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New Mappers Read This First

Discussion in Mapping Discussion started by sajak, Mar 5, 2013

  1. Nov 11, 2011
    Posts
    Since a lot of people have asked on many occasions on how or where to start mapping, I believe it will be useful to make this post.

    In the very beginning, you will want to install SourceSDK (located in your Library under the drop down menu, choose "Tools"):

    [IMG]

    Once you have downloaded it, open up SourceSDK and double click on Hammer Editor. I prefer to use the latest Engine Version "Source Engine MP" and also make sure the game chosen is Counter-Strike: Source and not Team Fortress 2 (or something else):

    [IMG]

    Hammer will open up, click on File --> New. You will have four different views (or grids):

    [IMG]

    I have them setup like that because it's easier for me this way. You can change them to however you prefer.

    Your most important tool in mapping will be the block tool and it's located here:

    [IMG]
    Rule of thumb for most new mappers is to stick to a 16 size grid for walls. This simply means the walls will be thicker when the number is bigger.

    [IMG]

    Any time you make walls, use the 16 grid size, and when you get comfortable with mapping, you can go to lower grid sizes for smaller details (like if you wanted to create a picture frame... obviously you don't want a picture frame 16 units thick... it's not realistic. You'd want to use like a 4 grid). You can choose the grid size by looking at the bottom right hand corner of your screen for this: [IMG]. You can also use your bracket keys to decrease ( [ ) or increase ( ] ) the grid.

    [IMG]

    In the above picture, the top left corner simply shows the different sized walls. The top right corner shows how they look like from the top (if you were looking at the walls from the top of a building or something). The bottom left corner shows you the width ( x-coordinate ) and height ( z-coordinate ). The bottom right corner shows the length ( y-coordinate ) and height ( z-coordinate). It will take you some time to get fully used to it but don't worry, it'll become second hand as time goes on.

    At this point, you can experiment working with the block tool and watch tutorials on how to build a simple map. Some good resources are:

    http://www.tophattwaffle.com/tutorials/ (probably the best for new mappers)
    http://www.youtube.com/user/3kliksphilip (also very good)

    There are some others as well that you might want to take a look after you've gotten some mapping experience:

    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Category:Level_Design
    https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Level_Design_Video_Tutorials
    http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/
    http://www.optimization.interlopers.net/index.php?chapter=intro

    Now if you don't feel like looking at basic videos right now while reading this (face palm)... Let's say you simply want to create four walls, a floor, and a sky and be able to run around in your map.

    Open a new file (File --> New), click on the Block Tool (that square thing), and choose a texture by clicking on this:

    [IMG]

    If you want a brick texture, type brick in the filter box:

    [IMG]

    And choose any texture.

    Now you can choose whichever grid you want to use, but I prefer to start from the "top" view because it's simpler to see exactly how long and thick the wall will be. Click and drag until you make a wall that is 512 units long and 16 units thick, and 160 units high (I fucked up and set my height to 64 in the pictures, ignore that) like this:

    [IMG]

    Create another wall the same width and length adjacent to the one you just created, like this:

    [IMG]

    Do this again for the other two walls:

    [IMG]

    Now you have four walls, let's create floor:

    [IMG]

    Make sure that when you create the floor, all the walls come in touch with the floor. You may have to resize the block you just created if it's too big. Simply drag those little white blocks up or down to change the height. Now create the sky using the same idea:

    [IMG]

    Now click on the brush you just made, open the texture browser (where you choose the textures), and type in the filter "toolsskybox" and choose it:

    [IMG]

    Then click on this button on the left hand side:

    [IMG]

    Now you'll have four walls, a floor, and an open sky.

    Now all you need to do is add a spawn point by using the entity tool, then info_player_counterterrorist, then clicking anywhere on the floor:

    [IMG]

    Now you are ready to run the map. Click File, then Run Map:
    [IMG]

    Then a window will popup, choose the following options and click OK:

    [IMG]

    After a few seconds, your map will be done, open up CS:S and check it out. Also, remind me to never write a fucking tutorial again, I suck at it. Thanks.

    But seriously, this is just a stepping stone. Let your mind get creative and expand on your map and you'll be competing with Luffaren and Kaemon in a few years (maybe :giggle: ). Good luck. And sorry if I was confusing or made any mistakes.
    • Like x 6
    • Useful x 3
    • Mapping King x 2
    • Informative x 1
    • Good Idea x 1
    • Jan 13, 2013
      Posts
      I'd also like to point out the Make Hollow tool. You can create a box with the area you are working with, and then use that too and apply textures inside of it from there.
    • Jun 11, 2012
      Posts
      thank you sajak for doing this. While I don't map and probably won't, I enjoy reading reading tutorials to get an idea
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
      • Mar 4, 2012
        Posts
        Nice job sajak. I'm not interested in mapping at all but thanks for putting in the time and effort for those that are starting off!

        1362463897693
        • Friendly Friendly x 1
        • Oct 17, 2011
          Posts
          Good tutorial as much as we are not friends. I admit it :thumbsup:
          • Funny Funny x 1
          • Apr 1, 2012
            Posts
            TL;DR lol

            but anyway, somebody need to contact Valve and force them to make a ZM Source SDK to make mapping for ZM and ZE easier...
            • Agree Agree x 1
            • May 14, 2011
              Posts
              NEVER use the hollow tool.

              @sajak why haven't you taught to nodraw outside walls?

              Also you very last point is wrong if you have "Don't load map after .... " checked as shown in the demo.
            • Jan 13, 2013
              Posts
              Why not use the holo tool? It does nothing wrong.
            • May 14, 2011
              Posts
              You should always build your map to grid and avoid overlapping walls. Always build edge to edge.
              • Agree Agree x 1
              • Nov 11, 2011
                Posts
                If it's unchecked, everytime you compile your map, it opens up the game at a lower resolution or if you already have the game running in the background, you'll get an error. It's best to have that checked (it's a personal preference). And the reason I didn't go over the NODRAW faces and face select tool is because those are things that new mappers won't fully understand. It's like learning math, you don't teach someone taking calculus all about partial differential equations and applied numerical methods. You have to let them get comfortable with simple expressions before moving onto more details and expand their knowledge. As a new mapper, you're main priority isn't making optimized maps, it's to learn the fundamentals of basic level brush work and basic entity usage. As time progresses, they will learn why they should use the NODRAW texture to create brushes and then select the select brush face tool to only apply textures to certain sides. One stepping stone at a time. I sure as hell did not care about nodraw when I was new to mapping since I didn't know how to make a damn room in source without pulling my hair out. In due time, experience will be acquired. If people are really interested, we can always talk about other topics. What ever happened to your YT Tutorials you were planning on doing?

                Overlapping brushes will cause issues with optimization later down the road (as well as increasing waterindices). Build wall by wall instead of hollow.
              • Oct 17, 2011
                Posts
                Nothing wrong really for sure. One small mistake and you save the map, close hammer, your whole map is fucked and crashed. It happened to me twice and it's really a pain in the ass because you will have to decompile your map again and lose all your entities and rail textures that change to invisible.
              • Jan 13, 2013
                Posts
                Way to fucking necro neg my post. I was told why, no need to be dicks about it. God damn

                Edit: I like how i posted this, and started getting pos rep, but now i say this and i get neg rep. ITS A LOOP

                while(true)
                {
                player.addRep(Who_er, 1);
                player.delRep(Who_er, 1);
                }
                • Agree Agree x 2
                  Who_er, Mar 5, 2013 Last edited by Who_er, Mar 6, 2013