Map Making Guide

This guide is for anyone who is interested in making a map for CnB. It will show you how to get set up with the map editor, guidelines for making a map, submitting it, and how our map backend works.

Getting Started

The first step is to download and set up a third-party Map Editor. There are a few options:

MTA: Deathmatch editor
Full-featured yet fairly easy to understand. Download at mtasa.com. Also you may want to read the MTA Map Editor Wiki Page.
SAMP Map Editor
Great standalone editor that is a not quite as easy to use but still powerful and relatively easy to use. Download at the SA:MP forum thread.
MTA: Race editor
Very old release but by far the simplest and easiest to use. Not quite as feature-rich as other options, however. No longer generally available, but we have a download here: MTA: Race 1.1.1 editor.

If you want to import an MTA 1.1.1 map to MTA:DM, you'll need to convert it using this tool:

MTA: Race Converter

Using SA:MP Objects

By default MTA does not support SA:MP objects (although the SA:MP map editor does). However, BBoldt has made MTA resources that allow you to work with these objects. Download here:

MTA Custom Object Resources

Put the 3 zips (don't extract them, just place them) into X:\Program Files (x86)\MTA San Andreas 1.5\server\mods\deathmatch\resources`, replacing anything that's there already.

Go to the MTA map editor. Note that it may take 4-5 minutes to load. We're not sure why this is. The SA:MP objects should now be available to you.

When you upload your map, remember to check "Support SA:MP Objects."

Location

It's useful to have a rough idea of what you want to build in your head. It's fine if you don't, a lot of maps have been made by just flying around the map and finding an interesting location.

Do:
  • Use fairly open areas.
  • Use an area that hasn't been used before unless you can do something different with it.
  • Use a custom built area over the ocean, if you feel like.
  • Use an area that is partially closed off already if you don't want to have to spend time (and use up the object limit) fencing it in.
Don't:
  • Use areas with very little space to accelerate (ie, lots of turns, steep hills).
  • Use an area with lots of places to hide (eg, Liberty City, in the middle of a forest, Area 69).
  • Use an area too high up - Custom object textures might not load correctly at a high altitude.
  • Use a custom built area high above ground when it could be just above the ocean.

Design

Your first two priorities when making a map:

  1. How large you want your map to be. 8 players (tiny), 16, 24, or 32? The playable area should be sized to the player count.
  2. It's an enclosed area that is not possible to drive or jump out of.

Your map should have a good theme. We see a lot of submissions that are just a disjointed jumble of objects.

If you're making a series of maps, each must be similar enough to the other maps in the series to warrant a similar name, but not exact copies with only a few things changed.

Do:
  • Use fairly open areas. Ensure there's no camping spots.
  • Line up objects such as roads, ramps, and so on, generally creating a smooth surface to drive on (use ctrl + F9 to clone an object in the exact same place, then use the movement keys to displace it).
  • Break the above rule slightly if two objects overlap exactly, which causes the textures to flicker (use X + movement keys to move an object slightly, you only need to move one object up a few pixels to stop this effect).
  • Ensure your vehicles are fast enough to keep the action going.
  • Unless there are natural hazards, or the map is fairly confined, add some barrels.
  • Add in ramps between areas with different elevations (obviously).
  • Use objects to fence in your map.
Don't:
  • Add roads that are too steep.
  • Add objects at a high altitude if they have no reason to be that high.
  • Spell words with objects.
  • Use smoke machines.
  • Use the orange balls that cause players to bounce off and fly off.
  • Use very thin platforms or ramps - Clone and move a copy of the object next to itself to widen the path to prevent camping.
  • "Overbarrel" - Barrels are good. Too many barrels are not good.
  • Don't use barrels or breakable fences/walls as an outside wall. These can still be escaped through.

Vehicle Spawnpoints

Using the editor, place a spawnpoint for every slot available on your map. For instance, a 24-player map gets 24 spawnpoints.

CnB disallows the following vehicles because they are not suitable for derby:

Andromeda, At400, Barracks, Beagle, Bf 400, Bike, Bmx, Cargobob, Coastguard, Combine Harvester, Cropduster, Dinghy, Dodo, Dumper, Enforcer, Faggio, Fcr 900, Forklift, Freeway, Hpv1000, Hunter, Hydra, Kart, Launch, Leviathan, Manana, Marquis, Maverick, Mountain Bike, Nevada, Nrg 500, Pcj 600, Pizzaboy, Police Maverick, Quad, Raindance, Reefer, Rhino, Rustler, San News Maverick, Sanchez, Seasparrow, Shamal, Skimmer, Sparrow, Stuntplane, Tropic, Vortex, Wayfarer
Do
  • Use vehicles that fit the theme of the map.
  • Use vehicles with good traction if there are a lot of hills or grass/mud/sand to drive on.
Don't
  • Use vehicles with sirens unless you have to - most of them have a civilian counterpart with no siren.
  • Use slow/unfun vehicles - No one wants to drive a Trashmaster around in the sewers.

Z-Limiter

The Z-limiter is the vertical point at which players die.

Maps can generally be classified as arena and non-arena type maps. Arena maps place players in an elevated area, and do not attempt to fence everyone in. Non-arena maps are just the opposite -- no fall off points, fenced in. The Z-Limiter is what kills players who fall out-of-bounds.

If you map has areas that players cannot go, you need to use a Z-Limiter, or create a physical barrier that prevents access.

If your map uses the ocean as a death area, simply ignore the Z-Limiter settings as their default values will kill any players in the water. Otherwise, you need a "fall-off death" Z-Limiter.

  • Find the lowest point of the play area of your map.
  • With all of the map's fall-off points in mind, visualize how far down players should be killed for falling off the map.
  • Pull out a small object for placement.
  • Place this small object at the same height as the point of death you visualized.
  • With that object selected, view the object's coordinates. In the MTA:Race editor, hit F3, then "Change Object Position."
  • Your Z-Limiter value is the Z-coordinate of the object. This is in all cases the last number in a set of XYZ coordinates. In MTA:Race, the number is seperated by spaces and is circled in red in the graphic to the right.

Hold the Flag

HTF maps must include the red flag model, model ID 19306. If you are using the MTA map editor, substitude this with model ID 1264, a small trashbag. This will be replaced with the flag object if you check "Support SA:MP Objects."

Finishing and Submitting

Once you're done with your map, you'll need to get it into our map backend in order for it go live in-game.

  1. Save the map to a file.
  2. Go to your Account Area and click on "Submit a map." Direct Link
  3. Fill out the form following the instructions on the right.
  4. We review and test your submission, and finally add it in-game.

Save time by making sure your map has enough spawnpoints for its size, and that it doesn't have more than 1000 objects. Also, TEST your map. Drive around on it and make sure it feels good.

You'll be a pro map maker in no time. Happy mapping!