Map Creation Guide:
Several older versions as well as the source code can be downloaded here: arc.opious.net/files/Map Editors/
A Tiles.bmp file tuned specifically for map making can be found here: Tiles.bmp
Side note : Some recent Operating System like Windows 8 or 7 may make freeze Sedit at anytime. Setting windows XP compatibility mode in Sedit.exe properties can usually fix this problem.
- 1. Edit Tool
This tool is used to place tiles and animations on the map.
- 2. Selection Tool
This is used to select areas of the map. The selection can be enlarged by grabbing the edge and moving it.
The entire map can also be selected by going to Edit > Select All.
- 3. Mirror Tool
This tool allows you to mirror certain areas of the map. An area needs to be selected to use this tool.
- 4. Rotate Tool
This rotates a selection.
- 5. Copy
- 6. Cut
- 7. Paste
- 8. Fill Tool
This tool allows you to fill an area with the tiles or animations you have selected. It's best used to create large areas of flooring.
- 9. Tile Picker Tool
Clicking on a tile in your map with this tool will select it in your tile set at the bottom.
- 10. Wall Tool
This tool can be used to create walls easily. It will automatically create the corners for you.
- 11. Flag Tool
Used to create flag holders with flags capped. Use this with the animation menu on the right to create your flags.
- 12. Flag Pole Tool
Same as the Flag Tool, only the flags are uncapped.
- 13. Holding Pen Tool
See the pen section for more info on this.
- 14. Bunker Tool
Used to make bunkers.
- 15. Spawn Point Tool
Use this to create spawns. Look at the spawns section for more information.
- 16. Bridge Tool
Used to make bridges.
- 17. Warp Tool
See the section on warps for more information.
- 18. Switch Tool
Used to make switches.
- 19. Conveyor Tool
Used to place conveyors on the map.
- 20. Line Tool
Same as the wall tool, only that you can drag out lines instead of placing each tile.
One of the most common mistakes new map makers make is designing the pens incorrectly. This section should help give you a better understanding of how pens function.
Method #1: Pen Tool
The easiest way to make a functional pen is to use the pen tool in the sedit tool bar.
This tool allows you to select either normal tiles or the animated ones. Once you have the pen tool activated, just click and drag to the size you prefer.
Make sure the you have the color selected in the lower right corner of sedit that corresponds with the team you want to pen to be.
Method #2: Manual Placement
A more advanced method of designing pens is to place each tile manually. This requires knowledge of where each "pen spawn" resides in the tile set. Each pen must have at least one of the corresponding color pen spawns or the pen will not function properly.
View the two images below to identify where the pen spawns are in the tile set. Also, the downloadable map making tile set outlines each pen spawn with the color of its team.
Here is what the pens should look like with the map making tile set loaded:
As you can see, each pen has its own pen spawns where the ships can appear.
Method #1: Spawn Tool
The easiest way to place a spawn is to use the spawn tool.
This allows you to pick from 4 different animated spawns. To change the team of the spawn, use the controls in the lower right corner of sedit.
The more advanced way is to place each tile/animation separately. To do this, you need to know where the actual spawn tile is located in the tile set. The animations surrounding the center tile have no effect on the actual spawn, it is only the middle tile that has the spawn function. Knowing this, you can create hidden spawns by only placing the center of the spawn on the map, and not the surrounding animations.
Here is an image showing where these spawn tiles are:
The map making tile set included with this tutorial outlines these tiles in the color of their team.
Normally, all animations start on the same frame, however, sedit has a built in feature that allows you to chose which frame the animation starts on. This allows you to create complex effects such as designs in the pens.
The offset menu is below the animation list on the right side of the sedit program. Putting numbers in this box allows you change which frame the animation starts on.
Here is an example of some pen tiles without any offset:
Adding an offset to each tile allows us to change how the pen looks, creating a wave effect:
(the number of the offset used is over each tile)
The pens use a total of 14 frames, so in this example, an offset of 14 would have the exact same result as no offset at all.
Playing around with the offset can result in some nice effects. Use your imagination.
The offset can also be used to create warps, which will be explained in the next section.
Method #1: Using Offsets
When creating a warp using the offsets tool, the box must contain 2 numbers. The first number is the address of the warp you are sending the player to, and the second number is the address of the warp itself.
Example: (Offset: "12") In this example, the warp being placed would be warp #2, while the warp the player would be sent to is warp #1.
As you can see, this creates a limitation, as only the integers 0-9 can be used, limiting the amount of warps that can be created.
To help solve this problem, there is a simple way to make two warps go back and forth from each other. Just give each warp identical integers. Example: First Warp: "55" Second Warp: "55." This will give the same effect as offsets of "56" and "65" and save room in the process.
Sometimes, you want to create a warp that dumps the player at another warp, but then makes it so they can't warp back. To do this, you need to make the first warp like usual (ex: 54), but then make the second warp so the warp destination (first number) doesn't go to any other warps. An easy way to do this would be to make the warp "55." This saves space by only using 2 numbers total to make the warp system, and as long as you don't have any other warps with the 5 address, it won't go anywhere (it is its own address, but can't warp to itself).
If you want to make a couple warps warp randomly between each other just give all the warps identical address and destination numbers. For example: Warp 1: "33" Warp 2: "33" Warp 3: "33"
This will cause the warp destination to be chosen at random by Armor Critical. As many warps can be added to this setup as you would like.
The last example is a chain of warps.
This takes up a lot of numbers though, so it can't be used a lot.
Method #2: Warp Tool
The warp menu does the same thing that offsets do, it just provides you with boxes to input the warp's address and destination.
The top two boxes are the two numbers used in the offset method. On the right is a menu that lists all of the warps in the map. The nice thing about the warp menu is that it allows you to look up the address of warps by clicking on their location. Once you do this, the warp will appear in the destination box.
Turrets are another map feature added during the Spark era. This section should give you an understanding of how to add turrets.
Add 'Format=1.1' to the map description (Menu > Edit > Information) so that it looks like this:
Format=1.1, sedit v2
Click 'Set' at the bottom right of that window. You are ready to start adding turrets.
In order to add a turret go to the animation tool box on the right. Scroll down to line 'BD' and click on it.
This is a general turret and the default will be green. In order to change the turret to shoot a different color or weapon you need to use animation offsets.
A guide on what each offset does is below. Remember to change the offset every time you want to add a different color, weapon, or speed.
List of Turret Offsets
You can vary the speed of a weapon by selecting a different number within the range of the parameters. For example 0 is fast green laser and 4 is a slow green laser while 2 is a medium speed green laser. For all ranges the low number is the fastest and the high number is the slowest.
You can set the amount of health the turrets start out with. If Turret Health is not added, turrets will have 225 health points.
You'll need to add 'TurretHealth=x' to the map description box in, replacing x with the amount of health you wish to give the turrets. See the section on custom map settings for more information.
Health regen tiles
You can add health regen zones in your map
How to do :
- in the animation panel (right of Sedit) click on 0C and put this special tile in your map
- add RepairRate=n (n beeing the number of hp you recover each second) in the description of your map (Edit -> information menu)
Special barriers and walls
You can add some special tiles to prevent teams or flagger to go through and vice versa.
All those special tiles are grouped in the very bottom right of your tile set in Sedit.
In this section, I'll call barrier those you can shoot through and walls those you can't.
You can define some special route only a flagger can take and vice versa
WHITE LINE allow ONLY FLAGGER to come across
BLACK LINE allow ONLY NON-FLAGGER to come across
in any case you can shoot through
Team specific barriers and walls
Just under those black and white lines you have plain colored and greyed colored walls
The PLAIN colored walls ALLOW only the team of its color to go through
You CANNOT SHOOT THROUGH
The GREYED colored barriers PREVENT the team of it's color to pass
You CAN SHOOT THROUGH
(useful if you have more than 2 teams or if you wanna be able to shoot through a team specific barrier)
Making a Capture the Flag Map
The flag system is a bit tricky to understand at the start, here's how it's working :
On the upper bar you have the flag button, and the flag pole button.
Flag button is where you choose if you want to use neutral flag or colored flag.
Neutral Flag :
It's simple and the most used for flag map, you simply choose it and place it wherever you want.
Then you need for each team a flag pole where the flag is supposed to be capped for winning the round.
To place the flag holder of the green team, click on the flag pole button in the upper bar, select the green one, and make sure that
"neutral" is checked in the bottom right of Sedit windows.
Do the same for other teams.
So basically : in the flag pole menu, you choose to who belong the flag holder; and in the bottom right corner,
you define which type of flag can receive your flag holder.
It's very important to understand that, then you can make anything you want !
Colored flag :
A flag map with colored flag is usually harder because each team have his own flag of it's color, the opposite team try to grab it and carry it to the flag pole designed to receive this particular color. But if any owner of the flag touch it, the flag return to it's home, it is reclaimed ! Note that the colored flag will reclaim itself if noone touch it for 1 minute.
How to do :
On the upper bar, click on the Flag button and choose the green one, this will be the green team's flag.
Place it and do the same for other teams.
Then you need a flag holder for each team flag.
Make the flag holder of the green team that will receive the red flag :
-select the green flag holder in flag pole menu (upper bar)
-and check "red" in the bottom right.
Do the same for red team
- If you have 3 or 4 teams, you will need more holders by team in order to receive each team flag
In an example of a 4 teams map with 1 colored flag by team, each team needs 3 flag holders
Green team : 1 green holder for a red flag, 1 green holder for a blue flag and one green holder for yellow flag
and do the same for each team.
Side notes :
-You can mix in your map neutral and colored flags
-You can add a switch to make a switch/flag map
-You can of course have more than one flag per team but you need to adjust the number of flag holders or the win will not be registered.
Making Switch map
Making a switch map is fairly easy, you just have to click on the switch button on the upper bar and click on switch then you place it.
To win a round a team will have to get all the switches to it's color
Optionnaly you can specify a number of switch to win a round, to do so :
Add SwitchWin=n (n beeing the number of switches you need for a win) in the Description of your map
(Edit -> information menu)
Making modded map
Mods are changing the conditions to win a round
-Assassin : you have to kill the other team's flagger
-Domination : you have to hold a majority of switches to your color until you reach a fixed score
-TurretAssassin : you have to kill all enemy's turret
You can mix up one mod with any other mod, but you can't "combine" them, meaning that you only have to fullfill one condition to win a round.
For example if you make a domination/assassin map, the round will end either if you win by the score or if you kill the other president.
In this mod, you have to kill the "president" (flagger) of the opponent team. The flagger can't drop his flag and he's the only one able to throw nades. His death is a win for the other team.
To make an assassin map you will need :
- To put at least one neutral or colored flag per team
- To add (Assassin) after the name of your map (in Edit -> Information menu)
Additional options :
You also can change the countdown the team got to "elect a president" (someone to pick up the flag) by adding for example ElectionTime=25 in the description of your map (Edit -> information menu) (50 seconds is default)
You can use colored flags aswell as neutral
You can change the president weapons and speed (see the custom map setting section)
You can draw special routes that only president can take or only him cannot take (see the Special barriers and walls section)
Domination mod is a modified switch map, instead of having to flip every switches of the map, you have to hold them at your color until you reach a certain score. Each switch give you 1 point per second.
How to do :
-Add (Domination) in the name of your map (in Edit -> Information menu)
-Add DominationWin=n (n beeing the score you want it to be) in the description of your map (in Edit -> Information menu)
-Add an unreachable switch somewhere in your map if you want the map to be strictly domination;
if you don't do that, a round can be won either by domination or by having all the switches the same color.
Turret Assassin mod
To win a Turret Assassin map, you need to destroy every ennemy turrets
How to make :
-Add (TurretAssassin) in the name of your map (in Edit -> Information menu)
-Add Format=1.1 in the description of your map (in Edit -> Information menu)
-Add your turrets (see "Adding Turrets" section)
Custom Map Settings
During the Spark era, a multitude of customizable map settings were added. These settings allow map makers to control almost every aspect of their map, including but not limited to: blue bar consumption per weapon, amount of damage a flag carrier will take from each specific weapon, and health decay over time.
Add these settings to the 'Description' box in SEdit (Menu > Edit > Information):
List of Settings
For most settings there is both a normal setting and a flagger setting. The flagger setting can be specified if you want flaggers to have a setting different from regular ships.
|DHT||N/A||Dynamic Holding Time. Sets the holding pen time according to the number of players in milliseconds (not seconds)|
|MinDHT||N/A||Sets the minimum holding pen time for maps utilizing DHT in seconds|
|MaxDHT||N/A||Sets the maximum holding pen time for maps utilizing DHT in seconds|
|ShipSpeed||FShipSpeed||100 (75)||0||200||Sets the speed of travel of ships.|
|LaserDamage||FLaserDamage||27||0||225||Laser damage taken|
|LaserEnergy||FLaserEnergy||12||0||56||Laser blue bar consumption|
|MissileDamage||FMissileDamage||102||0||225||Missile damage taken|
|MissileEnergy||FMissileEnergy||37||0||56||Missile blue bar consumption|
|MissileRecharge||FMissileRecharge||945||100000||0||Missile recharge rate|
|NadeDamage||FNadeDamage||21||0||225||Grenade damage taken|
|NadeEnergy||FNadeEnergy||19||0||56||Grenade blue bar consumption|
|NadeRecharge||FNadeRecharge||1950||100000||0||Grenade recharge rate|
|BouncyDamage||FBouncyDamage||48||0||225||Bouncy damage taken|
|BouncyEnergy||FBouncyEnergy||12||0||56||Bouncy blue bar consumption|
|BouncyRecharge||FBouncyRecharge||765||100000||0||Bouncy recharge rate|
|HealthBonus||FHealthBonus||60||0||224||Health rewarded upon killing|
|HealthDecay||FHealthDecay||0||0||225||Amount health decays once damage is taken|
|RepairRate||FRepairRate||0||0||224||Speed health regenerates while on Health Regen Tiles|
|TurretHealth||225||1||1000000+||Amount of health turrets have. Default is 225|
|ElectionTime||50||1||N/A||Time, in seconds, in which a president must be elected|
Map parameters can be tricky sometime :
- Every damage parameters is actually the damage TAKEN, not the damage dealt. The nuance is important to understand when you want different damage between flagger and non-flagger.
So for example, if you want the flagger beeing more powerful like having double damage you have no other option than diminish the damage taken by flagger by writting :
This is the closest you can get, because you can't make the flagger more powerful but you can make him more resistant;
you can't write LaserDamage=54,BouncyDamage=96,MissileDamage=204,NadeDamage=40 because that will mean any non-flagger take double damage , even if the shot is coming from another non-flagger.
- You HAVE TO write the flagger parameter AFTER the non-flagger parameter : LaserDamage=40,FlaserDamage=20
If you dont do that, the non-flagger parameter will overtake it all and be considered as general damage (flagger and non-flagger having this damage)
- If you dont specify the flagger damage but you specify non-flagger damage, that will be considered as general damage :
LaserDamage=30 (anyone getting hurt by a laser will lose 30hp)
DHT=500, MinDHT=3, MaxDHT=8
Holding time will increase a half second for each player that enters. Holding time will not fall below 3 seconds or above 8 seconds.
FShipSpeed=200, FLaserSpeed=25, FMissileSpeed=25, FNadeSpeed=25, FBouncySpeed=25
Flagger's ship speed is now twice that of normal ships, however their weapons move at half the speed of normal ships.
ShipSpeed=150, FShipSpeed=50, HealthBonus=224, LaserDamage=0, FlaserDamage=54, MissileDamage=204, NadeDamage=42, BouncyDamage=96
Ships move slightly faster, however the flagger moves slightly slower. A kill replenishes player's health to full, however, weapons now do twice as much damage. A flagger's lasers do no damage.
Check out this awesome map!, LaserSpeed=75, LaserDamage=15
A normal description inline with map settings.
Polishing Your Map
This section covers some of the most common errors regarding map aesthetics. Fixing these errors isn't a must for your map, but doing so will give your map a more polished look, which will make you appear to be a more skilled map maker .
Spawn, Warp, and Pen Spawn Placement
Some new map makers place spawns, pen spawns, and warps right next to a wall. This makes them unusable, as the ship will get stuck on the edge of the wall as soon as it appears.
Moving it to a location that is at least one tile away from every wall will fix this problem:
A lot of tunnels in new maps tend to be too cramped.
In the example above, the walls of the tunnels are only two tiles apart. This doesn't allow the ship much room for movement. A good rule is to always place walls and objects at least 3 tiles apart:
Animate Your Animations
If the tile is supposed to be animated, then make sure you are using the animation menu on the right to place the tiles. There's nothing more bland than a map that doesn't move, and some animations won't even function correctly as regular tiles (such as the conveyors and flag holders).
Edges of Flooring
The tile set provides you with certain tiles that are meant to go between terrains to make them flow better, so use them.
Adding these tiles will make the map appear much nicer:
Making Sure the Walls Flow
Use the wall tool to get rid of any unfinished edges on the walls.
Connecting Pipes to Walls
The tile set contains tiles that are meant to visually connect any pipes to the walls next to them, so use these.
With the wall tile added:
Filling in Bunkers with the Appropriate Tiling
Some patches use a lighter flooring in the bunkers, so adding this will make the map appear better visually.
These tiles are located to the left of the main bunkers in the tile set.
Connecting Walls to Bridges
The tile set provides you with tiles to make the bridges flow better around walls. These tiles are located below the main bridges in the tile set, so use them.
This section covers some general tips for designing maps. 2 basic map types are covered. There are other types of maps, but these are the 2 most common.
Newb Maps are generally 4-player maps that are based on one thing: action! They usually have these characteristics:
- Low holding times
- Easily accessible flags
- Smaller in size
These maps need to keep the player engaged nearly every second they are in the map. Good examples are SmeardaQueer and Basewarz.
These maps are based on strategy and testing the player's skill in various situations. They should be larger in size and have a variety of environments for the players to engage. Bases should usually be relatively easy to defend, so bunkers are facing outward. The middle should be an area that promotes crossfire, which is why these maps usually contain bridges in these areas. The maps also need to be balanced in all areas. So, to keep bunkers from dominating one area of the map, they need to be inhibited by another object. This could either be another bunker or a wall. The map should also have multiple flag routes to promote diversity.
It takes a lot of skill to create these types of maps, so practice.
Good examples are Golden Oldie (APL07Pub) and Castlewars.
These are some of the general traits of good maps, but it's also important to realize that some of the best maps are creative ones, so experiment. It's also a good idea to start studying maps if you really want to get into map making. Look at the successful maps, the ones that have stood the test of time, and ask yourself questions like "What makes this map so fun?" From there it just takes practice to create great maps.
Hosting Your New Map
It's important to note that once you have hosted your map, if you decide to make any changes, then you need to rename the map or you will not be able to upload it. This is to protect your map from being sabotaged and overwritten by someone else's changes. A good rule is to use a version scheme or not use up the name you want until the map is fully complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
When I try to enter my map, it gives me a "connection to the server was closed" error. How do I fix it?
The most likely problem is that you forgot to add pen spawns to your pens. Check the pens section for instructions on how to do this.
Why can't players spawn in my map after sitting in the pen?
You forgot to add spawns for the team that is unable to spawn. Look at the spawns section.
Why won't SEdit run correctly?
The most likely problem with this is that you dont have the 'tiles.bmp' image (named correctly) placed in the same folder as the sedit.exe file. Make sure you are using one of the old image files (it will be a .bmp format), and not one of the new Armor Critical image files (which will be in .png) Try using the tile set provided with this tutorial and open sedit again.
How do I move a large section of the map?
To move a large section of the map, you need to select as much as you can, then scroll your viewing area, and then grab the edge of the selection and enlarge it. Once you have the whole section you want to move selected, then you can go ahead and copy it, move the selection, and paste it where you want.
Sedit is freezing randomly, how to fix?
Some OS like windows 7 or 8 make Sedit freeze randomly. To fix that, open the properties of Sedit.exe and set the compatibility mode with WindowsXP.
- ShipSpeed: Speed of ships. Range is 0-200. Normal is 100.
- LaserDamage: The amount of damage a laser does. Range is 0-225. Normal is 27.
- LaserEnergy: The amount of blue bar it takes to shoot a laser. Range is 0-57. Normal is 12. A setting of 57 will effectively disable the weapon.
- LaserTTL: How long a laser will last before dying out. Range is 0-10000. Normal is 480.
- LaserSpeed: How fast a laser moves. Range is 0-100. Normal is 50. Higher = faster.
- MissileDamage: The amount of damage a missile does. Range is 0-225. Normal is 102.
- MissileEnergy: The amount of blue bar it takes to shoot a missile. Range is 0-57. Normal is 37. A setting of 57 will effectively disable the weapon.
- MissileTTL: How long a missile will last before dying out. Range is 0-10000. Normal is 480.
- MissileRecharge: How fast a missile charges up. Range is 0-100000. Normal is 945. Lower = faster recharge
- MissileSpeed: How fast a missile moves. Range is 0-100. Normal is 50. Higher = faster.
- BouncyDamage: The amount of damage a bouncy does. Range is 0-225. Normal is 48.
- BouncyEnergy: The amount of blue bar it takes to shoot a bouncy. Range is 0-57. Normal is 12. A setting of 57 will effectively disable the weapon.
- BouncyTTL: How long a bouncy will last before dying out. Range is 0-10000. Normal is 970. SuperBouncy mode is 9700.
- BouncyRecharge: How fast a bouncy charges up. Range is 0-100000. Normal is 765. Lower = faster recharge
- BouncySpeed: How fast a bouncy moves. Range is 0-100. Normal is 50. Higher = faster.
- NadeDamage: The amount of damage a nade shrapnel does. Range is 0-225. Normal is 21.
- NadeEnergy: The amount of blue bar it takes to shoot a nade. Range is 0-57. Normal is 19. A setting of 57 will effectively disable the weapon.
- ShrapTTL: How long a grenade shrapnel will last before dying out. Range is 0-10000. Normal is 128.
- ShrapSpeed: How fast a grenade shrapnel moves. Range is 0-100. Normal is 50. Higher = faster.
- NadeRecharge: How fast a nade charges up. Range is 0-100000. Normal is 1950. Lower = faster recharge
- NadeSpeed: How fast a nade moves. Range is 0-100. Normal is 50. Higher = faster.
- HealthBonus: How much health you get for a kill. Range is 0-224. Normal is 60.
- All of the above settings can be set separately for flaggers by prefixing the setting name with an F (FHealthBonus instead of HealthBonus). These settings must appear AFTER the normal setting in the map description (if the corresponding normal setting is specified).
- Damage settings refer to the amount of damage received by the ship. So, for example, "LaserDamage=225, FLaserDamage=0" means that a non-flagging ship will die from one laser hit, but a flagging ship will take no damage at all from lasers.
- FShipSpeed is relative to ShipSpeed, so "ShipSpeed=200, FShipSpeed=50" means that a flagging ship moves at 50% of a non-flagging ship's speed (100 in this case).
- DHT: Dynamic holding time. Sets the holding time to (DHT x number of players in game). Specified in milliseconds.
- MinDHT: Minimum dynamic holding time. If DHT is used, the holding time will not be less than this. Specified in seconds.
- MaxDHT: Maximum dynamic holding time. If DHT is used, the holding time will not be more than this. Specified in seconds.
- ElectionTime: For assassin maps, the time teams have to grab a flag. Specified in seconds. Default is 50.