Legacy:Topics On Mapping

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This page is the starting point for all topics of Mapping, the design and creation of gaming areas (aka, maps or levels) with the Unreal Engine. Beginners should first acquaint themselves with the Mapping Lessons before going over these topics. Also, check out Basic_Procedure for directions on tasks commonly performed when mapping.

Layout Design

This section covers general planning, layout, gameplay and flow.

  • Gameplay – Super topic on concepts and elements of satisfying game design
    • Gametype – A hub page on mapping for each Unreal gametype
    • Map Design – Game concepts and elements related to map design
    • Map Flow – Maximizing the value of a map's gameplay through design
    • Map Planning – Techniques to define and refine a map layout design


The technical specifics of creating the world. BSP, terrain, static meshes, skyboxes, PlayerStarts. For a gentle introduction to this, follow the Mapping Lessons. The technical concepts involved are explained on Unreal World.

Visual Design

Using textures, lighting, materials.

Bot Support

This section covers the standard practice of supporting AI players (aka, Bots).

Miscellaneous AI Support

This section covers non-standard AI support: Monsters, NPCs, etc.

Unrealed Tools

This section covers lessons about the UnrealEd Tools.

Brush Editing


This section covers Effects, Triggers, Custom Components, and Interactivity.


Exploding Stuff

Liquids and Water




Outdoor Areas


Static Meshes



Mapping Tips

Troubleshooting / Documents

Related Links

External Links


CorDharel: I always wanted to know: Do I have to know how to work with actors if I don't map and just code? Or did I oversee the page where this is described for coders? If you are a coder, can you map?

EntropicLqd: There isn't much you can do in code without working with/touching on an Actor. Every object the player can interact with is an Actor (at least I can't think of any exceptions off the top of my head). Also, just because you can write great code doesn't mean your maps will be great, or even that you'll understand everything you need to do to make them. I can write mods for Unreal Engine games pretty easily. I have no idea how the new materials/texture stuff works in UT2003, and my maps are generally pretty awful. In the next version of the Unreal Engine I'm fully expecting to not even be able to build DM-OnNoNotAnotherCube.

MythOpus: I am a mapper myself and I work with actors ALL the time. However I don't know a lot about coding and if you have to end up coding and actor its probably because your trying to make something advanced. I generally do not have anything to do with coding. I just place an actor, and change its default properties.

Erika: I map a lot, and know the basics of the 2D shape editor. I know how to code as well, and often I make new things to put in my maps. You don't really need to know how to code to make maps, but knowing how to code can possibly make your maps better.

WheatPuppet: Do we want to put in a topic on Karma objects? I don't see one here, but they're certainly important if you want dynamic physics.

Foxpaw: Well, there's Karma. Or is that not what you were thinking?

WheatPuppet: Thanks. I put a link to it above near particles. They're in the same class of special effect.

Fragatta: Hiya I just wanted to say that in the effects section, "Glass" and "Making Windows" are both almost identical except the latter is slightly more detailed. Please feel free to flame me if i'm wrong!

Tony: You seem to be right. They have the same images as well... Maybe someone should combine / get rid of them or something.

OlympusMons: Ok there seems to be some stuff on this page under the dynamics heading which isnt dynamics Ive added a title for this other misc stuff. I wasnt exactly sure what to do here, plus I didnt want to stuff anything up.

I Found this as well. Dynamics

Bob_The_Beheader: I'm thinking tackling some of that reorganization TODO stuff. I'm going to re-arrange

some of the ordering of the lists, change the descriptions on some of the items in order to clarify their meaning a little better. The major change is dividing the list up into sections:

  • Conceptual aspects
  • Procedures
  • Tips and Tricks

I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but some of the descriptions will be in the form of a question. i.e.:

I think this makes it seem like Placing PlayerStart is on a more conceptual level, rather then simply a page describing the procedure for placing a playerstart.

The big problem here is that so much of the items on this page intersect with those in Map Design and Category:Legacy Basic Procedure. I think that some (well, many) items here should be refactored into those pages. Either that, or the items can be removed, and this page is left with pointers to other general pages like Category:Legacy Basic Procedure and Map Design.

This is one of the most important, if not the most important 'hub' on the wiki, imho, and currently it is very disorganized and much refactoring is required.

Graphik: Mapping information here has always been something like a nice meal ground up in a blender and served. It's good information in a fairly useless form.

What it really needs is someone to come through wielding a massive +2 Sword of Cutting (and Pasting)™ and a bit of writing ability to hack up something useful. The trouble is, well... scroll up and down this page and you'll see what I mean. It's no small task.

SuperApe: By all means, work on the new structure on the new Graphik/Mapping_Reconstruction page. Let everyone contribute, so as to avoid someone else complaining about how it was re-organized. (a typical problem) One thing to note about Bob's complaint: there is a difference of opinion on what a hub is. The current re-organization of this page was the result of a compromise between explaining the concepts of all these ideas (several volumes of text) and simply giving the needed links to the pages which go into detail about the various topics. Tarquin convinced me that a hub is just that: a list of useful links, related by topic heading. Above all, I'd like to reenforce the idea that you work on the re-organization first, allowing for the discussion to hone it, then apply it to the page. To that end, I'm going to back up a couple of revisions, removing a couple changes which frankly are causing some serious organizational conflicts, imho. See the RecentChanges link to check what I'm talking about. Good luck.

Bob_The_Beheader: Ok, sorry for rushing into things... So the Graphik/Mapping_Reconstruction page is sort of a prototype for the changes to be made on this page? - Good idea. So Map Design and Category:Legacy Basic Procedure are not hubs, but this is. I'd like to help, I don't have a sword like you describe, Graphik, but I know a guy who knows this blacksmith :).

Category:Legacy Mapping

Category:Legacy To Do – Organization work done on Graphik/Mapping_Reconstruction