As much as we all love making maps, the process is not without its fair share of pain. Here's a list of some known issues and how to fix, work around, or just plain deal with them.
This list will grow and change over time as additional issues are reported and/or fixed.
Why isn't my map saving my changes?
(This issue has been addressed in the 1.0.4 patch, please patch to this version or newer to fix.)
If unpatched, testing a multiplayer map with the "spawnserver" console command will flag your .map file as read-only. We recommend that you avoid running additional copies of the game or using "spawnserver" from F2 instances when developing multiplayer levels. If you absolutely must keep two copies running at once, keep your working file in another path (e.g. maps/mp/work/ instead of just maps/mp/) and copy your compiles into the desired location for testing (this is usually how we arranged our map files during development and why the issue was not caught sooner)
If you do load your map and discover you've lost work, immediately quit the editor without saving and locate the [mapname].tmp file in your maps folder. This .tmp file is a backup of the map file written when you save the map. You can change the extension back to .map and recover your changes up to the most recent save.
When I load the editor, my grid and camera views are solid white and don't show anything!
Try restarting the editor once for good measure; this is sometimes a random occurrence. If that doesn't work, odds are anti-aliasing settings in the game are interfering with the editor. Add +set r_multisamples 0 to your editor command line. You can keep it enabled in the game by adding the r_multisamples command set to your preferred level of AA on your game shortcut.
My editor runs really really slow and crashes sometimes. The game runs fine. Is there anything I can do?
Even on high-end machines, the editor can be far more of a performance hog than in the game. Here's a few points to look at. Most of these apply to single player, as multiplayer levels are much simpler, but your milage will vary based on system spec.
Keep in mind that the elements of the game that make things run well, such as backface culling on compile and VIS calculations (portals) are not calculated in the editor. Rendered previews in particular can bring your system to its knees if you're not careful. A single brush could cast up to 6x the shadow triangles it would normally per light!
Cubic Clipping: Enable cubic clipping by pressing Ctrl+\. This will cut off rendering at a finite distance in the camera and rendered views. You can adjust the clip distance by pressing Ctrl+] and Ctrl+[. Rendering the camera view on a typical single player level with no cubic clipping will often crash the editor.
Grid: When you load a map fresh and experience stuttering in the grid view, you can usually gain some speed back by zooming out to view the entire level, then zooming back in to a working range. This gets everything in the map into memory and can help get rid of stutters as the editor tries to keep up with your grid movement.
Regions: Working in regions minimizes the amount of the level being drawn and also keeps your level manageable as it grows. Keep small regions where possible when testing/rendering lighting.
Patches/Models: Patch meshes and models can eat up a lot of performance when used heavily; if you're not actively modifying them you can speed things up by not drawing them (Ctrl+P and Ctrl+Alt+M respectively).
My map runs really slow when I'm in the editor.
Remember from the previous entry that the editor can be a massive performance hog. When running the game from an F2 instance, you can expect to see drastic FPS drops compared to a normal copy of the game. A second copy of the game will run better, but still slower than with no editor in the background.
If you use two monitors, you may also see significant performance drops depending on your hardware - designers at Raven noticed up to 10fps in some cases. Bottom line - only trust your performance in a full screen, single monitor setting. For optimizing your level where necessary, check our Performance Guide.
I see some weird flickering in my level.
Flickering or z-fighting can occur when two faces overlap on the same plane. First, check that you don't have any duplicate brushes or any overlapping into each other. Some inlined models show shadow-related z-fighting and need to be fixed by removing the "inline" key.
You may also see z-fighting on decals at long range. The Z-buffer gets less precise over distance, so in large scenes you may need to float decal/detail patch meshes further off surfaces to keep the proper sorting.
One much more obscure instance occurs when a light's center lies coplanar with a face - shadows will z-fight across any such surfaces. If you think this might be the case, check your nearby lights and light centers. This typically occurs when you have an angled surface and just happen to move a nearby light center to a planar location.
When I render my camera view in the editor, I see weird things happening to the shadows as I move around. What did I do wrong?
In most cases, you've done nothing wrong at all. Shadows will occasionally act strangely when rendered in the editor; you may see flickering and odd shapes as you move through the map. You should only be worried if you observe any strange behavior when running a compiled map in the game.
You've mentioned running additional copies of the game a couple times, but when I try this it only loads one. What gives?
By default, Quake only allows a single instance. If, however, you have a high-end system and feel daring, you can run two copies at once and jump between them to use the LevelEditor and test in the game (or even to use the FXEditor, Model Viewer, etc.). This gives some improved functionality and performance over the F2 method, but is not for all users.
To do so, add the parameter "+set win_allowMultipleInstances 1" on your shortcut. Running the game multiple times will now launch multiple instances.
When I try to compile, I get an error message reading: "WARNING: Couldn't load map file: [map path/map name]" How can I fix this?
Quake requires that your .map files be placed in the q4base/maps/ folder (or the mymod/maps/ folder if editing within a mod) to compile. Check that your .map file is in the correct location. If this path does not exist, create a new folder "maps" under q4base.
Currently the path is also case sensitive, so q4base/Maps/ will cause the same error. If you have a "Maps" folder, change the capitalization so it reads "maps" to fix the issue.