Jedi Knight Editing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- General Questions
- How do I make levels for Jedi Knight?
- What is a project directory?
- What is a GOB file?
- What goes into the GOB file? Why is it so big?
- I want to release a level, are there rules?
- I'm going to release my level, how should I do it?
- I'm going to release my level, who do I send it to?
- Can I extract things from MotS levels and insert them into Jedi Knight levels?
- Can I extract things from Jedi Knight levels and put them in MotS levels?
- Can I take custom components from other people's addon levels and use them in my level?
- General Level Questions
- What is a "Thing?"
- How do I insert a new thing?
- I've inserted my thing, but when I play my level, it is floating or halfway into the floor.
- How do I make my thing face a different direction?
- I can't make my thing line up exactly with the floor.
- My thing disappears and reappears, what's up with that?
- How come my textures show up with pink/green/blue/etc colors all over them?
- I've set the Master Colormap, but some of my textures still have pink in them.
- How do I line up my textures?
- Stitching copies my texture, but won't line it up properly.
- How do I make a custom texture?
- My custom texture looks fine in my image editor, but when it gets converted, the colors are all messed up.
- I have a .mat file from one colormap, but I want to use it with another colormap.
- How do I rotate/scroll my textures to different angles/directions?
- How do I get certain parts of my textures to be clear (see-through)?
- I want black in my custom mat, but for some reason it always shows up as clear.
- How do I make my texture translucent (like the water surface in Canyon Oasis)?
- How do I animate a texture?
- Level Architecture
- What's the easiest way to create an adjoin?
- I placed a small square sector inside a large square sector, but when I play, the small sector won't show up.
- How do I make a ramp/stairs/beams/etc?
- How do I make an elevator/door/slashable grate/breaking glass/force field/etc?
- How do I make a beam fall/piece of architecture move?
- What is a 3DO and how do I make one?
- I just downloaded/created a custom 3DO, how do I insert it into my level?
- How do I rotate my 3DO to face different directions?
- Why does my 3DO disappear sometimes?
- Why does my 3DO show up as a small yellow box?
- How do I make a new enemy?
- How do I re-skin a 3DO?
- How do I make a new weapon?
- What is cog?
- I want to learn cog.
- I don't think I can learn cog, is there some place that will make my cogs for me?
- How do I make water?
- How do I make the surfaces show up as water?
- I have my water, but now I want it to flow.
- Now that my water is flowing, how do I make the surfaces scroll to match?
- I want my room to be colored red/blue/whatever color.
- I've tinted my sector, but you can't see the color unless you are in it.
- What's the difference between network lag and bad framerate?
- How do I see my framerate?
- How do Lights work?
- I have a light in a sector, but when I calculate it, everything turns black.
- I calculated the lighting, and most of my sector is now lighted, however, one surface is totally black.
- I calculated the lighting, and now my whole map is black.
- How do I do colored lighting in Mysteries of the Sith?
- Are there other ways to do lighting?
- How do I make a blinking light?
How do I make levels for Jedi Knight?
The Code Alliance, created a program called JED for making Jedi Knight and MotS levels. The Code Alliance web site is now defunct. JED source code was released and has been taken up by JKHub and has been renamed Zed. You can download it from the JKHub Tools web site. JED/Zed is freeware, and very powerful. This is the editor that most levels are made in. The other editor is/was JkEdit by Ole Thomasen (web site now defunct). It was shareware, with a limit on how many sectors you could create before having to pay. For tutorials on JED (which also work for Zed), go the tutorials section. This FAQ covers only JED/Zed. If JED is mentioned it's 99% likely the issue/solution will apply to Zed as well.
What is a project directory?
When you save your JED files, you should always use a "project directory." Basically, a project directory is a directory you use to save all files related to a specific level. For instance, I have JED installed in "C:\Jed\" - Under that, I have a directory called "Projects." In my "Projects" directory, I have a folder for each of my levels-in-progress. Why have a project directory? Well, when you gob your level, JED includes all the files in the directory your .jed file is saved in (including subdirectories) - so, if you just save your jed files in the root of your C drive, JED will automatically include all contents of your C drive. You'd then get a huge gob file that would most likely crash your computer. From this point on, we'll assume that you do have a project directory.
What is a GOB file?
A gob file is simply a non-compressed container file. It can contain all different types of files that Jedi Knight uses, such as .cog, .jkl, .3do, .par, .spr, .ai, etc. For more info on these file types, visit the Unofficial Jedi Knight Specs.
What goes into the GOB file? Why is it so big?
JED copies every Jedi Knight file type from your project directory into the GOB file. This means that if you have a .txt file or a .doc file in your project directory, it won't be in the GOB. Same with the .jed file -- it is first compiled to a .jkl file, then that is added to the GOB. The actual .jed file is NOT in the GOB. Also, new sound (.wav) files are often very big, so if you have a great amount of custom sounds, your GOB will be much bigger. Custom textures also make your file be much larger.
I want to release a level, are there rules?
Maybe. See the LEC Addon License Agreement.
I'm going to release my level, how should I do it?
First, download Winzip (http://www.winzip.com) or a similar program. Include the GOB of your level, along with a readme file (found in the JED directory) with all the proper info filled out. Authors sometimes include other text files with sepecial instructions or background info. You MUST insert the readme from the JED directory or most sites won't post your level - you'll be in violation of the LEC License Agreement.
I'm going to release my level, who do I send it to?
There are a few sites that will post your level. Unfortunately, the number is slowly dwindling. This site will generally post any levels/mods provided you follow the submission instructions.
Can I extract things from MotS levels and insert them into Jedi Knight levels?
No. This violates the license agreement, and if any site finds out you have done this, they will take down your level. This goes for cogs, 3DOs, levels, textures, and anything else in MotS.
Can I extract things from Jedi Knight levels and put them in MotS levels?
Since people MUST own JK in order to own MotS, it is a general concensus that putting JK components into MotS levels is acceptable.
Can I take custom components from other people's addon levels and use them in my level?
Only if the author gives specific permission in the readme file, or is contacted and says yes. Please don't take stuff without permission. Most authors will give permission with no problem. You can also download custom components that authors have released to the public from the Resources section of this site (check the sidebar).
General Level Questions
Why do players who try to join games of my multiplayer levels get "Players 1 of 1" when they try to join the game?
You must have more than one walkplayer in the level. Be sure to put in plenty in interesting locations to make your level interesting and fun.
How come I get a "Could not load level" error?
These errors can be caused by numerous things. First, make sure you saved correctly. First save your JED file in a project directory, then go to Tools/Episode Editor and fill in all the information you can. Make sure to enter a level and episode name. After that, be sure to hit the "UPDATE" button. If you do NOT hit update, the information won't be saved (Do not choose "save" - it's for something different). After that, save your JKL and GOB - if not saving correctly was your problem, this should fix it.
Another way to find errors that can cause this problem is to use JED's Consistency Checker. Go to Tools/Consistency Checker. If ANY errors pop up, they need to be fixed. If you are getting very odd, unexplainable errors like chairs being created randomly, go to Tools/Options/Misc. tab and make sure that that 'Check overlapping sectors' option is checked. Then re-check the level for errors.
How come my level freezes up when I shoot or enter a certain area?
First, do you have any custom 3DOs in that area? Or visible from that area? Most of the time, custom 3DOs that have errors will cause this problem. If you DO have a custom 3DO, try deleting it, then save and re-load the level. If this fixed your problem, you will have to either find out what's wrong with your 3DO, or re-make it.
Also, if you have a custom 3DO in the area, and deleting it solves the problem, check the 3DO's template. If it has no parent template, you will be kicked out as well. Make sure all your new 3DO templates have parent templates.
Solid color mats that aren't flagged correctly can also cause this problem. If you have a solid color mat, on a forcefield or otherwise, make sure that the GEO-mode is set to 3. If it is set to 4, as normal mats are, you will be kicked out of the level. Solid color mats can also cause problems on 3DOs. If you created a 3DO with a solid color mat on it, go back and check the geo-modes of each surface, then re-export it.
Why does the player seem to ice skate in the floor?
This is because the surface you are walking on is not flagged as "floor" - In JED, just click on the surface, press [Enter], and when the Item Editor pops up, click on the surface flags area, and check the "floor" box. If you have a lot of surfaces that have this problem, go to the plugin page and get the Vinkel plugin. This plugin will search the level for surfaces that are less than 45 degrees and flag them as floor, leaving the other flags (metal, dirt, etc.) as they are. Very useful tool, highly recommended.
I still need help!
What is a "Thing?"
A thing is a 3do that can be added via the thing mode. All enemies, weapons, powerups, ships, doors, elevators, and related items are things.
How do I insert a new thing?
When you create a new level, it will be a box with one light, and one thing. The thing is called the "walkplayer" - you must have this in every level, so please just leave it alone. To insert a new thing, go to thing mode (the walkplayer will be automatically selected), hover your mouse above the area you want to add the new thing, and press the Insert key. This will add a new walkplayer. Now that you have two, just change the one you just added into the thing you want. While it is selected, press Enter to invoke the item editor, then double click where it says "walkplayer" - this will bring up a menu of all the things you can add.
I've inserted my thing, but when I play my level, it is floating or halfway into the floor.
This is because you didn't check the side views after you placed it. Once you place it from any view, you must check it from the other views to ensure that it is correct. Just use the [shift+number keys] to switch to the different views.
How do I make my thing face a different direction?
This is accomplished by selecting it, pressing [Enter] to invoke the item editor, then changing the pch, yaw, and rol values.
I can't make my thing line up exactly with the floor.
This is because your grid snap is not set low enough. Lower it to .05 or even .01 and you should be able to get it to line up correctly. Some 3do's won't line up unless you go even lower than that (for example, console1).
My thing disappears and reappears, what's up with that?
3DOs that cross sectors will often disappear. Just move it so it is contained in one sector, and it should be fine. Make sure parts of it aren't extruding out into space, either.
How come my textures show up with pink/green/blue/etc colors all over them?
This is because of your colormap settings. A colormap is a palette of 256 colors. Since different levels use a different set of colors, there are different colormaps for different texture sets. An outdoor, rocky area uses different colors than an indoor, imperial gray colored area. Unfortunately, it is difficult to mix these types of areas and still have a wide variety of textures. Anyway, go to Tools/Level Header Editor and choose a colormap that corrosponds with the texture set you would like to use. For example, if you want your level to have the same colors as Level 1 of Jedi Knight, pick the 01narsh.cmp colormap. Then, choose textures with an 01 before them (01stud.mat).
I've set the Master Colormap, but some of my textures still have pink in them.
While each level has to have a master colormap, each sector can still be set with a different one. This is designed to be used with complementing colormaps, such as the 01 suite. If you set the master colormap, 3D-accelerated graphics cards will display the level correctly, but then when non-3D accelerated cards are used, the pink shows up. This is because the individual sector colormaps are set differently than the Master CMP. Just multi-select all of your sectors, press enter, then choose the correct colormap in the selection area.
How do I line up my textures?
Texture Stitching is a feature in JED that every author should become familiar with in his/her beginning stages of editing. To texture a room, simple double click on a wall (in 3D preview) and choose a texture. After that, click on the texture once again (single-click), press the semi-colon key ; to copy the texture, then click on another wall, and press the apostrophe key ' to paste it. This should copy your texture as well as line it up.
Stitching copies my texture, but won't line it up properly.
This happens every once in a while, and so far no fix has been found. Try stitching to an adjacent wall, then stitching from that one to the "problem area" - oftentimes this will work correctly, and they will line up. Be creative and try to find other walls to stitch off of.
This happens when you have a surface with some odd amounts of vertices, often caused by merging sectors of surfaces. If you want to get rid of these annoying vertices, get Vertex Assassin from the plugins page.
How do I make a custom texture?
Get an image editor, create a bmp, then use the program called MatMaster (you get get it from the programs section) to convert it to a mat file.
My custom texture looks fine in my image editor, but when it gets converted, the colors are all messed up.
When you create a custom texture, you need to make it for a certain colormap. Choose the colormap you are creating the texture for, and extract it to a folder using JKGob or Conman (both available from the programs section). Also extract any .mat file that is in that colormap. Use MatMaster to convert that texture to a BMP file, and load the bmp file into Paint Shop Pro (there are other image editors, but this is the only way I know to get the palettes correctly). Go to the Colors menu, and choose "save palette" - then, open your custom bmp file, go to colors, and choose "load palette" - choose the palette you just saved. This will convert your bmp to that colormap. Some of your colors will be changed, but you have to work inside the boundries of the colormap you are using. If you are not happy with the color choices, try a different CMP.
I have a .mat file from one colormap, but I want to use it with another colormap.
To do this, you will have to use matmaster to map it to a different colormap. Warning: this can mess up your colors, and you will have to fix them yourself. Extract the CMP file you want to convert it TO. Then, in MatMaster, click the Map to Colormap button, and choose the colormap you just extracted, then convert it.
How do I rotate/scroll my textures to different angles/directions?
This is done using keyboard commands in the 3D preview. Click on a surface, and press the comma , and period . keys. This will scroll your texture. To scroll the other way, hold down Shift and press the same keys. You can use Shift + arrow keys as well. To rotate it, hold down Ctrl and use the same keys. After you have rotated/scrolled one texture, you can stitch it to other surfaces, and it should line up. See
How do I get certain parts of my textures to be clear (see-through)?
Assuming you want something like the grate textures, where you can see through bars, etc, to a different area, do the following: First, learn how to correctly implement an LEC see-through texture. You must put it on an adjoin. This means: there has to be a sector on the other side to look INTO. If you don't have a sector on the other side, you will get HOM (Hall of Mirrors) - which is bad. So, take two sectors, adjoin them, select the adjoin, then press enter. Change the GEO-mode to 4, draw textured. Now, a texture should show up on one side of the adjoin. You will still be able to walk through it, however, so set the adjoin flags to "impassable." Now, press Shift+F to select the other side of the adjoin. Follow the same steps to make the texture visible and to make that side impassable. Now, texture both sides with an LEC see-through mat.
Once you have that working properly, it's time to create your own mat. Use a SOLID BLACK color anywhere in your mat, and it should show up as clear in-game.
I want black in my custom mat, but for some reason it always shows up as clear.
This is because most JK/MotS CMP's use black as their transparent color. If you want a black color in your .mat, just use a color that's off-black, like a really really dark gray (it looks just like black).
How do I make my texture translucent (like the water surface in Canyon Oasis)?
As with the transparent (grate) type surfaces, this has to be applied to an adjoin. This will work with any texture. Set the GEO-mode to 4, and then apply the texture you want to the surface. Click on it, press enter, and double click in the "face flags" area. Choose translucent. That's it, you're done.
How do I animate a texture?
For the default LEC textures, JED will tell you whether they are multi-celled mats. You must use a multi-celled mat. Add the texture, then use the matanim.cog from the placed cogs (F7) menu. Enter the required mat names and you are done.
What's the easiest way to create an adjoin?
Adjoins are accomplished by placing two surfaces directly on eachother, then cleaving each so they match up. You then select the part that overlaps, and press the a key. Newer versions of JED also have a "join" function. Just place two surfaces so they overlap, multi-select both surfaces, and press the j key. This will join the overlapping areas. What are the disadvantages of this? You don't have control over where the surface cleaves go, and sometimes the lighting/texturing can end up looking a bit funny.
I placed a small square sector inside a large square sector, but when I play, the small sector won't show up.
The Jedi Knight/Sith engine does not let you place a sector inside of a sector. You are probably a beginner at this stuff, so please visit the basics. After that, read the cleaving tutorial in the tutorials section. If you still need help, ask a question on on the forums.
How do I make a ramp/stairs/beams/etc?
Please take a look at the tutorials.
How do I make an elevator/door/slashable grate/breaking glass/force field/etc?
Please take a look at the tutorials.
How do I make a beam fall/piece of architecture move?
In Jedi Knight/Sith, architecture cannot move. You must create a 3DO and make that move.
What is a 3DO and how do I make one?
3DOs are 3D objects in Jedi Knight/Sith such as the characters, elevators, doors, enemies, ships, etc. Anything that moves in Jedi Knight is probably a 3DO (with the exception of sprites, which are 3D animations, and a few other things). To make one, please follow one of the tutorials.
I just downloaded/created a custom 3DO, how do I insert it into my level?
All 3DOs must have an entry made into a template file (master.tpl for JK, mots.tpl for MotS) before the game will recognize them. Please see the Templates Tutorial.
How do I rotate my 3DO to face different directions?
Mess with the Pch, Yaw, and Roll values in the item editor.
Why does my 3DO disappear sometimes?
3DOs that cross sectors will disappear. Just move it so it is contained in one sector, and it should be fine. Make sure parts of it aren't extruding out into space, either. This means that elevators, doors, etc. should stay in the same sector as they move.
Why does my 3DO show up as a small yellow box?
This is because of an error in your 3DO. If you have solid color mats, make sure the GEO-mode of that surface is set to 3. If that doesn't work, try re-making your 3DO from scratch.
How do I make a new enemy?
Enemies are 3DOs that have pup and key files for their animation. At the time of this writing there was no good 3DO animator so it was not feasible to create an entirely new enemy. (This may no longer be true, I don't know.) You can, however, re-texture existing enemies, and modify certain parts of them. This is called skinning.
How do I re-skin a 3DO?
How do I make a new weapon?
Check the tutorials section.
What is cog?
Cog is a scripting language used in the Jedi Knight/Sith engines. It is similar to C in basic structure. All dynamic aspects of Jedi Knight/Sith are controlled by cogs.
I want to learn cog.
Read the JK Specs. Read the tutorials. Read the Editing Forums. Extract, read, and modify the existing cogs from the game. Good luck!
I don't think I can learn cog, is there some place that will make my cogs for me?
Not like that. If you join an editing group, or make friends with some coggers, they will often help you out. Otherwise, you are forced to ask for a cog on message boards, but those posts normally go un-answered. Best thing to do is make friends with a cogger, or learn simple cogging techniques.
How do I make water?
Select a sector, press Enter if you do not have the Item Editor on-top, and change the sector flags to "underwater."
How do I make the surfaces show up as water?
Select the adjoin above your water, change the GEO-mode to 4, and give it a water texture. If you want to make it see-through, check the texture section of this FAQ.
I have my water, but now I want it to flow.
This is done through sector thrust. Please read the sector thrust/vector tutorial.
Now that my water is flowing, how do I make the surfaces scroll to match?
This is done with a surface scrolling cog. You will have to enter the vector (direction) the surface will scroll in, the speed, and the surface number.
I want my room to be colored red/blue/whatever color.
This is done by setting the sector tint to a certain color. Just select the sector you want colored, and press Enter. Go to the tint area, and choose a color.
I've tinted my sector, but you can't see the color unless you are in it.
That is correct. If you want to be able to see the sector tint from outside the sector, you must trick it out. This is done by selecting the adjoin you want colored, setting it's GEO-mode to 3, and applying a colored mat to it. Now it shows up as a solid color - to get it see-through, just select the surface, press Enter, and change the face flags to "translucent." If you're using 01narsh.cmp you can use 01yellow.cmp or 01redmap instead of the translucency method
What's the difference between network lag and bad framerate?
Network lag is created when packets in a network game either don't reach their destination, or are so slow that it impairs network play. If you have a ping of 300-400 ms, this is pretty good, and you should't see much lag. When you do get lag, the other players often jump from one point to another, and are impossible to kill. Framerate, however, is dependent on your computer/graphics card/etc. If you have a very complex level, with tons of surfaces and adjoins in view at the same time, the framerate may drop, and the level could be very choppy in those areas. To fix the framerate problem, work on making your architecture and cleaving more efficient, tone down the detail level, or put architecture in areas that will block the view of some of the more complex architecture.
How do I see my framerate?
Press t then type the word framerate - this will display a number at the top of your screen. Watch it for a little while to notice the things that cause it to drop (huge firefights, translucency, complex architecture, etc).
How do Lights work?
In JED, switch to light mode and place lights in sectors. Be sure not to place them directly on an adjoin/thing/surface. When a light is selected, press Enter to invoke the item editor. Here you can change the lights properties. The most important values are the range and the intensity. You will have to experiment to get the lighting correct, but as common sense will tell you, the range dictates how far away the lights will be seen, and the intensity is the brightness. After you place your lights, press the tools/calculate lighting button. Then, your lighting should show up in the 3d preview and in the game.
I have a light in a sector, but when I calculate it, everything turns black.
Lighting data is stored in the vertices. If you have a sector that is larger than the range of the light, the light won't reach the vertices, and therefore no lighting data will be stored. Try raising the range and intensity.
I calculated the lighting, and most of my sector is now lighted, however, one surface is totally black.
This is because your light doesn't have the range/intensity to reach the entire surface. This problem normally happens on surfaces that are very long with no vertices. There is a very easy way to fix this, just select the surface and add a small amount of extra light (like 0.1). Alternatively, cleave the surface (to add vertices).
I calculated the lighting, and now my whole map is black.
You didn't place enough lights to show up, read the above question, and if that doesn't help, go to the 3d preview/options menu and click "fully lit." This won't change it in the game, but in your 3d preview, everything will show up again.
How do I do colored lighting in Mysteries of the Sith?
First, go to the 3d preview/options menu and turn on colored lighting. Make sure you have started a MotS level, and then read the colored lighting tutorial.
Are there other ways to do lighting?
Yes. You can use surface lighting, which will add/subtract extra light to the entire surface. This is good for darkening or brightening an entire level or group of sectors. Just select a (or multiselect a group of) sector(s) and press Enter. Now change the extra light value at the bottom of the item editor.
How do I make a blinking light?
This is done by adding a dynamic light (in thing mode) and adding a cog to it. There are a couple of lights/cogs you can use, to find the correct one, enter *light into the mask box of the cog and thing selection screens.