Category:Map Making

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BZFlag uses it's own map file format called the BZW file. BZW files are text based and contain a list of objects and map options that are read by the BZFS server.

Map Creation Methods

BZFlag has several well practiced methods for the design of maps, from simple text editing, custom editors, to exporters for 3D modeling software. While basic dedicated map editors, such as BZEdit, can often only create simple objects, 3D modeling software can create complex custom mesh objects, but have a much steeper learning curve.

Dedicated Map editors

Dedicated BZFlag map editors (i.e. written specifically for graphically editing BZW files) generally go by the name BZEdit. There are a number of versions of BZEdit that have been developed over the years, some of them sharing code, some of them not. Each editor has it's own level of support for various map features. At this time there is no custom editor that supports every feature of the BZW format. In general, these will only support simple map objects such as a box, a pyramid or a teleporter.

Editors supporting BZW 1.10 features

Editors supporting some BZW 2.0 features.


There does exist a BZW plug-in for the blender 3d modeling application, known as BZWTools. This plug-in lets blender read and write the BZW file format, as well as allows blender to create BZW specific objects. This is the preferred method of editing BZW 2.0 map files. Tutorials on using blender (not specific to BZFlag) can be found at the blender web tutorials pages.

Wings 3D

Wings 3D is a good modeler to use if you're new modeling. It has a much smaller learning curve than Blender, although it doesn't have as many features. There is also a plugin (which you can download here) created by trepan which allows you to export objects to a BZW file.

Editing by Hand

The last method of creating maps is simply coding them by hand as text files using the raw BZW structures. This is still one of the most common ways that people create and edit maps, and can be very fun and challenging. This is easilly done in any text editor, for example NotePad on Windows, and TextEdit on Mac OS X.

Most maps made by hand tend to be fairly simple, though experienced mappers have made some extraordinary maps in this way. The reason for the popularity of the 'hand made' approach is partly because of the simple structure of the BZW code, but also the fact that, until recently, there were no graphical editors available for operating systems like Mac OS X.

Maps that contain 2.0 objects (such as mesh) tend to have been either completely made in a text editor, or partly modeled in 3D modeling software, and later manipulated in text format.


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.