Note: This tutorial assumes that you already have The Ultimate Chex Quest and all programs necessary to play it, and have played it at least somewhat. If you do not, download from Boingo the Clown's site and have fun playing, then come back later.
To begin mapping for Chex Quest using DooM Legacy, you will need a few basic tools. Below you will find download links to the essentials:
(Note that this tutorial will cover mainly the use of DooM Builder)
Though not essential, another file will be used in the tutorial later on. This is The Ultimate Chex Quest configuration file. What follows is the download link followed by a short description of how to install it. You must have DooM Builder installed before you get to this point!
Download this file to a memorable location. Once you have downloaded it, copy it into the DooM Builder folder. By default, the folder is:
C:\Program Files\Doom Builder
Once it is in this folder, you should be ready to go.
Starting a Map Edit
This section is aimed at helping you get a map started and learn the bare essentials of mapping. Once you finish this section, you should be able to build sectors and add player starts.
Setting Up Edit
Once you have finished doing the above, start DooM Builder. Once that's done, click the blank sheet of paper underneath the 'File' tab. This will create a new map. A box will pop up, looking like this:
Click the arrow on the top box. A list of choices will be shown, from which you should select Chex Quest®. If this is not a choice, make sure that you correctly installed The Ultimate Chex Quest configuration file. Set the box to DooM Legacy if you do not want to take the trouble to get the file.
In the next box, type in E1M1, since this will be your first map. For future reference, the map names are as follows. There are four episodes, each of which has nine levels, the ninth of which is a secret level, which may be detailed later. To change the episode that the map will be in, change the number after the E in E1M1. To change the level in that episode, change the number after the M in E1M1.
Click the browse button beside the box that says "Additional Textures and Flats from WAD file." Direct it to the location of you TUCQ WAD file. The default file name for this is CQUESTP2B3.WAD.
The box should now look something like this:
(Note that the file name of The Ultimate Chex Quest Wad may differ)
Click 'OK' to continue.
DooM Builder will likely ask you for the location of the IWAD for the Chex Quest® configuration. Direct it to the Chex Quest IWAD or Ultimate DooM IWAD. Either way, the file name should be DooMU.WAD.
Now it should load up the data it needs from the files you provided, then present you with a blank grid that looks like this:
Building Rooms Edit
All right! Now for the real thing. This is a picture of your map from the top down. Since there is nothing on your map, the grid is blank. To be able to save your map, you need to at least have two rooms and a player 1 starting position. Let's get to work.
Double click anywhere on the grid to start building. You'll get a red square on the corner of the grid square nearest where you clicked. An orange square will appear directly below your cursor, and an orange line should appear between the two squares. Point the orange square where you want the second corner of your room to be and click to set it. Use the lines to build a room in the shape that you want it. I will stick with a simple rectangle for the sake of speed. To finish your room, bring the orange square over the first corner and click. The room should be built, with the lines now white and the squares blue. You've built your first room!
Repeat the process somewhere else on the map. For now, leave the sectors separated by about a block on the grid. Once you have done making both sectors, you should have something like this:
(Note that, depending on how you built your rooms, yours will differ slightly. Don't try to look exactly the same)
Adding Player Starts Edit
Now we need to add a player 1 start position. Click this button on the upper toolbar, right between prefabs and scripts:
The mode that you are editing will change to things. Now, double click on the map where you want your player to start. A green arrow should appear on the map facing to the right. This is a player 1 starting position. Double clicking the arrow should bring up a box like this:
This is the thing editor. Later, we will use it to change the type of the object we are placing. This is how you add flemoids, health, armor, and different props to the game. For now, though, you can mess around with the angle down at the bottom wight hand corner. Once you're done, click 'OK' to save what you changed, or click 'Cancel' to discard them.
Your map can now be properly saved! To save it now, click the floppy disk up at the upper right hand part of the DooM Builder window, and a text box should appear. Make sure to save what you just did in the same folder as your other Chex Quest files.
Though it would be rather useless to do so now, once you save it, you can test the map by pressing the test button on the top toolbar:
This is useful in that it allows you to make sure that you did everything right and that the map runs like you want it to. Also, later, when we get into scripting, it can be used to check if scripts work, and will even tell you where an error occurs. This will be discussed in the more advanced parts of the tutorial.
Basic Mapping Skills Edit
This section will discuss the basics of building a simple map. You will learn how to texture, build a door, build a lift, create stairs, and other useful basic skills for the beginning mapper.
At the end of this section there will be an application section. This is aimed at helping you fully grasp the concepts, as well as being able to use some functions in new, unique ways.
Basic Terms and Definitions Edit
When discussing how to create a map in DooM Builder, I will be using some rather DooM Builder specific terminology. This section will outline the basic terms you will need to know, as well as what they mean.
The basic building blocks of a map, vertices (plural of vertex) are the squares that appear when you double click in vertex, sector, or linedef edit modes.
To enter vertex editing mode, click this button on the top toolbar:
A linedef is the straight line drawn between two connected vertices. Most commonly linedefs form the walls of your rooms, but they are also used as switches and triplines, as well as letting you perform more advanced functions which will be detailed later.
To enter linedef editing mode, click this button on the top toolbar:
A sidedef is any texture applied to a linedef. Each linedef can have from 0 to 6 sidedefs. Sidedefs will be detailed later.
A texture is an image used as a sort of wallpaper so that you can see it. This can give you anything from a metallic look to a concrete wall.
Otherwise known as a room, a sector is any section of your map completely enclosed by linedefs. A sector may also be used as a door, a lift, or other mobile part of the map.
To enter sector editing mode, click this button on the top toolbar:
A thing in DooM Builder is what you call everything from player starts to monsters to power-ups to 2D props. Things are very important to a good map.
To enter thing editing mode, click this button on the top toolbar:
A 64x64 image tiled on the floor and ceiling of your sectors. This lets you give the ceiling and floor their own look.
A tag is used to connect multiple parts of a map, usually for connecting a linedef to a sector so that the linedef's action is performed on the sector, making the linedef a sort of switch, or sometimes just applying certain special properties to the sector.
Short for 'Hall of Mirrors,' the HOM bug is an infamous bug in DooM and related games that is caused by a missing texture. It is called the Hall of Mirrors bug because you get an effect similar to being in a hall of mirrors when you look at the area that is missing the texture.
Basic Texturing Edit
Once you are in linedef mode, you need to select the linedefs you want to texture. Simply click a linedef once to select it. Do this to all linedefs you want to texture, then right click on the last line. Linedef editing mode should open:
You are now in sidedef editing mode, which should look something like this:
(Note that the exact appearance may change depending on your defaults)
You can see the row of six boxes across the top right side of the editing box. These are the different areas on a linedef that have a sidedef. They are as follows, from the top left, going right, and ending up at the bottom right:
Front side upper texture->Front side middle texture->Front side lower texture->Back side upper texture->Back side middle texture->Back side lower texture
Click on the picture in the top middle box of sidedef editing mode. You should get something like this:
Well, it isn't helpful to only have one texture at your command, is it? We need to browse all of the textures. To do so, press the TAB key on your keyboard (It's just above CAPS Lock on a standard QWERTY keyboard). This will open the full list of all of the textures that you can use. Here I'm not going to ask you to do anything specific. Just select a texture you think will look good, then click 'Select' to select it. After you click 'OK' on the sidedef editing box, you can go see how your textures look using one of two methods.
Or by activating DooM Builder's 3D mode:
Once you're happy with the result, you can come back and continue with this tutorial.
Double click the sector that you want to edit to open sector editing mode (To assign multiple sectors the same flats, click every sector you want to edit once, then right click the last sector to begin):
(Note that the flats in the boxes may differ, depending on your defaults)
The two boxes you see in the sector editing box are the ceiling and floor flats that have been selected by default. You may wish to keep them, but, more often than not, you will want to change them to fit the atmosphere of you level. The left box is for your ceiling, the right is for your floor. They are both edited the same way, and using the same flats, so I will only say how to do the ceiling. To change the flat on the ceiling, click the left box. You should see something like this:
Just like texturing, press the TAB key to show all available flats. Browse through the given options until you find something that you like, then click it and then click 'Select' to apply. Press 'OK' to save your changes, then you can test it in either of the aforementioned ways.
All right, here's the real reason I wanted you to leave your sectors separated a little. Now that you've saved, build a third sector, directly between the other two sectors. Watch the numbers at the middle of the line this time. Create a line that is 64 units long. The width may differ, depending on the separation of the sectors. Once you finish building this sector, double click it to enter sector editing mode:
You need to change the ceiling height of the sector to be the same as the floor. This will cause the door to start off closed. Click the 'Ceiling Height' box at the bottom left corner and change the value to 0. Click 'OK' to save your changes.
First off click the upper box where it says 'Linedef Action' and change the value to 1. This is the basic door action. When you press the 'Use' button on a line with the action of 1, it will open or close the door that it is connected to.
Now, you need to make the door look different from its surroundings if you want people to know that there is a door there. To do this, click the tab to the top right of the linedef editing box:
This will take you into sidedef edit mode. The box it opens should look like this:
You may notice the 'Missing Texture' notice in the top left (Front side upper) texture box. This means that you need a texture there, but you haven't assigned one yet. Click on that box to enter the texture browser:
(Note that the textures in the box depend on your defaults, and may not be exactly the same)
We need to browse all of the textures again. To do so, press the TAB key on your keyboard (It's just above CAPS Lock on a standard QWERTY keyboard). This will open the full list of all of the textures that you can use. For my purpose, choose the texture called DOOR03. After a while of practice, you can memorize the names of textures to write in the box in the sidedef editor.
Click 'OK' to save the changes you made.
Congrats! You should now have a working door! If you wish to make your door look better, try retexturing the sides of your door to look more like they actually do something to help the door move. Also, while in the linedef editing box, you can make the sides of the door stay as they are instead of following the door up by clicking the 'Lower Unpegged' check box.
You will learn if you mess around that the size of the door sector is absolutely unimportant. Just as long as a door texture fits on the front and back of your door, it can be as long or as short as you want. Also, it may be as wide or as thin as you think it should be. It's all a matter of personal preference.
All right, now that you've graduated from the door section, we'll get right to the harder stuff. Yeah, this is a basic thing, but if you understand the basic mechanic that is used to run a lift, you can figure almost anything else out. I'll try to put as much detail into explaining the process as possible, so you can tell easily what is going on.
This will be your first experience in using tags. Tags are very useful tools, especially when you get into the more advanced functions. For now, though, we'll just cover the first, most basic of uses for tags.
All right, since we'll be making a lift, we'll need a room at a different level than your original two rooms. It could be either higher or lower than your current sectors, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we will make the new sector higher than your original rooms. I'll connect my lift to the room that my start is in, which will give the player two choices of where to exit the original room. For our current purposes, let's make the lift a long one, reaching the entire length of the wall behind the player.
Please note that my default grid size is 16x16, while the usual default grid size is 32x32. You can change your grid size by pressing this button:
All right, now that you have your destination built, you'll need to make it higher than your first sector. Make sure you're in sector mode:
Change the ceiling height to 256 and the floor height to 128. It usually looks best if the lift goes all the way up the lower sector's wall. Press 'OK' to save your changes.
Double click on the new sector to bring up the sector editing box again. By default, the new sector should inherit the properties of the higher sector, but if it does not, change it so that its ceiling and floor height match those of the higher sector.
Once you have made sure that the heights are right, you now need to set a tag for the lift sector. To do this, either type 1 in the 'Sector Tag' box, or click the 'Next Unused' button beside it. Either way, the new tag should have a value of 1.
While you are editing this sector, you may want to edit the floor flat, if not the ceiling flat as well. It doesn't matter what you choose, or if you choose for that matter, but I recommend 'STEP1' or 'STEP1A'.
Later on, you'll probably be able to memorize most actions and just type the corresponding number in, but for now we'll do it the old fashioned way. Click the 'Select Action' button beside the 'Linedef Action' box, and you'll enter a menu that looks something like this:
There's a lot of stuff in here, isn't there? Luckily it's divided into subsections depending on the type of action you want a linedef to have. We're making a lift, so click the '+' sign to the left of the option that says 'Lift.' Still a lot of stuff, right? Well, if you look to the left at all of the options, you'll see a two-digit code. At the top of the action editing box is a key, telling you what these letters and numbers mean, which goes as follows:
S = Switch; W = Walk over; G = Gunfire;
D = Door (Do not tag); R = Repeatable; 1 = Once;
H = Hexen action, blah blah blah
We want a switch, and we want it to repeat, and for now we're looking for a standard lift, so we'll select the one that says 'SR Lift Lower Wait Raise (62)' For future reference, the number in parentheses to the right of the description is the action number. You can use this rather than browsing for it later, if you can remember what it was. If not, a working knowledge of the browser is handy.
Click 'OK' to save your changes.
Since this will be the switch that lowers your lift when you press the 'Use' key in game, give it a tag of 1 to match the tag of the target sector. Once this is finished, the linedef editing box should look like this:
We need to change the front side lower texture of the lift so that we know where it is. Change the texture to whatever you would like it to be. I personally recommend 'COMPBLUE'. The back side upper texture is required too. It's what you see when you are looking in the direction of the original sector while the lift is all the way up. 'COMPBLUE' is a pretty good choice for this, too.
Once you're finished, click 'OK' to save your changes.
All right, your lift should now work if you press 'Use' on the front of it, but if you go all the way up, there is no way to get back down. To solve this problem, we'll just use the same technique that most Chex Quest maps do.
Double click the linedef that faces the higher sector to enter the linedef editing box again. This time we want another type of action, so click the 'Select Action' button again. Open the 'Lift' subdirectory and select 'WR Lift Lower Wait Raise (88)' Since it is a 'WR' action, it will activate whenever something walks over that line, for as many times as you want. Click 'OK' to save your changes.
You may notice that, this time, there are neither textures nor 'Missing Texture' warnings. This is because DooM Builder doesn't realize that the lift will be going down. Even though it doesn't say you need one, you need to add a back side lower texture to avoid the infamous Hall of Mirrors bug. I'll leave the exact texture up to you, but I usually just use 'COMPBLUE' to preserve the look of the lift.
As soon as your textures are ready, click 'OK' to save your changes.
Your lift should now be fully functional! Congratulations! You might want to change the textures on the sides of the lift, but I'll leave the 'if' and 'when' of that up to you.
Once again, to see what you've just finished, you can always test your map:
We've already changed the floor and ceiling heights of sectors while making lifts and doors, so let's apply this bit of knowledge to make another common feature of Chex® Quest maps: stairs
Basically, it's just the retro way of getting from a lower area to one higher up. The main attraction of this is the variables it throws into fighting. It's a little harder to hit something on a higher level than you than to hit somehing on the same Z axis level as you're on.
All right, let's start. Say we want the player to have a third way he could go from our hub sector. Let's have a staircase leading off of the lower wall. Start by making a sector equivalent to the length of the staircase you're going to make, like so:
I'm going to make a set of ten stairs, each 16 units wide and 128 units long. Therefore, my sector is 128x176 (The first sector is not a stair, and therefore I need 16 units more than it would seem at first). Decide how wide your stairs will be and how many you're making and build your own sector accordingly.
Now we need to split the sector into the size you want them to be.
Tip: Always make the width a power of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.) and set the grid to that size before starting to divide. Change the grid size by clicking this button on your top toolbar:
One you are finished, the end result should look something like this:
Now let's select the sector farthest from our starting room. Stair front textures are generally 8 units high, so just multiply the number of stairs by 8, then increase the height of the target sector's ceiling and floor by that amount. If you wish to make a stairway leading down, just subtract that number from the ceiling and floor heights. For me, I add 80 to the ceiling and floor heights:
All right, the next part takes some specific instruction. Starting with the sector directly adjacent to your starting sector, select each of the stairs individually. DO NOT SELECT THEM ALL AT ONCE! This will not work, at least not to my knowledge. Now, on the top toolbar, click gradient floors:
If you mouse over the stairs now, you will notice that they have been assigned floor height values incrementally to get from the height of the first sector's floor to the last one's. This is a great way to simplify the stair making process. You also will need to use gradient ceilings to make the room get higher as the stairs do:
A quick explanation of what the gradient functions do is in order at this point. When you select sectors in a certain order, the gradient functions will automatically change the ceiling/floor heights of the sectors selected between the first and last to create as close to a constant incline as possible. Although it will sometimes have variations of one unit if your sectors have odd differences or you have an odd number of sectors between them, it will make it as close as possible.
Now that your staircase goes up like it should, let's assign a texture to the front of your stairs. There are two ways to do this:
Using 3D mode, click the front of the stairs (which should be highlighted with a red texture with black exclamation points on it) and change it to what you want, or by selecting the linedefs at the front of the stairs and changing the texture to what you want.
When you've gotten the stair texture that you want, you will also need to assign textures to the ceiling. Once you have these both set, you've got a staircase!
Dragging and Dropping Edit
This tutorial is still a work in progress, please be patient while I work on updates.