Although 'volume' based levels can be made using 3DS Max, because the eventual format used needs to be specially compiled, it's not possible to export content from Max directly to *.bsp. BSP is a data structure rather than just a file-dump. This means the contents of a working file are analysed and broken down into a series of structures that are optimised in a way that removes some material. This isn't possible through a simple 'export' mechanism, so content has to exported to another format. However, it's not possible to simply export the contents of a Scene to a single model
because the way those are handled in game would result in an unusable level (models are processes and culled based on bounding-box not surfaces). That being said models can still be used...Solution
The general solution to exporting volume based content from 3DS Max is essentially two-fold;
- use a *.map export script.
- section the level and export a series of models.
If a *.map export script exists divide the level into simple 'convex' shapes and complex molded structures, i.e. flat walls, floors and other architectural features that describe the level
versus statues, shaped fittings and features. Export the former group to *.map and the latter to a supported mesh format such as *.ase
, *.obj etc. Both can then be opened in a level-editor like GtkRadiant and once rebuilt as the content was originally in Max, can then be properly compiled to BSP using a MAP2BSP compiler (dmap, q3map2 etc.).
An alternative to the above is to export content from Max to *.3ds which can then be opened and processed in Gmax before being compiled using the BSP compiler included with the Tempest Gamepack. This approach would typically mean rebuilding certain elements of the level and re-tagging content so the Tempest gamepack knows what to do with certain structures.Resources
More information on working with models
and volume based level design using a 3D application
can be found on the tutorials page