Create a new map Edit

Go ahead and start the map editor. You will be greeted by a familiar splash screen. The editor integrates directly with the game engine, and it puts it to some pretty cool uses. The splash screen will disappear to a black window once loading is complete. If the window starts out maximized, double click on the top blue bar to resize it down. (When maximized, the editor simply stretches the image over the screen. This can confuse you when you try clicking around or zooming in and out, so it’s easiest to just use the default size.)

Under the File menu, select New. A dialog box will appear.


The options are mostly self-explanatory, but just to be clear:

  • Name: The name of your map. The directory your map is saved to will be the same as this.
  • Description: A short description of your map. This is the same description you see when browsing the maps before hosting a game.
  • Use existing map: You can create a new map based off of another map. For instance, if you wanted to modify Sentry Point to remove the civilians, you could fill in the Map File field with the path to Sentry Point. This is effectively the same as opening a map and saving it with a different name.
  • Create new map: Starts a new, completely blank map. Selecting this will allow you to check and uncheck the Water field.
  • Width/Height: Size of the map in game units. A 5x5 km map is 256x256 game units wide.
  • Initial Elev.: How high the default terrain is. A good number is usually 64. Very low or very high initial elevations may cause problems later on when you are editing your heightmap.
  • Water: Enables or disables water.
  • Water Elev./Deep Elev./Abyss Elev.: The threshold values for rendering water. If the heightmap is below these values, the appropriate type of water will be rendered. It is important to keep these in mind if you are designing a map with water. Pick carefully, because they can’t be changed. (There is a way around this that will be covered later.)

Name your map whatever you would like. This guide will refer to it as Summer Duel, since we’re going to make a map similar to Winter Duel. You can leave the Description field blank if you’d like. Check the Create new map box. If you want to use water, keep the Water box checked; otherwise, uncheck it. Keep the map size at 256x256 and the initial elevation at 64. Click the Create button.

A new map will be created and displayed. Click the save button on the toolbar or go to File > Save. Saving your work is never a bad thing. You should do it as often as possible. The map editor is stable, but there are certain elements beyond your control. The last thing you want is for your power to flicker and erase three hours of hard work! Take a moment and get accustomed to the feel of the editor. Zooming works the same as in Supreme Commander. You can scroll with Middle Mouse Click + Drag and rotate with Alt + Middle Mouse Click + Drag. The current world coordinates of the mouse cursor are displayed in the lower right of the window.

Lesson 2: Heightmap editing

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