Working with Entities

The entities in Anachronox are limited to those defined by /models/models.dat. Entity data must exits in both /models/models.dat and /tools/AnachroRadiant/enties.def. No model is usable in the game unless it is defined in /models.dat regardless if it is defined in /tools/AnachroRadiant/entities.def. See section 03 Entities and Assets for more information.

image038 The Entity Window
You make game design decisions about entities and modify their features within the Entity Window. The /tools/AnachroRadiant/entities.def definition file determines what entities will be shown in the Entity List and what, if any, property descriptions appear in the Key Descriptions and Check box Spawn Flags.

Entity List
The Entity List is a drop down box on the Entity Window. It contains the "classnames" of all the entities defined by the entities.def file in alphabetical order.

You can use the scroll bar to scroll through the entities or, after clicking on the field, type in the first letter of the class you want to use (e.g.; type in "T" to select "target", or "A" for ammo, "W" for weapon).

Double-click on the classname to select it and enter it on the first line of the Active Properties field.

See Appendix/Entities of this document for a complete listing of all the entities used in Anachronox.

Key Descriptions
The entries in the Key Description field are the "rules of use" for the hi-lighted classname in the Entity List field. You can use the scroll bar to scroll up and down through the lines, but the entries are not interactive. All of the key commands are described and their acceptable values (or value ranges) are listed.

Check box Spawn Flags
Spawn flags are properties assigned to entities by use of check boxes. Check the box to set the feature for the selected entity. Many entities have no spawn flag properties, while others have numerous ones. Descriptions of each entities spawn flags can be found in the Key Descriptions of this diaglog box and in the entity descriptions found in Appendix/Entities.

Active Properties
This field shows all the properties currently assigned to the selected (or newly-created) entity. Each property has two parts: key and value. Once created or assigned, they appear on the same line together. Only properties that are valid for an entity (that is, ones that appear in the Key Descriptions field) will function in game. Adding others may create error messages, and must be defined using APE to create results.. You cannot directly affect the properties in this field.

Clicking on an active property hi-lights it and fills in the key and value fields below. You can edit both the key and the value in those fields, or use the Del Key/Pair button to delete it altogether.

Key & Value Fields
Keys (and their values) are assigned to entities by typing them into the fields. There is no spell check or auto-correction, so make sure that your typing is accurate. Start by typing in the name of the key. Then hit TAB or ENTER to change to the value field. This also clears the contents of the value field. Now type in the value for the key (the Key Descriptions list the acceptable value ranges for the keys). If you hit ENTER, the key and value appear in the Active Properties field. If you hit TAB, the cursor moves up to the key field. You can also click directly on a field to edit it. The cursor will appear after the last character in the field. Use arrow keys to position the cursor within the field.

Angle Buttons
The Angle Buttons (below the value field) are used to assign a facing direction (as is the case with player start spots or misc_models) or movement direction to entities (such as doors and buttons). Click on a button to create an Angle key with that button's value in the Active Properties field. Clicking on another key changes the angle value.

There are two clusters of angle buttons. The first cluster represents rotation around the Z-axis for entities like player start or spawn spots or misc_models. The entity will face in the selected direction. The buttons represent angle directions in 45 degree increments. There is a direct correspondance between the angle that the entity will face (or move) and the position of the button in the cluster. If you select the 90-degree button at the top center of the cluster, the entity will face "up" on the XY 2D Map. If you select the 180-degree button on the left side of the cluster, the entity will face left on the XY 2D Map.

For entities like doors or buttons, it represents the direction that entity will move when activated.

The second angle button cluster assigns an up (-1) or down (-2) direction to the entity. Note that an entity can only have one facing direction. It cannot face up and 45 degrees. It can only affect one or the other.

It is also possible to directly edit the angle value in the value field. This allows for a much more precise angle selection.

The Other Buttons

A third cluster of buttons sits to the right of the Angle buttons. Each has a unique function.

Clicking on this button will reset all properties from the entity to the default values.

Del Key/Pair
If you have selected an active property, clicking on this button will delete the property.

This opens a Windows directory browser in the directory that contains the map sounds. Double clicking on a sound file name in the browser window creates an active property with the appropriate key and the value as the path/name for that sound.

Entity Handling Tools
These tools manipulate the in game entities. The map component handling tools that are described in the Working with Brushes section also work with entities.

This is the all-purpose deselect key. Use it to back out of operations you don't want to complete or to stop working on an entity.

Connect Entities(Menu: Selection->Connect Entities) (Shortcut: CTRL+ K)
This targets one entity, typically an activating trigger, at another entity, usually a target of some kind. Some entities may be linked in multi-part chains, where each entity has some effect on the one(s) that follow it. To use, do the following:

  1. Hi-light the acting entity (usually a trigger, or a button).
  2. Hi-light the targeted entity (examples: target_position, target_relay, a door).
  3. Select Connect Entities (or press CTRL + k).
  4. A path is drawn between the two entities. The first entity selected always targets on the second.
Troubleshooting: If the connection is not made check the following:

Ungroup Entity(Menu: Selection->Ungroup Entity) (Shortcut: none)
This unbinds an entity made of brushes, and/or patches, and md2 models back into separate map components. Once ungrouped, the entity is no longer an entity and loses any and all key value properties it may have had.

Design Note: If you intend to rebuild an entity after ungrouping it, write down its key properties and values first.

Moving Selected Entity
These keys move the Entity around the map in discrete map grid increments.

Nudging the Entity
These keys move the Entity around the map in discrete map grid increments. The movement is in terms of the selected window, not in terms of XYZ coordinates.

Rotating Entities = BAD!
All the commands that rotate brushes and patches will work on entities. Unfortunately, what they do to some entities is BAD! Don't use free rotate or menu rotation commands to rotate Misc_models or any entity model represented by a wireframe model in your map. The movement will separate the model wireframe from its bounding box and will not actually change the facing of the entity.

Changing Facing = GOOD!
To change the direction that a misc_model or entity with a facing (such as a player start or spawn spot) faces, use Angle keys and values. You should "rotate" (change facing) entities with either the Angle buttons on the Entity Window or by entering an Angle key and giving it a rotation value between 1 and 360 (inclusive).

Mass Rotations
If you are building a Capture the Flag map, or other map where you only build one portion and rotate it to make the others, consider doing the following. Change the display of all non-misc_model entities to bounding boxes only. Select the entities to be moved and clone them. Then rotate them using the menu rotating commands. Position them in the new map section. Next, move misc_models individually. Change their facing and set them in place.