Gauddlike

Map Editor

35 posts in this topic

For those who have tried out the ground combat map creation tool with the recent builds.

If anyone has any tips for making a good map or changes to the tool that may make map making easier please join in :)

My personal experience is limited but I have only found one real problem so far and one thing I would like to add.

- Tiles cannot go of the edge of the screen.

This causes problems with things like roads. If you need to make and place a separate road section at 1, 2, 3, and 4 tile thicknesses for each direction it is going to slow down map creation and make people give up.

My suggestion is to allow certain tiles to clip off the edge of the map, this could be a flag in the tile xml.

It is annoying when you get to the end of creating a masterpiece only to realise you are going to have a road that ends four tiles from the screen edge.

- No preview of what you are placing.

This is a little more difficult to do but it would be nice if you could get a rough image of the object you have selected.

May not happen but would be a nice touch.

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You're referring to the level editor, right? Unfortunately in terms of making multiple road sections, that's just the nature of the beast really. It's not hard to create those maps in the sub-map editor, but it's hard to fit them together if you using only blocks of 5x5 roads.

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Although your suggestion to let sub-maps go off the edge of the level would solve it, it'd also allow people to put buildings half on the map, which would look a bit strange. I guess that would just be bad mapping though...

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Most of this post repeated what I had already said.

Going to have a fiddle about with creating a few sub maps and stuff to see how it goes.

Edited by Gauddlike

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Nothing seems to happen when I follow the instructions for loading up the sub-map editor from the wiki.

Is it active in the current builds?

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You're loading up the _editor version of the build, and pressing Q?

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Yeah tried both version just in case.

Also tried both in windowed and full screen, on all of the previous versions that had a gc_editor exe.

Neither Q or Y does anything.

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Ah. The old shortcut was 'W', not 'Q'. I'll go update the wiki.

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I created a slightly smaller map populated with a maze of custom sub-maps each filled with shipping containers and a single office block off in one corner. It worked quite nicely - the shipping containers created lots of narrow alcoves and small openings to setup crossfire or take cover in.

The only real issue I noticed was with the alien shedship and chinook placement, I know you can move them around using the levelsetup file, but I don't see how that will work in an ordinary game, unless the levelsetup file will end up defining spawn locations for all the different maps?

I would've thought it would be easier to add the spawn locations as part of each map (as a special sub-map in the level editor).

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I would've thought it would be easier to add the spawn locations as part of each map (as a special sub-map in the level editor).

I was going to suggest that... but what about UFOs of different sizes?

If all maps must reserve space for the largest possible UFO, aren't small UFOs going to be sitting in an awful lof of emtpy space everytime?

Nothing we can really test with no real UFO at all... =)

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If possible, could have the game spawn the UFO's into any intervening scenery. Destroy the scenery in all map vertical levels above and below where the ship intrudes, scatter some damage around the intrusion point, and if it crashed, set the rest on fire/generate smoke.

Would look pretty good I'd think. Not like the aliens care about parking permits.

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and if it crashed, set the rest on fire/generate smoke.

Any excuse.

I like the idea of making a large explosion and dropping the ship into the gap it makes.

It does represent a crash quite effectively.

Might change the dynamics of the mission as well if the ship crashed into, for example, a gas works and got even more damaged.

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Actually on the subject of larger alien ships.

Should there be a limit on the map sizes?

Making tiny maps and having a battleship drop on it would make the ship incredible easy to find.

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The current spawn system is not complete in the terrain editor. You have to paint SpawnTileMap and TargetTileMap, but in reality it'd be much better if you can paint any number of locations for either to occur. That's a planned feature not yet implemented. I think the UFO size category may be incoporated into map size somewhere, so only maps designed for small UFOs are used when a small UFO is shot down etc...

I suspect that for the larger UFOs (capital ships), we're not actually going to have any scenery around them - your team will start just having breached the main doors. It'll be hard to have ships of the correct scale otherwise.

Also we pretty much screwed ourselves tile-wise by creating smooth organic shapes for the UFOs, so the fewer of them you actually see on the ground, the better.

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Hmm, that would be an interesting way to do it. They'd have to be internally interesting though, otherwise it'd be like endless base-lite missions.

Absurd idea: For the crashed capital ships, could have various buildings inside them. Y'know, crashed, building smashed partway through the ship. Silly, but could be worthwhile.

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If possible, could have the game spawn the UFO's into any intervening scenery.

I know at the moment if the shedship or chinook areas intersect with a sub-map (even if it's just by one tile) then the entire sub-map is completely removed.

I figured that the UFOs and transports would all be on the same sized sub-maps, but smaller UFOs would have more random items around them (signs, wreckage, barrels, fencing, paving, broken structures etc). So you could randomly end up with a UFO half embedded in a building, but it wouldn't actually insert it into pre-existing stuff on the map. As pointed out though, this probably wouldn't work for really large ships as it would mean the smallest ships would need heaps of random stuff around them and that might lead to combinations that look out of place on some maps.

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The current spawn system is not complete in the terrain editor. You have to paint SpawnTileMap and TargetTileMap, but in reality it'd be much better if you can paint any number of locations for either to occur. That's a planned feature not yet implemented. I think the UFO size category may be incoporated into map size somewhere, so only maps designed for small UFOs are used when a small UFO is shot down etc...

I suspect that for the larger UFOs (capital ships), we're not actually going to have any scenery around them - your team will start just having breached the main doors. It'll be hard to have ships of the correct scale otherwise.

Also we pretty much screwed ourselves tile-wise by creating smooth organic shapes for the UFOs, so the fewer of them you actually see on the ground, the better.

That all sounds good to me.

You could always have a small amount of outdoor area just so you don't lose the abject terror of trying to breach the ship in the first place.

There wouldn't need to be much apart from a random stretch of road or a field though, the UFO is the focus.

Will we be able to design UFO interiors using the editor?

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I suspect that for the larger UFOs (capital ships), we're not actually going to have any scenery around them - your team will start just having breached the main doors. It'll be hard to have ships of the correct scale otherwise.

Have you put any thought into a two stage mission for the largest of landings/crash sites? I think it's a shame to miss the approach to the site.

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Have you put any thought into a two stage mission for the largest of landings/crash sites? I think it's a shame to miss the approach to the site.

Agreed, the approach and successful entry to a downed UFO is an integral part of the experience. TFTD had two level mission for Terror attacks on ships etc, there is a precedent for these

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Wasn't a good precedent though.

I'd be surprised if anyone liked those missions.

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Wasn't a good precedent though.

I'd be surprised if anyone liked those missions.

Didn't sat it was a good precedent... though I actually did like them. They were a serious *beech*, but added an element of tactical play in terms of best utilisation of ammunition etc, and what weaponry to take along for best effect etc.

They may not be a perfect solution but they do add something to the gameplay

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Wasn't a good precedent though.

I'd be surprised if anyone liked those missions.

I'll tell you something that will probably shock you to your core... You're right I didnt enjoy them.

But if Xeno handles it differently it would work. Basically the super heavy UFOs could be rare and would amost act like a base mission spanning 2 maps.

I don't know, its hard to speculate without knowing the sizes and frequency of UFOs that are implemented. Still it's an idea that's worth noting down for discussions sake more than anything.

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Really hard to get right though.

The problems with the TFTD 'Lane' missions were a mixture of:

-Excessive size and map complexity.

-Obscene difficulty (mixture of the lazy AI, weapons, and alien toughness)

-Various bugs

-Item limit (for ammo and whatnot)

-Troop limit (you're outnumbered about 2-1...twice).

Then you get the drills and some experience under your belt (and the ridiculously good ION/MagION armours), and they're just boring. And tedious.

All that said though, it could be done. It would be interesting to have the superheavy missions be moving through a map to the other side (or some section of it) which is taken up by some massive wall of ship. Then either breaching the doors, or blowing your way in to an exit area.

Would get tedious and/or incredibly difficult though. Good thing there's no BB's.

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in reality it'd be much better if you can paint any number of locations for either to occur. That's a planned feature not yet implemented. I think the UFO size category may be incoporated into map size somewhere, so only maps designed for small UFOs are used when a small UFO is shot down etc...

One way to go about that would be...

The level designer has a 2nd layer on top of the yellow submap rectangles.

If you switch to the 2nd layer you cannot place submaps any more but you can place UFO/Dropship spawn locations.

Instead of picking "Road N-S" from the element selection, you'd pick and place "UFO Type 1".

Multiple spawn locations of "UFO Type 1" should be possible, making a given map far less predictable.

Spawn locations should be allowed to overlap, too, because in the end only one location each is actually going to be used for UFO and dropship.

One map could have spawn locs for "UFO Type 1", "UFO Type 2", "UFO Type 3".

That would multiply the maps that can be selected for a given crash site.

The game can then choose from all maps that have a loc assigned for "UFO Type 1".

If a map is "hardcoded" for one single UFO type, that would be terribly wasteful because you'd need dedicated map sets for every single UFO type...

You could even put the "compatibilty" in the map filename.

A map would not be called "suburb" but "suburb.2.3.4".

This map is compatible with UFO types 2,3,4.

That would also make it easier to keep track of how many compatible maps already exist for a given UFO type and scenery.

A simple filter for the filenames that can be done out of game.

It may even help with randomly picking a map for a crash site because you wouldn't have to open / parse every map to find out if it's compatible but could filter by filename.

Edited by Gazz

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