Setting up a Workspace

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Most times when a new mapper or contributer starts working with TDM they fail to set up an initial "good" workspace, as to avoid cluttering with TDM. In this I will try to very briefly explain how to best go about this. Quite a lot of this will overlap with Startpack Mappers' Guide : Project versus Non-Project?, however this guide is aimed at primarily people working on content(textures, models etc) rather than complete fanmissions, however it does apply to both it just excludes mapping basics and such. The Starter Guide's "project" is the same as this guide's "workspace". This guide is aimed at people who know the basics of DarkRadiant and are average Windows users(you must know how to change a file extension).

Note: With the 2.0 Standalone release, the expected relative paths are darkmod/maps or darkmod/fms/mymap/maps. You can use other paths such as darkmod/mymap/maps shown below for development.


Advantages of setting it up the first time:

  • Very easy to package your work for release
  • Easy to keep test versions away from real work
  • Easier to manage
  • Super easy to backup all your work (copying and pasting a folder)
  • You'll be able to use pointfiles for fixing leaks before going to the forum and asking "DR says it cant find the pointfile!"!

First of all you're going to need a test map, a large room with ambient light that you can spawn in and play around.

Creation and layout (contains the example)

  • Go into your darkmod folder (i.e C:\darkmod\)
  • Create a new folder, give it a simple name which you will remember and keep the name lowercase for sake of TDM being happy (in this example we will be using the name "testmap")
  • Create a sub-folder in your new folder, called "maps", you should place all of your maps that you've made in here (i.e NOT in `C:\darkmod\maps\`
  • In order to carry over your darkmod setting's it's best to copy you Darkmod.cfg from 'C:\darkmod\' into 'C:\darkmod\testmap\' or equivalent

You should now have something that looks like this:


Paste your test map into the maps folder. Give it a nice single word, lowercase name like ""

The same goes for textures, sounds, skins and anything else. You should not have to mess around with anything in the C:\darkmod\ folder when creating content/maps If you were adding a skin to your testmap it would be placed in C:\darkmod\testmap\skins\ etc. Later on we will look at getting a texture into your testmap/fm.

Getting your workspace into DR and TDM

In order to get your materials, sounds and misc other things into DarkRadiant and test them ingame you need to inform them about your fm.


  • In the menu bar go to : file -> preferences -> select game
  • You will now see a dialogue box about where doom3 and such is installed.
  • Make sure the settings are as follows (using our example of C:\darkmod\testmap)
    • Engine Path : D:/darkmod/ Note the slashes
    • Mod : darkmod
    • Mod Base : testmap

Once this is set up, DR will import your sounds, textures and whatever else on loading.

The Dark Mod

There are three methods

The Good(slow and not that useful)

Convert your little testmap folder into a micro-fm by creating the following files in the base testmap folder: file name and in the block some example content.

darkmod.txt :

Title: My little test map
Description: I test things here
Required TDM Version: Whatever

startingmap.txt :


When you start TDM, you will still have to 'dmap soundtest' or what have you, using the console(ctrl+alt+`) should you need to, but this is the "safest" method to test. It's however quite slow and not really useful for most people.

The Bad(but actually quite good, fast)

  • Create a shortcut to TheDarkMod.exe (C:\darkmod\TheDarkMod.exe)
  • Right click the shortcut -> properties
  • Change the "target" to something like :
    • C:\darkmod\TheDarkMod.exe +set fs_game darkmod +set fs_game_base testmap
    • On some versions of windows you might need to put quotes in: "C:\darkmod\TheDarkMod.exe"
  • Move the shortcut to someplace more accessible

Using the console once the game launches you will be able to 'dmap soundtest', 'map soundtest' or whatever's needed. NOTE : Screenshots (and potentially pointfiles from dmap) taken using this message may end up in darkmod\screenshots\

The ugly(I prefer personally)

  • Open C:\darkmod\currentfm.txt in your text editor and change the line to 'testmap' (without the quotes)

On next starting TDM you will be able to open the console and "dmap soundtest" or whatever you need. Once you're done with playing in your testmap you just revert the change in the text file. This also allows quick and easy changing between fm's without too much effort.

Example Use : Adding a custom texture to your map

test texture

If you're set up and on your road to fm making glory now, please take the time to test how it all fits together by doing something like this. I assume you know how to use DarkRadiant and have made a very simple test map called texturetest in your C:\darkmod\testmap\maps\ folder (the file would be Please take note that we will be using a jpeg file, textures should never use jpegs for a number of reasons, however for the ease of demonstration we will in this case.

  • In your testmap folder create a new subfolder named "textures" and in there we will further organize it by making another subdirectory "smiley". Once created enter the "smiley folder"
  • Are you now in something like C:\darkmod\testmap\textures\smiley ? you should be.
  • Right click the smiley face -> Save image as -> Browse to the smiley folder -> save as "smiley.jpg"
  • Is there now a smiley.jpg in the folder? if it's named incorrectly just rename it. If it's not there... try again.
  • Go back to your main testmap folder (C:\darkmod\testmap\)
  • Create a new folder named "materials", then enter it
  • Create a new text file (right click in folder -> new -> text document) and rename it to
  • Open in your text editor of choice (eg Notepad, not Word or anything officey)
  • Paste the following block of text into the file and save it :
   diffusemap textures/smiley/yellowsmileyface
   // TDM Ambient Method Related
       blend   add
       map     textures/smiley/yellowsmileyface
       red     global2
       green   global3
       blue    global4
  • If you don't have DarkRadiant running, start it. If you do already have it started fo to file -> Reload Shaders.
  • In the material browser find your smiley face (click the textures folder once then press shift and the right arrow key to expand all folders. Once they are expanded click on a random material or folder there and just start typing "smiley"... that should do the trick!)

If you apply it to a brush in your test map then save it, you should be able to launch TDM using one of the methods shown in this document and after "dmap texturetest" "map texturetest" you should be able to see it ingame!