Making CW2 maps, for dummies.

Started by Ebon Heart, August 21, 2011, 03:19:39 PM

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Ebon Heart

Need help with the CW2 map editor? Here's all you'll need to know!

1. The basics.

CW2 maps are separated into cells and subcells. There are 9 subcells in One cell, and one cell is the size of one terrain block. (pretty nifty) by moving the mouse around, you can see the exact subcell and cell coordinates of the block you're in. Subcells can each have their own creeper densities, and are used for defining positions of fields.

Actions in the cw2 editor are measured in frames, there are 30 frames in 1 second. Frames are used to define field movements, emitter timings, and the timing for all the evil things associated with gateways.

2. General settings.

First off, you have the map info, which must be set for the map to be saved. Map author should simply be your forum username, then description is just what you want people to know about your map. This will be shown to people when they're deciding whether or not to download your map, so make it good!

THIS IS IMPORTANT, maps that are unnecessarily tall will now be REJECTED, be sure to size your map right. Otherwise, Fisherck will have your head.
After this, there's map height, which decides how tall you want your map to be. The tallest possible to make it is 80 cells. All maps are 32 cells wide by however high you want to make it.
THIS IS IMPORTANT, maps that are unnecessarily tall will now be REJECTED, be sure to size your map right. Otherwise, Fisherck will have your head.

Next you'll see three checkboxes, ambient light, show field viewer. And show experimental tab. Ambient light means that the whole map will always be lit up, even without beacons. Show field viewer decides if... Well, you want to show the field viewer on your map. (pretty self explanatory) this means people will have the ability to decide if they want to see all the fields you have in place on your map.

Next up: mission type. Obliteration simply means you have to destroy all creeper and enemy structures on the map. Acquisition means you have to retrieve certain objects. Check which objects you want them to retrieve, and once they're all retrieved, you win!

Starting resources: lots of fun, just don't overuse them. *is hinting at day 20...* you can let the player start off with crystal energy, ore reserves, and technytes from here... Pretty self explanatory.

Build direction: let's you decide which directions the players are allowed to build mounted structures in, also pretty self explanatory.

3. Terrain

Terrain, besides creeper, is probably the most important part of most maps. Terrain can aid you in defending yourself, hinder your advances, or trap yo Ina pit with the creeper. It's up to you, the creator. Select which terrain you want, the numbers stand for how many packets the terrain costs to dig up, solid terrain can't be dug up without gateways. More on that later. Erase is used to remove terrain you placed incorrectly. The number in the box up top in this tab let's you choose brush size, a very useful feature we didn't have until later builds of the editor. Then you can even choose between a square and diamond brush.

4. Units.

So much to go over here, where to begin? Ahh, yes... Emitters. Emitters are fully customizable, and pretty easy to understand. Health is simply, how many nullifier shots it takes to kill the thing. Start tells it how many frames to wait before spitting out creeper, density controls how much creeper it adds to the space above it every time it spits out creeper. It will do this up to it's max density, at which point it will start spitting out less or no creeper. IE: there is 45,000 creeper in the subcell the emitter is on. The emitter has an intensity of 10,000 and a max density of 50,000 when it spits out creeper, it'll add only 5,000 instead of it's usual 10,000.
Interval, this tells the emitter how many frames to wait between each burst. Also, Virgil has recently given us the ability to create anti-creeper emitters. This means that if you set the max density and the density to a negative number, it will spit out anti creeper. They work just like normal emitters, just make the numbers negative. Also, anti creeper emitters appear white in game, and do not need to be destroyed in order to win the game.

Gateways: these are complicated. Health is the same as with emitters, dig interval determines how often it sends out a dig packet. 0 means it doesn't dig, 1 means it sends out 1 packet per frame (30 packets per second.... Not recommended, extremely laggy) and 30 means 1 per second. And so on and so forth... Dig delay sets how many frames it will wait before it starts to dig. Gateways will dig any squares with blue X's, which can be set from the enemy dig sites tab. (not worth it's own section) if you set a dig site on a normal piece of terrain, then change that to solid terrain, it can dig that up too! And for a measly 1 packet.

Drones are the bane of most cw2 players, here's how to get yours! Go down to drone schedule, and click the blue +. This will add a drone wave. You can then determine how long the gateway waits before sending this wave, how many drones it sends at once, the drone health, and their speed. 1 is average (same speed as your LS) 2 is twice as fast as that, and so on... Don't make your drones too fast or they can crash the average computer.  Then you even have rpt, which controls the maximum number of times the game will loop this wave. You can add as many drone waves as you want, and the gateway will continually loop through them. And now, the editor has been update. So...
Ever feel like your drones just aren't quite evil enough? That's no longer a problem. You can now set a pld. (payload) on your drones. This will make your drones carry a little creeper egg which will explode as soon as the drone dies. Set the number to determine how much creeper your drone will let out, it's the same as adding the intensity to a phantom, or the density to an emitter. One subcell, that density, very evil. :D You can even give a drone a negative payload, so you get a little anti creeper bonus for killing it.

Phantoms are also not very pleasant, you can control them too! How cool is that?! Simply add the phantom wave the same way you add drone waves, the set the delay the same way too. Then you can control how many phantoms are in the wave, and how much creeper they drop (use int) once again, rpt controls how many times the game will loop through the wave, always helpful.

Anyway, moving on to artifacts. These things can be placed, and then used to create holocubes, bunkers, techs, remnant ores, capsules, crystals, and technyes.

Then you have ore, which is pretty simple, add it, place it over terrain, and decide how much ore you want it to contain. The players can then place ore rigs on this block, and suck the ore up until it's gone, then use it to create anti creeper.

The nexus is the big bad boss of creeper world. Set it's spawn time (number of frames required for it to be submerged in creeper before it spawns) and that's all you have control over. When it spawns, it'll destroy everything around it In a wide circle (even emitters, solid terrain, and the LS) and it'll spawn 4 emitters around itself and start spitting out drones. Not a great edition to most maps, but you're welcome to play around with it.

All other units are just your units, set them where you want them, and you can control all their settings you can control in the game. Pretty self explanatory. The only exception being mounted units, which need their direction to be set to prevent them from ending up looking very... Not right.

One really nifty thing about the unit editor I'd this: once you've crested a unit and customized it, select that unit, then place another unit of the same type, and it'll have all the same settings! The only exception being gateway's drone/phantom schedules.

5. Creeper.

This is a nifty... (if you have a problem with the word nifty, don't leave a comment about it, just press F-4 and life will be good again. Cheesy) anyways, this is a nifty feature that allows you to place creeper and anti creeper directly onto the map from the start, instead of having to wait until the map starts and have emitters create it. Select the density you want to create, click creeper or anti creeper, and select your brush! Unless you have the auto advance feature on for creeper (bottom of the screen) creeper will just be frozen until you play the map, or until you set the creeper simulation to auto advance.

There have been a lot of questions as to how to make entombed creeper, and I'd like to say... It's not as hard as it seems. Simply create some creeper with the simulation off, and then place terrain there. When the players dig up that terrain, they're in for a surprise. Get ready for some haters if this is too much of a surprise.

The final feature of the creeper tab (don't ask me why it's here) is gravity. You can set the gravity down, and to the right (these numbers can also be negative) and this controls how strong the gravity is in these directions. For every 100 gravity, it takes 500 density creeper to push more creeper on top of it. Gravity really only effects creeper, but it also slightly alters how fields work. Play around with it! Just don't make the gravity too annoyingly... Different.

6. Fields

Oh, so much to write... I feel sorry for my fingers already. Here goes nothing!

I think I'll start with the bare minimum here... Creating fields! I like to think of creating field boxes as sort of like creating divs in HTML, they're a pain in the neck to position, they act very glitchy together, and any changes made to the field box affect all the fields inside (whether this I'd changing it's location, or creating change state, rotate, or move commands) create a field by pressing the blue +, and you'll get a 9 by 9 field box, this can be moved around by using the location counter, just click the arrows. The size can also be changed using the size thingy, right and down will increase the size, up or left decreases it. Once you've positioned your field... Look at the field list. Here you can see the stats for your field, and even give it a name by clicking in the ID column. If you're creating multiple fields on your map, I strongly recommend naming them for organization. If you have multiple fields, whichever one you have selected will be highlighted in red. This is the only field box you can draw fields in.

You can draw fields in by clicking below, your field box will be useless without them. You can select brush size and type, along with what type of field you want, as well as the strength and what types of creeper it will affect. Let's start with directional fields, these can be used to push or contain creeper, or even create one way passages for it. A level 1 directional field, with no gravity, can hold back 5000 creeper, after which it'll pass through. a level 2 directional field can hold back 50,000, level 3, 500,000 and level 4 can hold back any amount of creeper.

Now let's move on to pin fields. Pin fields will simply hold any amount of creeper in place, they have many uses, from creating frozen Creeper on day 16, to creating evil space invaders on day 18. It's just a matter of figuring out how to do it. First off, select pin fields from the center of the ring of directional fields, and draw them in however you want. Strength does not matter unless you want this field to carry creeper around, in which case strength will determine how much creeper the fields can carry. *tries to think of anything else to talk about to delay* hmm... Damn. On to field actions.

Field actions are kind of complicated, but there's so much you can do with them! An action will affect the entire field box, so don't put all your fields in one box. First thing's first, see those three check boxes; loop, initially off, and drip mode? I suppose you should know what those do. Loop simply means the actions will loop, when the field goes through all the actions on it's list, it'll start at action 1 again. Initially off means the field will be off, and will need to be flipped on before it will affect anything. This feature is handy for editing as well, since none of the fields will effect creeper, or be shown in the editor. Now see the little button that looks like a C? Press they and you'll clone the field you have selected. Everything but the actions will be copied.

Now for the actions. All of these can be set with an end delay, that will tell the field to wait so many frames after completing that action to move onto the next action. You can also set an initial delay, to delay the first action, though this will not be a factor if it loops, only before the field starts it's actions will the initial delay have any effect. Click the action's button to add it to the list.  

change state: this action can turn a field on or off. While off, it won't effect creeper, while on... It will.

Move: this action moves an entire field box to a certain location in a set amount of frames. Set the location based on where you want the top-left subcell of the box to be when it's done moving. (move to) and then set the speed for the amount of frames you want it to take. 1 frame will create an instantly teleporting field. If you want your field to destroy your buildings as it passes, make sure not to make it too fast. If s field moves to fast, it can completely skip over subcells, or even entire cells. 1 frame per subcell is usually a decent speed if you want a somewhat quickly moving field.

Rotate: this action causes all the directional fields in the field box to rotate X degrees left or right. This is used to make changing gravity... And has absolutely no effect on pin fields.

Once you have your field programmed, you can set fields to auto advance to watch them in action. Make sure to press the reset button before resizing or changing fields, because this can create issues. The last thing is the rotate/slide action. This is just for the editor, and can rotate all the fields in a box, or nudge them around, for if you want to resize your field without redoing everything. That's pretty nifty! Lol.
If you want to go even more in-depth with fields, check out this amazing guide, done by J!

7. Available tech.

This should be pretty self explanatory, just check the techs you want to allow the player to have. Make sure that if you allow dark beams, conversion bombs, or dark mirrors, you have the experimentals tab shown. (General Settings) Also, one cool feature of this is that you can limit the number of each tech you want the player to be able to build. IE: you want them to be able to build no more than 5 repulsors... done! Simple as that, if set to 0, there's no limit.

8. Conversations.

These let you add conversations in to the start or end of the game. Simply choose the character you want to talk, and click the appropriate blue +. That will add dialogue for that character, you can then type in what you want them to say in the text box in the center. You can add as many characters talking as you want, though adding too many will likely tempt people to click that evil red box that says, "skip all"

9. Custom Graphics.

I'll admit, I'm less than an expert here. There's a thread on the custom maps board about custom tiles, and I've heard that custom characters are kinda glitchy... but I'll try my best here. (poor way to end my tutorial, I know.)

First up, background image. Here you can choose from any of the preset backgrounds, or even upload your own! Choose background color to set what color the ground underneath your image will be, and you can check the "no scrolling" box if you want the background to move with you for some reason.

I'm going to skip custom tiles... read about those here.

Custom characters I'll skip as well. lol. (I'm not much of a custom graphics guy... if anyone cares to fill this section in, be my guest!)

Now, onto creeper and anti creeper colors. Tired of blue and white, no problem! Change it to what you want! Here you can choose what color you want each density of creeper or anti creeper to be. Be sure not to make it too odd, you can piss people off this way. IE: having totally different colors for every density. Change the colors as you wish to match your map.

Finally.. Mist. You can change the two main colors of the mist for when creeper is killed, when anti creeper is killed, and for when ore rigs dig up ore. So, have at it. Go wild, make creative ore! lol.

This concludes my guide for the map editor, lemme know if there's anything I need to change. Hopefully you're less of a dummy now, so go out, create something awesome using this new knowledge, and post it right here at
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!


rpt is the number of times the editor repeats the wave
We have become the creeper...


Quote from: thepenguin on August 22, 2011, 08:27:27 AM
rpt is the number of times the editor repeats the wave

I was wondering about that; that could be very useful.
Vote Tony!

Ebon Heart

Hurray! Completely done, and the definition of rpt is fixed. What do you guys think? Should I put this on the wiki?
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!

Ebon Heart

Alright, by suggestion of Echo51, I put it on the wiki. If someone could spell check it and add some photos, that'd be great!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!


amazing guide!  I haven't even clicked on the custom map button because I knew there would be too many buttons and it would take a while to understand.  Thanks to this, though, I'm about to start making a map  :D 

Thanks for the great guide!


I agree, good guide. Maybe it can be stickied?

I have some questions about drone speed. Ebon said in the chat that it was changed. Is it true that 1 is now the average drone speed? And can you input non-integer-values for the speed?

Ebon Heart

Quote from: florrat on August 26, 2011, 09:09:57 PM
I agree, good guide. Maybe it can be stickied?

I have some questions about drone speed. Ebon said in the chat that it was changed. Is it true that 1 is now the average drone speed? And can you input non-integer-values for the speed?
A. That was never changed. 1 is average drone speed, and the speed of the LS.
B. No, you can't put in non integer values.
That was my screw up in writing this guide... Go from a laggy comp to a high end laptop around the time of a new map editor release...  I fixed this boo boo in the units section once florrat said something about it. Is there anything else I need to fix?
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!


This was very informing when i read it-should have done so sooner...  i agree, this should be stickied, it'l help with the odd 'how do i do this' question.  or maybe we can link to the wiki somewhere on the website.
"Remember kids, the only difference between science and messing around is writing it down."
                                                                                                                         - Adam Savage

My website
My CW1, and CW2 maps!

Ebon Heart

Awesome, ty whoever stickied this. :D
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!



hey what does PLD stand for. Its in newest update. I guess its the carring creeper. but howdo i use it and stuff.
I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known.
-Walt Disney
This is like deja vu all over again.
-Yogi Berra


PLD = Payload. Usage is the same as for phantoms.
My CW1 maps: downloads - overview
My CW2 maps: downloads - overview

Ebon Heart

Right, I need to update my guide now that the new update is out. Lol.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago.
Check out the amazing A Tragedy Forgotten CW2 map series!


I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I've ever known.
-Walt Disney
This is like deja vu all over again.
-Yogi Berra