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Randomly/Procedurally Generate Terrain Tutorial...

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Currently their is not any ability to create realistic/complex terrain in DarkRadiant/DoomEdit without manually editing patches/brushes. This is very tedious and time consuming and the results are hard to get right, so I propose a different way which involves creating the terrain with a tool in Quake 3 Arena map format, then converting that format to the Doom 3 format.


Follow these steps and you can also have nice looking terrain in minutes.

First, download these programs as you WILL NEED them all.

1. GenSurf

2. Q3toD3


Now, unzip both archives to a location that you will remember. I suggest unzipping GenSurf to Program Files\GenSurf for easy access and Q3toD3 to desktop as you will have to run the installer.


EDIT: Also you can do some crazy terrain that's really rough, and get rid of the linear borders like in this screenshot:



Step 1: Once that is done, open GenSurf where you will be presented with this window

Change the "Game" to Quake 3 Arena.

Click the checkmark next to the text that says "Preview" to get the preview window:


While this looks kinda cool, I think we can do better than that, which brings me to...


Step 2: Click on the "Extents" tab at the top. Now the default size for the terrain is quite small, so for this we will change the terrain size to -2048x2048 which is not bad. You'll notice that the terrain generated will be using brushes so check the "Use Bezier Patches" so we use patches instead of brushes for our terrain. Also, the subdivisions by default are just 8 which is not enough as our terrain won't have enough detail so change that to 24x24. So enter the size as shown in this image, and you'll notice in the preview window that the terrain looks a lot better now:



Step 3: Now go back to the "General" tab and we'll take a look at the randomness settings for the terrain. Here we want to have some better hills/valley's height so lets change "Max Amplitude" to 512 and "Wavelength" to 4096. Have you noticed anything about these numbers? They are all divisible by 8 which means that this terrain will snap to grid in DarkRadiant at setting '8' (4 for the keyboard shortcut). The "Roughness" setting can be ignored for now as with such a high tessellation you won't notice the roughness in the terrain right now. You can play around with the "Random Seed" if you want and it should change the look of the terrain slightly.



Step 4:

Now we need to name the output file, which will be in Quake 3's .map file which is incompatible with Doom3's format. In my example I named it test.map, you don't need to put in the map extension, but it won't complain if you do.



Step 5: When you are satisfied with the name of the map, click the "Write Map" button at the top. When it's done saving the file it will tell you how many patches it outputed.



Step 6: Now open the Q3toD3 GUI program we installed earlier. Now in this program you will have to set the locations of Doom 3 and Quake 3. If you don't have Quake 3 Arena installed don't worry about it, the program will complain about the directory not existing but it will convert the map. I did it at work and I have neither Doom 3 nor Quake 3 installed. So click the "Options" button and you will see this screen. The first thing to do is uncheck all the switches because we don't care about textures or models etc, we just want the terrain converted.

So enter the path for DarkMod's map folder so that the converted map will be there.



Step 7: Now we need to point the program to the generated terrain map file in Quake 3's format. Now if you didn't supply a path in GenSurf, the map file will be in the same directory as GenSurf. So click on the "Add Files" button and browse to your map (in my case test.map) Now click on the "Done" button to close the "Add Files" dialog window. Now click the "Convert" button to start the conversion. At this point you get a message popup that complains about doom 3 or quake 3 path not specified, but just click "YES" to continue with the conversion.



Step 8: When the map is done converting it should be in the DarkMod/base/maps folder (or wherever you specified the doom 3/darkmod folder)



Now you are done, open darkradiant and open the converted map, which should be in doom3\base\maps, or wherever you told it to be.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.


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