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Terrain and Level Design Guidelines

Discussion in 'Terrain & Level Design' started by Keiji, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Keiji

    Keiji

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    Introduction

    Welcome to the Terrain and Level Design forum, where all things terrain-related belong. This is a place for asking any and all questions about the Wc3 World Editor in regards to terraining, a place to showcase your terrains, and ask for feedback and a place to enjoy the modest galleries of past and current terrainers working hard to hone their skills. And if you per chance have never heard the terms “terrain/terrainer” before, I can inform you that they are the Wc3 terms for level design and level designing, which in turn is the art of creating the physical space and world where a game takes place.

    Rules and Guidelines

    • All posts and threads must follow the site rules.

    • The Terrain and Level Design forum is for feedback and showcasing, not for hiring, this should be done via personal messages or in the Project Recruitment forum.

    • Please only post one official Terrain Showcase* per user, these will be included in the Complete list of Terrain Galleries upon request.

    • We try to keep a warm and lofty environment in this forum, but constructive criticism doesn’t always feel that way, please keep in mind that people only want to help you even though they might seem like they’re not. However, if you still feel that someone is out of line, please use the Report button to notify the staff instead of lashing out.

    • Enjoy your stay in the Terrain and Level Design forum!

    What is Terraining?

    Here on the hive we have two distinct terminologies for level designing; Scenic Terraining and Playable Terraining. And while they are both at their core the same fundamental art, they are vastly different in both execution and result.

    Playable Terraining: This is the type of terraining that relates most closely to the original term “Level Design”, it is the act of creating a physical space where the player can move around and interact with the terrain, this is also the discipline of terraining that relates directly to map development. A good level designer is paramount to any ambitious map project and should not get glossed over as unimportant.

    Scenic Terraining: Also called “Terrain Art” by some, is a type of terraining more or less exclusive to the Wc3 modding community. This is a type of terraining that revolves around the creation of one single piece of art, one single screenshot. Every aspect of this terrain is aligned with that one screenshot, that one angle, to create the illusion of a scenic environment more akin to that of a painting rather than a gameplay environment. This type of terraining is an artistic expression and not a form of modding.

    [​IMG]

    Our scenic terrainers take great pride in the fact that everything you see is captured directly from the World Editor, without the use of any photo-editing tools (other than cropping) to enhance the quality of the picture. You can find more examples beautiful scenic terraining shots here and here.

    How to become a better terrainer?

    There are many good tutorials on the hive for how to improve your terraining skills, below is an incomplete list of a couple that might get you started. Other than that you should seek the guidance of experienced terrainers right here in the Terrain and Level Design section and/or attend contests to challenge yourself in a friendly, competitive, environment.

    Beginner:
    Advanced:
    Experienced:

    For more tutorials about terraining and many other things, please visit the Tutorial Section.

    What is a Terrain Showcase?

    A terrain showcase is a collection of various terrains made by one user, sort of like a portfolio. The guideline in the beginning relates to “general terrain showcases”, which refers to these portfolios: A collection of all your terraining works in one single thread.

    You are allowed to make various types of showcases (Like one for each of your projects, or just posting separate screenshots in separate threads for feedback and showcasing). You can find most of the hive’s terrain showcases here.

    What tools can be helpful to a terrainer?

    There are various tools and resources that are extremely useful to both level designers and scenic terrainers alike, among them are the legendary Ultimate Terraining Map and the newer, equally astonishing, HybrisFactory, by Talavaj. Other useful tools, resources and links are as follows:

    • The MiscData file: A file that greatly enhances the usefulness of the heighten and lower tool in the editor by removing a lot of limitations, it is installed by creating a custom folder in your WarcraftIII folder with the name “UI” and the file inside.
    • All Warcraft 3 Tile Paths: A nifty thread to easily get all the paths for your tiles, so that you can easily import and implement your own custom tiles.
    • Stryderhaizer’s Tiles and Skins: And inventory of some great tiles and skins, and some other useful things.
    • Tobyfat50’s Maps: An inventory maps created by Tobyfat50 that contains many useful and good looking custom resources.
    • Constructing With Pieces: A guide with custom resources about how to create wonderful constructions out of smaller pieces.
    • Nan0 Tile Pack: A collection of maybe the best looking custom tiles created for Wc3, made by Nan0.
    • Animated Scenery: A great collection of many configured vanilla Wc3 doodads which are now animated.
    • Demon Heaven and Refuge in Ruin: A couple of template maps containing great doodads and assets for terraining, respectively made by Nan0 and oGre_
    • Starcraft 2 Conversion Pack: A collection of Starcraft 2 resources configured to be compatible with Wc3, by Tobyfat50.
    • Toby Ruined Pack: Another great collection of doodads by Tobyfat50.
    • Modern Lighting and Objects: A pack of modern-time doodads created by WindexIsBack and Frictional Games.
    • The Ultimate Terraining Map: A collaborative and extensive collection of doodads useful to all terrainers in one single map.
    • Hybris Factory - Terraining and Mapping Resources: An extensive collection of assets made by the skilled user Talavaj.

    And that concludes this introduction and guidelines thread about the Terrain and Level Design forum, enjoy your stay here and don’t be hesitant to contact the current Terrain Board Moderator with any and all concerns or suggestions you might have.

    Happy terraining!


    Credits to M0rbid for creating the original guidelines thread, I miss you mate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  2. Trakya

    Trakya

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    Good tutorial, but only for those who have creative minds.
     
  3. rept

    rept

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    What else are you hoping would be covered? What was missed so that there could be something for the less imaginative?
     
  4. lord_Turin

    lord_Turin

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  5. Keiji

    Keiji

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    I didn't :p
     
  6. lord_Turin

    lord_Turin

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    ah, you are right.. my bad. i just didnt find it in the neat list :)
     
  7. Keiji

    Keiji

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    Yeah, I didn't think it would be prudent to name it twice, though maybe I should add it and the UTM to the bottom of the list, so that others who might not see the first mention can find them there.