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 Post subject: HOW TO MAP CS 1.6
PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:49 pm
Posts: 10660
-Edits by Vol-
Absolute beginner's guide to mapping

If you have a leak OR if you think that making a sky means surrounding your level in a hollow cube

How do I make a sky?
Not by surrounding your map in a hollowed out cube!

I have some error when I try to compile!
Tommy of Escondido has ALL the answers (use a google cache if the link is down)

A tutorial tells me to use some entity that I don't have! What do I do!
You need Tommy of Escondido's 1.6 FDG

Everything else
Keep reading, you'll eventually find it. If and ONLY if you do not, post a thread asking for help!

I?ve decided to simplify our sticks by combining all the mapping help ones into this:

MAPPING TUTURIAL LINKS (Cc_KiDwItAgUn) : ... es&secid=2 ... /pond.html ... aptech.htm ... ?tuttype=1 (german language only) ... ic/terrain (compiler error? Check this link)

Top Ten N00b Problems (and solutions) (Volmarias)

Courtesy of [url][/url], written by Jeff 'Yesukai' Prichard. Wholeheartedly endorsed by me.

"Wow. Can you believe I've actually been hanging around these forums for over a year now? And you know what? The same questions that came up a year ago are still coming up today. Seems like these are some of the most common questions that n00bs ask:p

#10: The Compile That Time Forgot
Is your compile process taking a very long time? Well, could be an error, or it could just be hard at work. The compile process uses a lot of heavy math, and it's not uncommon for some maps to take hours. If it's been running an excessively long time, like 24 hours have past and it's still not done, you might have an error. The most common error would be a leak or an invalid brush. To check for the latter, hit Alt+P with your map open in Hammer to bring up the Check For Problems dialog. Use this article for information on leaks. By the way, if you had a leak, and "fixed" it by placing the map in a giant box, your compile time will sky-rocket because RAD has to compute the outside of your map as well. Look at the above article for better ways to take care of a leak.

#09: Hint Brushes.
Hint brushes are handy dandy little things that let you define where vis leafs are split. If this is all Greek to you, there are several articles available that can help explain things. Counter-Map has a hint brush tutorial by Relic25, and David 'TitaNiuM' Nixon has also written a fine hint brush article, here at the Collective.

#08: What are r_speeds?
R_speeds are a measure of how fast the engine is rendering the game, and how much it's having to render. They are named for the console variable that you set to see them: r_speeds. Set r_speeds to 1 to see them. In English, type r_speeds 1 at the console. If you can't access the console, see this article for instructions. You will see some numbers in the top left of your screen.
The first one from the left will have "fps" after it. This is your frames per second, or how many times the engine is drawing the game to your screen every second. The higher this number, the better.
The second number is the texture load time. If this number is high, you are probably getting bad FPS.
The third number from the left is your w_poly. This is how many world polygons the game is displaying right now. This includes world brushes and brush based entities. The lower this number, the better. Your FPS will be higher (better) if this number is lower.
The last number is your e_polys; this is how many polygons you have from point based entities, or models like monster or weapons.

W_polys should be kept below 800, which is the maximum that software mode can render. For muliplayer maps, try to keep it under 600, just for the sake of playability. For an overview of common ways to reduce your r_speeds, see this article.

#07: My (insert rotating entity here) is drunk!
If a rotating entity is flying off into space like a botched NASA mission, you need an ORIGIN brush. An ORIGIN brush is a brush completely covered in the ORIGIN texture, the center of which gives a point for your brush to rotate around. So, when you have your brush ready to "tie to entity", make sure you have an ORIGIN brush included in it where you want it to rotate around. This article on rotating entities will provide more detailed information and examples.

#06: Can you join my mod?
Everyone wants to make a mod. Everyone wants their little piece of the pie. And that is the problem. EVERYONE does. So you are going to have a lot of trouble finding people. Not to mention that people who do want to work with someone else's idea also want to make sure their work gets recognized. If your mod doesn't look really good, it's even harder. Consider joining an already established mod. If you truly have a unique and viable idea and you want to advertise for people, have at least a basic website available to show them. You should have information on what the mod is about (its story), what you hope to accomplish (technically speaking), and ideally, some works in progress such as maps or models.
One last thing - an organized mod has a much greater chance of success. Robin Walker, part of the team behind Team Fortress and Team Fortress Classic, wrote a nice article on mod making right here with plenty of advice on this topic.

#05: Where do I get textures?
Here are some great sites to download lots of textures from:
JCH headquarters - Lots of resources for HL, including textures.
Wadfather - The original texture supersite.
Texture Studio - Seems to have a lot of floor textures.
The Texture Forest - Unreal site with nice high res textures.
Texture Universe - Tutorials and textures, all in nice high res Unreal.
Undulation - Yet another Unreal site with lots of textures.
The Big House - A great site with TONS of textures, including the Evil wads.
Relic 25 - The website of NS's texture artist, complete with a wad of NS textures from before they were NS textures.
HFX - A quake 3 site with lots of textures and tutorials.
Simland - Quake 3 again, this time with quite a few packages.

And to convert the textures over to WADs for Half-Life, use Wally.

#04: My Map Will Not Show Up In HL (or MAP NOT FOUND)
You either have a compile problem or your putting the map in the wrong directory. In Hammer, go Tools->Options->Game Configurations and make sure the "place map in this directory before running game" field is set to Half-Life/valve/maps (for normal halflife) or Half-Life/<mod folder>/maps (for a mod). If it is, then look in whichever directory you saved you map for a <mapname>.log file. Open this file in a text editor and look for an error. Common errors and how to fix them can be found here.

#03: No Lights.
First of all, this may be a dumb question, but did you place any lights in your map? If not, add some light entities. Is your map free of leaks? If not, fix them like explained in this article. Finally, one of the most common causes of lights not showing up is a bug in old versions of Worldcraft where it only records parameters that you have viewed/changed, so a light that you haven't examined is really non-existent, even though you added the entity. Select your light, right click it, and click the "brightness" parameter. There, now it should show up. (This bug was present in Worldcraft 2.x. It was fixed as of Worldcraft 3.3 and is not present in the Hammer version of the editor.)

#02: How Do I Make The Blue See Through?
When making a ladder, grate, fence, etc, the blue areas are supposed to disappear... yet they don't. Here is what you do: tie the brush you want to have transparent-blue to a func_wall. Then change the render mode to solid and the render amount to 255. Voila. Done. For more information on this and other forms of transparency, check out this article.

#01: Compile Problem.
Check in the directory you saved your map for a mapname.log file. Open this file up in notepad, then look for any errors. This page has a lot of common ones. Alternatively, for a list of practically every error known to man (and fixes), click here. If don't find it there, search the VERC forums for the error, or simply google it. If all else fails, post your compile log (that file you found) in the forums with a descriptive title to your post and someone is bound to know what to do about it."

Thanks to all the folks who originally posted all this stuff. I?ll add more stuff as it comes along.

Last edited by NIPPER on Tue Dec 30, 2003 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 11:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:49 pm
Posts: 10660
What are some good sites for textures?

Assuming you know how to use Photoshop or something like it, and wally these sites are exelent resources:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2003 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:49 pm
Posts: 10660
How do I make a map overview?

Start CS.

click 'consle'.

type 'map yourmapnamehere'.

wait for it to load.

Once loaded, type in consle 'dev_overview 2'.

put consle back up and take a screenshot (F5) of the overview.

then type in consle 'dev_overview 1' and with the consle still down and the overview info scrolling really fast, take a screenshot (F5).

type quit in consle.

Load the screenshot without the info in some paint program (I use Photoshop)

Save it in your cstrike/overviews folder as yourmapnamehere.tga (you can do .bmp but that has NEVER worked FOR ME)

Then open the screenshot with all the info and open a new blank .txt file or better yet open a copy of an exsiting overview and just change the numbers around.

The screenshot with all the info should say something like this in your consle over and over again:

Overview: Zoom 1.08, Map Origin (772.00, -332.00, 112.00), Z Min 385.00, Z Max -161.00, Rotated 0

Obvously the numbers will vary from map to map. But for example purposes lets say this is what your map says. Then you would just edit the txt file to look like this:

ZOOM 1.08
ORIGIN 772 -332 112

IMAGE "overviews/yourmapnamehere.tga"

Want color too? SURE YA DO!

Overview: Zoom 1.08, Map Origin (772.00, -332.00, 112.00), Z Min 385.00, Z Max -161.00, Rotated 0

ZOOM 1.08
ORIGIN 772 -332 112

IMAGE "overviews/yourmapnamehere.tga"

When all that crap is done, just save the overview .txt file as "yourmapnamehere.txt" in your cstrike/overviews folder.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 8:49 pm
Posts: 10660
Where can I get the 1.6 map models and a 1.6 fgd?

Tommy's 1.6 fgd, this one has env_rain and stuff:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:02 am
Posts: 7905
Note: The editor for CS 1.6 is NOT the same as the editor that comes with CS: Source. The editor for CS: Source should come more or less already set up for you, with the correct compile tools. There are some custom compile tools for it out already, but I don't know what advantage, if any, you'll gain by using them.

The editor for CS: Source comes with Steam now, essentially. Open up "My Games", and scroll down to the bottom. Double click on the Source SDK "game" at the bottom (It should be under tools). From there, choose the game (CS: Source in this case) and double click Valve Hammer Editor. And then close the SDK Launcher, because there's a memory leak which may or may not have been fixed at the time you read this. The rest of this particular post is for CS 1.6, but the other ones in this thread are still relatively pertinant. For example, you should still never create a Hitlar box.

Where can I find Worldcraft?
Worldcraft is obsoleted by the Valve Hammer Editor, which is in essance Worldcraft ver. 3.4. You want to use the Valve Hammer Editor.

Ok smartass, where do I find the Valve Hammer Editor?
You can find the VHE here:
Note: It appears that the Valve ERC isn't supporting 3.4 anymore, this is the first link I found off of google. Sorry if it's full of crap or something.

In addition, use the following compile tools:
Place these in the tools folder in your Valve Hammer Editor folder, and when a setup tutorial tells you to use qcsg, qbsp, qvis, or qrad, type in hlcsg, hlbsp, hlvis, and hlrad instead. Trust me when I tell you that using these tools will only make things better and solve a lot of headaches.

If you get an error compiling that says "Token too large on line x" where x is a number, you did not perform this step. Please do so before you ask for help here; your problem may go away just by using these tools.

Please note: There are new beta tools at

This may make your compiles go faster and better, or may not.

If you map for CS 1.6, you will need the 1.6 FGD.
The semi-official 1.6 FGD is by Tommy of Escondido, and you can find it here:

I've also mirrored it if you can't get that link to work.

How do I set up the VHE?
This tutorial will explain. Because odds are you're mapping for counterstrike, this is a counterstrike specific setup.


Remember to put in hlcsg, hlbsp, hlvis, and hlrad instead of qcsg, qbsp, qvis, and qrad where the tutorial tells you to! You did download the tools, right? If not, do that now!

When I finish compiling I get an error, something like "could not load dll" what do I do?
In the compile options box, check the box that says "Do not run game." The VHE is attempting to start steam from the commandline. Because Valve delights in stifling innovation and thinking (and slaughtering puppies to their demonic overlords), this is somewhat difficult, and I will not cover that here.

I still get the "could not load dll" error!
Do what I just told you to. Seriously. Thats the only reason you'd get it. Otherwise, go change your options to remove the game executible from your setup, so it won't try and run anything.

Ok, how do I give my level pretty pictars? I hear something about wads?
Valve decided to take the, how you say, RETARDED route and put everything in GCF files without letting the public know about the way they're packed. Considering that they forced everyone to download CZ, and that it could in theory just be played as a third party mod without actually being purchased, I can somewhat understand why. Because they're idiots. Anyway, I digress.

You'll need this to open the GCF files and get the juicy contents inside:

Your GCF files are in the following directory (folder):
C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps

I HIGHLY recommend pulling halflife.wad out of the half-life localized.gcf file. It contains a cubic boatload of textures for you to use, and because everyone has this wad you don't have to worry about including anything in your release.

You, sir, are a God damn retard. Mapping isn't your speed; try finger paints.

I have a lovely map which everyone likes (it's yet another fucking dust or iceworld ripoff, because god help us all if someone don't make one ON THE MOON), but I didn't create it myself. While this is a lovely map, my clan wants everyone to spawn with glocks because WE'RE ALL GANSTAZ FROM DA STREETZ YO BIATCH (even the suburbs have streets, you know). How do I edit the map so we can all be blingahs?

Normally I'd say ripent, but that honor has been taken by BSPEdit, which is much spiffier. You can add and subtract point based entities to your greedy little gangsta heart's content. Then, just have your server host the modified map. Everyone else will play your version without having to download anything

Point based whiggidy whiggidy wha? I want a giant rotating door that you can jump through AND YOU GET AN AWP ON A PEDISTAL AND ALL THE TEXTURES ARE CHANGED TO OUR 1337 CLAN!!1 BIATCH!!31
Ugh. Fuck. I knew waking up this morning as a bad idea.

You CANNOT CHANGE THE ACTUAL LEVEL, not per se. You can put in models, guns, sounds, custom sprites, and some other stuff. You can change some of the variables on some of the entities (for example, make the conveyor belt push you the other way, or the jump tube send you faster, or have that acid room kill you deader). You can even remove as many entities as you like.


You CANNOT put in new walls, doors, grates, vents (which is apparently what a hole in the wall between two rooms is called now, I call it "a hole in the wall"), hot dog stands, so on and so forth.

You can add a chicken, but you cannot make it shootable.

Last edited by Volmarias on Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:45 pm, edited 11 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:02 am
Posts: 7905
My level has a leak! Do I fix this by enclosing it in a hollowed out cube?

This is the ABSOLUTE WORST way to fix a leak, and causes far more problems than it solves!

Ok, how do I fix it then?
There are several methods you can use, illustrated here:
I personally prefer the big block method if and when I do have a leak, but it is a good idea to incrementally compile your map so that you almost immediately know if you have a leak and thus have a good idea where it may be.

I have an entity (func_wall, func_door, func_vehicle, etc) as a wall seperating my level from the void. Will this cause me to leak?

My level is totally bright. How do I make shadows or make things dark?
If your level is completely bright, then either
1) You have way too much lighting or
2) You have none at all. You'll want to add the light entity and fiddle with its settings. OR
3) You never ran rad. Make sure that "Run RAD" in your compile screen (press F9) is set to Normal or Extra.

Token 5 too large? wtf?
Didn't I tell you to get these custom tools?

Yes, but nipper's link said-
Nippers links say a lot of things. Do what I told you, and don't use the q tools.

I have another compile problem not listed here?
You have poor grammer; that's not a question. But it has a question mark, so I'll answer it.

First, check here:
If that doesn't answer your question, then check here:
If your compile error isn't in there you are fantastically lucky, and managed to find an error that apparently DOES NOT EXIST. Feel free to post your compile log.

How do I make a car with a machinegun on the back and moving doors and NINJAS?!
Ninjas are monster_assassin, but only if you're mapping for single player, or a mod that uses the monsters, or have a monsters plugin for CS.

For the rest, you normally cannot tie one entity to another. This means that you can't have drivable vehicles with opening doors and windows you can roll down and a machinegun on the back. This holds for all entities, not just vehicles. Naked chick painted on the hood is still viable.

There is an exception; the Spirit of Half-Life mod allows you to tie entities to one another, allowing all of the above. HOWEVER, THIS WILL NOT WORK WITH COUNTERSTRIKE because both SoH and CS are seperate mods, meaning you can't run both of them at the same time.

Ok, I'd like to look at this Spirit of Half-Life mod. Where can I find it?
REMEMBER: This does NOT work with CS!

Last edited by Volmarias on Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:02 am
Posts: 7905
How do I make a sky?
Bear in mind that this is different from hollowing out a cube around your level with the sky texture. That is a VERY bad thing to do, for various reasons, and if you ever show up around here with a map that has that I'll show up around YOU with a large, painful stick. Stick to what the tutorial tells you.

How do I make a door?

How do I make a door that rotates, like the ones in my mansion/house/shack/refridgerator box?

How do I make ladders?

How do I make glass, or how do I make this wall see through?

How do I make stairs?
Out of brushwork. Press the [ and ] keys. Notice how your grid changes?

The player will automatically move up when it encounters a change in height of the floor. Which is to say, if moving forward means going up a step, your player will magically bounce up to compensate. So, using 16 as a nice rule of thumb as to how high to normally make stairs, make several wide, flat blocks like stairs.

TODO: Picture for explaination

How do I make an elevator?
You CAN use a func_plat, but for all intents and purposes you should probably use a func_train

How do I make lasers?
env_laser or env_beam

How do I make things go boom?
env_explosion for isolated (by mapping standards) explosions or func_breakable for a piece of brushwork (read: crate or barrel :roll: ) that you want to explode.

How do I have sounds in my level and/or music?

How do I make a stationary machinegun?
func_tank with func_tankcontrols

How do I make water?
A few ways. If you place a texture that starts with ! it will automatically be water. Alternatively, you can place a func_water, which allows for waves and lets the water be movable (so that you can drain a pool, for example, or fill one).

How do I place player spawns?
info_player_start and info_player_deathmatch

Hey, these lead to Half-Life definitions!
That's not a question.

Why do these lead to Half-Life definitions, and how do I know which is for CTs and which is for Ts?
Because thats what's defined at the valve-erc, and the first time you play your level you'll probably figure it out.

I'm (gasp!) mapping for Half-Life single player. How do I give the player an HEV suit?
item_suit, or you can check the "start with suit" flag on the info_player_start.

How do I trigger something?
Several ways. You can have a pressable button with a func_button, an area a player stands in with a trigger_multiple, or even give a target on breaking a func_breakable!

Those three are the only ways?
Not by a long shot. Look around and you'll find more.

I put spikes at the bottom of a pit, but they don't impale anybody! Do I just have to make the pit long enough that the fall damage does them in?
Certainly not! You need the trigger_hurt entity!

Where can I find a big-ol list of generic entities that I can use for every mod (including CS) and save Volmarias a bunch of trouble by not asking what x entity does 10 minutes after the last guy?
I am VERY, VERY glad you asked that.
Mappers that are truly interested in taking the plunge into mapping after making a few maps and deciding "Hey, this is great" should DEFINATELY read the entities listed in that site. Doing so will probably answer a lot of your questions before you even ask them!

Hey, this doesn't include some counter-strike specific entities! What a ripoff!
No, it doesn't include CS-only entities. For that, you'll need to go to However, I assure you that 90% of the entities you use will be listed on the valve-erc site.

Last edited by Volmarias on Wed May 18, 2005 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2002 1:02 am
Posts: 7905
Das Bump

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