Mapping

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Contents

Introduction

This is the documentation to help you get started mapping for the Source 2013 modification Extermaintus(EX). The purpose of this document is not to teach you how to make maps, but to document the content specific to EX. This document assumes you are familiar with the basics of mapping for Source, if you are not take start with the Valve Wiki.

Configuring the Valve Hammer

First we must configure the Valve Hammer so it is aware of the EX. In order to keep this article short i'm going to specify some shorthand for the file and folder paths involved:

$SteamDir
The folder where your Steam is installed, normally c:\program files\Steam\
$SDKDir
The folder where the Source SDK is installed, normally $SteamDir/SteamApps/Common/Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer/
$GameDir
The folder where EX is installed, normally $SteamDir/SteamApps/SourceMods/EX/

 

  • To launch the 2013 version of Hammer you need to run "$SDKDir/bin/Hammer.bat" , you might want to make a shortcut to that.
  • In the Hammer window open the "Tools" menu at the top and select the "Options..." menu option (this will open in a new window)

The first tab in the "Configure Hammer" window is "Game Configurations", at the top of the tab is a drop down list labeled "configuration".

  • Click the "Edit" button next to the configuration list(this will open in a new window)
  • Click the "Add" button on the new window and you will be prompted for a game name
  • Enter "Exterminatus" and click "OK" to create the new configuration
  • Close the "Edit Game Configuations" window
  • On the "Configure Hammer" window select "Exterminatus" from the "Configuration" drop down
  • Bellow the "Configuration" list is a list of "Game Data files", click the "Add" button next to this list
  • Browse to your $GameDir folder where EX is installed to, inside you should have an "ex" folder containing "ex.fgd", select this file and click "Open"

Your "Game Data files" list should now contain "$GameDir/ex.fgd". This file tells Hammer about all the EX entity types. You can now continue setting up your options. The default "Texture format" (Materials (Half-life 2)) and default "Map Type" (Half-life 2) should be fine. Their are a couple of default entity type options you can change next (but you don't have to). I recommend "prop_static" as the "default point entity" (the EX contains dozens of 40k themed props) and "func_detail" as the "default solid entity". The default values for "texture scale" (0.25), "lightmap scale" (16) and "Cordon texture" (black) are also recommended. Next comes the tricky part, the paths.

  • "Game Executable Directory" should be your $SDKDir, this is the SDK Base "game" that will be running EX.
  • "Game Directory" should be your $GameDir , this is the folder where the EX has been installed to.
  • "Hammer .vmf maps" can be anywhere, but "$GameDir/mapsrc" or your "my documents" folder are a good idea.
  • Click "Apply" to save your changes.
  • In the "Configure Hammer" window switch to the "Build Programs" tab
  • Select "Exterminatus" from the list of "Configurations"
  • "Game executable" should be "$SDKDir/bin/hl2.exe"
  • ".BSP executable" should be "$SDKDir/bin/vbsp.exe" , this program turns your VMF map source into a basic BSP file that the Source SDK Base game can load
  • ".VIS executable" should be "$SDKDir/bin/vvis.exe" , this program optimizes your BSP, so the game draws just those parts that are in sight
  • "Rad executable" should read "$SDKDir/bin/vrad.exe" , this program calculates how the lights you have p[aced will illuminate your BSP map
  • "Place compiled maps before running the game" should read "$GameDir/maps" , this is where your BSP file needs to be for the game to load it.
  • Click "Apply" to save your changes.

You can now close the "Configure Hammer" window by clicking on the "OK" button. Hammer should be now configured to with with EX. You will be able to use EX textures, models and entities. Read on to learn more about the custom entities in EX.

Entities

EX supplies seven new types of entities for mapping, all their names start ex_ so as to be easy to find in the entity lists. The EX FGD file (configuration for Hammer) can be found in the $GameDir folder, before setting it up in Hammer. The full details of these custom entities can be found on the Map Entities page.

Naming maps

It's a good idea to name any EX maps starting with ex_ so that any players downloading your map will know it is for EX. It's also good practice to include a version number in the map name, and increase the number each time you share a modified version, so that your players know what version they have and what version they need to play. If you specify the translation file name in am ex_gameplay entity you won't have to copy/rename your translation file for each version of the BSP.

Server Browser Thumbnail

In the Orange box version of the Source SDK we can display thumbnail images of each map in the server browser this article ( http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/TF2/Adding_a_Quicklist_Thumbnail ) on the Valve wiki can tell you how to create a thumbnail for your own map.

Loading Images

While your map is loading players can be shown an image, giving them some idea of what to expect on your map. The official maps all use a screenshot and an overlay of the map from hammer with objectives and routes marked on it. When a map is abut to load EX looks for a file called "materials/VGUI/loader_mapname.vmt" relative to the ex folder to use as a loading image. If this file is not found EX will use a default loading image. The same image is displayed on players tactical overview while playing your map.

The VMT should contain something like this:

"UnlitGeneric"
{
	"$basetexture" "VGUI/maps/loader_mapname"
	"$nolod" 1
}

The base texture refered to by the VMT should be the actual VTF image of your map. All the common paint and photo manipulation programs have plugins that will let you save as VTF, however I prefer to save mine as PNG and convert them to VTF with VTFEdit.

+++ Translation File +++ General Mapping Hints +++

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