Quake III Arena Original In-Game Bugwall Artwork
I love art. I love going into museums and galleries and just being surrounded by art. I also (clearly) love video games. I laugh at the debate on whether video games are art, since there’s no denying that games are composed of art: conceptual, storyboarding, character design, environmental, etc.
Around 4-5 years ago, I set out to bring my two loves together and find a piece of original video game art. Let me tell you, it was not an easy search. I reached out to many artists in many companies. Although a couple shared some stories with me before turning me away, others weren’t as kind and told me flat out that their art is owned by the respective company and cannot be given away or sold.
I was close to quitting my quest until I happened upon the web site of Paul Jaquays. Jaquays has worked in the gaming industry since the days of the CalecoVision (Donkey Kong, WarGames, and Pac-Man were just a few of his projects there). He then moved around Epyx, Interplay, and Electronic Arts where he did a rewrite of The Bard’s Tale IV, which to this day remains unreleased. He left EA for id Software.
Jaquays was a single-player and multiplayer level designer on Quake II and wrote the story in the instruction manual. He was also a level designer on Quake III: Arena (and Team Arena), as well as an artist on those titles. After I contacted him, he told me that he had kept one piece of his gothic-styled Quake III art, and was willing to part with it.
This was my first up-close look into how games were made on an artistic level. This 5″ x 5″ piece was composed by Paul Jaquays using airbrush, inks, pencil, and gouache. The completed art was then scanned into a computer and modified in Photoshop to become a door/wall texture in the game.
This texture, nicknamed “Bugwall,” can be seen in a number of maps, including Brimstone Alley (Q3DM8), Troubled Waters (Q3CTF2), and Deva Station (Q3DM11).
Art such as this would have normally been only half-painted and then mirrored in the game, but I’m glad that wasn’t done in this example as it wouldn’t display as nicely.
It’s not a particularly important piece by any stretch, but it’s special knowing that the art is part of something bigger. I wonder if an art market will ever form out of video games. I wonder if anyone else would actually invest in buying the art of video games.
Jaquays would leave id after working on Doom 3. He joined Microsoft’s Ensemble Studios where he contributed to Age of Empires III and Halo Wars until the company was disbanded in 2009. He’s now currently with CCP Games, which is best known for Eve Online. Jaquays is also highly regarded for his contributions to TSR, Inc. and Dungeons & Dragons.