Lesson 11 - Adding Custom Entities to BSP
Now that Quake, Hexen2 and Quake2 have been out
for a while, people are turning their attention to adding new monsters and weapons
to the game, instead of just making levels. As a result, I get a lot of email asking
about how to add custom entities to BSP, so you can use them in your maps. Hopefully
this lesson will provide you with all the information you need.
The first thing you need to understand is what kind of
information you need about the custom entity. Fortunately, it's not much. If you
are making the entity yourself you'll have this information. If you are trying to use
an entity made by somebody else, you may need to contact the author of the mod
to get the information you need.
Basically the only information you need in order
to let BSP work with the entity is:
- The name of the entity. This is the name of the function that controls
then entity in the QuakeC/DLL source code. An example would be 'monster_superbadass'.
- The size of the entity's bounding box. This is the information that BSP needs in
order to draw out the entity in the 3D and 2D editing windows. For example, your
'monster_superbadass' might be 82 units high and occupy 48 units on the X and Y
axes. If you can't find this information anywhere, load the mdl file into a program
like qME and see if it can tell you the info.
- What spawnflags the entity can have applied to it. These are things like 'silent',
'start_on', etc. and show up in the spawnflag boxes in the BSP entity window.
- The 'help' information for the entity (optional). This is usually any
comments which are included in the source file so people will know how to use
the entity. This information shows up when you click the '?' button on the entity
Now, armed with that information, what do we do with it? BSP reads
it's entity information from a .qc file (or direct from the source files if you have
it configured that way). For adding custom entities, it's easiest to use
the .qc file. For Quake2, you'll want q2ents.qc; for Quake1 you most likely will use
full4.qc; and in Hexen2, it's h3ents.qc. Of course you can make your own
if you want and add it to the list of qc files that BSP loads (this is in the game.ini
file for whatever game you happen to be working on). It's really up to you.
Whatever file you use, open it up now in Wordpad or
some other text editor and look at an entity. You should see something
/*QUAKED monster_gladiator (1 .5 0) (-32 -32 -24) (32 32 64) Ambush Trigger_Spawn Sight
...may be some comments here...
Now let's examine this statement. First of all,
the /* and */ are critical. They delineate the beginning and end of the entity
definition. The QUAKED is also required, but it's not used by BSP.
'monster_gladiator' is the name of the entity.
(1 .5 0) is the R G B triplet for the color you want the entity to be in
BSP's editing windows. Legal numbers are 0-1 representing the RGB value to be
used for displaying the entity's bounding box.
(-32 -32 -24) (32 32 64) - this represents
the size of the bounding box. In this case, the entity is 64 x 64 on the X/Y axis
and 88 units high (64 + 24). The numbers are given from the origin point of the
entity, which is determined by the mdl file (I think). This is for fixed
size entities. However some entities are variable size (like triggers for instance).
In that case replace '(-32 -32 -24) (32 32 64)' with '?' and BSP will take
the size from whatever seed brush you are using to create the entity.
'Ambush', 'Trigger_Spawn', 'Sight' are
spawnflags you can set. These need to be listed in order with each one being
assigned the next progressive number in bit-wise progression. For instance
in our example, 'ambush' is 'spawnflag 1'; 'trigger_spawn' is 'spawnflag 2';
'sight' is 'spawnflag 4'; etc. Legal spawnflags for entities are 1, 2, 4, 8,
16, 32, 64, 128, meaning you can have 8 spawnflags for a particular entity.
Believe it or not, that's all there is
to it. Save your file as a plain text file and fire up BSP. Your custom
entity should display in the entity window now. Oh, by the way, the other
information after the first line and before the closing '*/' is
what gets displayed in the help screen on the entity window. You can put
anything you like in here, but most people usually put legal key/value pairs
that can be added to the entity along with any other information you might find
Well, that's about all there is to it. Hopefully this
will help you get custom entities up and running with BSP so you can make those
kick-ass mods and TC's that we all love to play! Have fun!
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