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MapEditTutorial Lesson 5

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Placing resources Edit

Now that the map is technically playable and has some visual appeal, it’s time to place some resources. A little care must be taken to ensure that the mass locations are fairly distributed. A commander should be able to build the four first mass extractors in the same amount of time from both sides of the map. If mass deposits are close enough to allow doubleadjacency, the same adjacency bonuses should be available to both sides. Mass deposits farther away should be the same distance from the starting location. For reference, a factory is 9 grid units wide and tall; power generators are 2.25 wide and tall. The commander build range is 10.

Placing resources is short and easy. Go back to the Markers layer in the Layer window. Drag a Mass marker and position it. Repeat for every mass deposit you want on the map. Hydrocarbon locations can be placed with the Hydrocarbon marker. (Note: to make all your resource markers line up correctly with the build grid, select "Autosnap to o-grid" in the options menu before placing them.) See, easy! Here is a fully functional, enjoyable Summer Duel:


Here is an important note for future reference. The in-game preview for the map as it currently is will show the markers on it, just as they appear above. To get rid of them, check the Hide All Markers box in the Markers layer. Always save the map file with this box checked before you release your map to the public. That way the preview image will be clean.

Placing props Edit

Every official map contains various props that add a great deal of flair to a map. These include trees and rocks that can be reclaimed for resources. This part is a little tedious, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Go to the Props layer in the Layer window. Next, click on the Props tab in the Resource Browser window. Select the Evergreen tileset in the Tileset dropdown and the trees category from the Category dropdown. Go ahead and drag one of the pictures onto your map. You should see appear, along with a blue circle. It looks like this:


The pink sections allow you to manipulate the prop. Clicking on the E and dragging up and down will allow you to change the prop’s elevation. Clicking on the arrow allows you to rotate the prop. The S is used for resizing other items, but is unused for props. You can move the prop by clicking on it and dragging. Alternatively, holding R on the keyboard will allow you to rotate the prop without clicking; holding M on the keyboard will allow you to move the prop without clicking.

If we had to place each tree individually, we’d be stuck for days at this stage. Fortunately there is a way to place more than one at a time. Pick some trees you like and drag them into the Active props for automatic placement section of the Prop Edit window. You should see something like this:


We are going to create a sort of “prop brush” defined by the settings here. What the three sliders do is self-explanatory. Slope falloff angles controls what types of slope your props will be placed on. Setting both Start and End to 0 will require the props to exist on perfectly flat terrain. A range of 0 to 20 is good for getting up close to cliffs without actually placing anything on a cliff. Once you are satisfied with your settings, click the Enable automatic placement mode checkbox.

Moving the mouse over the map will display a circle defining your brush. Clicking will place props at the rate you set in Props to place per second. The actual rate may be lower because this is the number of props the editor attempts to place a second. If Min distance between props is set to a high number, the editor will not be able to fit them all within the brush. If you want to remove something from the brush, select it from the list and click the delete button (Editor-menubutton-delete). If you placed some props you didn’t mean to, you can either undo (Ctrl + Z) or uncheck the automatic placement mode box, drag a selection around the misplaced props, and press Delete on your keyboard.

Go through and place trees and rocks on the left-hand side of your map. To make them symmetrical, press Ctrl + A to select all props on the map. Press Ctrl + C followed by Ctrl + V to duplicate every prop. Without deselecting anything, check the Rotate about map center box. Type 180 into the Yaw box and click Set. Feel free to do this with multiple sets of props to give as natural a feel as possible. Here is Summer Duel with its new props:


Lesson 6: Adding decals

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