Full Map Descriptions Creation Process

Level 30
Jan 31, 2010

Map Descriptions
Full creation process

This tutorial will teach you on how to create and use proper templates when you want to represent your map to the community. The importance of the templates can clearly be seen that a good template draws more interest and attention. It is also one of the essentials for Map Section. If we sum it, we can get this: If you have to do something, why don't you do it right?

Content of tutorial:

I - Collecting Information
II - Counting Features
III - Proper Changelogs
IV - Credits
V - Putting All Together
VI - Color Codes

I - Collecting Information

This is the most important part, yet, it's the easiest one. All you will have to do is to open your map in the World Editor and grab a piece of paper (or open a blank sheet in Notepad or any text writing program). Now, you should browse around your map and write answers to these stuff:

1. What type of gameplay my map posses?
2. Is my map scratch made, or edited?
3. Is this map new user friendly?
4. Does this map have Artificial Intelligence (AI) support?
5. What's the filesize of this map?
6. What's the average time this map takes to be finished?
7. How much players this map supports, including the Host?
8. What are the dimensions of the map?
9. Is the map complete, or in development?
10. Who are the authors of the map?

Your answers should be in this format:
"My map is a Tower Defense (TD). It is edited from Green TD v9.1. My map is not new user friendly, but it has AI support. Filesize of this map is 2 mb, and it takes roughly half an hour to be finished. Up to 10 players per game. Dimensions of the map are 128x128. This map is not complete. The authors are Arthas and Illidan."

Great. Now save the file with your answers somewhere, or put your paper aside. Now draw a line made from multiple entries of one character sign, such as _ or |.

:wink: Hint: Remember to credit the author of the map for original idea, triggers, terrain or something else! Even if you edited a map completely, you still used his/her map as your template!

II - Counting Features

Now when we have our basic information, we will need few that are more in depth of the gameplay. Open your map and describe whatever you see which causes impact on gameplay, whether it would be waves, interesting, new and custom abilities, new systems, stunning visuals, fun factor, ...

This is an example:
100 waves to pass
200 different creeps you can encounter
65 unique and fun heroes to play
150 items to buy and combine
70 minutes of pure fun
New gold and XP systems!
New point systems!
New and unseen visuals!
Advanced interface!

:wink: Hint: To avoid the messy feeling, arrange the items in your list by ascending type (65, 70, 100) or descending type (200, 150, 100). Numberless features should not be scattered all around, place them all on the beginning, or at the end of the list.

III - Proper Changelogs

People like maps that are updated, all because of a simple reason that you can get new features and bug fixes just by waiting for author to do it for you. If your map is not receiving any changes, you can skip this step.

First of all, you should create a new album on the Hive with the title of "Attachments", and make it private. Then create a new image for each icon of every Hero or item you have changed, and upload them to the Hive. The life has became much easier for your reviewers to keep a track on what is new. I know that this is a pain in the behind to do, but it does look nicer and is a sign that you placed effort to make it look right. I used the S.T.A.R (Single Target Aesthetic Rating) in here, where one star is the lowest grade, and five stars are the highest rating of Changelogs I provided as an example.

S.T.A.R = ✰
Crystalline Wave damage increased.
New item: Boots of Abjuration.
S.T.A.R = ✰✰
Crystalline Wave damage increased by 25 at levels 2 and 4.
New item: Boots of Abjuration in Crackler Giant shop.
S.T.A.R = ✰✰✰
Crystalline Wave damage increased to 100, 225, 325, 450
New item: Boots of Abjuration in Crackler Giant (+ms, +armor aura).
S.T.A.R = ✰✰✰✰
Crystalline Wave damage increased from 100, 200, 300, 400 to 100, 225, 325, 450.
New item: Boots of Abjuration in Crackler Giant (+55 Movement speed, +7 armor aura)
S.T.A.R = ✰✰✰✰✰
Crystalline Wave damage increased from 100, 200, 300, 400 to 100, 225, 325, 450.
New item: Boots of Abjuration in Crackler Giant (+55 Movement speed, +7 armor aura)

:wink: Hint: You don't need to add an icon for each ability - all you need to do is to bump in a colored name of your hero, and it's icon. The abilities are left without icons, but players who know that hero will also know what is improved. This also avoids ugly spam of too many icons.

IV - Credits

People who helped you, one way or another, deserve at least to have their name in there. This is very simple, and I won't explain and complicate it too much. Just follow the guidelines:
1. Immediately after you use someone's resource in your map, use the comments in the upper part of a trigger you won't delete for sure (Or you go and create a new trigger, called "Special Thanks" and write those stuff in it) to write a person's name, and what he/she did for you.

"Apheraz, for "Abilities - Purchases & Upgrades with Items" tutorial.
Elainiel, for icons used for Crushing Blades.
-Grendel, for models used for Salvager, Rampager and Stoorm Troop.
-Leak, for reviewing and support, suggestions for visuals.
chrome67, for skins used for Pirates and Lioness.
enjoy, for icon used for Salvage."

This will keep you from falling apart: "What is this? Who created this? Why is that person in here? Who should I credit for these? Aaaah!"

When presenting a map, you should go and divide the persons who helped you in four categories:
1. Ones who created models.
2. Ones who created skins and icons.
3. Ones who reviewed and supported.
4. Ones who helped you (includes tutorials)

And now easily arrange people into those. Don't forget to add someone!

V - Putting All Together

This is the most creative process. All you will need to do now is to grab upon all the files you created since the beginning of this tutorial. You should start with the questions I'm about to ask you to do. I suggest you to avoid using formats until you finish everything.

1. Open your thread, and click "Edit".
2. Place the name of your map with a clear, nice font. It has to be larger than anything else.
3. Below it, place the type of the map, amount of players and authors, as well as the version of the map.
4. Write down a short guide through your map.
5. Create simple tables which will contain the names of your team which is working on the project. Skip if you are the only person. You can use this also for recruiting, leaving the "???" marks instead of empty fields.
6. Another table, the project testers. List down everyone that has agreed to review your map, and he/she did.
7. If you have a story, write it down. If you are not that good with English language, or do not have that high amount of creativity, you can skip this step. Anyways, not every map can have one.
8. Enlist all your features. You can do this in two ways: To list it down in a list, following the guidelines I provided, or to write it down as a text, rather than list. If you find something really needed to be said, do it here.
9. Play your map, and gather some screenshots. If you are capable of, and have some time and skills, a video is also a nice addition. Make sure to place both screenshots and video in separate [/hidden] tags, to prevent stretching of the screen.
10. Request help. Just add a sentence or two about what you need.
11. Download link - add a link where people will be able to download and play your map. The links should be attached to your post, and then linked in the thread, not on other sites, no matter how good you think they are.
12. Add a note or two, which you think that are important enough to be mentioned, such as "That hero is not finished and not playable" or "This creates bugs, please don't do it until I fix it".
13. Pick a color or two, and start polishing your thread. You will find more colors in the next section of this tutorial.
14. Go to the FAQ, and search for vB codes. Use them for your own advantage to make something that looks nice, and is useful.
15. Do not spam too much vB codes.
16. Use [center] tags, if possible, to align everything. This is not a must.
17. Disable your signature in that post only. It makes things clearer.
18. Write an alternate contact, if you tend to leave the Hive often. This can be done via Facebook Page, free forum or anything other that comes to your mind.

Now when you have written a complete Map Description, you need to pump up it's visuals with color codes.

VI - Color Codes

Follow the golden rules: Do not use more than three colors, excluding red. Use similar colors. Never use colors from the opposite sides of the color circle. I like to use these combinations, since they fit the Hive's theme, won't stab eyes and look nice when combined.

Main TitleHeadingsRegular TextWarnings
Color: GreenColor: SeaGreenColor: NoneColor: Red
Color: DeepSkyBlueColor: LightBlueColor: WhiteColor: Red
Color: YellowColor: DarkOrangeColor: NoneColor: Red
Color: DarkOrchidColor: PlumColor: NoneColor: Red

That would be it, we're finished! You can see some examples down there. I hope to see the fruits of your maps soon!

Examples of Templates:

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