biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standard.

Interesting mapping tools and mapping help.

biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standard.

Postby biass » 16 Jun 2016, 15:48

I get asked a lot in and around aeolus/forums about people's maps, for feedback and judging the artistic direction (strata combos, etc) while the whole idea of it is mostly subjective, a lot of basic workflow for making and sharing map files are sometimes blatantly missing. while im not too sure how you got into mapping without seeing the FAF's wiki guide to making maps, which tells you how to keep files named etc, i decided to write this little course to keep newcomers up to standard and maybe refresh the minds of the more experienced, though i assume most will know it by now.

I write all this assuming you have already gone through the FAF wiki for mapping, if there is something you dont understand ("What is decals?") asking questions will probably get you a free link straight to the page, good to go have a read, right?

Don't feel like an idiot for not knowing any of what i have written down, especially if you're new. Map-Making is currently rendered void by the vaults not being fixed in 7 months and you're essentially making maps for shits and giggles, so i assume you have not really had your stuff judged by other community members yet if you're starting off.

I would ask for this to be stickied, mods if you're watching.

Before we begin: File sharing
Without a vault to upload to, people share maps through basic file sharing, it sucks, but needs to be done.
A lot of people seem to like google drive, and while it might be handy because it integrates with your gmail/youtube accounts, you should really try to set up a dropbox account. It is wayy more professional, more accessible (better ui) and the free version will allow you 20gb of space, which is plenty for maps.

Check mine here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ol886dqoke95 ... Ks-na?dl=0

Another small note is the basic packaging, a large majority of people share the map folder itself, so if they unpack the download incorrectly they get the files tossed all over their PC, i have found that sharing the folder containing the map folder works a bit better, so any form of unpacking keeps the files in the one place, that being the folder you will put into your FAF maps.

Part 2: The File Names
Peeking through any map files shows some common traits, and a lot of new mappers have not put them in,, im talking of course about the VERSION NUMBERS and they are very important if you need to make small revisions to maps you have already uploaded to the vault, without spamming said vault with however many copies you make.

For example: When i look at the map files for "Africa" the folder is named Africa.v0005, straight away i can tell the map author (a lovely man named seero) has uploaded changes to the same map in the vault 4 times, without making any new maps. another good idea is to tell people what you changed in you map description, like seero has.

Remember to check that your file paths in the _scenario.lua are correct, so the map actually works

You might also see the maps also have some .png, or .dds files in the folders, these map previews are generated when the map is uploaded, and sometimes a random un-uploaded map will show (only those who have it) a preview also

Part 3: The script.lua
What you might not know starting out is that your map folder needs a 3rd .lua file to run properly, the "script"
It has a path you need to link it to in your scenario file, it's best to keep it named that same as your other files.
Inside the lua file, you need this:

Code: Select all
local ScenarioUtils = import('/lua/sim/ScenarioUtilities.lua')
function OnPopulate()
ScenarioUtils.InitializeArmies()
end
function OnStart(self)
end

It's a good idea to check to see if your code matches the one above, i have had a couple examples where people have copied scripts over (everyone copies the script from map to map, dont worry.) and it had some strange chunks in the code. scripts for maps with special things (crazyrush, etc) will be faaar larger and have some different functions that your map might not need, so stick to the basic script if you are making a basic map for multiplayer.

Part 4: Basic Map Tips
Im not here to judge "did i make this look pretty" because that is really half of mapping and also very subjective, im just going to throw down a couple dot points.

~Make sure your starting height has enough space to move both up and down, i have had an instance where another mapper had not left enough space under his map to account for the water layers, of which there are three, resulting in some horrible looking water, you also need to keep enough space upwards incase you put weather effects in, but if you need this guide i would stay away for now.

An example of weather in the vaults is "Setons lite" and "firelight"

~Symmetry, you basically need Photoshop for mapping, im not sure of many other Raster based programs that will read and edit .RAW files like PS will, which you need to do to make your maps "balanced", this does also mean if you're able to copy the halves around to line up properly your time making the heightmap is cut in half
Im told by Koopa there is a program out there called "Supcom Symmetry" that can flip the heightmap and 4 strata levels, but i cannot confirm, i guess he will link it here later.

Im not going to tell you how to make the best mountains or best strata combos, all of those are completely up to you, although if Lionhardt sees this thread he might post his guides for some terrain below.

~Markers, a handy way to make sure you line up your markers properly is to use a prop/decal, as these two can be rotated around to be perfectly symmetric, place a small (contrasting, so you can see) decal/prop down where you want one halves markers to be, copy + flip the decals around so you have perfectly balanced placement, and then replace the decal/prop with the marker until you have everything in order.

make sure they are properly aligned to the grid, make sure you move markers around a little (shaking them) to line them up.

~Lighting, as mentioned in the wiki, use TTerrainXP for your lighting, you really want to have the ability to use all 8 strata levels in your maps, i wish i had more, personally.

~Also, decals, use them. the amount of effort you put into your maps really shows.

For now, this is all that comes to my mind, but be sure to check back incase i update the guide, if you would like, you can link your maps here to be looked at, and also feel free to ask questions, any decent ones i will add to the OP,

Cheers, and happy mapping!
Last edited by biass on 20 Dec 2017, 07:13, edited 2 times in total.
Morax wrote:Questioning what i am doing is like you are trolling me

My map thread: http://bit.ly/2qubD3l

Whiteheart wrote:biass on his campaign to cleanse and remake every single map of FAF because he is an untolerating reincarnation of mapping hitler
User avatar
biass
Supreme Commander
 
Posts: 1896
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 07:54
Location: Sexy sexy dual gap v4
Has liked: 568 times
Been liked: 493 times
FAF User Name: biass

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby Exotic_Retard » 16 Jun 2016, 16:03

i take it all this is on the wiki already?
riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?
I made the terrible mistake of voting for Tokyto_
User avatar
Exotic_Retard
Moderator
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: 21 Mar 2013, 22:51
Has liked: 539 times
Been liked: 581 times
FAF User Name: Exotic_Retard

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby biass » 16 Jun 2016, 16:05

Has to be something wrong if people are falling through the cracks :P
Morax wrote:Questioning what i am doing is like you are trolling me

My map thread: http://bit.ly/2qubD3l

Whiteheart wrote:biass on his campaign to cleanse and remake every single map of FAF because he is an untolerating reincarnation of mapping hitler
User avatar
biass
Supreme Commander
 
Posts: 1896
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 07:54
Location: Sexy sexy dual gap v4
Has liked: 568 times
Been liked: 493 times
FAF User Name: biass

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby seero » 17 Jun 2016, 18:47

Your sweet words made me smile honey :D

Id like to add here most common templates for scenario files, you can easily mess them up by writing only one wrong mark in one wrong spot and then your map wont launch. Also if you start new map, you need to add few lines to get things to work. If you dont want to touch the code, here are templates for 10x10 3v3 or 4v4 maps. Both have AI and civilian enabled.

Also there is template for revised map, when revising map you shouldnt touch that "version = 3" in first line. Instead of that change value for variable map_version. When you create new map with editor, that map_version line is missing.

You can always copy scenario file from other map's folder, but here are some clean ones for simple use:

After you have created your map with editor, close editor and replace the scenario file in your map folder by using one of attached files. Rename scenario file to match it with your map name with _scenario suffix. Open it with notepad, and use Replace all- command from edit tab, replace all YOURMAPNAME with your actual map name and save file. You may also edit description line, it is shown in map description in-game and map vault menus.
Attachments
revision_scenario.lua
(1.34 KiB) Downloaded 74 times
blank4v4_scenario.lua
(1.32 KiB) Downloaded 67 times
blank3v3_scenario.lua
(1.15 KiB) Downloaded 59 times
seero
Avatar-of-War
 
Posts: 91
Joined: 17 Dec 2013, 12:42
Has liked: 8 times
Been liked: 16 times
FAF User Name: seero

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby Holynanners » 05 Jul 2016, 05:12

Are we getting a link to the Supcom Symmetry program mentioned above? It'd be nice to have it.
"lol you peasents and your shitty gaming boxes" - [AIx]Necrosis
User avatar
Holynanners
Crusader
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 01 Dec 2012, 20:29
Location: Mexico
Has liked: 21 times
Been liked: 15 times
FAF User Name: Weedgineer420

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby biass » 05 Jul 2016, 05:38

Hello,
Im told the only way to find this program might be through the waybackmachine, i Don't have it on hand or use it.
The problem is is that it only flips 4 strata levels, that's only half of the available levels that can be used.

I would of course recommend photoshop, or something like worldmachine to generate textures a different way.
Morax wrote:Questioning what i am doing is like you are trolling me

My map thread: http://bit.ly/2qubD3l

Whiteheart wrote:biass on his campaign to cleanse and remake every single map of FAF because he is an untolerating reincarnation of mapping hitler
User avatar
biass
Supreme Commander
 
Posts: 1896
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 07:54
Location: Sexy sexy dual gap v4
Has liked: 568 times
Been liked: 493 times
FAF User Name: biass

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby BushMaster » 05 Jul 2016, 21:02

biass wrote:Im told the only way to find this program might be through the waybackmachine

Unfortunately the waybackmachine is useless for the gpg forums, so the original DL link is lost and i never found another for it. I uploaded the utility as an attachment, if someone could try it to see if it works that would be great. I'm fairly certain it is just a single .exe file with no dependencies or install process so it should work.

biass wrote:The problem is is that it only flips 4 strata levels, that's only half of the available levels that can be used.

This is wrong. It can only flip up to 4 strata at a time, but no limit on which strata they are. It just symetritizes exported .raw files, with your choice of axis and source location (although it doesn't do a diagonal axis), so it doesnt matter what strata layer the .raw is for.
Attachments
SupComSymmetry.rar
(8.1 KiB) Downloaded 128 times
User avatar
BushMaster
Avatar-of-War
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Jun 2014, 07:35
Has liked: 3 times
Been liked: 12 times
FAF User Name: MooseFabricator

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby biass » 06 Jul 2016, 02:03

^.^
Morax wrote:Questioning what i am doing is like you are trolling me

My map thread: http://bit.ly/2qubD3l

Whiteheart wrote:biass on his campaign to cleanse and remake every single map of FAF because he is an untolerating reincarnation of mapping hitler
User avatar
biass
Supreme Commander
 
Posts: 1896
Joined: 03 Dec 2015, 07:54
Location: Sexy sexy dual gap v4
Has liked: 568 times
Been liked: 493 times
FAF User Name: biass

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby EntropyWins » 13 Nov 2016, 08:54

I made major changes to version 4 of a map. With what name do I now publish it?

* My Awesome Map 5 (what I have now)
* My Awesome Map 5.v5000
* My Awesome Map.v5000

And then after a bugfix release

* My Awesome Map 5.0.1
* My Awesome Map 5.v0001 (or 0002?)
* My Awesome Map 5.v5001
* My Awesome Map.v5001

And then after a feature release

* My Awesome Map 5.1
* My Awesome Map 5.v5010
* My Awesome Map.v5010

What I'd like the people to see when they host or play the map is just the major version, and the minor version if there is one. Furthermore I consider if major bump definitely worth a new entry in the vault. So I'm included to go with the "My Awesome Map 5.v0001" style. That still leaves me wondering if the first version should have such a number or not, and if that should be 0001 or 0000. (The fact that the major version is already in the map name and the versioning for that is one number is hurting my semver sensibilities a bit)
EntropyWins
Avatar-of-War
 
Posts: 111
Joined: 02 Oct 2016, 20:26
Has liked: 18 times
Been liked: 3 times
FAF User Name: EntropyWins

Re: biass's guide to making your map/map files up to standar

Postby Kiliax » 31 Dec 2017, 05:36

EntropyWins wrote:I made major changes to version 4 of a map. With what name do I now publish it?

* My Awesome Map 5 (what I have now)
* My Awesome Map 5.v5000
* My Awesome Map.v5000

And then after a bugfix release

* My Awesome Map 5.0.1
* My Awesome Map 5.v0001 (or 0002?)
* My Awesome Map 5.v5001
* My Awesome Map.v5001

And then after a feature release

* My Awesome Map 5.1
* My Awesome Map 5.v5010
* My Awesome Map.v5010

What I'd like the people to see when they host or play the map is just the major version, and the minor version if there is one. Furthermore I consider if major bump definitely worth a new entry in the vault. So I'm included to go with the "My Awesome Map 5.v0001" style. That still leaves me wondering if the first version should have such a number or not, and if that should be 0001 or 0000. (The fact that the major version is already in the map name and the versioning for that is one number is hurting my semver sensibilities a bit)

I was wondering thiis same thing - how to properly do sub versions in the map_version variable and folder naming conventions since you would be adding a period to folder names and in the variable? I did not see a response and this was over a year ago. I'm guessing it would be his third example in each since there should not be a version in title?
Kiliax
Crusader
 
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Dec 2017, 18:55
Has liked: 0 time
Been liked: 0 time
FAF User Name: Kiliax

Next

Return to Mapping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest