Thing

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For more information on this article, visit the Thing page on the Doom Wiki.

In Doom, things are used to represent players, monsters, pick-ups, and projectiles. Inside the game, these are known as actors. There are three ways to get an actor into your map. Most things are actors, so the names are often used interchangeably. A few things, however, are not actors, such as player start points.

Referencing things

DoomEd numbers are the numbers used in the editor to represent an actor. When the map is loaded, an actor that corresponds to that number will be spawned at the location of that map thing. Although many actors have DoomEd numbers, not all of them do. For instance, a blue key card has a DoomEd number, but a rocket flying through the air does not.

Spawn numbers are the numbers used by specials such as Thing_Spawn to spawn actors in the game once the user has started playing the map. Although DoomEd numbers and spawn numbers both describe actors, they are not interchangeable—you must not use a spawn number on a map thing, and you must not use a DoomEd number for instance as a Thing_Spawn parameter.

Actor Names are the actual names each actor has internally (to test these you may want to try out the summon console command). These are used with the functions SpawnSpot and Spawn which allow you to spawn any actor available with Thing_Spawn and also all other actors (though some actors aren't meant to be spawned) such as cameras, scenery or whatever you might require.

If you create a new actor with the DECORATE lump, you can specify both the spawn number (SpawnID), and the DoomEd number (DoomEdNum). The name you give the new DECORATE item is also its actor name, so you can also spawn it using that.

There is also a third set of numbers used to represent actors that is only important for DeHackEd and similar. These numbers correspond to the order the actors were defined in the vanilla exe. They have no meaning outside of ZDoom's DeHackEd loader and as a result are not a property. In Strife, they were used to identify actor classes in conversations, but ZDoom turned these into the ConversationID property because identical actors had different numbers in the different versions of Strife available.

Specification (Doom format)

Bytes Data type Description Notes
0-1 Signed short X position
2-3 Signed short Y position
4-5 Unsigned short Angle 0=East, 45=NE, 90=North 135=NW, 180=West, 225=SW, 270=South
6-7 Unsigned short Type See the list of standard editor numbers
8-9 Unsigned Short Spawn flags

Specification (Hexen format)

Bytes Data type Description Notes
0-1 Unsigned short Thing ID This value is used for scripts and specials
2-3 Signed short X position
4-5 Signed short Y position
6-7 Signed short Z position
8-9 Unsigned short Angle 0=East, 45=NE, 90=North 135=NW, 180=West, 225=SW, 270=South
10-11 Unsigned short Type See the list of standard editor numbers
12-13 Unsigned short Spawn flags
14 Unsigned byte Action special An action to be executed when this thing is destroyed or picked up
15 Unsigned byte Action argument 1
16 Unsigned byte Action argument 2
17 Unsigned byte Action argument 3
18 Unsigned byte Action argument 4
19 Unsigned byte Action argument 5

Spawn flags

There are several conflicts in the flag list, depending on game. Map translators are used to define how values are associated to flags in a binary map. UDMF allows to solve these conflicts by not using a bitfield array but instead referring to each flag by name. Several flags are only available in this map format.

Flag Z-Bit Z-Hex D-Bit D-Hex S-Bit S-Hex Description UDMF name
EASY 0 0x0001 0 0x0001 0 0x0001 Thing is spawned on skills #1 and #2 skill1 + skill2
MEDIUM 1 0x0002 1 0x0002 1 0x0002 Thing is spawned on skill #3 skill3
EASY 2 0x0004 2 0x0004 2 0x0004 Thing is spawned on skills #4 and #5 skill4 + skill5
AMBUSH 3 0x0008 3 0x0008 5 0x0020 Thing is lying in ambush (AMBUSH flag is set) ambush
DORMANT 4 0x0010 Thing is DORMANT until activated dormant
FIGHTER 5 0x0020 Thing is spawned when player class #1 is present class1
CLERIC 6 0x0040 Thing is spawned when player class #2 is present class2
MAGE 7 0x0080 Thing is spawned when player class #3 is present class3
SINGLE 8 0x0100 Thing appears in single-player games single
COOPERATIVE 9 0x0200 Thing appears in cooperative games coop
DEATHMATCH 10 0x0400 Thing appears in deathmatch games dm
SHADOW 11 0x0800 8 0x0100 Thing is 25% translucent translucent
ALTSHADOW 12 0x1000 9 0x0200 Thing is invisible invisible
FRIENDLY 13 0x2000 6 0x0040 FRIENDLY monster using Strife logic strifeally
STANDSTILL 14 0x4000 3 0x0008 Thing stands still (only useful for specific Strife monsters or friendlies) standing
SECRET Thing is a secret pickup countsecret
NOTSINGLE 4 0x0010 4 0x0010 Thing does not appear in single player
NOTDEATHMATCH 5 0x0020 Thing does not appear in single deathmatch
NOTCOOPERATIVE 6 0x0040 Thing does not appear in cooperative
FRIEND 6 0x0040 Thing is a friendly monster using MBF logic (remapped to FRIENDLY) friend
BADEDITORCHECK 8 0x0100 Thing was placed in a map editor that sets undefined flags
Thing is spawned on skill #1 skill1
Thing is spawned on skill #2 skill2
Thing is spawned on skill #4 skill4
Thing is spawned on skill #5 skill5
Thing is spawned on skill #6 skill6
Thing is spawned on skill #7 skill7
Thing is spawned on skill #8 skill8
Thing is spawned on skill #9 skill9
Thing is spawned on skill #10 skill10
Thing is spawned on skill #11 skill11
Thing is spawned on skill #12 skill12
Thing is spawned on skill #13 skill13
Thing is spawned on skill #14 skill14
Thing is spawned on skill #15 skill15
Thing is spawned on skill #16 skill16
Thing is spawned when player class #4 is present class4
Thing is spawned when player class #5 is present class5
Thing is spawned when player class #6 is present class6
Thing is spawned when player class #7 is present class7
Thing is spawned when player class #8 is present class8
Thing is spawned when player class #9 is present class9
Thing is spawned when player class #10 is present class10
Thing is spawned when player class #11 is present class11
Thing is spawned when player class #12 is present class12
Thing is spawned when player class #13 is present class13
Thing is spawned when player class #14 is present class14
Thing is spawned when player class #15 is present class15
Thing is spawned when player class #16 is present class16

UDMF properties

In addition to the UDMF-exclusive spawn flags above, the following properties can only be used on a thing in UDMF mode. Unless otherwise specified, default values for integers and float is 0, and false for booleans. They include:

Name Type Description
alpha float Sets the actor's translucency. It is only applicable to Translucent, Add, Subtract and TranslucentStencil render styles. Default is 1.0.
arg0str string Gives a string value to the first argument. This is used for named scripts and Hexen breakable items.
arg1str string Gives a string value to the second argument. This is used by certain Thing spawning specials.
conversation integer Assigns a conversation ID to the thing. This corresponds to the id property of a conversation, allowing for dialogue trees specific to a given thing rather than to an entire actor class.
fillcolor integer Sets the actor's fillcolor, which is used by the Stencil and TranslucentStencil render styles, as RRGGBB value.
floatbobphase integer Sets the actors's floatbobphase. Valid phase values are in the 0-63 range. Setting this to -1 will use the actor's own value for the property. Default is -1.
gravity float Sets the actor's gravity. Positive values are multiplied with the class' gravity property value, negative values are used as their absolute. Default is 1.0.
health float Sets the actor's health. Positive values are multiplied with the class's Health property and negative values are used as their absolute. If the value is set to 0, the actor spawns dead (useful for resurrectable monster corpses) Default is 1.0.
pitch integer Sets the actor's pitch in degrees (useful for models).
renderstyle string Sets the actor's render style, overriding the class's default. Possible values can be:
  • Normal
  • None
  • Add or Additive
  • Subtract or Subtractive
  • Stencil
  • AddStencil
  • TranslucentStencil
  • Translucent
  • Fuzzy
  • OptFuzzy
  • Soultrans
  • Shaded
  • AddShaded
  • Shadow

Default value is an empty string for no change.

roll integer Sets the actor's roll in degrees (useful for models).
scale float Sets the actor's vertical and horizontal scaling.
scalex float Sets the actor's vertical scaling.
scaley float Sets the actor's horizontal scaling.
score integer Sets the actor's score, overriding the class's default.