or killing in any other fashion. Additionally, Edward Murrell claims NO
responsibility regarding ANY illegal activity concerning this FAQ, or indirectly related
to this FAQ. The information contained in this FAQ only reflects his views, opinions and
knowledge only. None of the information contained in this FAQ should be regarded as anything
other than fiction if used in reality. All trade marks mentioned are trademarks of their
respective companies and are copyrighted.

These are the sites that I know of that carry EdwardsHandy Gun Guide, if there are others
that you know of (or run) then let me know!


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