Doombuilder and You: Mapping Essentials

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  • Tutorial made by Rozark ported over from the MM8BDM Forums. (Along with small edits) This tutorial was made around the time of MM8BDM v4, but still applies when mapping for the current version (MM8BDM v5) along v6 in the future. All text for each chapter will be collapsed to save space, as this is a long tutorial. Click on EXPAND to see the entire chapter thats suspended.



For the purpose of what I've written up I used the regular DoomBuilder 2. A version called GZDoomBuilder exists; I'd recommend using that if you have trouble telling where or what your 3D floors, ramps, or texture offsets look like.

Let's begin!

Quick Reference Chart

Chapter I: Setting Up and The Interface

Let us begin.
Chapter I

So you just installed the latest and hip level editor that is "The Doombuilder" You want to build lots of doom. First we're going to need to get you set up. Open Doombuilder and press F6. You'll be brought to the screen shown. Select ZDoom in UDMF format.


Next you'll want to add resources. Locate and add your Megagame.wad file and your MM8BDMv##.pk3 file. (Where ## is the version number/letter).


Head over to the Testing tab and under application select the location to your zandronum.exe. The skill level is 4, and copy/paste the text below into the parameters field (Without the quotes):

"-iwad "megagame.wad" -skill "4" -file "%AP" "%F" +map %L %NM"


Press Ok and enter in the map code for your map. Usually you want something like ROZ01 or LEG01, but for the time being let's just put BOOTY. If it stays as MAP01, you're going to get an unfriendly Sniper Joe and accidentally replace Light's Lab.


Familiarize yourself with at least these things. From left to right on each color:

RED BOX - New Map, Open Map, Save Map, Script Editor

BLUE BOX - Vertex Mode, Linedef Mode, Sector Mode, Brightness Mode, Make Sectors Mode(?), Thing Mode, Visual Mode

GREEN BOX - Snap to Grid, Merge Geometry (Have those two on), Copy/Paste Properties, Curve Linedef (These last few are only available during Linedef Mode)

Ctrl C - Copy

Ctrl V/Mouse wheel click - Paste

Shift + J - Join Sectors

Insert - Place a vertex/start drawing a line

Delete - Deletes desired thing

E - Edit

F - Flip Linedef

W - Enter Visual Mode

F3 - Texture/Thing Search

F4 - Error Analysis

F9 - Testing

(Moving in Visual Mode)

E - Forward D - Backward S - Left F - Right G - Toggle Gravity


Here's the grid. By default each square is 32 units and each "Blue" square is 64 units. This game uses a "Rule of 32" and you should scale correctly towards that. There's a few exceptions we'll mention later on, for now just stick to the blue lines when possible. Got all that? Good! Let's make a box! Enter linedef mode and press insert to draw a fancy line. Draw a box. Woo.


Next you'll want to enter Thing mode and press insert. Go to Editor things and insert a visual mode camera. One exists by default, but with this you'll be able to track yourself much easier while in visual mode.


If you think you made the square too small. Select the line and press E to edit it. Stretch it out a few more units.


Make two more sectors on the sides as shown before continuing.


Chapter II: Walkable Stairs and Textures

Flow is important in a map. Make -most- of your stairs walkable. Please.
Chapter 2

Create smaller rectangle sectors in the appropriate area.


Press W and enter visual mode. The ceiling is quite low, so select the ceiling and raise it up using your mousewheel, remembering to stay in 32 units. Raise the two side areas up 32x3 and 32x4 units respectively. An easy way to remember what 32 units is is the red ! that appears on missing textures. A whole ! and the tiny space around it is 32 units.


Move the tiny rectangles in increments of 16 in a stair-like formation.


Silly me, I overestimated how many rectangles I'd need. Select the parent sector (1) followed by the child sector (2+). Hit Shift + J and you'll join both sectors together, making things much cleaner.


Be sure to delete any leftover vertices.


If you're like any normal mapper, you'll hate Airman with a burning passion. Destroy his corruption by adding in textures. Right click a side while in visual mode to enter this screen. Familiarize yourself with the properties tab; we'll be back to it later. For now click the sidedefs tab.


Most of the time you'll only want to bother with the red ! (or other textures) when placing textures.


Upon clicking the red ! you'll enter this screen. Find your desired texture. For the time being, I'll be using the red/blue Centaur squares as those provoke feelings of tutorials. Make sure you have All selected in order to see everything.


Bam. It looks great. Maybe.


After you've let your inner artist paint everything blandly (and after the stairs are completed) you'll now have a room with walkable stairs leading to nowhere important. Congrats.


Chapter III: Ramps

Be Bold. Be Just. Make Ramphat City. Please don't that never goes well
Chapter 3

Make a fun square here. (Romantic drawings oh yea)


Put your ramp height equivalent to the floor that you want to ramp on.


Apply the appropriate textures. Take note that the sides of the ramp are shown on a slanting angle, often times destroying certain textures. The front should also have a texture so that software users have nothing to worry about.


See that line? Right click it. Now is also a good time to note the little prong sticking out of the line. That is the direction the line is facing. Make sure it's jutting outwards.


You should click that highlighted box in red. It's the action box. Once you start knowing some sweet actions you can just type the number in. Go find Plane Align (Slope).


Copy the options shown here. Notably, Align floor. As shown you can also do ceilings but we're not here to do that. Boom. Your map is now Darkman1 accessible.


Chapter IV: Basic 3D Floors

The big daddy that renovated a whole version of MM8BDM mapping. Oh baby, we're going deep.
Chapter 4

Create a square within a square. Delete the center portion to create a wall. Now is a good time to mention that the solid white lines means the line is impassable. It's a wall.


Tag the sector you want the 3D floor to be in.


Next create a "Dummy" Sector off to the side in an unplayable area. Right click one of the lines and the properties box will come up. Action 160>Sector Tag (Whatever the desired spot tag is)>Type Solid>Alpha 255. Reduce the Alpha for more transparent 3D floors.


If done correctly, the sides will light up when hovered over.


3D floor heights work abnormally. The ceiling is the part you're walking on (The floor in game) while the floor is the ceiling/underside of the 3D floor (The ceiling in game). For now set the 3D floor to the numbers shown and select your textures for the floor/ceiling.


A side-by-side of where the floor will end up. (Height relation, not the literal place where it'll end up) Woo.


Chapter V: Windows and Skyboxes

Unless you're a vampire you want sunlight; the outdoors can be great too you know. Let's put in a window.
Chapter 5

It's difficult to describe the important parts of it now but make this structure off to the side and you'll see why soon enough.


Raise the floor by 32 units there and lower the ceiling by 32 units. This creates a secure enclosed area that is comfortable to window solicitors.


Right click the three lines selected. This is the "Horizon". Action it with 9, the Line Horizon.


After you're done with that, you'll want a special texture to allow your skybox to be shown. Look for the texture F_SKY1 and apply it.


Draw a giant square off to the side, highlight the sector, and click curve linedefs. Make sure you have your wall textures set up before you hit curve, otherwise you're going to have a real bad time. (Just apply textures for the floor/ceiling/wall before circling it)


This box happens. Mimic the settings and watch as that square becomes a circle.


Next you'll want to insert a thing. Go to thing mode and insert one. Scroll down to Cameras and Interpolation and add a skybox viewpoint. Make sure the thing is raised by at least 8 units. (Z height)


Time to create the actual window glass/pane/window. Add a line in the middle of that sector and give it action 208, translucent line. Wrap it, Block it, make it impassable. Finally make it transparent for a desired look and feel.


Here's what things look like in visual mode.


  • There's one more important thing you should probably know about skyboxes. A line horizon wall takes whatever ceiling and floor it has immediately connected to it and stretches it out. What this means is that should you not use F_SKY as your ceiling or floor texture near line horizon walls, the line horizon will take and stretch infinitely whatever texture you instead use. In most instances, this is not a desired effect someone would want. To remedy this, make a small 16 or 32 unit incision near the wall and raise it up (or down) a slight bit. By using F_SKY in your newly created sector, you'll have both the cutoff of the original ceiling and have a regular line horizon skybox.

Chapter VI: Death Pits

You know it's just a black texture right? Being a mapper changes your view on so many things.
Chapter 6

Make a side room like so.


How it looks in visual mode.


Select the area you want to kill people and give it a tag. Make the floor black or something.


Open up the script editor and go to the scripts tab. #include "zcommon.acs" should ALWAYS be at the top of the script page, so make sure you put it there. Add the simple lines of code shown to make your deathpit work. The first number is the sector tag, the second number is the damage (always set to 255), and the last segment is the death type. This exists for the correct obituary. MOD_FALLING for pits, MOD_ICE for ice deaths, MOD_LAVA for melting lava, MOD_SLIME for mutations, and MOD_WATER for drowning. Click the compile scripts button, hit ok, and your pit is ready to become the bane of everyone's fun.


Chapter VII: Teleporters

ZDR 2.0 really screwed these up (' ^ ')
Chapter 7

Make two sectors as shown and apply a teleport floor texture to it. Depending on the location of the sector you'll need a different texture offset. Make sure the floor is raised 32 units.


What it should look like in visual mode.


Insert a thing>Teleports>Teleport Destination. Adjust the facing angle off to the side.


Action Tab>Give it a new tag. Duplicate the destination for a 2 way teleporter and adjust the tag so they aren't duplicates. (3 for the first one, 4 for the second in the example)


Insert a thing>Sector Action>Actor hits floor.


Action 226>Script Number 973>Script Argument 1 is the tag you gave the teleport destination.


Duplicate for 2 way teleporters (Make sure to change the tag!) and place them on top of each other in the teleporter sector/area.


Chapter VIII: Things and Saving

Because oh how disappointed you'll be if you were to lose 6 hours of work.
Chapter 8

The keen eye will have already noticed that I've had a deathmatch spawn sitting in the map for the past few screenshots. Player Start>Player Deathmatch start. Have 32 of these.


Use the things marked with MM8BDM. Spread weapons, assists, health, and energy around the map in an orderly manner. If it's a party ball, make sure to raise the height of it so it isn't just being a lame party ball.


Click save to save your work, duh. Where as the first thing we put in was the map code, this is the actual map name. Name it something great. I heard Adjective Location is a popular naming scheme for this game.


Chapter IX: Ladders

Stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiill in a dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam, Snake Eaaaaaaaaaaateeeeeeeeeeeeer
Chapter 9

Create this fancy little shack off to the side.


The important parts while viewing in visual mode.


Add a 32 unit long line where the ladder is going. Make sure the prong is sticking towards where people are going to climb up the ladder. Action 128>Force15>Repeatable Action>Player Bumps. If there's a ceiling sector coming down on the area above the ladder, you'll be able to climb above the ladder as well (Unintended area). You probably shouldn't be doing that. Alternatively, make the ladders activate on the front side only.


Give the sidedef a ladder texture. Presto. Complete.


Chapter X: Jump Pads

The future is nigh.
Chapter 10

This is pretty simple. Throw down another "Actor hits floor" thing and go to the action tab. Action 128>Force80, or whatever you want it to be. Put the thing on top of a raised sector, usually one that mimics fans. Yea we're done here.


Chapter XI: Railings and Brightness

Gotta idiotproof those pits yo.
Chapter 11

Shown here is the grid size. For the time being, switch it to 16 units.


Create a line and right click to enter the properties tab. Lower Unpegged>Walkable Mid Texture.


For rails created like this, you want to put a texture on both sides of the mid area. Find your favorite rail.


How the ladders, jump pads, and railing look in visual mode.


Enter sector mode, go off to the side and drag over the entire map. This will highlight the whole thing. Right click a sector and turn the brightness to 255. This isn't doom; we like bright lights. Keep them on please.


Chapter XII: Map Info

This is horribly brief
Chapter 12

Go to your favorite Slumped/Slade program and open up your map.


Create a new lump, MAPINFO. Below is a quick copy/paste:


Create a new lump, MAPINFO. Below is a quick copy/paste: {

  map BOOTY "Uncharted Booty" 
  next = "BOOTY2" 
  sky1 = "BLACK", 0 
  cluster = 1 
  music = "GUTMUS" 
  aircontrol = 0.5 


The things you'll want to change for your own map: BOOTY is the map code. "Uncharted Booty" is the map name. BOOTY2 is the map code of the next map. If it's the last map in the pack, then it loops back to the first map. GUTMUS is the music code.

Save the lump changes then save the wad, otherwise it won't be saved. Also NEVER EVER SAVE IN DOOMBUILDER AFTER SLUMPED/SLADE CHANGES WERE MADE IF YOU DECIDE TO DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. Re-open that map. Yea done deal.

Bonus - Tips

Helpful tips for the aspiring 8BDM mapper
- 32 Deathmatch Starts.

- 255 Brightness.

- Stick to a 32x32 grid. 64x64 and 16x16 are acceptable at times, probably even 8x8.

- Don't draw a stagnating room. Unless it's a hallway, the majority of rooms should have at least 3 entrances/exits.

- Fix texture offsets to the best of your ability. Please.

- Take frequent breaks if you begin to feel a creative block. Don't demotivate yourself out of it.

- Don't put a wall texture on the floor, don't put a railing texture on the floor, etc.

- Be aware of OOPAs (Out of Place Aesthetics). Despite being aesthetics, these look, well, out of place and bad. Don't do it.

- Don't be too concerned about where the texture originated from. If it matches the overall feel or segment of a map you wanted to do, then use it.

- Need to replace a thing or texture? Hit F3!

- Once you're finished with your map, hit F4. Run the analysis and it'll pick up any errors you might've missed. If none show up, congrats! Your map is finished.

- It's acceptable (and recommended) to have only about 8 weapons per map. Buster upgrades count towards this. The max that it should probably ever be is 10. Any more weapons than 10 and you're creating a mess.

External Links

Original Forum Post by Rozark