How to use the map editor (Counter-Strike 2D)
This article is a description of how to use the Counter-Strike 2D map editor correctly.
Starting the map editor
- Start Counter-Strike 2D.
- Click the "Editor" button in the main menu.
The map editor should open on an empty map.
Explanation of the main aspects
The green crosshair is the mouse cursor. It can be used to click buttons or to select/set/edit tiles and entities. It will always highlight a tile when it is move over the map area (The area with the grid). A tile is a square with a size of 32x32 pixels. Each map consists of tiles and so-called 'entities' which control the behavior etc. It is also possible to see the coordinates and the frame of the highlighted tile at the bottom of the screen. The coordinates start with 0|0 in the top left corner of the map.
The menu contains many buttons which are separated into four groups. Each group contains three buttons.
The first group (top left) contains buttons that can be used to create a new blank map, to load a map or to save the map opened in the editor.
- Creating a new blank map: an options dialog will open prompting the user to specify the desired size, the background and the tileset of the new map
- Loading a map: a new window will open, in which it is possible to load maps out of the /maps folder.
- Saving a map: a new window will open, in which it is possible to save the map opened in the editor into the /maps folder and give it a name.
The second group (top right) contains map properties, display settings and the option to quit the editor.
- Map properties: Here it is possible to change the map size, the tileset, the background image, the background colour, the scroll speed and if the background moves relative to the player or the map.
- Display settings: Here it is possible to change the things that can be seen in the editor, such as the minimap, the grid or entities.
- Quit option: Quits the map editor without saving the game.
The third group (bottom left) is used to switch between tile editing, entity editing and tools. The list below changes when clicking one of the buttons.
The last group (bottom right) contains the tile editing tools. It is possible to either edit the tiles tile by tile with the pen tool, set a rectangle of tiles with the rectangle tool or fill a complete area with the fill tool.
Tile list and tile properties
- Tile list: Here it is possible to choose a tile out of the chosen tileset. When chosen the tile highlights itself the tile can be placed on the map in the map area.
- With the "properties" button it is possible to change the properties of a tile, such as if the tile is a wall/obstacle/floor and other properties.
- The "Tile rotation" button allows the tile to be rotated into 4 different directions.
- The "BR:" button changes the brightness of tiles.
- Entity list: Here it is possible to choose and place entities. Clicking on the name of an entity will highlight it in the menu. It can then be placed on the map.
- Tools list: with the "Distance tool" it is possible to check the distance between two tiles, measured in pixels. With the "Path Distance" tool it is possible to see the tile distance between two tiles. The "Pathfinder tool" shows the quickest path a player can go from one place on the map to another.
The minimap shows a small version of the map and allows to jump to any position by left clicking it. The yellow area indicates the part of the map being looked at. The minimap can be closed in the "Display settings". The minimap does not display the actual tile colors. It just displays walls (white), obstacles (gray), deadly tiles (red) and water tiles (blue). This helps to keep an overview over the structure of the map.
Explanations in detail
General settings for tiles
- Wall When a tile has the property "Wall", players cannot walk or shoot over these tiles, nor can they see through them if Fog of War is activated.
- Obstacle When a tile has the property "Obstacle", it is impossible to walk over it, but it is possible to shoot over and see through it.
- Wall w/o shadow means that the tile is a wall but doesn't have a shadow, which means that it looks like a floor tile.
- Obstacle w/o shadow means that the tile is an obstacle but looks like a floor tile.
- Floor - X changes the sound file played if a player walks over a tile. "Soundless" means that the walking over a tile doesn't make a sound, and "water" also means that small waves appear if a player moves over the tile.
- Deadly - X Changes the way a player dies if he steps on the tile. Normal just makes the player die, explosion creates an explosion, and abyss/toxic changes the sound played when the player dies.
- Tile rotation the tile is turned into the direction into which the tile shows. When it shows upwards, it means the normal position.
- Brightness changes the brightness of a certain tile.
- Tile blending can be use to make a tile blend into the next tile. Different settings change the way the tiles blend into each other.
- Main article: List of Counter-Strike 2D entities
This is a short tutorial about how to create doors with the Counter-Strike 2D map editor. The images at the bottom are put to assist the understanding of the instructions.
- Create a "Func_Dynwall" entity. The "Tile/Frame#" can be used to change the look of the dynamic wall. It is advisable for the entity to be placed on a floor tile.
- Create a "Trigger_Use" entity. The "Buttons" function can be used to change the look of the Trigger.
- Set the name of the dynamic wall.
- Set the entity name the trigger entity should trigger to the name of the dynamic wall.
- When pressing the spacebar a line should now appear between the two entities.
Now activating the trigger should open the door.
There are no real rules about creating maps, however there are several things that should be kept in mind while mapping.
1. The right size
Maps should not be oversized, but they should not be too small either. In big maps it usually takes too long to get from one place to another, while small maps get boring quickly.
2. The border
It is advisable to always keep a free space of 1 tile or more between the first tile and the map border. Having no free tile there will lead to rendering problems with map shadows. Moreover, the minimap will look better with those free tiles.
Maps should always have some kind of obstacle behind which players can take cover, especially in hallways.
4. Alternative routes
One route quickly makes a map boring, so multiple routes should be used that lead to places such as bomb spots or hostage rescue points. On the other hand too many routes are hard to defend and make the map almost unplayable.
5. Items and secret entities
Items and secret entities are alright on fun maps, but entities too secret should not be implemented on serious maps.
Graphics, sounds, objects and effects can make a map look a lot better, but too many of them can make the game lag and ruin the gameplay.
7. Map names
Map names should not include any unusual symbols. Also the name of the map creator should not be mentioned in the map name, as this can be done in the map briefing.
8. Creator's name
Putting the name of the creator in the map be it as a sprite or written with tiles is considered bad taste and is not advised.
9. Custom tilesets
It is always appreciated when custom tilesets are used in maps. However these should alway start off with a transparent tile (that tile should be #FF00FF magenta). Tilesets should be saved in a bmp or a png format and cannot consist of more than 256 tiles.