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johnrudy

BSP-only levels

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Are there any step-by-step tutorials for getting a BSP-only level going in Landscape Studio? I ask this because I converted a BSP to PBS, and added it to the packages of a newly-created Landscape Studio project, but can''t get the thing to actually appear in the environment. Also, does Landscape Studio slow down anyone else''s machines to the point of near-unusability? I''ve got a pretty decent box -- Athlon 1.2G, 512M RAM, veritable tons of hard drive space, but Landscape Studio seems to slow down my mouse system-wide, and almost never draws it inside its own environment (making selection of buttons quite difficult). Is this just a Win98 thing, which will be rectified when I upgrade to XP Pro in a couple months? Or is this something everyone experiences? Thanks! John

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I''ve got a 500 Mhz, 128 Ram with very little open space on the harddrive and windows 98 but there is no apparent slow down at all. I am not sure what the problem is. I guess Chris would have to address it.

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I hate to admit this, but I might know what my slowdown is. I just never paid any attention, but I''m always playing WinAMP (with a list of approximately 1400 songs) at the time I''m doing any work on the system. (In fact, it''s playing now, while I work on my bug-tracking system.) Perhaps the combination is too much?

Still, I''m much more worried about getting the danged BSPs in the levels to begin with. My game has little (if any) use for the external engine. The BSP engine is what we need most, and we need to start working with custom maps. The initial framework was built just using the simple level.pbs included with many of the examples, but now we need to build our own -- or at least modify an existing one to start working with entities and such, to make sure our code for that is working correctly.

Thanks!!

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I think you can just run the BSP level by itself, unless you need an outdoors, it''s not necessary to use the landscape engine. You can look at the source code for the level viewer, and there is a BSP only example in the "highlevel" examples.

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jevsdenny:

It''s not the landscape engine that''s the issue, it''s the landscape studio. Or can I get around that entirely by doing the entities in whatever BSP editor I choose to use? (This would actually take me back to square 1, since I''d need to create my own map instead of jacking someone else''s -- I''m a coder, not an architect! -- but at least I''d know where I stand.)

dr pain:

OK, then, it''s not WinAMP. My choice of video card? (Voodoo 5500?)

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Oh yeah -- and for the code, it''s not a problem. I''ve got quite a bit of the functionality done and functional. I just need to start working with entities, which requires me to modify the BSP maps, which requires me to have a way to do it (and a map from which to start), etc., etc., etc.

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I guess I missed the question- I thought you were looking for a way to play the BSP, like walk around it and see what it looks like. That''s what the BSP demo is good for. If you want to edit the BSP itself, you must use a level editor. The only one I have familiarity with is Q3Radiant, which takes a bit of getting used to. I also read somewhere that you could use 3D Studio Max to edit levels, but I don''t know how to get a BSP out of it, probably some plug in. Landscape studio does not allow you to edit the BSP, just to place it somewhere in the landscape. If you want a BSP only level, then I don''t think LS is going to help you with much (unless I''m missing something that LS does). Make sure you have a sky box around your level too, otherwise it won''t load correctly.

On some of my machines LS does slow down quite a bit, others it is OK, depends on the hardware I guess.

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OK, so let me make sure I have everything straight ...

The q3convert program will convert all the entities, shaders and the skybox from a q3 map, correctly and in a way that functions?

I was under the impression (and I forget where I read this) that the skybox and entities were not imported with that software, that Landscape Studio was needed for that.

I, too, am familiar with Q3Rad (as well as QuArK), but knowing how to do something and being good at it are two very different things. :-)

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Thanks, Chris, that''s what I thought. So, then, back all the way up to the first question: When creating a BSP-only level, is there a step-by-step to getting the Q3Convert-ed PBS into Landscape Studio and actually using the darned thing? It seems that no matter what I try in this regard, all I get is a black screen in LStudio.

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Check the skybox. I had the same thing when I didn''t have a skybox. I have a model of a stone bridge that I can email to you if you want so you can test it out.

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I know I''ve got a skybox ... At least, there is a skybox shader in the q3 map in question. Unfortunately, I only have the bsp -- no source map for it. (Truth is, I''d be a lot happier getting a source map to play with .... I''m absolutely no good at mapping, and the architect/designer working on the project won''t have anything until after the holidays.)

I was just going over the documentation again for LStudio ... There''s this passage:

---

Converting BSP files

Copy the .BSP file to the same directory as the Q3Convert utility. Unzip your textures to a \textures subdirectory. Unzip your shaders to a \scripts subdirectory. Run the Q3Convert program and type in the name of the BSP file and your desired output filename. Also, you need to pick a unique 3 letter identifier for each object. Since you can load in multiple BSP files at once, this identifier serves as a prefix for lightmap and materials in the engine. If the conversion is succesful you''ll be able to inspect the level by using the mouse and A/Z keys. Holding down the space bar while moving lets you check the collision detection. When you exit, you will have your .PBS file in the Q3Convert directory. Copy this file to the Landscape Studio \packages directory and use the package manager to load this file into your level.

You must also copy the \leveltex directory from Q3Convert to Landscape Studio so it will find the textures used by the BSP level. The converter removes all paths from the texture names, so make sure you have unique texture names without the paths. For every additional BSP file you add, simple copy the new textures into the \leveltex directory.

---

How do you copy the leveltex directory "to" Landscape Studio. Is there a directory under lstudio where this will go? Also, how do you pick the unique 3-character identifier, and does it matter on a single-BSP-only project? Or are all projects of reasonable realism multi-BSP to deal with doors and moving parts? (Or should those be done with models instead of BSPs?)

Or am I just an ignoramus who should stick to code? ;-) (All that graphics voodoo is stuff that''s way beyond me, I''m a coder! I appreciate the beauty, but cannot create it ... )

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LStudio has a \leveltex directory. You need to copy the textures created by Q3Convert to that directory for LStudio to find them. It doesn''t magically find things that are scattered around your hard drive.

The same goes for package files. If you want a package (.dat, .chr, .pbs) to load it must be in the \packages subdirectory of the application you''re running.

Moving platforms and doors are done by creating additional BSP''s and placed in LStudio. They must have a unique identifier when converted with Q3Convert. The 3 letter identifier can be anything you want.

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> LStudio has a \leveltex directory. You need to copy the
> textures created by Q3Convert to that directory for LStudio to
> find them. It doesn''t magically find things that are scattered
> around your hard drive.

See, I thought that stuff would be in the PBS file itself, as it''s included in BSPs from which we make it.

It looks like lstudio has one single leveltex directory, correct? So, presumably, all projects would need to share their textures? Either this means the leveltex directory gets crowded, or will lstudio handle subdirs in leveltex?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I can''t find too much info on mapping BSP-only right now.

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BSP files do not include textures. They are stored in PK3 files in Quake3.

All PBS files will share the leveltex directory. You''ll still have the original content in the organized Q3 texture directories if you have lots of different texture sets.

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Not that you need to be told this, but you''re right, I was mistaken. OK, then, if I copy these textures to the leveltex directory, they should be available in lstudio, which should make the map no longer a big black screen?

(Again, I never really paid attention to lstudio before -- I''m a code monkey. Gimme VC++ and a good debugger, I''m happy. I have level architects for this stuff ... If my timetable allowed it, I''d just hold off until their current stuff is done and let them deal with this.)

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