I’m very critical when it comes to mapping. I’ve seen a lot of poorly made stairs recently, so I decided to write a tutorial. I will be making this for Warsow, but the concept is the same in every game, e.g., Quake 3, Urban Terror, Xonotic, Open Arena, etc.
So you’re making your map and you decide, this needs stairs. Maybe so, but I would like to point out that too many stairs is bad. Let’s not have giant flights of stairs in our maps please.
Figure out what dimensions you want to use for your steps. The most common and best working is 16 units wide and 8 units tall. This is what I’m going to use in the tutorial (the maximum recommended height in Warsow is 12 units.) Notice where I place my first step; it’s flush with the top floor. Don’t start your stairs one step below, i.e., using the top floor as the top step.
Copy the step you made by pressing space bar, and moving the step into place. Do this until you have a full stair case.
Now most people would stop here and call it a day. However these are bad stairs; make some good stairs. Bust out the clipper (x) and make two points to clip the bottom half of your steps diagonally.
Make sure the steps are still selected, and press ctrl+m to make the steps detail brushes. This is how pros do it. It cuts down on compile time, and improves performance. Read about it here.
Create a brush the size of the stair case, and clip it to make a backing.
Now that you have some pro ass steps, you can hit ctrl+d to toggle detail brushes. Your steps should hide, and show once you press the shortcut. It’s just a quick way to see if you did it right.
Now you can add some quick lights, or flood lighting and test them out.
The final step would be to texture the stairs, and caulk the sides. Here’s an example of what a finished set of stairs might look like.
Wow, now you can work for id or something.