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This is a quick summary of what it takes to compile and play your level. Fortunately, BSP makes it easy by providing various compiling options directly in the 'Export' menu. Just look under 'Export' and you'll see 8 different options you can choose from. The first menu selection allows you to run BSPBuild, a program written by Tony Browneller. This is a great program that gives you full control over how you compile your level. It's not required to be able to use BSP, but you might find it handy. Go here if you are interested in it.
The next option is new to version .83. It allows you to select a group of brushes and export just these brushes. It's handy for testing portions of a level without compiling the entire level. Select an area of your map and activate this option. You will see the following dialog box:
Chances are the portion of your map you are exporting is going to be incomplete, so BSP gives you the option to include a bounding box around the portion you are exporting. If you select 'Include Bounding Walls', then the wall, floor, and sky textures you select will be used to form a box around the area you have selected as it's exported. Just select an export option from the 'Export Type' dialog and select OK. The options under 'Export Type' are the same as the options on the 'Export' menu (which I'll explain next).
The other six options on the export menu run a combination of 3 different programs with various options enabled. The three programs these menu items run are QBSP, LIGHT, and VIS, which you should have downloaded already. If you don't have them, you need to get them - there's a link on the 'getting started' page to a file called QBSP256ZIP. This file contains all the utilities you need.
The six different compiling options BSP provides are detailed below. One word about these before I explain them. Each option you can select actually runs a *.BAT file which resides in your C:\BSP directory. These batch files compile your level with various options enabled and then run Quake. If you're like me, I prefer to have Quake running permanently in the background. I recommend this if you have at least 24 meg RAM. QBSP requires a LOT of memory and hard disk space. Any less than 24 meg and QBSP may crash with Quake also running.
If you have the horsepower to run Quake in the background, you can edit the batch files in the C:\BSP directory to remove the line which runs Quake. If you go this route, your map file will still be copied into the C:\QUAKE\ID1\MAPS directory. Simply switch over to QUAKE, bring down the console (hit the ~ key) and type MAP (MAPNAME HERE). This will run your map without having to exit and rerun Quake all the time. It can really speed things up if you like to compile and test frequently.
The six compiling options provided by BSP are:
This option runs QBSP on its fastest setting and runs LIGHT. No VIS-ing is performed. This option is great for a quick check to see how your level looks. Without VIS being run, things may slow down quite a bit, especially on a larger level, but for testing it works well.
Runs QBSP and LIGHT on their default settings. This option also runs VIS on a 'fast' setting, which means some VIS-ing is performed, but not the full VIS which you should run before releasing your level to the public.
Runs QBSP, LIGHT, and VIS on their default settings. I usually use this option until the map gets so large that it takes more than a couple of minutes to compile, then I switch to a 'FAST'.
This option is the same as 'FAST', but no VIS-ing is performed.
Basically this option can only be run if all you've changed are light settings since the last FULL compile. It runs QBSP on a special Entities-only setting and then runs LIGHT to recompute the lighting and shading
You'll know you have leaks when you see ugly grey blocks in your map, or when you fall through the map into the void. Also, if you watch when QBSP runs, it sometimes tells you if there are leaks. By compiling with this option, a point table will be computed which can be used to track down the leak. After you run it, switch to Quake and type 'Pointfile' at the console. This will display a line of white dots which leads to the leak in your map. I've found it helps to type 'NOCLIP' at the console and then move outside the map. Look for a spot where the trail of dots exits into the void and that is where the leak is.
That's about all there is to compiling. When you are done with your level, you might want to do one final thing. There isn't a batch file for this, so you'll have to do it from the command line. Run QBSP with no options selected. Run LIGHT with the '-extra' option enabled. This will provide a much better quality of lighting and shading in your map, but will require much longer to run than a normal LIGHT. Also, you will probably want to run VIS -level 4 on your map. This will make your map as fast as it can be, but this will probably take a long time to run - anywhere from hours to days!
If you run into problems compiling your level, check out my troubleshooting tips here. They may help you solve the problem.
Once you have your map ready for distribution, zip up the *.BSP file along with a text file describing your level and you're ready to go. All the textures you used in your level are included in the BSP file. Happy Quaking!!
This web page was created and is being maintained by me (DeadMeat). The main logo for this site was made by QuakeGod. Most everything else was made by me.
All content appearing on this site after August 30, 1997 was written by DeadMeat. Also, DeadMeat's BSP Tutorials were created entirely by DeadMeat. All unauthorized use is prohibited. (c) 1997