Hey Everybody. I have decided to create a second set of intro tutorials. This time around, I'm going to segment the tutorials for each different editor module. So feel free to check out whichever parts you want! As always, PM me any questions you have or mistakes you find in the tutorial.
Okay. The time has come to actually get started. This tutorial will cover the very basics of how to make simple terrain. The first thing to do is actually open the galaxy editor. It's located in the same place on your computer as starcraft 2 is. For PC users, this is probably in program files >> starcraft 2. I assume it's similar for Mac users, although I don't own one. Anyways, just open up the editor to get started. You will probably open up the terrain editor by default (normally you will have either an empty, black, map or one with a plain, flat terrain). The galaxy editor is actually made up of several different modules. The most important modules are Terrain, Triggers, and Data. The buttons at the top of the screen will open each of these modules.
The first thing we want to do is make a new map. Your editor may be set up to auto-generate terrain, but we want to be able to set up the map the way we want it. So use file >>> new to make a new map.
Most of this is fairly self explanatory, except for the dependencies. Basically, this tells the editor which set of information to load into your map. For example, the zerg units in campaign are weaker than the ones in multiplayer. So if you use campaign dependencies, the weaker versions will show up in your map. The campaign dependencies also contain models and units only found in campaign, such as Jim Raynor. Set this option to campaign (liberty) and hit ok.
Your map will be generated with some fairly bland terrain. This tutorial will teach you the basics of the terrain editor. The first thing to note is that the terrain editor has several different "layers". These layers are Terrain, Units, Doodads, Points, Regions, Cameras, and Pathing. To change layers, you can press the first letter of the layer to want to use. T for terrain, U for units, D for doodads, etc… (Strangely enough, pathing uses H for it's hotkey).
Right click and drag to move around
Hold Control while you right click and drag to rotate the view
Hold Shift and Drag to zoom
Scrolling also zooms
Hold Alt and drag to move up and down.
Press V to toggle game view.
Game view will hide editor-only objects, like points, cameras, and regions.
The Terrain Layer
Let's go to the terrain layer. As you can see from the picture, the box on the left side of the screen will have different options depending on which layer you are on. Since we are on the terrain layer, it is giving us options to modify the terrain. From left to right, the options on top are Texture, Road, Height, Cliff, Foliage, Water, and Terrain Objects. The most important three are Texture, Height, and Cliff.
Select the Cliff option. We can then choose to Raise the cliff, lower the cliff, make the same level cliff, add a ramp between two cliff levels, or remove a ramp. Choose raise cliff. We can then choose between 2 two different types of cliffs. They all work the same, but they normally look different. Choose either variation and start painting your cliffs. To do this, hold your left mouse button down as you drag it over the terrain. Nice and easy, right? Ground units can't walk over these cliffs, so you can use them to create walls.
Next click on the height option. Height works similarly to cliffs, except that units can walk over high ground. So only use height to make your map look nice; it has no effect on gameplay. The options are similar to before; Raise, Lower, Same Level, Noise (bumpy), and Smooth.
Next click on the texture option. Textures "color" the ground in different ways to make the map look good. Once again, they have no effect on gameplay. The textures you have to choose from will be different depending on which texture set you picked when you created the map. The options you have here are a bit more complicated.
Add Texture simply does that. It adds the selected texture on top of wherever you click. You will use this one most often.
Remove Texture gets rid of the selected texture type, but doesn't affect other textures.
Uniform Texture puts down a mixture of your current texture and the ones on the ground where you click
Replace Texture takes the first texture you select and replaces with the second one you select. All other textures are ignored.
Smudge Texture does exactly that; it smudges textures together when you click on them
Blur Texture does what it sounds like. It blurs two textures together, so the transition looks more natural.
Fill texture fills the entire area with the texture you select.
The options below the textures control how fast your tool works.
Swap to the unit layer by pressing U. You can select a unit from the list on the left and place them in the map. To select a unit you already placed on the map, you can click on it. The problem is that you can't select a unit if you have one selected from the list on the left. Press space to clear your mouse. Then you can select units on the map. Once you select a unit, you can press enter to open up an options menu for the unit. The options are fairly self explanatory.
The Doodads layer
Press D to open the doodad layer. If your computer is like mine, your editor may freeze for a few seconds while it loads. There are TONS of doodads for you to use. Doodads are decorations for your map, and have no effect on gameplay other than blocking pathing. Just like the unit editor, you can pick one from the list on the left and stick it into the map. Some doodads will block units from walking over them, while some (like flowers) will not. Keep this in mind when you block off an area with doodads- units may still be able to walk over them. You can select and edit doodads just like units.
Points, Regions, and Cameras
These are only important if you plan on actually making a map. You place them into the game world and can use them in triggers. For example, you could place a point, and then using triggers, create a unit at that point. The player cannot see any of these objects. Additionally, you can only see them in the editor if game view is turned off. Pressing V will toggle game view on and off. They don't require much explanation. You just put them into the map, and that’s it.
You can access pathing by pressing H. Pathing controls how units move around the game world. Starcraft 2 will always order units to take the shortest possible route to their destination. If you want to block off certain areas, you can do that in the pathing menu. If you click 'add pathing' and then 'no pathing', you can paint a "no-path" zone that will prevent units from crossing it. Keep in mind this also affects flying units. You can paint a ground zone, which allows ground units to walk over a certain area when they may not normally be able to. Finally, you can paint a no build zone, which as the name implies, prevents buildings.
Hopefully this provided a basic knowledge of the terrain editor. If you are interested in terraining, check out the Terrain Forums or Mozarad's Terraining Tuesday
Send me a PM if you find an error in the tutorial or have a question/suggestion. Finally, here's the random fact for the tutorial:
Women are 37% more likely to go to a psychiatrist than men are