aliens

Author Topic: Idea for custom battlescapes  (Read 3217 times)

Offline BorntobeMild

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Idea for custom battlescapes
« on: March 20, 2016, 06:10:26 pm »
Hello all, new to the forum but have been playing OpenXcom for about 2 years now.
Recently I had an idea for custom battlescapes, for UFO's to crash or land in towns or, maybe malls. Having to fight aliens in more specific, detailed locations, would be a bit more fun than the generic corn field or desert every time I down a UFO. I also have not the slightest idea how I could go about making a custom battlescape, but I do know that it can be done. Your thoughts?

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 10464
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
    • Email
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 07:39:00 pm »
Sure it can be done. For example, Hobbes' UFO Redux mod contains many new terrains, both for terror missions and the wilderness - though I think urban areas are just for terrors there. You can easily adapt them for landing and crash sites though.

In order to make new terrain, you need two programs. The first one is MCDEdit, which allows you to make tilesets - collection of tiles, containing their appearance (a graphic file, or several files if the tile is animated) and various settings (whether you can walk on it, how durable it is, how likely to burn from fire, etc.). MCDEdit does all that and is pretty easy. The other is called MapEdit and it's specifically to make actual mapblocks (pieces of terrain that the battle map is made of, usually 10x10 or 20x20 tiles) using the tilesets - it's a bit more tricky to use, but nothing hard. If you only want to make new map blocks using tilesets you already have, for example make more Forest maps or City maps from the same resources, you only need MapEdit.

If you're interested in it, try it - I guarantee it's not beyond your abilities if you wish to spend time on it (building is always time consuming, and this is a bit like Lego). There are several experienced mapmakers here, so we'll help.

Offline BorntobeMild

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 09:19:49 pm »
Sure it can be done. For example, Hobbes' UFO Redux mod contains many new terrains, both for terror missions and the wilderness - though I think urban areas are just for terrors there. You can easily adapt them for landing and crash sites though.

In order to make new terrain, you need two programs. The first one is MCDEdit, which allows you to make tilesets - collection of tiles, containing their appearance (a graphic file, or several files if the tile is animated) and various settings (whether you can walk on it, how durable it is, how likely to burn from fire, etc.). MCDEdit does all that and is pretty easy. The other is called MapEdit and it's specifically to make actual mapblocks (pieces of terrain that the battle map is made of, usually 10x10 or 20x20 tiles) using the tilesets - it's a bit more tricky to use, but nothing hard. If you only want to make new map blocks using tilesets you already have, for example make more Forest maps or City maps from the same resources, you only need MapEdit.

If you're interested in it, try it - I guarantee it's not beyond your abilities if you wish to spend time on it (building is always time consuming, and this is a bit like Lego). There are several experienced mapmakers here, so we'll help.

Thanks for the insight on this, could you possibly provide a link to MapEdit?
I do have quite a bit of mapping experience though, as I currently am working on about 4 Doom 2 maps at the same time right now. So I could probably navigate my way around something new, or at least adapt.

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 10464
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
    • Email
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 09:26:59 pm »
Thanks for the insight on this, could you possibly provide a link to MapEdit?

I believe this is the latest one (for Windows anyway - there was a later Linux release): https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1321.0;attach=14679

I do have quite a bit of mapping experience though, as I currently am working on about 4 Doom 2 maps at the same time right now. So I could probably navigate my way around something new, or at least adapt.

Good! One word: before you start with MapEdit, you have to edit mapedit.dat (to declare your custom maps) and images.dat (if you add new tilesets). And there's also the file with paths, but that will be evident.

MCDEdit doesn't require such knowledger, as it simply uses its own folder where tilesets are stored (so you copy any results from that folder to your game folder).

Offline BorntobeMild

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 10:00:21 pm »
Ah, so I need to edit the maps to add the custom ones to the list? Seems reasonable, that seems to impede on map distribution though.

--- posts merged - Solarius Scorch ---


Quick clarification before I dive in, for the Setup on MapView, my UFO Directory should look like
C:\Users\David\Desktop\OpenXcom
or should I be setting my directory as my Steam installation of vanilla UFO Defense?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 12:54:59 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 10464
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
    • Email
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2016, 12:56:25 am »
Ah, so I need to edit the maps to add the custom ones to the list? Seems reasonable, that seems to impede on map distribution though.

Not sure what you mean, but you need to edit config files in the MapEdit to declare new stuff.

Quick clarification before I dive in, for the Setup on MapView, my UFO Directory should look like
C:\Users\David\Desktop\OpenXcom
or should I be setting my directory as my Steam installation of vanilla UFO Defense?

I'm not sure about this, I don't have the Steam version.

Offline BorntobeMild

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2016, 02:50:37 am »
Well the question is, do I set the directory to OpenXcom or to vanilla UFO Defense?

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 10464
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
    • Email
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2016, 03:00:19 am »
Well the question is, do I set the directory to OpenXcom or to vanilla UFO Defense?

It doesn't really matter, you just need to know yourself which maps are being modified and/or added. MapEdit only looks for the TERRAIN, MAPS and ROUTES folders, so just make sure it gets them.

I actually use a separate copy of Openxcom, with all the files there, only for MapEdit. Because I wouldn't want to break something in my actual game files.

Offline BorntobeMild

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Idea for custom battlescapes
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 09:15:44 pm »
It doesn't really matter, you just need to know yourself which maps are being modified and/or added. MapEdit only looks for the TERRAIN, MAPS and ROUTES folders, so just make sure it gets them.

I actually use a separate copy of Openxcom, with all the files there, only for MapEdit. Because I wouldn't want to break something in my actual game files.

Good idea, I will copy my OpenXcom file, I will try setting the directory to my data files for OpenXcom because I was having problems when I just set it to the base directory.

--- posts merged by Solarius Scorch ---


Okay, I did have to set it to the data file within OpenXcom, off to map building land for me.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 02:40:16 am by Solarius Scorch »