2Bit's Mapping Corner on www.PythonOnline.co.uk
ET Mapping Tutorial

Lesson 1


Getting Started
What is Radiant?
Common folders and associated files
Configuring Radiant
The Radiant display
Back to main menu
Setup [Top]
Download and install  GtkRadiant version 1.4  (now available from my server).  1.4 is not the latest version, but I prefer it at this time.

It is best to have a clean install of ET separate to the one you play on, for making and testing maps.

However I haven't done this (I was nervous that installing ET twice might make a mess in the registry) so I use my usual ET environment.  There is a penalty for using the same environment: before running Radiant I have to drag all of the non-core PK3 files out of etmain and into a temp folder.  When I'm finished I drag them all back again.  This is because Radiant will otherwise include elements from the other PK3s into the map I am creating, which will cause all sorts of display problems when distributed.

If you don't want a second install and intend to use your existing ET environment then for now you won't have to remove any PK3 files - this basic lesson will be unaffected by the presence of additional PK3 files.  But if you continue with mapping as a hobby you will need to do what I do.  See next for the PK3s you can leave in the \etmain folder.

The PK3s I leave in \etmain are:

  • common.pk3
  • etmapcycle.pk3
  • mp_bin.pk3
  • pak0.pk3
  • pak1.pk3
  • pak2.pk3
  • All the 1KB campaign PK3 files

Everything else should be moved into a temporary folder while you do your mapping/testing - drag them back before playing ET online again.  At the later stages of mapping, ie once you don't start using any further new textures, you will be able to leave the other PK3s in place while you map.

Create these folders within etmain:
  • levelshots
  • maps
  • scripts
  • sound
  • textures

Create these folders within your new sound folder:

  • maps
  • scripts

The value "<yourmap>" will be used in this tutorial to represent the name of your map.

What is Radiant and what does it do? [Top]
Radiant is a map editor which allows you to create the physical geography of your map.  You'll be able to create furniture, buildings and terrain in 2D and 3D, and explore and view your creation in 3D without actually running ET.  When you save your creation Radiant creates a text file called "<yourmap>.map" in the maps folder.  Later on you'll probably edit this file by hand, but don't do this for now.

Radiant also provides a way of compiling your map into the format required by ET to interpret and play it.  The compiler will produce a file called "<yourmap>.bsp", also in the maps folder.

Common folders and associated files [Top]

Maps are stored in the etmain\maps folder and have a .map suffix.

The <yourmap>.map file is compiled to produce a <yourmap>.bsp file, also placed in the \maps folder.  Most of the other files that make up your map package contain text and can be created and edited using Wordpad.

When you are making a map, settle on its name early, it becomes more and more tiresome to change it the further you have progressed.

The commonly used folders and files within etmain are:
levelshots  command map (<yourmap>_cc.tga) and map loading photo (<yourmap>.tga)
maps  map object (<yourmap>.bsp)
  the script that powers your map (<yourmap>.script)
  objective descriptions for the limbo views (<yourmap>.objdata)
scripts  map description shown while the map loads (<yourmap>.arena)
  special information regarding the textures in your map (<yourmap>.shader and <yourmap>_levelshots.shader)
sound/maps ambient sound effect placement (<yourmap>.sps)
sound/scripts speech, like "They've stolen the tank!" (<yourmap>.sounds)
sound/<yourmap> If you create bespoke sounds (WAV files of a particular format)
textures/<yourmap>   If you create bespoke textures (TGA and JPG files of particular dimensions)
Configuring Radiant [Top]
Run Radiant and identify your ET installation folder to the program.

Press P to bring up program preferences.

Select the following tabs and ensure the suggested settings are applied:
Game Settings Select ET as the default game
Tick Auto load selected game
2D display/rendering   Tick first 2 boxes
3D view Tick boxes 1 4 and 5, and 3 if you want inverted mouse
Editing Tick first 3 boxes
  Undo levels = 30
Startup/autosave Tick boxes 2 and 4, set autosave every 5
BSP monitoring Tick boxes 1, 2 and 5

Click OK

The Radiant display [Top]

Adjust your Radiant windows so that they have roughly the same dimensions as shown below.

Maximize the radiant window if you haven't, you're going to need all the screen space you can get.

The 2D window Overhead and two side views available, view from X Y or Z dimension.  Use ctrl+tab to cycle thru the views. Use mouse wheel to zoom in/out.
The 3D window Free movement around your creation in 3D.  Right click in 3D window to enable free movement.  Move mouse to look around and arrow keys to move.  Right click to quit free movement.
Texture window   The textures used so far in your creation, plus any others you have selected ready to choose from.  Click on a texture to see its name shown bottom right.
Output window  The log of what loads when you open a map or load up textures. Also the log of your compiler activity.
Toolbar This looks intimidating, but happily you only actually use a very few of the buttons in practice. In the picture below I have coloured yellow the buttons I use - I don't use the others at all. Make sure the cubic clipping (indicated in the pic) is turned off, or you won't see all of your map in the 3D window.

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