This tutorial assumes you have basic knowledge of creating and editing maps. Entities are the things that bring your map to life, and no game is complete without them. Entities include doors, jump pads, teleporters, lights, particles.... Theres lots of different things. The only main confusion arises from how to get entities to react with you, as this is easy when you know how. Let’s begin.
To do anything with ents, you need to be in editmode. Also you need to access the main menu, by hitting Esc when you are in a map.
The following screen will pop up
The only menu we'll be needing at the moment is EDITING GUI. This is the mother of all menus, and if you can understand this one, all the other menus will be a piece of cake. Indeed the Editing GUI menu allows you to do many of the things in the other menus.
The Editing GUI Menu
I will explain the tabs first. (tabs being the editing, ents, light, PVS and cfg buttons at the the top of the page)
This tab isnt all that useful, once you learn shortcuts. You alredy know about heightfield mode (3. Editing Tutorial) You will learn about Mapmodels in a minute, in the ents section - this is just another shortcut.
Skyboxes... you can mess about with them if you want, these just change the image of the sky above you.
Find entity will only be useful for when you know about ents.
Copy Geometry and Paste Geometry work how you would expect it to. For Example, extrude a section of the ground, and make it your 3d selection. press c and click somewhere else and press v. It is pasted to where you selected. Note, you cant make an intrusion and copy it because really nothing is selected... You'll see what I mean.
Copy entities, paste entities and select selection entities work with entities (coming up next)
Float Speed determines how fast you travel in editmode (again its best to use shortcuts. + speeds you up and - slows you down)
Finally, this is the bit I wanted to talk about!
Ok ignore the parts that say show ent radius and direction for a minute. First we will talk about the long list of entities that come up. Namely:
Light This is a light entity - surprisingly enough it creates a light
Mapmodel This creates new models like trees, boxes, doors... anything that you couldnt make normally
Playerstart When you save the map, and reopen it, this is where you will begin.
Particles Particles are awesome... Just awesome. Well talk about them later
Sound Sound playes a sound when a trigger is activated (oh god I still have to write about triggers)
Teleport Makes a teleport marker. this is the entrance to the teleporter, you come out once you
Teledest This is where a corresponding teleport marker will take you.
Jumppad Yea, when you walk on it you will jump into the air
Respawn Where you respawn if you die (like in lava)
Creature Creates a creature (either a snagon, a rat, a dragon
Box A box I assume
Barrel A barrel again I assume
Clicking on any of these buttons creates a new entity, its position depending on where your cursor is pointing, or where you have selected. It will appear as a faint blue sparkle, along with some important text and a green box outline. All entities have certain properties represented by the important text. By default the properties are all set to 0 (in most cases anyway) There are many ways to change the properties, but the easiest by a long shot is simply hitting F3.
From here most of the important things are self-explanatory, however I will try to explain them in detail anyway…
Note: You can see the radius or a direction of an ent (if it has one) if you select it. You can configure things so that
Show ent radius – default – when selected – this only applies to thigs that have a radius, like a light, i.e. the larger the radius of this light the brighter it is.
Show ent direction – default – when slelcet this only applies to thigs that have a direction, like
Importing your own models (Actually very important)
Scripting in PA Sandbox may seen incredibly daunting – but PLEASE don’t go just yet! There are very very basic scripts that apply to specific circumstances, that are hiraliously easy to carry out, the main ones being
Making your own textures
Saving (older chap)
Working with ents (entities)
Printout sheets for common reference
Brushes for heightmap