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Getting Started

First you need to acquire the following components:

The above is essentially all you need for mapping. Wolfenstein is installed in a simple layout. It has all content in the folder called main. Here you will find maps where you should save your maps and keep your compiled maps. Then you should have a models folder which will contain map models that come with the game, followed by scripts to keep your shaders in. You can also make a textures folder for storing custom textures. Shaders are special scripts for some textures to give them different properties than the default, such as what sound is made when you walk over the texture.


Firstly, you should already have RTCW installed and the install file for the map editor, GTK Radiant, downloaded. Be sure to get the latest version.

Radiant Install

Once you have the install file, simply run the install. The latest versions need seperate "content packages" installed for the specific game or games you are going to be creating levels for. Installing Radiant is mostly the same as installing anything else, and you should not encounter any problems. During the install, depending on the version, it may ask for a Quake 3 folder. If you do not have Quake 3 installed, just click OK and when you get to the part to choose what to install, untick the Quake 3 boxes.

If you haven't installed the games to their default directories, make sure to change the directories during the install process. If your having problems with the installation, or problems during any of the tutorials, do not hesitate to search, and then ask for help on the Forum. Files for Radiant will be installed into the main folder in RTCW and its own folder in Program Files. The executable to the actual program is contained within the Program Files/GTK Radiant folder.


Q3Map is a compile tool. As its names suggests, it was made for Quake 3, but it has been updated for RTCW. Make sure you have the latest version to take advantage of speed enhancements and similar. You will already see it in the radiant folder within your RTCW's main folder. The entire program consists of one command-line executable named q3map. Any time you update it, you should back the old one up by either moving it to another directory, or renaming it to something like oldq3map incase the new version does not work for any reason.

Installing and using q3map is relatively easy. To use it you either need to use batch files or get a front-end GUI program. Make sure that they are made to work with RTCW. Some examples are wolfcompile, q3maptoolz, and q3map2build. Alternatively, you can use batch files if your system is low on resources, for one-click compiling, or for greater control of compile options. Compiling maps, which is used to convert map files into something usable by the game, is covered later.

After Install

First Impressions

start-up screen thumbnail Fig 1 - Start-up Screen

You should now have installed GTK Radiant, along with q3map if you needed to updat it. Radiant nicely contains all the shader lists, map objects and the project file you need to get started. At this point you should see the screen to the right (Fig 1) once you start Radiant. Project files have all the settings that Radiant needs to know which game you are making levels for. Those settings are beyond what this tutorial covers.

The first things you should notice are the small windows, sometimes called viewports. If you have never done any 3D work before, you may be confused by them. On the other hand, if you have done 3D work in the past, they should be relatively self explanitory. There are a variety of ways to have the viewports layed out, which will be covered in the preferences section.

By default, you start with the top-down view, vertical view, camera view, texture window, and console.

Setting up Preferences


Fig 2 - Layout Options

To change the window layout, press "p" or the Edit menu, then select Preferences. Once there, you can pick the style you want (See Fig. 2). It's most likely you will need to use the "top-down view" often, as well as some view that deals with the height.

Top view symbol:

Choose whichever layout you are most confortable with. To choose which one to use, click on "layout" underneath the "interface" menu. (See Fig. 2) As you can see, the 3rd box is checked, which would give three 2D views and a camera (3D) view.

Preference Settings

Everything else in the preferences is well detailed in the actually radiant manual called "q3rad_manual" in your "program files/radiant" folder. Most of the settings you can figure out, some however you should refer to the manual to see what they are in more detailed.


You should now have radiant, q3map and your views set up how you want, essentially you can now begin mapping, if you have never mapped before or have mapped on another editor you probably wont know what to do, simply because key presses etc. are different than in say UTed or Worldcraft or this is your first time mapping. You should move onto the next tutorial entitled Basic Construction Methods you might think your too advanced to read this but its better to read how to map correctly at this stage rather than using previous experience which might differ and cause you some problems in the future. Problems, Comments, Queries > Forum

Next Tutorial > Basic Construction Methods
Tutorial by eyeronik
Updated by WeblionX
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