Texture Creation

If you are familiar with the required tools, creating new assets for use in Quake III Arena is not particularly difficult. As a general rule, you should create new directories for each map with names different from the names used by id. If you are making a map that will be called "H4x0r_D00M", every directory containing new assets for that map should be titled H4x0r_D00M. This is to try and avoid asset directories overwriting each other as the editor and the gameload in assets.

Tools Needed

Any combination of graphic programs and plug-ins that canout put a 24 bit MS windows compatible Targa (.tga) or JPEG (.jpg) graphic file.If you plan to make textures that will have an alpha channel component (a 4th 8-bit greyscale channel that is used by the shaders to further manipulate the art), you must have a program that can create 32-bit art with that fourth channel.

Adobe Photoshop has the ability to easily create alpha channels. PaintShop Pro from Corel (v5.0+) can also make an alpha channel by creating a mask and naming it "alpha". Free and open source GIMP also works quite well.

Generally speaking, regardless of the program used, we found it best to do most of the art manipulation of the alpha channel in a separate layer or file and then paste it into the alpha channel before saving.

Setting up Files

The editor and the game program look for assets to be located along the paths set up in your project file. Start by creating a directory for you new textures by creating file folders to make a directory path as follows:


The installation of Q3Radiant will create a text document called "shaderlist.txt" in the following path:


Q3Radiant will use the contents of this script to grab your new textures for inclusion in the game. The contents of shaderlist.txt document will contain a listing of all the shader documents that were used by id Software to create Quake III Arena.

Since you will obviously want to create your own shaders, you need to put them in separate folders and create a new shader script for them.

If you plan to work on several maps at once and want to distinguish between textures used in each map, simply add additional map names here. For map and mod makers, we STRONGLY recommend that any new shader scripts created use the name of the map or mod in the shader file name. We know we can't avoid every incident of files overwriting each other, but we certainly can advise you how to try.

Now, in the scripts directory that you just created, create another text file and call it:


This file will contain the shader scripts you write to modify a particular texture.

Rules and Guidelines

Follow these rules when creating textures for the Quake III Arena engine:

The following are some things the id designers learned about textures.

Making the .pk3 File

When you go to distribute your creation to the gaming world, you need to put your newly created map, textures, bot area files, and shader documents into an archive format called a "pk3" file. You do not need to include the shaderlist.txt file, since that is only used by the editor. You will need to keep the paths to the various assets the same. So your paths should be something like this:

Textures: baseq3/textures/[mymapnamefolder]
Bsp & aas: baseq3/maps/mymapname.bsp, mymapname.aas
Shader scripts: baseq3/scripts/mymapname.shader

You need to use a "zip" archiving program (7-zip for example) to make the pk3 file. Make a zip archive called mymapname.zip. Zip all the required assets into a zip archive file (Quake III Arena DOES support compressed pk3 files). Rename the zip archive to mymapname.pk3. Put it where the Quake III Arena community can find it.