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Run menu (F9) - building your map

At some point you will want to build your map so that you can test it in Swat 3.  If you have configured Worldcraft correctly you are just one final step from exploring your map in the game.


At the top of Worldcraft you will find a toolbar that contains the Run icon (or you can hit F9 as a shortcut).   See figure 10.1 below of what the icon bar looks like.

Figure 10.1 - Run icon in Worldcraft toolbar


By default when you first use the Run feature a window pops up as you see in figure 10.2 below.   You want to switch to Expert mode by clicking the button indicated.   Once you have done this Worldcraft will remember that you want to build your maps in Expert mode every time.

If you build your map in normal mode you may get a "strings.dat" error when Swat 3 starts up and tries to display your map.

Figure 10.2 - Run menu showing normal mode


The run screen in Worldcraft is the most important to make sure you have configured properly.  Several problems while building and running your map in Swat 3 can be traced back to the run menu.  Unfortunately it can be finicky and is easy to make a mistake if you aren't careful.   Avoid the temptation to just start modifying and typing changes just yet!

The first step in configuring the run menu is to click the drop down menu as indicated in figure 10.3 shown below and choose "full build".  As you see when you click it there are four ready made build script but it is recommended you only use "full build" for simplicity sake.  When Swat 3 was first released it would take a very long time for large maps to compile.    Modern computers are extremely fast and therefore only the Full Build script is needed.

Figure 10.3 - Run menu showing expert mode

Build scripts (for reference only):

Ents Only builds the entities in the map only; no geometry is built and no materials list is created or applied. This is a time-saving intermediate build that is useful when you have the materials and geometry in your scene already built using another build type, but would merely like to move entities around. Linked Entities that change the light calculations or geometry calculations, such as decals, triggers, and lights will require a at least a fast full build if they are changed; Ents Only will not show you the proper results. This is a rarely-used build type, but is useful for quickly moving character start positions around.

Fast Build + Materials Dat runs a speed-optimized version of the map builder, and also creates the materials data file that you will need to edit (see below) to properly assign material effects to the textures in the map. When you have added or subtracted textures to the map, you should run this build type to generate a materials data file. Information on this file is given below.

Fast Full Build runs a speed-optimized version of the map builder, and does not build a materials data file. Rather, it reads the materials data file if it exists, and incorporates the data into the map. Therefore, if you have created a materials data file from a previous build (and edited it, perhaps), this build will integrate that data into the map and the textures will behave with the material properties outlined in the data file. Note that this is not a full build, and will not optimize for quality; it is not recommended for a final release.

Full Build is the big one. Quality-optimized, this build does not build a materials data file, but rather reads the materials data file if it exists and incorporates the data into the map. This is the build type that should be used before releasing a map to the public.


Contents of proper full build menu:

The full build menu should look what is below.  The bold letters indicate a a command and the rest of the line is a parameter.

1. Copy File $path\$ $bspdir\$
2. $bsp_exe -buildmat -texpath "C:\SWAT 3\Missions\sample\mission\textures" $bspdir\$file
3. Change Directory $exedir
4. $game_exe -primary -SCRIPT DEBUG.CON -script console.con -ptfile $path\$file.lin -map $file

There are only a few things you will need to modify from the default settings that normally come with Worldcraft.

Line 2: -buildmat is the parameter that tells Swat 3 you would like to build the materials into your map so that you get proper bullet hits and walking sounds.  Really if you wish this can be deleted until you have finalized your map and are preparing to release it.

Line 2: With each new map you will need to edit the full path to the texture folder of your map.  It is highly recommended that you enclose the path in quotes.  Worldcraft will have a problem if you don't use quotes and your path includes a space character in it.

Line 4: Delete the -window parameter from this line if it exists.



This page taken and updated from the ModHQ © Sierra On-Line, Inc.
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