Updated for RA:APB 2.1.2 content. Art source files, mapping tools, compile/decompile utilities, and documentation to get you started on creating your own maps and mod packages. Please see detailed description before using these tools. Note that we will not offer support via the download page "comments," please visit our web site for additional information and help.
Compatible with the Gamma builds of RA:APB, this mapping & modding SDK package includes the most common utilities you will need to produce your own maps. Not included are commercial 3D modeling tools, or 2D editing utilities. 3DS Max is the tool of choice for creating .W3D models, and many paint programs can create .TGA or .DDS textures.
This version of the SDK has updated content to ensure compatibility with the RA:APB 2.1.2 release, but the documentation and tools included are suitable for use with all other W3D projects.
Note that RA:APB Gamma 2.1.2 or later must be installed prior to using LevelEdit, as the game installation process will properly configure LevelEdit to rely on the assets and codebase that were installed with the game client. If you experience difficulty, please visit our forum.
The ZIP file is fairly well organized and should help you find what you need. The following folders are part of the distribution:
An enhanced version of the LevelEdit application is included. This application is used to prepare your projects, and is capable of exporting the .MIX map files and .PKG mod packs loaded by the game. Please save your work early from the "File" menu, as it has certain instabilities.
Run LevelEdit_APB.exe and either select to make a new project folder, or pick from one of the included example projects. We've provided you with several maps from the APB 2.1.1 build:
RA_Zama - Standard map with most base structures, including a-bomb silo and production facilities.
RA_Hourglass - Another basic map with most base structures, with some interesting design techniques
RA_AS_Seamist - A map with nonconventional objectives, featuring periodic scripted "cinematic" reinforcements for one team
RA_CTT_Luna - An infantry-only map based on collecting tokens to win, made purely in LevelEdit (no 3D modeling software was used)
LevelEdit also contains SimpleGraph.exe which is used to make custom torque tables for vehicle physics.
This folder contains several .MAX format examples for map makers. Note that a "gems" example is also included, as are the 3D meshes for the buildings used in the game (including versions with snow added on top).
The docs folder contains the original W3D format documentation and is a must-read for anybody interested in creating new maps or models for use in the game. These are in their own folder in HTML format; open index.htm in the /docs/w3d folder.
Also included are documents on interior props for mappers, and also documents on how to manage performance in your projects.
Several extra tools are included that may be of some use to you.
ddbedit - without using LevelEdit, allows you to view an objects.ddb preset file
tdbedit - without using LevelEdit, allows you to edit the strings.tdb file for LevelEdit projects, for custom translations to a new language, or new names for custom objects
fixplanes - this tool will fix certain problems with .W3D meshes that can cause performance issues
makemix - this tool will take the files in a folder and create a .MIX archive of the contents
mergelod - this tool will take level-of-detail (LOD) meshes and combine them in a .W3D file
w3ddepends - this tool analyzes a .MIX file, finds all the .W3D files it contains, and reports their dependencies; useful for finding missing assets
zorient - this tool will apply an "always faces the camera" feature to .W3D meshes marked as cam-orient or cam-parallel
W3D tools for use with 3DS Max to load and export the .W3D files that maps and game objects are saved as.
W3DView allows you to view and, to a limited extent, edit .W3D files. It also can create certain kinds of .W3D files such as special effects emitters, sound emitters, and aggregates that link several other .W3D files together. Read the W3D docs to understand its capabilities.
This utility displays information about a .W3D file's data chunks
The free XCC Mixer is also included, as the preferred C&C community utility for viewing and editing .MIX files across all of the C&C games. More information is available from the XCC site.
There are several websites available that contain information pertaining to modding in the W3D engine that we use, including old Earth & Beyond or C&C Renegade fan sites. Futhermore, several free tools such as GIMP are fine for creating art assets, and nVidia has released plugins for Photoshop to generate the .DDS textures preferred by the engine. For the latest information and help, please visit our own web site, and check the Fan Projects section of our forums!
Note also that this toolset could also theoretically be used as a reference to create maps and mods for other games that use the same engine, although exact map set-up procedures will vary and the RA:APB Gamma installer specifically will configure LevelEdit to use your copy of RA:APB Gamma whenever creating a new project. If levelEdit fails to create new project folders properly, this path linking may have failed; visit our forum for assistance.