Star Trek Armada : A guide to making maps

Map Editor Guide Home Home


Making your First Map

First, Ensure you have your Armada Disk in your drive, or your system might well lock up if it tries to load without it,

Click on your newly created Armada Editor shortcut, and now.... Armada should now load up in its 'map editor' mode.

Once you have loaded the map editor, you will have one of the following scenarios...

1. The map screen will be totally bare.
2. There will already be items placed on the map.

This will of course depend on what 'map name' you decided upon in your 'target line'.

You can of course enter in the 'target line' the name of an existing map, one that you wish to modify/improve upon.

Setting Map Size

The VERY first thing you should do when starting work on a BRAND NEW map, is to do decide upon the map size

1. You need to open up the map dialog screen.

Press the 'Ctrl' button and 'R' at the same time... this should bring up the following screen...

As you can see, there is quite a bit of data you can specify here. However, let us concentrate on setting the map size....

 Summary guide to Map sizes:               

Map size Type of Map
1000x1000 - very tiny miniwar Map that fills up just one screen
2000x2000 - standard yardwar 4 player Yard War
6400x6400 - the Standard size Medium map
10,000x10,000 Large Map
15,000x15,000 and above Enormous map !

-The larger the map, the slower and the more likely you will encounter problems, such as the out-of-sync issue. However, you can get away with very latge mini/yardwars, since they usually only contain very small numbers of ships/ map objects.

-Map size : the Width and height do not necessarily have to be the same, although 99% of maps are made square.

- Largest map i ever made was 18,000 square, ms_4sy1 - a yardwar that takes usually takes an hour to win, due to it's immense size. 

If you change the map size, you Should then proceed to Immediately SAVE the map, close the editor Fully, and THEN restart the editor.

Note that, changes in map size ONLY happen AFTER you save the map and close the editor. Yes, this process seems very odd, and is indeed damn annoying at times. A potential problem is that, once you close the editor Windows then Refuses to allow you to open up the editor again ! You must then restart your computer if you are to work with the editor again.
It is this problem that really annoys a lot of people - myself especially.


Saving your Maps

The Map editor is Notoriously Unstable at the best of times, i suggest you save your work every 10 minutes.

To save your map...

Press the 'Ctrl' button and 'S' at the same time... this should bring up the following screen...

Remember, you should save your map as a .bzn file in the 'addon' folder. Map filename containing NO capital letters and NOT longer than 11 characters.


Player Starting positions

Tip : First, zoom out on the map, using the '-' key on the far right of your keyboard. This will give you a much better perspective of your map.

To set the starting position, and the number of players for a given map, you need to 'set camera' positions.

1. You need to Hold down the 'ALT' key, and at the same time click somewhere on the map. This brings up this pop-up...

The ONLY thing you should TYPE here is 'Camera_1',    'Camera_2', etc etc.

***special note***
Camera names must be in lower case....except for the first letter.
So...... 'Camera_1'     is correct, whereas 'camera_2'    is wrong !

Each camera on a map, represents the starting view for each player - and not necessarily where there starting bases/ships may be located.

Camera_1   would represent the starting position for player one, and so forth. You get the idea. As expected, you can set no more than 8 cameras on a map.

Once you 'okay' it , you should see the following on your map.... this icon designates the camera position.
It CAN be moved, by a click-hold on the flag pole, and then dragging it to any location you wish on the map.

* Potential problems

1. You get two poles in the same place - this is VERY annoying, they can appear 'linked' -this is something to do with pathing for the AI, and i won'nt note anything else on this pathing matter.  If a camera appears linked to others , you MUST delete it and place a new camera.

2. Sometimes there are indeed 2 cameras in exactly the same position - which makes it hard to spot ! This is one primary cause for maps not working properly.

TAKE Great care when placing the camera's on your map.

3. I suggest you save each time you place a new camera on the map, the Editor is VERY unstable whenever you are placing cameras, and is liable to crash. 


Placing ships and other map objects

This is easy to do... simply select one of the menus , such as F1 or F3 - using the Function keys.


- All objects can be easily dragged across the map
- If can manually change the team allocation for any ship/base by clicking on it, and changing the team number.
- A common problem is that people allocate ships/bases wrongly, always pre-test your maps before sharing them in the games room.
- To delete objects/ships, left click hold, and press the 'delete' key.

- To go back on the main 'build menu' , press the TAB key (looks like this:   ‌← →‌    ) -  this is the key above 'caps lock'.
     The build menu has does has a fair number of sections.

BUT ! in the case of ships/bases, you need to make sure they are allocated to the correct team.

The screenshot below shows 3 akiras allocated to team 3.

To change Team, press the shift '↑' key and at the same time, use either the up or down arrow key to change team.


Worm holes/ temporal gates.

You should always set down these in pairs. Otherwise, any ships that enter such an 'odd' portal will simply disappear !

This is actually one interesting thing you could do on a map, with say a number of wormholes, have 7 of them. 6 of them are linked, with one wormhole that leads to nowhere - it would sure annoy a few noobs in a yardwar for instance ;0


Nebulas always look good on a map, but.. if you use too many, the map will work too slowly and be unplayable.
You can 'stack' nebulas on top of each other, so that a damaging red nebula on top of a radioactive yellow nebula will cause severe damage to ships.

Map lighting

Map Lighting can be changed really quite dramatically. Amongst the sub-menus of the build menu, you can select a 'map light'.
You are able to set various properties- such as colour, intensity etc. You can also change the direction of the light, so that ships/bases look really cool.

To change the direction of the light, use right click hold on the light, and move the mouse around.

It is useful to keep a ship/unit nearby, so you can see the full effect of any changes in lighting that you make.

Problems though...

-Be careful in how you mess around with map lighting. Some map makers have really stupid colours for lighting, making everything look green ! This is too bloody stupid, everything looks the same, making it harder to work out whose units belong to who.

-Do not have crazy dark lighting which makes map objects practically invisible, it really just annoys people more than anything else

Generally, the default level of lighting works just perfectly.

Proceed to Modifying the Ship/Unit's levels

Last updated : 07/08/04