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A map or level is a self-contained area in which the player faces a specific objective. Each act in Single Player mode is a separate map, as are the arenas for Match, Capture the Flag and Race. Maps are laid out on a 2D grid with a map editor such as Doom Builder (or more popularly, SRB2 Doom Builder) and then stored in WAD files are a series of lumps.

Map components

A simple sector.

SRB2 maps are made up of five main components: vertices, linedefs, sidedefs, sectors and Things. The triangle in the picture to the right is a sector. It is made up of vertices (the blue dots at the edges) which are connected by linedefs (the white lines between the blue dots).

  • Vertices: A vertex is essentially a point in the map where a linedef ends/begins. Therefore, vertices make up the edges of sectors.They have no other property aside from their location.
  • Linedefs: Linedefs are the lines that connect the vertices, and therefore the boundaries of a sector. In-game, they appear as the walls of sectors.
  • Sidedefs: Each linedef consists of two sidedefs, which are literally the sides of the linedef. The front side of the linedef is covered by the front sidedef; the back side is covered by the back sidedef. The outer linedefs of a map face into empty space and therefore only have a front sidedef, they are called one-sided linedefs. The graphics displayed on the walls - called textures - are specified on the sidedefs.
  • Sectors: A sector is a closed loop of linedefs that forms a section of the map. It includes the properties of the floor and ceiling, which are their heights and the graphics they display - called flats.
  • Things: Things are Objects that are placed directly onto the map. These include a starting point for the player, rings, enemies, monitors, obstacles, scenery such as flowers, and several others. They are independent from the rest of the map structure.

Node building

Main article: Node

For rendering purposes, the linedefs of a map are split into segments that form sub-sectors, which themselves are part of an existing sector. These sub-sectors are all convex. The game can then determine which sub-sectors are visible from the sub-sector the player is currently in and render these sub-sectors first, which vastly improves the performance of the engine on larger maps.

This process is called node building and must be performed on a map with a nodebuilder before it can be loaded in SRB2. Most map editors include a basic nodebuilder themselves or allow the designer to automatically run a nodebuilder when saving the map. For example, SRB2 Doom Builder is packaged with ZenNode, the most common nodebuilder, and runs it automatically upon saving a map.

Data structure

A map is stored inside a WAD file as a series of consecutive lumps, all of which contain a specific part of the information that the game needs to create the map. These lumps must have specific names and must be stored in a specific order to work correctly. No other lumps may be in-between the lumps that make up one map. The map must consist of these lumps in the given order:

  • Header: The name of this lump is MAPxx, with xx designating the extended map number. Aside from the name, this lump does not normally contain any other data.
  • THINGS: Lists all Things in the map as well as their type, X and Y coordinates and other attributes, including flags, Angle, and Z position.
  • LINEDEFS: Lists all Linedefs in the map as well as their type, starting and ending vertices and other attributes, including flags, tag, front and back sidedefs (if applicable).
  • SIDEDEFS: Lists all Sidedefs in the map as well as the sector they belong to, the textures they display and the textures' X and Y offsets.
  • VERTEXES: Lists all Vertices in the map as well as their X and Y coordinates.
  • SEGS: Lists all segments in the map. Created by a nodebuilder.
  • SSECTORS: Lists all subsectors in the map. Created by a nodebuilder.
  • NODES: The node tree which sorts the subsectors into the correct order for rendering. Created by a nodebuilder.
  • SECTORS: Lists all the sectors in the map as well as their type, tag, floor and ceiling heights and textures, and light value.
  • REJECT: Contains information about which sectors are visible from which other sectors. SRB2 uses this to determine if enemies currently have a target in their line of sight. If not, they stop their animation until a target is detected. This improves the speed at which the game runs. Optionally created by a nodebuilder.
  • BLOCKMAP: Contains information about collision detection between Objects and the level environment.

See also