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Topic Subject: Resources/FAQ [World Builder]
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posted 04-01-06 10:14 PM EDT (US)   
World Builder Scenario Design FAQ
Maintained by Pulkit
Special thanks to former staff member FD2 and our contributors

The Battle for Middle Earth 2 World Builder, although complicated, is a powerful tool enabling designers to create new maps for the game. This thread is to teach the basics, and to ask questions, which will then be added to the continually expanding FAQ.

To start, get yourself acquainted with the Worldbuilder by exploring the various tools and options in the program. Take your time, and learn the structure. You can then read the tutorials to get set for map-making. Tutorials and Guides by EA or submitted by users, all can be found in the Tutorials and guides section below!

If you have any questions, then in your browser, press Ctrl+F to open the Find toolbar in which you may type the keywords of your question. Search for your keywords and locate the right question. If no such question exists, then ask it here.


Basic FAQ
Tutorials and Guides

Basic FAQ

Q. How do I get to the scenario editor?
A. Unlike games like the Age series, the editor is a seperate program. It can be accessed by your personal directory or the default: C://Program Files/Electronic Arts/Battle for Middle-earth 2/Worldbuiler.exe You can also try this on your 'run' section.

Q. How do I start a new map?
A. In the Worldbuilder, go to File -> New (or Ctrl+N)

Q. How do I save my map?
A. In the Worldbuilder, go to File -> Save (or Ctrl+S)

Q. Where do I place downloaded maps?
Go to My Computer -> C: -> Documents and Settings and enter the folder with your user name. If a folder titled 'Application Data' is visible, then enter it. If it is absent, then goto Tools -> Folder Options and under the 'View' tab, select the 'Show hidden files and folders' option.
In the Application Data folder, goto My Battle for Middle-earth(tm) II Files -> Maps and place the folder containing the downloaded map here.

Q. I saved my map, but it isn't showing up.
Make sure you saved your map in the correct folder. While saving, make sure the 'User Maps' tab is selected. Donot forget to enter a name and description for your map in the Map Settings found in the Edit Menu in the Worldbuilder.

Q. Where will my map show up in the game?
The map is added in the maplist present in the game. Custom-made maps have a 'hammer' icon next to them. You can find your map in the list of skirmish maps.

Q. The AI isn't building any resource structures.
The AI will only build economy structures on Farm Templates. You need to place down Farm Templates by clicking on 'Place Objects', then going to Objects -> ByNativeType -> Neutral -> Structure and select Farm Template. Place the Farm Templates on the map. Make sure you space them out so that there's minimum overlap of the white circles. The AI will build economy structures on these spots. Also, place the AI structures a little away from the Player start point, since the AI needs space to build Production Structures close to the start point.

Q. Are there any tutorials? Where can I find them?
EA and our contributors have written many tutorials and guides, all available in the Tutorials and Guides section at the bottom of this FAQ.

Q. How can I rotate buildings?
First place the bulding, then return to the normal mode by selecting Select and Move tool or simply by right-clicking on the map. Then, select the building by either select the spot it's built on or by dragging a box around it. Once selected, you'll notice a colourful circle at the center of the building, showing it is selected. The circle will have a short line protruding from it, this is the direction of the building. Zoom in, and carefully place your mouse pointer over this line, click and hold, and move your mouse to rotate the building. Release the hold once your building is facing the desired direction.

Q. I cannot see whether a building is selected.
Make sure the 'Show Objects Icon' option is enabled in the 'View' menu.

Q. What are waypoints? How can I make a waypoint path?
Waypoints are location markers that you can place on the map for your facility, as well as for using in triggers (for example, to mark a place to spawn new units). You can also make a path using waypoints to facilitate patrolling, movement etc. To make a waypoint path, place a waypoint, then click on it and drag to the next point. A brown line will show the path. You may continue this to make a path of any number of waypoints, and you may also connect it to the first to form a cycle.

Q. How is terrain height altered? (Raising or lowering)
Use the Terrain Brush tool in the toolbar to raise or lower the ground. Select the desired options in the Terrain Brush Options dialog box and apply the height changes on the map. Click and brush the region with your mouse pointer to cumulate the raising or lowering effect.

Q. How can I create hills and mountains?
To create hills, just use the Height Brush and select a height that is not much heigher the the map height. Select cell and feather size as per choice, preferably large. To create mountains and sharp heights, use the Mound tool in the toolbar. However, to create good mountains, use the Height Brush first to create the base for your mountain(s). Once a basic shape has been created, use the Mound tool to make the finer details.

Q. How can I create valleys and canyons?
Use the Dig tool in the toolbar to create deep depressions in the ground. Adjust the Brush Size, Feather Size and the Height to lower as desired. Use the Height Brush if you wish to lower the ground for shallow depressions.

Q. How are Rivers created?
Rivers can be created using the River tool in the toolbar. First, use the Dig or Height Brush tool to make the river channel. Next, select the River Tool, then click and hold the mouse button on any location of the map. Now, drag the mouse pointer to another location and release the hold. You will see a black line connecting two points. Click and drag the black line to another location. A new black line will be created connecting two points, thus forming a rectangle. The four points will be connected by flashing blue lines. Adjust the height of the water in the Options box, till it is visible on the ground. You can move the river by moving the individual four corner points. You can create more points in between to create curves, by selecting the River tool and clicking on one of the blue lines. Create as many points as desired, and move them to make the desired shape of the river. You may need to modify the terrain for improving the river's appearance.

Q. How are Lakes made?
Lakes can be made using the Lake/Oceans tool in the toolbar. First use the Dig tool to dig the lake bed. Next, select the Lake tool and click around the lake perimeter to create points that encompass the lake and complete a polygon. Create as few points as possible, to prevent excess load on the game. Once the lake polygon is complete, adjust the water height in the Options box, till the lake is visible and is at the desired level. You may have to modify the terrain to improve the lake's appearance.

Q. Can you use the World Builder to make RPG scenarios?
Yes. The Worldbuilder is power-packed to facilitate RPG gameplay. Maps such as the in-game campaigns can be made, and the WB supports a lot of features like camera animations for videos, closeups, character modifications and a wide range of triggers to make any scenario possible.

Q. In the evil/good campaigns of BFME2 we saw intro videos at the beginning of each scenario. Any idea how that can be done using the builder?
The videos are separate files from the map, and therefore you cannot make them in the WB. You'll need to make separate movie files like the EA movie files externally. You can, however, replicate the videos with in-game camera animations by using scripts for Camera, or using the Camera Animation feature.

Q. I made my animations, but then how do you get it to run on your map?
You'll need scripts to run the animation. For the effect, choose 'Move using Camera Animation' in the Camera effects and select your animation (don't forget to name it first).

Q. How is text displayed in maps?
You can add text to maps by making a notepad file and saving it as .STR in your map folder. In the file, write the text in three lines as:
"Your text here"
Then, use the Script Interface -> Display Text and enter the Headline in the space provided.
If you wish to change the line (the Enter key) in your text, then write /n.

Q. Are there triggers in the World Builder?
Yes, there are triggers. They go by the name of Scripts. You create scripts using the 'Edit scripts' button in the toolbar. Create scripts in the player folders and choose the conditions and effects from the vast lists.

Q. How do you change the command points using World Builder?
You can change the command points by using scripts with the Action Player -> Command Points -> Override player command points filling the appropriate values for this action. However, there may be errors in-game, such as Command points being reset to their original values on certain occassions. If something similar occurs in your game, you can prevent it by setting the script to be active forever (by unchecking the 'Deactivate' option) and also to prevent taxing the game, choose about 5-10 seconds under the 'Evaluate script' field.

Q. How do I place textures or make my terrain look more realistic?
Use the 'Single Tile' or 'Large Tile' tool in the toolbar. Select the type of texture you want to apply, and paint over the desired location. Use 'Flood Fill' tool to fill a large area of map. For more details and help, see the Terrain Mixing Guide.

Q. How are the realistic (3D) waves added to oceans and seas?
For this, you'll need to extract W3D models for water. The main W3D file in your BFME2 folder is a .BIG file. Open the .BIG file in FinalBIG. Check the Mini Guide Series for instructions on that, and the download link to FinalBIG.

In FinalBIG, open this W3D.BIG file, and you'll see a vast list of .w3d files. Scroll down to the files that begin with 'w' (they are arranged alphabetically). You'll see the various water files titled wtr_arnor, wtr_ettenmoors etc. To extract a model, just click on the file and goto Edit -> Extract.

Then, create your ocean using the Lake/Ocean tool. In the Options box, under FX Water Options, uncheck the Enable FX Shaders option. Then again click it, and this time a dialog box will open asking you to locate the W3D files. Select your extracted W3D files and click OK. Your new textured ocean should be visible. Then use the Wave tool to create your wave. Click on the 'Enable PCA mode' to enable it. You should now see not the ordinary 2D waves, but realistic 3D waves.

Out of all the W3D water files, only a few have waves, such as Ettenmoors, Forlindon and Gondor W3D water models (wtr_ettenmoors, wtr_forlindon, wtr_gondor).

Q. Is there a way to prevent the Fortress from being created at the Player Start Point?
Yes, there is one way to avoid Fortress from being spawned. When you have placed the Player Start Point, in the Options box, set the Waypoint to 'Beacon'. This way, a fortress will not spawn. However, remember that the player must have atleast one starting building or else the player will be defeated.

An alternative is to create the Player Start Point outside the border of the map. The fortress then cannot be seen or selected. You can use Camera scripts to change the view from this Start Point to someother point present inside the map borders.

Q. Is there a way to remove the workers (or builders, porters) from being spawned at the start point?
This can be done using scripts. Make the first script with the Action: Scripting -> Object List -> Add object to list. Choose a name for the list, say 'Porters', and in the type of unit, choose MenPorter for Men, WildPorter for Goblins, etc. Create a new action for each builder type, but keep the same Object list name.

Next make a script on looping, and set the action to: Scripting -> Rferences -> Set Reference to object type of player nearest team. For the object type, look for a folder named 'Object List' in the list that comes up, and select the object 'Porter' in it (the name of your object list). Select the player and the team as the team of the player (for eg. teamPlayer_1 for Player_1) and create a name for this reference, say, 'ThePorters'. Create new actions or new scripts for each player, and set different reference names for each.

Next create a third script on looping. For the action, choose: Unit (includes Structures) -- Other -> Damage or Remove -> Delete a specific unit. For the unit, locate the reference name for your Porters, in this example 'ThePorters'. You should find your Builders destroyed in the game.

You can also remove the Builders' dying sound effects by creating another script, and setting the Action as: Audio -> Sound Events -> Sound Events -- disable type. Choose the sounds, such as the 'MenBuilderVoiceDie', and in a new script 'CampSoldierDieBuilder' for the Men of the West builder sounds. This will disable these sounds for added effect.

Q. How can I place fortress like in Minas Tirith, Helm's Deep maps etc.?
There are special fortresses other than each faction's fortress that can be placed on maps as an alternative. Such fortresses appear in Minas Tirith, Helm's Deep, Isengard, Minas Morgul, Erebor, Rivendell and Dol Guldur maps. Simply create one of such fortresses found in ByNativeType -> WOR -> STRUCTURES and assign it to the desired Player. However, the player's original fortress will spawn nonetheless. To prevent that, look for the question, "Is there a way to prevent the Fortress from being created at the Player Start Point?"

Q. How is the terrain made impassable?
In the Terrain tools section of the toolbar, you'll find the Single Tile and Large Tile tools. Using either of these, a box will open. You will recognise this as the tool with which you paint the terrain. However, at the bottom of the box you'll find a section titled Terrain Painting Mode. In this section, select Passability. It will bring forth on their right-hand side a new set of options. Select Impassability and then paint over the map where you want it to be impassable.

Q. How is the terrain made flammable?
In the Terrain tools section of the toolbar, you'll find the Single Tile and Large Tile tools. Using either of these, a box will open. You will recognise this as the tool with which you paint the terrain. However, at the bottom of the box you'll find a section titled Terrain Painting Mode. In this section, select Flammability. It will bring forth on their right-hand side a new set of options. Select Grass or Highly Flammable and paint over the part of the map where you want flammability.

Q. How can objects such as units and buildings be placed?
You can place units, buildings and other objects by using the Place Objects button in the toolbar. The button possesses the symbol of the 3 dimensional axes. Clicking on this brings up a box containing a vast categorized list of objects for you to choose from. Simply click on the map to place the selected object.

Q. How do I play a Camera Animation in the game?
Create a script with the default settings and desired conditions. For the Action, choose: Camera -> Move -> Move using camera animation. Select your camera animation for this.

Q. How do I detect whether a Camera Animation is over?
Create a script with the default settings. For the Condition, choose: Camera -> Camera movement has finished. Choose the actions as desired.

Q. How can I block user input during a game?
Use the following actions in a script: Interface -> Input -> User input -- disable and Interface -> UI HIde..

Q. What is the meaning of "Interpolation?"
Interpolation means the path taken by the camera from one keyframe to another in a Camera Animation. The motion of the camera between keyframes can be tweaked using the Interpolation option in the main Camera Animations window. Selecting Smooth at any keyframe will make the motion of the camera from that keyframe to the next smooth, oriented according to the position of the camera in both the keyframes. Selecting Linear will make the motion of the camera rigid and straight from that keyframe to the next.

Tutorials and Guides

Tutorials by EA
Basic Map Designing Tutorial - A basic tutorial for beginners. Learn how to make your own Skirmish Maps in just 8 steps!
Map Design Tips - Important and useful tips on map designing.
World Builder Manual - The manual for BFME1 World Builder. Though the Worldbuilder has been modified for BFME2, there are still many similarities and the manual can be very useful for reference.
Advanced Features Tutorial - An extremely useful tutorial to the new features of BFME2 Worldbuilder that enable some advanced designing, including such effects as falling snow, fog, wave and ocean coastlines, terrain flamability, and much more.
Sample map.ini - A map.ini file containing the exact code for adding in Fog, Water Reflections, Tree Detail, and most importantly, Falling Snow. (If you'd like to create a snow map, it is highly reccommend you DO NOT change the Falling Snow ini code provided, but simply copy and paste it in to your map.ini file.)
Basic Scripting and Singleplayer Mission Guide - Advanced tutorial on creating your own Singleplayer mission, with great emphasis on Scripting. Also introduces map.ini and map.str files.
Rivendell Mission Tutorial - A technical step by step account on how first good mission in The Battle for Middle-earth 2, Rivendell, was created. It gives you some insight in to their basic map design practices, the concept and thought process behind scenario making, furnished with invaluable tips and tricks, and examination of the scripts involved.

Mini Guide Series - A guide for extraction of .BIG files, useful for extracting game maps, texture models etc. By BloodPhoenix
Terrain Mixing Guide - A useful guide for painting textures and making terrains look more realistic. By FD2
Creating Water Bodies - A guide to the basics of creation of water bodies such as rivers, lakes and oceans and their associated options. By Pulkit
Guide to MAP.STR: Displaying Text and Objectives - This guide discusses MAP.STR and its uses, detailing the method to display text in maps, and to make objectives for your missions. By Pulkit
Guide to Camera Animation - A comprehensive guide to using the Camera Animations feature, exploring its various nuances and learning how to implement them in creating movies or cutscenes. By Pulkit

[This message has been edited by Pulkit (edited 06-17-2007 @ 10:58 AM).]

posted 07-22-12 08:46 PM EDT (US)     51 / 55  
I changed camera hight from map setting to 800. Now problems is that heath bar became so long and unit level symbol is so large. Is there any way to solve this?
posted 10-10-12 08:49 AM EDT (US)     52 / 55  
How do I add power to an object? I wanted to give the Silver Tree healing do I do that??
posted 11-14-13 11:04 AM EDT (US)     53 / 55  
People, is there a way to disable friendly damage? I mean, when I summon a dragon, can I make my units invulnerable to his flames?
posted 04-21-16 06:07 AM EDT (US)     54 / 55  
Hi, I am a bit new to worldbuilding, but I am wonderwing whether or not I can make ANY building into a fortress (say I want to make a Gondor Barracks my fortress). How can I do that?
posted 05-07-20 03:16 AM EDT (US)     55 / 55  
Hi I have some issues to edit a custom map. I cant understand whats happening in the worldbuilder

Can you guys help me?

thank you
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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » Grey Havens (World Builder & Game Mods) » Resources/FAQ [World Builder]
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