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Dromed FAQ

:T1: :T2:

Where can I find tutorials?

Getting Started

  • The official Dromed tutorial (updated for the Thief 2 version) can be found here
    • For the Thief 1/G version, the tutorial is included in the original zip file.
  • Komag’s website has an alternative to the above: Complete Tutorial: how to create a fan mission from beginning to end.

General Tutorlials

  • This site
  • Dromed Central - the original site is no longer active, but a revived version is on Southquater. The original site can be downloaded in database (MS Access) format from ttlg’s download page
  • The Editors’ Guild (TTLG) - Chances are you already know about this, but it’s included for completeness. Searching is best done via Google. Type in your search terms followed by

My weapons don’t show up or I can’ pick up AIs

Did you load both scripts gen and convict? In the command window type: script_load convict and script_load gen

My textures don’t look like they should in the 3d window

You have add the line edit_screen_depth 16 to your User.cfg file which you can find in your root Thief 2 directory.

What are the differences between .mis, .gam and .cow formats?

  • .Mis (mission) files hold the terrain information, object placement and in short everything you see in your four different views.
  • .Gam (gamesys) files have all the object hierarchy stuff. Everything in the object hierarchy (not including the Rooms tree and everything with a positive ID) is saved in a .gam file so if you make changes there you will have to save the .gam file too and make sure your mission uses it (explained below).
  • .Cow files have both the mission file and the gamesys file in one file. More info…

Where can I get a list of all possible Dromed commands?

In Dromed, typing the command dump_cmds commands.txt will put a list of all commands in your Thief/Dromed installation folder.

When I open the original missions, why can’t I see all the brushes?

To save space, the original missions were stripped of unnecessary data such as terrain and room brushes. The unstripped versions can be downloaded from this page.

What are .osm files?

.osm files contain scripts which allow objects to interact. You already know a couple of .osm files: convict.osm and gen.osm, which have all the basic scripts in them. You can also find custom scripts made by fans: Thief Missions/Scripts/

How can I open Thief resource files?

The resource files (.crf) are simply renamed .zip files. You can use anything that can open .zip files to open them. Alternatively, you can browse through the files using Thief Media Edit.

How do I make/use a custom gamesys?

  1. Save the gamesys as yourgamesysname.gam.
  2. Type set_gamesys yourgamesysname in the command window
  3. Save mission file
  4. Reopen the mission file if needed

Remember that you need to save the gamesys every time you modify anything in the Object Hierarchy, or the changes won’t be saved.

A more detailed set of instructions can be found here: Using a Custom Gamesys

The purposes of many of them are listed in the references section. There may be more descriptions in the offline version of Nameless Voice’s former website, which can be download via this post on TTLG.

Where can I find custom models, textures etc?

A comprehensive list of custom content can be found here.

I can’t see my new brushes as they are too dark.

Press Ctrl+7 to make them all the same brightness.

What is Dedx or Dromed Deluxe?

DedX is a collection of custom content (objects, AI, textures, sounds etc) which is already compatible with Dromed. See here: Everything you wanted to know about Dromed De Luxe (DedeX)

Development Team: I have a great idea, but I need a team to do it.

First thing you have to do is take a deep breath and ask these questions from yourself:

  • What do I know about Dromed?
  • Can I really do what I have in mind?
  • Have I done anything in Dromed? Do I know it’s limitations?
  • Do I have anything to show the other taffers that I could do something like that?

Those are questions you will be asked when you try to build a team. A lot of projects come and go and it takes a lot of time and patience to make even a small level. You should be ready and know what kind of a task making levels can be. If you have an idea or plot you want to share, post it. I can not guarantee that someone takes it as most people like to make their own plots to their FMs, but sometimes you might get lucky.

Dromed crashed and I don’t know why.

Open your User.cfg file in your Thief 2 root directory. Add monolog to the end of the file. When you open Dromed a monolog.txt file will appear in your Thief 2 folder. A lot of stuff gets dumbed down there and if Dromed crashes open it up and search for error messages. Then post down the information in the forums and someone should be able to answer what is going wrong in your level.

I want to know how many brushes or objects I have. How can I do that?

Type info_window to the command window.

What is the maximum number of everything Dromed can handle?

Some limits are absolute, but others can be changed.

  • Terrain: 4000*
  • Objects: 2400* (leave a safety margin of 200 for objects created in-game)
  • Cells: 65535
  • Room brushes: 1024
  • Lights: 736 (Counts the Light and AnimLight properties)
  • Ambient Sounds: 256 (Counts the AmbientHacked properties)
  • Flow Brushes: 35 (NOTEME This has not been verified)
  • Total brush limits: Beyond around 6900 you cannot portalise or optimise, but the mission still functions. Beyond around 7050 Dromed will produce an error message about the level having too many brushes, but it can be ignored and mission will load in Thief 2 without problems.
  • In-game objects: Object count can increase while a mission is running (due to debris objects, priest spell effects etc). The default value for objects when the game is running is 2400, but the command resize_obj_id_space can be used to increase it. The maximum is 4000.

* The limits for terrain and objects are a little flexible. You can have more terrain brushes if you use very few objects. You can increase the object limit via dark.cfg and increasing the value for obj_max. The file will have to be included in your FM zip file.

Weird objects (particle effects/projectiles/etc) have appeared in the middle of a room.

Where is this room? Try the command vm_teleport 0,0,0 in Dromed. Your camera is now located in the 0,0,0 coordinates. This is an area where Dark Engine stores certain objects for later use and this point is usually the reason for that problem. It has been advised that you build far away from that point or at least place a 4x4x4 solid cube to that location to make sure the area can’t be seen.

Grid size? Where should I keep it?


When adjusting the grid there are two rules you should be aware of and obey:

  1. NEVER TURN THE GRID OFF! Do not press the Use button below the grid selection. Not using the grid is a very bad thing, which will result in errors when portalising or optimising.
  2. Use the grid size which you need and don’t go below 11. For example: There is no need to go below 14 if you want to build a 8x14x12 air brush that would align to the grid at that grid size. Low grid usually means more polygons, lower framerate, trouble when roombrushing and more unstable Dromed.

If you use a grid size of 12 or 11 to make some stairs, it is perfectly safe to increase it to 14 or 15 to make something like a new building. All that matters is that the location, orientation, and dimensions of terrain brushes are rounded off.

The level may work even if go below 9, but I wouldn’t count on it and problems may arise later on when adding extra detail. Bad use of the grid is one the things that ruin the first missions (and cause them to be abandoned).

After moving brushes or objects with a multibrush, make sure to either grid-snap your map or manually re-enter the co-ordinates of each brush/object that was moved. (Remember: just because Dromed only shows the first two decimal places that doesn’t mean it doesn’t understand more. Grid Size 11 will allow you to place brushes at 0.125 increments, but it will display these as 0.13 in the coordinate boxes. So be careful when using multibrushes with grid size 11.)

Motion tags and custom motions

Thanks to Shadowspawn we have a complete list of motions and a motion database editor and thanks to the work of Weyoun we have a motion editor. Full list of motion tags for all four Dark Engine games and the motion database editor with the motion schemas can be found at this location: Thiefmissions/tools/Shadowspawn

And the motion editor:

Threads about the subject:

Also, Shadowspawn has a custom motion database created with a lot of modifications. Get the General Purpose Motion Database from Shadowspawn’s site.

How to create a conversation?

Conversations Tutorial
This conversation tutorial by Deep Qantas should help you in creating conversations. The tutorial was made for Thief 1, but all the basic stuff is there. Only the schema names have changed (the AI’s won’t speak if you try it out).

For Thief 2, you can look at conversations used in the original missions, e.g. the two guards in the first mission who complain about the torches. Another useful method is to look at the Thief 2 schema files. speech.spc has a list of valid concepts (the first argument for Play Sound/Motion), to which you can add your own. The file conv.sch has all the conversation schemas. Each schema includes a concept and line number, e.g. c0103 (LineNo 1 1).

Getting Dromed to work

Installation can go awry if files are missing, but there is a Getting Started guide here, which discusses basic installation and patches. For use on modern computers, it may also be necessary to use DDFix to get Dromed running.

Where can I find some photographic inspiration?

R Soul’s Photographic Inspiration

Alternatively, Google Images produces many results for searches for things like medieval architecture or old mansion etc. You can also get good ideas from this thread on TTLG: Real life… assotiation with Thief

How does Dromed choose what to suggests when I press TAB in the console?

The Loc_Hist.hst file contains the history of commands that have recently been entered into Dromed’s console. These commands are suggested first when the tab key is pressed. If you are looking for a particular command, you can narrow down the search by typing in the first few letters and then pressing Tab.

You might find it useful to place all the commands you use often into this file, remove everything else, and then make the file Read Only.

Why doesn’t Dromed display my book text?

Custom book texts will not be displayed if there is no Strings folder in your Thief path, so make sure to have one at all times, even if it is empty.

Why won’t Dromed load a certain texture? It suddenly disappeared from my level and cannot be reloaded!

Never use the Shape→TxtRepl properties on an archetype, especially if the specified file is one of your currently loaded brush textures, as this will cause Dromed to refuse to load that texture.

Dromed crashes when I try to compile the room or pathfinding database! What could be causing this?

It seems that if you create an object and give it one of the Door properties (Rotating or Translating), and then remove that property from the object, then the object becomes ‘cursed’. The only way to fix this is to delete the affected object. You can make a clone of it by hitting Insert first; the clone should have no problems.

To find the object, follow Shadowspawn’s advice in this thread:

When I look at the info_window, it says Created by UNKNOWN, Last Saved by UNKNOWN. How do I replace this with my name?

Open the User.cfg file in your Thief directory, and add the line user MyName

(Where MyName is the name you wish to have on your mission)

Note: The Created tag is put on the mission the first time you save it, and cannot be modified afterwards.(At least not without using a hex editor.)

Garrett falls through the floor

This usually happens when you enter solid space. You can see the level as you fall eternally down.

Possible fixes:

  1. You have no starting point and point 0,0,0 is in solid: Create a marker and link it to Garrett with a PlayerFactory link.
  2. You have persistent_player_pos active and your camera is in solid space. Return to editor mode and move the camera away from solid.
  3. Your starting point is below the ground level. Make sure your starting point is in an air brush. It must also be several units above ground level.

How to add new sound files?

When you want to add new sound files you have two options:

  1. Replace an existing sound file - easiest for beginners but not very flexible
  2. Create a new schema - harder, but gives you more control

This thread covers both of them pretty well: question about Sound

How do I get objects to cast shadows?

The first property needed is Object System→Immobile. This will make the object cast a shadow. For that shadow to affect the player’s light gem (and any objects (e.g. bodies) in the shadow), you will also need the property Renderer→Runtime Object Shadow.

Why doesn’t the sunlight (or ‘moonlight’) in my mission look right / affect the visibility gem properly?

In order for sunlight to work, the mission must be Optimised. The standard Portalisation process cannot calculate sunlight properly. The lighting mode must be set to Objcast or Raycast.

Sunlight takes a very long time to calculate, so if it has been enabled, don’t worry if Dromed is unresponsive for a long time when you relight.

Is there an ultimate collection of Dromed and mission design tools I can download?

You are in luck; such a collection does exist. Is it awesome (y/n)? hint:(y)! Read about it here…

Why do I get the error “LINKID_RELATION(id) == Vec.Relation()” when I compute pathfinding?

There is at least one elevator that hasn’t been set up correctly. Every elevator must have a TPathInit link to a TerrPt, which defines its starting location. The TerrPt should have a TPath link to another TerrPt.

  • A Will O’Wisp (-5863) is a type of elevator, and therefore must be set up as described above.
  • If you want to create a broken elevator, or one that is permanently disabled, it’s better to create another object (e.g. something already box-like and metal) and change its Shape→Model Name property, and its Physics→Model→Dimensions property, to match those of the original elevator.

I’m following the official tutorial. Why doesn’t “add_family core” work?

The core family only exists in Thief 1. In Thief 2 there is a family with similar textures called core_1, so use that instead. There is an updated version of the official tutorial in the Dromed Toolkit.

NOTEME The toolkit contains many other things, but they are optional. If you’re just getting started, it’s best to use the program in its original form until you feel more comfortable.

None of the AI will move - they stand still with their arms out

There are two ways for this problem to occur:

  • You try to play your FM through Thief 2, or the problem is reported by someone who is testing your FM
  • You load an original mission in Dromed.

Thief 2 and Dromed must both be patched to version 1.18. One of the things changed by the patch was the AI pathfinding. If either program is still version 1.07, the other program will not recognise the pathfinding database of the mission.

  • To check the version of Thief 2, go to the installation folder, right-click on Thief2.exe and select Properties. Select the Version tab and then select Product Version. The value will either be 1.07 or 1.18
  • To check the version of Dromed, start the program. The version number, 1.07 or 1.18, will be in the title bar.

All patches can be found here.

NOTEME If it is Dromed which needs to be patched, afterwards you will need to Compute the Pathfinding Database again.

Dromed freezes in Game Mode, just like Thief 2 did before the hyperthreading fix

The hyperthreading fix mentioned here only applies to Thief2.exe. The same fix can be applied to Dromed by adding the following to the processor.bat file and running it again:

imagecfg -u dromed.exe
imagecfg -a 0x1 dromed.exe
dromed/faq.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/22 01:50 by r_soul