Constructing a Basic Map - Part 1: Making Rooms

Unlike most tutorials that tell you how to build a room, and then leave you to your own devices, this tutorial is actually several steps. It will take your through the complete construction (on a newbie level) of building rooms, adding stairs and a couple of other basic things so you have a complete – albeit simple – first map upon completion. Author: Tricia "Kazi Wren" Harris

Posted by on - Basic Level Design/Theory

Unlike most tutorials that tell you how to build a room, and then leave you to your own devices, this tutorial is actually the first in several steps. It will take your through the complete construction (on a newbie level) of building rooms, adding stairs and a couple of other basic things so you have a complete – albeit simple – first map upon completion.

Overview
Creating a room is the easiest thing a beginning mapper can learn. The hard part comes later when you begin making many rooms of varying shapes and sizes. I’d like to point out early that you’ll need to be aware of the “grid.”

The grid is those various squares in the other editor views (blue and white squares). One thing with the Editor you must remember the grid is made up of units of 16 and you must calculate using this method. Make sure everything you do fits on these grids.

Step 1: The “Cube” Room

Open RuneEd and right click on cube button.

At the cube menu, and select cube properties.

A menu will appear full of properties for the cube. There you will see five places where you can type. In height, width and breadth fields it’s defaulted to 256, 256, and 256. Now press build (you can shortcut this by pressing the "enter" key.) Close box.

In the 3d view, you’ll notice a transparent red box has appeared. This will be our main room.

Now you can click the “subtract” button (or press Ctrl+S) and you will see a room appear in the View Port and all the surfaces are white. This texture is called “Render.”

If during testing of your level, you find that your weapons won't work, and your player gets stuck in places where they should not be getting stuck, the most common problem is that you have not rebuilt you level. You should ALWAYS rebuild a level before testing it, and actually it's a good technique to do it, once in a while. It may take a few minutes at most, but it will almost always solve a lot of problems that you may have while editing.

Also, always save frequently as the editor is very unstable.

Step 2: Texture the room
Now go over to the textures toolbar and click the “load” button near the bottom. This will bring up a box with the Rune texture files in it. For the sake of staying on the same page, select “Brckston.utx” from the list.

Your texture bar changes to show only the “brickstone” textures from Rune. Scroll down the textures bar until you find a good texture for a wall (I am using BRck 10-d) and click on it once. This selects the texture.

Go to your rendered cube and left click on a wall. Now, right click on that same wall. At the menu prompt, choose “Select” then “Adjacent walls.” This highlights all four walls. Click on your texture button again. All of the walls now have your texture on it.

Left click on the floor. Find a texture you like (I am using Brck 11_d). Click on the texture. It is now the texture of your floor. Repeat these steps for your ceiling (I used the same floor texture for my ceiling).

Go to the File menu, and select “Save Level.” You may need to name it first. Call it DM-NewBlood for the purpose of this series of tutorials. That way, once you’re a pro mapper, you can easily find and delete your first creation!

Step 3: Lighting the Room
We need to add some light into the room to make it playable.

In the 3D view, go to a corner of a wall (near the ceiling is fine). Right click it. This will produce a menu - select "Add Light Here" and you will see a flaming torch added to your room near where you clicked. Now place another light in the other corner. Go about half way down this wall and add lights to both sides. Repeat these steps on all four walls. You’ll need to move into your room to see all of them. Save the level.

We are almost ready to rebuild. First, we need a place for our player to start.

On the right side of the editor, next to the word “Browse” is a box that says "textures." Drop down the menu and select "classes" from the list. This should bring up a list of things with a line in front of them.

Single click on the line in front of "navigation" and you will bring up a list nested in the first one. Select "PlayerStart." Go back to the 3D view and right click on the ground where you want your player to start. Once again you will see a menu come up - this time select "Add Player Start Here." You should now see a little joystick placed on the floor of your room. Now you are almost ready to play the level.

Rebuilding the level
You’ve come to the most important part of working with RuneEd – rebuilding a level. Press F8 (this sometimes seems to do nothing - if this is the case, then go to the top of the editor and select "Options" then "Rebuild" and make sure that the "autoBSB" is checked. Press, “rebuild geometry” then “close.”

You can also click the “rebuild geometry” button on the left bottom section of the editor. Same effect.

Saving and playing the level
From the "File" menu, select “save level.” When it has finished saving select the "file" menu again and choose "Play Level" or simply click the “play level” button at the left bottom corner of the editor. You’ll be taken into the game from a player’s point of view.

Take a look around. To return to the editor, simply hit the “ESC” button, then “Exit.”

Our next step is to create another room. Let’s build a second room near the first and go from there.

The creation of additional rooms in RuneEd is as easy as making the first. The main thing you’ll need to decide will be the size of these other rooms. Don’t forget to build along the grid. Zoom the editor views by holding down both mouse buttons and moving the mouse forward and back.

Here we go.

Right click the "cube" button and select the height, width and depth of the cube you want to create. This time, however, choose a spot just off to the side of the first room that you created and make the room the same size as the first (256x256x256).

If you haven't moved a brush (the red wire frame of the cube) yet, it is done by holding down the “control” key and moving the mouse in one of the 2D views. You can make sure a brush is selected by clicking on it (if it's not already highlighted).

When you are placing the second room, make sure that the floors are on the same height. The brush will move up and down if you have changed the height of the new cube you created. Once again hit the "subtract" button.

Play with the textures in your second room, or simply use the same textures as you used in the first (I used I am using the Brck 11_d textures for the walls, floor and ceiling). Add some lights to your new room as you learned before.

Joining the two rooms
We’re going to join the two rooms using a simple hallway.

Right click the cube, select properties, and then make it narrow (I used 128 height, 128 width) and make it LONGER than what will be needed to join the two rooms - but not long enough to reach the opposite side of either room (I set my breadth to 256).

Move this longer brush between the two rooms and line it up on the grid with your floor’s level. Now press the "intersect" button (the one just below the subtract" button) and you should find that the hallway has been cut off where it meets the room walls.

This will make sure that the hallway lines up with the walls and does not overlap anywhere. Change the textures if you need to (I used WD7_dc from the “Wood.utx” collection on my walls and ceiling).

Add lights. Be careful you don’t over do it. Hallways can be a great way to add atmosphere to your map, so having a dark hallway with just a little light spilling over from the rooms on either end is cool. Of course, this is only personal opinion.

Saving and playing the level
Rebuild again. You should have a small hallway with two rooms on either end. Save your level and go ahead and play it.

No, it won’t win any mapping contests, but that’s not why you’re reading this tutorial. Again, our goal is to get you using RuneEd, make you comfortable with the basics, then watch as you let your creativity soar! When you’re finished move on to the next steps.

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