Map making by hand
For additional reference material see the links at the bottom of the Category:Map Making page.
Complex shapes and options such as cones spheres meshes materials and physics can not be done in bzedit. Blender or wings3d have been mentioned to make these shapes, and while these are GREAT apps they tend to be very difficult to learn! May I suggest doing what I like to do, code things by hand. I think it’s kind of fun although it may not sound to fun haha. It isn't as easy as bzedit but in my opinion is much easier than learning blender or wings3d.
What you can do is create something in bzedit. Save it. Go to that file right click on it and open it with notepad or textedit on a mac. It should have what you created, but typed in code. That is where you can add any objects you can possibly imagine.
I’ll explain very briefly how to write a simple box in "code"
If you have created lets say a box in bzedit and opened the file in notepad you will see maybe #created in bzedit (date and all that) well any thing after a # sign the computer will ignore. You can put notes using the # this will prove to be helpful in some cases!! You will also notice the rest of the code will look something like this
world size 400 end
options +r -j -set _tankSpeed 25 -ms 5 -mp 0,2,0,2,0,2 end
box name box1 position 0 0 0 size 10 10 10 rotation 0 end
The fist thing you may notice is that every thing is called. Such as world or options, or box. You must write that down to let the computer know what you are about to create; as well as after every object there is an end command. This must be used. Also CHECK SPELLING! The most stupid spelling mistake will keep the server from launching. All the options and what not... well there are bazillians of options that I won't explain here but I’ll give you a link.
Put those in the options setting with "-set " in front of it. You can also make those changes as an admin by using /set _variable
The code for the cone works like a box. In fact the code for every other object other than meshes and tetra look like the box code. You must say you are creating a cone. I’ll explain most of the complex shapes later in the post.
Incase the article hyperlinks below confuse you, (because I know it confused me) I’ll let you know the only real things you need to make a cone is divisions, position, and size. Divisions basically make the cone smoother. The higher the divisions the more smooth. For example, if you were to say 4 divisions it would look like a pyramid. Basically the divisions is how many sides there are. 4 divisions 4 sides. imagine 128 divisions. The sides would be so small you wouldn't really notice them making it look more like a cone. To see what I’m talking about go ahead and test it out. I’ll show the code to test it in a second. Position I assume you know what position is. Size I assume you know what that is too, how ever you should know that you can make a cone that's more of a oval cone simply by making the size something like 5 10 20. If the x is larger than the y coordinate or vise versa than obviously you have an oval, just like in a box you would have a rectangle. That's it.
cone name cone1 <name is optional, but it helps you. divisions 128 position 0 0 0 size 10 10 20 end
there are other options such as shift shear scale spin angle smoothbounce and flatshading and probably many more. Those options I’m not sure what they do. However I do know how to use the other options such as rotation(i'm sure you know what that does too ) which in a cones case doesn't matter really what way it's rotated, angle, which basically allows you to make maybe half of a cone. If you say angle 180, that would make half a cone. Angle 90 would make 1/4th of a cone and so on. To add one of these simply type in angle <number> somewhere under "cone". I also know how to use phydrv and matref. I’ll show you how to use those later in this post. For now lets move on to arcs
An arc is basically a cylinder. However it doesn’t have to be a perfect cylinder depending on certain options you select. For an arc the only required options are divisions, position and size. Just like the cone divisions have the same effect, position and size are all the same. Once again you can have an oval shaped cylinder type thing. Now, you WILL find more options to an arc than to a cone, for example the ratio option. The ratio options let you basically put a hole in the cylinder. So if you have the option: ratio 1 you would have a full cylinder. If you say for example ratio .3 or any number less than 1 you will get a whole in the cylinder. The bigger the number, the smaller the hole. Angle allows you to do a simi-circle. Rotation once again isn't really needed. phydrv and matref I’ll show later. Let’s move to the sphere
The only options required to make a sphere are position, size, and divisions. all these options do the same thing as they did in the objects above. you may also have an oval like sphere. You make an oval like sphere simply by making the x and y's different sizes just like in the cone and arc. The radius option is just a substitute for size. You can write size 10 10 10 or radius 10. Both do the same thing. However if you want an oval shaped sphere you have to use size. Rotation wouldn’t really have an effect and :O i can show you how to use phydrv and marref now.
Ok a phydrv is a physics driver. And a matref, well I’m not sure what it means, but I always thought it as material reference. Lets focus on material right now. A material is how you add a design or a texture on something. For example if you make a box, that box doesn’t have to have bricks around the outside of it like it does in bzedit. You want to make a tree? Later I will show you how to make a cone and put a material on it like Louman does for the trunk although Louman is way better than I am!! You might want to find a picture of wood on Google or something and use it as a material so that instead of a cone with bricks it looks like wood. I’ll show you how to do this later. You can change that design by using the material and matref. These two work together. Material is where you define the material. And matref is where you reference the material you defined. Let me show you...
material name mat1 addtexture blue_bolt.png end
meshbox position 0 0 0 size 10 10 10 rotation 0 matref mat1 end
Material is letting the computer know that a material is about to be explained to it. You name it so that way you can reference it with the matref. The name can be any thing you want as long as it does not have any spaces. You type in addtexture and you state a texture name. Now, how do you know what texture names there are to use? I have a Mac so I can say how to get there for any one using a Mac. This won't apply to a PC user. but this might help a little. Maybe someone else with a PC could explain the path better.
If you control click (right click) on the bzflag icon and click show package contents and click on contents and click on resources those are the pictures you may use.
The path will be different on a PC. I don't know what it is. What you will find are images that are used in every day games. The top of a base, the wall of a base. A bullet which is blue_bolt.png (i used above). You can check the rest out by going to that folder. You can also add your own. Any picture you add must be in a .png format. I suggest just taking a screen shot of a picture you want to use, such as, the wood picture to make a tree trunk. Most screen shots are .png formats. (At least mine are) you can name that what ever you want as long as it has a .png in the title and no spaces. Then put it in the same folder as the rest of the images in the resource folder. You may now reference those images by typing matref (name of image.png)
Also you probably noticed I typed meshbox, not box. To enable the material or physics it must be a meshbox. A meshbox is a box just like a "box" however it enables things such as materials and physics. The same goes for pyramids. You must type meshpyr to get a pyramid with a material on it or physics. However objects such as spheres cones and arcs don't need do have the word mesh in front of them.
Also a really cool thing is diffuse. You can add the diffuse command and it will look like this diffuse 1 1 1 1. Those four numbers represent things. The first number is the amount of red that will be in the meshobject. The second number is the amount of green, the third is the amount of blue. So you can mix those colors to make more colors. You may use a range from 0-1. For example diffuse .3 .5 .26 1. Now the fourth number is cool. It is the opacity or transparency. The see through-ability I call it. 0 is invisible .5 is half invisible 1 is normal. If you use this I suggest using the texture mesh.png only because it looks the best however you can use that option on any texture. so it would look like the code below. (For default images you don't have to say .png but I suggest getting in the habit of doing it.)
material name mat1 diffuse .5 .25 .1 .6 addtexture mesh.png end
So the best way of thinking about a material or rather a meshbox is NOT this– A mateial isn't something you put on as a skin to a box. A meshbox is a different type of box that allows the use of a material or physics. So lets cap up materials
material <you must type material name mat1 <you must give it a name so that you can reference it, the name may be any thing as long as there are no spaces and ends in .png. I named it mat1 addtexture <add a texture name you may find in the folder I specified simply by typing the file name of that image. end <must use end
meshbox <this alows for a box to use the material above position x y z size x y z rotation 0 matref mat1<referencing the material to the name mat1 so that this box will have the properties of the material specified. end <must use end
Similarly, lets make a mesh pyramid (a pyramid with different images on it)
meshpry <this alows for a pyramid to use the material above position x y z size x y z rotation 0 matref mat1 <referencing the material to the name mat1 (note, I can have several material listed above with different names and reference them as I want with different objects end <must use end
And the same for an arc, cone and sphere, this time without the mesh in front of the name
sphere divisions 128 position size rotation matref mat1 end
Done with materials.
Lets move on to phydrv and physics
Physics make your tank behave in different ways. If you have ever played laser mania by Louman than you know on the outskirts of the map there is something you can jump on and you go really fast, that is a physics. Physics and materials work the same way. Physics is to material as phydrv is to matref. You must specify a physics then on a meshbox, meshpyr cone arc sphere or whatever, you can reference that physics by using the phydrv command just like you would use the matref command for materials. There are different physics commands. Linear, angular, slide and death. In the Louman map I mentioned above is a linear physics. Linear physics makes your tank move in... well a line. The numbers after a linear command are just like position x y z. example …
physics name phy1 linear 50 0 0 end
This will make your tank move at a speed of 50 in a positive x direction you may use -50 and it will make it go the other way.
physics name phy2 linear 0 50 0 end
This will make your tank move at a speed of 50 in a positive y direction
physics name phy3 linear 0 0 50 end
This will make your tank jump at a speed of 50
physics name phy4 slide 5 0 end
This will make your tank basically feel like it's on ice, that's the only way I can explain it. Whichever way the tank is moving it will keep moving that way. A good example is in ... I forgot the exact title, but it's the "wide world even wider" on the sides if you go up top there is a slide physics.
physics name phy5 death haha! you died end
This will make the tank die when it touches the object that refers to this and the message haha! you died will be displayed to that person.
Now you know how to write a physics you have to be able to reference it. Let me show you the code
physics name phy1 death I like you better dead! end
meshbox position 0 0 0 size 10 10 10 rotation 0 phydrv phy1 <or what ever you named the physics end
This works just like the material
The thing about physics and materials is that they have to be written before they are referenced.
This WON'T work
meshbox position 0 0 0 size 10 10 10 rotation 0 matref mat1 end
material name mat1 addtexture blue_team.png end
I hope this helped. As you get more advanced into making maps by hand you will start doing meshes and "tetra" which is a tetrahedron. <I think that's how you spell it. I’m willing to explain meshes but it's much more complicated and would be easier to explain in a conversation.
If you have any more questions my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m happy to answer any questions that I am capable of answering.