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Old 09-28-2014, 11:50 AM
Oyster Oyster is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: In the ocean.
Posts: 325
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STEP 3: PLACING A SPECIAL OBJECT (POWERUP/BALL/BOMB/ETC.)

It’s important to have more than just objects on your map. To add things like powerups, bases, turrets and spawn points, select “Window” on the toolbar and click “Show Create Special”
Select the object you wish to add and then place it on the map with a left click. As with regular objects, Special Objects can be edited and configured with a right click.

If you want your special object to be many different types of items, hold down ctrl key and highlight in blue everything you want to spawn there.

STEP 4: ADDING A BACKGROUND

By default, whatever color you chose when you first made the map is what your background will be.

If you want to change your background to a picture instead of a solid color, you first need to create a new view level which is managed in the 'View Editor' window. To open the View Editor, click Window->Show View Editor. To start with, you should see only one View, 'Game'.

'Game' is a special view that cannot be deleted or disabled. 'Game' is the only view which directly effects gameplay. All regular and special objects must be placed in the 'Game' view to have any effect in-game.
For a new view level, right-click in the View Editor box and select 'New View'. When creating a new view you must specify a Size[width,height] and Visual Bounds[Xmin,Xmax,Ymin,Ymax].

Size represents the actual size in pixels of the view and should usually match the 'Game's view. Visual Bounds determines the visible section of the 'Game' view over which this view will be stretched. If you want things in your background to slowly scroll when you fly, make the Visual Bounds slightly smaller or larger (by like 50-100 points) than the 'Game' view. Smaller makes the eyeball look away from your plane, and larger makes the eyeball follow you.

In the View Editor box, you also have the option to move your view levels up or down in the list. It is a little counter-intuitive when you think about it, but whatever is highest on the list is furthest in the back when you actually play the map.
Any object placed on the 'Game' view and below on the View Editor list will force you to fly under it, assuming it is not collidable. Because of this, you will want to move your background view layer to the top of the View Editor list so that you aren't flying behind a huge picture and can actually see your plane and the objects on the 'Game' layer.

To apply texture to any object or background, first you must import the background texture or image into the level by placing it in the 'textures' map folder. Images that are intended to tile over an object must have power-of-2 dimensions [16x16, 32x256, 512x512, etc] and must not exceed 512x512 pixels.
Next, select the object you'd like textured and click 'edit hull'. Once you are in Poly Editor mode, press ctrl+x (or click 'image'-> 'select texture' on the top bar of the map editor).
Press Escape to exit the Poly Editor. The object should be completely filled with the desired texture.

Also just to be safe, be sure your background image is uncollidable so you don't blow up immediately after spawning.

STEP 5: TESTING YOUR MAP

To test your map, select “Test” on the top toolbar and click “Run”. To end the test hit the escape key on your keyboard and you will be returned to the editor.

In order for a test to run, you must first meet a few requirements for each game mode. The editor does a pretty good job here explaining what pieces you still need before you can play, just read the little window that pops up.

General tip: be sure to have a border for your map when you are testing, otherwise there is nothing stopping you or the ball from flying off the screen. It's super annoying having to just fly around doing nothing while you wait for the ball to respawn.

STEP 6: MAKING CORRECTIONS

If you decide you unhappy with the size of your map and want to change it, simply right-click on 'Game' in the View Editor window->select 'Configure Game'->change the values.

Background color can be changed with Map->Change Background Color.

ADVANCED TECHNIQUES

• If you want to mirror an object to the other side (highly recommended for nearly all maps to keep the balance equal for each team), highlight the object you want to mirror and press ctrl+L. You can also mirror an object up or down by clicking the object, then clicking on the 'Selection' tab at the top of the map editor and choosing 'Mirror Bottom/Top'.
This allows you to only have to build half of the map and save mucho amounts of time on your map since you can just mirror everything to the other side.

• To make an object slightly transparent (for example, if you have a pipe or something you want people to fly through) right click the object and press 'Edit Hull'. Once in Poly Editor mode, select Poly from the top of the editor window-> Change Point Color. The transparency ("Alpha") slider is at the bottom.

• If you want to fly over an object rather than under it, you have to send that object to a view level that is higher than 'Game' view. There is currently no easy way to move objects between views, however, Lamsbro suggests you can do it by copying chunks of xml from one .level file to another. BEWARE: this is not an officially supported method and will corrupt your level file if you do it incorrectly.
I've discovered it's easiest to just click on the object/s that you want to send to a different view and take note of the exact coordinates of the pulsing orange dot in the middle of your object selection (pro-tip: zoom in super close to get the best reading possible). Once you know the coordinates, cut the object/s you want to move with ctrl+x, change to the correct view, paste with ctrl+v, find the same exact coordinates and left-click the mouse place the object/s. If you do this process correctly, you can move as many objects as you want between views at the same time because they will hold their place in relation to each other.

• To align textures between two separate objects:
(1) Right Click poly -> Edit Hull
(2) Image -> Transform
(3) Adjust the transformation values and click Apply
To easily calculate the transformation offset for pixel-perfect alignment of two overlapping textured polygons:
(1) Select both polygons in the level editor
(2) Click the combo box [StaticGeometry: 2] to reveal the center points of each poly
(3) Calculate the required transform as the difference in the polys' center points, Transform = Center1 - Center2
(4) Select just the 2nd poly using the combo box
(5) Press Edit Hull
(6) Image -> Transform X,Y using the values calculated in (3)
Thankfully the editor is pretty good at doing this automatically, so you probably will actually never have to manually align your textures.

• An easy way to build the collision outline for the border of your map is to make the whole thing one huge solid hull. You do this by using the Edit Hull option to modify the luons.
Build the border like the outside of the letter 'U' so that the middle of map remains open. Eventually, you will run into a point where you will have to make your ends run into each other (imagine the tips of the letter 'U' forming into an 'O'). Since that would create an impossible object, the map editor will not be able to do it perfectly. You have to just get them as close as possible, then close the tiny gap with another object.

• It is possible for planes to glitch through objects using Reverse/Rubber perks, especially in places where the object has sharp angles (for example, like the bottom part of letter 'V'). Normally this isn't game breaking, but if a person can glitch through a horizontal side of the map, they will instantly teleport to the other side. Also, the glitch can be used to take unfair shortcuts through skinnier objects.
To prevent this, place a small object wherever the weak spots are and set the damage modifier to 1,000. You can then hide this object by sending it to a lower layer than the object that is on top of it.

• Be conscious of your default background color. It's important to make sure your map is still playable for people who have backgrounds disabled or who are running colorblind mode.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope I was able to explain everything clearly enough.
Happy map making!

Edit: crap one last thing. To share your map, click on Export at the top of the screen and select Export Downloadable Map (Ctrl+P). If your map is valid, you will be taken to another screen with sliding bars. Just hit Export. It will take a few minutes to compress resources, longer if your map is larger, then create a file in the game's map folder.
For me it's at Steam/SteamApps/common/Altitude/maps Could be something like C://Program files/Steam/Altitude/Maps for you.
If your map is not valid and you are still missing crucial objects or conditions, then you will be scolded by the machine.
Once you have your .altx map file made, upload it using the free service tinyupload.com. (or whatever)

To take a proper screenshot of your map with all the layers compressed, click Collapsed screenshot. The screen will go blank for a bit while the camera snaps, everything will return to normal and a .png image will be created in the folder Steam/SteamApps/common/Altitude/editor_screenshots.
Once you have your .png background picture file, upload it using the free service tinypic.com. (or whatever)

Last edited by Oyster; 12-27-2014 at 02:21 AM.
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