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Notes on Map-Making


General notes about objects and map-making

What is an "object"?

Objects are the “atoms” that build the Crossfire game . Every item that can be seen or picked up by the player is an object. There are many more objects not visible to the players, fulfilling various kinds of functional duties. Weapons , floors , walls, monsters… those are all objects. Note that there is one big “object”-data-structure, containing a huge list of attributes. The attributes differ, but the structure is the same for all objects.

What is an "arch"?

Arches are predefined objects. They save you the hassle of writing all the common objects from scratch. There are predefined arches for food , doors , walls , monsters .. almost *anything*. In crossedit you can pick any given arch from the pickmap in the main window.

So, now you might ask yourself: “What the heck is the real difference between arch and object?”. Well, arches are only “suggestions” for certain objects in crossfire. Take the “goblin” arch for example: Goblins in CF are commonly known as small greenish monsters. But maybe, on a certain map, you want to create a goblin that is stronger than normal. You can do so by increasing the goblins strength, and probably you'll want to change its name too. Now you have an object that is no longer identical to its original arch. But there is still a strong relation to this original goblin arch. We call this relation “archetype”. The modified goblin is an object of “archetype goblin”. (Note that the expressions “arch” and “archetype” have almost identical meaning and thus very often get mixed up).

It should also be noted that there are limitations with multi-tile objects on how far one may diverge from the original arch. In maps one may never alter any attributes of the “tail” sections of the object or the size of a multi-tile object.

What is an "attribute" of an object?

In crossedit : Put a goblin somewhere on a map. Open the attribute window and press “Dump”. Now you should see a list:

  arch goblin
  name goblin
  race goblin
  face goblin.111
  animation goblin
  Wis 10
  hp 6

Every line contains an attribute of this goblin object . “face”, “name”, “hp”… those are all attributes. There are HEAPS of attributes. And to make things even worse: they usually have different meanings for different object-types. Knowing about all the attributes is the key for creating cool maps. The main purpose of this tutorial is to explain every attribute out there, in any kind of functionality.

What is a "map-mechanism"?

Okay, I made this word up. What I mean with “map-mechanism” is creating “special effects”, usually with combinations of buttons/levers/altars, gates/boulders, creators.. etc. The player pulls a lever and one gate out of three opens at random. That is what I call a map-mechanism.

What is an "NPC"?

NPC means “Non Player Character”. That are typically friendly guys hanging around in towns, willing to talk to you or help you in other forms. Like in most role-playing games, these folks are commonly used in Crossfire to provide the player with information about quests.

Object types - Adding functionality to an object

The most important attribute of an object is the “type” (presently a number from 1-161). The object-type determines the “purpose” of the object, the object's “functionality”. Is it eatable? is it a teleporter? a rune? a key? This is set by the type of the object.

Very important: The ARCHETYPE DOES NOT AFFECT the PURPOSE of an object! I can take the food arch and make it work as teleporter, by setting “type 41”. I can also take a teleporter- or door arch and make it eatable by setting “type 6”.

On the object types page there is a list of all types that are involved in map-making. Each listed type has a description of their most important attributes and how to use them.

For creating simple maps, you can use the predefined arches mostly as they are. But when you want to make some really cool maps, there is no other way but to read the object type information carefully.

Technical Information About Maps

This documented is intended to convey technical information on how crossfire deals with the map objects and objects placed on the maps.

maps/dev/notes_on_map_making.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/03 12:16 by karl