OBLIGE Level Maker

Random map generator for classic FPS games

QUICK START

First, unpack the zip somewhere (e.g. My Documents). Make sure it is extracted with folders, and also make sure the OBLIGE.EXE file is extracted too (at least one person had the problem that Microsoft Windows would skip the EXE, and he had to change something in the control panels to get it extracted properly).

Double click on the OBLIGE icon (shown right) to run it. Select the target game in the top left panel, and any other options which take your fancy. Then click the BUILD button in the bottom left panel, and enter an output filename, for example "TEST" (without the quotes).

OBLIGE will then build all the maps, showing a blueprint of each one as it goes, and if everything goes smoothly the output file (e.g. "TEST.WAD") will be created at the end. Then you can play it using the normal method for playing mods with that game (e.g. for DOOM source ports: dragging -n- dropping the WAD file onto the source port's EXE is usually enough).

(Some games, especially Quake, may need special setup before running Oblige. See below for more information)

WINDOW LAYOUT

The following diagram shows the GUI for OBLIGE. You can see that the window is divided into five distinct panels. The panels are discussed in separate sections below. Also notice there is no menu bar. To exit you can either click the window's standard close button, or click the "Quit" button in the Build Panel, or just press the ESCAPE key.
SCREENSHOT

GAME SETTINGS

The top left corner panel contains the most important settings.

The first entry is the "SEED" number. Each SEED number produces a unique, distinctive level. Using the same SEED number always produces the exact same level (as long as every other setting is the same).

Other settings include:

LEVEL ARCHITECTURE

The Level Architecture panel lets you control general features of the maps, like what size they should be, what theme to use, how much outdoor areas to make, and so forth.

Choosing "Mix It Up" as a setting means that different levels will get different values (randomly). For example, it makes the Size of maps vary between small and large. However when using it for the Theme and making a full game, each episode will stick to a single theme.

The "As Original" theme setting causes the themes in each episode to try and match the original game. Note: when there are custom themes (from a module) the same ordering is not guaranteed since a custom theme could replace one of them.

(Note that the 'Secrets' and 'Traps' buttons don't do anything yet)

PLAYING STYLE

This panel is all about the gameplay. Here you can control the amount and strength of the monsters, how much health and ammunition should be added, etc...

The 'Strength' button determines the overall toughness of the monsters. The "Medium" setting is designed to give a mix of monsters similar to the levels in the original game. Compared to that, the "Weak" setting produces weaker monsters and the "Tough" setting gives tougher ones. In all three cases the toughness increases over the course of each episode.

The "Crazy" setting works a bit differently. It forgets all about trying to make battles which are fair (or somewhat fair), and throws any or all of the monsters at you, including bosses! Be warned though, playing maps on this setting can actually drive you insane (hence the name).

(Note that the 'Powerups' button doesn't do anything yet)

MODULES PANEL

Modules are a great new feature in Oblige V3. The idea is that new functionality can be implemented as a module file (Lua code), and simply dropped into the 'modules' folder, and OBLIGE will load it automatically and allow that module to be enabled or disabled. Modules can even have their own option buttons.

First thing you need to know is: modules are usually specific to a single game, and will only show up in the module panel when that game is selected. Similarly they can depend on a certain engine (source port), and might even depend on other modules. E.g. a module which requires ZDoom will not be visible until ZDoom is chosen in the Game Settings panel. Changing the current game or the current engine (etc) can cause some modules to appear and/or other modules to disappear.

Modules are enabled or disabled by the check-box which appears to the left of the module's name. Modules must be both enabled and shown in order to have any effect, otherwise they do nothing. When a module has options, those options are not shown while the module is disabled (though the option settings are never forgotten).

BUILD PANEL

Once you've chosen the desired settings, press the "Build" button. This will open a Save-File dialog asking you what the output file should be. Enter something appropriate, e.g. TEST, and after that OBLIGE will starting building the levels.

The levels created by OBLIGE are ready to play. There is no need to run the output WAD file through a node-builder program, since OBLIGE does this automatically.

QUAKE SETUP

(Note: the following applies to Hexen 2 as well)

Quake levels have the unusual feature of including a full copy of every texture which they use. But this is a problem for OBLIGE, as it needs to get these textures from somewhere. I am not allowed to put a copy of them on SourceForge for you to download, because they are copyrighted material (belonging to Id Software).

The solution is to extract the textures using a program called qsavetex, which is included with OBLIGE in the 'tools' folder. Here is what you need to do:

  1. copy the qsavetex program into the folder called id1 which exists in your copy of Quake. You can be sure it is the correct folder if it contains two files called pak0.pak and pak1.pak
  2. run qsavetex by double clicking on it
  3. refresh the folder, a file called qsavetex_log.txt should have appeared. Read it (e.g. with NOTEPAD) to check whether the textures were extracted successfully. If something went wrong, this file should have an error message in it
  4. lastly, copy the quake_tex.wd2 file into the 'data' folder where OBLIGE is installed.
You will know it has worked when OBLIGE can build some Quake maps without any error message about missing texture wads.

MISC NOTES

OBLIGE requires the full version of each game it supports. It will NOT work properly with shareware or demo versions, and never will.

Most games let you play at different skill levels (e.g. Hurt-Me-Plenty vs Ultra-Violence), and OBLIGE takes them into account. Easier skill levels will have less monsters than harder skill levels, and health/ammo are also adjusted.

You should use a Source Port to play the levels, because the original DOOM.EXE, DOOM2.EXE (etc..) may not cope with the architecture which OBLIGE creates. For example, you might get the "Visplane Overflow" error which quits the game. DOOM.EXE also crashes when saving a level which has too many things in it.

For Quake, call the output file PAK2.pak and place it in the ID1 folder where Quake is installed. Then start a game normally. Delete the PAK2.pak file when you want to play the original Quake levels.

Playing Quake 2 maps is similar to Quake, but place the PAK2.pak file into the BASEQ2 folder where Quake 2 is installed, and start a game normally.


SourceForge.net
© 2012 Andrew Apted