The Bare Essentials


I decided to make this guide to show people the bare essentials for having a operational and valid map, in which I mean no fatal errors and such. This guide will show you how to make a valid map, and what it must contain. The example map will be simple, but it will contain everything that is essential for it to run.


- Use "F" to bring up the Filter menu and remove certain types of brushes, which will help alot when you have the light grid, hint brushes, etc.
- Use "E" to activate the Edges tool on the selected brush. This is a very powerful tool which allows you to manipulate the brush even more.
- Use "R" to activate the Roatation tool, which will let you rotate you selected brush on your current axis.
- The number buttons on the top of your keyboard will change the grid size, which allows you to make brushes more detailed, smallest grid being 1, biggest being 9.
- Everything is measured in units in Radiant, so here are a few essential values to remember when planning stuff for players:
- 32 units = crouch height of a player
- 128 units = standard height of a door
- 72 units = standard height of a window
- 1024 units = 1 blue grid square

- Pressing the "Tab" button will change the axis for you, from X,Y,Z.
- Pressing the button which has "X,Y,Z" in a pattern also does this.

This guide assumes you have a reasonable basic knowledge of Radiant, such as in drawing a brush, and the knowledge of how to use the screens within Radiant.

Step One: Map Geometry

The basic structure of your map must not allow the players to touch or walk into the void, so you will need to start off by making the map, which must have some means to stop players touching the void
(or the skybox). I will be using walls, but you can use the clip texture, teleports, hurt triggers and what not, its up to you.

The basic structure:

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This is the main part of the map making process, since this is literally creating the walls, floors, ceilings the players will be using.

Step Two: Skybox

After you have created the basic structure, you must create a skybox, which will spot players seeing or shooting the void, which often causes ugly glitches. To make a skybox:

1. Draw a brush over the map, leaving plenty of space inside it for the map.

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2. Then click the "Hollow" button, and select each of the faces that face INSIDE the box, by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Left Click.

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3. Then go to the "Texture" button, then "Usage", then "sky".

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4. Now texture the faces with your chosen sky texture (only one type is allowed per map), as you can see I chose the "sky_cargo" texture.

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This is rather simple after you've done it a couple of times, and is needed in all maps, unless they are completely enclosed, but that is a non issue for now.

Step Three: Texturing

You now need to texture the brushes you have made, so go to "Textures", "Usage", then have a look around, and see what you wish to texture the brushes with. This is pretty simple, but here are some tips
for later:

-Textures with "blend" in their name are used with terrain/curve patches to blend with other textures, and are translucent, so do not use these for basic brushes.

-Textures with "decal" in their name mean they appear in front of normal textures, even when on the same grid points. These aren't to be used for basic texturing either.

-In the tools section, you will find many useful textures, however they are used for their properties and not for decoration.

-Caulk is the proper texture to build your map in, and this is what the basic geometry of the map should be made from. It is invisble ingame, so that is why it will be replaced when texturing.

-Clip and other variations are used to stop player/ai/bullet/etc. "clip" and "player_clip" also stop fall damage when on the same grid points as a normal textured brush.

That is all for now, onto...

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Step Four: Light Grid

This is where we add the Light Grid, which is creates light maps for the game engine to use when rendering the map. For now, it is easiest if you draw a brush over ALL playable areas of your map,
and texture it with "lightgrid_volume", which automatically creates a grid file for your map to use. The "lightgrid_volume" texture is found in "tools".

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Step Five: Light

Adding light is essential if you want to see anything in your map, so you may want to add a simple light, which is Right Click, then "light". You can then bring up the entity menu by pressing "N",
and change the radius to a value you like. This is very basic lighting, and if you wish to learn better ways, visit this wiki: Click Me

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Step Six: Reflection Probes

These are what prevents the red tint in maps, and what adds shinyness to textures/models. To add a reflection probe:

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There should be a few of these, but place them sparsly, since they do take up quite a bit of memory and increase the size of your .ff file.

Step Seven: Spawn Entities

This is where many people go wrong, and it is essential you get this right. You must have these types of spawns in your map for it to run:

-TDM Spawn (16+)
-TDM Allies Spawn (16+)
-TDM Axis Spawn (16+)
-Global Intermission (1+)

Any others are not needed, unless you wish to run those gametypes.

To add the TDM Spawns:

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The spawn entities must not be inside a brush, and it is advise not to have them suspended above the ground, apart from the global intermission, which should be where you want the spectators to look.

I advise that you add a reasonable amount of spawns, 16+ is fine for a medium sized map. Only one spawn entity is needed for the global intermission.

You have now completed everything essential in Radiant for your map to run. Now it is time to open up a text editor, since we are moving onto the script part of it.

Step Eight: GSC File

Every map must have a .gsc file. When you want to build your fast files, you will need to create a mp_mapname.gsc file, mapname being your maps name. Here is a basic .gsc:


    game["allies"] = "marines";
    game["axis"] = "opfor";
    game["attackers"] = "axis";
    game["defenders"] = "allies";
    game["allies_soldiertype"] = "desert";
    game["axis_soldiertype"] = "desert";

    setdvar( "r_specularcolorscale", "1" );



Copy and paste this into a text editor, and save it as mp_mapname.gsc, making sure it is a .gsc, not mp_mapname.gsc.txt

This file must be saved to this directory: C:\Program Files\Activision\Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare\raw\maps\mp

That is your mp_mapname.gsc done.

Step Nine: Compiling

You now need to open up your Compile Tools, and find your name's name in the list, aftering clicking the "Level Compiling" tab.

Now, for a quick .bsp compile, tick "fast" under light options and untick "extra". Also untick "connect paths" in the top three tick boxes. Then click "Compile BSP", and let the command window run through, and click enter when it has finished.

Next, click "Compile Reflections", and the mp_tool.exe will pop up, let this run through intil the mp_tool.exe has shut itself off. You then need to click "Build Fast Files", and click "Ok" when it askes
whether you wanted to create zone files. If this is done correctly, you will want to click on "Update Zone File", and enter these in the right hand box.


This will stop the red fx error you might recieve when running certain mods. Now re-build your fast files. And your done!


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