What is Mapster anyways?
It is a wrapper for netvis to allow coordination of peer to peer netvis jobs via a central registry for active netvis servers. It allows for machines to function as either netvis servers which would like external machines to join them for running netvis, or as netvis helpers, which are available to act as netvis clients for active and registered netvis servers.

By utilizing a central Mapster Registry, Mapster eliminates the need for the "human network" required to utilize netvis. Mappers no longer need to solicit netvis clients when running a netvis server.

Note that Mapster is not a replacment for netvis, but rather a wrapper or frontend for it, to coordinate the registration and discovery of active netvis jobs.

What is NETVIS?
Netvis is a network distributed computing client designed for and included with Zoner's Half-life Tools. It allows a person the possibility to substantially cut down HLVIS compile times by having netvis helper clients to help compile by sending portions of the raw compile data to be worked on by the clients and then send the result back to you. Another great example of distributed computing is Setiathome

Why might you want to use Mapster?
Anyone who has a highspeed internet connection (IE not dialup) and makes Half-life based maps will most likely want to use it, The reason being is that if people help you, it can really help your compile times, and even if no one does, there isnt a noticible speed hit because your server will just keep on compiling on its own. So why not use it, when it takes almost no effort on your end besides editing your batch file or parameters in your compile front end. Also of note will be that Nemesis's batch compiler will have Mapster functionality built directly into it, as can any front end compiler if the authors so choose. Or you can use a basic batchfile. You have full control!

Download and Installation
Mapster is only available for Win32 machines at this time. To install, download the current version and place in the same folder as your other zoner compile tools.

You'll need to register your computer with the central Mapster Registry. This should happen automatically the first time you run mapster. This will create a new configuration file (named mapster.cfg) in your installation directory.

Also, You can download Nem's Batchcompiler which has full mapster support, to make it very easy to get your compiles working with mapster as a server. If you are only going to be a client helper, all you need to do is double click the mapster.exe

To use Mapster for building maps, replace all calls to netvis.exe with mapster.exe in your batch file or build tool. When your map compile reaches the vis step, Mapster will automatically register your netvis server with a central registry.

To use Mapster as a helper, just start it from the command line. It will automatically begin polling the Mapster Registry for active netvis jobs. If the Mapster Registry sends the helper a netvis job, Mapster will automatically connect you to that netvis server as a client and you will begin assisting that netvis job. When the netvis task is complete, Mapster will begin polling the Mapster Registry for new jobs. If no jobs are currently active, Mapster will sleep for 60 seconds before polling the Mapster Registry again.

It is suggested that Mapster users who have idle machines should simply start Mapster in a command window and leave it running. It will continually work as a netvis client to any server that has registered with the Mapster Registry.

Here is an example batch file:

"D:\zoner\hlcsg.exe" -estimate -verbose "D:\"
"D:\zoner\hlbsp.exe" -estimate -verbose "D:\"
"D:\zoner\mapster.exe" -full -server -verbose "D:\"
"D:\zoner\hlrad.exe" -extra -bounce 4 -smooth 50 -estimate "D:\"

and as a client helper, all one would have to do is:
D:\zoner\mapster -verbose

IMPORTANT when running a server, you need to make sure that your port 21212 is open and allowing inbound connections. This means that it would need to be opened up on your firewall, or port forwarded to your machine if for instance you use something like a linksys cable/dsl router-firewall. Otherwise, none of the clients will be able to help you out, and it will in effect be useless. Also, make sure that your correct IP is being determined by mapster, or you can over ride it with the -hostip command explained below. You can also change the port to something else more convienient by using the -port command, a basic netvis option.

IMPORTANT #2 also, I do not think that you can use mapster when you are compiling within world craft (bad idea anyways, since wc sucks up so much ram that could be used otherwise in the compile) because it uses its own batch system. (kinda sorta maybe)
I reccomend that you either write your own batchfiles, or use Nemesis's batch compiler on this site, which should be releasing an updated version with mapster support.

Command Line Arguments

Causes Mapster to output more information as it is running.

Mapster will attempt to determine your IP address automatically, but sometimes is unable to do so. If so, you will see an error message on your screen about this. To use this command, replace "your_ip"' with your ip address.

If you set your name with this command, it will be saved in the Mapster Registry database and displayed on the Status Page.

If you set your location with this command, it will be saved in the Mapster Registry database and displayed on the Status Page.

If you are compiling maps (being a server) you should use this command with the arguments "L", "M", or "H" to indicate your connection speed, where L = low speed (fast dialup or slow cable modem), M = medium speed (cable modem or DSL), and H = high speed (fast DSL, T1 or better, etc.). This information is used by Mapster to decide how fast to send you client connections if you are running a Netvis server. The slower your speed, the more Mapster will space out connections to your map job.

If you have installed Mapster in your zoners folder, you will not need to use this command. However if you have installed Mapster in another directory, you will need to use this command to set the full path to your zoners directory.


  • Mapster is written in Perl that has been compiled to a standalone executable.
  • All communications between Mapster and the Mapster Registry is via http protocol.
  • The Mapster Registry assigns netvis jobs to the server with the fewest registered helpers. It will not assign new helpers to netvis jobs that are more than 98% complete. This is to prevent clients from being reassigned to the same server that they just completed helping.
  • Go to this forum to talk about any problems, questions, ideas, and what not. Please have read this page before asking for help though.