Post tutorial RSS Quake Army Knife editor tutorial for Quake 2

How to use PakScape, configure the Quake Army Knife editor, saving your level and running/compiling it to a .bsp file, working with a .bsp file, opening the 3d window and navigating in 3d, editing the layout tab, WinBSP.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

I now use Quake Army Knife editor 6.6 beta 5 (i had troubles with Kingpin: Life of Crime and for now im using this version), PakScape 0.08, and WinBSP 1.4, but you can try Quake Army Knife editor 6.6 beta 6 if you wish.

Program to open .pak files:

Quake Army Knife editor:
Quark Army

Is used to import/export/delete files, folders from the opened pak file, which is some sort of a archive. You can rename the .pak file to .rar and vice versa but it cannot always work. Quake Army Knife can open pak files, import files, but cannot make folders easily.

Files that are needed and used for Quake Army Knife editor:


This files can be downloaded from the Quake Army Knife site too. Versions may differ.
Quark Army

I will talk with Quake Army Knife crew, to put DoD.qrk on their site.
Quark Army

Configure the Quake Army Knife editor:

1. Open the editor, choose Quake 2 from Games tab, than click new quake 2 map.
2. Go to Options - Configuration...
Click Quake 2, and edit:
Quake 2 command-line Quake2.EXE +set game roarke
Directory of Quake 2 F:\Games\Quake2
Add-ons button is covered by my tutorial in moddb (Editing your Quake 2 engine based game mod with the editor Quake Army Knife Army Knife)
For output directories... button, always untick ,,Always create pak files instead of writing files in ,roarke,
3. Scrool down to Build Programs Execution Sequence and choose Quake Army Knife etp for Output Map Format.
4. For 1st, 2nd, 3rd programs leave this untoched except the paths to them wich you must edit (Examples for my paths:

1st program: F:\Programe\Quark Army Knife 6.6.0 Beta 5\build\txqbsp39.exe
2nd program: F:\Programe\Quark Army Knife 6.6.0 Beta 5\buildq\timvis3.exe
3rd program: F:\Programe\Quark Army Knife 6.6.0 Beta 5\buildq\arghrad.exe

Now you should see in the 3D window the map with the default Quake 2 textures on the walls and the Quake Army Knife map (.qkm file) will be able to compile fine to .bsp file for the game.

Edit all tabs there if you wish. For example, editing OpenGL edits how you see in the 3d view, not in the game. you can find the 3D button bellow Toolboxes tab in the main editor window.

Saving your level and running/compiling it to a .bsp file:

1. Click File - Save as file...
Save it where you want as Quake Army Knife map (.qkm file), to keep the structure of the items in the editor aranged in order. (the items under worldspawn)
2. Above, in the editor main page, click Quake 2, where you can choose:
GO ! - runs the map and compiles it to .bsp and .map files in the roarke folder and remember that you will still have the .qkm file that you saved for further use (adding/edditing your map) at a later time.
Fastest - No lights rendered.
Fastest on selection only (it does not work for me, and it suppose to show only the items/ map structure/npc etc. that you wish to appear than in the map)
I always use Fastest and GO !
You can also use Complete rebuild for .bsp creation, and i think you should.

Working with a .bsp file:

If you want to open a .bsp file, first exported it from your .pak file where you want, then in the editor main window, by clicking File - Open and choose at Files of type: All files(*.*) at the bottom of the list to see the .bsp file location. (I hold left mouse button an scrool with the mouse wheel). A new window will apear and then click Open in Map Editor. Or simply double click the .bsp file to open it in the editor.

Here you can only edit the Entities (delete/add a item, but you cannot copy and paste a item in the same .bsp file), and in the 3d window it does not show you what entities you have selected, you see this only in wireframe (due to .bsp limitations). Click and then drag the arrow head of the camera tool located in the four default windows map working area to go where you want in the map. Move it in the 3 wireframe windows and it also travels in the 3d window if you use my layout. You find the item by going to the tab Search - Object by name, and ctrl+v to paste the name.

When you want to save the .bsp file close the editor window, then go in file - Save... (at the ,,Open in Map Editor window,, window).
See Editing the layout tab: below for more info and WinBSP: for further information.

Also, when you hover above a tab when you can press f1 to see a contextual help.
And use the ? contextual help in the editor for further help after reading my entire text.

Because the Quake 2 game and modds based on it only needs the .bsp file, after you finished your level, leave your .bsp named file in the maps folder, or in a .pak file in the needed folder structure (in baseq2 folder for Quake 2, or in the mod folder)

For keeping the stucture of your roarke folder with fewer files or folders, or to distribute the maps, textures, sounds, env etc. to users, copy and paste them in a .pak file made with the program PakScape.

Things to know to get you started in mapping:

Opening the 3d window and navigating in 3d:

Click 3D button, then hold left an right mouse button to move in front, backwards and take turns.
To look right, left, up and down only use right mouse button.

Editing the layout tab:

I use 4 views (a) layout and for the 4 window (right bottom one) i apply a 3d window look by right click the window and click - Textured.

Use often:

Edit - undo/redo tabs.
Search - Object by name
Search tab - Holes in map, Basic checks.


This program is used to convert .bsp to .map. or .map files to .bsp files. Bsp to map screws sometimes the quake 2 map polygons. (walls, prefabs,etc.)

If you have more questions postem on moddb or on my blog.
but i hope you also comment on my blog.

Until next time, enjoy this document. :)

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