By Bumbleson

How To Make An Elevator In Four Steps

Ok, this isn’t new and I’m certainly not the first one to write an elevator tutorial. I know there was one here, back when Dromed stuff was still located under /teg/guides, but it seems to have vanished without a trace. So I decided to write a new one. It’s meant for Dromed 2.


In Thief, elevators are just one form of what is called “Moving Terrain”. Moving Terrain consists of some kind of “platform” that moves along a set of “TerrPts”. This means your elevators must not necessarily move up and down. It’s just a matter of where you put your TerrPts and what model you use for your moving platform. So with this method, you could as well make a raft that’s swimming across a river. And let’s not forget, the famous CamVator technique used in FMs like “The Seventh Crystal” is also based on moving terrain. This tutorial however will only cover vertical lifts.

What do we need?

It depends on how many floors the elevator travels between. Let’s assume we want to make a 4-storied elevator. Then we need:

1 elevator platform (for example /physical/ TerrainLike/ Lift/ Vator/ ElevPlatform (-487))
4 TerrPt markers 
(found under /fnord/ Marker/ TerrPt (-1322))
16 buttons 
(4 on every floor – /physical/ Gizmo/ Switches/ Buttons/ ElevatorButton (-462))

Step One

Place the elevator platform at the desired starting location. Align it so that it has the Z height you want to start with. As the bounding box is bigger than the platform itself, you might want to check its position in game mode. If you want the elevator platform to be rotated in any way, do that now and write all the the values down. They will be reset later and you need to enter them elsewhere, but it’ll make the following step more convenient.

Step Two

Now we will place the TerrPts. These are the elevator’s stopping points, so we need to put one on each floor.

Place the first TerrPt approximately in the center of the bounding box of the platform. To get a straight vertical path, create the other TerrPts by cloning the first one and only adjusting the Z height. For better adjustment, you can move the elevator to the other floors. Don’t worry about moving the elevator back to its exact origin. Dromed will do this automatically later.

If you rotated your platform in step one, select the first TerrPt (the one where the elevator will start from) and enter the rotation values you wrote down in step one.

Step Three

Now we will link all the items together so the elevator “knows” how to move (I still assume you make a 4-storied elevator).

Make a ‘TPathInit‘ link from the elevator to the first TerrPt. This link is important in two ways: Firstly, the TerrPt it points to will be the starting point of the elevator when the mission begins. Secondly, that TerrPt will also be the reference for the orientation of the elevator platform along the whole path. That’s why you gave it the rotation values of the platform in step two.

Now connect all the TerrPts with “TPath” links in the following way:

TerrPt(1)���� –TPath–>���� TerrPt(2)
TerrPt(2)���� –TPath–>���� TerrPt(3)
TerrPt(3)���� –TPath–>���� TerrPt(4)
TerrPt(4)���� –TPath–>���� TerrPt(1)

where the numbers indicate the floor the TerrPt belongs to.

As you can see, we create a loop, so the elevator can move back and forth along the chain. When you’ve made a new TPath link, select its ID in the window and click the “Data” button. In the new window you can set the speed at which the elevator travels between the two linked points (5 is a good value) and a delay in ms before it starts moving (usually zero). The “Path Limit” checkbox is not important for vertical elevators. If checked, it means that the elevator will strictly follow the path marked by the TerrPts (i.e. it will move in a straight line between two points). If it’s unchecked, the platform is allowed to move in a curve instead of abruptly changing direction at corners. Since a vertical lift doesn’t move around corners, leave “Path Limit” checked.

Step Four

Put four buttons on each floor and make the following links:

Button 1 on floor 1���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 1
Button 1 on floor 2���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 1
Button 1 on floor 3���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 1
Button 1 on floor 4���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 1

Button 2 on floor 1���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 2
Button 2 on floor 2���� –Control Device–>���� TerrPt 2

and so on.

The principle is to make a CD link from each button that calls the elevator to floor X to the TerrPt on floor X.

Congratulations, you’re ready! Go to game mode and check if everything’s aligned properly and all the buttons work as intended.
Another achievement of human civilization that makes life easier for the modern Thief! 🙂

Other Stuff You Should Know

There are two scripts and a property which control the behavior of the elevator: StdElevator, StopAtWaypoints (the scripts) and Physics/Misc/Moving Terrain (the property). StdElevator defines an object as Moving Terrain, so you could turn other objects into elevator platforms as well. StopAtWaypoints does exactly that – it enables the elevator to stop at TerrPt markers. These scripts are normally set on all elevators because they are inherited from the “Vator” archetype. If your elevator continuously moves up and down and can’t be stopped, check if the “Don’t inherit” checkbox is checked in the elevator’s “Scripts” property. Either uncheck it or if you need it checked for some reason, add the StopAtWaypoints script manually. The “Moving Terrain” property can be set to TRUE (checked) or FALSE (unchecked). It tells the game if the elevator is currently moving. You normally want this to be unchecked so the elevator only moves when the buttons are being pressed.

P.S.: If you’d like to make your elevator more interesting by adding some gimmicks, have a look at my “Elevator Lights” tutorial.


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