Compile Errors

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Note:This article refers to compiling maps in Hammer, not when compiling source code.

Common terms

  • Node -- The brush, side, area, location, etc, that the compiler is computing.
  • XXX -- Replace with a brush number or otherwise unique identifier.

General errors

The system cannot find the file specified
This error is output by the file copy operation at the end of the compile if there is no .BSP file to copy, or if the destination doesn't exist. It often means that VBSP ran into an error before it could write the .BSP file. Check the VBSP output for any errors.
Be sure you typed your filename correctly, excluding any dashes, periods, etc. If it persists, try typing the file extension as you save it. If compiling with Hammer, check the log for errors; it often will point you in the right direction.
If you have not ran the game that you are making a map for, or if the destination that you are trying to place the final .BSP file in does not exist at the time you attempted to compile your map, this error will occur as a result of Hammer lacking the ability to create file folders. This happens to a variety of people, most often when the person receiving the error has recently rebooted their computer after a crash, their computer dying, or a virus or other possible cause of computer data/memory loss. If this happens, all you have to do is run the game you are making the map for, or simply browse to the closest file directory to the one you are trying to put the final .BSP in a file browser, and make a folder named the same as the selected output folder.
Error opening mapname.bsp
The compiler can't find the .BSP file for your map or it's corrupted. Probably the .BSP wasn't created by Vbsp because of an error. If not check the pathname.
SteamStartup() failed
SteamStartup(0xf,0x12eac4) failed with error 1: The registry is in use by another process, timeout expired
Try recompiling or restarting Steam.
WARNING node with unbounded volume
This occurs when some part of your map is touching, or is out of the hammer map grid. Move away from the edges of the grid, then compile.
Attempting to compile a map that contains a func_instance with cordons enabled inside it can also return this error.

BSP (vbsp.exe)

**** leaked ****
The most common compile error. You have at least one leak in your level. The inside of your map isn't properly sealed to the outside ("void"). Load the pointfile in Hammer. A red line that starts at the specified entity will go through the leak at some point. Follow it in 3D view, seal the leak and recompile.
Brush XXX
WARNING, microbrush
A brush is too small to be compiled (usually smaller than 1 Hammer unit). Search for the brush with the number specified. Delete the brush and recreate it in a bigger scale.
Brush XXX
FloatPlane: bad normal
A brush has an unnecessary vertex on a "flat" plane. Probably a result of using the Vertex Tool. Search for the brush with the number specified. Use the Vertex Tool again to fix it by merging the unnecessary vertex with another. Can also occur when creating small curved brushes with too many vertices.
Can't find surfaceprop for material, using default
There is a texture in your map that doesn't have a material surface property. Probably you used a "model" texture on a world brush. Use the replace texture dialog, search for "model" in your used textures and replace them by others. If you use custom textures make sure they have a $surfaceprop value.
Error displacement found on a(n) (entityname) entity - not supported
There is a brush entity in your map that has a displacement. Displacements may not be brush entities. Search for a brush entity with a displacement on it and remove the displacement or move the brush entity back to a normal world brush.
Error! To use model "filename.mdl" with static_prop, it must be compiled with $staticprop!
There is a prop_static in your level that is using a incorrect physics model. The model will not show up in game. Use prop_physics or prop_dynamic_override instead.
Error loading studio model ""!
There is a "prop_" model in your map using no model or an incorrect model filename.
Face List Count >= OVERLAY_BSP_FACE_COUNT
There is a surface with too many overlays on it or an overlay that is applied to too many surfaces.
Its also possible that you changed the lightmap scale setting to a low value (1-8) on a large brush with several info_overlays.
material "" not found
A surface or an overlay uses no texture or an incorrect texture filename.
Memory leak
mempool blocks left in memory:
A chronic error that doesn't affect your map. Ignore.
Bad planenum
The editor did not save the File Correctly - Re-save and compile. This can also be caused by more than one brush overlapping another - Normally Caused by a bad Carve.
Tried parent
The node in the compile has no parent node - this is very rare, but will most likely be caused by vertex manipulation errors passing through hammers safe guard. Think of a box but the whole box is only one side.
XXX with splits
The brush face has been split, and is a big no, no. The best way to try and fix it is to look for tiny brush penetrations, such as the tip of a spike on touching the side of a 1 x 1 x 1 brush.
vbsp.exe crash potential causes (no error message)
Playerclip texture used on displacement brush.
Note:In order to find this error, uncheck all visgroups except "Clip/player"
.

VIS (vvis.exe)

loadportals
couldn't read filename.prt
Vvis can't find the portal file created by vbsp. Either vbsp didn't create it because of an error (leak?) or vvis uses an incorrect file path. (A fix is to make sure that the map name has no capital letters.)

Or: You created some new Areaportals but compiled with BSP "Only entities".

Or: You accidentally placed/moved a light_environment entity outside the bounds of your skybox.

Leaf (portal XXX) with too many portals.
There is an area with too complicate geometry. Try to simplify some rooms and corridors and make smaller structures func_details.

RAD (vrad.exe)

Texture axis perpendicular to face at (XXX, XXX, XXX)
At the coordinates specified there is a surface with incorrect texture values. Try to find the surface and make sure the texture is "aligned to world".
WARNING: Too many light styles on a face (XXX,XXX,XXX)
At the coordinates specified there is a surface lit by too many "effect" lights. This includes lights that have a name (which compiles both on and off status so you could switch them) or a light using effects like flickering. Remove some of them, disable flickering effects or make sure they don't have a name.
Note:A surface may only be lit by up to 4 lights with different targetnames. This means a face can be lit by unlimited different light styles as long as they share up to 4 names.
<number> degenerate faces

To do: Tests show it has to do with transparent materials. Find the brush(es) and change its textures to eliminate the error.

warning - face vectors parallel to face normal. bad lighting will be produced
This can happen when using Align to texture (Alt + Template-RMB.png right mouse button), to fix this, find the brush causing it (backtrack through your recent changes), align the affected face to World or Face, and manually apply the texture settings.

See also

External links