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Decorating Your Map !23 of July 2005 01:25 AM
Posted by:Starparty
Seeing many of the betas (the ones actually considered betas, and not trcc's, snooky's, stimeys etc <3) i see alot of plain colors and lack of doodads and decorations. Therefore i decided to make this article. I wont finnish it now, but instead I will be updating it as we go when i find new interesting ways of making your map look cool. The tools we currently will be using in this tutorial are:
* The Terrain palette (StarEdit)
* The Doodad palette (StarEdit)
* The Terrain and Brush palette (StarForge)

I think that the easiest way of showing some ways of decoration, is to simply begin with my own method(s). Note - A Guide in using StarForge is also posted on the Articles page.

We will simply begin with making a basic map in StarEdit. To make it more comprehendable, i will only use 1 screen, and then i will add decoration to that small piece of terrain. Finally i'll show a few highlights of good map decorations to give you some inspiration.

OK. here we go. This is the piece of terrain I will be decorating:

First of ill be adding some ground texture, i.e some dirt to separate the grass on the low ground, and some grass to have the opposite effect on the high ground. Im also adjusting the water to fit in a bridge:

Already You can feel that something is happening! By now You would probably want your map to be basically 'finnished' (read playable) before continuing to the next step, wich is adding some doodads:

Observe that i have added no tilebased doodads, since i plan on finnishing the visuals of with StarForge too. Read the StarForge tutorial if you question why, this is just a way of working wich i have found effective and easy. Next step would now be to edit the terrain in StarForge, making it unique and beautiful. This is in -no way at all- required to make a beautiful map, most great maps havn't even been touched by starforge. But if You want to decorate a map like i did Space Pirates, You might find this as a good way of doing so. In StarForge i build terrain the same way i build wide bridges and ramps. i copy tiles and make my own decorations, simply like very small pieces of grass or dirt, to enhanche the texture even further:

If you are making maps for official leagues and /or tournaments, You might want to consider skipping this step entirely, since it makes the map more difficult to modify by the admins of that event. To present an example - The current topicality: BlizzCon. Since they, surely, will edit the maps to give them their final touch, it is prefered if no custom terrain interferes in the process (like wide bridge tiles fucking up when you try to erase them).

Now I go back into StarEdit to add the final touch, the trees and other tilebased doodads. Also The map will be fully StarEdit Compatible doing this way. If You have no training in using the triggersystem in StarForge, this method is what i recommend. Also, You need StarEdit to place minerals correctly. So here is the final picture with some trees and other stuff:

Here is the final result! Observe that this is overdone and it is, in my opinion, no need to be so pecky with details as i've shown in this image. Try comparing the first picture with the last and you'll see striking difference :)

I'll keep on updating the article when i find new cool stuff to do, or when i see some nice piece of scm-art to give You some inspiration! :) I also encourage You to look at other peoples maps for ideas and sollutions. We can learn alot from each other!

Here is a little taste of Peatza[Ag]'s mapping skills:


Yeah, this is what gave my maps some art to them. Thanks SP!
i got a boner the first time i read this XD
Nasty, that was Nasty.

Great job there man. However SF no work for me. I use SCMDraft2
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