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This is a basic mapping tutorial for Unreal tournament 3. This tutorial goes over the basics of making something in a subtractive space. THIS IS FOR BEGINNERS ONLY!

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

OK, I'm not an amazing mapper, but I have learned a lot and will now share what I've learned in some tutorials. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to make a map in the subtractive space. Which everyone should learn before working in the additive space. I will also teach the basic things you need to know to use the editor, the interface basically.
First of all if you don't know how to open the unreal editor, just do this:
C:\ Program Files\ Unreal Tournament 3\ Binaries
go here then double click unreal Frontend. A window should come up and just click the editor tab in the top right. On your desktop you should see it's loading splash.

In this tutorial I will go over the following:

  • The interface of the editor.
  • Making a map in the subtractive space.
  • putting lights in your map.
  • putting textures on walls.
  • placing static meshes.
  • placing weapons and spawns.
  • bot pathing.

Ok first I'll explain the interface of the editor. I know that it looks really confusing ,and imposing. I'm sure that if your new to this, the four windows are really freaking you out. No need to worry though, we'll fix that soon. Alright first you can close the generic browser and the tip of the day. Then what your looking at is this;

You only need one window at the moment so what you want to do is click the black box next to the little golden lock, in the window with the black space. This will enlarge the black space to fill up the entire editor space. There are four views, these can be entered by clicking on either the emboldened, P, T, F, or S. P=perspective ( you only 3d view) T= top down view, F= Front view, S= side view (which I never use). Now you will do almost all your mapping work in the perspective view, i find the other views pretty much useless.

Alright you should now be looking at the editor with only one view, and that should be the perspective view. Now first of all your going to want to try moving around a bit, so here's what to do; just click somewhere in that infinite black space. Then scroll, use arrow keys, left click and drag, right click and drag, just try whatever until you get the hang of it.

Ok now I'm assuming you know how to move around so now I'll talk about the lovely little buttons you see in the tool bars. Alright the basics I'll put in a convenient list for you:

-the first few are found right below the undo and redo buttons(the little arrows)
these are a small series of cubes:

  • 1. The light lined see through cube is not very important, it shows everything in your world as brush wire frame, which means it looks, like a bunch of lines.
  • 2. The dark lined see through cube is the normal wire frame, this will show everything as wire frame. ( I'm not really sure what the difference is between this one and brush but i don't care.)
  • 3. The lightly colored solid cube, it is cyan colored. This will show everything in your world as it would look in the game, without lighting though.
  • 4. The first cube with a shadow, this one shows everything with lighting, aka, it looks way better. However this is only if you have lighting :)
  • 5. The final cube, the fifth one, shows no textures in your world. It will display a standard gray and white checkered pattern, which will show all the lights on the map.

-the next few are found next to the little red semi-circle with the arrow going into it. This is on the far right. In order:

  • 1. A small cube, filled in. This builds all the geometry in your level. What this means is that it creates everything that is physical in your level, into a physical sate. In other words...it builds it into your level. This also builds the terrain.
  • 2. A small light bulb, this builds all the lighting in your level, which means when you test your level, instead of seeing a big black space, you actually see. (in simple terms)
  • 3.The next is some connected dots, this is build paths. It is used for creating bot paths in your level. I'll talk more about this later.
  • 4. The next one is build cover nodes, and it isn't really needed with our map today. I'll talk about this one in a more advanced tutorial later.
  • 5. The final one is build all, it looks like a cube and light bulb. This is good to do often, if your computer can't build a lot of data at once. Mine can, but my computers awesome. :)

- Now all of these will display a window when it's done, showing any errors. I'll go over this later.
-The final important button is in the top middle of the editor. It is a small array of blue squares. This is the generic browser, it is your best friend. It will allow you to browse all materials, and meshes, and all sorts of cool stuff. More about it later. :)

OK so now you should be familiar with the main controls and movement of the editor. So now we will begin learning how to make your first map. Or your first successful attempt hopefully. So I'll be showing you how to make a map in the subtractive space. There are two worlds you can build your map in. Subtractive and additive. Additive means, your map can be outside or inside with little limitations. Subtractive means your map is totally inside, and it's really lame. The only reason we are going to work with subtractive space right now is because it will be easy to learn the basics. Later i will post a tutorial for additive space to build on what you learn now.

Look around your perspective view. You should see a small red box. Left click on one of the lines and it should light up a bit brighter. You should also see some arrows. Click on these and drag, you should see if you drag blue you can move it up or down, green left or right, and red back or forth. Now click the box to make sure it's selected , and press your space bar, the arrows will become circles. These rotate the box or any object various ways, try those out now. Once you figure those hit space again. Now there should be some small red cubes connected by lines. This will scale you box smaller of bigger, play around with that now. Once you have these figured out it's time for the next step.

Now go to file, click new. Choose subtractive, don't save changes to untitled...and you are now looking at a fresh map. What we do now is..save your map. Go to file, save as(you should be
in cooked PC --> custom maps) here save as DM-Bob or whatever you want to call it. No spaces. If it's two words use an underscore; _.

Now to start select the red box (by the way this is called your builder brush) also your friend.
Now right click the small cube below the mountains on the left hand toolbar. This should bring up a window that says brush builder-cube at the top. Remember right click the cyan cube, left hand toolbar. Now for your first level, we will make a huge cube. First of all, 265 is not very big, and will offer you a tiny level. So simply left click one x and type in.....10,000, then type 10,000 in y, and 500 in z. In the editor you should see the box re size to a large rectangle. Now just go to the bottom of the window and click build.

Ok now exit out of that window and zoom out until you see the whole rectangle. Now look for CSG:Subtract its one of the blue and cyan squares near the bottom of the left hand toolbar. It is the top right one of the foursome. Make sure your builder brush is selected and then click CSG:Subtract once. Then use the arrows widget, (the little blue, red, and green arrows) and move the red rectangle far to the right or left. Depending on what view you are in(the little cubes we talked about earlier.) you will either see, a large checkered room, a orange rectangle, a black empty space, or a white wire frame.

Now i want you to select the unlit cube(top toolbar bottom right.) Click this. You should see a large checkered room. This will be your level. Don't worry it will be more exciting later. Alright, so right now your level is....lightness so here is how we add a light. First zoom into your rectangle until a roof appears above you. Now anywhere in the rectangle, preferably right by your camera, hold the L key and left click. A light bulb will appear. Click space bar until you reach the scaling widget (little red cubes connected). Now zoom all the way out of your rectangle, and high so you can see the whole thing. Then scale the light bulb radius (the little cyan sphere, lines) up until it goes around the entire rectangle, and then keep making it bigger until it is at least a few inches away from your rectangle in the horizontal directions.

Now click the lit cube in the top toolbar. Your rectangle will change in appearance. Now zoom all the way back into it. Now it should be a bit easier on the eyes to looks at. So now all you have to do is try to center the light a bit. After this I'm thinking our room is a bit closed in the ceiling is way to low.

So let's make a new room, select your builder brush. Then do what we did before to adjust the size and change the z to about...1500. Now delete your old room, and the light via selecting each and pressing the delete key (to delete the room click the very first cube, brush wire frame, in the top toolbar. This change the room into a orange wireframe rectangle. Click one of the orange lines when it lights up press your delete key.)

Once you only have the builder brush, press build in builder brush window, and then do the CSG: Subtract thing we did earlier. Once you have your new room add a light. Adjust the light until you brighten up the room. Now we should have a room that doesn't feel as cramped and has a nice light. So you should be in lit mode, in your rectangle, and thinking...man...this level sure is ugly. Don't worry we can fix that. To a subtractive space degree.

Now save your level again, and click the build all button. Wait for it to finish, ad then the errors list should pop up(it's called map check or something like that). Just close this out, there should be only one error, about a null brush thing. Screw that and just close the window.

Now we shall add some textures to your walls. First open the generic browser(little array of blue squares top left.) In it you see several tabs.

You should be in the generic tab, now you see all the little check boxes to the side. If show all resource types is checked un-check it. Then check the materials check box. Now click file open. And go here:

C:\Program Files \Unreal Tournament 3 \ UTGame \ CookedPC \Environments

I am a windows vista user just so you know. An my ut3 is installed in drive c. Just look for unreal 3 where ever it may be for you, and go to ut game, cooked pc, environments. Here you will see a ton of little white pages. This will open packages of materials, static meshes and whatever for levels in the browser. You can see the all have some abbreviations in front of them. From what I know.

  • ASC=Asian
  • LT= Spaceship
  • HU=City
  • NEC=Necris

For this level use shift and control keys(im assuming you know what I mean) select all the HU's. Then click open. That window will close, it will load, and little a whole bunch of stuff should pop up where that Grey space was in the generic browser. These things should be spheres inside a black, and green outlined box. These are materials and we will paint these to your walls. Now to paint these on to your walls simply select a wall, floor or ceiling. It should now be highlighted purple. Then just click the material you want on it is the browser. it should now be applied to surface you put it on in your level. Now apply material to all your walls, your ceiling, and your floor. You may now be thinking it looks better....but still pretty bad. There is a way to fix this. Select a wall (it will highlight purple) then press your f5 key. This will bring up the surface properties window. Look for scaling and click the little arrow. Select 16.0 and click apply just to the right of that. You notice the material on your wall becomes much larger, and will look much better. Then click apply at the bottom of the window. Next just exit the window and do this to the rest of your room. Play around wit some of the other stuff in there see what you like.

At this point you might like to save. We will now begin to actually make your level, somewhere you can play in. You must be excited, because here's where I can pretty much let you loose and let you go crazy. Until it's time for bot pathing and weapons, and spawns :) OK before we start with static meshes i suggest you click the build all button first, and let that happen. Once that's done go to your generic browser, deselect materials, and watch all your spheres disappear. Now find the static meshes check box. Check that box and go back to file and open up environments. Select all the HU's and when it's done loading them you should see actual objects in your browser. YAY.

First of all any objects you see with NO COLLISION MODEL means it can be shot through. which isn't good unless you want that. So don't use those. Now find a static mesh(object) you like. Select it. Now right click anywhere in your room and select add actor in the right click menu. Then click the very top option. Should say: add static mesh HU. etc etc. (i think you know the etc aren't really in there. :>]

Your mesh should appear where you put it. If it didn't just use the scaling widget to make it bigger. (may be to small). Now you can use various widgets to move around objects, and do whatever. keep adding more and start making your level. Keep in mind space for people and bots to run through. If you want a narrow path way between two crates make sure they are far enough apart to get through.

(Important note) saves time- if you want to duplicate an object just hold alt, and use the arrows widget, then drag away, and you should have two objects.

Might I suggest something like foundry in halo 3. Find the crates, find some ramps, pipes, machinery anything you want, and get to work. Note- If you didn't open all the HU's in the environments, then go back and make sure you select them all and then open them. So you have a full selection of objects.

Now once you are finished playing around and trying stuff out. Build a formidable playing area. I'll admit we made our room quite big, but this is just a first map...a test map for you. AND BE SURE TO SAVE OFTEN!

A real map can come later. Now you may note that there are a lot of black spaces from shadows in your map...shadows cast by the objects you have placed. So here is what you can do. Simply find a light or lamp mesh. Then place it against a wall or another mesh in your map where you want light. Then make a light bulb there, and just move it up so where it directly under the light bulb of that lamp or whatever. Then adjust the radius of the light, to the appropriate size. Remember the lamp will only light the area around it. Make sure the light looks natural.

Ok by now, I have no clue what your level looks like but i know you need to build all. Be sure to do this while adding meshes to your map, after every part of your map you complete i guess. So now your map needs weapons, bot paths, and spawns. So I'll start in order of the amount of tie it takes to do.

  • 1. Spawns- your map requires sixteen total ( you can have more), here's how to add them: right click, click add actor, then look for add player start. Click this and where ever you had right clicked in your room there should be a little green joy stick. When it becomes unselected it turns silver and gold. Another note if it says bad size it is placed in a bad location, like inside the floor, to close toa wall, just move it around unitl it becomes a joy stick again.
  • 2.Weapons/pickups- Alright here's what to do. Open your generic browser, then click on the actor classes tab. Look for navigation point and click the little plus next to it. Next look for Pickup Factory. Click the plus next to this, then click the plus next to UT Pickup Factory. Next click on UT Weapon Pickup Factory, it should be highlighted blue now. Now right click where you want the weapon in your level. Above add recent you should see add ut weapon pickup factory. Click this and the little metal plate should appear. I know you have seen this in game. Now you need to edit it's properties so select it and press f4. It's properties window will come up, ignore all the other stuff, and look at the second gray bar from the bottom, UT Weapon Pickup Factory. You should then see Weapon pickup Class, Click the little arrow and choose any weapon you see there, but don't choose any deployables those require something else. Now exit out of the properties window. Don't be worried because the weapon doesn't appear. it will in game, all you have to do now is add a pick up light. So click tools at the very top of the editor window and then click add pickup lights, this will add pickup lights to ALL the pickup's in your level. Note-If you move any pickup be sure to delete the old pickup light, because it won't follow. You will also have to make a new one.
  • Other pickups and stuff are much similar. Just go to navigation points in actor classes, Pickup factory, and then look for UT Item Pickup Factory. open this and you can find your ammo, health and armor. Add these the same way as weapon pickups. You don't have any properties to edit though. Note-For biorifle ammo, choose the one that says content not the other one.
  • And of course there are power ups, go to UT Powerup Pickup Factory. Then just select and place in your level. NOTE-DON"T forget the pickup lights.

OK now, add your pickups. Once your done, save and build all. Now we can add bot paths, first off once all your pickups are placed and you have built all some paths have already been built. Press P to view all your bot baths. Your can now look at your paths, zoom out into top down view of your map. Now look and asses where you think there should be paths for bots to travel. Bot paths, are lines, they are different colors to represent different paths.

  • Blue -narrow path
  • Green -normal width
  • White - wide path
  • Pink - very wide path
  • Orange -Flying path, narrow
  • Light Orange - Flying path,wide
  • Light Purple- requires high jump (higher than normal jump capability)
  • Yellow -forced path
  • Purple -"advanced" path (requires "intelligence" to be used)
  • Straight lines mean the bot can run, jump, or crouch-walk along the path
  • Curved linesmean the bot needs to use a translocator to take the path
  • I give credit for the info above, to a website.

Now you need to put path nodes, where there aren't paths, where there should be. You want the bots to go everywhere you can go. So here's how; simply right click in your level, click add actors, then click add path node. Where you clicked there should be an apple/peach. (who knows why they made it fruit :) ) If it says bad size just move it around until it doesn't. Once you build all, or build paths, these will connect with other apples, and spawns, and pickups. If the map check list, after you build all, says a path node is un-necessary, just remove it.

Alright at this point your level should be finished. YAY

/,,/ (-_-) /,,/

Now I will tell you how to get it in game, and trouble shoot. Ok click build all a last time, then fix whatever it says to fix, if your ot sure how...just pm me and i'll see if I can help. Once your satisfied save your level. You are now probably ready to test it. Just click the little joy stick in the top left or your editor window.
Press tab and type this stuff to use it: addbots [value] (adds the number of bots specified)
god (invulnerability)-----------ghost (use “walk” to drop back to the ground)

Now for me when i test in subtractive space...i have no weapon. I'm not sure if that will happen to you, but it still let's you get a feel for the map. Finally you can stick your map in game. Just look for the little fire next to the joy stick. Click this, this will "cook" your map, in other words it will publish it, in other words...put it in game. Now if it is succesful at the end of the command prompt you will see some green letters telling you it worked. If it didn't you will get red letters. that happenes to me all the time now. But don't worry. Just manually place the map in your game here's how:C:\Users\ (YOUR USER)\ Documents\ My Games\ Unreal Tournament 3\ UTGame\ Unpublished\ CookedPC\ CustomMaps. You should find your map in here. Now just copy and paste it onto your desktop. Then put it here;C:\Users\ (YOUR USER)\ Documents\ My Games\ Unreal Tournament 3\ UTGame\ Published\ CookedPC\ CustomMaps.................IT should now be in game.

That should cover everything. You now know the basics of the unreal editor 3. You must be proud because this isn't easy stuff. I will soon make another tutorial that steps it up a bit, and works with making an actual level, in the additive space.

So look forward to that.....at if you have any questions please feel free to pm me.
Remember practice this stuff. And have fun :) I also promise the next tutorial won't be as long. :)


You should recommend some anti-bug measures.

You know like, turn off autosave, because UTE likes to crash if autosave goes off during something like building. Another good one would be DO NOT UNDO a lot because if UTE runs out of undos, guess what? It crashes.

As powerful as it may be it still is a crash machine, and requires a lot of love and care in order to stay sane and not lose hundreds of hours of work at the hands of crash/corruption.

Happy mapping MODDB Community!

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Agreed with AlCool, UTE loves to crash if you dont press the right buttons (figure of speech) lol, also the Top, Front and Side views arent so useless if you like to work with perfection, it is very helpfull so best you dont mention it useless, even though you do not prefer it, you want others to fool around and decide for themselves whether they need it or not... otherwise its a good introduction to UTE mapping =] Well done

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Christ, not a bad tutorial really.

I think what the guys have said above/below (I forget which order ModDB puts new posts) is probably right, bar a few things like the bugs. Maybe just note them down as things to watch out for, as I've personally never experienced bugs quite as serious as that really, but what the hey.

My only criticism of this tutorial is, despite it meaning to be a "basic" tutorial, it sure is wordy! I know you've spent time explaining and describing each feature, (which is fantastic really, good job), if I was a new UE mapper I would be scared off at how 'un-basic' this tutorial makes it seem. It looks daunting, in short.

I know that to do the majority of stuff you've explained in this tutorial, you could explain them in easy-to-understand bullet-points for a more ideal approach for newcomers.


Again though, good job.

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Really wish i could find a video on this. I have a really hard time reading long text like this on a computer screen, my eyes start to stress out and i then start to feel like i'm falling :/

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This is is really helpful thanks

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Thanks alot. I have just made my first map and its working great. :D

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Mr. Happy Conscript
This is August 22nd 2017. I have bought Trip Wirers Rising Storm 2 Vietnam, back in June and want to try and make some maps for the community in Steam. Finding info. on Unreal Engine 3 has been hit and miss. The few videos on #3 end up showing the URE 3, using URE 4, and no instaurations on the interface of the editor, you have saved the day, Thank you. Jim

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Hi once more Happy Conscript, where would I find the next "Tutorial ?

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