Creating A Map

The first step in any project is the creation of a new document, either a map or a mod. When you are creating a document, you’ll be presented with options to help you configure your project quickly. Any of these initial configurations can be changed later within the Editor itself.

Map Creation Options

With the Editor launched, navigate to the file tab in the top left corner of any Editor screen.

File Menu File Menu

This will bring you to the ‘New Document’ window, where you can select the type of document you wish to create.

Choosing Document Type Choosing Document Type

For this scenario, select ‘Arcade Map’ by clicking the button to its left, then hit ‘Next’ to proceed. You will be brought to the dependency section, pictured below.

Choosing Dependency Choosing Dependency

Dependencies describe which mod files will provide assets to a project. You can always proceed by navigating to the ‘Custom’ heading, then selecting nothing. This would provide an entirely blank project, with no mod file dependencies. In this example, you’ll use the substantial archive of StarCraft assets, typically known as the ‘standard dependencies.’ Access to the standard dependencies is one of the primary strengths of working with the Editor.

To import the most recent iteration of StarCraft’s assets, select the ‘Heart of the Swarm’ standard dependency, then proceed by selecting ‘Next’. This will bring you to the map configuration section, pictured below.

Map Configuration

Example Generation Options Example Generation Options

The map configuration screen is where you’ll make some basic decisions about the initial look of your terrain. The effects of each option are broken down in the following table.

Property Effect
Dimensions (Width x Height) Sets the initial full size of the map. You can change this later from the Map Bounds options. Dimensions range from 32 to 256 units, in increments of 8.
Playable Size The actual area of a map in which units can path, the correction is made based on a hard-coded variable buffer on each side of the map. At some extremely small sizes this buffer is avoided.
Size Description A basic description of map sizes. Options include Tiny, Small, Medium, Huge, and Epic.
Use Terrain Unchecking this cancels terrain generation. While you may want a terrainless map in some cases, it is functionally similar to a mod.
Texture Set Selects the ‘Terrain Type’ for a map, this is the palette of eight textures that will be used to build the ground in your environment. This also applies to creep visuals, cliff types, lighting, and atmospheric sound sets.
Initial Texture On generation, the entire terrain will be painted this single type of the terrain set.
Base Height All terrain is generated at this default height. If the Add Random Height option is unchecked, the terrain will be produced as a smooth surface.
Add Random Height Creates random distortions in the Base Height at a magnitude determined by the Strength and Variability option sliders. This is useful in producing a more naturalistic base for terrain.

Following the guidelines set out in our ‘Example Generation Guidelines’ image above should give you a map that looks like the one pictured below. This map is primed to begin a project with. At this time, it’s usually wise to save your file.

Newly Generated Char Rock Newly Generated Char Rock