Packaging guide

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This is mostly a set of guidelines for people packaging up their maps for redistribution among peers in the sandbox community

it's important to note that if you intend to distribute more than the ogz itself, that you're to use zip archives, or tar archives with either bzip or gzip compression. (non-windows platforms support this natively, for windows, use 7zip)

rar archives are not to be used, simply for cross platform concerns (linux supports it poorly, and OSX I believe doesn't support it at all)

What to include in the zip

the basic zip structure

[] indicates a folder, - the level.

  • [packages]
  • - [base]
  • - - map.ogz
  • - - map.cfg
  • - - map-art.cfg
  • - - map.jpg
  • - - map_big.jpg

if it's just a map, feel free to omit the base and package directories form the hierarchy.

note that other users do NOT want to pick through you archive to extract everything, so the first folder should always be packages, not the second!
it's less painful that way, and allows some operating systems to add the files, instead of overwriting the whole packages directory.

invalid substitutes for "map"

When one names his map, there's a few things you can't do, you're not allowed to name the map as to...

  • contains any brackets (this is includes braces and square brackets)
  • contain any punctuation (the only exception is the fullstop signaling the file extension)
  • contain greater than or less than signs, the engine WILL ignore them

Normal social standards also apply, expletives are not to be present in map names and ridicule directed at anyone isn't to be in the name.

taking the map.jpg screenshots

Note: png, bmp and tga are also allowed, but not recommended (the engine will identify the extension automatically)


  1. go into windowed mode and resize the window to 512x512 or 1024x1024
  2. press Ctrl-F12 to take the screenshot
  3. open the screenshot in the gimp or photoshop and resize it to either 512x512 or 256x256 and save it into packages/base, whilst substituting map for the map's name (note that resolutions that are not 2^n (where n is an integer) display oddly, and mapshots above 512^512 won't be accepted)
    1. you might like to play with /fov to try a different/better view for the screenshot


  1. use your standard resolution in sandbox, such as 1024x768 (1280x960 or above is suggested, note that if the map's included in sandbox, it won't be allowed past 1280x960)
    1. NOTE: 2.3.3 and later (development versions), scale the images based on size, so feel free to use 16:9, anything older requires you to use 4:3.
  2. ctrl-F12 to take a screenshot
  3. open the screenshot in the gimp or photoshop and save it to packages/base as map_big.jpg, whilst substituting map for the map's name

Custom art

custom art created by you is to be placed in either 1 or more of the following 3 directories

  • [packages]
  • - [my_name]
  • - [models]
  • - - [my_name]
  • - [sounds]
  • - - [my_name]

packages/my_name is to be used for textures, music, and other graphical data
packages/models/my_name is to be used for hosting models, and any relevant skins, which aren't going to be used as regular textures
packages/sounds/my_name is to be used for any custom SFX you wish to add

the above assumes of course, you're including your art, while including the art of another, you can either but them in a sub directory with THEIR alias, or keep them with your files.
just don't forget to give proper attribution within the readmes