Wolfenstein 3D, apart from it's age, is still a very popular modding platform. Today, we will learn which most important applications and editors do we need. Ever wondered which editor for Wolfenstein is the best one, or if you still should use DOS programs to edit the data files? Well... we have those questions and thoughts covered in this tutorial!
There are two types of mappers in Wolfenstein 3D; some of them still use old-school MapEdit 8.4 and older, which are DOS applications and aren't really compatible with newer Windows versions like XP. Still, it's a very handy and powerful editor for those who know how to use it. The second type of mappers is using new-generation Windows tools - like Flo-Edit, ChaosEdit (with it's new 3D-mapping function released recently), or Wolfenstein Data Compiler. I personally use both MapEdit and WDC. Mind you - if you want to use MapEdit on a modern machine, you must get the "tppatch" executable. While WDC and Chaos-Edit are compatible with shareware versions of Wolfenstein and demo version of Spear of Destiny, MapEdit 8.4 can be runned only with full version of Wolfenstein 3D or Spear of Destiny. Previous versions don't have that limit though.
In summary; it's good to have both MapEdit and a new generation editor installed on your computer. Setting them up might be a bit time-consuming, but you'll choose which of the editors you'll use more often by yourself.
Again, the modding community is divided here. Most people use FloEdit (it's very rarely updated, but it is the first all-in-one type Wolfestein editor, and it's very popular), WDC or ChaosEdit. There are a few that still stick to old, MS-DOS WolfEdit though. I used to insert graphics with it, because it's very fast and easy to use. Due to some sort of bug, it doesn't support Wolfenstein data files with more than a certain number of new sprites/walls. If you haven't added new slots, and don't want to add them to your graphics files by a Windows editor, don't worry though - WolfEdit will be perfect. Using Windows editors means more power - it is possible to add new wall/sprite slots with them, and they also edit VGAGRAPH file with splash-screens and other images.
So, summarizing. I strongly prefer to use the new generation editor, simply because of new options that aren't available in WolfEdit.
There aren't really any good MS-DOS utilities for editing Wolfenstein sounds; the only good choice is one of Windows editors. Sure, there were some editors (like Doctor Data's one, I can't exactly remember if it was only a player, or an editor) - but they don't keep today's standarts, and are rather hard to use. I strongly reccomend ChaosEdit and WDC, FloEdit is less stable in this matter. I had a bomb-out with an error a few times, when I picked wrong compression.
First, a drawing/painting program. If you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on Photoshop 7.0., then you can stick with a Paint Shop Pro trial or Paint. The good thing about commercial drawing applications is advanced usage of palettes, so you don't have to use the Print Screen and Paste combination in order to get the appropiate palette into your new image. You may also need something to edit fonts; I'm using an old GoldWave version for Windows 3.1 and it's pretty fine ;).
Second, the tppatch executable if you want to use MapEdit. It's a tiny application which updates Borland-compiled EXE files to prevent the "Runtime error 200" bug on modern machines.
Third, the LZExe executable. Used by the authors of original Wolfenstein, this application compresses the EXE file into a really smaller file. Many modders use this in order to lower the game size.
Next thing you need is a Borland C Compiler. There are many versions floating around the Net, but BC 3.01 is just fine. Check out the links section for more information about the compiler, and code compilation itself.
Wolfenstein Data Compiler - Winwolf3d.tripod.com
ChaosEdit - Chaos-software.de.vu
FloEdit - Wolfnode.de
Wolfenstein3d.co.uk Utility Downloads - Wolfenstein3d.co.uk
Tppatch - Brain.uni-freiburg.de
LZexe - Fabrice.bellard.free.fr