Let’s Make a Custom Level for Duke Nukem 3D! Part 3


Previous parts: 1 2

The first thing you’re liable to notice when you look at the screenshot below, is that I’ve shrunk the room by about 50%. It was just too big. Overestimating stuff like that is easy to do in these old engines, many usermaps have doors that look right from first person but in third person they’re way too big, as if Duke is 4 feet tall.

It’s much more sensibly sized now. But so far all we’ve done is create rooms, or “parent sectors” with white lines as seen in the grid view. To make a sector with a floor and ceiling we can independently raise and lower, we have to make a “child sector”.

Don’t fret. This is quite easy indeed. First, you use the spacebar to place vertices within the existing room to create a new shape, like so:

What’s this? It created a solid area. Not a room within a room, but a pillar which extends all the way from the floor up to the ceiling. We’ve essentially reclaimed a chunk of the room for the solid reverse-void:

So, how do we make this a child sector so there’s space between the floor and ceiling of the square outline we drew? It’s as simple as drawing the outline again on top of it. There’s another way to do it, but I forget.

As you can see, it’s no longer solid. The lines have turned red and it has the same floor texture as the rest of the floor in this room. Now we can go into the 3D view and see the magnificent child sector we’ve created within our room!

What? Where is it?? Not to worry, the floor part of the child sector is flush with the floor, and the same texture, so we can’t distinguish it from the rest of the floor. Likewise with the ceiling portion. By pointing at where it ought to be and pressing PgUp we can raise it out of the floor:

There it is! The ceiling of this child sector can be lowered out of the surrounding ceiling of the room in the same way, but using PgDn. It looks samey though, on account of sharing the same textures as the rest of the room. Let’s choose some crate textures from the texture picker like we learned last time and turn this sumbitch into a crate.

There, that’s better! ….Kind of. I had to raise it up a little more to be proportionally correct as a crate, and obviously the textures are misaligned. Again, an easy fix. Point to the surface you want to work on, then use the numpad arrow keys (not the normal ones) to stretch the texture vertically or horizontally. Holding shift while you use the numpad arrow keys will pan the texture vertically or horizontally without stretching it.

There we go. Once you get one side adjusted, you can hit tab while the cursor is on it. This saves to the clipboard not just what texture you used, but the adjusted properties. You can then point at the other sides and hit enter to paste the same texture at the same size/distortion to each of them until you have a good looking crate. I also shaded the sides differently, because in real life no object is evenly lit on every side.

That’s all for this time. Next time we’ll make some room details so it looks nice, and learn how to use flattened sprites to make 3D floors, bridges, platforms and so on.

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