Building your First Level
with UnrealEd 3.0:
The First Room, Part I
So, let's get started, shall we?
First off, if you haven't already, open up UnrealEd 3.0 by clicking on Start, going to your Unreal Tournament 2003 group, and clicking on UT2003 Editor. This will bring up the interface as described in Part I of this tutorial. You'll also notice that the browsers window is already open for you. For now, you can close this or minimize it.
Finally, hold down both the LMB and RMB and move your mouse. Moving left and right moves the camera side to side on the same track. Forward and Backward moves the camera on the Z-axis, that is, you can move up and down.
Movement in any of the orthographic views is accomplished in the same way except that if you hold down either mouse button, you can only move from side to side. Holding down both mouse buttons allows you to zoom in closer, which can also be accomplised with the mouse wheel.
Let's start by building an initial room for your level. There are a few things to keep in mind as you're deciding what size to make your initial room. First off, a room that is only 128 Unreal Units (UU) both in height and width is comfortable for a player to run through, but it doesn't leave a lot of room for jumping, especially with the new power jump feature in the game. A room that has a height of 256 is comfortable both for the player to run through and also for the power jump feature. Also, it is very important to note that the editor, and as such, the game, prefers even numbered dimensions. Said another way, you'll keep both yourself and the editor happy if you choose dimensions in powers of 2. For an excellent quick reference that lists the most widely used dimensions, check out Firefly's Number Chart.
Another important note is that 1 UU = 16. That is, if you have your grid set at 16 as in the picturefound at the bottom of your screen just under the perspective viewa cube setting of 16 x 16 x16 will build a cube that is one unit in width, height, and breadth. You'll notice that you can set your grid as low as 1 or as high as 4096. Lower settings than 16 are most often used when trying to place decorations or fine-tuning your geometry, and the higher settings are rarely used. For our purposes, unless otherwise noted, keep your grid set at 16.
For our level, let's choos a room with a Height of 256, a Width of 512, and a Breadth of 512. Right-click on the cube buttonto call up the properties for a cube primitive.
You'll notice that once you clicked on Build, a red cube appeared in each of your orthographic views. To make it visible in your perspective view, simply click on the Perspective viewport.
You'll also notice that the cube you set up has no solidity. That is, in the Perspective view, it's simply a wire-frame representation of the cube. In order for the cube to actually become solid geometry, click on the Subtract button
Now, what you should see in your Perspective viewport is a hollowed out cube with a green, bubbly texture on the walls. This texture is the default texture, and should be changed, otherwise the editor will issue a warning when you hit the Build All button on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
So, with that in mind, let's change the default texture to one that's appropriate for the floor, the walls, and the ceiling.
The above method is how you effectively tell the editor to grab whatever object is selected and move it from one position to another.
In order to texture the cube we just subtracted, we need to be able to see all six walls of the cube.
Now that you have your first room built and textured, you'll notice that the textures appear too large. That is because the textures I chose were built at 1024 x 1024, meaning they would fit perfectly on a wall that was the same dimensions. That doesn't mean we have to simply live with these textures. We can resize the textures so they fit the walls of the room.
With this build of UnrealEd, resizing the textures to fit simple faces is made very easy.
You will notice that this automatically sizes the textures you chose to fit each of the six faces of your room, as in the picture below.
At last, your first room. It's a pretty basic room, but this process is essentially the same that you'll use with any BSP based geometry.
Now that you have the geometry and textures for your first room, you need to add a few more elements to make it a playable room.
To start, your players need to be able to see, so let's add a light to your room. The room is small enough that one light should suffice if properly placed.
Your lit room should look similar to the picture below.
Even though there's a light in the room, there's still a minor problem with the lighting. Essentially, some of the light is absorbed by the proximity of the light to the ceiling. For it to light the room more effectively, highlight the light to select it and use the [CTRL] + LMB drag method in the Side viewport to move the light down to about the middle of the room, and rebuild the lighting. Now, the room appears a little brighter, and the texture on the ceiling is more visible.
The light you just placed very likely won't be the final light placement for your room, but it's good to get into the habit of placing placeholder lights so you can view your level in Dynamic Lighting mode, and to get a feel for how it will look in the end.
Finally, to test your room in the game, you need to tell the editor where to start the player.
To give your new room a whirl in the game, click on the Play Map button found at the top of the editor screen, next to the Build Buttons.
You'll see that the room you just created is very simple and rather featureless. In the next tutorial we will cover expanding the room by adding hallways and additional rooms as well as adding static meshes.