Geheimnis

Author Topic: A little guide to mapbuilding  (Read 5122 times)

LordFjord

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 373
    • View Profile
A little guide to mapbuilding
« on: 2013-11-05 20:15:45 »
I know his is stuff for the wiki, but I need to figure out how to organize/structure it first, so I just start writing away, maybe it helps the new mappers.

Where to store the map?
Currently, there are two (three) places to put maps in, where the game recognizes and loads them.

  • Multiplayer maps - These are stored in \StreamingAssets\Maps
  • Singleplayer maps - These goto \StreamingAssets\Challenge
  • Campaigns - These need a bit manual editing to make it work. I will describe it later or on demand

Each map consists of 3 files:
mapname.bwd - this holds metadata about the map, the players, the alliances, the description text
mapname.bwm - this is the actual map data with all the grounds, units, dialogs, triggers,...
mapname.png - this is the image shown when selecting the map ingame
The editor will take care of creating these files, you only need to save/load the .bwm file.

Getting started
Select new map, pick a default ground for the map, enter the size and give it a go.

Setting up the editor
First you will see a blank map, I would recommend to re-arrange the windows to your preference. A few things should be (in my opinion) always be visible somewhere:
- Tools -> here you select and see in what mode the editor currently is. The 4 modes are: select, place, delete and clone. I have dragged and pinned it on top of the map window.
- Hexinspector -> this one shows the most important data about the selected hex. What ground it is, what mapobjects are placed, which unit and so on. This is handy to quickly alter some values.
Otherwise, I have arranged the placeable objects on the left side and all the others on the right.
I have attached a pic. In the end, it is up to you, what you find comfortable to use.

A few basics
The first thing you want to fill out when creating a map is all on the Description window. Map name, description, display size, amount of players (humans or AI), alliances are all set here. You should also create and load an image (png format), this will be displayed ingame.

The wonderful hexes
In BWK, its all about hexes, so a map is defined by what the hexes on each positions contain. Think of these as layers on top of each other:
Grounds
A hex always has an assigned ground -> snow, grassland, water, you get the idea
Roads
A hex can have a road type assigned as well. The road has no direction, the road directions are calculated by surrounding hexes with or without roads.
MapObjects
A mapobject is placed on top this. Mapobjects are fences, bunkers, smoking wrecks and other assets. This also points into a certain direction (north, northeast, southeast, south, southwest, northwest). Several mapobjects can be placed on a hex. For example you can create a smoking bunker.
Units
A unit is also placed on a hex (duh) and has a direction. Units are also assigned a team, can be a container for other units and even generate resources (depots are treated as units as well). There are also units that are not assigned to a certain hex but are for example loaded in a depot or are just defined to be brought into action by some triggers.

Paint the map
Time to give that map some color. Use the grounds display, click on one you see fit and paint away on the map. Same works for roads, mapobjects and units. On the latter you can also preselect a team and directions.
If you made a mistake, use the delete tool. ctrl-click will erase the type you currently have focused (ground, road, mapobject, unit) while alt-click will reset all but the ground.
Play around with the selection tool, shift-click will select rectangles, shift-ctrl-click circles. You can "paint" selected hexes with the hexinspector by modifying values directly there.
The clone tool is more advanced. You need to select what you want to clone. Again, depending on what type you selected you will clone just the unit, road or the mapobject.
You can move units with selecting them, then activate the clone tool and shift-ctrl-click the target location.

A few hints
Start with placing the ground hexes, then add roads, some mapobjects to make it pretty, then place units for the teams.

At this point, you might as well save it, fire up the game and give it a go.

And thats it?
Thats the basic to create a running map, yes. But there's a whole lot more the editor can do and this is where the fun starts.


Mission targets: here you can define primary and secondary goal for each team. There are several different targets, I will describe them later.
Units: you can define units that are not placed at the map at the start of the battle.
Squads: The AI handles squads of units best. Here you can create them, give them a behavior pattern, a mission and an operational area. This is where the AI will move the units and defines the area where the squad can operate.
Dialogs: You can define dialogs which consist of nodes (these are the text windows displayed with the attached speakers), the transitions (these are the answer options you can click). You can build whole dialog trees and bind actions to player choices.
Triggers: Now this is where it's getting interesting. There are a lot of different trigger types, for example when a unit enters a hex, when a turn starts, when you discover a hex... You can bind a lot of actions that will all be activated when a trigger fires. Actions could be: place a unit, show a dialog, set a mission target, activate an AI squad and a whole lot more. In my opinion, this, and all the resulting possible combinations is what makes the BWK engine really powerful.
Variables: used for counting, mostly used in mission targets and triggers. For example you can count how many depots you have conquered and fire a trigger when it reaches, lets say 3, then display a dialog to tell how great you were.
Warnings/Errors: the editor recognizes a lot of mistakes you can do. Try to build maps with as less warnings/errors as possible.

I hope this helps as a quick guide to get started.

edit: typos...
« Last Edit: 2013-11-27 15:59:06 by LordFjord »

Florian Feith (KingArt)

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #1 on: 2013-11-05 20:35:50 »
Whoa, great intro!

Thanks a lot!

Pham

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #2 on: 2013-11-10 09:02:33 »
how do you rotate a unit/building before placing it??
My first strategy games were:
Nectaris: Military Madness (TurboGrafx 16)
Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (PC Floppy)
Warcraft II: The Tides of Darkness (PC CD-ROM)
Heroes of Might & Magic II: The Succession Wars (PC CD-ROM)

LordFjord

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 373
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #3 on: 2013-11-10 09:37:18 »
Mousewheel or the combobox at the top (next to the team selection)

Thor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #4 on: 2014-05-06 23:12:27 »
How I can scroll the map if the size is over the border of the window?

LordFjord

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 373
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #5 on: 2014-05-07 09:14:00 »
Rightclick-drag if i remember right. Or was it middle button?

CTRL-Mousewheel is zooming out/in

Thor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #6 on: 2014-05-07 19:47:11 »
Working  :)

Farnsi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 261
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #7 on: 2014-05-08 10:14:23 »
Will the Map-Image be transfered on publish ?

On my map a add an image locally and transfer the map to the server, but the picture was not visible.
After that i add a picture on tinypic.com and link this image to the map.
Aber man wird ja noch träumen dürfen, man wird noch träumen dürfen....

LordFjord

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 373
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #8 on: 2014-05-08 14:10:42 »
Unfortunately, the local images will not be uploaded when you publish the map. source
-> you need to find some hosting site and upload it there.

parazhopni

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #9 on: 2014-06-03 12:00:03 »
how me add created maps on server?

Farnsi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 261
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #10 on: 2014-06-03 18:46:07 »
In the MapBuilder click on "Map Marketplace" tab (bottom right).

Insert your email and password, connect and upload.
Aber man wird ja noch träumen dürfen, man wird noch träumen dürfen....

parazhopni

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #11 on: 2014-06-04 07:56:23 »
thx, i tryed it, and have messege: login failed, but email and password correct. what me do?

Bazinga

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #12 on: 2015-12-23 14:12:36 »
Update: My Question can be deleted - the "Offline"-Map is located in the "Official Maps" not in the "Custom Maps" obwohl sie custom ist :) . I guess you have to restart the game first.

Hello Gentlemen,

I saved my Custom Map in StreamingAssets\Challenge but it does not show up in the Single Player Custom Maps.
It is just a Testmap - but do I still have to upload it to play it? How to play it "offline" if its not found bzw. where to find it?

See Image and Testmap in Zip.
« Last Edit: 2015-12-23 15:11:13 by Bazinga »

caverdude

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: A little guide to mapbuilding
« Reply #13 on: 2016-03-06 18:04:41 »
I couldn't get a map I made to load up in the game for test play offline either.. is there a way to do this?  It doesn't show up as saved game or in custom maps or? Surely there is a way to test it before you submit it to the community.