How to Make a StarCraft 2 Map
Every great StarCraft 2 mod begins with the map – it’s where everything will take place, and more importantly, because of how the Editor functions, every StarCraft mod essentially is a map – even if there are some pretty gorramed complex maps out there. So today, we’re going to begin your lessons with a beginner’s guide to making a map of your own.
Table Of Contents
Step One: Tools
Step two: Accessing the Editor
Step Three: The Controls
Step Four: Creating A Map
Step Five: Select Module
Step Six: Units
Step Seven: Triggers
Step Eight: Edit Map
Step Nine: Test Your Map
A copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
A computer that can handle it:
• 2.6 GHz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
• 1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista/Windows 7 users)
• 12 GB hard disk space
• 128 MB NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card or better
• Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 (With the latest Service Packs) and DirectX 9.0c.
• Intel Processor
• 2 GB RAM
• DVD drive
• 12 GB hard disk space
• NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon X1600 or better
• Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.2 or newer
We assume your computer’s up to scratch. So let’s get started.
You can’t access the editor from within the game. It’s included as a separate file, so instead of opening StarCraft II, start by opening the main SC II folder (most likely this will be C:Program FilesStarcraft), and click on StarCraft II Editor. NOTE: You’ll need to log into Battlenet the first time you do this.
Now that you’ve opened the editor, you’ll see three main areas of the editor window.
That large, ugly green trapezoid on the right hand side is where, once created, you’ll find the actual map you’ll be editing. Don’t worry, that ugly pea soup green is just a place holder – you’ll be changing that shortly.
In the upper right you’ll find the mini map that gives your actual position on the edit-field.
Below the mini-map, you’ll see a selection of buttons (Foliage, water, etc). These are your various editing options – for example terrain changes, inserting units, and similar tasks – that you’ll be using to customize your map.
Now that you’re oriented, let’s get used to the controls.
Zoom in – mouse over field on the right of the window, use scroll wheel.
Zoom out – scroll down.
Pan right/left – right click and hold.
Move up/down – hold down ALT + right click
It might take a few minutes to train yourself not to get the commands confused, but trust me, once you do, it it’s incredibly intuitive. Blizzard designed a control scheme that really does have a “think-it-and-do-it” feel, and for that we hi-five them.
(MAC USERS NOTE: The controls for Mac users are only slightly different. E.G. the command button instead of cntl.)
Now that you’re ready to get started. click the file tab along the top of the window; From the drop down menu select “New”.
Now, the dialogue box will open. Here, you’ll see your starting options, including three drop down menus:
Document – allows you to select Map, or Mod.
Dependencies – You’ll have three options: Melee, Campaign, and custom.
Texture – Your map’s starting state. (e.g. planet and basic environment.)
First, select Map. Next, choose your dependency – for our first map, we’ll go with Custom.
NOTE: Choosing Custom will generate a new window, “Document Dependencies”, where you can select Liberty.SC2Mod, or Libertymulti.SC2. One governs single player play, the other multi. This will be important later, but for now, just click cancel to return to the dialogue box.
Now that you’ve chosen your Dependency, select your texture. You’ll have a lot of choices, basically every planet included in the single player campaign. To keep it comfortable, scroll down and select the first place you see during the Single Player campaign: Mara Sara (Wasteland).
Just below the main Texture drop-down, you’ll see “Initial Texture”, below which is a number of different colored squares. These are your terrain selections that will set the default terrain for your new map. For Mara Sara, you’ll have the following options:
For our map, we’re going to choose Rocky. At this point, if you like you can also play around with base, in-map height, as well as the height and width of the map grid itself. For now, let’s keep it simple and just go with the default settings for in-map, but to make things easier, shrink the dimensions of the map grid. We went with 160 X 160. Click OK to create your new map. Now, you’re ready to begin playing god.
Along the top of the screen, select the Modules tab and from the drop-down, make sure that “Terrain” is checked.
You can start wherever you like, but we found it easy to choose units.
In the lower left, you’ll see the selectable units, and there are a lot of options. Before placing an immortal into the map, make sure that you’ve assigned him to player one – that’s you.
Just scroll down until you see combat units and choose the one that strikes your fancy. We went with the Immortal. Now, place your Immortal(s) onto the map wherever you please. We put 3 down.
We’re going to assign the AI to player 2, so before going further, select Player 2 from the drop-down menu below the type field.
Now choose who your bad guys will be. We went with Infestor (Spellcaster). Now pop them into the map where you like (though maybe far enough away not to kill you too quickly.)
Ready? Moving right along.
Now we’ll need to get your triggers set up. Go back to the Modules drop-down and choose “triggers”.
The file folder that pops up will have one option: Melee Initialization. Click it, and on the right hand side, you’ll see a brand new sub menu. Events is pretty straightforward. Below that, you’ll be able to select some from the Actions sub-menu. This is where you’ll set up resources and units for all players.
We’re still new to this ourselves and we’ll want to keep it simple, so let’s concentrate on “Start The Melee AI for all Computer Players.” Delete or disable the other actions, and close the window to go back to your map.
Now, if you like you’re ready to begin, but let’s take a moment to add some character to your map. First, Units selection, choose “Terrain”.
We decided not to go too crazy. We added a road.
Technically, the world’s biggest road, you know, so we wouldn’t get lost.
Now, back to the Units menu and scroll up from where you selected your Immortals and your Spellcasters. As you scroll up you’ll see a number of additions to your map. First, we selected some Garages.
Then, some minerals to give the map that just-so lived in look.
And now, let’s kill some bugs!
Now that you’ve added some basic units and variation, it’s time to see how it plays. Along the top of the window, on the right hand side, you’ll see a “SC” button. Click that to see how your map plays in game.
It might take a while…
See that? Infrastructure. Your tax dollars at work!
Tragic roadside violence.
Ha! Deader than disco.
Gentlemen, it’s miller time.
Garden of Auir has posted a nice run-down of how-tos; We found this page in particular to be very, very helpful.
Tault has their own take, plus some helpful links.
There’s also a vast array of Youtube guides.