Using WDC for your Wolf3D Project

WDC is by far one of the most (if not the most) flexible and detailed editors for the Wolf3D game files currently available.

Created by Adam Biser, the program works with the files of nearly every game built on the engine (Except for Rise of the Triad), and can edit (Among many other things):

  • Maps
  • Game Art (Statusbar, Menu icons, etc)
  • Sprites (Walls, Objects, Enemies, etc)
  • Sounds and Music
  • The fonts used by the game
  • The text of the Read This!

The editor also takes into consideration many things utilized by the Wolf3D modding community, having the added ability to implement things like increased map sizes (Up to 512x512!), higher resolution sprites, and exporting to WAD to support ECWolf and by extension LZWolf.

In this guide we'll be exploring the steps to start a fresh project in WDC, and the various options available.

If you haven't already, make sure you have downloaded a copy of the latest version of WDC from Adam's page, and installed it to a fresh directory.

The first thing to do is to create the new project. Go to File→New Project, and give it a name. For the tutorial, it will be TestGame.

Once you've created the file, you will be greeted with the Project Information window.

Project Information

To get started, you only need to fill out this first section (Folders/Files), though we will explore some of the other commonly relevant things in the other tabs on the next page.

Folders/Files has several fields that need to be completed, though many are optional.

  • Base Data Folder This is where your original version of Wolfenstein 3D is stored. Unlike older editors, WDC is designed so that you do not need to create a new copy of the Wolf3D files with each project. Instead, it will generate the new files seperately according to a later field.
  • Compiled Extension This will usually fill automatically when a Base Data Folder is selected, based on the files present in the folder (WL6 if it finds the full version of Wolfenstein, SOD for Spear of Destiny, etc)
  • Output Folder This is important if you want to build a game with the changes you make. This should be an empty folder, and when you Compile your project will be filled with a copy of the game in the Base Data Folder, making changes for any new maps, sprites or other alterations that have been created.
  • Map Data File This should automatically fill with the appropriate Map Data File when a compatible game is pointed to in the Base Data Folder field.
    WDC comes with files for each of the commercially released Wolf3D Games, but can also incorporate custom lists and have additional items added from within the program.

Those are the basic fields that need to be filled up for any basic project, and once you have your fields properly filled out, you can just click OK to start your project in WDC. If you ever need to return to this information, you can access it for the currently opened project by going to File→Project Information.

For the rest of this guide we will be assuming that everything is left at default settings, and the only things filled in were the basic fields in the Folders/Files section.

To test your settings to make sure everything works, go to File→Compile All. This will compile a new set of Wolf3D files in the Output folder you chose. This newly compiled game will be unchanged though as you haven't edited anything yet, but a successful build means you've most likely set things up correctly!

WDC Compile All

On the next page, we will start looking at the various sections of WDC, and the basic workings so you can get started making changes to your project!

In WDC, most commonly and uncommonly edited elements of the game are altered in virtually the same way (This goes for the sprites for Walls and Objects, as well as sounds, music, fonts, Read This pages and virtually every other element of the game).

The game designer (You!) will select replacements for things, and when the project is compiled, it will combine the files of the game designated in your project's Base Game Folder with your alterations, to create a new game in your chosen Output Folder.

Each part of the game that can be edited is divided into separate tabs in WDC, accessed through a collection of icons:

WDC Toolbar

In order, these buttons are:

  1. Project Information Brings up the Project Information window you fill out when starting a New Project
  2. Maps The Map Editing Screen
  3. VGAGRAPH Images The collection of images from the VGAGRAPH (or equivilant) file, including Menu and Statusbar images
  4. Walls/Doors The sprites for wall and door textures
  5. Objects/Enemies The sprites for objects and enemies, as well as player weapon sprites
  6. Sounds The sound effects for the game
  7. Music The music tracks for the game
  8. Fonts The fonts used for text in the game
  9. DOS Endscreen The screens that show up in DOS once the game is exited
  10. Colour Palette The palette the game utilizes. In the original Wolf3D this is actually stored in the engine itself, but Spear of Destiny includes this in it's game files instead.
  11. Demo Information In some cases when the game is left idle on the menu with no game currently paused, it will play through a demo file, which has an AI character play through a series of inputs, seen in this tab.
  12. Tile8 This is a special image used for the Debug windows and other functions usually beyond the necessity of a Wolf3D project.
  13. Endart/Read This! If enabled in a project, this section is for the in-game manual and endscreens
  14. PC Audio Beeps and boops, the base sounds for the game
  15. Adlib Audio Better beeps and boops.

While each tab is dedicated to it's own game elements, the way they work with them is largely the same. In each tab is a scrollbar to the right of the toolbar we just looked at, which is used to scroll through each item in the tab.


The way items display vary on the tab (Sounds will display as a list and waveform, while Images will display a visible preview of the image), but the structure is always the same (The original item on the left, the replacement -if any- displayed on the right).

Item and Replacement

Replacing Items

WDC expects that the majority of changes made to the game will be made by adding external files to replace things. As such, each tab has a Replacement file bar:

WDC Replacement File

The bar itself will display the local address leading to the replacement, whatever type it may be, and generally includes four buttons:

  • Insert Insert File - If you have an appropriate item to put in place of the currently selected original, you can click this button to point WDC as the current replacement. When your game is compiled, it will use this item instead of the original.

  • Edit Image Edit Item - Depending on what is being edited, this button may be enabled. Using it will allow you to edit the item (Such as a sprite) from within WDC itself, creating a replacement file of the new item automatically.

  • Open the replacement file's folder Open the replacement file's folder - As it says on the packaging, really. This button will open the folder in a new window.

  • Use original data Use original data - This will delete the current replacement item, and go back to using the original. If the itemwas added with one of the “Add Chunk” buttons, it will delete the entry entirely.

Export Item/Add Chunk

WDC Export

Here, there are three buttons. The first is a dedicated WDCExport Export button for saving a copy of the currently selected game item to a new file.

The second and third buttons are for adding new items to the file rather than replacing old art. Doing this requires changes to the engine in order to make use of these options properly.

  • Add Chunk Middle Add Chunk - This will add a new sprite entry before the currently selected sprite.

  • Add Chunk To End Add Chunk to End - This button will be clickable when viewing the very last sprite in a tab. Doing so will add a new sprite entry at the very end of the file. This is usually the best option as to avoid disrupting the rest of the core game.

To repeat, new chunks should only be added if you are sure; your project will likely need direct changes to the source code to recognize them.

Most elements of the game are edited in WDC using the above tools or a similar variation of them, with the exception of Maps, which we will explore on the next page.

If you are simply looking for how to export maps for ECWolf, that is covered in Dunkelschwamm's ECWolf Mapping Guide.

The first screen you will typically see on opening a project in WDC is the Map Editor:

WDC Map Editor

On this screen, (Accessed from the WDC Map Icon icon), you are able to edit the map, much like using a Paint program. Let's look at each part of this screen.

The Map

WDC Map Canvas

This is the main portion of the window, and for good reason; this is the overhead view of the maps in your game. This functions a lot like the canvas in a Paint program, in that you will edit the maps directly from here.

To flick through the maps, you have a scrollbar at the top of the window:

WDC Scrollbar

The Sidebar

WDC Map Editor Sidebar

The sidebar comprises multiple elements, but at it's core is the area you select the various game items to "paint" on the map (Walls, Floors, Objects, Enemies).

Map Zoom

At the top of the sidebar, is a Zoom toggle, to calibrate the size of the map canvas.

WDC Map Zoom

Plane Selection

The main section is dedicated to the Tile Lists. They are separated into lists for each Map Plane (Walls/Doors/Floors and Objects/Enemies in the base game), which can be switched between using the dropdown menu.

WDC Tile List Dropdown

These Tile Lists are defined by the Map Definition file selected (generally automatically) in your Project Information, and shown in the large list immediately below. Selecting any tile in the list with either the Right or Left Mouse Button will bind it to that key, with the currently bound tile shown in the display at the very bottom:

WDC Selection

When a spot (Tile) on the Map is clicked, whatever object or wall (or if your project uses them, something on another Plane) you have assigned to that button will be "painted" on the Map.


WDC Map Tools

WDC offers multiple tools similar to a Paint program, to simplify editing the map.

  1. Pencil Pencil Tool - This is the main tool for placing detail in the map; the Pencil Tool will fill a single tile with whatever is selected from the Tile Menu.

  2. Fill Tool Fill Tool - This tool will fill a selected area with whatever is selected from the tile menu. The fill won't penetrate walls, doors, or items with different tile values on the same plane, making it perfect for quickly applying floor codes or huge blocks of wall.

  3. Select Tool Select Tool - The select tool lets you highlight a rectangle on the map that you can cut/copy/paste. Useful if you want to duplicate or move a section of map.

  4. Solid Rectangle Solid Rectangle - This lets you draw a rectangle that will fill the entire designated space with the selected tile.

  5. Outline Rectangle Outline Rectangle - This will draw the selected tile on the outer most tiles inside the rectangle. This is generally used to create simple rooms and hallways.

  6. Tile Picker Tile Picker - If you have this tool selected and click on a tile on the map, it will change your selected tile to match the value of the clicked tile, dependant on the plane currently selected for editing. As an example, if you are currently editing Plane 2 (Objects) and you click on a Guard placed on the map, it will change your selected tile to the same value as that guard, allowing you to select another tool and place copies without having to navigate the Tile Menu.

  7. Manual Entry Manual Entry - If this tool is selected, when you click on a tile on the map, you will be prompted to manually enter the value of the tile (Assuming you are still editing Plane 2 (Objects) in vanilla Wolfenstein 3D, inputting a value of 28 would add a Hanging Skeleton object to that tile).

These are the basic elements needed for editing the Map. WDC is capable of a lot, included increased map sizes for compatible projects, adding new tiles to the map list, and other deeper features, but they are beyond the scope of this guide.

MacenWolf is a source port built off of Wolf4SDL, designed to recreate the Mac Wolf3D experience as closely as possible from within Windows. It has since then been used as a base to port the many releases in the Mac Wolf3D community.


Copies of MacenWolf: The Second Encounter and MacenWolf: The Third Encounter come with all the things needed to make a game within a Mac-style environment!

To get started, create a new project in WDC by going to File→New Project and give it a name. When you get to the Project Information window, you'll want to fill out the fields thusly:

  1. Base Data Folder This needs to point to the root directory of your copy of Macenwolf, either Encounter is fine.
  2. Compiled Extension This should auto-fill to WL6 once the Base Data Folder is filled. If not, make sure it is set to WL6.
  3. Output Folder Choose an empty folder, this is where your published game will go.
  4. Default Palette MacenWolf uses a different palette to traditional Wolfenstein 3D. This file is included in copies of MacenWolf, and this field needs to be pointed to it.
  5. Map Data File MacenWolf comes with Map Definition files for both WDC and ChaosEdit, to match the walls and objects included in the game. You will want to point this field to the WDC definitions file located in your copy of MacenWolf (\definitions\WDC\mac.wdc)

My Project Information for instance, looks like this:

MacenWolf Project Information

Provided you have pointed everything appropriately, clicking OK should bring you into the Editor. You may get a warning regarding the resolution of sprites. Make sure to click the option that WILL make it a high-resolution project.

Now, you should have everything you need to edit maps and Compile your own project for MacenWolf!

This page will be expanded to show how to package a mod for MacenWolf, with episode thumbnails and other extras.

Those are the basic elements of WDC that you need to understand to be able to create a Wolf3D project. In the video included on this page, I take you through the steps in making your first map within WDC.

As has been mentioned, WDC is capable of a lot of other changes. However, most of these extra elements are tied into features that require changes to the game itself. As such, those features of WDC will generally be discussed in the guides relevant to them.