Plasmatica, mapping, screenshots, scripting.

Mapping tips.


by [KmA]^^Plasmatic^^


So you wanna make maps, huh? Well, good news, the editors built right in, to access it you just serve a game, then hit- ~ (thats the 'tilde' key right below the esc key) to bring up the server 'RAW' window, then type

exec(editor);

Hit 'tilde' again to close RAW window, and yer into the editor. Pretty simple huh? Yes, and no...

Before you start up the editor, pick some mission you're familiar with, copy the .mis, and .dsc files to your desktop, and rename them. Anything you like, just as long as theres no spaces in the name, and both are the same. Then drop them back into the c:\dynamix\tribes\base\missions folder. You can view or edit both of these files with notepad, or wordpad. The .dsc is a discription file, and the .mis is the map code.

The map code is just the location, and rotation of objects to create a playing field. Nothing more. All the server does is keep track of players, and their weapons in this field. Everyone who playes tribes has the same objects, and files on their machines, the servers just tell you

where to disply them, and what properties they have.

That said, we all need to have the same files, and shapes on our machines to play any map you make, use the same terain files, and lighting we all have otherwise it will be a 'client' map. Making it unplayable to anyone who doesn't have your custom map. Not good. The .ted files are for terain, and the .vol's are lighting. If you relight your broadside map, you won't be able to play on anyone elses broadside map, and they can't play on yers.. BUMMER.

Ok.. the first thing I did when I started mapping.. besides fuck up Broadside was write all the commands down:

Mouse:
left -select
right hold -rotate view
ctrl left -move verticaly
shift left -rotate z axis
*alt left -y axis*
caplock left -move verticaly

Keyboard:
e -up
f1 -hide options
f4 -terain mode
c -down
f2 -inspector
f5 -walk through
1-0move speed
f3 -creator
f9 -help
~open/ hide server info
exec(editor);start editor
memode();return to editor after walkthrough
ctrl z -undoI use this ALOT!
ctrl x -cutuse to move object into a group
ctrl c -copyUse to duplicate objects with rotations, or whole groups
ctrl v -pastewithin the object list again
ctrl d -dropplace objects into groups
ctrl 0-9place bookmarknever used
alt 0-9goto bookmarknever used
ctrl s -savesave often
ctrl delete -useful after yer looking for suitable object, and picked the wrong one
O-options screen

Now for the tip section.

Hit CAPLOCK!!! and leave caps locked in the editor. This will improve your quality of life once there. This will slide objects in a flat plane. If you caplock before starting the server and editor, unlock caps once in the editor for the same effect. Caplock off will slide objects across the terrain, or object directly below it. If the object isn't touching anything else, it will drop it untill it does, not very handy if you want an object in the air.

Lock yer rotations down in the options screen every chance you get, it makes lining up objects easier. I have mine set to drop objects in screen center, show edit, and show grab handles, I also have the z rotation box marked.

To make an object 'lay over flat' lock y rotations at 90 degrees in options screen, rotate 90 (shift/left mouse), check y rotation box, and lay over 90 degrees (alt/left mouse). Be sure to check the z rotation box again, set the lock rotations the way you had it. Remember ctrl z to undo mistakes. :)

Objects pivot around the green dots you see once they are selected, if something isn't moving the way you want, or moving too fast, change the angle you're looking at it.

If something gets outa view, or you lose something, ctrl z.

Change the speed you move 1-9

I use ctrl/left mouse, and caplock/left mouse alot, that's why they're all caps above. Alt/left mouse will not work unless the rotate y box is checked.

Hold the key down before you 'grab' an object. As in ctrl/left mouse, hold the ctrl key down before you hit the left mouse button to grab it, and move it.

Once you start the editor. hit 9 (to move fast) and e to move up. The editor will start you off below ground.

The biggest group of grey dots on the horizon is the other base.

f2 will tell you about the object selected, lock it if you keep moving it by mistake.

Make a new path for powered items. They need to be in the same 'folder' to work properly. Delete stuff yer not going to use off an existing map, add stuff u want when yer learning.

Dynamix did a crappy job of catagorizing objects. Spend some time getting familiar with them. Goto http://www.planetstarsiege.com/catalog/ for a nice visual catalog of items.

Tele's, objectives and jumpads take time, poach code to speed mapping up.

Music makes alot better sound than a disc launcher. Hit 'q' before starting up the editor.

Don't relight, and use an existing terrain, or you'll endup with a client map. you should be able to run the map with only a .dsc file, and a .mis file. Tele's and Jumpads will add a .cs file too, if you don't add the code to the .mis

Create one teams base, drop points, flag, generators, etc, copy it, and drop it back into the 'teams' folder. Highlight the whole thing, and you can drag it over to the other team.. pretty slick, and it will make for a balanced map.

Terrain is nothing but another object that you can rotate, or duplicate. The editor doesn't like 2 .ted files though, so you'll have to do this manually in wordpad. Be sure to save your map to a diffrent name before you mess with it though just to be safe.

Drop points, and objective switches will not work unless you reload the map, be sure to save first.

Make fog distance less than visible distance in the finished map otherwise it will act goofy. Smaller numbers will lag less. :)

Oh, and mission center is a pain to calculate.. if you don't know how. Find dead center of the map you're making, drop an object there if you like. The first 2 numbers are North, and East. The last number is height. Figure out how large of an area you would like for your map. This is the "extent". Take half of those numbers, and subtract from the center of the map. Put these numbers in for the position. Lost yet? This is what it looks like in the .mis file for a map I built called Canyoneros-


instant MissionCenterPos "MissionCenter" {
                        x = "-450";
                        y = "-390";
                        w = "900";
                        h = "780";
                };

Dead center of the map is 0,0 the extent (size) is 900 by 780. Making the position -450, -390

That map has 3 terrain files, but thats another story.. :)
Happy Hunting.

Steve aka [KmA]^^Plasmatic^^

Any questions?
ziptiezmail@netscape.net

icq 77161332



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All content copyright 2001, 2002, 2003 Plasmatic