BSP 5.2

BSP is the most popular node builder for Doom.

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GPL (GNU General Public License) 
3.0/5 23
Colin Phipps
ROOT \ Games \ FPS
1 BSP Screenshot:
BSP is the most popular node builder for Doom.

BSP is currently maintained by Colin Phipps. Please see the BSP entries in my blog for news about BSP, and the latest releases. But in practice, BSP is an old and mature tool; I just update it every now and then to fix any problems compiling it for new systems.

What are Nodes?

Before you can play a level that you have created, you must use a node builder to create the data that Doom will use to render the level. Doom uses a rendering algorithm based on a binary space partition, otherwise known as a BSP tree. This is stored in a data lump called NODES in the WAD file. This data structure must be precalculated and stored in the WAD file befor the level can be played; the tool that does this is called a node builder.

BSP is one of several node builders that can do this. There are others: idbsp is the original node builder that id Software used on the original Doom levels, for instance. BSP was the best known and most widely used node builder throughout the height of the Doom editing craze in the mid 1990s.

Here are some key features of "BSP":

· Fast Doom node builder.
· Supports a number of special effects.
· Supports multi-level WADs. Preserves non-level data in WADs.
· Includes an optional alternative algorithm for choosing the nodes which reduces the chance of visplane overflows.
· Optional support for compressing the blockmap.
· Compiles on DOS, Win32, Linux, UNIX.
· Supports big endian & 64-bit systems.


bsp [ -noreject ] [-factor nn ] [ -q ] [ -picknode { traditional | visplane } ] [ -blockmap { old | comp } ] inwad [ [ -o ] outwad ]



Causes any existing REJECT lump in the WAD file not to be replaced.

-factor nn

Used for tuning the node builder. The number supplied is the weighting applied when a choice of nodeline requires other lines to be split. Increasing this value from the default of 17 will reduce the number of extra line splits, but this will generally cause a less balanced node tree. The default is usually fine.


Causes BSP to run quietly, only printing output if there are errors or warnings.


Determines the nodeline selection algorithm. The "traditional" option is best for most Doom levels. For levels which are intended for the original doom2.exe and suffer from some marginal visplane overflows, the "visplane" algorithm is designed to minimise these and may help in some cases. See the included visplane.txt for more information.


Selects the blockmap generation algorithm. The default "old" algorithm generates a simple and correct blockmap. The newer "comp" version produces a compressed blockmap, by reusing identical blocks which should be equivalent in actual use. The "comp" version is therefore better but it relatively untested so is not yet enabled by default.

inwad is the input WAD file. This may contain any number of levels and other lumps. The nodes and associated data resources will be built for every level in this WAD. Any other data present in the WAD will be copied to the output WAD unchanged.

outwad is the output WAD file. If the output file already exists, BSP will write it's output to a temporary file while it is working, and will only overwrite the output file once it is finished. In particular, it is safe for outwad to be the same as inwad, although this is not recommended unless you keep other backups.

Either inwad or outwad can be pipes or special files. On most UNIX systems, you can have BSP read from STDIN and write to STDOUT by using it as follows: bsp -q /dev/stdin /dev/stdout

What's New in This Release:

· This release fixes problems on 64-bit systems and compile-time problems on big-endian systems.

Last updated on August 15th, 2006

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