6.2 Using Map Entities

Map entities are very useful for many things. We use them for doors that need to open and close, walls that need to move, platforms that move and many other things. The area a few restrictions when it comes to using map entities that we need to keep in mind, though. Map entities are not affected by level lighting and they do not cast shadows created by level lights. As a result, it is very easy to create map entities that do not appear to fit in properly with the rest of your level geometry. In other words, they can stick out like a sore thumb. There is something we can do to work around this.

We can pre-light our map entities to match our level geometry. If you properly pre-light your map entities then they will be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your level. Here is what I do to properly pre-light map entities.

I create the map entity in the level itself right where it is supposed to be. I then delete everything else in the level except the entity and any lights that would affect it. Once I have my entity all alone in WED I save it under a different name and choose the BUILD ENTITY option and let WED do its work. Since I kept the lights with the entity WED will build light maps for it that should match the level where the entity belongs. After the build is done I can open my original level and add the entity to it. Once the level is built and run then the map entity should match the rest of the level.

Return to Part 6.1 - Add Little Details
Go to Part 6.3 - Have Fun!