Sauerbraten is the next iteration of the Cube engine. It was designed around two core concepts: make first-person shooters and make them easy to mod. It is, in my opinion, far more intuitive than FPS Maker. Yes, I am a huge geek who plays with a lot of different pieces of gaming crap. Here is a simple tutorial that I put together to show how easy it is to create content for Sauerbraten.
Sauerbraten is about 90 megs to download and it is free. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. And it is one of the easiest engines to modify since it was built from the ground-up with the idea that it would be used to create content and modify existing levels and content. It may not have some of the visual bling of Unreal Engine 3, but then it wasn’t made with that bling audience in mind.
In this simple tutorial, I’m going to discuss how easy it is to work with Sauerbraten . It is open source (zlib license) with full source included. So, if you really wanted to, you could make a complete game (which would require completely new textures and models).
Upon running Sauerbraten, you will be placed in the first of many demo maps. By pressing ‘e’ to enter edit mode and then ‘~’, the > console will come up. Typing ‘newmap’ will bring up a clean map interface.
Select a piece of ground with the mouse and then scroll down on the mouse wheel. It will raise the ground. This behavior is moving towards and away from the user based on perspective. Therefore, up scrolls away or burrows while down scrolls towards or raises the cube. Make something like 5 cubes tall and select the top one on the side.
Now, scroll away to extend that cube as well five cubes.
Now, use the WASD keys like in many first-person shooters to move the camera down under the piece you have created and select the bottom cube. Extend it down two cubes.
Now select and extend the cube directly below it up one cube. This will make the basis of a broken doorway.
We have roughed out a simple doorway. Now lets create a wall around it to provide a little more “stability”. Select a line of five cubes on both sides of the door and raise them ten cubes high.
Now select the top of the doorway and raise it to match the other walls. Now the broken door looks a bit more stable.
Unfortunately, it still looks blocky and annoying. We will take care of that once we have our basic level roughed out. The next step is to fly up above our structure and raise the rest of the walls. Select each line separately and make them 15 cubes long (to create a square room).
We will wait to fill in the roof until a bit later. Right now, what we are going to do is lower the interior five cubes. Select the floor (do not select the walls on accident) and lower them by three cubes.
Now select the area near the door and raise it to the level of the door to create a small platform inside the doorway.
Next, we will raise the steps so that the player can walk up and down them. Raise the cubes in front of the platform.
Now let’s try to run down the steps. Fly outside the building and press ‘e’ to exit edit mode. Run into the building (WASD) and down the steps. That’s a pretty big fall. Now try to run back up them. Crap. The cube size is too big. You can jump up them (space), but that is hardly preferable when you made stairs. Luckily, you can change the cube size. Press ‘g’ and hold it and scroll backwards. You will notice that the cube size changes. Scrolling forwards (away from you) will make the cube bigger and towards you, smaller. Make is one-size smaller than the size it was before and carve the steps again.
Run through it to test. Perfect. Now, create a one-cube high, 5×5 platform on the opposite side of the room. This will be our altar platform.
For a little variation, lower the edges to give it a more interesting look.
Boy that texturing is ugly, but it is definitely helpful when trying to see which side of the cubes you are on. Let’s make it a little prettier. Fly outside of the building and select the front wall. Now, press ‘y’ and hold it while scrolling up or down on the mouse wheel. Select a texture that you like and seems to work okay with the building. I chose a brick texture.
Do the same to the interior walls and the exterior walls so that they seem to be made of the same material.
Next, we will shape the broken part of the door. This will finish out the basics of playing with basic geometry in Sauterbraun. The next couple of images will create a bit of rough shaping using the different grid sizes (’g’ key and scroll).
Now press ‘q’ and move your mouse cursor to a corner. Use the mouse scroll to manipulate the corner (’f’ will manipulate all four corners at once). Start making the corners of the cubes a little more angular and natural as if they have been cracked.
Next, select the entire top of the building and raise it one block to create a ceiling.