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A guide to making Quake 3 maps

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For some of you it has been a while a for others it's a brand new experience. Besides that, the game is old so a lot of good resources are now defunct. I want you to be able to spend your time mapping and not looking for stuff online. That's why I made this quide. It covers all the basics and should allow you to spend your time mapping. You can post additional questions in the thread. I'll do my best to answer them or find someone who can. Now let's get started:

 

Tools:

 

There are several editors out there who support Quake 3 mapping. Taste differs so we will not be getting into personal preferences. I recommend using GtkRadiant 1.6, a very popular level editor among Quake 3 mappers and the only, still officially, supported version. You can download it here

 

When you are done in the editor you need to compile your map. If you want to get the most out of it you need to use Randy 'Ydnar' Reddig's Q3map2. It has a ton of a new features that the original compiler didn't have. The latest version of Q3Map2 is included in the GtkRadiant 1.6 package. Of course you'll want to know all the possibilities so be sure to check out the manual here. Effects in Quake 3 are done by shaders. Luckily, there's an extensive manual which can be found here

 

Still, you'll have to compile your map and when all is done, you have to make it ready to be distributed online. I think almost nobody misses manually running batch files for compiling and thanks to Q3Map2Toolz there's no need to return to that. The original website is now defunct but you can still download the tool from here.

 

Most of these downloads are provided by Quake 3 guru Emile 'Obsidian' Ong.

 

Tutorials:

 

So you got the tools all setup. But how do you make Quake 3 maps? Back in the day almost every aspiring Quake 3 mapper learned the basics thanks to Bubba his set of tutorials. The fact that there's still a mirror for it online only proves how useful they really are. Click here to see for yourself. 

 

Great, now you know some tricks but that doesn't make a map. Especially considering the new possibilities you have when using Q3map2. Years ago, famous Quake 3 mapper Andrew 'dONKEY' Dunn made a complete set of tutorials covering every aspect of Quake 3 mapping and guiding you through the process of making a full fledged map from start to finish. These are still up and can be found here

 

Quake 3 comes with a wide range of bots. If you want the best possible bot play on your maps then there's really only one definitive guide out there. AI Misbehaving is written by Dan 'Cardigan' Evans and is currently being hosted by Custommapmakers.org. You can find it here. Be sure to check out their wiki as well for more advanced topics. 

 

So, you learned all there is to learn. You applied a ton of advanced stuff but now the map is performing poorly. Time for some optimization. For that you need this article which is also hosted on Emile 'Obsidian' Ong's website. 

 

Models and Modelling:

 

Quake 3 uses .MD3 files but also supports .ASE files. Almost all custom models are imported from .ASE files. So you'll need a modelling program that supports this file type (like Blender). You are not limited to making props though. If you want, you can model your entire map. Katsbits.com is about Blender and making low poly content for games and media. However, it's founder and owner Ken 'kat' Beyer comes from an Idtech background and was one of the first people to experiment with modelling a Quake 3 map. The results were impressive and he has written quite an extensive tutorial, including example files, on how he did this. If you want to model your map, read this and this. Some additional articles about Quake 3 and models can be found here

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Great! I'm in! Btw. Is there some engine mods that mappers prefer? 

 

Excellent, don't forget to sign up here. Also, this is vanilla only, so no mods.

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I found this to be a lifesaver, or at least an eye saver when reading these ancient tutorials: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/readability/oknpjjbmpnndlpmnhmekjpocelpnlfdi

White text on black background and background pics... Horrible...  :v

Edited by Daniel Nilsson

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One thing I would love to be added to the guide is how to playtest it.

If I get a group of friends together do I need to rent a server (and how do I get it up and running on server?) or can they direct connect to me? 

 

Edit: Okey just found Hamachi, will probaly workout the rest from here :)

Edited by Daniel Nilsson

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Hay,

When using a steam version of Q3, I am getting "Shader Image Missing" on a large chunk of textures/materials in GtkRadiant 1.6. Any Ideas on how to fix this?

http://prntscr.com/4yy641 This image shows what I mean also the path that GtkRadiant is using.

 

Edit; Some items are not showing either when placed (Quad damage) for eg which has the missing texters over it.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Neve,

Edited by Neve

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That might be normal... I recall a lot of skies from EF being like that at least; the environment mapping stuff in the shader isn't supported by the editor, and no fallback texture has been provided.

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Yea, my Q3 is like that too, the steam version and the stand alone are the same anyway.

And it doesn't really matter, since you don't need to align sky textures anyway.

Edited by Hipshot

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Thanks for the reply :3,

Any idea why the Quad/Regen damge would not show up in the level, So I have some direction to look into.

Shot of editor: http://prntscr.com/50wk0s

Shot of same level in game : http://prntscr.com/50wkh9

dont you need wait for it to spawn ? default regen is 3 minutes and quad 2m i think ?

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Thanks for the reply :3,

Any idea why the Quad/Regen damge would not show up in the level, So I have some direction to look into.

Shot of editor: http://prntscr.com/50wk0s

Shot of same level in game : http://prntscr.com/50wkh9

I think It needs to be planted directly on the ground to show up or if in air check the suspended box in the entety view.

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Thanks for the reply :3,

Any idea why the Quad/Regen damge would not show up in the level, So I have some direction to look into.

Shot of editor: http://prntscr.com/50wk0s

Shot of same level in game : http://prntscr.com/50wkh9

dont you need wait for it to spawn ? default regen is 3 minutes and quad 2m i think ?

That was the problem, Didnt have the level loaded for long enough :), And @Daniel Nilsson Suspended box was ticked :D

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maybe someone knows how to make moving lava?

 

 But it doesn't look like liquid lava, it's more like concrete floor. "surfaceparm lava" wont work

textures/liquids_lava/lavahellflat_1500_moved
	{
		qer_editorimage textures/liquids_lava/lavahellflat_1500_moved.jpg
		q3map_globaltexture
		q3map_lightsubdivide 32
		surfaceparm noimpact
		surfaceparm lava
		surfaceparm nolightmap
		surfaceparm trans
		//q3map_surfacelight 500
		cull disable
	//deformVertexes wave 100 sin 3 2 .1 0.1
	{
		map textures/liquids_lava/lavahellflat_1500_moved1.jpg
		tcMod scroll 0 1
	}
}
Edited by Z(Rus)

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