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Workshop: Official Content
By SDGNelson
This guide provides tips/advice/rules on creating maps for consideration to be officially integrated into Unturned.
If you're enjoying making maps/content for Unturned and are interested to more closely match vanilla styles then this is the guide for you! We'll be taking a look at the thinking behind official content and avoiding common pitfalls based on what I learned from working with a community team for the Russia map.

This guide assumes you know your way around the Unturned editor and Unity by now, but here are a few quick things to check before getting started:
  • Copied TagManager.asset from Bundles/Sources/Examples to YourUnityProject/ProjectSettings.
  • Imported Physics.unitypackage from Bundles/Sources/Examples to your unity project.
  • Copied BundleTool.cs from Bundles/Sources/Tools/Bundle Tool to YourUnityProject/Assets/Editor/Tools. This tool is more streamlined to do exactly what it needs to, and can be opened from Window > Bundle Tool.
  • Using Unturned's current Unity version (referenced on the main guide page), you can check which version you have installed in Help > About.
When in doubt feel free to open an official map in the Unturned editor! By default other people's maps are locked to prevent new players from accidentally messing up the levels' hashes, but this can be circumvented by adding a file called .unlocker to that map's folder or replacing Level.dat with one of your own.
In the meantime community-created updates will take the form of a new map in a new setting with unique locations and ideally some unique content alongside a purchasable (revenue-split) mystery box with cosmetics/skins themed around the map. For example the other map we almost went with rather than Russia would have been a savanna/rainforest blend with new locations like a space shuttle launch site and giant dam/canyon system. You can use this idea if you like!

With the variety of content required you probably want to find some other modders to team up with for your project, especially if you specialize in one area like modeling or level design. While I was heavily involved in the Russia map, I'm excited with the potential for this guide to help streamline the process so that you can create everything yourself to the point of having some 100% community created updates, and a longer lifespan for the game. There are also several other official workshop guides that outline creating most things here: Guides

In some cases we might also work together on new features for the map like the gasmask/filter/deadzone mechanic for Russia and extended editor and water systems in Hawaii.
  • Please avoid super high contrast colors - they're painful to look at especially when used in the lighting. Most of the official content has sort of medium intensity colors.
  • Don't go darker than RGB 30, 30, 30 and if something is 255, 255, 255 that's probably a bad sign.
  • Loop roads together so that there are a variety of routes/circuits to take around the map, and twist/bend the roads a bit to cut the view distance. Curving roads are more interesting to drive on and make the map feel bigger, and having the roads connect back to one another provides more options and better flow. This was one of the takeaways from the Canada map if I recall correctly.
  • Preserve some space between the locations and the map border. This allows it to be approached from all directions and doesn't look as wonky from the overhead GPS/chart view.
  • Current maps are balanced such that each small town contains a subset of key building spawns like police, medical, food to encourage movement with the large cities having all of them but more dangerous thanks to concentrated zombies and players. This is more a suggestion than a rule, however.
  • Keep things lightly apocalyptic. It's common on workshop maps to have vines/overgrowth covering everything, buildings barricaded up and the roads blocked by debris, and this is very cool to see/explore, but for the official maps I prefer the destruction/bases to be player created. For example if you see power lines knocked over and a fence smashed apart you know a player drove through them, and if there's a boarded up apartment building then a player built that. When fortifying a town it can also be annoying still having foliage/rubble everywhere when the base you built is pristine. To help act as a middle ground however I've been thinking about automatically filling doorways/windows with crafted doors and tools to place buildables in the editor for when the server starts up, but no plans for when it might be added yet.
  • Snap grid-aligned objects together to avoid z-fighting/gaps. Sufficed to say it was quite a surprise realizing none of the roads/tunnels/bridges on Russia lined up properly.
  • Use scaling reservedly and only for objects whose proportions don't change. Scaling was added in the editor upgrade at the very start of work the Russia map and was only really used for a few of the boulders and terrain details like at the underground bunker or the military train tunnel.
  • Rather than creating compound models (out of wooden pallets is a common choice) add a new custom object for it.
  • Vehicles that look driveable should be driveable, with the exception being those that don't have a system for them yet such as trains. For the most part the destroyed vehicle models are obviously beyond repair, but with objects like the wooden skiffs/kayaks keep them away from the water or sunken/wrecked.
  • When detailing an area it's easy to forget some polish objects e.g. manholes in intersections, fire hydrants, mailboxes, garbage bins, so it can be helpful to take a look through a similar area on another map and make a quick list of useful objects.
  • Animals should be quite near together so that the game knows to group them into a pack when spawned in. So far the passive animals have been placed in bigger groups than aggressive animals.
  • Loot/zombies/vehicles match the area, for example finding fire gear, firefighter zombies and a firetruck at the fire station, and referencing a group of items rather than individual item types. Fortunately the recently added spawn table system makes this very easy and will keep your spawns up to date with new content (so use it) - in fact this system was made with accepting community created maps in mind.
I know there is still some confusion around the new spawns system, so I made this relatively quick video to cover using it in your maps:
  • Experiment with baking navmeshes early and take care of areas that players can abuse the zombie pathfinding.
  • Ensure locations are spaced out enough that the pink boundaries around navmeshes never touch, and that there's a bit of buffer area in the navmesh between the edges and the closest spawns for zombies to chase players away. Keeping locations further apart especially on large size maps can also be handy for a performance boost thanks to loading less details.
  • Use 2^x texture edge lengths like 2, 4, 8, 16 rather than arbitrary numbers like 3. Different edge lengths like 4x8 is fine. Unity will show a NPoT "Non Power of Two" warning in the texture preview window if an arbitrary number is used.
  • Textures with UVs in [0-1] should be set to clamp, otherwise set to repeat.
  • Flat colors usually use point filtering, detailed surfaces like boulders use 16x trilinear.
  • In most cases each mesh should only have one material.
  • Large objects that should be seen from a far distance need a very low quality "Skybox" object. This is shown in the buildings video and in this post: Raising Unturned's View Distance[blog.smartlydressedgames.com]
  • Split transparent and opaque geometry into different textures/materials e.g. leaves on trees from the trunk, chain link fence from the fence posts.

This video is rather long, but if you're interested to see how I go through making the official buildings this should cover it all. It turned out to be a real nightmare with the Russia map so at the least you should skip through a bit and see if it looks familiar.

Edit: Looks like I missed the railing areas for the navmesh! For those you might add a ramp similar to the windows or keep them as-is depending on where they are.

Here are the main points from the video:
  • The vast majority of official content barring some of the very early models follow consistent measurements usually in multiples of 0.1 or 0.25. The measurements for buildings are listed on the separate objects documentation guide.
  • With buildings being some of the most complex models for the map it's important to keep them easy to change, and separate the optimized and unoptimized versions.
  • Most building textures are 4x2 and follow a consistent unwrapping scheme.
  • Create a separate collision mesh if needed, otherwise the lowest LoD is often fine, but definitely create a navmesh helper so that when baking the navmesh the zombies can be a bit smarter.
  • Make sure the interior culling lines up with inside areas to prevent hiding nearby objects like AC. For objects with multiple interiors far apart you can use occlusion areas as shown in the video.
New foliage/trees/environment is one of the most immediately differentiating aspects of a new map, so I'd very much encourage it, and there's plenty of nature that hasn't been seen in Unturned yet from palm trees to small ferns.

  • Detail/resource density on ultra settings should be similar to density on official maps, much higher and you'll start running into performance issues.

Examples of these can be grabbed from the Bundles/Sources/Examples folder. The alpha channel of materials is used as height allowing a really nice growing between the cracks look as opposed to a simple transparent transition. To get the grass detail color I usually scale down the ground material image to 1x1 and then use that for items like the ghillie suit, clothes, vehicles, etc. Assuming we're working together, if the color is significantly different from Forest/Desert/Russian I'll add versions of each relevant military building/vehicle to match it.
  • Most materials should be automatically baked aside from parking lots and biomes.
  • Dither material biome transitions in low quality mode rather than a sharp edge.

Official trees have 3 LoDs going from 4 sided trunk with a few large leaves to 6 sided trunk with ~2x as many leaves to 12 sided trunk with a few branch meshes and ~3x as many leaves as the lowest LoD. When bringing these in I'll swap the material to use Unturned's windy foliage shader.
  • The vast majority of resources should be automatically baked aside from berry bushes, mineable rocks and decorative foliage.
  • At the moment all leaf textures are 64x64, but you might need 128x128 if you have multiple leaf textures. The same rules for trees/resources/materials/details apply as for the objects mentioned above.
  • For the tree chopped down particle effect I usually like to have a 128x32 sheet with 4 leafy branch images.
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Respawn Apr 12 @ 5:59pm 
FreddyDaSchizo Apr 9 @ 2:00am 
Thewaffleman30 Jan 9, 2018 @ 3:10pm 
hey nelson mke london or canada with there own vehicles and weapons in 4.0 o also awesome wrk cant wait for 4.0
✞𝓓𝓪𝓶𝓷𝓮𝓭✞ Oct 7, 2017 @ 6:27am 
i dont use cheats
✞𝓓𝓪𝓶𝓷𝓮𝓭✞ Oct 7, 2017 @ 6:27am 
nelson why you banned me?
LOW MAN (real virgin) May 17, 2017 @ 4:40am 
Where do I put this file?
F:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Unturned\Bundles\Sources\Examples\StandardDecalable.shader
Tell me please, when I create an object, then it does not leave traces of strikes, I do not like it very much.
Chateau Feb 18, 2017 @ 6:58pm 
add these
Chateau Feb 18, 2017 @ 6:58pm 
plates,waffles other foods i don't know motor bikes:police and normal colours (or colors) and delivery van
Classic Feb 17, 2017 @ 11:16am 
how do you move in DEKIT mode?
Julien1102 Dec 31, 2016 @ 6:57am