Mapping tools

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Revision as of 11:52, 11 January 2010 by Metlslime (talk | contribs)

Mapping tools are devoted to the various tasks of Quake level development.

Level Editors

These are CAD-like programs used to construct and populate a level. They include tools to create and modify brushes, apply textures, place and modify entities, and set up simple scripting. Some of these programs have their own proprietary file format for saving levels, but they can all save or export your level to a map file, which is needed by compilers in order to generate a game-ready bsp file.

General Purpose Editors

Terrain Generators

These programs are specialized to generate terrain-like geometry out of brushes, but have no general-purpose editing capabilities. They generate map files that can then be imported into the general purpose level editors.

Map Converters

A number of games based on id Software's technology use map files as their level source format, but these files differ in format from game to game. Map converters are used to convert map files from one format to another, so that mappers can use a level editor that does not natively support Quake. Commonly supported game formats include Quake 2, Quake III Arena, and Half-Life.

  • SleepwalkR's mapconv

Model-to-Map Converters

These are programs that can be used to convert geometry of another file type, especially files exported by modelling software, into map files.


Map Compiling Tools

Tools to use for map compiling, a process that turns a map file into a bsp file.

QBSP, Light and Vis

Skip Removal

Skip removal tools are standalone programs that can process a bsp file and remove all surfaces textured with a skip texture, so that those surfaces are not rendered in-game. This requires a seperate tool because skip textures are not supported by any QBSP version.

  • Tyrann's original skippy.exe (has some known bugs)
  • metlslime's newskip

Map Decompilers

These are programs that can reverse-compile a bsp file back into a map file, with varying results.


Other Tools

Miscellaneous tools.

  • bsp2prt can generate a prt file from a bsp file without needing to rebuild it from scratch using QBSP.
  • bspinfo can generate statistics about a bsp file

See Also