Create a map for Big Balloon

In this tutorial I want to show you what you need to make your map ready for the game type Big Balloon. But before you start you should make sure that you have installed World of Padman version 1.6 or higher. With older versions some of the things described here will not work or only work in a different way. At this point I just assume that you know what Big Balloon is and that you know how this game type works.

It should be noted that we have included a sample map for the game type Big Balloon in the file WoP mapping, which you can find in the folder /XTRAS/editing files of your WoP installation. This map can be compiled directly and is therefore fully testable with all components. Since we have not set any light entities, please compile without light. The map, however, contains only the components needed for Big Balloon and can be easily imported directly into your existing map. It contains the three balloon boxes with the trigger brushes and all necessary entities. Apart from a few adjustments, this should save you a lot of work. But to understand everything correctly, you should still work through this tutorial and take a look at the example map at the same time.

General preliminary considerations

The game type Big Balloon often requires some changes in the brushwork of the map to create sufficiently protected locations for the balloon boxes. Therefore, the WoP team agreed to keep maps for Big Balloon as a separate file. For this purpose, the map will be saved under a different name, which will contain a BB at the end, so instead of wop_mymap.bsp, the map will be named wop_mymapBB.bsp. As already mentioned, this only makes sense if the design of your map for the game type Big Balloon differs significantly from the other game types. Of course you can also insert all entities necessary for Big Balloon into the version of your map for Spray Your Color, for example, because they will only really be displayed when the game type Big Balloon is called. It is ultimately up to you.

When choosing the location of the balloon boxes, you should make sure that there are no direct shooting possibilities at the boxes from certain positions over long distances, as this prevents unpopular camping. A direct view from box to box should also be avoided. In general, you should refrain from inserting the iMPERiUS in comparison to the Spray Your Color game type, as it would cause too much imbalance between the teams. But technically it works. Also for powerups and weapons you may have to find new positions, as they should not be directly next to the balloon boxes. Ammunition bottles, on the other hand, are quite helpful in close distance. The Holdable BOOMiES (mines) is included since WoP 1.5 and can also be used for Big Balloon, unlike the BAMBAM (turret), which does not spawn in Big Balloon.

Before you continue, your map should already be finished. This includes an info_player_intermission to guarantee the spectator a nice view on your map. An info_player_deathmatch allows the player to enter your map. Depending on the size of your map, you should distribute between 12 and 16 spawn points evenly in your map, as far away as possible from the balloon boxes and a few in higher altitudes. You don’t necessarily need team spawn points, but you can use them to allow teams to enter the map from seperate locations, as ENTE did in the BB version of his PadCrash. For more information on team spawn points, see the tutorial Create a map for Capture The Lolly.

Usually we put three balloon boxes into our maps. In theory, more could be built in, but the HUD is only designed to display three boxes. But let’s start with the first box first.

Insert a balloon box

In the first step you select a target_balloon simply by right-clicking on it in the context menu under target and insert it into your map at the position of the mouse pointer in the selected Radiant view. The model of the balloon box should now be displayed automatically. If the lid of the box should open in an unfavorable direction later in the game, so that the player’s view might be blocked, you can rotate the balloon box via the key angle. This requires you to enter a decimal number between 0 and 360 (degrees) into the value field. The front of the box is where the two loop straps hang over the lid. The hinge of the lid is therefore located on the opposite side of the two loop straps.

The entity target_balloon with keys in the Entity Inspector

The entity target_balloon with keys in the Entity Inspector

Note: Since WoP 1.6, the path to the model of the balloon box no longer has to be specified via the key model for the target_balloon entity, as the path is now directly controlled by the code. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that the balloon box is now solid and the player cannot walk or shoot through the model anymore. Older versions of WoP still need the path models/special/ballon.md3.

Insert a balloon zone

The entity trigger_balloonzone with keys in the Entity Inspector

The entity trigger_balloonzone with keys in the Entity Inspector

In the second step you create a simple brush with a diameter of about 300 units and a height of 192 units, which you position in a way that the previously created target_balloon is now in the center of its base. Now convert this simple brush into a prism with an eight-sided base by selecting Brush/Prism… in the main menu of the Radiant, enter a value of 8 for Arbitrary sides and confirm with OK. It is recommended to have activated the top view (XY window) of the Radiant before, otherwise not the base but one of the sides of the brush might be converted into an octagon. Afterwards, you can apply the common/trigger texture to the prism created in this way. Finally, you give it the property trigger_balloonzone, which you can easily assign to it by right-clicking on the context menu under trigger.

Linking balloon zone and balloon box

Any player who “dives” into the brush with the entity trigger_balloonzone in the game can cause the balloon to rise or to destroy. To make this work, you have to link the entities trigger_balloonzone and target_balloon in a third step. First select the entity trigger_balloonzone and then the entity target_balloon and press the key combination Ctrl + K. It is essential that the order of selection is respected.

In this way, the Radiant automatically assigns the key target to the entity trigger_balloonzone and the key targetname with the same value (here: balloon3) to the entity target_balloon. As an alternative to the method described above using a key combination, you can also link the two entities manually by entering the keys target for the entity trigger_balloonzone and targetname for the entity target_balloon directly and defining the same value for both. You can also define the value balloon3 yourself and enter something for it. It is important that both entities get the same value and that it is unique in the whole map.

Definition of the position message

In order for the player in the game to be able to see the position of a balloon box in the form of a message in the HUD when it is conquered or lost, a fourth step must be taken. To do this, select the entity trigger_balloonzone, i.e. the brush with the eight-sided base, and assign to it the key message with a self-defined position message in the value field. This position message should be in English and easy to understand, e.g. here: Balloon on the blue platform. You should note that the message you define will be supplemented by the game depending on the situation, e.g. Balloon on the blue platform is under attack by the RED team or Balloon on the blue platform is captured by the BLUE team. Your message should be structured accordingly and should allow adding the phrases highlighted here in bold.

The entity trigger_balloonzone with the key message in the Entity Inspector

The entity trigger_balloonzone with the key message in the Entity Inspector

Two more balloons

To insert the two missing balloons, you can select the first balloon arrangement, consisting of the entities trigger_balloonzone and target_balloon, and copy it with the shortcuts Ctrl+C and paste it with Ctrl+V. This would require all entities to be duplicated in such a way that the correct assignment between trigger_balloonzone and target_balloon is also duplicated correctly. If instead you would simply clone the balloon arrangement by pressing the spacebar, the cloned entities would be parts of the old entities and this would result in nonsensical links between the balloons. To correct this manually afterwards is not that easy. You can also simply import our sample map via the main menu under File/Import. In any case, don’t forget to adjust the position announcements of the three balloon zones individually.


If a player tries to place the BAMBAM and BOOMiES holdables, which were introduced in WoP 1.5, on the map, he will find that this is not possible everywhere. To avoid particularly nasty situations, we have made sure that you cannot place the items on jump pads or at teleporter exits etc. However, this rule only applies within a certain radius around the corresponding spots.

In addition, there will be areas in your map where you may want to limit the use of these items, such as critical locations in your map or the bases of the respective teams. To give you as a level designer a little more control over this, we have introduced the trigger trigger_forbiddenitems. To use it, you need to create a brush in the appropriate area of your map that takes up the size of the forbidden zone. You assign the texture common/trigger to this brush. Afterwards you have to select the brush, right-click on it and set the property trigger_forbiddenitems in the context menu. Now you can check item_boomies (spawnflags 2) in the Entitiy Inspector to prevent the use of BOOMiES. You can ignore the option item_bambam for the game mode Big Balloon, because the BAMBAM does not spawn in this game type. Any player inside this brush will not be able to place the BOOMIES.

Start the map in Big Balloon

After you have compiled your map, you will surely want to test it. To enable WoP to start your map with all textures etc. outside a PK3 file, you have to set WoP to unpure first. To do this, open the console in WoP with the key combination Shift+Esc, enter /sv_pure 0 and confirm with the Enter key. If you have not yet placed your map in the create menu, you must start it from the console as well. But before you do this, you must set the game type to Big Balloon, otherwise your map will automatically start in the game type Free For All. You do this by entering the command /g_gametype 8 in the console. Now you can start your map by entering /devmap myBBmap in the console. You can always close the console with the key combination Shift+Esc if necessary.

Briefly, all the console input is summarized once again.

/sv_pure 0
/g_gametype 8
/devmap myBBmap